The End of Church & State?
by Gavin Ashenden:
“Christian Britain died in 1963”. So wrote the historian Calum Brown. He doesn’t say on what date of what month, exactly but he quotes Philip Larkin’s famous verse as a reference point.
“Sexual intercourse began
In nineteen sixty-three .
Between the end of the Chatterley ban
And the Beatles’ first LP.”
‘Sexual intercourse’ has been around a bit longer than since 1963, but that may roughly be when it became a recreation and signified a radical change in our culture.
It wasn’t just the hunger for ‘free love’ as it became described; other factors affected faith,- like the horror of the two world wars; as if it was somehow God’s fault that having given us free will, we exercised it to slaughter each other in unimaginable numbers.
Not that the love was exactly free either. There has been a cost to our recreational free love. We live in what has been called ‘the age of disposable dads’. More teenage boys now have mobile phones (62%) than live with their dads. (57%).
The cost of broken families in the UK was estimated at £50 Billion. 48% per cent of children aged five and under in the poorest 20 per cent of families are now from broken homes.
A few more numbers tell a bit more truth about the cost. More children are born to unmarried than married parents now. Of the unmarried, half of all cohabiting couples will break up within a year of moving in together. 47% do not live with both natural parents by the time the child is 15. 90% of unmarried couples will break up by their childrens’ teens.
The love was not as free as we thought.
But the rejection of Christianity by our culture wasn’t just the choice of rock and roll, drugs, sex and indulgence over a moral framework that protected our families and children. We chose other things too. Brown commented: