I have often encountered the view that a revival of Christianity is what is needed to stop the decline of the “West”. I take a rather opposite view however, as too often it seems to me that Christian beliefs are actually contributing to that decline.
When we are faced by a ruthless and implacable ideology such as Nazism, whose followers have no hesitation whatever in using the most brutal acts of violence to achieve their ends, turning the other cheek is not a strategy that has ever been successful.
The current Pope has been accused of being a Communist, but is he perhaps really just propagating the teachings of the New Testament, as discussed here:
In Victorian times in the UK, there used to be a distinction made between the deserving and the undeserving poor. In the 20th century, the welfare state was created and gradually this distinction was forgotten. For decades, whole generations have been raised on welfare and the church has never once to my knowledge challenged the wisdom of this. This has resulted in a growing underclass of people. Then in the later 20th century and early 21st century the idea of “multi-culturalism” became fashionable, paving the way for an unprecedented flood of immigration. The underclass now includes a large number of Muslims, many of whom are very hostile to our most important freedoms, including freedom of speech.
Not only did the Anglican church see no problems arising from this developing state of affairs, they have in some ways almost encouraged it. A former archbishop suggested that we should allow Sharia law to become part of our legal system. A bishop welcomed the call to prayer from a mosque in his diocese. Of course there is nothing to say that the clergy cannot oppose the growing influence of Islam, but so far at least our clergy in the UK have made no attempt to do this. In earlier times they sent brave missionaries out to far away lands to convert people and do charitable works, but political correctness is still the order of the day in the Church in our age.
Our bishops have a right to sit in the House of Lords, there is not the separation of church and state that was so wisely enshrined in the U.S. constitution. Our bishops have urged us to take in more migrants, even those attempting to enter the country illegally, regardless if they are hostile to democracy and free speech. Some of the migrants may even have terrorist sympathies, many probably have no skills to offer, but the bishops do not seem to be concerned about those things. The bishops also routinely interfere with attempts at welfare reform, the idea of the protestant work ethic does not seem to figure in their thinking.
In summary I would argue strongly that we should move beyond religious thinking, towards a more rational age. If the church is to play a role in the salvation of our society and way of life, then they must learn again to be more pragmatic and realistic about the not always pleasant realities of the world. As I have mentioned above the Church has not always been feeble and too literalist as they are today. Regardless of whether they can regain this realism, I believe that for the UK, we should recognize that the separation of Church and State is important for a democracy to function well, and therefore we should remove the Bishops from the House of Lords.