As the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences recognises, Christianity is responsible for the success of Europe. Even an organ of the Chinese Communist Party realises that Christianity is fundamental to European identity and achievement. From the Chinese point of view, Europe and the rest of the West are in the process of destroying the source and foundation of their global success and advantage.
This cultural vandalism is clearly seen in the EU whose European Constitution, which was signed in 2004 although never ratified by all member states, excludes all mention of God and treats Christianity as though it had never existed on the continent of Europe.
Instead, the preamble mentions ancient Greece and Rome and the Enlightenment as the main sources of European identity. Clearly the compilers and the eighteen countries who did ratify the Constitution accepted that between Edict of Milan in 313 AD, when Christians were given freedom to practise the faith, and the Enlightenment in 1789 nothing of significance for cultural formation happened in Europe.
The Paris Statement drawn up in October 2017 by thirteen European intellectuals, including Sir Roger Scruton, pleads for ‘A Europe We Can Believe In’. They argue: ‘The true Europe has been marked by Christianity. The universal spiritual empire of the Church brought cultural unity to Europe, but did so without political empire. This has allowed for particular civic loyalties to flourish within a shared European culture.’
Throughout the European Union we are seeing nations increasingly waking up to the reality of globalisation and its threat to their identity. There is growing concern with preserving, safeguarding and celebrating their nations’ culture and traditions because these affect their core identity.
The popular movement to reclaim national culture within a shared European culture, whilst clumsy at times, seems to be progressing steadily. Everywhere, that is, but in the UK. After the Brexit referendum win everything has gone into reverse. UKIP has imploded, Brexit is being fudged and it is increasingly likely that we will end up getting the worst of both worlds, part in and part out of the EU. Why should Britain be so different from the other nations in the EU?
The European insurgents are evidence of a desire to re-assert the will of the nation’s citizens (sneered at as ‘populism’) over the will of the elites. The insurgent parties, whilst differing in many ways, are unafraid to express the core concerns of their people. Concern for the nation’s sovereignty as against globalism’s transnationalism, and a concern for the culture of the nation.
Whereas the globalist elites wish to erase the differences between people and nations, this widespread insurgent movement wishes to embrace who they are and what makes them Italian, Hungarian, Finnish, Slovak or Swedish. And behind it all lies the emphasis placed by the insurgents on the Christian culture and history which has shaped Europe. European voters are increasingly concerned about security: border security, economic security and cultural security.
We see this most clearly in the Visegrad Group (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia), which is more than a political arrangement whose concerns stop at economics. They ‘have always been part of a single civilisation sharing cultural and intellectual values and common roots in diverse religious traditions, which they wish to preserve and further strengthen’. In all four countries, parties concerned about their cultural identity are gaining power.
In Slovenia, until recently distinctly pro-EU, the SDS which promises to tackle immigration won 24.4 per cent of the vote in the recent election. The runner-up was another Euro-sceptic party, the Left-leaning anti-establishment LDS, which gained 12.7 per cent. The election revealed widespread disillusionment with the last coalition’s ruling Left-wing and pro-EU parties.
The establishment have had fleeting victories. In Holland, Geert Wilders failed to become prime minister, but the establishment victor Mark Rutte won by echoing some of Wilders’s policies.
In France, the establishment rejoiced at Macron’s defeat of Marine Le Pen last year. That election was Macron’s high point: since coming to power his approval ratings have steadily dropped. Macron even admits that if a referendum on the EU were held tomorrow, France would vote to leave.
The insurgent movement in the UK has erred by focusing on economics and sovereignty but ignoring culture. Although most British people declare they are non-religious, 55 per cent believe Britain is a Christian country, and even more, 58 per cent, also believe that Britain should be a Christian country.
The glue which binds a people together is not race but culture, the shared history, traditions and beliefs which have shaped the nation. In the UK that heritage is overwhelmingly Christian. Yet there is no coherent movement to reassert British identity and its roots. Until we re-discover a sense of who we are and where we have come from, we will be submerged by globalisation. You cannot defend what you cannot define.
In a number of speeches whilst prime minister Gordon Brown argued for the need to revive and revalue British national identity, yet was unable to define that identity beyond an appeal to universal values common to any country.
Having created a problem by fashioning a nation of competing identity groups, progressive liberalism is unable to provide us with a solution. Liberalism does not give us the tools to defend liberal values. Integration is impossible if there is nothing into which you can integrate. You cannot defend social solidarity on the basis of difference and diversity.
Whatever our race or colour, we are part of a nation whose identity, traditions and history have their roots in Christianity. The vestiges of Christian culture must be defended clearly and vigorously. We should not be afraid unashamedly to proclaim that the UK is built on a Christian foundation.