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Is Britain Finished?

Folly seems to be the rage in the United Kingdom these days, especially folly generated by the government and its agents.

Lee Duigon
  • Lee Duigon,
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From The Telegraph, July 8, 2008:

The National Children’s Bureau, which receives £12 million a year, mainly from Government funded organizations, has issued guidance to play leaders and nursery teachers advising them to be alert for racist incidents among youngsters in their care.
This could include a child of as young as three who says “yuk” in response to being served unfamiliar foreign food.
The guidance by the NCB is designed to draw attention to potentially-racist attitudes in youngsters from a young age.
It alerts playgroup leaders that even babies can not be ignored in the drive to root out prejudice, as they can recognize different people in their lives.
The 366-page guide for staff in charge of pre-school children, called Young Children and Racial Justice, warns: “Racist incidents among children in early years settings tend to be around name-calling, casual thoughtless comments and peer group relationships …”
The guide goes on to warn that children might also “react negatively to a culinary tradition other than their own by saying ‘yuk.’”[1]

Toddlers who don’t like unfamiliar, spicy, foreign food are racists? The racial attitudes of babies must be reported to the proper authorities?

Motorist told flag could be racist:
A teenage motorist was told to remove an England flag from his car by a police officer because it could be offensive to immigrants. “He [the officer] saw the flag and said it was racist towards immigrants and if I refused to take it down I would get a £30 fine. I laughed because I thought he was joking, but then I realized he was serious so I had to take it down straight away. I thought it was silly—it’s my country and I want to show my support for my country.”[2]

An Englishman driving his car in England can’t display the English flag?

Has America’s mother country lost its mind?

A Fashion for Folly

“There is no limit to the folly of men who follow men: they are the sheep to be sheared by men.” —R. J. Rushdoony[3]

Folly seems to be the rage in the United Kingdom these days, especially folly generated by the government and its agents. Mobilizing an institutional crusade against racism among babies, stopping a driver for flying the nation’s own flag … but there’s more. Much more.

  • “A Christian couple who have taken in 28 children have been forced to give up being foster parents after they refused to promote homosexuality … They said that officials had advised them that if children in their care expressed an interest in homosexuality, they would be expected to take them to gay support group meetings.” —The Telegraph, April 19, 2008[4]
  • “In April four policemen [emphasis added] were sent to deal with 11-year-old George Rawlinson from Widnes, Cheshire, after he called one of his schoolfriends ‘gay.’ Two were sent to his primary school and two to his home.” —The Telegraph, Oct. 11, 2007[5]

But while teams of policemen were tracking down homophobic 11-year-olds, Telegraph columnist Jeff Randall reported, “In a land without morals, it’s no wonder children kill each other.”

Randall cited government statistics to show that “deaths linked to knife crime rose by 18 percent last year,” and, in spite of a near-total ban on private gun ownership, there were almost 3,500 gun crimes in London last year. He quoted a government official: “The average age of male homicide victims in the Metropolitan Police area is definitely declining.”[6]

Banning guns in the UK has not disarmed the street gangs, and persons lacking guns have turned to knives as the murder weapon of choice. Although the purchase of many different kinds of knives has already been prohibited, a doctors’ group in 2005 urged the government to ban kitchen knives, too, the BBC reported.[7]

Power to Parliament

According to the British Parliament’s own official website,

Parliamentary sovereignty is a principle of the UK constitution. It makes Parliament the supreme legal authority in the UK, which can create or end any law. Generally, the courts cannot overrule its legislation and no Parliament can pass laws that future Parliaments cannot change. Parliamentary sovereignty is the most important part of the UK constitution.[8]

“The divine rights of the crown, after 1688, came to be exercised by Parliament,” R. J. Rushdoony writes: the English people at that time assigned total sovereignty to Parliament. This is a radically different political model, he explains, from the one adopted by the United States: “It is this denial of all sovereignty which gives its profound and permanent interest to the American Revolution … American liberty rested on this denial of sovereignty to any human order.”[9]

America’s founders divided the new nation’s government into three competing branches to check and balance one another, and added a Bill of Rights to the Constitution to protect citizens from encroachments by the central government.

No such limitations bind the British Parliament.

In recent years Parliament has greatly expanded restrictions on the freedom of speech in Britain. There are no First Amendment issues to be debated because Britain has no First Amendment. There is no president to veto any new restrictions because the British government has no executive branch independent of the legislature. Nor is there a Supreme Court in Britain to declare any of these laws unconstitutional.

  • “Children who call their classmates ‘gay’ risk being arrested for committing a hate crime even if they do not know what the word means,” according to the new Criminal Justice Act adopted in 2007. “Even casual use of homophobic language in schools can create an atmosphere that isolates young people and can be the forerunner of more serious forms of bullying,” said Children’s Secretary Ed Balls.[10]
  • “People convicted of stirring up hatred against homosexuals face up to seven years in jail under a new law. Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, told MPs that existing prohibitions against race and religious incitement would be extended to cover ‘homo-phobic’ behavior … Mr. Straw said the law could be extended further to cover hatred against disabled and transgendered people ‘if a case for this can be made.’”[11]
  • “New law could make gay jokes illegal,” British TV and movie comedian Rowan Atkinson (“Blackadder,” “Mr. Bean”) warned in 2007, citing “the casual ease with which some people move from finding something offensive to wishing to declare it criminal—and are then able to find factions within the government to aid their ambitions.”[12]
  • Novelist Anthony Horowitz, who writes spy novels and adventure tales for young readers, told The Daily Mail in 2007 that “endless politically correct legislation has been the death of the villain [in literature] … It’s not just that I’m afraid of contravening the Racial and Religious Hatred Act of 2006, which makes incitement of religious hatred a criminal offense. I’m afraid of the entire atmosphere that allowed that insane bill to exist. These days, a single misplaced sentence can destroy a career and even a life—and everywhere there is someone waiting to hear it spoken.”[13]

We could go on to cite many more examples of this; but we would prefer to call attention to a glaring exception to the chill that has descended on free speech in the UK.

Englishman Richard Dawkins, author of the atheist bestseller The God Delusion, has won fame and fortune by mocking, insulting, and abusing Christians and their beliefs. We wonder how he would have fared had he written a book called The Gay Delusion and applied to homosexuals the same kind of invective he pours out on Christians.

We have not been able to discover a single instance of anyone in Britain running afoul of the law for using “hateful” language against Christians. For some reason, the law against incitement of religious hatred does not apply to Richard Dawkins or to any other Christian-baiter.

Law without God

What has happened to the United Kingdom?

“The humanist state seeks to make itself the sole principle of organization: it works to destroy all other allegiances, because these allegiances witness against its own claims to ultimacy and testify to a higher law sphere.” —R. J. Rushdoony[14]

Like most of the western world that used to be known as Christendom, Great Britain has become a humanistic state. The seemingly crazy actions of its government in recent years are logically consistent with the view that “law” is whatever the current Parliament says it is on any given day.

“The Relationship of Man to Law,” Chapter 6 of Rushdoony’s book Politics of Guilt and Pity, provides keen insights into what has gone wrong with Britain. Originally published in 1970, the essay speaks straight to the point of current events in 2008.

Rushdoony quotes an English writer, Patrick Devlin, who in 1959, almost 50 years ago, examined “the enforcement of morals.” Devlin wrote, tellingly:

The law, both criminal and civil, claims to be able to speak about morality and immorality generally. Where does it get its authority to do this, and how does it settle the moral principles which it endorses? Undoubtably, as a matter of history, it derived both from Christian teaching. But I think the strict logician is right when he says that the law can no longer rely on doctrines in which citizens are entitled to disbelieve. It is necessary therefore to look for some other source.[15]

This is precisely what the UK is attempting to do today. Having renounced Christianity as the source of morality and law, British elites are trying to replace it with a kind of multicultural humanism.

The church had centuries in which to teach morality to the peoples of Britain. Although there were always individuals who broke the law, everybody knew what basic Christian morality entailed and most people voluntarily abided by the laws derived from it.

But with Christian morality cast aside, people don’t know what the new morality requires of them! Because it would be impossible to police the daily lives of millions of people—never mind the government’s action of setting up 10,000 closed circuit television surveillance cameras in London alone, an action that has nevertheless left 80 percent of London’s crimes unsolved—the humanist state must “teach” the new morality by making dramatic examples of what happens to transgressors. This is why the state sends four police officers after a little boy who spoke the word “gay” on the playground: it gets everyone’s attention. This is intended as a form of teaching, but it’s mere intimidation.

Why don’t the people understand what humanist morality requires of them? Rushdoony answers: “But if the ultimate source of law resides in humanity, and humanity is seen as divine, then man cannot be placed under law, because he himself is beyond law as the source of law.”[16]

In a nation whose people and leaders are consciously Christian, laws enacted by the legislature, man’s laws, must conform to God’s laws. If they conflict with God’s laws, the citizens will view them as invalid. Meanwhile, God’s laws are all written in the Bible, are accessible to everyone, and cannot be hanged by any future Parliament. Citizens will obey them voluntarily, without being cowed by lurid stories in the newspapers.

The Humanist Payoff

To persuade citizens to submit to its tyrannies, both large and petty, the humanist state promises to create an earthly paradise. “For the statist,” Rushdoony says, “whether ‘liberal’ or socialist, the state is the true agency of love, and perfection for man and society comes through state love, i.e., statist legislation requiring compulsory sharing, integration, association, and unity.”[17]

In the UK today, to make the omelet of universal peace and brotherhood, the state is breaking the eggs of personal liberty. It’s all for the people’s own good, as determined by what Rushdoony calls “the ‘democratic consensus’ of an elite minority.”[18]

Is it really a minority? Have not the people of the UK put these leaders in office? Does that not imply the consent of the governed?

Most online versions of British newspapers include a list of reader comments at the bottom of a featured story. Let’s see what some of the English people had to say about the NCB’s campaign to curb racism among toddlers, as reported in The Telegraph:

  • “Whoever came to this conclusion is 100% certifiably insane.”
  • “Without exception, every so-called ‘expert’ is retarded.”
  • “It’s all about reporting people to the authorities. Next they will statistically ‘prove’ that native Brits are more racist than their cosmopolitan religion-of-peaceful neighbors. The only solution of course is re-education. Unless someone raises a big stink they will start with ‘sensitivity training’ of your kids almost immediately.”

When last we looked, there were over 90 reader comments on this story, all but a very few of them emphatically negative.

By and large, the British people do not endorse their government’s scheme to make a humanistic omelet. But they do have to live with all the broken eggs.

The Sceptered Isle
This royal throne of kings, this sceptered isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,—
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this
—Shakespeare, King Richard II, act 2, scene 1

Today, we suppose, William Shakespeare would hardly recognize his England.

The United Kingdom today has become a textbook case of what happens to a nation that throws off the authority of God and invests all sovereignty in a government of unbelieving men.

The heathen rage; the people imagine a vain thing; and their leaders rebel against God and His anointed, saying, “Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us” (Ps. 2:1–3). This is exactly what has happened in Great Britain.

The vain thing they have imagined, of course, is salvation by the actions of the state. As an immediate result, they are bedeviled by seemingly irrational dictates by leaders who claim the ability to root out hate and racism, wipe out income inequality, stop global warming … whatever.

“If the state is not restricted to [the administration of] justice,” R. J. Rushdoony says, “it will relentlessly claim to be the only government of man, a claim made repeatedly in history.”[19]

The people of the United Kingdom long ago removed all limits on the jurisdiction of Parliament and have since broken away from the protection of God’s laws, which at one time they and their leaders believed were binding on the state.

Now they have begun to pay for it.

[1] Rosa Prince, “Toddlers who dislike spicy food ‘racist,’” The Telegraph, July 8, 2008. Emphasis added.

[2] Charley Morgan, “Motorist told flag could be racist,” Wiltshire, May 23, 2008.

[3] R. J. Rushdoony, Revolt Against Maturity (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1977: 1987 edition), 296.

[4] Jonathan Petre, “Christian foster parents condemn ‘gay laws,’” The Telegraph, April 19, 2008.

[5] Stephen Adams, “Charity: Pupils risk prosecution for ‘gay’ slur,” The Telegraph, Oct. 11, 2007.

[9] R. J. Rushdoony, Politics of Guilt and Pity (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1970: 1995 edition), 143.

[10] Adams, “Charity: Pupils risk prosecution for ‘gay’ slur.”

[11] Philip Johnston, “Seven years jail for gay hate preachers,” The Telegraph, Oct. 9, 2007.

[12] Toby Helm, “New law could make gay jokes illegal,” The Telegraph, Nov. 8, 2007.

[13] Anthony Horowitz, “Why endless politically correct legislation has been the death of the villain,” The Daily Mail, June 5, 2007. Emphasis added.

[14] Rushdoony, Politics, 60.

[15] Ibid., 143. Emphasis added.

[16] Ibid., 142. Emphasis added.

[17] Ibid., 150.

[18] Ibid., 145.

[19] Ibid., 144.

Lee Duigon
  • Lee Duigon

Lee is the author of the Bell Mountain Series of novels and a contributing editor for our Faith for All of Life magazine. Lee provides commentary on cultural trends and relevant issues to Christians, along with providing cogent book and media reviews.

Lee has his own blog at

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