It is time to defend Western Christendom!

Templar knight kneeling in prayer

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!”

Reflections on grounding oneself in the tradition

Those of us who respect, even revere the past, who value tradition, who both yearn for and promote the ways of the past as a helpful and healthful antidote to the psychological and cultural poisons of the present, are nonetheless living in a swirling vortex of those present poisons every day – nearly, every hour of every day. And for those of us who get a lot of our news and commentary online, the ceaseless 24-hour news cycle of factoids, “alternative facts,” pseudo-facts, and a plethora of competing perspectives can be overwhelming.

Even when the information is solid and accurate – which is not so often as one might wish – it is still coming at one at such a frenzied pace, and frequently with such a tinge of hysteria, that this commentator, at least, often feels like he’s on the bridge of a beleaguered starship Enterprise, bouncing Klingon disruptors off his forward shields, and praying those shields don’t collapse! Or to switch metaphors, to be struggling to find solid ground amidst the shifting sand of popular opinion, and even competing claims about the nature of truth and reality.

This is why it is so important to ground oneself in the tradition itself. Historical, intellectual, and philosophical, of course; but also cultural, artistic, and musical, among other components. Continue reading “Reflections on grounding oneself in the tradition”

The confidence of Baroque and the decline of the modern West

Video: Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks, Overture.

I have been listening to more classical music, of late, than I had for a while, and aside from the sheer beauty of it, there is one thing that strikes me quite dramatically: classical music, especially but not exclusively the great Baroque classics by composers like Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel, was above all supremely confident music! Like Baroque art and architecture, in their spheres, it was the music of a people who honored their past, rejoiced in their present, and had great hope and expectations for the future.

How different from much of what is written now (the “industrial” music popular a while back was called by one commentator “the sound that civilization makes as it’s coming apart,” and that could describe much of the contemporary oeuvre). I am not saying that there is not some great music being written today, or even that I do not like some contemporary music in the more “popular” genre (although if I have to listen to contemporary music, I’ll take country, thank you). But it is almost without exception nowhere close to the great classics in either musicality or the confidence in the future it expresses.

And that leads me to my sad observation: that we in the West, who value the civilization of the West, need to somehow recapture that confidence, or the decline of the West will continue until we are irrelevant, if not extinct. A culture which does not believe in itself, and its prospects for the future, has no future; if we continue down our present path, we are doomed to replacement, either by invading alien cultures such as Islam, or by something new and inferior springing from within, but lacking a sense of connection with, or respect for, our cultural heritage and inheritance: what Supreme Court nominee Judge Robert Bork called “the vertical invasion of the barbarians.”

The problem is that downward spirals, whether in an aircraft or a culture, are fiendishly hard to pull out of, and the further down you get, the harder it is. We need to revamp our educational system away from “political correctness” and neophilia (*) and back to respect, appreciation, even love for our customs, traditions, history, and heritage; we need to return, not to Taliban-like rigid enforcement of moral purity, but certainly away from the absurdities of obsessive sexuality and rampant gender confusion characterizing the present age; and we need to regain our ability to draw borders and boundaries to protect our cultural integrity and distinctiveness: gardens need fences, and those who attempt to be all things to all people end up being nothing to anyone.

How that is going to come about, though, I confess I do not know. Will it require complete bottoming-out, and (hopefully, painfully and over time) rebuilding from a “faithful remnant”? Or is it possible that some new idea, some new and powerful personality, might serve to inspire us to recapture our sense of our own possibility? I hope so, although I don’t see any such on the horizon. The alternative is almost too painful to consider.

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* Neophilia: the love of the new simply for its own sake, combined with the belief that what is newer is automatically and necessarily better than what is older / more traditional.

Europe: What Happens to Christians There Will Come Here

“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.

Source: Europe: What Happens to Christians There Will Come Here

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:

Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Dresden, called in German Katholische Hofkirche or Kathedrale Sanctissimae Trinitatis.

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!

“The Judeo-Christian Community”

May look like Mars, but it’s the Iraqi desert. Image source: U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. James B. Hoke.

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.