And, since the Left has many different and separate aspects, we have to fight against each one of them. Secularism, environmentalism, global warming alarmism, homosexualism, militant feminism, sexual relativism, multiculturalism, anti-Christianity, Islamophilia, post-nationalism, and internationalism are just as important targets to attack as Marxist economics, the expropriation of the capitalist class (or, in its modern reincarnation, redistribution of wealth), and the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Neglecting any of these fronts is like fighting a war leaving a battleground to the enemy, like fighting on the western front and leaving totally undefended the eastern one.
Secularism and atheism are certainly the first lines of important wars.
A secularist West will always lose to Islam, because it will have enough compassion, tolerance and self-restraint from violence that are the remnants of its Christian heritage, but it will have lost the ideals, the passion and certainty of fighting for a just cause that were once part of Christianity and have disappeared with its erosion.
Two quotes here serve as epigrams. Robert Spencer wrote in his great work “Religion of Peace? Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t“: “People who are ashamed of their own culture will not defend it.” And Dennis Prager said during one of his radio broadcasts, “Only good religion can counter bad religion.”
Some people claim that there won’t be a religious revival in Europe because we are past believing in God. That this is not true can be seen by the high – and increasing – number of Westerners who convert to Islam. Many of them give as a reason for their conversion the need for absolutes, boundaries and well-defined status.
A journalist writing for The Spectator on this subject explained why she is Catholic:
But above all, I like the moral certainties. I don’t mind the dogma one bit. I would rather dogma and impossible ideals than confusion and compromise. In that sense, I do identify with those who choose Islam over the way of no faith, or a seemingly uncertain faith, like the woolly old C of E.
William Kilpatrick, in Christianity, Islam, and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West – a book I thoroughly recommend reading – writes:
Brian Young’s friends said he was troubled by the decadence of Western society. David Courtrailler’s lawyer said, “For David, Islam ordered his life.” These are the sorts of reasons ordinary converts to Islam give. A common refrain from converts is that Islam provides a complete plan for life in contrast to the ruleless and clueless life offered by secular society. As Mary Fallot, a young French convert, explains, “Islam demands a closeness to God. Islam is simpler, more rigorous, and it’s easier because it is explicit. I was looking for a framework; man needs rules and behavior to follow. Christianity did not give me the same reference points.” If you look at the convert testimonials on Muslim websites, they echo this refrain: Islam brings “peace”, “order”, “discipline”, and a way of life that Christianity and other religions fail to offer.
Human beings will never be past the need for believing in something bigger than themselves, because that need is part of the human mind.
Today the Christian religion is being replaced by the worship of the Goddess earth, New Age beliefs, the cult of celebrities (not coincidentally sometimes called “idols”), a blind faith in science, in chance as the creator and motor of the universe and in the absence of God.
And, last but not least, by Islam, which is increasingly filling the vacuum left by Christianity.
It is not surprising that Western people who feel a spiritual need may embrace Islam more easily than Christianity, when the latter has been the butt of constant attacks, denigrations and ridicule for a very long time, increasing since the 1960s, while the former is continually — albeit seriously mistakenly — praised as a religion of peace, tolerance and great wisdom.
Christian clergy is often criticized, sometimes rightly and sometimes not. But we tend to forget that clergymen are human beings, with all their imperfections. They too have been subjected to many decades of Leftist indoctrination and brainwashing. Even they, by the mere fact of living in this society, have been influenced by its insanity.
We can expect guidance from our leaders, yes, but rather than castigating them we should make the first steps.
A clear direction was given by Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, Archbishop of Bologna, Italy.
As early as 30 September 2000, before 9/11, when very few in the West even thought of worrying about Islam, he delivered a very forward-looking speech, which included this premonition:
In an interview ten years ago, I was asked with great candor and with enviable optimism: “Are You among those who believe that Europe will either be Christian or cease to exist?” I think my answer then may well serve to conclude my speech today.
I think – I said – that either Europe will become Christian again or it will become Muslim. What I see without future is the “culture of nothing”, of freedom without limits and without content, of skepticism boasted as intellectual achievement, which seems to be the attitude largely dominant among European peoples, all more or less rich of means and poor of truths. This “culture of nothingness” (sustained by hedonism and libertarian insatiability) will not be able to withstand the ideological onslaught of Islam, which will not be missing: only the rediscovery of the Christian event as the only salvation for man – and therefore only a strong resurrection of the ancient soul of Europe – will offer a different outcome to this inevitable confrontation.
Unfortunately, neither “secularists” nor “Catholics” seem to have so far realized the tragedy that is looming. “Secularists”, opposing the Church in every way, do not realize that they are fighting against the strongest inspiration and the most effective defense of Western civilization and its values of rationality and freedom: they might realize it too late.
An effect of the decline of Christian faith in Europe has been the strong decrease in birth rates, that are now below the population replacement level (the replacing – and then some — is done by Muslims). Why have babies when you feel that you don’t have anything valuable to pass on to them?
I remember a time when my friends and contemporaries of child-bearing age (but childless) were saying to me things to the effect that there was no point – indeed it was a crime to engage — in bringing people into this terrible world. This is the talk of faithless despair, no hope in this or another world, lack of belief.
Militant atheists à la Richard Dawkins have not really given enough thought to the long-term consequences of their ideas, which we are beginning to see.
And of which we are reminded whenever, for example, we read in the news of doctors and missionaries who die of Ebola while assisting affected patients for Christian charities. Not many atheist charities are involved in that work.
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