The BBC proved the point about diminution of stigma when it first referred to the rioters as "protestors." Anchors and producers had to be told by higher ups to use the more stigmatic word.
A Daily Telegraph account proved the rest of it. It told of the mother of a 12-year-old boy photographed running from a shop carrying a stolen bottle of wine. Her profile? She lives on "benefits," including a home subsidized by taxpayers, which she may now lose. The woman's boyfriend, who's in prison, fathered her son and 14-year-old daughter. Any questions?
During previous periods of cultural decline when most other political, legal and economic prescriptions were tried and failed, it was left to the churches to remind the public of the consequences for individuals and nations that depart from the source of virtue. Today's British churches too often lack the power to do this. That's because they are competing to see who can bless culture the quickest.
If the churches crave power and approval from below, they will forfeit the power that could be theirs from above.
What's left of a solid clergy in Britain ought to emulate the "concert of prayer" in America, which produced the 1857 revival that jumped the Atlantic Ocean and transformed Britain, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Prayer, not politics, seems to be Britain's only option and last resort.
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