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Steyn On The Archbishop of Canterbury, And “The Suicide Of Britain”

Friday, February 15, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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From today’s interview with columnist to the world Mark Steyn (complete transcript here):

HH: Now let’s talk about a third kind of fundamental unseriousness. When I last spoke to you, I left the studio and got on a plane and went to England. I’m back, it was a wonderful trip, but I got there in time to see the Archbishop of Canterbury declare that Sharia law should be accommodated in large part by the laws of Great Britain. The firestorm that followed was good to see, but how can the Church of England have fallen into such a state, Mark Steyn, to be led by someone like this?

MS: Well, you know, this man is supposedly the head, worldwide head of the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Communion, in many ways, is a healthy Church, if you look at, say, Nigeria. There are more Anglicans at Church in Nigeria every Sunday morning than there are in the U.S. and Canada and Britain combined. And the Nigerians, who…Nigerian Anglicans who live on the hard face of Sharia, where it has become the law in certain provinces in Nigeria, understand that Sharia is, in fact, incompatible with a pluralist society. So they understand, because they live with it, what an idiot the Archbishop of Canterbury is. And I think this in fact goes beyond defeatism. This is the kind of guy who actually is…his solution to the problem is to preemptively surrender. There’s a term, I think, it was the Times of London used some years back, to refer to post-Christian Churches, and I think as led by someone like the Archbishop of Canterbury, you actually see that in effect, the Anglicans are becoming a post-Christian Church.

HH: Well, one of the reactions that was most amazing when this hailstorm, firestorm of criticism hit him, his staff reported that he was quite “chippy.” And evidently, you can’t force even a completely irresponsible Archbishop from office.

MS: Well, the only person who has the power to fire him is the Queen. There’s no separation of Church and state in Britain. And one of the reasons I’m in favor of separation of Church and state is because the Church, or Christianity, has thrived in a free market in the United States. The established Church in England, in part because it’s fallen into the hands of buffoons like Rowan Williams, who is basically this sort of weird, Welsh druid who’s been promoted way beyond his abilities, that the established Church in the United Kingdom and in Continental Europe has fallen, because there is no free market in Churches. And I think if there is going to be a future for Christianity in Britain at all, it will come, it will not come from an established Church like this.

HH: Well, one good bit of news to close with. I went over to the Oxford Union on Sunday night, the 75th anniversary plus a day of the King And Country Resolution…

MS: Right.

HH: And I was informed by the vice president of the society that they had indeed voted to defend Queen and country 75 years later. So at least that’s a bit of good news. But I must say, Mark, and you lived there a lot longer than I’ve ever visited there, there’s a lot wrong with Great Britain right now.

MS: Yes, I said a while back that I thought Britain was in danger of turning into Somalia with chip shops, that it’s a country that I think has been hollowed out by Islamism in many ways. What is particularly tragic about Britain is it’s a country that didn’t fall for any of the other great evils of the 20th Century, for fascism or communism. It’s a country that has probably contributed more in terms of its ideas to civilization in the world. That’s why there are over fifty English speaking countries, that is why English common law can be found all over the world, English ideas, Westminster parliamentary system. The dominant powers in every corner of the world, the United States, South Africa, Australia, India, descended from Britain. And the death of Britain, the sort of suicide of Britain, is a tragedy to watch.

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