The Church of England and Die Judenfrage
I should have mentioned yesterday that the "learned" British judges who ruled that Jews are a race do have on their side one authority who is much respected to this day in academe: Karl Marx. Marx was of course the original self-hating Jew. He was furiously antisemitic. But Marx was a sponger. He rarely earned enough to keep himself and his family so was always "borrowing" money from someone. It was initially his father (Heinrich Marx was a real gentleman, a lovely man. How he ever had such a monster as Karl is hard to imagine) and he was in later years supported by Friedrich Engels out of the proceeds of the Engels family business. One therefore imagines that when he wrote a letter to his Jewish uncle in Holland he had in mind ingratiating himself for future borrowing. The letter was about Marx's excitement over the American civil war and his contempt for Benjamin Disraeli but in the course of his comments about Disraeli he does refer to "our race".
As I briefly touched on in the opening sentence to my post yesterday, I am not wholly unsympathetic to self-hating Jews. It must be appalling to realize that by the accident of your birth you are a member of a widely suspect and even hated group -- regardless of what your personal characteristics might be. Distancing oneself from that could even be a perfectly healthy reaction. But it is when such Jews extend the dislike of their origins to undermining Israel that they really get my goat. Why do they have to be so extreme? Why not simply become an Anglican, as Disraeli did? The Anglicans (Episcopalians in the USA) have lovely buildings, colourful services and the sermons demand nothing and in fact mean nothing at all. Why not just treat it as a pleasant Sunday morning time of relaxation and have a whole new identity to show for it? Many Anglican bishops are barely-disguised atheists so you certainly don't have to believe anything to be an Anglican. It is sometimes said that the only requirement for being an Anglican is good taste.
By the way, "Die Judenfrage" is German for "The Jewish Question" and is an expression used by both Karl Marx and Adolf Hitler so there is an allusion to history in the title I chose yesterday and today. It is actually a bit of a tease. Any stray Leftist coming by my writings would expect something antisemitic under that title -- but, as you can see, such an expectation would have been disappointed.
In my peculiar position as a atheist with an interest in religious matters, I take a continued interest not only in Jews but also in the Church of England. And I have recently put up on my Paralipomena blog an article by a Church of England bishop that makes doleful reading. He notes the steady decline in adherents to his church and suspects that his church will not exist at all in 30 years' time. But he has no real answer to that problem. So will the Church of England eventually disappear up its own backside? I think not. The problem, as I see it, is that they have somehow become dominated by dress-up queens. People go there for a show rather than for a boost to faith.
But amid such desecration of a great heritage, real faith does survive in patches. The Sydney diocese is the most vivid proof of that. Their churches are full and their seminary is overflowing with people with a religious vocation. So how do they do it? Simple. They have returned to their roots. The original faith of the New Testament is a mightily powerful one and the closer you get to that the more empowered you will be. And the 39 "Articles of Religion" that were the original definition of Anglicanism are a very powerful expression of early Protestant faith -- a faith that was very Bible-based. So my expectation is that the show-ponies of Anglicanism will wither away eventually and a core of real believers will remain.
They may even evangelize. Priests ordained in Sydney already do. They go into neighbouring dioceses and set up "Family Churches", much to the irritation of the local bishops. The Sydney priests end up having more people in their pews than the local Bishop does! So the vitality is there if you drink from the waters of the original New Testament faith. The knowalls may dismiss such faith as "old-fashioned" and "irrelevant to the modern world" but it still has a great power to bring blessings to its people.