It has become quite a widely-held position amongst the Alt-Right that fault for the loss of identity and in-group loyalty and even the self-sabotage of Western societies is the result (the inevitable result, as some would even have it) of Christianity. Some of those who hold this viewpoint even go so far as to attempt to resurrect or at least extract certain elements of the pre-Christian religions of Europe. However, I find this view to be mistaken and is based upon an historical horizon that stretches scarcely more than a single century into the past. Continue reading
By ilana mercer
As a Jew on the libertarian Right, I am sickened by the compulsion of some American Jews to force President Donald Trump to convulse over Jewish angst. The Anti-Defamation League and other largely self-anointed representatives of Jewish interests are kvetching, accusing the president of not making it abundantly clear that he will not tolerate violence against Jews.
#AnswerTheQuestion is the dramatic, petulant hashtag these nudniks have tweeted out. Apparently, President Trump must spell out, tweet out and beat on breast, at every opportunity, his abhorrence for the specter of Jewish community centers, cemeteries, businesses and places of worship being vandalized.
Why was Charles I executed?
By Keir Martland
I am what might be jokingly termed a ‘crypto-Anglican.’ Often, I attend some of the more ‘High Church’ services in the Church of England, principally at my College Chapel when ‘on duty’ as a Warden, alongside my regular attendance of Roman Catholic services. This is partly out of a spirit of ecumenism and partly out of an aesthetic appreciation of Choral Evensong and Anglican High Mass according to the Book of Common Prayer. Indeed, there is much to recommend this kind of Anglicanism to the aesthete. Firstly, the Church of England owns – or rather, is in possession of – all the old Catholic churches in this country, and these churches are invariably the prettiest in the country. Secondly, there is something charming, but also interesting on an academic level, about the Cranmerian English of the Prayer Book, such as in the archaic and foreign-sounding “spare thou them.” Thirdly, the Anglican choral tradition is hard to compete with, and Choral Evensong – at least, at my College Chapel – is a delight for those who enjoy early Stuart and Restoration Era “Mag & Nuncs” and anthems (the works of Orlando Gibbons and Pelham Humphrey are particular favourites of mine). It is this rich tradition that the Personal Ordinariates established by Pope Benedict XVI seek to preserve.
And yet I digress already, for it is in a spirit of ecumenism (an entirely benign effect of Vatican II) and not aestheticism that I write today. Today is the 368th anniversary of the execution of the Anglican Martyr King Charles I. 368 years ago, Charles I was executed outside the Banqueting House at Whitehall following two Civil Wars, also known as the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. Charles had lost both Civil Wars and had failed to reach a settlement with the Scots, Parliament, or the Army, and eventually the latter took the initiative to break the deadlock, put him on “trial” following a royalist defeat in the Second Civil War, and murdered him. But why did this happen? Continue reading
By ilana mercer
RELOCATING the American Embassy to Jerusalem, as President Donald Trump has pledged to do, is more than symbolic. It’s what Christians should be praying for if they value celebrating future Easter Holy Weeks, in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, located in Jerusalem’s Old City. With such a forceful gesture, the Trump Administration will be affirming, for once and for all, the undivided Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish State. Continue reading
Not long ago, I came across a blog post by Keir Martland that I think deserves careful consideration. The article, “How Do You Solve a Problem Like the Proletariat,” points out that libertarians tend to have a blind spot when it comes to cultural and social concerns. He urges his fellow libertarians not to forget that issues of this kind exist and that they are not inconsequential. In asserting that some means of addressing such questions within libertarian parameters must be found, he calls our attention to the work of the Catholic Distrubutists, who have much to say on these matters. Martland observes that many of their insights are compatible with libertarianism and advocates that these be incorporated into libertarian discourse. If that were to happen, I believe it would be to the substantial benefit of our cause.
Reading his post, I was happy to see that a relatively recent concern of mine was shared by other libertarians and is being actively addressed by some. Namely, my concern is that the libertarian movement has failed to acknowledge the conservative nature of its soul and, in so doing, has rendered itself vulnerable to easy co-option and consigned itself to a dithering, rear-guard action that must inevitably end in defeat. Stripped of its soul, libertarianism has little to offer beyond contrarianism. As libertarians, we persistently lack a constructive platform; an actionable plan that is realistic, simply described, and inspiring to real people. A form of distributism adapted to fit within a libertarian framework may provide us with a solution. Continue reading
Today, I’m going to look at tolerance, particularly in the spheres of religion and politics. And I’m going to conclude that a world based on political and religious tolerance would be a far better place to live than today’s world of out of date, failing states and superstates.
This essay arose out of three recent posts at the Libertarian Alliance blog, all on or related to the subject of religious tolerance; by Keir Martland, Stephen Moriarty and Sean Gabb. For which, I thank all three; though I’m not replying specifically to any one of them. Continue reading
by Sean Gabb
(13th September 2016)
This brief essay on the relationship between Islam and violence is inspired by and expands on a comment left earlier today by Keir Martland on the Libertarian Alliance Blog. I will not presume to call it an expression of his own view – though I suspect it largely is. But it does express a view I have held for many years, a view that I feel is worth repeating as often as it becomes relevant. Continue reading