From Flowers Back into the Fray
There is in my sleepy little town a wonderful coffee shop that goes by the name Fiori, which in Italian dialect means ‘flower’. It does indeed sell flowers but its attraction for me is not only in the excellence of its coffee and cakes but in its idiosyncratic cottage décor and the almost spiritual tranquillity of its ambience. It is for me, a quiet refuge from il mondo. It was there last cool and wet Thursday afternoon I drafted the following.
Let me first offer an oxen-cartload of apologies for my uncharacteristic tardiness of late. My other-self has monopolised my time. Pleasingly however he has at least been productive these last few months. He has completed his autobiographical collection of biographical essays which is now being looked at by a publisher. He has also resurrected a play written many decades ago about his experiences as a political apparatchik. This has been tidied up and is now being touted around other publishers; and he is now working on his partly completed and long neglected historical satire.
As you may discern I have been busy helping the silly old bugger in his endeavours. So, leaving him awhile, I return to the innumerable fractures and faults lines in our modern world. In doing so I am ever more confounded at the thrall in which our political leaders are chained to the contemptible chatterati.
In plain speak – I am more disgusted than ever at the cowardice of our politicians and the quality of the people to whom they are listening. I am even more concerned at the deterioration of our political and judicial processes. But these pale into the shade at my spiking concern about the decreasing value we place on our own self-worth.
Despite a plethora of excellent debate, argument, manifold examples and experiences highlighting our cultural decline our political classes remain fixated on leading us further towards the abyss. Very few have demonstrated the courage to recognise we are travelling the wrong road and to call a halt. Sadly, it would seem, most of us are content to blindly follow.
I will not. I stand with the dissenters. I remind you that sometimes we can only progress by backtracking and returning to the correct road. In an endeavour to add my small voice to the chorus of dissent, it is my intention to put some direction into my comments on the world. To this end, I intend pro tem to write in the furtherance of my worldview of ‘Christendom’.
Now, before most of you stop reading convinced that I’ve finally flipped, joined the God-Squad or am evolving into an even more insufferable pain in the jacksie, let me explain.
Last year I defined my meaning of ‘Christendom’ as being: The religious and secular body of Christians of the world subscribing to the shared values and ethics inspired by Jesus Christ and exemplified by Western Civilization.
I stress my use of the world ‘secular’ meaning ‘worldly, not religious’. Christendom is not just for or about those of the Christian faith. It includes those of us who have been brought up in, or subscribe to, the values of a culture derived from the Christian world. Yes I’m talking to you mob that enjoy your Christmas and Easter holidays; that love scoffing mince pies and hot cross buns; that enjoy the freedoms, equalities, security, sanctity of life and values bestowed by a society based on the Ten Commandments and the evolved heritage of Judaic Christian civilization.
It is my view that our Western Civilization is far superior to anything else on offer. It is also my deeply held concern that this civilization is under threat, both from within and without. It is my view that it is worth defending. Whatever your Christian faith or none, we are all indebted to our forefathers, whatever their specific faith, if any, for their contribution to our civilization. Broadly speaking, their subscription to Judaic-Christian values served them well and left us a cultural legacy generally worth preserving.
Although one can readily point to the manifold flaws in our civilization and to times when we were anything but Christian to one another, considered in the context of the broad sweep of history our civilization has been a positive influence on the world. In modern history one only needs to look at the barbarity and destruction of those totalitarian regimes that actively denied our Christian values – inter alia Jacobin France; Nazi Germany; Communist Russia; Communist China; the Khmer Rouge; North Korea – and of course – Political Islam – malevolent and militant.
The latter is altogether a running dog of another pack and will be the subject of further consideration.