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Monday, February 11, 2008

The Long Sundown - The Archbishop And The Eschaton

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Rowan Williams, the 104th and current Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of All England and spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion has of late gotten himself into a bit of trouble. In a recent radio interview the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Mr. Williams said that he believed that it "seemed unavoidable" that Islamic sharia law would at some point find some sort of accommodation within Great Britain. There then followed quite an amazing reaction with screams of outrage coming from many quarters, indeed: the public, leaders of other religions and even the British Prime Minister who felt the need to make rhetorically clear that "British law must be based on British values". Well!

In truth one has to wonder what all the fuss is about. One would almost think that Britain still retained something of a spine, still had some sort of pride in its national identity, wasn't in a demographic and cultural death spiral. In fact Britain today is in the midst (along with most of its European brethren) of one history's most remarkable acts of national suicide and from the reaction that the Archbishop's comments have engendered it would almost appear that the British people are somehow not aware of this fact. More likely it is just one of the last remaining vestiges of British cultural reflex; it is simply not proper to say certain things out loud...such as the reality of the ongoing British surrender to Islamic culture. How veddy veddy un-British.

Some have said that the end of the British Empire began just as soon as it was noticed that "the sun never sets on" said Empire. Well the Empire rose and the Empire fell, contracting into itself until its colonies shed themselves of their foreign patron leaving Britain, the island nation, alone with its memories of glory and its traditions and the hope of finding its way into a future it had largely set in motion.

For a nation that had throughout history shown such pride-filled vigor it is somewhat surprising that that vigor is now turned to self delusion and self-destruction. The home of world terrorist activity isn't any place in the Arab world it is London, or Londonistan, as French counter-terrorism agents dubbed it in the 1990's as it became the destination of choice for Islamic extremists who were so readily welcomed into “that sceptred isle”. Instead of becoming alarmed at the arrival of such a vast number of shady characters of dubious intentions Britain found itself caught up in the multicultural moment, wherein it was declared gauche to find fault with any culture other than one's own. Taking this sensibility to mad extremes Mother England has gone supine, as members of an alien and hostile culture move in and have started to set up housekeeping, screaming at any imposition of British tradition and now increasingly, law.

Self-loathing has become the new national past-time. Christianity is now only honored in the breach. British history and literature are now only taught in the most superficial of ways. Islamic traditions and customs, many of which are at odds with Western values - the Islamic treatment of women as chattel, the Muslim deprivation of freedom of speech – are increasingly held in higher esteem than those native Western values.

Rowan Williams’s recent comments are hardly the first time he has given voice to ideas that strike out at the heart at what had once been Western culture. At one point he found a moral equivalence between US fighter pilots and Islamic suicide bombers. On another occasion he found those who defend themselves to be no different from those who attack them. On yet another occasion he apologized for Britain bringing Christianity to the rest of the world; an odd sentiment for one who supposedly believes that the belief in Jesus Christ is the road to human salvation.

Rowan Williams is but one member of a nation that has not only seen that the sun has set on the British Empire but is ensuring that sundown is coming to Britain itself. Soon the light that is now flickering will die. The darkness will be cold.

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