Tag: Charles Darwin

Straitjacketing Churchill (and the Truth)

Straitjacketing Churchill (and the Truth)

LONDON, JULY 19TH— In what were described as “guer­ril­la raids,” BBC Chan­nel 4 “strait­jack­et­ed” the stat­ues of four wide­ly admired Britons: Churchill and Flo­rence Nightin­gale in Lon­don, Charles Dar­win in Shrews­bury and Samuel John­son in Lich­field.

Each fig­ure was “restrained” in a bespoke strait-jack­et which had the men­tal ill­ness they are reput­ed to have had stamped across it. Churchill’s was labeled DEPRESSION.

The strait­jack­et­ing was car­ried out to pro­mote Chan­nel 4’s sea­son of prime-time pro­gram­ming chal­leng­ing men­tal health stig­ma and dis­crim­i­na­tion, “4 Goes Mad,” which start­ed on Mon­day 23 July. The stunt was also cap­tured as part of a short film aired on Chan­nel 4’s “Ran­dom Acts.”

Com­mis­sion­ing Edi­tor Lina Prest­wood said: “Despite the fact one in four of us are like­ly to expe­ri­ence a men­tal health con­di­tion in our life­time, mis­un­der­stand­ing and stig­ma per­sists.”

We can eas­i­ly agree that Chan­nel 4 has gone mad, but per­haps not quite in the way they mean; that they know lit­tle about Churchill, or his vast­ly over-hyped depres­sion; and that mis­un­der­stand­ing and stig­ma cer­tain­ly per­sist where Sir Win­ston is con­cerned.…

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Churchill’s Religion: “Optimistic Agnostic”

Churchill’s Religion: “Optimistic Agnostic”

Although he had some very reli­gious friends, like Lord Hugh Cecil, Win­ston Churchill was not a reli­gious man. Intro­duced to reli­gious diver­si­ty ear­ly, he was brought up “High Church,” but had a nan­ny “who enjoyed a very Low Church form of piety.” When in rebel­lious mood he would tell Nan­ny Ever­est “the worst thing that he could think of…that he would go out and ‘wor­ship idols.’”

After his self-edu­ca­tion as a young offi­cer in India, when he read all the pop­u­lar chal­lenges to ortho­dox reli­gion, like Charles Darwin’s The Ori­gin of Species and William Win­wood Reade’s The Mar­tyr­dom of Man, Churchill evolved into what we might term an “opti­mistic agnos­tic.” He spoke joc­u­lar­ly of the Almighty, sug­gest­ing that as a boy,

I accumulated…so fine a sur­plus in the Bank of Obser­vance that I have been draw­ing con­fi­dent­ly upon it ever since.…

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