Social evils have always existed in the world, and sincere and sensitive people have always tried to do what they can to relieve the lot of those who, for one reason of another, have been downtrodden, and at the butt end of injustice. Dickens (1812-1870) depictedmany such scenes in England in his lifetime, scenes which were later picked up by the communist rulers in Russia to use as evidence against our form of society.
In America there was the pitiful state of the black population before being granted freedom by law-reform. In South Africa the problem wasn’t fully resolved until recently, and in various other countries (including our own) the position of coloured immigrants is not always as happy as it might be. Sometimes it is their own fault, but often it is the result of prejudice, a common human failing. But the point I want to make here is that there have been various methods of trying to obtain a greater sense of justice for less-fortunate ones. And some of these methods have been based on even greater injustice than that which they try to eliminate.
Take the trouble in Northern Ireland. Whatever its origin, and whatever the situation is right now, there is clearly no justice in the methods of the I.R.A. Neither is there any justice in the methods of other terrorist groups, such as the P.L.O., the Unitas, the Sandanistas, or those who operate in what used to be Yugoslavia.
We have seen in an earlier chapter how the teachings of Adam Weishaupt, the French “enlightenment”, and the rise of communism, all had this flavour of revolution about them. They pandered to the minds of those who were down-trodden in order to foment revolution and obtain their own form of treading-down of the masses.
All this is easy to understand, but why some people are taken in by such cruel and unjust methods is not so easy to understand. Worst of all, one has found in the past a good number of self-styled Christians who have spoken well of Communism. Take for example a certain minister of a British church, who spoke the following words in a sermon at his church (St.Mary’s), and was quoted in a book published in 1968.
“Communism, whatever its present varied forms of expression, both good and bad, is in origin a movement for the emancipation of man from exploitation from his fellow man. Sociologically the Church was and largely still is on the side of the world’s exploiters. Karl Marx, whose theories only thinly veil a passion for justice and brotherhood that has its roots in the Hebrew prophets, loathed religion because it was used as an instrument to perpetuate a status quo in which children were slaves and worked to death in order to make others rich here in Britain. It was no cheap jibe a hundred years ago to say that religion was the opium of the masses – – As members of the Body of Christ we must come in simple penitence knowing that we owe a deep debt to every Communist.”
How can a man who knows Jesus Christ be quite so blinkered? Does he not realise the abject misery of all those in Russia over the last seventy years who have not been in favour of the Communist rule? Has he never heard of a man by the name of Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, or read his “Gulag Archipelago”? And has he never read any of the books which speak about the evil persecution of all Christians in that country. One is reminded of Billy Graham, who, after his trip to Russia, came back and said that he saw no evidence of persecution against God’s people! Have such people never heard of Stalin’s great and brutal purges in the 1930s, when tens of millions of his own people were put to death? Truly did Bishop Aristocoli speak in 1911 of the coming reign of terror in Russia as “a spirit from hell.”
But this chapter is headed WOMEN’S LIB, and as yet I have not written one word about the subject. The reason for this is that we have here yet another problem area, inthat women have been downtrodden by many people for many centuries, in some countries it has been far worse than in others. With the onset of a new force at work amongst the peoples of the world since 1780, a great number of social experiments have been carried out for the apparent betterment of mankind. And in this case for the betterment of womankind.
It all started in 1792 with the publication of “A Vindication of the Rights of Women” by Mary Wollstonecraft. She is thought of as the pioneer in a movement that steadily gained momentum as the years rolled by. The 19th century saw the rise of socialism, and alongside this was the rise of the suffragist movement, which sought votes for women who qualified according to certain property qualifications. Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928), and her husband, Richard Marsden Pankhust, a barrister, and a keen woman-suffrage advocate, effected legislation upon married women’s property rights, and joined the Fabian Society. But from about 1905 until the outbreak of war in 1914, she adopted highly unacceptable methods of pursuing her ideals, and this only served to alienate her from the populace. These methods included window smashing, arson, bombing, and hunger strikes. As if to reinforce her demands in life God gave her three daughters, Christabel, Estelle Sylvia, and Adela, all of whom supported their mother’s movement with ability and energy. Many of their supporters were imprisoned for offences they had committed, and thereby paid a price for their activities.
However, during the first world war, the women’s organisations directed themselves to supporting the war effort and in 1918 the vote was granted to women aged 30 and over, subject to educational and property qualifications. These restrictions were removed in 1928, making men and women politically equal.
The present women’s movement emerged in the 1960s, and has now gone to ridiculous lengths. As I write, [referring to my original script, written in 1993] we are as a nation remembering the 75th anniversary of women’s votes, and letters have been written to the national press, expressing various points of view. I should like to quote in full the letter which Mrs Joanna Bogle, of Malden, in Surrey, wrote to the Daily Telegraph, and which was printed on January 7th 1993.
Sir – The round-up of women’s views on the 75th anniversary of female suffrage (article, Jan.6th) gave a curious, ideologically-centred view of history. I cannot altogether agree, for instance, with the opinion – stated as fact – that “feminists of the Seventies took on the battle where their sisters at the turn of the century left off.”
Like those ladies quoted, I had a grandmother who supported the suffragettes – it is family folklore that she once hid Mrs.Pankhurst in her kitchen – but Granny intensely disliked much of what Seventies-style feminism represented. She certainly saw in it a total break with the ideals and hopes of her generation.
Lifelong faithful marriage, enthusiasm for child-rearing as among the most worthwhile of occupations, a delight in learning for its own sake and not merely for career potential, a commitment to the role of women as upholders of good manners and civilised values – these were among her most profound beliefs.
She was, above all, a practical person who was less interested in slogans than in the everyday reality of life.
Many useful inventions have enormously benefited modern women, liberating us from exhausting chores which were the lot of earlier generations, and releasing energies and talents for more creative things.
These were not the result of feminist ideology but of a thriving free enterprise economy and (largely male) inventiveness, ingenuity, and skill. Washing machines, wipe-clean surfaces, soap powders, disinfectants, vacuum cleaners, flushing loos, and decent plumbing have almost certainly been of greater value to women than say, Beatrice Webb’s sermons. Mrs Webb idolised the Soviet Union, where the lot of women was pitiful. She seemed to glory in their roles as factory hands and street cleaners while their children hungered in squalid state nurseries.
Can we honestly say that the present package deal of feminism, with its career pressures, emphasis on abortion and divorce, toleration of lesbianism and creation of super-woman imagery is really making today’s women happier? The rising figures for female alcoholism, crime, and suicide point to another side of a muddled picture.”
It was just 61 years from 1918 to 1979, before Britain had its first woman Prime Minister. But the rule of this “iron lady” from No 10, after the newness of the phenomenon had worn off, became ultimately the cause of her downfall. Her ministers were getting increasingly tired of her ways, and in the end she died a very rapid political death. It almost reminds one of the way in which the beast system in Revelation grew to hate the scarlet woman, and eventually “burned her with fire and ate her flesh.”
I for one am very glad that women have achieved a measure of freedom which they never had 100 years ago. But as is so often the case, a movement which starts off with expansive and acceptable ideals, soon grows into something which is dominated by ugliness. And the modern concepts of feminism are best described as ugly. Men like to see the best characteristics of the gentler sex, as described in Mrs.Bogle’s letter quoted above. This is not to say that men are today exhibiting the best qualities of manhood – far from it – but purely from a woman’s point of view, she has undermined the very foundation of the freedom she has won.
As a conclusion to this chapter I should like to remind my readers of the words spoken by Bishop Aristocoli to Mother Barbara, shortly before his death. He said that in these last days, “Women must belong absolutely to God. They must prepare their souls, their children, and their husbands. And they will have very much work to do for God. Oh, what a great work the women will have to do in the end time, and the men will follow them.” And then later, concerning Britain, he said that the country will be saved from total ruin by “praying women.”
Why did Aristocoli receive a word of this type in 1911? Is it not because he saw prophetically what was going to happen to men and women in this century? Did he see how men in the west would degenerate into sport-loving, beer-drinking, tele-watching, sex-mad macho men, who had lost the true sense of adult manhood which made the gentlemen of yesteryear? And did he see the female reaction to this, in their drive for total freedom and equality? Did he sense the disgust of women for their male counterparts, and the drive to reach the heights where men had traditionally served society, until one of them became Prime Minister? If this is true, then his message for women must be understood in that context, for truly there are women in this land today who despise “women’s lib”, and desire with a whole heart to be what God has shown them as the very best for them. And many of these are becoming prayer-partners to uphold their husbands and the men of this land in positions of responsibility, lest we become the ruin that Satan has planned for us as a nation.
Oh for an England of true Ladies and Gentlemen once again, but not high-class snobs, no, ladies and gentlemen of God, desiring to be wholly subject to Him, with Jesus Christ as Lord and King of their lives. What nobility! What freedom! What righteous government there would be! And I truly believe that God has this in store for Britain, but not without a great cleansing fire burning through the land first. And what can be true for Britain can be equally true for all Nations.