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Resurgence of Religion

Reader comment on item: Europe is Finished, Predicts Mark Steyn

Submitted by Daisy (United States), Nov 14, 2006 at 15:44

Dr. Pipes, You have a more optimistic take on the survival of European culture than does Mr. Steyn (or myself).

You say: "There is still a chance for the transformation not to play itself out, but the prospects diminish with time. Here are several possible ways it might be stopped: • Changes in Europe that lead to a resurgence of Christian faith, an increase in childbearing, or the cultural assimilation of immigrants; such developments can theoretically occur but what would cause them is hard to imagine. • Muslim modernization. For reasons no one has quite figured out (education of women? abortion on demand? adults too self-absorbed to have children?), modernity leads to a drastic reduction in the birth rate.

Also, were the Muslim world to modernize, the attraction of moving to Europe would diminish. • Immigration from other sources. Latin Americans, being Christian, would more or less permit Europe to keep its historic identity. Hindus and Chinese would increase the diversity of cultures, making it less likely that Islam would dominate."

Mr. Steyn has said that Europe's "Nanny State" (brought about as elite government set itself apart from populism .. in reaction to European fascism) has effectively usurped adult tasks from its citizens .. indeed robbing them of incentives even to reproduce. Religious practice, like reproduction, is also an adult task. One could argue that Europeans have not shunned this task, but instead embraced Extreme Secularism as their new religion. Where Extreme Secularism is practiced, there is no more effective Church and State .. there is only State. Where Extreme (or even Moderate) Islam is practiced, there is only Mosque.

With this in mind, I believe your most effective suggestion lies in the idea of a reclamation of Christian religious faith and practice. Christianity has already worked out functional separation from State and it has the additional benefit of being responsive to the human condition rather than reactionary. "Nannydom" is essentially reactionary, arising as it did, from fear of Fascism. Reactions have a way of becoming what they react against; in this case, secularized Europe has become, in some real ways, a fascistic dream state .. all is completely socially engineered and it's people reduced to fatal infantile dependancy upon the engineering State. Responsible choice, on the other hand, has a way of leading to growth and progress.

Free will is a central tenet of Christianity - if Europeans were to freely take back their religious cultural heritage and practice, this powerful action would provide both a more functional religious practice than Secularism and would also create a healthier State. Simultaneously, a Europe with an operative Church and State would provide the counterbalance and incentive for Islam to begin to separate out Mosque and State.

As it is, the native Europeans hold the State hostage and the Islamists hold the Religion hostage with both parties in natural conflict. This Christian reclamation does not solve the problem of mortally declining native European birth rates (although a more Christian Europe may prove an attractive destination to young Latin immigrants which could - if timely - solve that problem ) but at least it provides for a more balanced European culture in the interim of its demise and at best would provide a real social opportunity for Islam to separate itself out into functional domains .. which could only improve Europe (or Eurabia's) future.

My sense is that a collective of people who have forgotten how to have children and so, in effect, have remained childish, will not have the ability to make such crucial survival decisions. After all, Christ admonished His followers to "become as children" (in their faith). His statement presupposes He was speaking to adults. I'm afraid that Nanny-Stated European adults are quite a different phenomena than adults who hold the status of maturity fashioned by traditional Christian sensibilities. So, from my perspective, Europe's future as a standard bearer of Western civilization doesn't look sustainable ( if, indeed, Europe can claim to currently bear and carry forth the standards of Western civilization).

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".

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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".

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