A reader writes about the women who came to the aid of Lee Rigby…

…murdered by Bronze Age savages on the streets of London:

On the back of the recently mis-interpreted comments by Pope Francis on atheists being capable of being good I was wondering about grace and what effect it has on people who have it. Do we actually need it and does it make any visible difference in the world or is it simply a word we throw around to make us feel that we are not alone.

Then I was watching the news the other day about the soldier murdered in London and I noticed that there were two sets of heroes at the scene. The first was Ingrid Loyau-Kennett who was the woman who spoke to the terrorist. I knew when watching the tv footage that she would turn out to be a Christian and of course she turned out to be a practicing Catholic.

However there was also two other angels who also put their lives at risk to help the victim. They were Amanda Donnelly and her daughter. Now when you consider that Catholics in England make up less that 10% of the population these other ladies statistically had surely to be an atheist or other non Christians. But no they were both practicing Catholics.

What I realised is that this is just a tiny example of how the Holy Spirit works through Christians to keep civilisation together. Following Jesus’ example these women acted out of concern and love for others and seem to have acted beyond what others were prepared to do. I am NOT saying atheists cannot do good, but having the Holy Spirit in you makes ordinary people do extraordinary things for their neighbours.

The watery secularism of the shuffling cowards who stood around taking pictures on their cell cams while a man was butchered before their eyes is a living illustration of the future of the West. Post-Christian “civilization” will not be a secular paradise. It will be the watery spirituality of the Eloi of neutered post-Christianity trusting money and tech to save them squaring off against the inflamed spirituality of radicalized Islam. In short, get rid of healthy Catholic spirituality and you don’t get nothing. You get two diseased spiritualities.

If England had any stones at all, Her Majesty would confer a knighthood on Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, Amanda Donnelly, and her daughter.

  • Rosemarie

    +J.M.J+

    Fortitude?

    Though I don’t know whether I would have the courage to do what those brave women did.

    • Marthe Lépine

      In your normal daily life, maybe you would not have such courage, but it seems to me that is where grace comes into it and gives a person such courage if and when needed. You might be surprised at what you could do in an emergency.

  • JoFro

    It must also be remembered by those attacking men for not coming anywhere close – the men who hacked off the head of the soldier made sure that any man who came close were set upon or threatened. They only allowed women to come close to them and only allowed women to talk to them. It was only later that one of those men went over and talked to a man who was filming the entire scene!

    • Shellic

      This wasn’t about the sex of those who put their lives at risk. It was more about the fact that the only people who came forward were practicing Catholics. If all people are endowed with the same “goodness” then statistically it was a real freak that for this to be the case.

      • JoFro

        No doubt but I just wanted that clarified! I’ve read comments about how the men were cowards and the women were brave and I think people need to know that there were men who tried but were rebuffed by the killers.

        But no doubt, those women were brave and how cool is it (or maybe how sad I guess for the Anglicans) that it turned out the woman who did come and confront them happened to be a practicing Catholic, that too raised in France, the same country that is actually standing up to the redefinition of marriage!

  • DKeane123

    Cherry picking data. When Christians do good it is because they are guided by faith (regardless if there is a religious component to the action). When they do bad, then it can’t be because of their religion, even if it was prompted by their faith. I say every time there is a tragedy, we look at the perpetrators and respondents to see how their religious affiliation matches with the population at large.

    • Pavel Chichikov

      Same to you as to Mart. Do you hate to give credit to religion and believers?

      • DKeane123

        I have no problem giving credit to religion. But to take one event and say somehow this is representative of faith or non-faith is a stretch. I am positive I could find another event that has atheists responding in an emergency situation while believers watched (or were the cause).

        If you were to show me an actual study that says religiously inclined people (or a particular faith) were were more apt to respond in an emergency situation, then I would be more likely to believe the proposition.

        • Pavel Chichikov

          There was someone in Moscow who helped me tremendously in a touchy situation. She was most certainly an atheist and a Party member, and a very sweet person.

          She was also quite friendly towards people of faith, but you would have to know the situation in Russia towards the end of the Union to understand.

          Actually, it was true of many Party members. It’s only in the West that you get this kind of ungenerous sourness from atheists.

          Love comes from God, in everyone.

          • DKeane123

            “It’s only in the West that you get this kind of ungenerous sourness from atheists.” – What does this have to do with our conversation? I asked if we think the data in the post is cherry picked?

            “Love comes from God, in everyone.” – or chemical interactions in our brains. I wonder which one has more evidence to back it up.

            • Pavel Chichikov

              Could you tell us which chemical reaction in your brain governs a reference to chemical reactions in your brain? Please send it to the chemical reactions in my brain.

              I’m finishing breakfast.

              • Pavel Chichikov

                Now will I recall God’s works;
                what I have seen, I will describe.
                At God’s word were his works brought into being;
                they do his will as he has ordained for them.
                As the rising sun is clear to all,
                so the glory of the LORD fills all his works;
                Yet even God’s holy ones must fail
                in recounting the wonders of the LORD,
                Though God has given these, his hosts, the strength
                to stand firm before his glory.
                He plumbs the depths and penetrates the heart;
                their innermost being he understands.
                The Most High possesses all knowledge,
                and sees from of old the things that are to come:
                He makes known the past and the future,
                and reveals the deepest secrets.
                No understanding does he lack;
                no single thing escapes him.
                Perennial is his almighty wisdom;
                he is from all eternity one and the same,
                With nothing added, nothing taken away;
                no need of a counselor for him!
                How beautiful are all his works!
                even to the spark and fleeting vision!
                The universe lives and abides forever;
                to meet each need, each creature is preserved.
                All of them differ, one from another,
                yet none of them has he made in vain,
                For each in turn, as it comes, is good;
                can one ever see enough of their splendor?

                – Sirach

            • Shellic

              “Love comes from God, in everyone.” – or chemical interactions in our brains. I wonder which one has more evidence to back it up

              So can you point to this evidence that “love” is a no more than a chemical reaction?

        • Shellic

          Re evidence of religious people responding to other people’s needs may I cite the Catholic charities? In my church in the past two weeks we have had appeals for St Vincent de Paul Society, the Diocesan good works appeal and the parishes’ twin parish which is in a poor Asian country. Perhaps you can give me examples of atheist ( not secular charities) and where they respond to the needs of others?

  • Mart Sanders

    To imply
    that organized religious has furnished these people with the mental, physical courage
    to perform these acts of kindness to a fellow human being, seems a bit big; under
    the circumstances. The countless acts of barbarity and cruelty perpetrated worldwide
    every day, in the name of god, does not support this theory. Furthermore, was
    this very act of inhuman depravity not also committed under the cries of ‘God
    is great’, even if uttered in Arabic?

    • Pavel Chichikov

      You don’t like to give credit to religious people, do you Mart, or to religion?

      To use my wife’s Scottishism -got a scunner against God?

    • Ye Olde Statistician

      The claim was not made for “religion” (whatever that is) but for Catholicism. Nor was it claimed that every nominal adherent of Catholicism will rise to the occasion any more than every nominal adherent of science will make a great discovery. (Think normal distribution: some people will be in the tails.) So what is remarkable is not that every Catholic approached the jihadis but that only Catholics approached the jihadis, where by random chance drawing from the British population you would have expected at least one to be non-Catholic.

      • chezami

        It is sort of amazing to me that somebody would be surprised that a civilization which teaches that getting laid and being safe and well-fed are the highest goods should tend to produce people who behave like these are the highest goods when met with a life-threatening challenge, while a religious tradition that teaches there are higher goods would produce people who tend to act as though there are higher goods. It’s a positively Darwinian outcome and yet Darwinians can’t seem to grasp it.

  • http://blog.goliard.us/ Blog Goliard

    “…the watery spirituality of the Eloi of neutered post-Christianity trusting money and tech to save them…”

    I’ve been convinced for some time that if the Martians should attack tomorrow, our civilization will be utterly doomed. The Federal government will find a way to spend approximately ten trillion dollars without repelling a single Martian. Bureaucrats and lawyers will tie both military and civilian efforts to respond in knots. Our intelligentsia will expend all their creativity praising the “diversity” being bestowed on us by the annihilation-ray-wielding Martians, whilst blaming us Earthlings for any and all interplanetary unpleasantness past, present, and future.

    There will, however, be lots of awareness ribbons and bracelets and social-media campaigns. And memes. Oh, the brilliant and witty and ironic Internet memes that will be tossed about! Thus shall we amuse ourselves, as we assume the role of bystanders to our own extinction.

    • Pavel Chichikov

      The Martians are OK. Watch out for….

      It’s like the pet sitter who was introduced to Bruno the rottweiler and Pete the parrot.

      The owner said: Don’t worry about the dog, he’s OK, big as he is. But watch out for the parrot. A mean bastard. Be afraid.

      The owner left. The pet sitter looked at the parrot and said: Mean? Why you’re only an animated feather duster. A ragged old mop. Who’d be afraid of you?

      The parrot looked down from his cage with a baleful yellow eye at the rottweiler and screeched: Get him, Bruno!

  • Pavel Chichikov

    What’s with the “Bronze Age savages” stuff? Do you think that 21st century people are any less savage? After that last century?

    • DKeane123

      Absolutely – people who have actually studied the rate of violence in human history have positively shown that we live in the most peaceful world in human history. Even with the last century. I suggest you read the section from Steven Pinker FAQ titled “Wasn’t the 20th century the most violent in history? ”

      http://stevenpinker.com/pages/frequently-asked-questions-about-better-angels-our-nature-why-violence-has-declined

      • DKeane123

        Also, even without the study – bronze age people:
        - saw marriage as a property transfer and women and children as things owned.
        - slavery was not at all even a moral consideration.
        - horribly cruel punishments were carried out on all levels of society throughout the human race (rather than in just select backwards regions now).
        - Genocide was common (read the old testament)

        That is just off the top of my head.

        • Ye Olde Statistician

          The moral consideration of slavery in ancient times was that it was preferable to a massacre of the prisoners.

          • DKeane123

            Exactly my point. It is like a heroin addict that uses methadone instead – still and addict. Bronze age = pretty immoral by today’s standards.

            • Pavel Chichikov

              Well, if you’re happy about gas ovens, labor camps, terror bombing, global war, mass slaughter, mass abortion, political terror etc., have a ball.

      • Pavel Chichikov

        Absolute numbers. Savagery of a coldness, scale and efficiency that has no equal in any era.

        Go and talk to people, never mind Steven Pinker. What’s his life experience?

        What’s yours?

        • DKeane123

          Yes, let’s go with our gut as opposed to actual data.

        • kmk1916

          Are we counting in-the-womb savagery and murders? In that we post-moderns must be way out ahead of the pack.

          • Pavel Chichikov

            Yes, we’re counting them, or should.

      • Ye Olde Statistician

        As a statistician, Pinker makes a tolerable psychologist. He gets most of his numbers from a hobbyist librarian named White, whom he cites as if he were an authoritative source for ancient casualties.

        An example is the An Lushan revolt:
        http://bedejournal.blogspot.com/2011/11/steven-pinker-and-an-lushan-revolt.html
        There are other examples of bogus stats.

        • DKeane123

          I would disagree that he gets “most” of his numbers from Mathew White, he actually lists his sources (have you read the book?). I would trust a more scholarly reference than the webpage you present here only because in the description is says “I am a historian of a very middling and amateurish sort. “.

          • Ye Olde Statistician

            Whereas Pinker is not even that. Let alone a statistician. Humphrey, however, cites scholars of Chinese history who have considered the difference between the two censuses and found other explanations from an otherwise undetectable 2/3 decline in the population of China; viz., that the post-revolt census was incomplete due to the disruption of administration. Late Moderns have a touching, if naive faith in the reliability of such “statistics.”

            Humphrey posted several items on Pinker’s book.

            BTW, I agree with the primary thesis that in general the West has become less violent; but one must still recognize the occasional paroxysms of violence. But most amateurs suppose an average is sufficient and never consider the standard deviation, let alone outliers. It is also a gimmick to apply the death rate since in this case smaller populations will necessarily higher rates of killings.

            Also one must consider what Galileo called the “work of the intellect.” After inducing from the particulars to a general conclusion, one must consider other propter quids that may also account for the same particulars and show that they are inadequate. For example, the growing power and centrality of the State and its monopoly on violence has mitigated the blood feud as a way of settling disputes. This may be a more persuasive explanation than Pinker’s.

            Another factor that Pinker refuses to consider for ideological reasons is the growing influence of Christianity, as described in The Desire of the Everlasting Hills. Pinker is not a scientist — he is only a psychologist — but his insistence on measuring the unmeasurable would stand him in poor stead in this case, since he could only possibly measure nominal adherence and/or State mandated adherence.

  • Meggan

    “The countless acts of barbarity and cruelty perpetrated worldwide every day, in the name of god, does not support this theory.”

    Well, I think that the countless acts of love and kindness perpetrated worldwide every day, in the name of God, DOES support this theory.


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