by Kenneth Francis (May 2023)
Untitled (Head of St. John the Baptist), Rafael Coronel, 20th century
When most people think of apartheid, they usually relate it to South Africa before its abolition in the early-1990s. It was a cruel system of institutionalised racial segregation that dominated politically against people of colour, who were discriminated in many ways by the then government who were of European descent.
But there are other forms of apartheid that exist today, and not just against people of colour. The people who refused the Covid jab already experienced medical apartheid during the Covid Reign of Terror, which I’ll come to later. But cultural apartheid in the West is mainly aimed at Christians who are cancelled from the current societal culture.
Ironically, such selected ostracization has been stealthily implemented by the new puritans. Those behind it are the very people who would have been against South Africa apartheid. One such group of people were (and are) the illiberal Irish, who, during the 1980s, led a series of protests boycotting South African goods. Now, many of them, not all, are hostile to their own fellow Irish men and women who are Catholics or patriots. Are they not aware of the anti-Irish sentiment that oppressed the Irish over the centuries? The persecution, discrimination, or hatred of Irish people as an ethnic group or a nation? It used to be called Hibernophobia. In England, there used to be an old mid-19th century song called, ‘No Irish Need Apply’; now it might as well be called, ‘No Catholics Need Apply.’ That was all in the past, one might say.
Fast forward to 2019. When the Irish writer John Waters wrote in First Things: “Rod Liddle, an estimable colleague who writes for The Spectator, not long ago voted Canada ‘the most batsh*t crazy country in the world.’ He was wrong: Ireland takes that crown, as well as the one for unequalled liberal hypocrisy, the one for the most implacable indifference to the consequences of Cultural Marxist insanity, and, above all, for the title Most Anti-Christian Country on Planet Earth.”
Despite this comment, I believe that Mr Waters loves decent, hard-working Irish people. His criticism is specifically aimed at a vicious deranged cabal of sly, vindictive haters who emanate from privileged positions in Irish society. Anytime these people are losing an argument, they predictably bleat their infantile, worn-out mantra, Far Right! Racist! Hater! Mr Waters has written about these people in what I regard as the greatest-ever Irish memoir, Give Us Back the Bad Roads. And his essays on Substack are profound sociological insights into the psyche of the Irish people.
But it’s not just Ireland. In England, a Christian woman was recently arrested for engaging in silent prayer near an abortion clinic. The police officers told Isabel Vaughan-Spruce: “You’ve been engaging in prayer, which is the offense.” Mrs Vaughan-Spruce replied: “Silent prayer,” to which the officers said: “You were still engaging in prayer, which is the offense.” Even street evangelical preachers are being arrested.
Writing in The Critic magazine in 2021, Lizzie Francis said: “The courting of cancel-culture across the UK is now rapidly denying Christian preachers the opportunity to preach on the streets, make bookings at privately rented venues, and even be indirectly advertised in public. We’re not just facing a free speech crisis, we’re cancelling Christians.
And in America, a recent report stated: “It is very clear that the Biden Justice Department has politicized and weaponized the FACE Act [Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances] to go after pro-life Christians praying outside of abortion clinics like Mark Houck, while turning a blind eye to violent felons terrorizing and badly damaging Catholic churches like Maeve Nota,” Mike Davis, founder of the Article III Project, told Fox News Digital.
Some 10 months after John Waters wrote about anti-Christian attitudes, the Covid Reign of Terror began, with medical apartheid being implemented in the West with an iron fist. People who refused to take a not-fully-tested experimental injection were banned from entering key venues.
As for being forced to wear a face mask, consider a recent headline in the Daily Mail, a newspaper that was no friend to the ‘conspiracy theorists’ who refused to be muzzled: ‘EXCLUSIVE: Face masks may raise risk of stillbirths, testicular dysfunction and cognitive decline due to build-up of carbon dioxide, study warns:
- The NIOSH eight-hour threshold limit for safe CO2 concentrations is 0.5 percent
- The researchers found that almost all of the studies exceeded that standard
- Mask-wearing can expose children to dangerous levels of CO2 in just 3 minutes
But now that the Covid tyranny is over, Christians are still metaphorically muzzled and subjected to cultural apartheid. Why? The current State and Establishment in most countries view Christian beliefs as morally inconvenient, thus, the average Christian is regarded as a nuisance, or a ‘breeder’ who refuses to use preferred gender pronouns when forced to by companies or other social interactions.
In June 2022, Christian Irish teacher Enoch Burke was suspended from Wilson’s Hospital School, a Church of Ireland co-educational boarding school in County Westmeath. The situation came about when both the school and the parents of a transgender pupil who wanted to transition requested that “they/them” pronouns be used for the pupil and Burke objected.
In the Bible in Mark 5:1-20, the verse states the following about the plural pronoun:
They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a [demon-possessed] man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him … Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” The man replied: “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.”
But it’s not just schools or universities that are a minefield for the dispossessed Christian. Even the Church has been hijacked since Vatican 2. A few years ago, when I became semi-retired, I attended an interview for a part-time job as a humble sacristan in a local chapel. I failed to get the post, as I was probably seen as “too traditional” and believed in adhering to the doctrine of the faith, despite this having no effect on carrying out sacristan duties.
I instinctively knew I didn’t have a hope of getting the job. Most of these parish halls attached to chapels have notice boards advertising classes in Yoga; Hip-Hop; Mindfulness Meditation; Crystal Healing, and other New Age gobbledygook activities. It’s rare to see Bible study classes advertised.
The two middle-aged priests who interviewed me were casually dressed like hipsters. There was something of the Marxist Liberation Theology Sect about them. They never contacted me after the interview. They probably thought I was too rigid as a Catholic, to paraphrase Pope Francis.
But throughout my entire working career, I always left my religious and political views at home before going to work. And I managed to get along quite well with people from all walks of life, from LGBTQ+ to Eastern and Middle Eastern religions. Christ says love your neighbour as yourself.
I’m lucky that for most of my life, I’ve been surrounded by people who love me. So, I don’t deserve any pity for my relatively minor daily struggles in a culture hostile to my worldview. As I write this from the warm comfort of my office-room, some poor homeless soul with health problems lies all alone in a tent somewhere in a rat-infested city laneway. There are worse things than cultural apartheid. And I am privileged and forever grateful for having the world’s best literary/cultural online magazine, NER, to express my views on it.
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Kenneth Francis is a Contributing Editor at New English Review. For the past 30 years, he has worked as an editor in various publications, as well as a university lecturer in journalism. He also holds an MA in Theology and is the author of The Little Book of God, Mind, Cosmos and Truth (St Pauls Publishing) and, most recently, The Terror of Existence: From Ecclesiastes to Theatre of the Absurd (with Theodore Dalrymple) and Neither Trumpets Nor Violins (with Theodore Dalrymple and Samuel Hux).
Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast
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I think perhaps Christianity is revived by adversity, so perhaps all is not so bleak.