England will miss its Church when it’s gone

The Church of England is on its knees, and not in a good way. Before the pandemic, physical congregations were already sparse, and getting sparser: in 2019, estimates put the average Sunday service attendance at just 27 people. When Covid-19 reached these shores, the Anglican leadership responded by closing churches even for private prayer, and they’ve issued barely a squeak for months on end. No one knows whether physical congregations will ever recover.

England will miss its Church when it’s gone


OCP Pulls the Plug (Finally) on the Angel Moroni

OCP managed to get itself into trouble by using an image of the Mormon Angel Moroni on the cover of its missal:

The image below is from the cover of a missal being published by Oregon Catholic Press:

The cover depicts an angel blowing a trumpet — but not just any angel.

It’s the Mormon Angel Moroni, who is the unofficial symbol of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and who frequently appears on the cover of the Book of Mormon:

I’m no fan of OCP as an organization and have said so repeatedly when talking about their music. The trads trash them regularly, in part because some of their music is questionable theologically (although they had people like this to prepare the way.)  Much of their music is banal and explains why, after the initial rush, post-Vatican II Roman Catholic liturgical music has gone downhill.

Using the Angel Moroni is especially questionable, but they did it anyway.  I’m glad they’ve been called out for it and have retracted the cover.

Who do the English think they are?

In the early 5th century the Roman legions abandoned Britain, and the sceptered isle fell off the pages of history. When it reemerges two centuries later Celtic Britain had become the seedbed for the nation-state of England. The Christian religion, newly-established on the island at the time, had given way once again to paganism. Brythonic Celtic speech was ascendant only on the fringes. A cacophony of German dialects spread out across the fertile south and east, radiating out of the “Saxon Shore”.

Who do the English think they are?

US Christians increasingly departing from core truths of Christian worldview, survey finds

A new survey shows that the majority of Americans no longer believe that Jesus is the path to salvation and instead believe that being a good person is sufficient.

As part of the ongoing release of the Arizona Christian University-based Cultural Research Center’s American Worldview Inventory, the latest findings — exploring perceptions of sin and salvation — from George Barna, the group’s director, show that nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that having some kind of faith is more important than the particular faith with which someone aligns…

US Christians increasingly departing from core truths of Christian worldview, survey finds

The Democrats’ Cry: Let’s turn the clock back twenty years

A salutary warning from a European perspective:

We very much liked Tom McTague‘s article in the Atlantic, in which he makes the point that the golden age of western liberal capitalism was nothing of the kind. He compares the period from 1990 until about 2008 with the Roman empire just before decline set in. Both were beset by complacency. The seeds of their destruction had already been planted. McTague argues that the last thing the world needs is the illusion of a return to the status quo ante. On the day when Joe Biden accepted the Democratic nomination, this is a useful warning.

What McTague actually does is to state that something turned with the start of the new millennium and that the changes that took place afterwards cannot simply be undone by trying to reverse irreversible changes.  I’ll offer three things from my perspective to show that turning the clock back won’t happen no matter how much pressure the “establishment” brings to bear.

Let’s start with the Chinese: it was ridiculous to assume that the Chinese would proceed in anything but an autocratic way.  Anyone really familiar with the civilisation knew this but we were drowned out by the voices of the pseudosophisticates who thought that history had ended and that the collapse of the Soviet Union vindicated their idea that only “democracies” would triumph.  Now the Chinese are on the march and the pseudodemocracies are really at a loss as to what to do.

As a Christian, it was obvious in the early years of this millennium that something “in the air” had shifted.  When I wrote the introduction to the first instalment of the fantasy series The Island Chronicles, I made the following statement:

It (the fantasy world) was discovered long ago, when darkness enveloped and all seemed to be lost. With subsequent events, though, things became better, and the urgency of the topic was not so great. Today, however, we live in a world where events turn very rapidly; what seems safe today is gone tomorrow.

In many ways the 1990’s was Evangelicalism’s last major push in the US, and for Catholics was John Paul II’s last full decade on earth.  Since that time presenting and living the Gospel has been an uphill battle.  Attempting to reverse it through political process has not worked.  It’s going to take more, more that probably American Christianity is prepared to do.

Finally, all of the current upheaval over race is an inward looking exercise at a time when the country needs to look outward to its own survival.  There are better ways of moving our racial paradigm forward but at this point we are incapable of seeing them.  Critical race theory is simply taking white supremacy theory and inverting it, and there’s an easier way (in the South at least) to fix this problem.  But the energy we spend on this would be better spent strengthening the country for the journey in our new world.  We, however, treat the United States as an indestructible perpetuity, but we will soon find out it is not.

When will we have a Covid-19 vaccine? — UnHerd

It’s the question on everyone’s mind. When will we have a vaccine for Covid-19? Back in March, pundits and experts were divided: some seemed confident that it would take over 18 months, others thought at least two years. Some predicted several years. Five months on, with over 165 vaccines in development, Dr Anthony Fauci, the…

via When will we have a Covid-19 vaccine? — UnHerd

Totalitarian Moments IV: “Guilt Was Hereditary” — Stand Firm

Ever had a book that you bought, maybe read a few pages, then put on the shelf to collect dust – only to take it down years later and really read and be amazed by what you were missing? Red-Color News Soldier by Li Zhensheng has become such a book for me. Li in words…

via Totalitarian Moments IV: “Guilt Was Hereditary” — Stand Firm

Anne Applebaum and the Tragic Romance of the Nostalgic Western Liberal

“Were some of our friends always closet authoritarians?” she wonders. “Or have the people with whom we clinked glasses in the first minutes of the new millennium somehow changed over the subsequent two decades?” The book is an admirable quest for answers and goes a long way toward providing them. But it would have benefited from considering whether the questions Applebaum has posed are the right ones to begin with.

via Anne Applebaum and the Tragic Romance of the Nostalgic Western Liberal

Jim Wallis Gets Cancelled for Good

Sure looks that way:

Jim Wallis, age 72, is a venerable Religious Left patriarch, having founded what became Sojourners magazine, originally called The Post-American, in 1971. Now Wallis has stepped down as Sojourners editor after he tried to delete an article accusing Roman Catholicism of rampant racism. His attempt prompted two other editors publicly to resign. The now restored article is called “The Catholic Church Has a Visible White Power Faction.”

This has been coming for some time; it’s really an event waiting for an excuse to happen.  I’m surprised it didn’t happen when he pulled Sojourner’s punches on the Believe Out Loud campaign.  At the time he gave the following explanation:

But these debates (over LGBT issues) have not been at the core of our calling, which is much more focused on matters of poverty, racial justice, stewardship of the creation, and the defence of life and peace. These have been our core mission concerns, and we try to unite diverse Christian constituencies around them, while encouraging deep dialogue on other matters which often divide. Essential to our mission is the calling together of broad groups of Christians, who might disagree on issues of sexuality, to still work together on how to reduce poverty, end wars, and mobilize around other issues of social justice.

What Wallis finally succumbed to was the American left’s obsession with leaving class differences out of their agenda.  Like their counterparts on the aspirational right, who won’t discuss it out of shame-honor considerations, the left will divide society on anything–race, sexual orientation or reorientation, gender, you name it–rather than socio-economic differentiation.  It’s the same with the critical race theory types, who have simply taken white supremacists’ governing assumptions and flipped them to their own use.  You can accuse the left of many things, but originality isn’t one of them.

Wallis has found out that it’s easy to get left behind, as I predicted he would on LGBT issues:

His stance on same sex civil marriage–that we need same sex civil unions–may sound good to him but will not cut it with his LGBT friends, or at least their leadership. One thing he will find out the hard way–as many North American Anglicans have–is that the message of the LGBT community to the nation and the church is the same as Ulysses Grant’s to Simon Bolivar Buckner: no terms except unconditional surrender. I expect that, sooner or later, he will sell the pass on the Christian sexual ethic, as his Main Line counterparts have done, but that is something he will have to deal with.

And it’s the same now with race…

For those on the left, a question: when will they cancel you?  As Leon Trotsky, Lin Biao or even Mao Dun found out, it’s not a matter of if but when.

In the New Cold War, Deindustrialization Means Disarmament

In 2011, then-President Barack Obama attended an intimate dinner in Silicon Valley. At one point, he turned to the man on his left. What would it take, Obama asked Steve Jobs, for Apple to manufacture its iPhones in the United States instead of China? Jobs was unequivocal: “Those jobs aren’t coming back.” Jobs’s prognostication has become almost an article of faith among policymakers and corporate leaders throughout the United States. Yet China’s recent weaponization of supply chains and information networks exposes the grave dangers of the American deindustrialization that Jobs accepted as inevitable.