Delingpole: Cathedral May Remove Statue of First Christian Roman Emperor

Constantine York
Wikimedia Commons

Another day, another infuriating news story about a well-loved statue being considered for removal because someone, somewhere has claimed to be offended by it.

This time it is a statue of the Roman emperor Constantine outside York Minster which is being ‘looked at’, supposedly after complaints from nameless members of the public.

According to a report in the Telegraph:

Now York Minster is understood to be reviewing the statue of Emperor Constantine, after it received complaints that the Roman Emperor supported slavery.

Constantine is known as the First Christian Emperor — and is venerated as a saint in both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. But he spent much of his life as a pagan (only converting to Christianity on his deathbed), and, it’s this — apparently — which has offered the chink in his armour to his woke critics. Like every other Roman of his class, Constantine would have kept slaves. And the fact that this happened 1,700 years ago when they did things differently appears to be no defence.

This is a story that encapsulates perfectly the madness of our times, in a number of ways, because it shows how widely the insanity has spread — and also how little appetite there is for anyone to stand up and resist it.

Note, first, the orgy of buck-passing:

A spokeswoman for the Minster said that the statue was owned by the York Civic Trust.

However, the Trust said that the statue was commissioned by the Trust and given to the Minster in 1998.

Even though this handsome bronze statue is now part of York’s civic furniture, no one wants to take responsibility for it because that would involve taking a stand on a contentious issue.

Next, we see officials hiding behind a wall of waffle:

A spokeswoman for York Minster said: “The Cathedrals Fabric Commission is developing national guidance for churches and cathedrals about how to respond to concerns about their statues and monuments.  Cathedrals and churches will be encouraged to work with their communities at all levels to develop local knowledge and dialogue about the place of these monuments in their local history.

We’ve grown used to this kind of bureaucratic nonsense over the years but we should never stop getting angry about it. Consider what is happening here: a statue is being mooted for removal on the flimsiest of pretexts and almost certainly against the wishes of the vast majority of York’s residents and visitors. Yet here is one of the bodies which should be defending the statue unapologetically and unequivocally instead spouting some mind-numbingly dull PC drivel as if, somehow, this were something we should all accept as the best, most reasonable solution.

And why is the spokeswoman for York Minster spouting this PC drivel? Because she is taking her lead from the Church of England’s spiritual leader, the preposterous and wet Justin Welby – who simply doesn’t deserve the job of Archbishop of Canterbury, not least because he clearly has no sympathy with his Church’s architectural and historical heritage.

Welby certainly had no need to tell the BBC that the Church’s monuments were going to be looked at ‘very carefully’ to see if they ‘should be there’. But he did and now he has created a problem where none existed. The Church of England will now have to start engaging with offence archaeology and iconoclasm and Marxist grievance politics because from this point on the left will be on Welby’s case asking why he hasn’t yet implemented the promise he foolishly made to the BBC.

But while clearly, the grovelling capitulator Welby deserves the brunt of our loathing and scorn here, the mainstream media too must take its share of the blame.

Having worked in newspapers myself I know a desperately contrived story when I see one. There are several elements here which make me smell a rat.

For example:

However, York Minster has received complaints that the Emperor also supported slavery in Roman times.

Oh yeah? How many complaints? From whom? It’s not specified.

Also – though I’m sure that York Minister will now be considering the statue’s future, this will have more to do, I suspect, with the pressure that has been brought upon it now that the story has been covered in the Telegraph and followed up in the Mail.

In other words, while the Telegraph may not have fabricated the story it will certainly have amplified it – giving the oxygen of publicity to the kind of cry-bully activists whom we would probably all do better to ignore because they are so unrepresentative of normal British people.

If the mainstream media starts normalising the destruction of statuary and implying that the Black Lives Matter movement has a point – both of which it has been doing of late – then inevitably what happens is that we’ll get more copycat crimes.

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