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The fate of nations

Charles Moore's current series on the relationship between Ronald Regan and Margaret Thatcher recounts the effect that had on the outcome of the Falklands conflict, and on subsequent events with the Soviet Union. thatcher-reagan-a-very-special-relationship

The steadfastness of the Prime Minister, President (and Armed Services) has been linked to the hastening of Gorbachev's reforms and the fall of the Soviet Bloc.

We don't know the faith of either of these two people but they were influenced by similar ideas about the nature of mankind and of natural law.

They both came from countries that had long histories of relative political freedom.  They had a common heritage of cherishing personal and community autonomy (even back to Magna Carta).

The basis for this was a Christian culture that declared that the duty of the government (through its Civil Servants and Ministers) was to create the conditions for peace and prosperity, under God. Both governors and governed were responsible to God for their actions. As such there was a sense of humility, the leaders did not necessarily know better than the people the best way forward. It was also their duty to keep the people informed of key events through statements to parliament and to subject themselves to the people's judgement through elections. The Common Law tradition (based on Biblical ethics) meant each person submitted to certain rules but was otherwise free under his or her conscience. The 'Divine Right' to arbitrary action was repudiated.

This can be contrasted with an autocratic system where the state (actually just individuals with their own pursuit of power) decides what is best for everyone else and prescribe what can people can do. This is a reassumption of 'Divine Right'. History has shown this does not lead to human flourishing but rather to oppression and economic malaise. This can be characterised as government by ten commandments or of ten thousand commandments!

Dr Joe Boot has just had a book launched: 'Ruler of Kings' (published by Wilberforce Press) in this general area discussed here.


There has been more on Trans issues and Christian Concern has reviewed the arguments here.  Rowan Williams and Steve Chalke have publicly endorsed a profoundly anti-christian ethic, as is explained. A shorter treatment is in this article: Are trans people ‘on a sacred journey’?  by Grove Books' editor.  It seems this is now nothing to do with research or facts but about punishing people who do not sign up to an ideology.

Disney has opposed a new law in Florida protecting young children from harmful teaching in this area, and are aiming to sexualise their content, as This Week reports.

Be valiant

I was reminded of the song He Who would Valiant Be by John Bunyan. He knew what it was to fight for the Kingdom of God while being locked up by the Kingdom of Charles II and its church hierarchy. We are obviously moving in a similar direction but:

Who so beset him round with dismal stories, do but themselves confound— his strength the more is.

No foes shall stay his might, though he with giants fight; he will make good his right to be a pilgrim.

Since, Lord, Thou dost defend us with Thy Spirit, we know we at the end shall life inherit.

Then, fancies, flee away! I'll fear not what men say, I'll labour night and day to be a pilgrim.