Monday, September 27, 2010
A Certain Sadness
How sad then to read among the millions of words covering B16's visit the facts that unmistakably reveal that all is not well in merry old England. The facts cited by some to describe how terrible things are were sobering to an Anglophile like me. In 2008, 45 percent of British children were born outside marriage; 3.9 million children are living in poverty; 20 percent of deaths among young people aged from 15 to 24 are suicides; in 2009, 29.4 million antidepressants were dispensed, up 334 percent from 1985.
These are the signs of a society on the verge of collapse -- not because of an invasion from outside but because of a suicide of sorts from within. The marginalization of religion, truth, and the Church may not be the primary cause but surely they contribute. The fact that the population of England is on the dole to government or institutional support of one form or another is another contributing factor. The fact that the things I associate with England are more the stuff touted to tourists than anything real or significant to modern British society and life, is another sad fact.
England is only going where Scandinavia has already gone and the rest of Europe is not far behind. Which leaves us with the alarming truth that America may not be very far behind Europe. The world is all following the slippery slope of a largely secular society, with truth that bows to the altar of political correctness, with diversity that refashions history to be what we think it should instead of what it really was, and with government increasingly seen as the entity to guarantee pleasure and bail us out of our mistakes.
Which gives rise to hope among the newer Christians who have no desire to be a toothless majority and are content to be a solid and creative minority. These and the voices of those from Africa and other former mission outposts tell us that the sound of hope will not completely disappear into the dark night of valueless inclusiveness in which every vice is equal to every virtue. But I cannot help a tear for England and hope that the signs of the times there are not lost on those who have the power to bring change and transformation.
So paint me sad yet with a sliver of hope for the future of global Christianity and its ability to give rebirth to the established Church so much in decline... Raise up, O Lord, a new St. George to slay the dragon of our own immorality and emptiness...