In Praise of Borders

Great_wall

by Peter Hitchens

Borders are a substitute used by less fortunate lands for the sea and the mountains behind which happier countries shelter. No great civilization has grown and endured except behind the shield of ocean, mountain, or desert.

How different Poland’s history would be if it had a few dozen miles of deep salt water between it and its neighbors. How much trouble might be saved if Israel were an island. Countries with cliffs and churning, white-flecked seas for borders tend not to be partitioned or carted off into captivity, especially if they have the sense to build navies.

It is considered impolite to mention it these days, but Britain’s defiance of Hitler in 1940 owed more to the Channel and the North Sea than it did to the RAF. Salt water was our ultimate weapon, and our sensible respect for it made us hesitate, to Stalin’s fury, to launch any invasion against Hitler’s coastline. D-Day was a very near thing, even with the vast resources, the careful preparation, the brilliant deception. If the weather forecasters had gotten it wrong, the invasion fleet would have been scattered and the Red Army would have liberated Paris sometime in 1946, before driving on to the English Channel to ponder the future. At least it would have stopped there . . .

If a country has no sea, it must come up with a substitute. And that substitute is the guarded border. As a safe Englishman, I have never resented or decried these odd and often expensive structures. I can quite see why people want them.

To read rest of article, go to:
https://www.firstthings.com/article/2017/10/in-praise-of-borders

Advertisements

The Rage Against God

Peter HitchensI thought this gesture [burning the Bible] was a way of showing that I had finally rejected all the things that I had been brought up to believe, and I went on to behave for the next 20 years of my life exactly as if I didn’t believe in him [God], and that’s how I discovered in the end that what I had rejected was right.

The current intellectual assault on God in Europe and North America is, in fact, a specific attack on Christianity – the faith that stubbornly persists in the morality, laws, and government of the major Western countries. . . .The God they fight is the Christian God. . . .God is the leftists’ chief rival. Christian belief, by subjecting all men to divine authority and by asserting in the words ‘My kingdom is not of this world’ that the ideal society does not exist in this life, is the most coherent and potent obstacle to secular utopianism. . . . the Bible angers and frustrates those who believe that the pursuit of a perfect society justifies the quest for absolute power.

…when it comes to the millions of small and tedious good deeds that are needed for a society to function with charity, honesty, and kindness, a shortage of believing Christians will lead to that society’s decay.

–Peter Hitchens,
The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led Me to Faith

Fury against Religion

Perils-Facing-the-Church_Jim-LePage

[I]n recent times it has grown clear that the Christian religion is threatened with a dangerous defeat by secular forces which have never been so confident.

Why is there such a fury against religion now? Because religion is the one reliable force that stands in the way of the power of the strong over the weak. The one reliable force that forms the foundation of the concept of the rule of law.

The one reliable force that restrains the hand of the man of power. In an age of powerworship, the Christian religion has become the principal obstacle to the desire of earthly utopians for absolute power.

–Peter Hitchens
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1255983/How-I-God-peace-atheist-brother-PETER-HITCHENS-traces-journey-Christianity.html#ixzz415UKNS12

Why would anyone want to believe that?

Peter HitchensI am ceaselessly interested to know why anyone would – in the absence of definitive proof either way – actively prefer the idea that the universe is accidental and without purpose. Such a position seems to me to be far more intellectually difficult than mine.

–Peter Hitchens
(Brother of renowned anti-theist Christopher Hitchens)

Repeating the savagery

Peter HitchensIt is difficult to claim that Christianity has learned nothing from its past cruelty or that such cruelty is written in its laws or prescribed by its beliefs. When did Christians last burn, strangle, or imprison each other for alleged errors of faith?

By contrast, those who reject God’s absolute authority, preferring their own, are far more ready to persecute than Christians have been and have grown more inclined to do so over time. Each revolutionary generation reliably repeats the savagery.

The Bolsheviks knew all about the French revolutionary terror, but that did not stop them having their own. The Chinese Communists knew all about Stalin’s intentional famine and five-year-plans, but they repeated the barbarity with the Great Leap Forward. The Khmer Rouge were not ignorant of their revolutionary forerunners, yet they repeated the evil worse than before. The supposedly enlightened revolution Fidel Castro resorted swiftly to torture and arbitrary imprisonment and to the lawless purging and murder even of Castro’s old comrades such as Huber Matos.

By comparison, where now do we see Christian churches or factions persecuting each other as they did in the Reformation or Counter-Reformation? Nowhere. The delusion of revolutionary progress, and the ruthlessness it justifies, survives any amount of experience. This suggests that terror and slaughter are inherent in utopian materialist revolutionary movements. There will by another of these episodes along soon.

–Peter Hitchens,
The Rage Against God

Creating a howling wilderness

Peter HitchensI lived in the dying years of the Soviet Union in Moscow. I travelled extensively in the regions run by Communism. I saw it and I know how very, very hostile it was to religion and why it was, and one of the things I want to convey to people is how that hostility is now being re-forged by the new atheists who in many cases have no idea of the forces they are trying to summon off the ground, and very little idea of the dangers of what they are doing. If you drive God out the world then you create a howling wilderness.

–From an interview with Peter Hitchens
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=io1sNfw9-TA