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Mark Steyn: One nation under God
The Spectator (U.K.) ^ | 03/14/04 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 03/11/2004 6:10:12 AM PST by Pokey78

The US is powerful and religious; the EU is weak and secular. Mark Steyn wonders whether it is any coincidence

The other day, the guy on my local radio station mentioned that The Passion of The Christ was the Number One movie in America. ‘So congrats to Mel Gibson,’ he said. ‘And it’ll probably hold on to the Number One slot until the new Starsky & Hutch opens.’

It’s always useful to keep things in proportion. But, in fact, Starsky & Hutch opened and The Passion cleaned its clock. Last weekend, it took in $51.4 million, as against S&H’s $29.05 million. By then, The Passion’s total gross was up around $212 million. Pace my radio guy, mid-Seventies nostalgia is no threat to early first-century nostalgia. It’s true that, as the critic Stanley Crouch likes to point out, nothing is that popular. If ten million people see a movie, you’ll make 80 million bucks, and 97 per cent of the American public won’t even have to be involved. But I think it’s reasonable to say that, strictly in Hollywood terms, Mel Gibson has a huge smash on his hands. I would expect the week-on-week fall-off rate to be slower than most movies, including The Lord of the Rings, and the DVD sales to be colossal.

In the United States, that is. Britain and Europe are another matter. Leaving aside for the moment the question of anti-Semitism, the most notable characteristic of the negative reviews is a metropolitan condescension that Mel Gibson has had the bad taste to make a religious movie about a Jesus who isn’t an Episcopalian social worker with enlightened views on women, gay marriage, and so forth. Jesus, they assure us, is about ‘love’, not ‘violence’. Fine. Make your own Jesus movie. But this is the one Mel wanted to make, and it seems there are many millions of Americans prepared to sit through an R-rated movie in Aramaic and Latin on Christ’s suffering.

In Britain, I’ll bet, those of an Anglican sensibility will find it all a bit strong meat, and the godless masses will ignore it, and on the Continent Mel’s fellow Catholics, having wiggled free of their Church in little more than a generation, will have no desire to be reminded of what they’re missing. At the European box-office, Starsky & Hutch stands a good chance of clobbering The Passion. If so, this movie will join that select group of cultural markers that separate Europe from ‘Bush’s America’. I say ‘Bush’s America’ because even though, at least in his impeachment period, Bill Clinton had hordes of ‘spiritual advisers’ and was on a permanent touring circuit of ‘prayer breakfasts’ and had his press secretary issue press releases on which psalms he was studying during the impeachment trial and ostentatiously carried his Bible in his hand on any number of occasions — including the Easter Day service, after which he went back to the Oval Office to observe the resurrection in a more personal sense with his trusty intern — despite all that, it’s George W. Bush’s religiosity that seems to have got under Europe’s skin.

As Max Hastings wrote in the Guardian, ‘It is hard not to hate George Bush. His ignorance and conceit, his professed special relationship with God, invite revulsion.’ Just for the record, he does not claim a ‘special relationship’ with God, just a relationship. But to secular Europe, where fewer and fewer profess any sort of relationship with the Big Guy, even that modest claim is enough for them to lump him in the same category as his near neighbours in Texas, the incinerated cultists of Waco. Malcolm Fraser, the former Australian prime minister and like Sir Max a nominal conservative, calls the Bush administration ‘fundamentalist’. If one had to distil into one sentence the contempt that Britain’s great thinkers have for Tony Blair, it would be from Jeremy Paxman’s interrogation about the Prime Minister’s relationship with the President: ‘Do you pray together?’ The studio audience sniggered.

America is the last religious nation in the Western world, the last in which a majority of the population are practising believers and regular attenders of church (or synagogue, or mosque). So Bush praying is only a joke to foreigners like Pax’n’Max. No Democratic candidates have been suicidal enough to mock him on those grounds, and even in the party’s more decadent precincts it’s understood that the hard math of electoral politics requires campaigners at least not to appear ungodly. God-wise, to the American people, Bush is normal, not weird. Going to church is normal. Going to Bible study is normal. Buying albums of sacred songs by country singers is normal.

Anti-Americanism makes strange bedfellows. The Arab Islamists despise America because it’s all lap-dancing and gay-phone sex; Europe’s radical secularists despise America because it’s all born-again Christians hung up on abortion. They’re both right. The free market enables Hustler to thrive. And the free market in churches enables religion to thrive. In Europe, the established church, whether formal (the Church of England) or informal (as in Catholic Ireland, Italy and Spain), killed religion as surely as state ownership killed the British car industry. When the Episcopal Church degenerates into a bunch of wimpsville self-doubters, Americans go elsewhere. When the Church of England undergoes similar institutional decline, Britons give up on religion entirely.

‘When men cease to believe in God,’ said Chesterton, ‘they do not believe in nothing; they believe in anything!’ The anything most of the Western world’s non-believers believe in is government: instead of a state church, Europe believes in the state as church — the purveyor of cradle-to-grave welfare will provide daycare for your babies and take your aged parents off your hands. The people are happy to have cast off the supposed stultifying oppressiveness of religion for a world in which the state regulates every aspect of life. The French government’s recent headscarf ban — which, in the interests of an ecumenical fig-leaf, is also a ban on yarmulkes and ‘large’ crucifixes — seems the way of the future, an attempt to push all religion to the fringes of life. A couple of years back, a Canadian ‘human rights commission’, in its ruling that a Christian printer had illegally discriminated against a gay group by turning down a printing job for pro-gay literature, said he had the right to his religious beliefs in his own home but he had to check them at the door when he left for work in the morning. Who’s in the closet now?

Last year, I had a long talk with a ‘senior EU official’ and I was amazed at the way, quite unprompted, he used the phrase ‘Europe’s post-Christian future’, presuming that I would agree with him that this was a condition to aspire to. Europe’s quite post-Christian enough, and most of the horrors of our time came about through the most prominent expressions of its post-Christian state, Nazism and Communism. And yet faith in secularism is indestructible. The other day a correspondent emailed a swipe at me by the Independent’s Johann Hari in a vain effort to goad me into swiping back. Mr Hari was discussing the term ‘Islamofascism’: ‘It has been picked up by some people, like the vile Mark Steyn, who seem to think that all Islam is evil. I dislike all religions and would happily see the whittling away of every last church and mosque, but to imply that all Islam is on a par with al-Qa’eda is grotesque.’

I certainly don’t think ‘all Islam is evil’, though much of it is problematic for a liberal, Western, pluralist society. But I love the way that, even as he’s slurring me as anti-Islam, Johann Hari casually reveals that he’d like to see the end of ‘every last church and mosque’. Surely Islamophobia isn’t any more politically correct for being subsumed within theophobia, is it? The assumption of virtue by radical secularists comes so easily you wonder whether they ever stop to think it through.

For example, it is a fact that the most religious nation in the West is also the most powerful militarily, economically and culturally. Is that a coincidence? It could be. To suggest otherwise would be to claim the ‘special relationship with God’ that so distresses Max Hastings. So let’s look at it the other way: what happens when you opt for the ‘post-Christian future’?

Take my beloved Quebec. As recently as 1960, the birth rate in the province was an average of four children per couple. (Jean Chrétien, the recently retired Canadian prime minister, was the 18th of 19 children of a Quebec mill worker.) But then came the so-called ‘Quiet Revolution’, determined to free the people not just from the House of Windsor but from the Church of Rome, too. There’s a fine scene in Denys Arcand’s Barbarian Invasions in which a sad Catholic priest in Montreal explains to an art appraiser from London that one month in the Sixties the churches simply emptied out and the people never came back.

Fast forward to 1995, and Quebec’s referendum on ‘sovereignty’. Lucien Bouchard, the separatist leader of Her Majesty’s loyal opposition, wanders off-message in one speech and urges the women of the province to have more children because they have one of the lowest fertility rates of any ‘white race’ on the planet. Immediately, all the bien pensant types berate him for his faux pas. But the thing is, he wasn’t wrong. A couple of weeks later, his side narrowly lost the referendum, by a few thousand votes. Given that young Francophones tend to be separatist, had Quebec Catholics of the mid-Seventies had children at the same rate as their parents, M. Bouchard would now have his glorious république. Now he never will. Quebec couples have an average of 1.4 children, and their shrivelled fertility rate has cost them their country.

In the space of a generation, a Catholic backwater became the most militantly secularist jurisdiction in North America. Marriage is a dying institution: Quebec has the highest rate of common-law relationships on the continent. Families are a dying institution: Quebec has the highest rate of abortion in Canada. And more to the point, as far as the separatists are concerned, the dream of an independent country is dead. Andre Langevin, the enterprising mayor of Coaticook, a small town on my commute from New Hampshire to Montreal, offers his citizens $75 for their first child, $150 for the second, and $750 for every child thereafter, plus various other incentives. M. Langevin understands the basic arithmetic of the Euro-Canadian welfare state: without population growth, it’s insolvent. Unfortunately, the paradox of a welfarist society is that it weans people away from the familial impulse necessary to sustain it.

Maybe the collapse of the church and the looming demographic disaster facing Quebec and most of Catholic Europe is just another coincidence. But, for whatever reason, Europeans have less and less interest in God’s first injunction, to ‘go forth and multiply’. And, as a consequence, they’ll enjoy their post-Christian EUtopia, but only for the two or three generations it lasts. Russia is headed for the same fate. China, where Christianity is booming, seems unlikely to make the same mistake.

In his new book, Civilization and its Enemies, Lee Harris begins with the following observation: ‘Forgetfulness occurs when those who have been long inured to civilized order can no longer remember a time in which they had to wonder whether their crops would grow to maturity without being stolen or their children sold into slavery by a victorious foe. That, before 9/11, was what had happened to us. The very concept of the enemy had been banished from our moral and political vocabulary.’

Very true. But other countries at other times have been made ‘forgetful’ by civilised order. It’s the particular form of civilisation that makes this bout of forgetfulness potentially fatal. In post-Christian Europe — where fertile women who not so long ago would have had three children by the age of 24 now have one designer child at 39, where social welfare programmes depend on a growing population, where the main source of immigration is from a culture that despises secularism as weak, short-sighted narcissism — societal ‘forgetfulness’ isn’t just a passing phase you can snap out of. In this situation, the Christian fundamentalists, Holy Rollers, born-again Bible Belters and Jesus freaks of America are the rationalists. It’s the hyper-rationalists of secular Europe who are living on blind faith.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: marksteyn; marksteynlist; steyn
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1 posted on 03/11/2004 6:10:12 AM PST by Pokey78
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To: Howlin; riley1992; Miss Marple; deport; Dane; sinkspur; steve; kattracks; JohnHuang2; ...

2 posted on 03/11/2004 6:10:51 AM PST by Pokey78 (Steyn: Leftists demonize Wolfowitz because his name begins with a big scary animal and ends Jewishly)
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To: Pokey78
I love this guy.
3 posted on 03/11/2004 6:15:07 AM PST by King Black Robe (With freedom of religion and speech now abridged, it is time to go after the press.)
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To: Pokey78
Steyn smacks one into the stratosphere again with logic and facts, dreaded enemies of the liberal mind.
4 posted on 03/11/2004 6:19:06 AM PST by JeeperFreeper
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To: Pokey78
One particular favorite from this article:

"A couple of years back, a Canadian ‘human rights commission’, in its ruling that a Christian printer had illegally discriminated against a gay group by turning down a printing job for pro-gay literature, said he had the right to his religious beliefs in his own home but he had to check them at the door when he left for work in the morning. Who’s in the closet now?"
5 posted on 03/11/2004 6:21:12 AM PST by Auntie Mame (Why not go out on a limb, isn't that where the fruit is?)
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To: Pokey78
But then came the so-called ‘Quiet Revolution’, determined to free the people not just from the House of Windsor but from the Church of Rome, too.......one month in the Sixties the churches simply emptied out and the people never came back.

What the...? I've never heard of this before.

6 posted on 03/11/2004 6:22:07 AM PST by hellinahandcart
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To: Pokey78
A most interesting column.
7 posted on 03/11/2004 6:25:05 AM PST by MEG33 (John Kerry's been AWOL for two decades on issues of National Security!)
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To: Pokey78
Very nice!!

It is hard not to hate George Bush. His ignorance and conceit, his professed special relationship with God, invite revulsion.’

Bush chooses to have a relationship with God. That's not a bad idea.

8 posted on 03/11/2004 6:25:35 AM PST by syriacus (Kerry says he'll be 2nd Black President. His Kerry ancestors came over in 1st class.)
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To: syriacus
The paradox of a welfarist society is that it weans people away from the familial impulse necessary to sustain it. -Mark Steyn

Nuff said.

9 posted on 03/11/2004 6:26:46 AM PST by NutCrackerBoy
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bttt and flagging for later....
10 posted on 03/11/2004 6:26:48 AM PST by eureka! (The shrillness of the left is a good sign.....)
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To: Pokey78
Is there any way we can get this guy to run for office?

Oh, what, he speaks the truth so he can't be elected.
11 posted on 03/11/2004 6:27:34 AM PST by redgolum
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To: Pokey78
He is right, right, right.

If China embraces Christianity......it will be the morst powerful moral and economic force on earth.
12 posted on 03/11/2004 6:35:30 AM PST by mlmr (John F. Kerry: a rich widow's lapdog, and Ted Kennedy's skinny twin!)
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To: Pokey78
KA-BOOM! Great column.
13 posted on 03/11/2004 6:36:09 AM PST by headsonpikes (Spirit of '76 bttt!)
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To: Pokey78
The assumption of virtue by radical secularists comes so easily you wonder whether they ever stop to think it through.

Does anyone on the left ever stop to think anything through?

14 posted on 03/11/2004 6:36:40 AM PST by maryz
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To: Pokey78
Great column... Steyn is the best sociopolitical writer I've ever encountered. (With apologies to my beloved Ann C.!) He needs wider exposure on American op/ed pages.

Europe believes in the state as church — the purveyor of cradle-to-grave welfare will provide daycare for your babies and take your aged parents off your hands

Yeah, and then let them die of heatstroke, if you follow the French model.

15 posted on 03/11/2004 6:41:54 AM PST by Sloth (We cannot defeat foreign enemies of the Constitution if we yield to the domestic ones.)
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To: mlmr
If China embraces Christianity......it will be the morst powerful moral and economic force on earth.

I fear that in 50 years, American young people will be emigrating to China in search of education, freedom and prosperity.

16 posted on 03/11/2004 6:43:59 AM PST by Sloth (We cannot defeat foreign enemies of the Constitution if we yield to the domestic ones.)
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To: Pokey78
-- the Easter Day service, after which he went back to the Oval Office to observe the resurrection in a more personal sense with his trusty intern --

Hypocricy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

17 posted on 03/11/2004 6:46:22 AM PST by TomSmedley ((technical writer looking for work!))
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To: Pokey78
Once again, there is no one better than Mark Steyn.
18 posted on 03/11/2004 6:47:24 AM PST by Colonel_Flagg (I believe in luck: how else can you explain the success of those you don't like? -- Jean Cocteau)
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To: Pokey78
‘When men cease to believe in God,’ said Chesterton, ‘they do not believe in nothing; they believe in anything!’

Everything the adversary promotes is what they excel in.
19 posted on 03/11/2004 6:49:51 AM PST by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: Pokey78
If W hired Steyn to run his campaign, it would be the biggest landslide in history.

God-wise, to the American people, Bush is normal, not weird. Going to church is normal. Going to Bible study is normal. Buying albums of sacred songs by country singers is normal.

Hunting is normal. Doing yardwork is normal. Driving a truck is normal. Respecting our military is normal. Being married is normal. Loving your country is normal.

This is why practically everyone will vote for W, unless there's a disaster. He's normal. Every visible Democrat is ABnormal, so different from the regular people of the United States that the more they learn about (John Kerry), the more they will dislike him.

20 posted on 03/11/2004 6:59:04 AM PST by Tax-chick (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: Sloth
"I fear that in 50 years, American young people will be emigrating to China in search of education, freedom and prosperity."

I don't care where that is. As long as there is a place one can call truly free I'm there.
21 posted on 03/11/2004 7:01:03 AM PST by DeuceTraveler
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To: Dataman; dead; truthandlife; Republican Wildcat; aznative; drstevej
This alone is worth the read:

In the United States, that is. Britain and Europe are another matter. Leaving aside for the moment the question of anti-Semitism, the most notable characteristic of the negative reviews is a metropolitan condescension that Mel Gibson has had the bad taste to make a religious movie about a Jesus who isn’t an Episcopalian social worker with enlightened views on women, gay marriage, and so forth. Jesus, they assure us, is about ‘love’, not ‘violence’. Fine. Make your own Jesus movie. But this is the one Mel wanted to make, and it seems there are many millions of Americans prepared to sit through an R-rated movie in Aramaic and Latin on Christ’s suffering

Dan
Biblical Christianity web site

22 posted on 03/11/2004 7:02:06 AM PST by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: Pokey78
steyn bump, thanks
23 posted on 03/11/2004 7:02:50 AM PST by Gothmog (The 2004 election won't be about what one did in the military, but on how one would use it)
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To: Pokey78
Right between the eyes! He's right, the secularists will only be around for another generation or two, and that last generation will suffer immeasurably. They'll be left to pick up the tab for those who went before and they will break under the burden.

The hammer is already starting to drop on the french and what do they do about it? They go on strike!

24 posted on 03/11/2004 7:09:07 AM PST by McGavin999 (Evil thrives when good men do nothing!)
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To: hellinahandcart
What the...? I've never heard of this before.

Well, he said it was quiet.....

While it's probably a stretch to say it all happened in a month, I could easily see it happening over a couple of years.

25 posted on 03/11/2004 7:09:50 AM PST by r9etb
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To: Pokey78
... [Clinton] ostentatiously carried his Bible in his hand on any number of occasions — including the Easter Day service, after which he went back to the Oval Office to observe the resurrection in a more personal sense with his trusty intern —

Zinger!

26 posted on 03/11/2004 7:10:24 AM PST by aculeus
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To: mlmr; Pokey78
<< He is right, right, right.

If China embraces Christianity......it will [Join the United States of America as one of] the most powerful intellectual moral and economic forces on earth. >>

Sitting here, as I am, in Asia, in the Capital City of the Christian Missions to China, permit me to be the first to share the astounding news with you that there are now more than two hundred million Chinese Christians -- and their numbers increase by hundreds of thousands per year.

Even the lying, looting, thieving, mass-murdering predatory Peking pack of psychopathologically-hesperophobic gangster bastards that calls itself "china" admits to 98 million Christians -- 80 million protestants and 18 million Catholics -- but the actual numbers are more than double the official count.

Thanks for the ping, Pokes.

Blessings -- Brian
27 posted on 03/11/2004 7:11:30 AM PST by Brian Allen ("He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine)
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To: Pokey78
It is hard not to hate George Bush. His ignorance and conceit, his professed special relationship with God, invite revulsion.’

Funny, isn't it, that Bush is reviled for his special relationship with God, yet it's overlooked when all those terrorists/muslims/arab whackos blow people up in the name of Allah.

28 posted on 03/11/2004 7:22:00 AM PST by Ashamed Canadian
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To: Pokey78
I love this guys writing. Thanks a lot Pokey.

L

29 posted on 03/11/2004 7:24:59 AM PST by Lurker (Don't bite the hand that meads you.)
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To: Auntie Mame
"Who's in the closet now?"

Clearly, it is Christians (and conservative Jews) who are being forced into the closet. The question is, how far will this go? What we have in Europe, and to a lesser extent in America, is an aggressive neo-pagan movement which uses the language of "tolerance" to achieve its objectives, but which proves intolerant once it gains the upper hand. How far will this movement go in suppressing the freedom of Christians? With its naked appeals to "hate" (directed against Bush and "fundamentalists"), and with the violent anti-Christian and anti-Jewish history of Nazism and Communism in the 20th century, with liberals again yearning for a "politics of meaning," i.e., a political movement serving as a vehicle for totalitarian, quasi-religious aspirations, neo-paganism presents itself as a very real threat to the civil liberties of Christians.
30 posted on 03/11/2004 7:30:45 AM PST by Steve_Seattle ("Above all, shake your bum at Burton.")
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To: Ashamed Canadian
The way the Left talks about Bush, you would think that he talks about nothing but religion. In fact, his public comments on religion have been relatively infrequent, and the occasional religious references in his speeches have not gone beyond what is standard for American presidents.
31 posted on 03/11/2004 7:33:21 AM PST by Steve_Seattle ("Above all, shake your bum at Burton.")
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To: Pokey78
This is a masterpiece.
32 posted on 03/11/2004 7:40:00 AM PST by Interesting Times (ABCNNBCBS -- yesterday's news.)
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To: nmh
‘When men cease to believe in God,’ said Chesterton, ‘they do not believe in nothing; they believe in anything!’

One thing that continues to amaze me about liberals is their goofiness and crudility, their increasing irrationality. Perhaps Chesterton has identified the cause.
33 posted on 03/11/2004 7:40:35 AM PST by Steve_Seattle ("Above all, shake your bum at Burton.")
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To: Pokey78
bump
34 posted on 03/11/2004 7:41:31 AM PST by Tribune7 (Vote Toomey April 27)
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To: Pokey78
In this situation, the Christian fundamentalists, Holy Rollers, born-again Bible Belters and Jesus freaks of America are the rationalists. It’s the hyper-rationalists of secular Europe who are living on blind faith.

Delicious.

35 posted on 03/11/2004 7:41:42 AM PST by metesky ("Brethren, leave us go amongst them." Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond- The Searchers)
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To: Brian Allen
With the way things are going in the US I am not sure that it will remain a moral force. I suspect that Civil War II will ensue instead.
36 posted on 03/11/2004 7:43:25 AM PST by mlmr (John F. Kerry: a rich widow's lapdog, and Ted Kennedy's skinny twin!)
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To: BibChr
Fine. Make your own Jesus movie. But this is the one Mel wanted to make, and it seems there are many millions of Americans prepared to sit through an R-rated movie in Aramaic and Latin on Christ’s suffering

From the beginning of the "controversy" I've held that nobody could have done this except Mel. Nobody had the talent, contacts, money and fame. Look at "The Gospel of John" movie. It is hoping to recover through DVD sales.

37 posted on 03/11/2004 7:45:17 AM PST by Dataman
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To: Pokey78
I'm going to be leaving for 16 days in Europe next week. Somthing tells me I'm going to be biting my tongue a lot when they find out I'm from the U.S. (Not to mention when I'm in conversations with some of my my brainwashed relatives.)
38 posted on 03/11/2004 7:47:29 AM PST by mollynme (cogito, ergo freepum)
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To: Pokey78
Great Steyn! Thanks Pokey!
39 posted on 03/11/2004 7:49:54 AM PST by Rummyfan
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To: Pokey78
Giant bump for later. Off to work.
40 posted on 03/11/2004 7:54:19 AM PST by fish hawk ("I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more")
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To: Pokey78
As I see it, the big question for John Kerry should be, "If you don't support the defense of marriage act, will you guarantee the freedom of religion to churches that do not condone homosexuality?
41 posted on 03/11/2004 7:59:30 AM PST by Eva
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To: NutCrackerBoy
Good catch. I saw that line, too and it jumped at me.

Steyn the Distiller.
42 posted on 03/11/2004 8:02:54 AM PST by moodyskeptic (weekend warrior in the culture war)
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To: mlmr
<< With the way things are going in the US I am not sure that it will remain a moral force. I suspect that Civil War II will ensue instead. >>

I'm all for another American War of Independence. God knows the first was fit to rid Our Beloved FRaternal Republic of less a tyrant in the form of England's post-Magna-Charta George the Third than sit by the score on the benches of our nation's courts and rule by tyrannical fiat!

And as my Hero of Heroes once observed, while "Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate systematical job of reducing us to slaves."

And reminded us that "The Tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.

Blessings -- Brian
43 posted on 03/11/2004 8:06:12 AM PST by Brian Allen ("He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine)
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To: Interesting Times
Excellence from Mark Steyn is the norm. It is far rarer when he writes a less than great column. In fact for those who read everything he writes it's a shock when it does happen but he is so prolific by the next day something like this one pops up.
44 posted on 03/11/2004 8:14:56 AM PST by xp38
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To: Pokey78
read later
45 posted on 03/11/2004 8:15:51 AM PST by LiteKeeper
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To: Brian Allen
It was said some time ago that within the notoriously "poor" nation of India there are as many people who are as prosperous as there are in France.
there are now more than two hundred million Chinese Christians -- and their numbers increase by hundreds of thousands per year.
Can it then be said that there is a "moral United States" hidden inside officially atheistic China?

46 posted on 03/11/2004 8:19:02 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (Belief in your own objectivity is the essence of subjectivity.)
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To: Pokey78
Mark Steyn my hero. Talk about kicking @ss!
47 posted on 03/11/2004 8:30:26 AM PST by Agent Smith (perhaps this will help)
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To: Pokey78
Steyn = Marvelous!
48 posted on 03/11/2004 9:02:40 AM PST by Gritty ("Faith in secularism is indestructible"-Mark Steyn)
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To: Pokey78
And the free market in churches enables religion to thrive.

Overly simplistic, Mr. Steyn.

49 posted on 03/11/2004 9:40:27 AM PST by independentmind
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To: Brian Allen
Great news! I knew there was "a bunch"; I knew they were growing fast; but I didn't have a clue as to how many.

200 million? That's more than there are communists!

And like Eastern Europe and USSR, the communist hierarchy cannot suppress them. In fact, persecution helps Christianity to grow. What is deadly is prosperity and apathy among Christians.
50 posted on 03/11/2004 9:43:23 AM PST by Forgiven_Sinner (Praying for the Kingdom of God.)
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