4 readers online now  |  69 million page views

A Civilization Under Siege

Reader comment on item: Christianity Dying in Its Birthplace

Submitted by Aidan Maconachy (Canada), Sep 14, 2005 at 12:11

With respect to this question of Christianity dying in the land of its origins, this may very possibly be because it is dying elsewhere also.

I find it very instructive that the left wing, pro-American Italian author, Oriana Fallaci, claims to be an "atheist Christian" - a term that appears to be an oxymoron at first. Since Christianity has been a major cultural influence in the forging of the European identity, Fallaci embraces it while not adhering to the tenets of the faith. This makes complete sense to me within the context of her greater European identity.

On the other hand, what I find alarming is not simply the exodus of the faithful from Christian churches in Europe, but the active attempts to de-Christianize the society at large. I'm sure many readers are familiar with such efforts in the States also. They go all the way from seeking bans on public displays of the Ten Commandments, to the refusal by school authorities to permit the celebration of Christmas pageants in predominantly Christian schools, on the grounds that it make give "offence" to non-Christians. These symbols and ceremonies are not simply a demonstration of faith by committed Christians, they are the emblems of fidelity to a tradition and to a view of history.

The tradition under assault on all sides from Islam and the liberal cheerleaders of a secular heterodoxy, is not only "Christian", but correctly speaking ..."Judeo-Christian" . Christianity after all is but a breakaway branch of Judaism in essence, because Jesus was clearly a Jew first and foremost, emerging as he did as a teacher from within the prophetic tradition.

While the march of Christianity has been marred by dark periods such as The Inquisition, it has also been the harbinger of great glories and momentous achievements. The artistic accomplishments of a musician like Bach and a painter like Michelangelo, derive in no small measure from their association with this grand Judeo-Christian tradition. Similarly on the military front - the armies of Christendom did indeed succeed in keeping numerous enemies from routing the capitals of Europe and reducing its people to the status of clients.

In casting off their Christian tradition, Europeans have entered a strange twilight zone of their own making. They exist in a multicultural society inhabited also by millions of Muslims who far from adapting to the secular humanist trend, are attempting to make Islam the dominant cultural and religious force in their adopted land. European liberals respond with yet more empathy and efforts at "outreach", only to find that these efforts at conciliation are exploited as weakness and have made little difference whatever to the mindset of committed Islamists who view their hosts first and foremost as "infidels".

So the attack on Taybeh is most likely a taste of what is to come, because as Muslims sense that Christianity is a religion in retreat, this type of aggression will only increase. The remark by others in the thread relating to the pro-Palestinian position of many Christian churches helps to draw attention to the peculiar self-immolating masochism which many Christians confuse with a correct demonstration of faith. In other ways also the Christian church has been undermining its own authority. The tolerance of pedophilia among priests has become a terrible wound and weakened the church's credibility. The undoing of traditional practices and the efforts to "live up to" trendy humanist causes has also turned some churches into little more than glorified social clubs.

In common with writers such as Oriana Fallaci, I fear deeply for the future of a civilization that is being undermined from within, even as it is being attacked from without.
Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to A Civilization Under Siege by Aidan Maconachy

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)