8 September, 2020
A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, ‘You are mad; you are not like us.’ (St Anthony the Great c. 251 – 256).
I have written about the ‘Covid Crisis’ before, earning the approval of some and disagreement of others. I remain convinced that the extraordinary measures being taken by governments to deal with it are excessively out of proportion to the real miseries – social, cultural, economic and medical – that they have inflicted on the wider world, particularly on those who are not employees of government.
The media have failed us by reporting the number of daily Covid deaths in any given area without listing figures for other causes of death. In other words they consistently fail to provide context. Incomplete information heightens our fear and anxiety. Here is a handy tool to help remedy that defect.
BLACK LIVES MATTER
It was an Asian Jew who was the first person since the world began, as far as we can tell, to tell us that God Almighty makes no distinction between Jew or foreigner, man or woman, slave or free person.
In the Christian religion there are (and always have been) those who are observant and those who are lapsed or non-practising. The former have pretty well always been a minority. The same is true of any religion or cause: there are observant Muslims and non-practising ones; there are observant socialists and plenty of the commoner armchair variety. Sweeping statements about any group are thus unsafe and should be handled with extreme caution.
But it is reasonably safe to say that the Civil Rights movement in the United States was thoroughly Christian in character. It is no mere quirk of history that Martin Luther King was a clergyman, that so many leaders of the movement, both black and white, were committed and practicing Christians, and that churches were often targets for the destructive anger of the mob. (I suppose that many members of that mob were nominal Christians, too, though that should never surprise us: we were warned about that when Judas betrayed his master.)
Much has been made of King’s assassination 52 years later, but have you noticed that Christianity – that original motive force of the movement – has been almost completely edited out of the script? The narrative has been hijacked by radical groups who see no value at all in the very same values that drove their brave predecessors.
‘I hate slavery and the slave trade beyond measure’ (Lord Russell, UK Prime Minister, 1851). Great Britain’s costly naval war against slavery in Africa and Asia deserves recognition.
POP MUSIC AND ONLINE PORNOGRAPHY
Leonard Sax argues that parents must bravely and urgently take back primary responsibility for the education of their children.
FATHERS’ DAY (celebrated in Australia on 6 September)
I recommend The Unrecognised Gift of good Fathering, a fine piece by John Anderson (former deputy Prime Minister).
MORE ON SUMMER SCHOOLS
We are looking into the possibility of teaching our summer schools (listed below) on Zoom – while still maintaining a real classroom for those who can get here. I would be glad to hear from anybody who might be interested.