You Can’t Stand In The Way Of Progress, Man!

December 6, 2012 7 Comments
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Theo Hobson takes issue with Roger Scruton’s religion:

Is Roger Scruton a Christian? Based on his new book, Our Church: a Personal History of the Church of England, I am inclined to doubt it.

Errr, why..?

Has the publisher printed an upside-down cross on the front, or something?

He says that he is, and he goes to church – he even plays the organ there. His Tory traditionalist form of Anglicanism might not be my cup of God, but so what? We can surely agree to differ without trying to excommunicate each other.

And yet, his approach to Christianity is so far from mine that I am not sure we belong to the same religion at all.

Ah. Here’s the meat of the issue.

By so strongly identifying Christianity with one antiquated expression of it, he wilfully stands against the renewal of Christian culture.

You see, ‘Christian culture’ must change to make it more acceptable to the modern churchgoer, who dislikes all that judgemental stuff and talk of sin.

And as for that stuffy old language? Well! That just has to go!

How can Scruton really say this, and expect to be supported by the likes of Theo?

“To describe the new services as ‘alternatives’ to Cranmer is like describing EastEnders as an ‘alternative’ to Shakespeare, or Lady Gaga as an ‘alternative’ to Bach.”

*gasp* Heresy!

Surely a church can update verbal forms that were devised hundreds of years ago? Surely it must do so, if it wants to stay alive? No, these old verbal forms are sacred: “The language of the Book of Common Prayer and the King James Bible … forms, in my view … the real essence of [the English Church's] religion.”

No, no, a Jamaican patois version of the Bible is the ‘must have’ this Christmas – sorry, ‘Winterval’.

The point is that Scruton does not want the church to move on from the era of its national-cultural supremacy, to find a new way of being – even though this era is universally agreed to have more or less ended.

The past is dead, old men! The future – and the definition of religion – belongs to us cool young dudes! Clear the way!

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7 Responses to You Can’t Stand In The Way Of Progress, Man!

  1. Robert Edwards
    December 6, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Which is why the ‘modern service’ reads like a London Borough of Hackney circular. If I want to hear the proper one at St. John’s With All Saints, I can still hear it, though – on a Thursday…

  2. December 6, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    In France with the growth of groups like Generation Identiaire, we see a distain growing for the progressivism of the Left, a generation has realised that the history that the soixtant huitards taught them erased tradition and culture. I think you chuck out too much tradition at your peril and that applies to churches and other non violent religious movements as well as nations.

    There is room for both points of view in a church surely, there is space for the happy clappers as well as those who revere the book of common prayer.

  3. December 6, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Actually, he has a point – the Church has already evolved and will continue to do so if it wants to survive. Society changes, so too must its institutions.

    • Voice of Reason
      December 6, 2012 at 6:21 pm

      For example, we actually read the Bible now, instead of being burned on a pile of them.

      • December 6, 2012 at 6:47 pm

        And in English, too ;)

  4. December 6, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Of course, Scruton should be burned at the stake by all the libertines and degenerates who have made the Church what it is today. No-one should have the right to stand up for Bible values or that “thou” stuff in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion – least of all Thatcherite “philosophers” who get their inspiration from the Daily Mail. Nothing in this statement should be taken as an implied criticism of sharia law, which is cool. :twisted:

  5. Greg Tingey
    December 7, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Excuse me, but who gives a flying fuck?

    Another lying, blackmailing, torturing death-cult, based on Bronze-Age goatherders’ myths.
    (As opposed to Dark-Ages camelherders’ myths)

    Merry Newtonmass to everyone!

    { I strongly suggest you google for that term, sometime called “Gravmass” )
    I think the first use was in an SF story by the still-sadly-missed Charles Sheffield.
    And, just in case you should NOT take this seriously, except in the statement that BigSkyFairy isn’t.

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