ARE WE DOOMED?

In the British sit com Dad’s Army Private Fraser, the gloomy Scottish undertaker, has a catch phrase, ‘We’re doomed’.

Fraser
‘We’re doomed I tell ye. We’re all doomed’

It is easy to despair and think that we are doomed and that progressives have taken over the Western world.

Our media is painfully politically correct and relentlessly pushes a progressive agenda. If politicians utter a word out of line they are quickly brought to heel by a braying Twitter mob. When students demand safe spaces and trigger warnings and university authorities hasten to appease them it’s apparent our universities have become havens of progressivism.

Does this mean that progressivism has won the day? Not necessarily. If you succeed in shutting down public debate it could mean that you have won. It could also mean that you are well on the way to losing. Continue reading “ARE WE DOOMED?”

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DECONSTRUCTION 101

How we think shapes what we think and what we think shapes what we do. The profound cultural changes which have occurred in the West are to a significant extent shaped by the gradual emergence of post-modern deconstruction as the predominant way of thinking being taught and practiced throughout education and the media. In this video we explore the effects of deconstruction.

The very idea of truth in itself has been rejected, leaving only language power plays which are supposedly the tools of oppression. Free speech is shut down, marriage and the family are seen as oppresive structures, individual responsibility is denigrated and the Christian faith which built Western civilisation is shoved into a corner of the public square as an excentric private hobby. Until we become aware of the weapons being used against traditional cultural virtues and practices we will never be able to counter them.

MULTICULTURALIST RACISM

As soon as someone starts praising multiculturalism it’s time to put your headphones back on and return to watching fluffy kittens on YouTube.

Too Intelligent For Mullticulturalism
Too Intelligent For Mullticulturalism

Multiculturalism is not about exotic restaurants and musical variety. It is code for moral relativism. It is built on the notion that all ideas and systems are equal, which results in precluding a willingness to think critically about what surrounds us. All cultures differ, but not all cultures are equal, just as all religions differ, but are not equal. Perhaps YouTube is full of videos of Buddhists beheading captives and Quaker suicide bombers, but it is doubtful.

Multiculturalism is a progressive affectation which means something entirely different from what it says on the tin. It is most assuredly not about the comparison and evaluation of a multitude of differing cultures. It is about proclaiming the risible idea of the equal value and validity of all cultures.

For the upholders of multiculturalism it is more of a shibboleth, a code word to separate themselves from the great unwashed, than a belief they actually practice. Just as leaders of soviet communism paid lip service to an equality they did not practice so the proponents of multiculturalism do not actually believe in multiculturalism enough to practice it. Going to a Thai restaurant and having a Filipina nanny is not multiculturalism, it is gourmet grazing and taking advantage of cheap labour, like any capitalist.

Most rational people want to live in an advanced, free Western society, that is why many Somalians risk their lives to get in to Sweden and few Swedes emigrate to Somalia. When it comes to reality few multiculturalists actually choose to abandon a society ruled by common law where they enjoy the fruits of Western scientific progress, to live in a backward failed state ruled by Sharia based tribal law. To assert the superiority of Western values is to state the obvious.

One of the most socially influential of Christian doctrines is that of the Image of God, which teaches that every individual, no matter their race, social standing or background, is of equal value to God. It is in those cultures most influenced by Christianity that individual freedom is most valued and where individual endeavour is most encouraged, to the benefit of all. When this is allied to the doctrine of Creation and our responsibility for its exploration it is clear why it is no accident that science and technology have advanced in the West in a way in which they have not elsewhere.

Western values are fundamental universal values. If we are reluctant to speak up for universal rights, if we fail to say that they should be enjoyed by others in cultures where they are trampled, then we consign those others to a life which we would unhesitatingly reject for ourselves or our children. This is racist, saying in effect, that these values are only for we in the West but it would be wrong to ‘impose’ them on others.

Immigrants to the West in particular should be suspicious of standards which imply that they are too simple minded or backward to become part of their new country and should remain in their Somali or Bangladeshi cocoon whilst living in Europe or North America. Multiculturalism is an open door to the racism of lowered expectations. Instead of giving us the best of all worlds multiculturalism all too often gives us the worst of all worlds; the worst attributes of Muslim culture, the subjugation of women, combined with the worst attributes of western culture, license and self-gratification.

Multiculturalism reinforces that which it purports to abolish, the isolation of people because of their race. By defining society as a conglomeration of groups with differing characteristics which must be equally celebrated society becomes ghettoised into special interest groups. Individuals with their own unique characteristics, abilities and talents are eclipsed, instead we are isolated and defined by our group, the colour of our skin, our country of origin or our religion.

Multiculturalism has the effect, not of bringing us together in mutual appreciation of our differences, but of assuring people that because of their colour, gender or sexual preferences they can never be truly understood or valued by others, and that any evaluation of their practices can never be legitimate.

The multiculturalist is unable to assess religions by any absolute standard, to do so would supposedly be judgemental and result in an expression of Western power and privilege. The intellectually bankrupt concept of moral relativism leads multiculturalists to see literal Muslims, those who practice what they read in the Koran and do what Muhammad did, as the Muslim equivalent of fundamentalists in any other religion. This leads to the insanity of proposed moral equivalence between the squalid ravings of Westboro Baptist Church and the plague of suicide bombings inflicted on the entire world by literal Muslims.

Repellent, But A Far Cry From Beheading
Repellent, But A Far Cry From Beheading

When the British in India banned the Hindu practice of suttee, or burning widows alive on the funeral pyre of their husbands, some Hindu priests complained to General Sir Charles Napier. His reply was succinct: ‘Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.’

General Sir Charles Napier
General Sir Charles Napier

Napier knew that not all cultural practices are of equal value. Female genital mutilation may be a cultural practice amongst many immigrant communities in the UK today. It is also a barbaric cultural practice and should be stamped out unhesitatingly. Although technically illegal in multicultural UK it is estimated that there are 66,000 women in Britain who have undergone this practice and 24,000 girls under 15 years old at risk. Someone always pays the price for progressive dogma.

CULTURAL APPEASEMENT

The culture triumphs eventually, it always does. Politicians are reasonably useful people most of the time, but they are not leaders, they are followers. True political leaders who are prepared to speak unpalatable but necessary truths to the populace are as rare as vegetarian cannibals. In a functioning democracy politicians can usually be relied upon to take the path of least resistance.

Take homosexual marriage. The cultural consensus is pretty much settled on this matter and a three line whip has been imposed through the BBC, films and the mainstream media of every kind. Within a couple of decades the institution which gives structure to our society and which has endured throughout our history has been culturally redefined, and politicians are reduced to playing catch-up by legalising same-sex marriage.

What David Cameron personally believes concerning homosexual marriage is uncertain, if he has any actual firm opinion at all. He maintained a resounding silence concerning the matter throughout his career. He was silent on the matter at his selection as a parliamentary candidate, silent at various elections including a party leadership election, silent during his humiliating failure to win outright a general election against one of the least popular of PM’s, ending up being maintained in power through the increasingly ludicrous Lib Dems.

David CameronOur Pincipled Prime Minister
David Cameron
Our Pincipled Prime Minister

Suddenly in mid term he broke his silence and announced that he is “passionately” in favour of homosexual marriage, not despite being a conservative but because he is a conservative. It is only a coincidence that this principled stance which has seemingly emerged from the core of his political ideology only emerged into public view when it was clear that opinion polls were trending in favour of homosexual marriage. David Cameron exemplifies one approach to the cultural hegemony, appeasement.

To avoid criticising the BBC too much, as though this were possible, let’s think of advertising. Businesses, for much the same reason as politicians, follow the culture. Advertising is aimed very precisely because people do not buy products, they buy images of themselves.

BP

The logo BP is derived, as Obama delighted in pointing out, from British Petroleum. Before Deepwater BP pushed an advertising campaign based on BP as “Beyond Petroleum”. We were treated to images of BP scientists exploring alternative energy sources, as though BP were sandal wearing majority funders of Greenpeace.

That BP should seek to use the concept of a major oil company focussing their R&D budget on windfarms is understandable, environmentalists are gullible enough to believe anything. They were not buying fuel they were buying an image of themselves as serious and caring people. The adverts enabled them to fill up their cars with non-renewable fuel whilst supposedly supporting the development of environmental science.

Unfortunately such appropriation of popular cultural stances serves to reinforce the very cultural attitudes on which they seek to piggy back. The more they are portrayed in a positive light in every form of media the stronger the cultural attitudes become. Advertising impacts values. Whilst of necessity it reflects society it also has the serious effect of normalising values or behaviours.

Who sits in Parliament or who controls the levers in a multi-national company is of less importance than who within the media is shaping how they think.

We are told that advertising is about giving people an informed choice between products, when advertising might not even promote choice after all. The subtle manipulation of its target group may in fact stifle actual choice which involves reasoned judgement.

Much advertising is subliminal, drip-feed, all about creating positive associations whilst avoiding conscious thought. In the words of Agnes Nairn and Cordelia Fine advertising “operates darkly, beyond the light of consciousness”. As one advertising agency says “Intuitive brand judgements are made instantaneously and with little or no apparent conscious effort on the part of consumers”.

We need to be more aware of advertising. We can’t do away with advertising, but we should examine it, ask more questions, try to see where it leads, and minimise its harmful effects on society. The problem is the drip-drip effect of advertising, we too frequently find ourselves accepting as a society what we did not choose as individuals.

The latest figures from the Advertising Association predict that total advertising spend in the UK is expected to reach £16.8bn for 2012, and £17.2bn in 2013. What is the church doing to counter this influence? A few brave Christians are engaged in the arts, more than many would think, but when was the last time you heard a sermon or read a book about how to be culturally aware, even at the everyday basic level of how to watch adverts?

2012 – THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

The Good

For a defence of the Christian basis of Western culture who better to turn to than a pagan lesbian feminist? Camille Paglia, acerbic cultural commentator and professor of liberal arts at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, is not known for pulling her punches. In Glittering Images, my Book of the Year, she is in good form.

Camille PagliaReligion and God are fundamental to Western culture and art
Camille Paglia
Religion and God are fundamental to Western culture and art

In essays on 29 works of art as varied as Picasso’s Demoiselles d’Avignon and George Lucas’ Revenge of the Sith she makes the point that there has to be something deeper in a work than mere acceptability to an isolated cultural elite. For Paglia the spiritual quest is what defines all great art.

The argument of this slim volume is the important one that the progressive assault on religion has taken its toll on art. “Sneering at religion is juvenile, symptomatic of a stunted imagination. Yet that cynical posture has become de rigueur in the art world—simply another reason for the shallow derivativeness of so much contemporary art, which has no big ideas left.”

Paglai mourns the almost total demise of cultural understanding of Christianity in the West. “If you are an artist and you don’t recognise the name of Moses then the West is dead. It’s over. It has committed suicide.”

The Bad

Hospitality is urged on Christians, and what better time to practice it than Christmas. Unfortunately hospitality sometimes carries a high price. This Christmas in order to accommodate the wishes of a guest, unfortunately a blood relative, we watched Strictly Come Dancing for the first and last time. As a raucous celebration of irredeemable tawdriness  it must be unrivalled.

Strictly

Hyperbole, cattiness, sneering and audience reactions reminiscent of bear baiting is clearly the favoured viewing of 13 million Britons. The descendants of Shakespeare, Milton, Burns and Dickens have sold their birthright for a mess of sequins. The cultural devastation caused by programmes such as this is incalculable.

The Ugly

CurchAds procured the services of  allegedly  ‘top designers’  to produce the poster bellow which must surely be the most stomach churning image of the year. What would be the reaction of Camille Paglia?

Godbaby

The only good thing about it is that the designers offered their services free.

The staff of ChurchAds are in agreement with the producers of Strictly Come Dancing that catering to the lowest cultural common denominator pays dividends. 2012 is marked as the year when we cried out for more pagan lesbian feminists.

PROGRESSIVE CHRISTOPHOBIA

There are times when you wish both sides could lose, and not just in the old pre 2012 season days when Rangers seemed to play Celtic every other week and the rest of Scotland anathematised both teams. Football is a sport and all sports are artificial constructs and unfortunately football is so constructed that both teams cannot lose in the same game.

As usual Shakespeare, one of England’s three great contributions to world culture, expressed it best when he has Mercutio cry out “A plague on both your houses.” In real life, as in Romeo and Juliet, there are occasions when it is to be hoped that both side lose. Thankfully sometimes this happens and justice is done. We saw an instance last week in Russia. Putin and Pussy Riot both lost.

Putin, as all autocrats do, overreacted and it seems has added fuel to the fires of protest and rebellion in a country which has never known democracy. His harsh treatment of the punk band will only serve to increase resistance to his rule. Putin has lost.

Pussy Riot lost by being sentenced to two years in prison, which does seem excessive. Nevertheless, such is the support they will garner in Russia and the West it is likely that they emerge from this in better shape than Putin.

What is passed over in the furore is the double standards of so many in the West.

Just because Riot Pussy have been supported by Paul McCartney, Madonna, Elijah Wood, David Walliams  and a host of other performers does not make them criminals. It was their actions which did that. What most in the media are unwilling to recognise is that what they did would have been a criminal offence in any western country, including Britain. They entered a cathedral, disrupted worship and performed an obscene song aimed at the Church, its leader and Christianity in general.

Thankfully, despite the efforts of Tony Blair and New Labour, we do not have a crime in Britain of religious hatred, but we do have a crime of disturbing the peace, and this was such a crime. Just because the perpetrators don fancy dress and choose to yell their abuse of the Church in a song does not make it any less abusive than if it was speech personally directed at an individual.

If someone were to write that Paul McCartney was a tired old man with no voice left who was trading on his past glories they could be defended on the grounds of justified artistic criticism. If, however, they were to write that Paul McCartney had unnatural relations with a goat he would have a perfect right to take them to court. McCartney would not accept that this was meant as humour, just a line in a song, or could be defended under freedom of expression. He would be right, as would the goat.

Unfortunately what is obvious about offences to performers, politicians, other public figures, even other religions, sudden becomes less clear when applied to Christianity. Christianity, in any of its forms, is fair game.

Ofilli’s half naked Holy Virgin Mary painting employing elephant dung, Serrano’s photograph Piss Christ, Koh’s plaster statue Risen Christ depicting Christ with an erection, these and many others have all been vigorously defended on supposedly artistic grounds. That they cause offence is seen by our elite progressive opinion formers, not as something to be regretted, but as something to be lauded, as long as it is only Christians who are offended. The casual but pervasive Christophobia of Western progressives becomes increasingly apparent.

(England’s  other two significant cultural contributions are the game of cricket and Stilton cheese.)