News Opinions/Publications The war against Chris­tian­i­ty is at its peak

The war against Chris­tian­i­ty is at its peak

Fol­low­ing the moral demands of Chris­tian­i­ty is not for wimps

Here we go again, the annu­al holi­est of holies is upon us, although to this oldie last Christ­mas feels as though it was only yes­ter­day. Fun­ny how time nev­er seemed to pass quick­ly dur­ing those lazy days of long ago, but now rolls off like a movie cal­en­dar show­ing the days, months, years flash­ing by.


Street fight­ing in Athens, Decem­ber 1944 (North­cliffe Collection/ANL/Shutterstock)

I wrote my first Christ­mas col­umn for this mag­a­zine 43 years ago, sit­ting in my dad’s office on Albe­mar­le Street. I remem­ber it well because I used every cliché known to man and then some (pat­ter of lit­tle feet…children’s noses pressed against snowy win­dows). The then edi­tor, Alexan­der Chan­cel­lor, said noth­ing to me but lat­er told a friend that how­ev­er bad it was, it was bet­ter than the Greek polit­i­cal stuff I had been filing.

When today’s prime min­is­ter was boss of The Spec­ta­tor 20 years ago, I tried real hard for dra­mat­ic effect and wrote about the worst Christ­mas ever — Athens 1944 dur­ing a fight to the death between roy­al­ists and com­mu­nists. We won, mak­ing it pos­si­ble for your intre­pid cor­re­spon­dent to write a sto­ry about it 60 years lat­er. Boris sent me a note prais­ing the piece that made me feel gooey all over.

They say that nos­tal­gia is corny, but for me it’s one of the many joys of Christ­mas. Every­one remem­bers past Christ­mases, whether hap­py or sad, and mine are most­ly the for­mer. The date of our Lord’s birth made it pos­si­ble for Ger­man and British sol­diers to play a friend­ly foot­ball match dur­ing the Great War. Just imag­ine if the troops on both sides had refused to slaugh­ter each oth­er fur­ther, and demand­ed that the fat gen­er­als sit­ting on their back­sides in grand coun­try hous­es miles from the front dueled each oth­er for a change. On that Christ­mas day in Athens in 1944, I saw a Greek com­mie rebel com­ing at us point­ing a rifle, and some­one (most like­ly my dad) shot him dead before my very eyes. I remem­ber feel­ing sor­ry for the com­mie, who lay there for three days as the bat­tle raged.

Things are more peace­ful now, but only here on the Upper East Side, which lies most­ly emp­ty. The gun­fire is north, south and east of here — the Bronx, the Low­er East Side, and in Brook­lyn-Queens. The lat­est craze is for straphang­ers using the sub­way to be thrown on to the tracks in front of speed­ing trains. The per­pe­tra­tors are always described as men­tal­ly unsta­ble, but I beg to dif­fer. They turn inco­her­ent once arrest­ed, which is rare, but are pret­ty coher­ent when they are demand­ing mon­ey from most­ly aged women rid­ing to work. None of the four that were arrest­ed had names that would have appeared in the Social Reg­is­ter, the Amer­i­can bible of the extinct upper class, if you catch my drift.

Nev­er mind. This is Christ­mas and I must think of good things to write. With PR hacks and so-called influ­encers sub­sti­tut­ing truths with what­ev­er they’re sell­ing, the only voice that clear­ly and serene­ly tells it like it is — nowa­days, as always — is that of the Church. I recent­ly spoke at my friend Father Benedict’s ben­e­fit for belea­guered Chris­tians in the Mid­dle East, and for once my speech worked. I includ­ed crit­i­cism of the Pope who seems to be more con­cerned with open bor­ders for Africans than with the per­se­cu­tion of Chris­tians by Islam­ic zealots.

The rec­tor of St Michael’s is Father Rut­ler, an intel­lec­tu­al who has writ­ten at length about Chris­tian­i­ty and faith. We rem­i­nisced about con­ser­v­a­tive pol­i­tics before the neo­cons took over. Father Rutler’s def­i­n­i­tion of rel­a­tivism, ‘the attempt to real­ize unre­al­i­ty’, is a true gem if ever I heard one. And although he rec­og­nizes that the 19th cen­tu­ry was bedev­iled by slav­ery, he points out that the past two cen­turies have seen a boom in the abor­tion rate. I told him that had I been born in Vir­ginia and inher­it­ed slaves I would have freed them right away because liv­ing with unhap­py peo­ple is hell and well com­pen­sat­ed work­ers are ten times more productive.

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The whole mess began, of course, with the Frogs, whose philoso­phers decid­ed to tear down the civ­i­liza­tion of Chris­ten­dom and sup­plant it with that of rea­son. The war against Chris­tian­i­ty is now at its peak, with the usu­al sus­pects blath­er­ing non-stop about a few bad apples in the Church and ignor­ing the mil­lions of good ones. Some brain­less moron celebri­ty only has to bab­ble some­thing against the Church and the 2,000 years of cul­ture and Chris­t­ian civ­i­liza­tion, which have giv­en us dig­ni­ty and indi­vid­ual and human rights, are ignored.

Yes, dear read­ers, I have to get these things off my chest as Christ­mas approach­es. The media are some­times reluc­tant to express out­rage at the behead­ing of Chris­tians in the Mid­dle East and the geno­cide of the Chris­t­ian com­mu­ni­ties that pre­ced­ed Islam. Mind you, fol­low­ing the moral demands of Chris­tian­i­ty is not for wimps, as Bette Davis said in anoth­er con­text. But it doesn’t make sense to act like wimps when extrem­ists mur­der Chris­tians in their own back­yard and our lead­ers’ first reac­tion is to express con­cern that the lat­est out­rage might trig­ger Islamophobia.

This has been a year not many peo­ple will for­get. Socialites have suf­fered the most, so this Christ­mas save a thought for those poor dears. For the rest of you loy­al read­ers, have the hap­pi­est of all Christmases.

This arti­cle was orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in The Spec­ta­tor’s UK mag­a­zine. Sub­scribe to the US edi­tion here.

Source: spec​ta​tor​.us