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"I slept and dreamt that life was Joy.
I woke and saw that life was Duty.
I acted, and behold, Duty was Joy."
Rabindranath Tagore

"The skepticism about human rationality that science inspires should not be taken as support for authoritarianism or paternalism… On the contrary, it should render questionable all claims to wise and disinterested leadership, including those of America’s own altruistic progressive technocrats who propose policies to “nudge” the unenlightened masses into doing the right thing. It makes more sense to think of our leaders and intellectuals as half-crazed hooting howler monkeys — just like the rest of us."
Michael Lind, Salon, August 23,2011
“Seeing what isn’t there is half the job of being on the Left. The other half is changing what isn’t there through costly, intrusive, and ill-conceived initiatives (save 10 percent for keeping Charlie Rangel out of trouble).” -Abe Greenberg, October 9, 2009
“To date, what non-Obama voters see, and fear, is a candidate content to coast to the nomination and then conduct a blandly conservative campaign. They want a more substantive choice than that. They want to have it out over the worth or danger of Barack Obama’s ideas. They want the chance to ratify Washington’s enormous long-term claims on the country’s wealth, or decisively reject them." – Daniel Henninger, WSJ, July 21, 2011
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« Merry Christmas II: Christian Minorities Under Siege | Main | Is that a banana in your sock... »
Sunday
Dec242006

Merry Christmas I: The Netherlands

This is an intriguing report from the Netherlands, published in the Weekly Standard, about the resurgence of Christianity.  Take it as it is, I suppose.  I am cheered by it but am concerned that the population projections are wildly at variance with what I heard a couple of months ago, that Holland would be majority Muslim in eleven years.

The Netherlands has made news recently by proposing legislation to ban the full face veil.  It's a small but significant step to asserting Western cultural norms against the onslaught of radical Islam [aside: half-step forward, six steps back.  The minister who will introduce legislation for the burqa ban has been stripped of her immigration brief for refusing to halt deportation of "asylum seekers" who have overstayed or failed to prove legitimate status].  As I listen to people who are much better acquainted with the situation there than I, two schools of thought have clearly developed.  That the tide is turning, look at the demographics (this article) and it's too late, look at the demographics (Mark Steyn).   The central theme of this article is that secularism has reached its highwater mark in Holland, that Christianity is on the rise, especially among young people.  Secondarily, there is the claim that Muslim immigration has been virtually halted and the Muslim birthrate is fast approaching the native birthrate.  Would that it were true: I am skeptical.

The other thing I'm skeptical about is the gathering of many young people under the banner of "non-traditional churches."  No bricks, no mortar, we meet in houses or arenas, pray and praise and voilá, we're one with the Trinity.  Or maybe not, as the Trinity is one of those tedious, antiquated artifacts of theology that young people just don't need.   Part of me says, well, we have to start somewhere and these young Europeans are pretty much starting from scratch.  One of the things that emergent churches emphasize is community and service, which is a very good thing.  I will be interested to see, however, if this gets translated back into communal self-reliance and defence of values (against the predations of secularism and Islam) or if it's all just another twist on I'm-OK-You're-OK.  Nothing in this article suggests, for instance, that there is any particular call on adhererents to operate on a different moral level than the surrounding culture.  I'd be very interested to know, for instance, if any new Christians are taking the Biblical injuctions to refrain from sex outside of marriage seriously, much less to repeal any of Holland's rather famously "liberal" definitions of consensual sex (twelve year-olds are statutory adults for that pupose.)  Well, we shall see.  Rome wasn't built in a day and a beginning that acknowledges the existence of God is a start.

 

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Reader Comments (1)

I am not so surprised, nor terribly skeptical.First, atheism is not man's natural state. Atheists are always whingeing about how "incurably religious" we are, except, of course, for the rare and very intelligent, who can be recognized by their atheism. European atheism did not spring up out of the over-farmed soil on that continent. Rather, various thinkers thought that religion was overly helpful in sustaining bourgeois culture, and so they tried to get rid of religion. Really, some of them were awfully obvious about it, like Goebbels, gloating over the "destruction of nineteenth century bourgeois culture," as Berlin lay in flaming ruins.

Second, Jacques Barzun noted an underground Christianity in France, eight or ten years ago, in his monumental work, From Dawn to Decadence.

Third, I have known missionaries going to Europe or on their way back. They were pumped. Fourth, I have known other Africans who had lived in Europe, had been part of churches there, and so on.

Fifth, demographics may favor Muslims in the short term, but, as the Weekly Standard article mentioned, absent coercion, maintaining Muslim discipline is not so easy to accomplish.

Finally, from Lepanto to Gallipoli, no Muslim force defeated any Christian force. It is an integral part of the Muslim faith that earthly Muslim armies will force the spread of Islam throughout the world. Whatever the effete elite try to say, it is only they who are weak and lacking commitment, so it is very likely that only they will be defeated by any Muslim force, or whine campaign. This sort of pruning of the deadwood in the ruling class ought to be familiar to anyone who's read the Old Testament. With Muslim defeats, come profound disillusionment. This dissillusion may provoke short-term reactions of fanaticism and/or terrorism, but, if we fight in any way that could be called somewhat credible, they will lose heart, in Europe as much as in the sandy places. The battle is not finished, but the outcome appears less dark than has been earlier reported.

Deus lo Volt! (Crusader battle cry:"God Wills it!)

Michael Adams
December 26, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Adams

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