Civil­ians should be re­mem­bered

Ashbourne News Telegraph - - OPINIONS & LETTERS -

IN his re­cent book, The Strange Death of Europe, Dou­glas Mur­ray sum­marises the story (which he ac­cuses our lead­ers of shy­ing away from, al­beit with the best of in­ten­tions), the number of civil­ians of all ages de­lib­er­ately killed, raped and abused – all re­cently – across Eng­land and Europe.

My ques­tion is, should they, too, be re­mem­bered on Re­mem­brance Sun­day?

Are they, too, among those who have fallen in war? Cer­tainly they weren’t fight­ing – or didn’t think they were.

But Mur­ray lays these deaths at the door of those who are at war with the west, and espe­cially with our life­styles and val­ues; sec­u­lar, rel­a­tively rich, lib­eral, tol­er­ant – but (as they see it) self-in­dul­gent and lack­ing pur­pose. Too lib­eral, in fact.

Re­mem­brance Sun­day re­minds us of the sense of pur­pose that we ex­pe­ri­enced in war time, when we fought to de­fend our right to es­pouse those very val­ues.

How to build on those val­ues and the sense of pur­pose to­day?

Dou­glas Mur­ray dis­tin­guishes be­tween “Chris­tian” and “re­li­gious”. He un­der­stands that many of us are “not re­li­gious”, but, even if not “re­li­gious”, he be­lieves we can hold on to the sense of be­ing Chris­tian, and that we should.

This is be­cause our prob­lem is, to a great ex­tent, ide­o­log­i­cal, and in terms of im­pact there’s no other ide­ol­ogy around with any­thing like the power of dy­namism of the so-called Is­lamic Front.

An­gela Merkel has sug­gested, to Mur­ray’s ap­proval, that one of the strong­est things we can do is to cher­ish our cul­ture (both English and Euro­pean, re­gard­less of Brexit) even more, and not least our churches and cathe­drals.

Cer­tainly we can have too much “ide­ol­ogy”, worse in the eyes of most of us than too lit­tle. But de­spite ev­ery­thing, can we still be­lieve that our Chris­tian her­itage - and ide­ol­ogy - is the best we’ve ever had?

And that it will strengthen us much more than any­thing else can, and much more deeply, as we look to the fu­ture. Canon Ed­mund Urquhart Ash­bourne

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