On July 20 the R/t Hon/ble David Cameron, First Lord of the Treasury and prime minister, made a speech in which I might be capable of being convinced that he made some practically sensible suggestions. However, it seems to me, conceptually, to be based upon premises which constitute an attack upon the liberties of every believing Christian in this country. The following sentence is the heart of the error:
"We believe in respecting different faiths but also expect those faiths to support the British way of life".
What does this mean but that different religious groups are required to subscribe to the British way of life? I grant that Cameron leaves the phrase distinctly undefined, but the fact that something is not defined and given clearly described limits makes it more, and not less, dangerous. It becomes all the more capable of manipulation, of being twisted to mean whatever a tyrannous ideology chooses.
But, to be objective: can anybody deny that divorce, fornication, adultery, abortion, sodomy are widespread in all sections of our society, and, in a number of cases, are promoted with pride by the governing class, the legislature and the courts of this country? If these things are not now at least parts of the British way of life, I do not know how any concrete meaning can be attached to that phrase.
Moreover, when I was young, Blasphemy, Abortion and Sodomy were still illegal. Is the British way of life something which metamorphoses every decade or so? Was I, in the 1940s and 1950s, not brought up in the British way of life? When did Cameron's British way of life come into existence? When the mores of this country will have changed from how they are now, will they no longer constitute, for Cameron, the British way of life? Or does the British way of life mean in each decade whatever is culturally fashionable at that precise moment? If so, Cameron's rhetoric constitutes a requirement that believers of all cults should regularly and very promptly accommodate themselves to the Zeitgeist, the Spirit of the Age. In these circumstances, were not the "German Christians" of the 1930s absolutely correct? If Christians or others are forbidden to be counter-cultural, was there any ground for not assenting to the Holocaust?
In as far as I understand the British way of life, I repudiate, with very great emphasis, all or at least large parts of it.
" ...equal rights ... sexuality ... "
This recurs throughout the speech. Cameron does not explicitly in this speech mention his own enthusiastic promotion of sodomitical relationships and perverted lifestyles, but in a speech of 23 July 2013 he repeatedly expressed his pride in the legislation which he had recently passed into Law. In that same speech, he spoke about his determination to "export" "same sex marriage" around the world, so that other countries could follow suit.
The fact that Cameron's July 20 2015 speech fails to be as explicit as the 2013 speech is easily explained, and the explanation does very little credit to Cameron's frankness or honesty. He is now attempting to carry along with him the greater part of the Islamic community in this country. It would not serve his devious purposes to be too explicit about some of the contents of the British way of life to which he is now imperiously demanding their (and my) allegiance. In the slippery tradition of the card-sharper who stacks his cuffs, or the spiv with his contraband merchandise, Cameron finds it convenient to conceal things in the recesses of his clothing.
"... theocracy ... fusion of religion and politics ..."
Cameron dislikes this pair. I am not convinced that he would be a supporter of the Catholic teaching of the Social Rule of Christ the King, if someone were to explain it to him.
" ... reforming and moderate Muslim voices ... moderate and reforming voices ... critical reforming voices ... "
I do not know how expert Cameron is on Islamic history, jurisprudence and theology; just possibly not a great deal more that I am. But let me put a hypothesis before you. Suppose, please, just for the sake of the argument, it were true that authentic Islam were something inconsistent with that British way of life to which Cameron demands the assent of Faith Communities. This would mean that he is only offering toleration, to Islam and to other Faith Communities including Christians, as long as they reform, moderate, and critically change their religions so as not to be contrary to the British way of life. Taken to its logical conclusion, as it is very likely to be taken, this would return Catholicism to the threatened state it was in during the reign of the first Elizabeth.
My faith is not at Cameron's disposal for him and his cultural allies and their masters below to reform, moderate, or change.
" ... a review of the Sharia Courts ..."
You can see why Cameron gets rather tentative and vague here. It would be embarrassing to condemn the Sharia court system in terms that also rendered illegal the Canon Law courts of the Catholic Church or the Court of the Chief Rabbi. You're going to have to tread carefully there, David.
"[You in the Media should] recognise the huge power you have in shaping these debates in a positive way".
Splendid! A candid admission! We are on familiar and agreed ground here! Christians, and especially Catholics, are very experienced in the huge power the Media have in shaping debate. We get the rough end of it almost daily.
I will conclude by pointing out that Cameron here gives us a good example of the particular English dialect sometimes known as Management Speak. In this unpleasant and aggressively manipulative dialect, positive means "what I approve of", just as negative inevitably means "what I disapprove of". Somewhere at the back of his Etonian mind, Cameron has the speech patterns used by his Head Master and his House Master in their attempts to assert dominance and secure compliance. Truly, culture wars are won or lost on the playing fields of a large school near Slough.
Or, on the other hand, perhaps not.