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Rampant secularism is fuelling the culture wars, says Melanie Phillips

October 2019

Melanie Phillips
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Rejection of Christianity has served only to undermine western values of freedom and tolerance, according to journalist and author, Melanie Phillips.

Writing in The Times she argues that virtually the entire education establishment has decided that Western values should no longer be transmitted.

‘The bedrock principles of the West had to be replaced by moral and cultural relativism under which everyone was free to make up their own rules of behaviour and all lifestyles and cultures would be equal’, she wrote.

Phillips also criticised the destruction of ‘the sexual contract between men and women’. She decries the ‘harm done to children by the undermining of marriage and the rise of fatherless families’.

And she also opposes ‘the development of androgyny in which distinctions between male and female were intended to blur into invisibility.’

The introduction of these ideas, Phillips suggests, can be traced to the horrors of the Second World War, and the resulting blow to the West’s confidence in itself as enlightened.

She wrote, ‘Such fundamental loss of self-belief made the West vulnerable to the idea spread by Marxist intellectuals that it was rotten at its core’.

Phillips continued, ‘The ideas at the heart of this can be traced back to the 17th century Enlightenment and its great fallacy: the worship of reason that certain powerful European thinkers of the time placed in opposition to Christianity.

‘Today’s most influential secularists are squarely in that tradition. It’s fundamental to their world view that Christianity is responsible for credulity, hatefulness and division while secularism will ensure, in the words of John Lennon’s Imagine, that “the world will be as one”.

‘They couldn’t be more wrong. Virtues such as belief in the innate dignity of every human being, putting the interests of others above your own or doing what’s right and just all originated in the Bible’.

She added, ‘So the onslaught on the core principles of the West is sawing off the branch on which we all sit’. Phillips concludes her article by writing, ‘We need nothing less than a new Enlightenment which conserves and builds rather than destroys’.