I jot this down with some trepidation having read the news about Russia doing more harm to ISIS / Daesh in one day than the Americans and British in a year. The latest whingeing and whining from Washington is that Putin is attacking “moderate” terrorists (supposedly the “good guys” trained by the CIA to fight against the Assad government) as well as Daesh.
Following these historical events, I am inclined to give more credence to the view that considers that the US have been fighting proxy wars in the Middle East, Afghanistan and elsewhere using terrorists and mercenaries trained and financed by the American taxpayer. If this is so, the mask is falling away and we face an entirely different world than what we have known since World War II. Europe will need to look to new leadership, and perhaps work to rediscover its Christian roots.
At any rate, Syria is something like much of Europe in 1945, and Daesh terrorists will soon be bits of pink flesh spattered against devastated walls, swinging from the gallows, or having French fits on scopolamine or sodium pentathol (or whatever they use these days) as they eagerly tell all they know about their mates. I hope and pray the refugees of Syria will be able to return home, rebuild the desolation of many generations – and obtain humanitarian help from as many of us who can give it.
In the meantime, the hype about CIA trained and financed “moderate terrorists” reminded me of this old story. Perhaps they go down to their underground bunkers to drink tea and have parish council meetings and cucumber sandwiches with the Vicar. The mind boggles. Here it is:
Anglican Extremists Attack Shopping Centre
A group of Anglican extremists have attacked Cackwater shopping centre in Gutborough. There are no casualties, although several people are reported to be “quite confused”.
The attack took place at midday outside the local branch of TK Maxx. A bomb, made from cake mixture and “hundreds and thousands” was left in front of the store and exploded, leaving two men splattered and one man needing counselling. Shoppers ran for cover, fearing that the cake-bomb was the first of many, but were disappointed.
Shortly after the attack, a video appeared on the Anglican fundamentalist website extremistvicars.co.uk claiming that “all those who do not worship the Lord shall lead a rather average life” and that “if you do not follow the path of Jesus Christ, then I shall wag my finger at you”.
The alleged leader of the Anglican Fundamentalist group, Valerie Bin-Liner, said that the campaign was aimed at “all those who don’t attend church, i.e. everyone”. Police have been tracking Bin-Liner for the last two years, and have as yet been unsuccessful. Sightings have been frequent; latest reports say that she is hiding out in a box room in Cheltenham.
Anglican fundamentalism is growing in the UK. A group of women were arrested two months ago after putting excessive amounts of sugar in the tea of supposed “disbelievers”, while another woman was arrested after trying to ram her bicycle into the side of a nightclub.
An elderly man escaped the clutches of police officers after an attempt to hijack the number 51 bus to Gropple town centre. The driver, who has undergone counselling to recover from the harrowing experience, said “he approached me and said that he had a cake-bomb strapped to his waist and that I should divert the bus to Scrimpton. Naturally, I did as he asked – it was only the next village, and he appeared quite determined. The passengers were almost frightened – both of them. I kept my calm and drove the bus to Scrimpton, where he said ‘thank you’ in a menacing manner, and got off the bus. That’s when I called the police.”
Locals in Gutborough, however, are fearing another wave of Anglican attacks, and have been advised not to eat any cakes until the situation has eased.
Fr. Anthony, where did you get this from, of did you dream it up yourself? I reposted it to all my anglican friends of various persuasions, but only to warn them against the devastating cake-bombs!
I forgot to give the source – http://www.dailyshame.co.uk/2009/12/satire/anglican-extremists-attack-shopping-centre/
Europe will need to look to new leadership, and perhaps work to rediscover its Christian roots.
Dear Father, I’m not sure this sentiment doesn’t need some unpacking. Was Europe ever Christian? To be sure, it was full of Christians, but did the countries ever operate as Christian communities? To be sure – when it suited them – lots of things were done in the name of Christ, but were they good things? It might be true to say that Christianity took root in Europe, but the other way round? That Europe was rooted in Christianity? I think, on the contrary, that Europe is simply reverting to its true self, but removing the cloak of a particular tradition and network of regimes in which Churches wielded political and economic power as much as or along with other self-interested groups and individuals. Surely the leaven of Christianity is not to be identified with any geography or culture? Else, what are we saying, that Christianity is European? Now that would be to say much! That Christianity is not Jewish, but essentially Greek and Roman and Gothic. Certainly not “universal”.
Now that may not be incorrect, after all, but if so, then really, it blows a hole amidships of the bark of Peter and anyone else claiming a universal revelation. A Gospel for the Goths? Forget everyone else? The mind boggles. Clearly, then by the same logic, the Middle East would seem to be the natural home for Islam, like Hinduism in India, and so on. It certainly puts 2000 years of soteriological rhetoric, proselytism and heresy-hunting into a new perspective!
I have to agree that it is something of a cliché. Christianity was only ever something of a minority until it was transformed into something political and imposed by force by all secular powers that found it useful. The culture inspired by Christianity in Europe is nearly gone except in “museum” form (eg. Mozart Masses as concert pieces, etc.).
Is Christianity universal? Is there any interpretation possible of Christ’s “Go and evangelise all nations…”? If Christianity is neither politics nor culture, then it has to “interface” with its adepts somehow. In the end of the day, Europe’s roots are pagan – same thing with Native Americans (red indians) and aborigines – everyone in fact. Golly! We are in a mess!
Yes…and no. One may look at Methodism of Wales, which never was a state church, never held political power, but came from the people of Wales without the support of King or gentry.
“If Christianity is neither politics nor culture, then it has to “interface” with its adepts somehow. ”
A wise statement. The retort of modernist Christianity seems to be, “A free-floating, incorporeal ideology, with no temporal attachments whatsoever. No family, no people, and no role in governance.” The West has wholeheartedly embraced this gnostic vision, with the result that the secular West now has no more connection between the physical and the metaphysical. Into this vacuum steps the Muslim, who either joins this superficial, soulless culture, or stands with his Faith Militant against the atheistic West with its aging populations, bizarre sexual deviancies, and plunging birthrates.
Western Christendom is ceding its territories without a fight. When Muslims move to the West to be good Muslims, then it’s clear that the West no longer considers itself Christian. Christians have become gnostic in their jettisoning of territory and any temporal attachment, so they will be displaced. They shrink into their dwindling parishes like the doomed Shakers and congratulate each other on their ultimate sacrifice, giving up their countries so Muslims and Hindus can reproduce themselves in their stead. Christians thus commit the sin of self-loathing; they do not believe they deserve to exist..
I really don’t think the problem is Gnosticism (at least as expressed in studies I have read of the Nag Hammadi texts and the Alexandrian School), but rather one of nihilism at the very bottom line. I don’t think the Swedish “bishopette” is interested in inner knowledge, but rather your analysis of self-guilt and a death wish.
Putin, the former KGB agent, is no saint, but I believe he might be a providential instrument in waking us all up and spurring us to find renewal in the Christian faith and the sweet yoke of Christ.
Fr. Anthony – “gnostic” in the more generic sense used by Eric Voegelin, i.e., esoteric knowledge as opposed to expression in reality. Modern Christianity is iconoclastic.
“[A]theistic West with its aging populations, bizarre sexual deviancies, and plunging birthrates”; one does need to be careful here, even Holy Russia has a plunging birthrate as well. So much so that the New-Rite Patriarch of Moscow has denounced abortion not because of any moral or ethical consideration, but because of the failing population of real Russians. It is not simply a “Western” problem. Militant Islam is growing in Russia as well.
This wouldn’t surprise me. If we don’t build up our hopes, we won’t be disappointed.
On the philosophical front, my own personal take is that we are living in a post existential age in western society, a direct result of the horrors of the Great War, which resulted in not only doubting Christian virtues, but any virtue whatsoever as having validity or worth. We have created not only a religious vacuum but a philosophical one as well. But to believe that Russia in anyway offers a path out of this morass is foolhardy at best; they really are not doing too well either, outside of ethnic chauvinism.