Once upon a time, in the days of Rule Britannia, white saviours went to Asia and Africa and saved women and children. Today, in the era of Cool Britannia, white saviours conspire to control our former colonies with the gospel of gay sex and abortion. Progressive white saviours seek to destroy, not save—to kill unborn babies and prevent procreation.
British colonial rulers in India banned female infanticide in 1870, after Jonathan Duncan, resident in Benares, drew attention to the bizarre Hindu custom. Instead of converting Hindus to Christianity, in 1791 Duncan founded the Sanskrit College for the study of Hindu Law and Philosophy.
After British colonial administrators prohibited child sacrifice at the Ganga Sagar festival, nineteen Christian missionaries petitioned Lord Bentinck, Governor-General of India, to ban suttee—the custom compelling Hindu widows to immolate themselves on their husband’s funeral pyre.
When lecturing at Liverpool Hope University, I would ask my students what they thought of such acts performed by the British in India. Chillingly, the snowflakes were silent. Even the feminists in my class would squirm when I asked them about the rights of Hindu widows. The idea of “white saviour” Lord Bentinck banning this indigenous practice through the Bengal Sati Regulation Act (1829) was colonial, racist and white supremacist.
When Prof Allan Bloom’s posed the same question to his students at Harvard, he got a similar response. “They either remain silent or reply that the British should never have been there in the first place,” he writes in The Closing of the American Mind.
Is this how the Rt Hon David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham, would respond? Lammy has had enough of “white saviours.” I mean, just look at all the harm they’ve done! As a Hindu Brahmin, my mother wouldn’t be alive today if Bentinck hadn’t banned suttee. I’d have to mutter a few Sanskrit shlokas and give her the heave-ho onto my dad’s barbecue.
But white people have no business monkeying round for Comic Reliefin Uganda, Lammy would say to Stacey Dooley. This white Barbie doll should check her white privilege and upload pictures on Instagram of her holding only obese white children with snot running down their noses. It’s racist for her to get the optics wrong. In Lammy’s tribal world, you’re defined by the colour of your skin, not by the content of your character.
“The world does not need any more white saviours. As I’ve said before, this just perpetuates tired and unhelpful stereotypes,” Lammy lamelytweeted. “It’s a kind of missionary idea and it’s deeply problematic, because what it does is it keeps the continent of Africa poor, it keeps people in their place,” explains the race hustler.
Lammy is the Al Sharpton of British politics. Twinned with Dianne Abbot, their race baiting keeps them in the media spotlight. In 2013, while debating gay marriage in Parliament, Lammy comparedChristian MPs opposed to same-sex marriage to parliamentarians who defended the slave trade 200 years ago.
Lammy suffers from “racial paranoia,” which author Dinesh D’Souza defines as a “reflexive tendency to blame racism for every failure.” He pursues “the white whale of racism with Ahab-like determination.” As if he’s reading a Rorschach inkblot test, Lammy imagines colonialism and racism in the rather cute picture of eminent documentary filmmaker Stacey Dooley holding a Ugandan child.
As someone with a privileged education—The King’s School, School of Oriental and African Studies and Harvard Law School—Lammy needs to ask a few more questions about “white saviours” over the centuries. Why did the Judeo-Christian West produce these saviours? The answer lies in theology and technology.
Ancient civilisations were fiercely tribal: a person of one race would not cross ethnic boundaries to help someone of another race. The theology of the Hebrew Bible shattered this tribalism. Israel would be “a light to the nations.” From Israel came Jesus, who claimed to be the Messiah—not to a tribe, but to the world.
Israel produced a brown-skinned Saviour. Hey! Lammy, did you know Jesus was not white? Jesus was “most likely dark brown and sun-tanned” says Princeton biblical scholar James Charlesworth. This Saviour began an obscure movement on the margins of the Roman Empire that dislodged classical paganism and became the dominant faith of the West. In other words, a brown Saviour from the Middle East inspired our white saviours in the West.
Breaking with Marxist assumptions (lower classes are more religious than the rich), sociologist Rodney Stark argues that people with a degree of privilege and sophistication were attracted to the Jesus movement. In Roman society, mercy and pity were considered pathological emotions. But Jesus’ followers behaved mercifully because they had received mercy from God. Tribalism was smashed as privileged people crossed forbidden boundaries of class, colour, race and nation to share the gospel of their brown Saviour and to help those in the most life-threatening exigencies—especially during epidemics and plagues.
Jesus’s parable of the Good Samaritan climaxes in the question: “Who is my neighbour?” My neighbour is someone who is not like me and is not part of my tribe! However sceptically one views the charitable work done by Stacey Dooley and Comic Relief or other charities providing relief to the Third World, they’re doing it because the idea of serving someone who is not like me, is part of our Western DNA. “Charity” derived from the Latin caritas is a Christian innovation.
Christianity gave birth to science and technology. Without a theology committed to reason, the world today would be where non-European societies were in 1800 with many astrologers and alchemists, but no scientists, Stark comments. “Modernity arose only in Christian societies. Not in Asia. Not in Islam. Not in a ‘secular’ society—there having been none. And all the modernisation that has since occurred outside Christendom was imported from the West, often brought by colonizers and missionaries,” he adds.
Christian theology motivated “white saviours” to go to Asia and Africa; our technology gave us prosperity. Because we were technologically more advanced we had something to offer to those who were technologically less advanced.
Postmodern progressives like Lammy are profoundly ashamed of our missionary heritage. They conflate Christian mission with racism, imperialism, colonialism and white supremacy. What they are proud of is the new mission civilisatrice where “white saviours” now seek to enlighten Asia and Africa (and immigrants of colour to Britain) with the gospel of pansexual liberation.
Lammy should look at the picture in Monday’s Guardian—Andrew Moffat, head of Parkfield Community School in Birmingham is reading a book to five brown/black children. “White saviour” Moffat is indoctrinating coloured Muslim children with LGBT+ propaganda. Their families are outraged. Such sexual grooming goes against their culture and religion, but progressives don’t regard this as cultural or ideological imperialism!
In a previous column, I pointed out how Anglican LGBT activist Jayne Ozanne has set up her own foundation with ten white saviours to civilise sexual savages. “The new foundation has been set up to help educate and advocate on LGBTI and gender rights around the world, particularly within religious organisations that are opposed to non-heterosexual relationships,” said Ozanne’s website.
The government’s Wilton Park report urges engagement with the Global South to challenge the “heteropatriarchy of Christianity brought by western missionaries” and teach queer theology, feminist theology and a theology of inclusion in seminaries to promote homosexuality, transgenderism and intersexuality.
In 2017, our so-called Conservative government announced it would spend over £1.1billion on overseas abortions. According to a 2015 Pew Report, 92 per cent Ghanaians, 88 per cent Ugandans and 82 per cent Kenyans say they find abortion unacceptable. In Asia, the figures are as high as 93 per cent for the Philippines, 89 per cent for Indonesia and 85 per cent for Pakistan.
“I don’t think that any Western country has a right to pay for abortions in an African country, especially when the majority of people don’t want abortion… that then becomes a form of ideological colonisation,” Obianuju Ekeocha, founder of Culture of Life Africa told the BBC World Service (who were banging the global abortion drum).
The next time Lammy rails against “white saviours” and “poverty porn,” I’m sending him a copy of Keith Richburg’s Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa. Richburg, a black man, is correspondent for the leftwing Washington Post. He is “a descendant of slaves brought from Africa” and especially sensitive to the cynical and manipulative use of the race card by politicians like David Lammy.
“I’m tired of all the ignorance and hypocrisy and the double standards I hear and read about Africa, much of it from people who’ve never been there, let alone spent three years walking around amid corpses,” he writes. It’s not colonialism, or racism, or the white man; the real root of Africa’s problems, he stresses, lies in the boundless corruption of its leaders.
“Thank God that I am an American,” and “thank God my ancestor survived the voyage” which brought him to the United States as a slave, concludes Richburg.
(Originally published in Republic Standard)