And No Religion Too

It’s symbolic – and ironic – that in Europe following terrorist attacks, the unofficial anthem of choice is that ode to atheism, John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

After the November 13 attacks in Paris, a pianist attracted the attention of millions via the mainstream press and social media when he played Imagine outside one of the places of carnage, The Bataclan. Last February in the aftermath of killings in Copenhagen by a radical Muslim, tens of thousands of Danes sang Imagine at memorials across the country.

“Imagine there’s no heaven …. No hell below us … And no religion too,” go the lyrics.

It’s symbolic because religionless is what Europe has become – particularly Northern Europe. Churches in France are closing for lack of worshipers. Only about 5-10 percent of the French go to church regularly. That percentage is even less in Denmark.

So the ethnic French (as opposed to ethnic Arabs in France) largely have attained one of the sentiments longed for in the song: no religion. They have abandoned the Christian faith.

Are they better off without Christianity? The tragic event of last weekend suggests they are not.

French society still retains some Christian values. They include a love of peace, justice, and civility, and helping the poor and downtrodden. The latter manifests itself in the form of generous foreign aid programs, and taking in refugees afflicted by war and poverty.

It is one thing for a country to open one’s doors to a certain number of the poor and downtrodden. It is quite another thing to open one’s doors to whole nations of poor and downtrodden – from radically different cultures. That is what France and other developed countries including the United States have been doing. (And it’s not just motivated by compassion, but also by a desire to import future liberal-left voters.)

Taking in what amounts to whole nations of peoples fundamentally transforms the identity and culture of the host nation. After decades of migration from the Middle East and North Africa, many aspects of French society are being upended, such as a rise in economic inequality. But worst is the importation of the culture of violence. It should not surprise anyone that terrorist attacks that always have been so common in the Middle East are now taking place in Europe.

Had the French remained devout Christians, it is doubtful they ever would have taken in such huge numbers of Muslims. They would have recognized the threat it would have posed to their Christian identity, to their freedom of worship, and to their security. Their leaders would have been more in the mold of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who keenly recognizes the problem of outsized Muslim immigration into traditionally Christian nations.

Europeans have taken to heart another piece of bad advice contained in John Lennon’s song: “Imagine there’s (sic) no countries…” The open-borders policy reflects that. And it’s devouring them.

Imagine also makes a nod to communism with the “Imagine no possessions” line. At least the French haven’t gone that far – yet.

But getting back to imagining no religion, the abandonment of Christianity in France invites another great danger: less protection from God.

All you atheists, agnostics, and Christians who don’t take your religion too seriously may laugh off what you just read. I would have, back when I was in your camp. But a couple of years and a lot of investigation later, I’ve become convinced that all those things that we associate with religion are actually true: God, the spiritual world, the divinity of Christ, the authenticity of the gospels, heaven and hell, angels, and fallen angels. Evidence of that will be presented in future articles. But for now, suffice it to say that fallen angels do exist. (The Drudge Report posts stories on that topic practically every few days – and many of them are credible.) The earth truly is the devil’s playground. His greatest triumph is convincing the world that he doesn’t exist.

According to theologians, God protects us from the evil one all the time. Without such protection, the whole of the earth would degenerate into one big slaughterhouse. When nations turn further away from God, His protective hand eases up.

That’s what’s happening in France. Last weekend we saw one of the consequences. As America turns further away from God, we too tread on more dangerous territory.

It behooves those in France, America, and other Western nations to return to their Christian roots. Otherwise, expect more tragedies such as what happened in Paris.

(Originally published in Newsmax.com)

Will Greece Go Russian?

GreeceAthens is due to run out of cash within the next few months, and prospects are dim for a new loan agreement between the European Union and the recalcitrant new Greek government.

During negotiations with Germany, instead of trying to work out a deal Greece’s radical left leaders have been acting more like Soviet-bloc leaders used to act toward the West, making threats (e.g. to seize German assets and flood the E.U. with migrants and jihadists) and demanding that Germany pay reparations for World War II which ended 70 years ago.

With a cash crunch looming, Greece could abandon the West altogether and seek the assistance of Russia, and/or China. Early next month Greece’s new prime minister Alexis Tsipras is due to make a trip to Moscow to meet with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

There are a lot of Marxists in the new Greek government, and still a lot of Communist influence in Russia. There also are reports that some top Greek government officials are cozy with their Russian counterparts.

Will Greece fall into the Russian orbit? The signs are pointing to that. Here’s hoping that the Greeks work out a deal with the West, liberalize their economy, and stay in the euro zone.

 

Sweden’s Accelerated Cultural Evolution

Sweden flagOf countries gradually transitioning culturally by immigration, Sweden is undergoing one of the most rapid transitions.

It’s a small country – just under 10 million in population – but it takes in more asylum seekers than European countries many times its size. In 2013 it accepted about 55,000 asylum seekers, many if not most from Syria. Germany took in about twice as many but its population is 80 million, so it arguably can better absorb such seekers than Sweden.

On a per-capita basis, Sweden is welcoming by far the most asylum seekers: 5,700 per 1 million inhabitants, almost five times as many as Germany. In 2013, Sweden accepted almost 20 percent of the EU’s asylum seekers – more than any other EU country. That’s amazing, considering Sweden’s small size.

Sweden’s foreign-born population was 16 percent in 2013, and including those born to two immigrant parents, it’s 21 percent of the total. The Muslim population is said to be around 10 percent. And rising fast.

This obviously has huge implications for Sweden’s cultural, political, and economic destiny, which could fill books. Here, suffice it to point out an interesting observation gleaned from an account by Theo Padnos, an American journalist who spent two years imprisoned by Islamic militants in Syria. His captors were brutal and sadistic, as you can read here. Yet it could be that some brutal and sadistic persons have made their way or are trying to make their way to Sweden, through its liberal asylum system. Writes Padnos,

That night as we finished Abu Farouk’s watermelon and were gazing up at the stars, I listened to the fighters musing about their futures. “Hey, Abu Petra,” they asked me, “what is Sweden like?” If they were to present themselves as Syrian dissidents to the authorities, what would happen next? Was I familiar with the procedures in Sweden for seeking political asylum? And what about Berlin, supposing they found their way to Germany?

One wonders how many of Sweden’s immigrants share the mindset of those fighters.

Padnos also sheds light on the phenomenon of European Muslims going to Syria and Iraq to join the fight. It’s not so much because Islamic militants there need the help. It’s because they want to instill in European Muslims the jihad mentality, so that they can go back home to Europe and teach the values of fundamentalist Islam to others in Europe. Padnos again:

The Nusra Front higher-ups were inviting Westerners to the jihad in Syria not so much because they needed more foot soldiers — they didn’t — but because they want to teach the Westerners to take the struggle into every neighborhood and subway station back home. They want these Westerners to train their 8-year-olds to do the same. Over time, they said, the jihadists would carve mini-Islamic emirates out of the Western countries, as the Islamic State had done in Syria and Iraq. There, Western Muslims would at last live with dignity, under a true Quranic dispensation.

Hundreds of years ago, Muslims staked a claim in parts of Europe suddenly and militarily. Now, thanks to the niceness of Swedes and other European peoples, they’re doing it gradually and peacefully.