|Dr Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury|
|Written by Tim Heydon|
Dr Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury: Leftism posing as Christianity
‘We must Love the whole World like our own Family’.
So says the Archbishop of Canterbury. Coming from him, it’s one of those leftist / liberal ideals about universal equality and benevolence that seem Christian at first sight (‘equality’ of ethnic / sex representation in the workplace or in the universities or indeed in the country as a whole is another) but are actually anti-human and anti-christian because they are psychologically or practically impossible and actually personally and socially harmful. But they are important because they have such a strong influence on public policy in this country.
What if your Mother is Drowning?
Let’s take a brief look at what it would mean to love the whole world like your own family. Suppose you and your mother were (for example) involved in a shipwreck. Your mother is in the water, drowning. She is calling for help. But someone else’s mother, also drowning and calling for help, is closer. You can only save one of them. It would be a better bet when it comes to try to saving life if you were to go to the aid of this nearer stranger rather than to your own mother. On the basis that you ought to love the stranger as much as your own mother, you should forget about your mother and save this other woman instead.
What if your Daughter is suffering Psychologically?
Or your daughter is suffering from a facial disfigurement which is crippling her psychologically and will wreck her life chances but which is not life-threatening or even otherwise disabling. You have a certain amount of money which will pay for plastic surgery to reconstruct her face.
Meantime, in Africa, children are dying in an epidemic. You should throw away your child’s only chance of surgery and give your money to save the life of someone in Africa whom you have never met, since you are supposed to love this unknown stranger as much as your own daughter.
What if your Family is starving?
Or your family is starving and so is the family next door. You have a certain amount of food. It is just enough to keep your own family alive but you should share it equally with the family next door as equal love demands, even though it means that all of you will eventually die.
What if your People are struck by Famine?
Again, a famine strikes your entire area or country. You have personal resources which can rectify the situation but only for a certain number.
Equal love means that you should allocate these resources to all equally to postpone disaster for everyone, even when your area or country contains many people from alien countries and cultures with whom you have no affinities and if you allocated resources only to those of your own ethnic ‘family’ or group it would save their lives indefinitely.
Asking the Psychologically Impossible
From the examples above it will readily be seen that the requirement to love the whole world as your own family is psychologically impossible and therefore anti-human. It is also highly undesirable. If it were capable of being carried out it would be a certain recipe for destroying families and communities and wrecking people emotionally.
Universal Benevolence in the name of Equality undermines Character
Thomas Malthus (1766 - 1834) - he of the population / resources theory - was possibly the first to note that rather than relieving poverty within a parish as they were designed to do, the Poor Laws actually increased poverty overall. He concluded that;
‘Widespread poverty cannot be relieved from the outside world and therefore can be relieved (if at all), only by the industry, self-reliance and pride of the poor themselves.’ (Quoted by Patrick Keeney, The Quarterly Review Winter 2011 / 2012).
‘The trouble with benevolence, then,’ Keeney goes on, ‘is that it has triumphed at the expense of precisely those virtues and character traits – industry, thrift, self-reliance – most needed to lift the poor out of their impoverished state.’
What is true of the Parish Poor is also true of Third World Aid and Mass Immigration
What is true of universal benevolence towards the parish poor is also true of third world aid which actually undermines the efforts of those countries receiving it to lift themselves up out of poverty and leads to corruption of the giver as well as the receiver.
Quantities of David Cameron’s £1 Billion ’Peanut’ aid to India, designed at public expense to show that the Tory Party is ‘caring’, is ’misspent’. And what is true of third world aid is true of all the other aspects of universal benevolence, including opening up our country to mass immigration which is leading to the disintegration of what was one of the most settled societies on earth.
What does Christianity teach about Family responsibilities?
Which brings us to what Jesus actually taught. Yes, we are told to ‘be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect’ (Matt 5:48) and since God is universally loving then so it appears must we be.
But it’s not possible for us to be perfect like God and to love universally. So how are we to interpret Christ's injunction, which cannot be taken literally?
Jesus and the Practicalities of Everyday Living
In some cases, people whose lives were touched by Jesus wanted to leave family and travel with him, but he instructed them to go back and minister to their responsibilities, as he did himself on the Cross (Seeing his mother standing with ‘The Beloved Disciple’, he commended her into his care).
The Apostles, including St Peter travelled with their wives during their itinerant ministries (I Cor 9.5). No one was given the option of not providing for the needs of those left behind. As St Paul remarked: ‘If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." (1 Timothy 5-8)
A moral 'Platonic Form'
So we may conclude that Jesus’ call to universal love is not the egalitarian leftism of the Archbishop. It is a kind of moral Platonic Form, a perfect version to be found only in God.
Jesus knows that in our humanness we can never reach the perfection which loves all equally but he commands that we must try, subject to the limits of our natures. His example and that of the Apostles shows that this means that he does not ask the impossible of us; to treat the whole world as our own family as the Archbishop apparently does.
His demand combines the personal and the universal. Those closest to us, our own family and those we love best come first, as for us they must. Then, we must turn our attention to others.
That is what the Good Samaritan did. He gave personal aid to a Jew, a member of a hostile ethnic group, out of his own resources only when it was truly necessary. He did this out of pity, not because of some ideology of equality and the need for the equal distribution of resources. When he took the mugged Jew to an inn, he left him there and (presumably) returned to his own family, as did the Jew when he recovered. One’s own family comes first.
So much for Families. What about Nations or Ethnic Groups?
Enough has been said, surely, to show that Christianity asks us to put our own families first. What about nations? Here again we find that Christian universal benevolence involves both the particular and the universal.
One can do no better than to set out the views of the Russian Orthodox Church which expresses sense and humanity in a way the Archbishop of Canterbury has so signally failed to do.
Whilst warning against the excesses that national or ethnic feeling can lead to, the Church states:
'II. 2. The universal nature of the Church, however, does not mean that Christians should have no right to national identity and national self-expressions…. Christians, aware of being citizens of the heavenly homeland, should not forget about their earthly homeland.
The Lord Jesus Christ Himself, the Divine Founder of the Church, had no shelter on earth (Mt. 8:20) and pointed that the teaching He brought was not local or national in nature: «the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father» (Jn. 4:21).
Nevertheless, He identified Himself with the people to whom He belonged by birth. Talking to the Samaritan woman, He stressed His belonging to the Jewish nation: «Ye worship ye know what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews» (Jn. 4:22).
Jesus was a loyal subject of the Roman Empire and paid taxes in favour of Caesar (Mt. 22-16-21).
St. Paul, in his letters teaching on the supranational nature of the Church of Christ, did not forget that by birth he was «an Hebrew of the Hebrews» (Phil. 3:5), though a Roman by citizenship (Acts 22:25-29).
1.3. Christian patriotism may be expressed at the same time with regard to a nation as an ethnic community and as a community of its citizens. The Orthodox Christian is called to love his fatherland, which has a territorial dimension, and his brothers by blood who live anywhere in the world.....'
-(‘Bases of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church’, Jubilee Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, 13-16 August 2000, pp 4-7)
The Archbishop and Leftist Philosophy together in Error
Interestingly, the ethical requirement advocated by the Archbishop of Canterbury illustrated above is exactly the position taken by the atheistic philosopher Peter Singer, who is a favourite of the left.
Singer doesn’t talk about love or equality but equality is at the root of his thought. In its practicalities, he arrives at the same ethical destination as the Archbishop on the basis, not that we are special beings equally valuable to a loving God, but on the contrary, on the basis that there is nothing special or valuable about human beings because there is no God.
Human Beings are simply animals. The urge to favour those who are most closely allied to you by blood; your relatives and ethnic group and the morality associated with this urge are primitive relics of our evolution and should, he argues be rejected, because mankind has ‘moved on’ as ‘progress’ demands.
The question arises with Singer: if there is no God and we are merely animals, the products of a blind and meaningless evolution, why should we do anything for anyone other than the promptings of our 'animal' nature? He can have no satisfactory answer to that because there isn't one.
So much for ‘Progress’
Well, so much for leftist ‘progress’ which would radically dehumanise us and lead to a cold hell of emotional atrophy and nazi and marxist-like diminution of human worth.
Human flourishing requires the love and individual attention that is best provided by the family and it requires identity as against the mass that is best provided by extended 'families'; unforced collectivities of natural affinities such as ethnic nations.
Traditional Christianity as expressed by the Russian Orthodox Church recognises this but Leftism, obsessed by false ‘equality’, does not. That the same conclusion is arrived at by two seemingly completely opposed approaches demonstrates merely that both are wrong and have the same anti-humanity at heart.