Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rowan Williams: Marxist Subversive

Rowan Williams' recent intervention in partisan politics on behalf of the Left has prompted journalists to do a little digging on his past political views as background for understanding his present views. A story in the Telegraph by Jason Lewis and Jonathan Wynne-Jones (HT Virtue Online) gives interesting background on Rowan Williams' radical, neo-Marxist past:
When he launched a stinging attack on the Coalition government over policies "for which no one voted", the Archbishop of Canterbury put himself squarely in the centre of a political storm.

Critics accused him of political bias, claiming it was a throwback to the days when his predecessors regularly clashed with past Conservative administrations.

But perhaps they should not be too surprised, as it can be revealed that the Archbishop has a long-standing left-wing political past.

The young Rowan Williams was once labelled 'a subversive' by a senior MI5 officer over his involvement with a group of Marxist, Trotskyite and socialist campaigners.

The secret briefing papers were seen by then Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher and circulated to MPs.

Last week Dr Williams, who describes himself as a "lapsed" Labour party member held private talks with Ed Miliband, the leader of the opposition, in the wake of his New Statemsman article which attacked the coalition.

The future head of the Church of England first came to the attention of the Security Service when he helped found a left-wing Christian group during his student days at Oxford University.

He wrote the original manifesto for the Jubilee Group, claiming capitalism was in its death-throes and 'threatens to inflict even greater violence on manking (sic) than it has done before'.

Rubbing shoulders with left-wing politicians such as Tony Benn and the late Eric Heffer, he wrote: 'We must make our stand with the oppressed'.

The Jubilee Group was identified as a "problem" neo-Marxist organisation in confidential intelligence documents drawn up by MI5 officer Charles Elwell.
This is interesting as it shows that his left-wing bias is deep-seated and long-standing. His main beef with New Labor seems to be that it was not left-wing enough. The article goes on to give some of the most illuminating quotes from documents authored by the "red" Williams.
Dr Williams was a leading member of the radical Jubilee Group's executive committee during the 1970s and 1980s alongside Mr Heffer, Mr Benn and Communist priest Rev Alan Ecclestone.

The archbishop, an Oxford graduate, was ordained a priest in 1977 but spent almost all of his clerical career until he was consecrated a bishop in 1991 as a lecturer at Cambridge and Oxford universities.

In 1974, he had co-written a manifesto for the group with his friend John Saward, now a Catholic priest, in the Horse and Jockey pub on Woodstock Road, Oxford. They claimed: "We are "subversive contemplatives". We are not shallow activists."

Their manifesto railed against "the ruthless pursuit of private gain" and the "idolatry of profit" adding: "We cannot...feign neutrality, or remain uncritical, in the face of a society based upon the ruthless pursuit of private gain and unlimited consumption."

It concluded: "We do not run away from history. We know what the present crisis of capitalism demands of us...we are in the death-throes of late capitalism, which threatens to inflict even greater violence on mankind than it has done before, we must make our stand with the oppressed, with the movement for liberation throughout the world."

According Rev Dr Ken Leech, the group's founder member, the manifesto was never formally adopted. He said: "It reflected our thinking at the time, but the view was it was too much of a rant. It was a fascinating document, but rather triumphalist, and we rejected it."

He added: "At the time we had never heard of Rowan Williams. He was introduced to us by John Saward. But he became very involved, regularly attended meetings, running our literature committee, giving lectures and writing pamphlets."

Together they edited a series of essays "Catholic and Radical" for the group, and the Rev Dr Leech is still in regular touch with the Archbishop who hosted a 70th birthday party for him at Lambeth Palace last year.

He added: "I would not want to commit Rowan to the language of 1974...but it does really show the heart of the theological focus of the man and this has not changed."

- - - snip - - -
During this period Dr Williams was arrested for "singing Psalms" at a CND demonstration outside RAF Lakenheath, a nuclear weapons base in Suffolk, and questioned Baroness Thatcher's references to her religious convictions to back her political views.

In a speech at Edinburgh University in 1989 he talked of "the alarming religiosity of Ronald Reagan (then US President) and Margaret Thatcher."
So he is anti-capitalist and anti-American and he worked for unilateral Western nuclear disarmament at a time when Soviet expansionism was at its height and the Soviets dreamed of conquering Western Europe. He also criticized Thatcher and Reagan for being too religious, which is code for being orthodox, rather than liberal. When politicians are left-wing politically and liberal theologically, they can be as religious as they like and Marxists never criticize them for it.

I don't know what you would call a person with such views but some would call him a traitor to his country and to the West. Maybe one couldn't quite go that far, but I think it puts his left-wing, anti-biblical and anti-traditionl views on sexuality in a very interesting light. There are many non-Marxists who have, nonetheless, fallen for the cultural Marxist line, but there are very few Marxists who have not adopted the cultural Marxist line as a matter of course.

The goal of cultural Marxism is the infiltration of Western institutions, including the Church, and the gradual destruction of the philosophical, ethical and theological bases of Western culture. This will inevitably lead to the erosion and collapse of the family as the main bastion of resistance to the total state, which is necessary to implement socialism and destroy capitalism.

It seems to me that the crying need of our age is for Christians to understand and oppose cultural Marxism and to understand the revolutionary implications of the sexual revolution.

The promotion of anarchy, as in the recent riots in Vancouver after the Stanley Cup finals and the G-7 meetings in Toronto, is the Marxist method of putting strain on civil society and pushing toward a breakdown of order that will provoke an authoritarian backlash. This backlash will be useful to the Marxists in one of two ways: it might be seized by them and become a vehicle for the revolution or, alternatively, if they cannot get control of it then they will hypocritically criticize it as fascist and pose as the forces of liberation.

In any case, Marxism is Marxism. It is heretical and dangerous to a free society. Unfortunately, churches like the Anglican Communion are infested with Marxists to the very highest levels. One of the benefits of schism may well be to isolate the Marxists in their own dying institutions until they die out instead of allowing them to control the entire communion.

Evangelical churches need to be on the look-out for heresy and need to understand the various forms Marxism takes. This is a subject that should be discussed and debated far more than it is among conservative Christians of all denominations. We can be grateful for newspaper articles like this one, which bring to light the sources of the left-wing bias exhibited at the very top of the Church of England.


Daniel Richard said...

I am sure he was as deeply distressed when the Berlin Wall came down as he was when we got Bin-Laden. It’s kind of funny of him warning us about the Religion of Reagan and Thatcher considering the wonderful experience that the Christian Church had behind the Iron Curtain.

I don't believe that the deep disdain for Reagan and Thatcher that Rowan and his Fellow Travelers developed was mainly due to their belief in Socialism and Reagan and Thatcher’s opposition to it. The disdain is due to the Travelers hatred of their own culture. Reagan and Thatcher’s high view of the West and belief of a unique place in history for the English Speaking People must have just cut at their nerves. In the end these folks are more like cultural nihilists then they are cultural Marxists. They borrow from Marx for their politics and history, but they have embraced a Neo-Pagan Gnostic Spirituality and sense of themselves along with religious syncretism for their theology. Since the Socialist Utopian stuff has burned out they have had to adopt an eschatology of environmental doom so we still need socialist structures to appease some sort of nature god and to support the narcissistic sexual libertinism that they are selling.

When this stuff comes up I think of men like Alexander Solzhenitsyn and what a travesty it is that somebody with Mr. Williams beliefs is serving as the ABC.
Daniel Richard

jamie said...

I doubt this will sway you much, but it is always good to do your homework. The comments about Reagan and Thatcher are from a paper in which he attacks both liberal democracy and Marxist communism as children of Enlightenment. Neither one, he argues, offers any resources for genuine political debate, because both refuse religious conceptions of the human good. He thinks the modern state as such (liberal or Marxist) is the problem, and any attempt to dress it up in religious language (a la Reagan/Thatcher) is merely a cosmetic alteration.

Given the purpose of the Telegraph article, it's unsurprising that they only lifted out the quote about Thatcher. But in that essay his harshest words are actually reserved for the Soviet Union. Might want to check out the context of the quote before drawing too many conclusions about it: