I wrote this piece as a reply to a thread in a Facebook group called “Catholic Village Movement: Rebuilding Christendom.” The idea was floated that, “Many of us came from cities just 100 years ago. Maybe cities are the Catholic’s natural environment. Ugh. Gross. But also maybe true.” I am not so sure. In fact, I doubt it!
Here is my response – please read “Catholic” or “Catholics” to include all branches of the Church Catholic, including not only those of the Roman observance, but our Eastern Orthodox brethren, and of course, those of us who are Anglicans – slightly cleaned up and elaborated upon from the original:
I have just been an observer of the conversations on this group heretofore, but for what it’s worth (maybe nothing), here’s another perspective on the urban-vs-rural thing. Yes, “pagani” meant, roughly, “country bumpkins.” Actually it meant, literally, “dwellers in the pagus,” with “pagus” meaning – interestingly enough – “village,” but also district, countryside, rural portions of a civitas (http://latinmeaning.com/pagus-latin-to-english-translation/). It had, by the early Christian era, acquired a slightly pejorative cast to it, like “hicks” or “rednecks.”
So the question to ask ourselves is, why did those who clung to their pre-Christian religions (shades of Obama’s infamous “bitterly clinging to God and guns” remark…) become known as “pagani” (“pagans”)? Because a) new teachings took longer – a lot longer – to percolate out to the countryside, in those pre-hi-tech (and, for many, pre-literate) days, and b) because the cities had become inhospitable to them, having been largely converted to the new religion, Christianity. The situation is similar today, although the roles are reversed.
Ask yourself, where is the greatest survival of Christian (not only, but including, Catholic) belief and practice today? Hint: it’s not in the big, densely-populated coastal urban enclaves! It’s in the “flyover states,” and in more rural sections of the rest of the states. And for many of the same reasons that the “pagus” remained “pagan” long after Christianity had begun to gain traction in the more urban areas: cities are not, and never have been, amenable for those who want to maintain traditions. Continue reading “Is the “natural habitat” of Catholic Christians (including Anglicans) urban or rural?”
“We can have the largest economies and the most lethal weapons of anywhere on Earth, but if we do not have strong families and strong values, then we will be weak and we will not survive. If anyone forgets the critical importance of these things, let them come to one country that never has.”
I will confess, I was never a passenger on the “Trump Train.” I did vote for him – through gritted teeth – because I could not stomach the thought of Hillary Clinton occupying the Oval Office, and I did not want to throw my vote away on a quixotic protest. But I have never been a partisan, and he has done many things, both before and after the election, that I have not agreed with.
But if this speech – delivered in Warsaw, Poland, on the 6th of July – is more than words, if it is truly indicative of his plans and intentions, if he is really going to place the defense of Western civilization, and dare I say it, Western Christendom, at the heart of his foreign policy, then I am behind him 110%, at least in that area. Continue reading “Virgil — The Emerging Trump Doctrine: The Defense of the West and Judeo-Christian Civilization”
I have been thinking, deeply, about the crisis – or perhaps one ought to say, converging crises – facing the West at this time in our history. And I have come to the conclusion that the primary problem facing our Western civilization in dealing with Islamist terrorism and, more broadly, the multi-pronged (religious, paramilitary, socio-cultural, and as a sub-set of the latter, sexual) jihad against us, is not simply that Christians are too nice for our own good. We may well be, but the root problem goes deeper than that.
The real problem, I think, is that far too many Christians have lost their faith. I am not talking about the atheists, militant or otherwise; I am not even talking about the “nones” (Religious Affiliation? None of the Above), although the growth of both is concerning. I am talking about professed Christians who, while they may still accept the moral codes and social norms (however diluted or creatively interpreted) of Christianity, have nonetheless lost sight of the core principle: namely, the identity of Christ Himself, within the doctrine of the Holy Trinity (one God in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).
Why do I say that? Simply this: if you really and truly believed that Christ is the only and eternal Son of God, the Incarnate Word of the Father –
the only-begotten Son of God; Begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of very God; Begotten, not made; Being of one substance with the Father; By whom all things were made,
in the words of the Nicene Creed, which has defined the essentials of the faith since 325 AD – then it would matter to you, and matter deeply, that Christians are being murdered en masse in the name of Islam, in the Middle East, Africa, and elsewhere; that churches in Europe are emptying at an alarming rate, and many of them are either being destroyed or turned into mosques; that according to some reports, as many as 40% of Moslems, ordinary Moslems, in the West would prefer to live under Sharia law; that Islamists – and not just ISIS terrorists, but relatively ordinary Moslem preachers and relatively ordinary Moslem believers – are actively calling for and expecting the conquest of the West by Islam, the imposition of Sharia for Moslems living in Western countries, and other special privileges for Moslems not granted to followers of any other religion.
As Italian journalist and author Giulio Meotti puts it, writing for The Geller Report,
“Europe as we know it is disappearing under the weight of falling birth rates, de-Christianization and Muslim proliferation. The great Medieval churches were built to assert pride, and conversely, the sight of an abandoned church or in ruins today sends a strong message. A world is being eclipsed.”
This is happening not in the Middle East – once the cradle of Christianity but now an area where the followers of Mohammed reign supreme – but from Dearborn, Michigan, to Birmingham, England; from Stockholm, Sweden, to Nice, France. Continue reading “It is time to defend Western Christendom!”
“Be careful, be very careful. What has happened here will come to you.” — An elderly priest in Iraq, to Father Benedict Kiely. Last year, more than 90,000 people chose to drop out of the Church of Sweden – almost twice as many as the year before.
Second of two timely – and distressing – posts from the Gatestone Institute.
“I fear we are approaching a situation resembling the tragic fate of Christianity in Northern Africa in Islam’s early days”, a Lutheran bishop, Jobst Schoene, warned a few years ago.
In ancient times, Algeria and Tunisia, entirely Christian, gave us great thinkers such as Tertullian and Augustine. Two centuries later, Christianity had disappeared, replaced by Arab-Islamic civilization.
Is Europe now meeting the same fate?
It doesn’t have to happen. But it most certainly could – and likely will, if current trends and practices continue. Do you want to see this turned into a mosque? With a muezzin giving the call to Moslem prayer from the dome cupola? Because that’s what could be coming:
Or imagine what Moslems, with their hatred of religious imagery, would do to this church interior:
We need to be vigilant – more than vigilant – to defend our Christian and Western civilization, its heritage, its traditions and values, and yes, its physical artifacts from any and all that would seek to destroy them. Because no one else is going to do it for us!
Seeing Turkey’s election this month, in which the Turks used their democratic freedom to vote themselves out of their democratic freedom – just to throw it out – should remind us that the Judeo-Christian values which we take for granted are more fragile than we may have thought.
Source: “The Judeo-Christian Community”
First of two timely – and distressing – posts from the Gatestone Institute.
“The Judeo-Christian nations of the world need to band together to stand up for our freedoms, our nations, the values we care about: free speech, equal justice under law, separation of church and state, freedom of religion, independent judiciary, independent education – things like that – our whole humanitarian code of conduct…
“It is time for the Christian world to stand up for our history, values and worldview along with our brothers, the Jewish community – not only in Israel, but the world over. If we do not look after us, someone else will. But we may not like what comes out.”
We used to have that. It was called Christendom. We need to bring it back.