Monday, 13 May 2013

What does this say about the state of our political culture?

In an interview (reported here in The Telegraph) Sarah Teather, a former education minister in the Coalition Government, speaks of the difficulties of being a Christian in the Liberal Democrats:
“There are an awful lot of people in my party with a strong religious faith, but there is also an aggressively secular strand amongst our activists, typical of any centre-Left party,” the MP tells the Catholic Herald.
“I sometimes describe myself to people as a liberal Catholic and a Catholic liberal. Both can be hard places to inhabit.”
Most worryingly, then,  these are difficulties experienced not by a conservative religious believer or any kind of 'traditionalist' but by someone who is a self-described 'liberal Catholic.' 

If even liberal Roman Catholics are now finding it hard to survive in British politics, in the party once headed by the High Church (Tractarian) Anglican, W.E. Gladstone, what does this say about the direction in which the culture of our public life is heading? 
It is now quite conceivable that in the not-too-distant future no Christian (at least one who is in any way concerned by or uncomfortable with contemporary trends over the increasingly aggressive promotion of abortion, assisted suicide, the State's redefinition of marriage and the attempted marginalisation and exclusion of those who dissent - in other words anyone who adheres to traditional Christian moral theology) will be able in good conscience to serve in any of our (current) major political parties, whether of the left or, due to Mr Cameron's bouleversement, the right. 
As for the LibDems,  trading the moral principles of Mr Gladstone for those of Dr Evan Harris seems a step in the direction of an evident intellectual and moral decline, if not of an utter degeneracy - something which should in itself invite oblivion at the ballot box (which, for other reasons, is a not impossible prospect.)

Again, we are back to the essential problem that the modern 'left' (even, it seems, the centre-left - if that is actually where the LibDems can now be said to reside) has forsaken the imperative of giving priority to policies which aim to improve the social and living conditions of the poorest in society, for the politically far easier, yet much more culturally destructive, option of pursuing the 'social Marxist' politics of sexuality and equality, increasingly the metaphorical day-glo badge of respectability for the affluent politically-aware middle classes. The right, taking its cue from Barack Obama's victory over Mitt Romney in the U.S.A., rather than on any matter of conviction, has evidently decided that the worst of all prospects is to be seen by the Twitterati as being 'on the wrong side of history,' whatever that nebulous phrase happens to mean - it was used in the 1930s to somewhat different effect.

However, one also has to ask, where has the voice of the Church been while this situation has been developing over the last couple of generations? Christians who are prepared to be open about their faith, and serious in their practice of it, are in clear danger, if current trends continue as expected, of being excluded completely from the public square in Britain - and the silence of our leaders, of all traditions, * is deafening .... 
Perhaps one now has to resign  or retire to speak about such things.

[*There are one or two honourable exceptions]

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