Sunday, 13 January 2013

Blast from the Past

Nestling next to Kinsey's "Sexual Behaviour and the Human Male" in a second hand book shop yesterday was a little gem which I picked up for the princely sum of 75p.  Kinsey's shelf mate was a little paperback from 1965, most of which is as pertinent now as the day it was written.  The book is called "The Cult of Softness" and was written by the Catholic apologist Arnold Lunn along with the Anglican writer Garth Lean.  The book is critical of the secularisation of society and the attacks on Christianity from within.  The authors target humanism, the BBC, educational policy, the avant garde and journalism.....nothing changes.  They are particularly concerned by the attitude of some of the clergy of the day, in particular Canon Douglas Rhymes of Southwark.  I will give you a taster of the Canon's words and see if you think his attitude has actually "conquered" much of Christianity. May God have mercy on his soul.

"It is when we see ourselves as whole, a whole which is to be loved for its wholeness, not divided into higher and lower - that we begin to love ourselves, to love the flesh, the mind the spirit because the flesh, the mind and the spirit are me and the more I know about myself, the more I shall respect myself.  The less I feel guilty in myself, the more I shall respect, know and love others.  There is no part of me for which I need to feel guilty; the only guilt I need to feel is when I have ceased to be myself and, at the command of someone else, be it priest, Church, politician or parent, am pretending to be what I am not and calling it good."
This is I suppose, the battle cry of the "Cult of Softness".  It is the feel-good drivel that masquerades as Christianity and indeed in many Christian schools is the only mantra that is allowed. It is certainly un-Christian as Christianity demands obedience to and love of Christ, as the authors say themselves:

"Love,", it [the New Testament] says, "is the fulfilling of the law".  In other words, because we love, we shall observe the precepts of the law all the more carefully.  The new covenant does not abrogate the old, but fulfils it by giving it content, meaning and above all, motive.  Love is  no more a substitute for the law than the body is for the skeleton.

However, what strikes me most is the sentence quoted below this paragraph.  I hope the sentiment expressed in it wakes us all up.  Attacks on "softness" must be educated, sustained and gentle and often for the most part played out well away from the media (it is about our behaviour and what we show to the world). This is the way the English fight best and I feel that the day is coming when we may have to earn our title as Mary's Dowry and come out fighting. The authors and I myself believe that the silent majority of our lands do not actually adhere to the cult of softness and the liberalism it entails.  However, they remain silent and by the sickening process of hegemony, the soft brigade take over.

The last thing we desire is to criticise secularists for their determination to create the kind of society which they desire.  It is our failure as Christians to mount an adequate counter-attack that we deplore.

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