The failure of multiculturalism and muscular liberalism

British multiculturalism has been under the interrogative spotlight of social engineers since terrorist bombings blew the bottom out of this particular world-view. The belief that all people should be accepted unconditionally regardless of where they come from, what they believe, eat, wear, do in private or in their place of worship has cracked as it has finally dawned on the ruling class that multiculturalism leads to a polarised and dangerously divided society.

David Cameron wants to put an end to such unconditional acceptance by introducing a set of new basic tenets under the banner of “Britishness” or something akin to it. Fair play, decency, care for neighbour, hard work, drinking port in the winter and Pimms and lemonade in the summer, all the sorts of things that make the British British. The idea is that whatever makes for Britishness, acceptance of one another will now be conditional on possessing it.

Cameron is in effect, though I don’t think he knows it, trying to start a state sponsored religion; a new universally accepted, at least in Britain, set of values and rules which transcend the individual. Where will this new set of values, now called “muscular liberalism”, come from? The only possible secular source is what Cameron and his friends in the chattering classes like best about our hallowed Isle. Britishness will be a subjectively selected set of values based on historical precedents, most of which are theistic and directly from the Christian bible, and modern trends. And so Cameron and his chums must select the values they like best.

But what if I don’t like drinking Pimms and lemonade? Who will make me do it and on what authority? How will the state impose its brave new religion?

Cameron does not need to start a new religion which sets up new set of barriers to acceptance. What Cameron needs is a belief system which allows both unconditional divine acceptance and a set of values which are absolute. Where on earth would he find such a belief system? It’s the church, stupid. Cameron must leave the work of acceptance and values to God and know his own place in God’s world. The state is for the maintenance of law and order. The church is the place of gathering, acceptance and value setting. Christ himself is the means for unconditional acceptance by his death on the cross for our sins. His commands are universal, divine and so non-negotiable. When the two institutions of state and church collapse into one society does not work. Cameron needs a wake up call, but so does the church.

About neilrobbie

I am a 6'6" formerly ginger Scot, in a cross cultural marriage to my lovely Londoner wife. We've lived in SE Asia and since 2005, I have served as an Anglican minister in Wolverhampton and West Bromwich.
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1 Response to The failure of multiculturalism and muscular liberalism

  1. Neil, I think you hit the nail on the head. It is a new religion, attempted under Labour’s last government, and now promoted by this one. Britishness, us-ness. Of course, secularists cannot see this, although they believe their system can somehow transcend any ancient religion.

    I paraphrase one writer, and I can’t remember who it is was, who said that at the centre of any culture is a cult (in the technical sense of a worship system) and at the centre of the cult is a god. The question is, which god will it be?

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