Another sign of the death of Britain

I don’t keep saying that Britain is dead because I want to make British readers and others despair of themselves and the future; I say it because (a) it is something I’m seeing; and (b) if the British are dead, the only hope for them is that they realize that they are dead and turn again toward life. In the below post, Howard Sutherland goes beyond my point and suggests there may be no hope for the British at all.

Mr. Sutherland writes:

You argue that once-Great Britain is dead. While I would love to disagree with you, I don’t think I can. I do, however, cling to the belief that people can change, that Britons can see what they face and what they are losing and revive themselves and make Britain great and British again. It’s a long shot, but I still share your belief that Britain can be restored.

Then I read Caitlin Moran’s latest column in The Times. If Mrs. Moran’s attitudes are at all representative, I fear there may be no hope. Her column’s title tells most of what one needs to know about it: Abortion: why it’s the ultimate motherly act. It is a frightening piece, a carefully rationalized but ultimately thoughtless, selfish and cold defense of any woman’s right to kill her children for any reason, or none at all. Of course, while Mrs. Moran doesn’t explicitly deny that a fetus is a human child, I doubt she would concede it. She has the English habit, which troubled me when I lived there, of referring to human children as “its”, as though they were animals.

People of the VFR persuasion have a lot of disagreements with the late Pope John Paul II, but one area where he was right was in his focus on what he called a “Culture of Death” that has seduced and is helping to destroy the West. Caitlin Moran’s thought, if one can call it that, is the Culture of Death distilled. It also represents, making an educated guess from her name, an individual terrible failure on the Church’s part to help Mrs. Moran form a Catholic conscience.

So, faced with the Moslem and other invasions of Britain, and young Moslem mothers helping the Jihad through their fecund production of “British” Moslems, an opinion-former on the pages of the United Kingdom’s most prestigious newspaper tells British women that it is highly commendable, indeed the summit of motherhood, to imitate the Hindu idol Kali by killing their children. Those fecund Moslem mothers will pay her no mind whatever. Nor should they. But what of culturally confused, economically pressed, post-Christian white Britons, whose government and establishment work overtime to bleach them of any sense of British distinctiveness and any belief that they are part of a great country and culture, something worth perpetuating? Nah, just get another abortion on the National Health and take a package hol to the Costa del Sol instead

Something has indeed died in Britain’s heart. We can pray for the restoration of Great Britain, but if the British have such stony cold-heartedness toward their own children, can we really expect God to find them worthy of His solicitude? HRS

LA replies:

The coldness within many British of which Mr. Sutherland speaks is something I began to become conscious of at some point in the 1990s. I do not mean personal coldness, because it could co-exist with personal friendliness, but rather a quality, almost a metaphysical quality, that informed a person. I became aware of it at the same moment that I intuited their atheism—I say intuited because it wasn’t based, at least primarily, on anything explicit they said about God or anything else, but on an inner quality they projected. I saw the two things simultaneously: the metaphysical coldness, and the atheism. The two appear together and indeed are the same thing.

To get the clearest sense of what I’m talking about, watch the BBC. Some of their newsreaders and reporters have this quality to the maximum degree. I am NOT speaking of traditional British restraint, but of something else. It is, no pun intended, chilling to see. It chills you to the soul that human beings should become like that. It is literally the death of a civilization.

I am not saying that this quality does not exist in other Western countries as well; but it seems most advanced, and most characteristic, in Britain.

Gintas J. writes:

You discuss the metaphysical coldness, and the atheism, of Britons. I suggest that such a state in a pre-Christian society is qualitatively different—more hopeful—than such a state in a post-Christian society. The post-Christian society has been exposed to Christianity, and has abandoned it. It has burned through its Christian chance, so to speak. Certainly that is not true of any given individual, but notice the coldness of much of Europe in general to Christianity. They seem to think it’s about trying to extract money from people. That post-Christian attitude seems to me to have a deadening effect, which we see in Great Britain.

I am reminded of a scene in “A Man for All Seasons.” Sir Thomas More is on trial at the end, and Richard Rich perjures himself to have More convicted. More sees a badge on Rich. On finding out it’s for a position in Wales (which he gained as the reward for the perjury), More says, “What good does it profit a man to gain the whole world but forfeit his soul. But for Wales?” The West is forfeiting its soul, but is not even gaining anything.

LA replies:

Since we’re talking about coldness, what Gintas has said is I suppose the most chilling observation that could ever be made.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 16, 2007 11:03 PM | Send

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