Monday, September 17, 2007

Rediscovering Faith In the Face of Evil

Islam has always yearned to own and control the ancient lands of Europe. They have tried many, many times to conquer the West, beginning in 715 with the invasion of Spain and most recently in front of Vienna in 1683. With nuclear weapons, a vast population and a new generation of leaders who see the West as weak, sonner or later they may well succeed. The question is, what should the West, principally the United States, do about these barbarians?

Writing in the American Conservative, James Pinkerton has an audacious answer- revive Christendom and make a Council of the West to defend Christians around the world from the rapacious and bloody grasp of Islam. Channleing JRR Tolkien, Pinkerton suggests that the West take a page from the Council of Elrond, which brought together the races and groups- Men, Elves, Hobbitts- who opposed the evil of Sauron. Pinkerton proposes that the West do something similar to forge a grand council to oppose Islam and secure the West, while leaving the East to do what it will. Pinkerton writes,
Two years ago, the Eurocrats in Brussels drafted a 300-page EU constitution that consciously omitted reference to Europe’s specifically Christian heritage. The voters of France, as well as Holland, rejected that secular document.

Maybe there’s a lesson here. The people of Europe might not be so eager, after all, to declare that they are “united in diversity.” What does that phrase mean, anyway? How about trying to find something that unites Europeans in unity? How about a revival of Christendom as a concept—as a political concept? A revival, or at least a remembrance, of Europe’s cultural heritage could be the healing force that Europe needs.

After all, it worked in the past. In the words of the 19th-century French historian Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges, the victory of Christianity marked “the end of ancient society”—and all the petty divisions that went with it. Fustel de Coulanges continues, “Man felt that he had other obligations besides that of living and dying for the city. Christianity distinguished the private from the public virtues. By giving less honor to the latter, it elevated the former; it placed God, the family, the human individual above country, the neighbor above the city.”

As history proves, a larger communion can be built on such sentiments. In the 9th century, Alcuin of York declared that the crowning of Charlemagne as the first Holy Roman Emperor would bring forth a new Imperium Christianum. Ten centuries later, Hilaire Belloc asserted, “The Faith is Europe. And Europe is the Faith.” Indeed, during those many centuries, Europe enjoyed a pretty good run. Only in the last century—the century of atheists, psychiatrists, and National Socialists—has Europe’s survivability come into question. Today, the Christian author Os Guiness puts the issue plainly: “A Europe cut off from its spiritual roots cannot survive.”

Some will smile at the thought that Christianity might be part of the solution to the problems of the Third Millennium. Admittedly, there’s an element of faith in the idea of trying to revive the idea of Christian unity. But Christendom is the Shire Strategy, applied.

But what about the groups who are neither Christian nor Mulsim? What about the Buddhist Chinese, Japanese and Korean? What about the Hindi Indians? These groups also are threatened by resurgent Islam. As the Indians know, Islam has no preferences- India was under the Muslim Mughal emperors for centuries. Pinkerton suggests that as long as Christians do not seek to expand their own lands by conquest, then Christians, Buddhists and Hindus can work together to surround Islam and force it to stay within it's own boundaries. As he says,
No matter what we say or do, the blocs of Hindus, Chinese, and Japanese are all going their separate cultural ways, rediscovering their own unique heritages. And Islam, of course, is at odds with all of its neighbors. In his book a decade ago, Huntington, mindful of the indirect danger posed by American universalism, was even more mindful of the direct danger posed by Muslims: “Islam’s borders are bloody and so are its innards,” he writes. “Muslim bellicosity and violence are late-twentieth century facts which neither Muslims nor non-Muslims can deny.” That’s bad news, but there’s a silver lining: if Westerners, Russians, Africans, Hindus, and Chinese all feel threatened by Islam—and they all do—there’s plenty of opportunity for a larger encircling alliance, with an eye toward feasible strategies of containment, even quarantine. But not conquest, not occupation, not “liberation.”

Not everyone will agree with Pinkerton- for example, I suspect that the West is less reliable than the Anglosphere, but his suggestions are certainly a possibility, if only Europe will raise its collective head from the sands and realize the danger in which it stands. The Hagia Sophia, one of Christendom's greatest church, was turned into a mosque on the Muslim capture of Christian Constantinople in 1453. Today, it is a museum, but Chirstians are not permitted to worship within its hallowed walls. Could we face Muslims worshipping in the halls of Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome? Diversity and multiculturalism are a recipe for cultural suicide in the face of an Islam that thinks it is finally in position to destroy the one region that has always resisted it and has surpassed it so badly in ther last few centuries. If the West does nto awake, there won't be a West. Freedom of press, dress, behavior and the ability to worship as one chooses are integral to the West. They are anathem to Islam.

Read the whole thing and make your own decision. One way or another, we will be faced with a murderous and religiously inspired Islamic world against us sooner or alter. How we deal with it will determine whether we survive or not. Hat tip to Jerry Pournelle.

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