Around the World in 80 Days, Day 65: The United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland, Part 2 – America Fast-Forwarded

Throughout much of its history, the story of England was one of remarkable good fortune.  Indeed, when considering the scope of the tiny island nation’s success, one is tempted to conclude that there must have been some unseen Hand of Providence guiding it all.  Consider the geography that preserved it time and again from the calamities of the European continent.  The gritty independent spirit that the Romans could never fully eradicate.  The hearty Christian civilization that somehow survived the waves of Viking invasions, converted them, and gave birth to English Common Law, constitutional monarchy, the Reformation, the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions, and numerous reform movements that expanded the rights and liberties of its people.  And a faith that produced a steely national character and identity that propelled the country to extraordinary heights.

And it is a story of faith—specifically, Christian faith.  This is the country that gave us such notables as:

St. Patrick
Ninian
Columba
Alfred the Great
William of Ockham
John Wycliffe
William Tyndale
John Knox
Hugh Latimer
Susanna Wesley
John and Charles Wesley
George Whitefield
John Newton
Elizabeth Frye
Florence Nightingale
William Wilberforce
Queen Victoria
Elizabeth Frye
William Gladstone
David Livingstone
Charles Spurgeon
Catherine Booth
William Booth
John Stott

This is by no means an exhaustive list.  These were men and women who shaped the soul and the destiny of a nation, lifting it to greatness.  As Zachary and I have made our way around the world, we have seen its (mostly positive) influence in New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, India, and Nigeria.

But that was then, this is now.  Queen Elizabeth II is, perhaps, the last of this breed.  Her son, Prince Charles, is typical of the vapid type that has, in successive generations, usurped the Christian legacy bequeathed to them.  He will be, he once said, “Defender of Faiths,” not “Defender of the Faith.”  How appallingly modern.  This oh so politically correct statement, meant to reassure the non-Christian population of Britain, is representative of the multicultural mindset.  It is an empty statement, since religions—especially Islam, the religion that seemed foremost in his mind—say very different things about the character of God, salvation, mankind, government and freedom.  One simply cannot affirm them all as equally valid.  On the contrary, Islam undermines the principles of freedom and democracy.  But such objections are dismissed in a Western world that lacks a core identity.

To visit London is to be jarringly reminded of these things.  A city of statues, the anarchist Antifa mobs could stay busy toppling them for years.  I was powerfully stuck by the clash of civilizations—both British—some years ago when I was leading a walking tour of the city.  Asked about a statue along the Embankment, I explained that it was General Charles Gordon, who was killed and beheaded in Khartoum in 1885 while fighting the radical Muslim forces of Muhammad Ahmad, the Osama bin-Laden of the nineteenth century.  You see, the violence of Islam is hardly a recent phenomenon as is often alleged.  It is as old as the religion itself.  In this particular Gordon statue—there are several in the former colonies—he holds a Bible.  How ironic that the nation he once sought to defend from Islam will, by 2035, have more Muslims than Christians.

What happened?

Obsessed with the guilt of the past abuses of imperialism, her atonement took on an extreme form of self-loathing, leading her to abandon her faith and, with it, her strength and identity.  Worse, it led her to embrace all that she was not—a faith that is alien to democratic principles, an unequal union at the cost of her sovereignty, and a willful blindness to the fact that her own laws and values are being undermined from within.  The Britain of today bears no resemblance to the confident nation that built not only much of what remains London, but much of the world.  The nation that stamped out slavery and gave us our legal, literary, and religious heritage is now a country with little sense of its past, much less its future.

In my heart, I’m an Anglophile.  My heritage is English on my father’s side and Scots-Irish on my mother’s.  Even so, it is difficult to rate The United Kingdom very high when one considers the direction it is trending.  As noted in my previous article, London now outpaces New York City in violent crime.  The horrifying shame of Rotherham has proved to be a less than isolated incident.  And a February 2015 BBC poll of British Muslims found that 27% were “sympathetic” with the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks.  That translates to roughly 700,000 Muslims in Britain alone.

As with Catalonia in recent days, there are those in Britain who recognize the damage caused by globalism and the ideology that drives the continental sized social experiment known as the Open Society.  Hoping to reclaim their cultural distinctiveness and sovereignty, they voted for “Brexit,” thus beginning a populist surge that reverberates throughout the Western world.  In Britain’s case, however, one suspects it is far too late.

Britain is a chilling warning to America, for we are following the same path to cultural suicide.  Barring a third Great Awakening, Britain is America fast-forwarded.

United Kingdom star rating: 5/10