Potiphar12's Blog
An Octogenarian in the modern world

LOVE AND THE SECULAR STATE

Two thoughts came together recently. One was sparked by the latest UK scandal of child neglect. The behaviour of the mother was quite terrible, but it also seems terrible that she should have reached a mental state in which she was capable of such acts. What caused her to be like that?

And then, with Sunday coming up, I got angry again with the failure of the Church of England to fight back against the aggression of the secular state. I hear a lot of moaning about it, but little in the way of counter-attack. There is much in conventional Christian doctrine that I do not accept as literally true, but Christianity does conceive of an extra-human standard of morality. Secularism maintains that the best humans can do is the best there can ever be. I believe that the first attitude inspires a continual searching while the second does not. Searching implies dissatisfaction with what exists and a hope for something better. Not searching encourages complacency

I love the 14th Century poem Piers Plowman, which is all about a thinking man searching for “How to save his soul.” A long search ends in the conclusion that they key to it all is Charity – Love. That is so because Charity is the force underpinning good actions. It accords with the second commandment of the Bible, “Love thy neighbour.” I don’t hear that message from the secular state. I do hear a great deal about laws and procedures and legal enquiries, but little about the principle behind them. Christian people ought to teach children from an early age to “Love thy Neighbour.” If that was sincerely done by most of our population then people who need help would be more likely to get it and fewer would grow up twisted. Fewer people would become capable of child neglect and fewer people would get prison sentences because of it. Christianity offers both a promise and a prescription. Many don’t believe in the promise of eternal life (Whatever that means). It is still possible to find in Christianity a prescription of how to live this life.

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