More than 100 years after the 1904 Welsh revival and more than 60 years after American evangelist
The announcement brought a stinging rebuke from
A considerable amount of mocking follows: "Maybe there'll be a sitcom called 'The End is Nigh,' in which a family of J ehovah's Witnesses moves next door to a family of Seventh Day Adventists and evangelical mayhem ensues. Or the corporation will buy the rights to 'Saudi Arabian Big Brother,' where the all-male housemates compete to see which of them is the most pious. That one really exists, by the way."
Aaronovitch might examine the difference between the cultural influences of past revivals and the British approach to faith today, which has moved from indifference to open hostility in many cases and produced faithless acts, like public drunkenness.
During the Welsh revival and for at least two decades after, drunkenness was cut in half. As the late minister and chronicler of Christian revivals,
Here is where secularists must be challenged if they think faith has no role in modern life.
Again, Orr paints the picture: "The social impact was astounding. For example, judges were presented with white gloves, not a case to try; no robberies, no burglaries, no rapes, no murders, and no embezzlements, nothing. District councils held emergency meetings to discuss what to do with the police now that they were unemployed. In one place the sergeant of police was sent for and asked, 'What do you do with your time?' He replied, 'Before the revival, we had two main jobs, to prevent crime and to control crowds, as at football games. Since the revival started there is practically no crime. So we just go with the crowds.'
"A councilor asked, 'What does that mean?' The sergeant replied, 'You know where the crowds are. They are packing out the churches.' 'But how does that affect the police?' He was told, 'We have seventeen police in our station, but we have three quartets, and if any church wants a quartet to sing, they simply call the police station'."
It turns out faith -- at least faith that does not embrace violence to achieve its goals -- promotes positive cultural values better than politicians do. As in America, politicians here are being outed and ousted over claims of sexual harassment and consumption of pornography on their government computers. Perhaps acknowledgement of a Higher Authority in their lives might have prevented them from embracing baser instincts.