“They change their sky, not their soul, who rush across the sea” (Caelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt).
If Horace were alive today, he’d probably change animum for nous to confirm the point I always make: lefties, on either side of the Atlantic, aren’t merely misguided but actually stupid.
Witness the letter to The Telegraph, in which 50 leading ‘liberals’, including AC Grayling and Peter Tatchell, take exception to Dave’s description of Britain as a Christian country.
“We are a plural society with citizens with a range of perspectives and a largely non-religious society,” says the letter. “To constantly claim otherwise fosters alienation and division in our society.”
The intellectual level of this statement fully matches its stylistic elegance, and some of the signatories actually write for a living. But never mind the English, feel the idiocy.
The authors seem to feel that their first assertion, that not all Brits are Christians (I presume that’s what it means), is at odds with Britain being described as a Christian country. It isn’t.
If it were, then no large collective entity could ever be described as anything at all. For example, even though many inhabitants of the British Isles aren’t actually British, we still call the country by its normal name.
Not every citizen of Bolshevik Russia was a communist and not everyone living in Nazi Germany was a Nazi – but we still insist on the usual nomenclatures for those places. Staying within the subject of religion, not every citizen of Indonesia is a Muslim, and yet we routinely describe it as the world’s largest Islamic state.
If these chaps had half a brain among them, they would have considered how closely England’s ancient constitution is intertwined with Christianity. For example, they would have looked up Her Majesty’s 1953 coronation ceremony, which included this exchange:
Archbishop: “Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law? Will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?”
Queen: “All this I promise to do.”
Then they would have reminded themselves that the Queen is the statutory head of the Church of England, and ‘Defender of the Faith’ is part of her full title, to realise that Britain is indeed a Christian country constitutionally and historically.
And not just that. England is also part of Western culture, which is Christian for all intents and purposes. The English language, perhaps more than any other, was shaped by sacred texts, from the Prayer Book to the Kings James Bible. English music, like all Western music, was born in the church.
So yes, Britain is a Christian country any way you look at it, and the presence of numerous non-Christians here can’t change this situation even if they are in the majority.
What these intellectually challenged chaps really mean is that they lament this fact because they viscerally hate Christianity, along with our constitution generally and monarchy specifically. That is of course their privilege.
But the more they try to argue their case rationally, the more irrational they sound. Which is another word for stupid.
How anyone can take such gibberish seriously escapes me. But then the Brits have been brainwashed to think that trendy leftiness, ideally accompanied by rabid atheism, is a sign of intelligence. Conservatives are generally lampooned as being tweedy, senile colonels retired to the shires, where their lives are wholly circumscribed by hunting, shooting and port.
In the States, the image of a conservative is different. There the iconic picture is a gun-toting redneck, preferably from the South, who hates blacks, loves beer, never reads books without pictures in them, and y’ll have a nahs day now.
American lefties are, by contrast, portrayed in the similarly slanted media, and therefore popular mythology, as cultured, educated, brilliant, urban, urbane, multilingual and impeccably East Coast.
When George W. Bush was president, he effortlessly slotted into the former cliché, and the papers were densely filled with his malapropisms and solecisms. True enough, old Dubya was never the sharpest chisel in the box, but then we can’t expect intellectual attainment in a modern politician. That sort of thing would disqualify them from holding public office and actually prevent them from seeking one.
Obama is cut from the same cloth, even if its colour is different. Yet his idiocy is as studiously covered up as Dubya’s was shouted off the rooftops.
In all honesty, however, Obama could give his predecessor a good run for his money in the stupidity stakes. According to his public statements, there are 57 states in the USA, not 50, Canada has a president, Austrians speak Austrian, Afghans speak Afghan and the Malvinas is a different name for the Maldives.
This walking argument against reverse discrimination is routinely described as a law professor, whereas he was merely a locum instructor paid by the hour, and he’s lauded for having been president of the Harvard Law Review, even though he never published a single article of note there.
My American colleague (and countryman) Vladimir Kozlovsky suggests that Obama was elected to the post for the same reason he was elected president: because he’s black (actually half-black, but his mother doesn’t count) and handsome.
This is a highly objectionable and cynical view, made even more so by the obvious fact that it’s true. But then, as our own lot show so convincingly, propensity for stupidity is derived from neither race nor nationality.
Political convictions, however, demonstrably have something to do with it.