Saturday, 10 November 2012

"They're trivial: like dogs in their lusts. We destroyed Christianity yet had its benefits."

Martin Rowson 10.11.12
Cartoon in today's Guardian greeting the appointment of the new Archbishop of Canterbury

The Bishop of Durham, it was announced yesterday, will be the next Archbishop of Canterbury. He quoted, in an interview today with The Guardian, John Maynard Keynes writing to his fellow atheist, Virginia Woolf, in 1934: 

"Our generation - yours and mine.... owed a great deal to our fathers' religion. And the young ... who are brought up without it will never get so much out of life. They're trivial: like dogs in their lusts. We had the best of both worlds. We destroyed Christianity yet had its benefits."
Lord Keynes, as he then wasn't.

Keynes sounds like Margaret Thatcher saying in a speech the 1970s, before she became Prime Minister,  

"We who live off the moral capital of the Victorians..."

The current Hungarian Prime Minister, the much reviled (by The Guardian) Prime Minister of Hungary, made a related point recently:

I have this feeling that a majority of European leaders have lost their faith in what made Europe great and into an influential factor in the world. Moreover, it seems as if it would be something shameful or something forbidden to talk about this issue. We can not help to see that those who are coming up now, stand firm for their spiritual identity: the Islamic peoples to Islam, the Asian peoples to Asian traditions and their spiritual system. It’s not just about God, but also about the culture that was influenced by their traditional beliefs. We on the other hand reject the power that comes from the fact that this is the world of Christian culture. The successful ones make sure that there is no future without children and family.

And contemporary America is also losing her faith, as I blogged here.

Individuals and nations have to find a meaning to their lives. Belief itself is perhaps even more important than what you believe in.