In revolutionary countries you expect to find desecration: churches turned into lavatories or reformatories, their sanctuaries wrecked and defiled, their bells pulled down and melted, and their crosses tumbled to the ground by commissars, as the Young Pioneers jeer.
Yet not all revolutions are so unsubtle. Those who intend to succeed move more carefully, smiling as they destroy. It is not true that nobody learns anything from history. Jacobin radicals—for all modern revolutions are really heirs of Robespierre and Fouché—have learned from their failures. Why annoy people into opposing you? Why risk turning nuisances into martyrs?
In modern Britain, officially a Christian kingdom whose symbol of authority is the Crown of St. Edward surmounted by a cross, Christian law and morals have been ruthlessly dethroned. But those who did it did it with a kiss rather than with a sword. They brought desecration but called it redecoration or modernization. And by the time the truck had carted the broken pieces to the landfill, it was too late to protest.
Wander through official London and you will see a Christian city. Though now surrounded by many towers of Mammon, the great dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral and the many towers and spires around it still give a Christian character to London’s skyline. What is more, the main buildings in which the civil and criminal law are resolved and meted out are specifically Christian. The Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand resemble a medieval monastery. A stone figure of Christ stands above its highest arch. Lower down are sculptures of Solomon and the early Christian king and lawgiver Alfred the Great.
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