Skip to comments."Christophobia" Afflicts Europe
Posted on 12/27/2004 4:24:06 AM PST by ishmac
George Weigel Contends That Many Aim for "Politics Without God"
ROME, DEC. 12, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Papal biographer George Weigel says that Europe is suffering from "Christophobia," and he believes that the continent's low birthrate is due, in part, to the widespread unbelief in God.
"It would be too simple to say that the reason Americans and Europeans see the world so differently is that the former go to church on Sundays and the latter don't," Weigel said when delivering a lecture Friday at the Gregorian University.
"But it would be a grave mistake to think that the dramatic differences in religious belief and practice in the United States and Europe don't have something important to do with those different perceptions of the world," he added.
Weigel said that Europe's problems are also found and have repercussions in the United States, though not all of them.
"European high culture is, largely, Christophobic, and Europeans themselves describe their cultures and societies as 'post-Christian,'" said Weigel, a senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, in Washington, D.C.
"Why did so many European intellectuals deem any reference to the Christian sources of contemporary European civilization a threat to human rights and democracy?" asked Weigel, who was invited to speak by the Gregorian's School of Philosophy.
"Was there some connection between this internal European debate over Europe's Constitution-making and the portrait in the European press of Americans as religious fanatics intent on shooting up the world?" inquired Weigel.
His answer is that Europe is going through a grave cultural and moral crisis.
"My proposal is that Europe is experiencing a crisis of cultural and civilizational morale whose roots are also taking hold in some parts of American society and culture," he contended.
"Understanding this phenomenon requires something more than a conventional political analysis. Nor can political answers explain the reasons behind, perhaps, the most urgent issue confronting Europe today -- the fact that Western Europe is committing demographic suicide," Weigel said.
"That crisis of civilizational morale helps explain why European man is deliberately forgetting his history and is abandoning the hard work and high adventure of democratic politics, seeming to prefer the false domestic security of bureaucracy and the dubious international security offered by the U.N. system," the American intellectual said.
In regard to the Church, Weigel said that the "Catholic Church believes it to be the will of God that Christians be tolerant of those who have a different view of God's will, or no view of God's will. Thus Catholics -- and other Christians who share this conviction -- can give an account of their defense of the other's freedom even if the other, skeptical and relativist, finds it hard to give an account of the freedom of the Christian."
He continued: "The debate over the invocation 'Dei' in the new European Constitution was also the present and the future, not just the past.
"Those who insisted that there be no overt recognition that Christianity played a decisive role in the formation of European civilization did not do so in the name of tolerance, despite their claims to the contrary. They did so because they are committed to the proposition that there can be politics without God."
This position "is shared by more than a few American political, judicial, intellectual and cultural leaders. That is why Europe's problem is our problem too," he stressed.
Weigel will further address these and other issues in his forthcoming book, "The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America and Politics Without God." The book is due out in the spring.
Yeah, populated by countries called Froganistan.
I look forward to buying George Weigel's new book next year. Europe may be kitschy to the ACLU but its revolting to mainstream Americans.
Book to read Ping!
Europeans can't make religion go away just by wishing for it. When Europeans deny the religion of their history another religion will come along to take its place. There will always be a religious Europe. The question is: which religion will it be?
It may be simple, but it pretty much sums it up. There is no bigger factor that differentiates the US and European viewpoints.
"Anyone on that continent with faith, courage, imagination, steeled soul or mighty heart pretty much moved here prior to 1924leaving behind only the cowardly and the complacent."
Wide, general, sweeping comment but.... pretty much true. Tee Hee.
True, but Christianity is as much a "visitor" to Europe as Islam. I guess Christianity is the religion of their history (as long as you don't look back any farther than 1500 years or so.)
Atheistic nations fall.
"European 'high culture' is, largely, Christophobic..."
...i.e. atheistic--and Marxist and decadent. European and American Leftists, who subscribe to this "high culture" think that those of us who do not are ignorant and unsophisticated.
In fact, it's just the opposite.
Many of us have been there, heard their arguments, understood their positions, seen what they have to offer, and observed that they are ignorant, unsophisticated, decadent, and headed for a fall.
Many others didn't have to understand their position as completely to know that they are hare-brained.
The American Left--in its peculiar mix of arrogance and stupidity--has tried everything to impose this "European high culture" on the United States.
Their hare-brained attempt to put John Kerry in the Presidency was their latest organized effort.
The American people responded on November 2, 2004.
Not only are these people frustrated at the refusal of the American people to comply, but they are frightened because they are convinced that "European high culture" would appeal to everyone sophisticated and educated enough to realize its superior value. They lack the wit to understand that the rest of us are waaaaaaaaaaay ahead of them--not behind them, that we are faaaaaaaar more sophisticated and savvy than they are. This boggles their (very limited) minds.
It's easy to understand why an atheistic people who see nothing of value, worth preserving, protecting, or defending, in their civilization, would sink into a suicidal morass of apathy and confusion, but it's hard to be sympathetic toward them. Especially when the truth is before them and all around them.
Indeed. Although some areas are worse than others. When I was in the Army I was stationed in Nuremberg. Bavaria is much more conservative than other parts of Germany. The eastern part of Germany struck me as the most secularized. There are also places like Poland, which is much more like the U.S. in its religious devotion. At least there's a fight over religion and secularism. Elsewhere, the issue has been settled in favor or the secularists.
It certainly is. And if the Europeans don't resolve it soon, the Muslims are going to resolve it for them.
That's always the case. The determinant of a country's politics is its culture, the determinant of a country's culture is its religion. It may seem a little too pat, but it's a reliable general rule.
We may know something that W. B. Yeats didn't know--just what that rough, slouching beast is.
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