Last night’s repast was organised by our friend, the reverend Peter Mullen, rector of St. Michael’s Cornhill in The City. Peter is chaplain to the London Stock Exchange and an activist.
“Small groups of people, who are determined, intelligent and resourceful, can turn the course of history,” he said. He did not mention the Bolshevik revolution. Or, how the neo-conservative putsch gained control of the Republican Party. Or the day the big bankers got together on Jekyll Island in order to sneak a central bank into America.
No, Peter is an optimist.
“We must do what we can to reverse what I call ‘secular terrorism,’” he said. “You know, this didn’t come from nowhere. A small group of intellectuals – notably Herbert Marcuse – got together. They said they needed to infiltrate our institutions and conduct a program of ‘secular terrorism’. Marcuse used that expression. And that’s what they did. Now, we have a situation where it is practically illegal, in Britain, for a teacher to tell his class that he is a Christian. And God help you if you dare to suggest that one religion is better than another. Even our own priests and ministers don’t really believe in Christianity anymore. Many Church of England priests never even open the prayer book. They’re victims of secular terrorism; they no longer believe their own faith. Instead, they believe all religions are equal…and all ideas are equally valid.”
We had a hard time concentrating. In front of us sat one of the most exquisite women we had ever seen. ‘Yes, there is a God,’ we said to ourselves. She had long red hair…and the kind of face you see on goddesses painted by Italian dreamers. She was probably in her 20s…so innocent and so lovely. And when she spoke, the tones came out like dessert.
But what was she doing there? She was surrounded by middle-aged men, all of them grumping about the government, the intellectuals, the schools, art…finance…and all the other bad habits of our times…while recalling how much better things were 50 years ago. Her presence seemed so improbable, like a wedding cake in a machine shop. But it had a good effect on the old fellows. We sat up a little straighter and tucked in our shirts. Instead of yakking to one another with our typical boorish insouciance, we pulled in our stomachs and began making speeches. Now we had an audience…and a purpose.
“We are not the first to be in this position,” began one Old Boy near us. “Since the days of Rome, we Christians have been a persecuted minority…not always…and not everywhere. But often. It’s part of what makes us what we are. We have to be willing to accept martyrdom. That’s what it’s all about.”
“Are you volunteering?” asked another. “Perhaps we should nail you to the door of St. Michael’s, and tell the police that Mr. Dawkins and some other unbelievers did it. Then, we would have a cause célèbre… ‘Remember old Alastair’ will be our war cry. Yes, I see the whole thing shaping up nicely. First, we will retake the Arts Club from the heathen…and then we’ll march on Westminster. Yes, it will be jolly fun…did anyone bring a hammer and some nails?”
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