Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cal Thomas on Britain's Menacing Meltdown

Some of those caught looting stores last week in Britain were asked why they did it. Four teenagers explained to Sky News that they viewed it as "a shopping spree."

One teen blamed the government: "They say [they] are going to help us but I don't see any of it. There has to be more opportunities and jobs. Help us at least and then maybe everyone will settle down."

This is the triumph of the entitlement mentality and the welfare state. Conservative Member of Parliament Eric Pickles wasn't buying it: "I think that is them trying to justify being thieves, robbers and burglars."

While a few of the teen looters sounded repentant, judges were shocked to find just one parent showing up in court to accompany an accused child. One couple said they were "too busy." Anyone else see a connection between their lack of concern and their child's rebellious behavior?...

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.

(Cal Thomas, "Explanations and excuses for English rioters," syndicated column)