Europe’s Civilizational Exhaustion

Giulio Meotti, Gatestone Instiute, April 9, 2018

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It is the sort of exhaustion that we see in Europeans’ falling birth rates, the mushrooming public debt, chaos in the streets, and Europe’s refusal to invest resources in its security and military might. Last month, in a Paris suburb, the Basilica of Saint Denis, where France’s Christian kings are buried, was occupied by 80 migrants and pro-illegal-immigration activists. The police had to intervene to free the site.

Stephen Bullivant, a professor of theology and the sociology of religion at St Mary’s University in London, recently published a report, “Europe’s Young Adults and Religion”:

“Christianity as a default, as a norm, is gone, and probably gone for good – or at least for the next 100 years,” Bullivant said.

According to Bullivant, many young Europeans “will have been baptised and then never darken the door of a church again. Cultural religious identities just aren’t being passed on from parents to children. It just washes straight off them… “And we know the Muslim birthrate is higher than the general population, and they have much higher [religious] retention rates.”

Richard Dawkins, an atheist and the author of The God Delusion, responded to the study’s release by tweeting to his millions of Twitter followers:

Before we rejoice at the death throes of the relatively benign Christian religion, let’s not forget Hilaire Belloc’s menacing rhyme:
“Always keep a-hold of nurse
For fear of finding something worse.”

Dawkins is apparently concerned that that after the demise of Christianity in Europe, there will not be an atheistic utopia, but a rising Islam.

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According to Radio Sweden, fewer newborns in that country are being baptized due to the demographic shift. By 2050, almost one in three people in Sweden will be Muslim, according to a recent Pew report

The European mainstream mindset now seems to believe that “evil” comes only from our own sins: racism, sexism, elitism, xenophobia, homophobia, the guilt of the heterosexual white Western male — and never from non-European cultures. So Europe now postulates an infinite idealization of the “other”, above all the migrant. {snip}

In German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s major speech in the Bundestag after the unprecedentedly long and difficult process of forming a new government, she struck a conciliatory tone on immigration while offering an inclusive message on Islam. “With 4.5 million Muslims living with us, their religion, Islam, has also become a part of Germany”, she said.

The most powerful politician in Europe capitulated: she evidently forgot (again) the difference between the civil rights of individuals, which Muslim citizens enjoy in Germany, and the sources of a national identity, on which Europe is based: humanistic, Judeo-Christian values. This realization may why a week earlier the new German Interior minister, Horst Seehofer, said that “Germany has been shaped by Christianity” and not by Islam.

Europe’s tiredness can also be seen in a generational conflict embodied in the alarming rise of public debt. {snip}

{snip}. “In most European countries—including England, Germany, Italy and Russia, Christian deaths outnumbered Christian births from 2010 to 2015,” writes the Wall Street Journal.

Terrorist attacks will continue in Europe. Recently, in Trèbes, southern France, a jihadist took hostages in a supermarket and claimed allegiance to ISIS. It seems that Europe’s societies consider themselves so strong and their ability to absorb mass immigration so extensive, that nothing will prevent them from believing they can assimilate and manage terrorist acts as they have automobile fatalities or natural disasters. {snip}

{snip} The most likely scenario is that everything will continue: the internal fracture of Europe, two parallel societies and the debasement of Western culture. Piece by piece, European society seems to be coming irreparably apart.

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