Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Strasbourg - symbol of Franco-German unity

MEPs are forever whinging about the excessive cost to the taxpayer of uprooting the entire Brussels operation, and transporting everything lock, stock and barrel to Strasbourg for just a few weeks each year. The city is the epitome of multiculturalism; a symbol of federalism; an idol to supranationalism. The blandness of the endless concrete, steel and glass structures is but a reflection of the armies of faceless delegates, bureaucrats and secretariats that march through its postmodern barbarism. It is no wonder that its architectural core was inspired by Brueghel's 'Tower of Babel'.

Yet all of this is of superficial political concern. The importance of Strasbourg to the EU is one of spiritual symbolism. The Cathedral embodies the fusion of people, languages, and nations. It is Catholic in its 13th-century inspiration; occupied by the Protestants through much of the 16th and 17th; and illuminated by Enlightenment reason in the 18th. The French and the Germans warred over Strasbourg for half a millennium, but the Cathedral symbolises the Franco-German Act of Union. Its basic design is French, but the detail is German - an observation frequently made of their other pet project...European Union.

Christianity is the foundation of Europe, and Strasbourg Cathedral is an inspirational example of what can be achieved when peoples are united in belief, cooperation, and love. The decision to omit any mention of Christianity from the EU's Constitution, in deference to utopian secularism, leaves the door wide open for an alien spiritual force to infiltrate and occupy... anyone for EUrabia?

Monday, May 29, 2006

Can God save the EU Constitution?

Cranmer reported a few weeks ago about the Pope's lecture to the great and the good of the EPP, encouraging the resurrection of the 'Constitution for Europe'. It seems that Chancellor Merkel is now hoping the Hand of God will be its salvation. This is the first time that Germany has spoken in favour of an overt reference to Christianity in the Constitution, and sets it on a collision course with the fiercely secular voice of France.

Her speech echoed the demands of Pope John Paul II, which affirmed the Christian heritage of the continent. 'Europe would lose something if it were to push its historical reference to the side,' she said. Broadening from Ratzinger's assertion of a 'Christian Club' - a new Christendom which excludes Turkey - the German Chancellor wants to use God to reach out: 'We live in a world in which we want to understand and communicate with other religions and cultures'. This includes knowing your own roots and being aware of them which is why God and the Christian belief should be included into the EU constitution, she indicated.

Curiously, Pope Benedict XVI was in Auschwitz yesterday, and he said that the elimination of God was its greatest evil. The choice was 'God or the abyss'. Is the European Union about to choose God?

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Bishop demands assertive Christianity

Bishop of Rochester Michael Nazir-Ali has demanded the primacy of the Christian faith over and above the 'multi-faith mish-mash' that exists in today's ethnically-diverse Britain. 'It is time,' he said, 'to reassert the country's Christian identity.'

Well, he's probably just about the only senior Anglican cleric who can say this without being accused of 'racism'. If you're born in Pakistan, of Muslim heritage, you can talk about the issues of both; if you convert to Christianity (and manage to escape the death penalty or incarceration in a lunatic asylum), you can just about get away with demands to 'assert' one faith over another. Only the faith-hybrids and the religious-mongrels dare voice such opinion for fear of accusations of extremism or bigotry.

The bishop argued that the basis of British society, from the monarchy to its laws, was 'Christian constitutionally', noting that 'all our values come ultimately from the Bible'. He continued 'People of other faiths recognise this and they are not often the ones asking for a multi-faith mish-mash. They recognise the value of Britain being a Christian country.'

It is refreshing to hear a senior Church of England cleric counter the tendency to spiritual neutrality, where hospital chapels become 'rooms for reflection', or spaces previously set aside for Christian worship become 'multi-faith' venues. He has also defended the Christian dimension of the Coronation Oath - to defend The Faith - which leaves the Heir to the Throne with a bit of a dilemma, as he insists on the theologically impossible task of 'defending faith', however mutually exclusive they may be.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Londonistan - Islam's UK objective

I'm not sure that Melanie Phillips would see herself as is latter-day Churchill, who cut a lonely figure in 1938 as he warned of imminent catastrophe while the appeasers sued for peace. But her voice warns of an imminent religious war with Islam, which is manifesting a 'clerical fascism' not seen on these shores since we were governed by Divine Right. Londonistan asserts that the UK is reaping what it has sown, and colluding with Islam in the hope of appeasement. A Home Office survey finds that 26% of British Muslims feel no loyalty to Britain, 13% support terrorism, and about 1% (up to 20,000 individuals) are 'actively engaged' in terrorism or support for terrorism. With these figures, it is not unlikely that a civil conflict may arise in Britain on a scale at least resembling that of the Northern Ireland conflict at its height. Phillips quotes a 'foreign intelligence source':

During the 1990s, many attempts were made to enlighten the British about what was happening. But they refused to see this problem as having a religious character. If this was a religious problem, it became a religious confrontation - and the specter of a religious war was too horrendous. A religious war is different from any other war because you are dealing with absolute beliefs and the room for compromise is very limited.

The institution that should understand this best, the Church of England, seems most eager to bury its head in the sand. While churches in the USA have been at the forefront of the defence of Western values, the strongest support for Israel in the UK comes from evangelicals, and the Church of England has been at the forefront of a retreat from our Judeo-Christian heritage. While the Ugandan-born Archbishop of York praises the British Empire and the culture it spread around the world, the Archbishop of Canterbury apologises for taking 'cultural captives'. Islam despises the British leftists who most desire to appease them. That is not a recipe for co-existence, but for escalation towards civil strife and outright war.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Oxford - City of Dreaming Minarets?

You may know it as the City of Dreaming Spires, but Oxford is undergoing something of a religious revolution. Not content with influencing the University and a Centre for Islamic Studies, Muslims are now making inroads into Oxford City Council. A mosque leader, with rudimentary English, was joined by three other ethnic Pakistanis. Their success went unnoticed in the excitement over the gains made by the BNP in London, but it could mark a turning point in the national subjugation of spires to minarets.

Islam has been the cause of concern ever since the July 7th explosions. While some advocate that all Muslims must be given special instruction in 'core British values' like democracy, freedom of speech, fairness and responsibility, it does nothing to address the reality that 6 per cent of the UK's Muslims (nearly 100,000 people) approved of the bombings that killed 52 innocent people.

In Oxford, one cannot now escape the cultural influence of Islam. One can pick up the pamphlet 'How to go to Heaven' (through conversion to Islam) in the Cornmarket, and recently 500 candles were lit to recall the 58th anniversary of the 'Nakba catastrophe' - which is how Arabs describe the Zionist triumph of 1948. The public library’s newspaper section stocks the Daily Jang and Al Hayat. Its lending shelves display more books in Urdu than any other Asian language. Into all this arises a new 'spire' on the Oxford skyline, right by Magdalen’s playing fields. This dome and minaret have received the approval Prince Charles, who said it has 'the potential to be an important and exciting vehicle for promoting and improving understanding of the Islamic world'. That's alright then.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Tories to form a new EU party by June

David Cameron was elected leader of the Conservative Party with the promise of divorce from the EPP - the European People's Party - which was founded in 1976 to promote European integration. It is a federalist, corporatist, Christian Democratic (Catholic) grouping, and its Basic Charter commits it to 'compete for the realisation of a United States of Europe', and advocates (amongst other things) a single currency, a single EU seat at the UN, a pan-European income tax, a European Army, and a European police force.

The Conservative Party signed up to this feast on 1st May 1992. Why, I have no idea. These aspirations strike me as being fundamentally opposed to everything that the British Conservative Party is pledged to conserve. While previous Tory leaders were (un)happily schizophrenic in the marriage, according to Reuters, it looks as though Cameron will honour his pledge, and divorce by June 2006. A new group in the European Parliament requires 19 members from at least five different countries. The new group will have around 55 members with agreements already secured with at least 35 MEPs. These include nine from the ODS, 10 from Law and Justice plus four other Poles, four Latvians, three French, two Lithuanians and one each from Ireland, Italy and Sweden.

The cost? Cameron has been threatened with being ignored by various EU premiers, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy and Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel. One must prepare for assertions that the EPP is 'mainstream' and that everyone outside is 'extremist'. In the words of Senator Barry Goldwater, 'Extremism in the defence of liberty is no vice'.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Germany calls for a new EU raison d’être

The German Chancellor has stated that the European Union must be something more than a mere economic or political union; it must find a new relevance for its citizens. In line with the Pope’s demands for recognition of the Union’s Christian roots, Angela Merkel has advocated the search for ‘something more’ to ‘make things better’.

Her solution? Simple. The European Constitution. The democratic votes of the Dutch and the French have, apparently, been a ‘set-back’, but the EU ‘absolutely needs the constitution to ensure the European Union is effective and capable of action.’

She reiterated: ‘We need to think about how we make the constitution a success. I want the constitution, the German government wants the constitution and I think a majority of this parliament wants it too.’ So sod the French, sod the Dutch, and sod the voice of the people. If Germany wants it, that’s settled then. Plus ça change…

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Is homosexuality a sin, Mrs Kelly?

The Opus Dei representative to Her Majesty’s Government was asked three times today if she believed homosexuality to be a sin. Since she is the Equalities Minister, the question was not without relevance. Ruth Kelly has confirmed that she receives ‘spiritual guidance’ from Opus Dei, which is believed by critics to be a kind of Catholic Freemasons, whose members are elitist, secretive and manipulative. Three times she avoided answering the question, and was further challenged as to why she hadn't voted in favour of civil partnerships or the reduction in the age of consent for homosexuals. She stated that such things are matters of conscience. Although everyone knows the orthodox position of the Catholic Church on this, which has been meticulously elucidated by Pope Benedict XVI, it appears that Mrs Kelly is not in a position to admit that homosexual practice is indeed a sin.She may have learnt a lesson from the unwise frankness of the erstwhile EU Commissioner and friend of the Pope, Rocco Buttiglione, who was rejected by MEPs after publicly stating that homosexuality is indeed a sin. He said he refused to ‘prostitute his conscience’. Has Mrs Kelly prostituted hers? If Buttiglione was deemed to be an unsuitable candidate to preside over European civil rights and liberties, how can someone who views a group of people as sexually deviant possibly be Equalities Minister?

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Prime Minister's view of Protestants

In a speech dealing with the challenges of global terrorism, the Prime Minister talks of the need to not cause offence to Muslims by talking of 'Islamic extremism'. He said: 'It will give offence. It is true. It will. There are those perfectly decent-minded people who say the extremists who commit these acts of murder are not true Muslims. And, of course, they are right. They are no more proper Muslims than the Protestant bigot who murders a Catholic in Northern Ireland is a proper Christian. But, unfortunately, he is still a Protestant bigot. To say his religion is irrelevant is both completely to misunderstand his motive and to refuse to face up to the strain of extremism within his religion that has given rise to it.'

Why does he juxtapose the term 'Protestant' with 'bigot'? Why not assert that such murderers are not 'true Protestants'? Why not talk of the Catholics who kill Protestants? And what about 'Catholic extremism'? Is it because the term 'Catholic bigot' is, to the Prime Minister, an oxymoron, and Catholic extremism a righteous and holy pursuit? Is it simply that in his mind Protestantism is synonymous with bigotry?

It is a fact that many in the IRA are religious, committed Roman Catholics, and have the undisguised backing of their church, whereas the Protestant paramilitaries are irreligious and are disowned by the Protestant churches. Is the Prime Minister a Catholic bigot?
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