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Living in a De-Christianized Society
Zenit ^ | 7/5/09 | Fr. John Flynn. LC

Posted on 07/18/2009 10:06:20 PM PDT by bdeaner

Britain’s Leaders Warn of the Loss of Common Values



The decline of Christianity and moral values in general is reaching new lows in Britain. While the number of faithful has been decreasing for some time now, warnings about the situation are starting to come from all quarters.

Britain is no longer a Christian nation, affirmed Anglican bishop, Paul Richardson, in an article published Jun. 27 in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

The Anglican prelate was also critical of his fellow bishops for not understanding just how serious the change is in contemporary culture, and for their lack of action in dealing with this serious crisis of faith.

Only around 1% of Anglicans attend Sunday services on average, according to Richardson. "At this rate it is hard to see the church surviving for more than 30 years though few of its leaders are prepared to face that possibility," he warned.

He also noted that out of every 1,000 live births in England and Wales in the period 2006-07 only 128 were baptized as Anglicans. This compares to 609 per thousand in 1900.

Just the day before, in the Times newspaper, Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, deplored the lack of a shared moral code in Britain.

Reflecting on the current financial crisis and the recent revelations of scandals over Parliamentarians' expenses, he commented that these and other problems have resulted in a loss of trust in society.

There is an underlying problem, however, that is much more serious, he said: the loss of the traditional sense of morality.

We are very moral in some things, such as world poverty and global warming, the rabbi contended, but these are remote and global. Sacks declared that when it comes to matters closer to our own lives we have lost our sense of right and wrong regarding our personal behavior.

"Instead, there are choices. The market facilitates those choices. The state handles the consequences, picking up the pieces when they go wrong," the Jewish leader observed.

It's no use just treating the symptoms with more laws and surveillance systems. "Without a shared moral code there can be no free society," Sacks argued.

Who's that?

While opinion polls have limitations, a couple recent surveys provided confirmation of the warnings by religious leaders. A study carried out by Penguin books, albeit in conjunction with a promotion of a recent book on the topic, said that nearly two-thirds of teenagers do not believe in God.

According to the Jun. 22 report in the Telegraph newspaper the study of 1,000 teens showed that 59% thought religion has a negative influence on the world.

The survey also revealed that half of those questioned have never prayed and 16% have never been to church.

A week later the Independent newspaper published the results of a survey about Bible knowledge. The Jun. 29 article reported that many are ignorant of the stories and the people who are fundamental to the history of Christianity.

According to preliminary results of the National Biblical Literacy Survey, carried out by St. John's College Durham, as few as 10% of people understood the main characters in the Bible and their relevance.

About 60% were unaware of the story of the Good Samaritan and figures such as Abraham and Joseph were also foreign to many.

According to the Independent's article, Anglican priest David Wilkinson from St John's, said the consequences of such ignorance go well beyond just being unaware of the Bible. Knowledge of these stories and persons in the Bible is essential in order to understand our history and culture, and not least art, music and literature, so much of which is bound up with religious themes, he observed.

This is an ignorance that the well-known proponent of atheism, Richard Dawkins, is trying to promote. A Jun. 28 article published in the Guardian newspaper reported that he is organizing an atheist summer camp this year in England.

Camp Quest UK, will be "free of religious dogma," the article added. Apparently the five-day camp, subsidized by a grant from the Richard Dawkins Foundation, is fully booked.

Drifting

The recent warnings from religious leaders followed on the heels of similar expressions of concern. On April 5, Anglican bishop Michael Nazir-Ali published an article in the Telegraph newspaper on the occasion of his resignation as bishop of Rochester.

In his nearly 15 years there he said: "I have watched the nation drift further and further away from its Christian moorings."

This has led, he continued, to a loosening of the ties of law, customs and values, and also to a loss of identity and cohesiveness. Similar to Rabbi Sacks, he commented that society needs a "social capital of common values and the recognition of certain virtues which contribute to personal and social flourishing."

"Our ideas about the sacredness of the human person at every stage of life, of equality and natural rights and, therefore, of freedom, have demonstrably arisen from the tradition rooted in the Bible," he added.

Bishop Nazir-Ali observed that the Anglican church is growing rapidly in places such as Africa. Perhaps they have a lot to teach the Western churches, he concluded.

Selling its soul

The new Catholic leader of England and Wales, Archbishop Vincent Nichols addressed the same topic shortly before becoming the archbishop of Westminster.

In an article published by the Telegraph newspaper on Mar. 29 he affirmed that Britain has sold its soul by pursuing a purely secular reason over religion.

As a result, faith is now confined to a purely private pursuit and values are drawn from secular and material sources.

Not only do Britain's politicians live in a purely secular and material world, but they also do not allow for a mature consideration of the key role of religious belief in society, he contended.

The affirmations by Archbishop Nichols were published in a recent book of essays titled "The Nation That Forgot God."

In common with the other religious leaders Archbishop Nichols also pointed out the lack of social cohesion that results when there are no shared moral principles and values. The secular, liberal view of the human person is mistaken and simply won't work, he argued.

Unfriendly

His predecessor, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, was of similar views. In a report last Dec. 6 by the Telegraph newspaper he commented that Britain has become an "unfriendly" place for religious people to live in.

His comments also came from a contribution to a book of essays, "Faith in the Nation."

The rise of secularism has resulted in a society hostile to Christianity, and in general, religious belief is looked upon as "a private eccentricity."

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor also noted that atheism is now more aggressive and that there is now a vocal minority who argue that religion has no place in modern society.

Statistical evidence backs up his concerns. The number of marriages being celebrated in Catholic churches in England and Wales has fallen by a quarter over the last decade, the Telegraph reported, Jan. 8.

In the year 2000 there were 13,029 Catholic marriages, compared to 9,950 last year. Only one in three marriages in England and Wales are now in the form of a religious ceremony, according to the Telegraph.

Evidence abounds of the severe decline in religion in Britain, and the repeated declarations by church leaders point to a growing awareness of the urgency of the situation. What is more elusive is identifying how to turn the trend around.


TOPICS: Catholic; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics; Skeptics/Seekers
KEYWORDS: anglican; antitheism; atheism; christophobia; dawkins; england; greatbritain; misotheism; morality
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1 posted on 07/18/2009 10:06:21 PM PDT by bdeaner
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To: bdeaner
Britain is no longer a Christian nation, affirmed Anglican bishop, Paul Richardson,

The same attempt is presently occurring here, beginning in our schools, public buildings and even in appearances by our leader whereby visuals of Christianity are covered, and the National Day of Prayer is not observed.

2 posted on 07/18/2009 10:12:16 PM PDT by MamaDearest
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To: bdeaner

And Islam is moving right in. They are destroying themselves.


3 posted on 07/18/2009 10:12:20 PM PDT by Islaminaction
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To: bdeaner

What moral basis guides law?


4 posted on 07/18/2009 10:14:41 PM PDT by allmost
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To: bdeaner

Dostoyevsky said, “Europe has denied Christ and therefore and only for this reason, it is now dying.” How true.


5 posted on 07/18/2009 10:27:09 PM PDT by Steelfish
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To: bdeaner

“There is probably no God.” No there is a statement of certainty for you. Just hedging his bets, I assume.


6 posted on 07/18/2009 10:31:42 PM PDT by DennisR (Look around - God gives countless, indisputable, and unambiguous clues that He does, indeed, exist.)
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To: allmost

“What moral basis guides law?”

Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814


7 posted on 07/18/2009 10:34:50 PM PDT by stormer
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To: stormer

He was wrong.


8 posted on 07/18/2009 10:38:56 PM PDT by allmost
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To: bdeaner

There is a correlation between the rise of Atheism and the “lack of a common moral code.” If one accepts the position of Dawkins and others, morality and free will are illusions. There are no moral absolutes, for there is no such thing as morality. Humans are animals governed by their genes. Survival is the only purpose of life.


9 posted on 07/18/2009 10:40:07 PM PDT by Nosterrex
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To: stormer

you do not have to be religious to be moral. saying that laws exist without morality is ridiculous.


10 posted on 07/18/2009 10:42:33 PM PDT by Minus_The_Bear
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To: stormer

I’m not certain that whoever asked the question was asking about “common law.” Does the law have a moral basis? If so, what is it?


11 posted on 07/18/2009 10:43:53 PM PDT by Nosterrex
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To: MamaDearest

Read this article

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Evils%20in%20America/apostasy_in_america.htm


12 posted on 07/18/2009 10:48:27 PM PDT by myknowledge (F-22 Raptor: World's Largest Distributor of Sukhoi parts!)
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To: Steelfish

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Evils%20in%20America/Apostasy/forgot_god.htm


13 posted on 07/18/2009 10:48:45 PM PDT by myknowledge (F-22 Raptor: World's Largest Distributor of Sukhoi parts!)
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To: allmost
Unfortunately, Thomas Jefferson isn't around for you to school him on the legal foundations of the United States.
14 posted on 07/18/2009 10:52:10 PM PDT by stormer
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To: allmost

I’ve noticed a new campaign under this administration to indoctrinate younger generations in new pagan approaches of ‘environmental justice’, ‘environmental rights’, ‘Earth Justice’, and other bizarre ‘rights’, such as a ‘right to a home’, ‘rights to environment’ and ‘rights of sustainability’.

They are targeting black inner city teens with promises of professional careers leading social programs to advance these ideals. Unfortunately, that class of people lack the intuition, intelligence, familial childhood, and just loving discipline to recognize the bogus political nature of those agendas, nor discern the consequences of devoting their allegiance to counterfeit substitutes to God’s Plan in their lives.

The only thing more heinous than those agendas, are the criminally insane and corrupt adults who have planned and advocated their logistics.


15 posted on 07/18/2009 10:55:33 PM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: bdeaner

“Instead, there are choices. The market facilitates those choices. The state handles the consequences, picking up the pieces when they go wrong,” the Jewish leader observed.

EXACTLY! If you want liberty, you have to learn how to restrain yourself.

Why do we have more government? Because the state is stepping in to pick up the pieces left by people who cannot or will not act responsibly.

The question is, how can one get people who believe in no higher moral order to stop destroying themselves and society? We need God!


16 posted on 07/18/2009 10:56:07 PM PDT by CitizenUSA
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To: DennisR

DennisR: “Just hedging his bets, I assume.”

Not going to do him much good unfortunately.


17 posted on 07/18/2009 10:57:24 PM PDT by CitizenUSA
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To: stormer

What points of mine do you think he would disagree with?


18 posted on 07/18/2009 11:01:12 PM PDT by allmost
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To: Minus_The_Bear

While some laws could be construed as having a moral basis (theft, murder, etc.), it is also the desire of a society to exclude those behaviors in order to maintain the social fabric, regardless of morality. Most laws, have no moral basis, but are in place to regulate commerce and transportation.


19 posted on 07/18/2009 11:01:31 PM PDT by stormer
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To: allmost
Actually, Jefferson was right, but he's being quoted out of context. Christianity is not part of the law. For example, we don't have a national church. On the other hand, the founders were clearly guided by Christian principles.
20 posted on 07/18/2009 11:03:18 PM PDT by CitizenUSA
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To: allmost

That’s difficult to say, in that you haven’t made any.


21 posted on 07/18/2009 11:04:27 PM PDT by stormer
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To: stormer

incorrect. norms/morals are not the same across all cultures.


22 posted on 07/18/2009 11:04:59 PM PDT by Minus_The_Bear
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To: stormer

Cop out or respond. Jefferson is dead in case you haven’t noticed.


23 posted on 07/18/2009 11:08:38 PM PDT by allmost
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To: CitizenUSA
"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes."

-Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, Dec. 6, 1813.

24 posted on 07/18/2009 11:08:52 PM PDT by stormer
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To: allmost

Let’s go slowly - what point have you made that Jefferson would disagree with?


25 posted on 07/18/2009 11:10:42 PM PDT by stormer
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To: stormer

What anti tyrannical point would he endorse? You ask me to justify every word in the name of a man who would probably kill you for doing so.


26 posted on 07/18/2009 11:16:00 PM PDT by allmost
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To: stormer

You’re very good at quoting a few carefully selected (out of context) lines from Jefferson, an influential man who was but one of many, many people involved in the founding.


27 posted on 07/18/2009 11:16:34 PM PDT by CitizenUSA
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To: Minus_The_Bear
That is true, but few (if any) don't have restrictions against theft or murder within the group.
28 posted on 07/18/2009 11:18:20 PM PDT by stormer
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To: CitizenUSA

He still has time...hopefully. Tell you one thing - you will not find me riding that bus next time I go to London (or wherever it is).


29 posted on 07/18/2009 11:20:47 PM PDT by DennisR (Look around - God gives countless, indisputable, and unambiguous clues that He does, indeed, exist.)
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To: allmost

Have you been drinking? It’s either that or you’ve got the wrong guy, cause I have no idea WTF you’re talking about.


30 posted on 07/18/2009 11:21:30 PM PDT by stormer
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To: stormer

Perhaps this was the context you were looking for?

“It can not be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ!”

-Patrick Henry


31 posted on 07/18/2009 11:22:09 PM PDT by b359 (The goat is old and gnarly....)
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To: stormer

BTW, your quotes don’t even logically follow the points of the article. Did the author call for church-controlled government operated by priests? If so, I must have missed that part.


32 posted on 07/18/2009 11:24:40 PM PDT by CitizenUSA
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To: CitizenUSA
Regardless of context, Thomas Paine will never be misunderstood...

"Whence arose all the horrid assassinations of whole nations of men, women, and infants, with which the Bible is filled; and the bloody persecutions, and tortures unto death, and religious wars, that since that time have laid Europe in blood and ashes; whence arose they, but from this impious thing called religion, and this monstrous belief that God has spoken to man?

Thomas Paine,

33 posted on 07/18/2009 11:27:56 PM PDT by stormer
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To: DennisR

DennisR: “He still has time...hopefully.”

The fact that he’s thinking about faith enough to put something like that on a bus is cause for hope.


34 posted on 07/18/2009 11:29:13 PM PDT by CitizenUSA
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To: CitizenUSA
Sorry. My intent was to demonstrate that some founders were less than enamored with religion and in fact may have preferred a society more like the one that Dawkins advocates.
35 posted on 07/18/2009 11:30:59 PM PDT by stormer
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To: stormer
Jefferson was no man to be respected. Friggin racist anti semetic scum is the most accurate. Care to add?
36 posted on 07/18/2009 11:32:34 PM PDT by allmost
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To: stormer

“My intent was to demonstrate that some founders were less than enamored with religion and in fact may have preferred a society more like the one that Dawkins advocates.”

How many “founders”?


37 posted on 07/18/2009 11:36:01 PM PDT by bronxville
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To: stormer

Thomas Paine was an unbeliever. So what? Unbelievers can do good, too.

I also have to agree with him that religious wars have death and destruction. On the other hand, he didn’t live to see far more deadly modern wars fought over essentially atheistic political ideologies.

Finally, I heartily disagree it’s “monstrous” to believe God has spoken to man. In fact, I think it’s monstrous to believe in a world without the hope of God. If this (world) is all there is, God help us!


38 posted on 07/18/2009 11:37:21 PM PDT by CitizenUSA
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To: b359

A very stirring speaker, Mr. Henry. However according to Snopes http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/capital.asp, “These words appear nowhere in the writing or recorded utterences of Patrick Henry.”


39 posted on 07/18/2009 11:37:24 PM PDT by stormer
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To: allmost
Put down the bourbon and step away from the keyboard.
40 posted on 07/18/2009 11:39:06 PM PDT by stormer
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To: bronxville
Does it matter? Jefferson and Paine were among the most influential.
41 posted on 07/18/2009 11:41:30 PM PDT by stormer
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To: stormer

Pilsner’s looking better at this point. Don’t defy the independence of any of this Country’s founders. They are historic for a reason.


42 posted on 07/18/2009 11:43:02 PM PDT by allmost
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To: stormer

stormer: “My intent was to demonstrate that some founders were less than enamored with religion and in fact may have preferred a society more like the one that Dawkins advocates.”

Oh, I clearly think a number of the founders despised state-run religion, like the Church of England. Remember, a lot of our settlers were Christians who fled religious persecution in Europe. I don’t like state-operated churches either and think they should be abolished. The Church of England, for example, is barely even Christian. They do far more harm than good.


43 posted on 07/18/2009 11:44:42 PM PDT by CitizenUSA
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To: stormer

At our constitutional convention, our founding fathers, each had actually taken an oath, that stated that they were a Christian!

It is clearly written in the Mayflower Compact, that the reason for founding the colony in America was:

“Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith,”

The fundamental orders of Connecticut, under which a temporary government was formed in 1638, said explicitly:

“...to maintain and preserve the liberty and purity of the gospel of our Lord Jesus which we now profess..”

It can not be emphasized too strongly or too often, that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ!”~~Patrick Henry

“Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for the rulers.”~~John Jay

“The Birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior and forms a leading event in the progress of the gospel dispensation”.......

“The Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth and laid the corner stone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity.”~~John Quincy Adams

“Let us enter on this important business under the idea that we are Christians on whom the eyes of the world are now turned. ... Let us in the first place..... humbly and penitently implore the aid of the Almighty God whom we profess to serve. Let us earnestly call and beseech Him for Christ’s sake to preside in our councils.” —Elias Boudnot - President of the Continental Congress.

“No free government now exists in the world unless where Christianity is acknowledged, and is the religion of the country”.....Christianity is part of the common law.”~~1826 ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States.

Our own Supreme Court gave our Christian History, and acknowledged that we are a Christian nation, in its 1887 decision on the case, Church of the Holy Trinity V. U.S. In this decision, it stated clearly, that:

“We are a Christian nation” And also sited other Supreme Court decisions in which this fact was clear. None more clear than The People V. Ruggles, in which the Court said:

“The people of this State, in common with the people of this country, profess the general doctrines of Christianity, as the rule of their faith and practice...We are a Christian people, and the morality of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity, and not upon the doctrines or worship of those impostors” And, also the quote from Vidal v. Girard’s Executors: “It is also said, and truly, that the Christian religion is a part of the common law”

House Judiciary Committee, March 27, 1854

“Had the people, (the founding fathers) during the revolution, a suspicion of any attempt to war against any Christianity, that revolution would have been strangled in its cradle.... at the time of the adoption of the Constitution and its amendments, the universal sentiment was Christianity should be encouraged, not any one sect. In this age, there is no substitute for Christianity. That was the religion of the founders of the republic and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendants.” Two months later, they said,

“The great vital and conservative element in our system (the thing that holds our system together) is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and divine truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Christianity is what formed our nation, and made it great. Everyone is welcome to come to our table, but the truth is that that table was set by Jesus Christ.

Obama, snopes nor yourself can change the history of this great country.


44 posted on 07/18/2009 11:46:41 PM PDT by bronxville
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To: allmost

“Don’t defy the independence of any of this Country’s founders. They are historic for a reason.”

Agree.


45 posted on 07/18/2009 11:47:59 PM PDT by bronxville
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To: bdeaner

This is what you can expect when Christianity is put in the hands of a government program (in this case, the CoE). For this reason, I abhor “faith-based initiatives” and so should other Christians, IMO.


46 posted on 07/18/2009 11:53:26 PM PDT by LifeComesFirst (http://rw-rebirth.blogspot.com)
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To: Steelfish

Outside of the authors of the Bible, Dostoevsky was the most prophetic author I’ve ever read. I sometimes wonder if he had the spiritual gift of prophecy.


47 posted on 07/18/2009 11:57:29 PM PDT by LifeComesFirst (http://rw-rebirth.blogspot.com)
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To: LifeComesFirst

Perhaps, but then again, if not in fellowship with God at the time of spiritual influence, one must discern if he was under demonic influence or guidance by God the Holy Spirit.

A good work of God is the faith of the believer. His work always glorifies the Son. If Dostoevsky’s work glorifies the Son, then perhaps he was under the guidance of God. On the other hand, if not glorifying of the Son, then the work is discernible from that of God.


48 posted on 07/19/2009 12:03:12 AM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Cvengr; LifeComesFirst

Romans 1:21-32

21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.


49 posted on 07/19/2009 12:30:47 AM PDT by myknowledge (F-22 Raptor: World's Largest Distributor of Sukhoi parts!)
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To: b359; stormer
For future reference, it is misquoted. Here's the story behind the mistake. And below is the page in the magazine from whence the mistake was drawn.


50 posted on 07/19/2009 12:36:01 AM PDT by raynearhood ("Naysayers for Jesus" - Charter Member)
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