Beyond the Cusp

October 19, 2017

Will Europe Divide Over Religion?

 

Those of us old enough to have experienced a divided Europe between free and Communist also remember the Iron Curtain. Some may even recall the origins of that phrase being a speech given at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill on March 5, 1946. United States President Harry S. Truman was with the British Prime Minister on the dais listening to the speech. The speech is actually titled “The Sinews of Peace” despite the most famous phrase history remembers was the term “Iron Curtain” used as Churchill stated, “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.” The entirety of the speech can be viewed below. That curtain will potentially become the basis for a new wall in Europe, one where religion remains an important cornerstone of society and one which has entered what many are referring to as the post-Christian society. Some of the functionaries of the European Union describe this divide a between élites of Western Europe who favor a more cosmopolitan and tolerant society which is democratic-liberal and accepting of people of all faiths with various views against those of Eastern Europe who are less enlightened exhibiting xenophobic views where they are bigoted against foreigners and those with whom they are unfamiliar seeking protection in the religions of Old Europe and an age long left behind by New Europe.

 

 

The reality is that one Europe lived in a free society which brought them more freedom than they could manage leading them into a hedonistic fervor where personal pleasure was the new aim by which life was measured and immediacy of realization of those very pleasures superseded all other pursuits. Thus, they left behind the limitations of Christianity and entered their new multiculturalist, post-Christian age where the self replaced the church and each person became the definer of their own religious beliefs. The restrictions of morality imposed by religion were replaced with the hedonism of an older age where barbarity ruled and the gods demanded child sacrifice. This new age has its own version of child sacrifice where pregnancies are terminated by abortions such that the party can continue without consequence or interruption. This has led to Western Europe having such a low rate of childbirth by the native population that they have fallen way below replacement rate leading to an aging population requiring the importation of foreign workers. In an effort to find these workers, leaders such as Angela Merkel made a decision to permit free and unregulated immigration from the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) calling for any who consider themselves to be refugees of any nature seeking the liberal governance of Western Europe to come and join in the wonders of Europe. This has brought on a huge wave of Islamic “refugees” which happened to be largely males, unaccompanied males, and unforeseen problems. This may be the result of their utopian dream becoming their nightmare.

 

Now for Eastern Europe and why they have a different view of what their new freedom means compared to their fellow Europeans at the western end of the continent who have had freedom ever since the end of World War II. The Eastern Europeans were behind that “Iron Curtain” Winston Churchill so perfectly described. Other than East Germany which reattached to West Germany to reestablish the whole of Germany and thus are being taken for a political ride as their neighbors from West Germany had a population advantage and thus control the politics. That tore East Germany from the remainder of the Warsaw Pact nations. These nations led by Poland, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Czech Republic and the rest of the former Warsaw Pact nations, had experienced the godless forced atheism of the Communist regimes imposed by the Soviet Union. This denied them their Christianity making it something more sacred with time. Their areas were closed societies which left their towns, cities and nations as homogeneous as they were at the end of World War II, in simple terms, Poland remained very Polish, Rumania remain Romanian, Hungary remain Hungarian and so on. Once free of the authoritarian governments which had oppressed these societies, they were still in a similar state as they had been under the Nazis who were another socialist and atheistic society, thus these societies are still flocking to their churches and Christianity is having a revival throughout Eastern Europe or the old Warsaw Pact nations. Thousands of Polish Catholics replete with rosary beads ringed much of their nation gathering at border points protesting the continued atheistic secularism of their government and in solidarity with fellow Christians across Europe who have been victimized by the spread of Islam across parts of Europe.

 

New Divide of Europe Between Western and Eastern Europes

New Divide of Europe Between Western and Eastern Europes

 

The two Europes could not be any more separate, the first shedding Christianity for the liberation of no religion and the other embracing Christianity after forced atheization under Soviet Union dictatorships. The first has shed the concept of traditional marriage replacing it with alternate definitions and simple hook-up culture and other alternate lifestyle choices where too many are child-free lifestyles. This had the consequence of a low reproductive rate and an aging population. Since 1950, the reproductive rate in Western Europe has steadily declined to the point that it has fallen well below replacement rate and showing no signs of recovery. The other Europe had a depressed reproductive rate while under Communism and its oppressive governance which was consistently below replacement rate. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and their respective Communist governance, the Eastern European nations have slowly risen from their melancholy lethargy. Their governance has had a less than smooth transition from Communism to Democracies independent and free from the central planning under Moscow. Their economies have slowly emerged as they faced an initial necessary improvement of infrastructure in order to make industrial growth possible. The reinitializing of free and independent nations did not exactly go without its challenges and little hiccups along the way. Where the real benefits of the newfound freedoms appears to actually taking root about now as the first generations raised entirely free of the pains of Communism are reaching adulthood, the reality of the freedom is now starting to be truly felt and the signs are impressive. The people are returning to their religious roots which had been illegal and forbidden for so long. Marriage is gaining amongst the youth and it appears that population numbers are slowly returning towards replacement rate and hopefully above into a range unseen for over half a century. Eastern Europe may be approaching a bright future if they can survive the European Union. The Western Europeans would gladly chase their Eastern Europeans from the European Union and if the Eastern Europeans are smart, they will be running so fast from the European Union that their Western European counterparts will be unable to catch them to chase them out.

 

There is nothing to prevent the Eastern Europeans from eventually following in the exact same footprints down the merry path which the Western Europeans have already tread. Perhaps the disaster that Old Europe is about to become and the potential for internecine violence and possible wars similar to the past wars against the spread of Islam, are about to repeat themselves, except this time with modern weaponry. Such conflicts will be more devastating with much higher toll in human lives than previous wars. While these threats are on the increase and the violence is growing in Western Europe, Eastern Europe will be experiencing their return to their various Christian roots with their population slowly recovering and starting to grow. It may become required for Eastern Europe to come and aid their Western Europeans otherwise they may fall to Islam and then pose a threat to Eastern Europe. Maybe history will find another John III Sobieski, King of Poland, though the next Polish savior of Europe will be possibly a Polish President, or a Romanian hero whose name will convey evil as did the name of their King Vlad III Dracula, but who will turn back invading enemies. Perhaps Western Europe will be the next conquest to eventually make up the Caliphate when Islam finally settles for the lands they posses and desire no more Jihadi Wars. What the future holds we cannot know and should we be patient, it does reveal itself in its own time. Time is the owner of great secrets of which we can know those revealed already and see those that come as we live and only strike with conjecture at what time holds from us in what we always pray will be a fantastic story for our children and their children and on for generations yet to come. For now, this is what we can say today, maybe we will say more in our hoped for mutual futures.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 9, 2014

Does Jobbik Party Electoral Success in Hungary Taint Europe?

If there would be an extreme and overt reaction to the election results in Hungary which gave the Xenophobic and Anti-Semitic Jobbik Party a three percent increase in the vote making them the third most popular party behind Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz Party and the fractious opposition center-left alliance led by Attila Mesterhazy, it would come from the European Jewish Congress (EJC). The EJC claimed on Monday the success of the anti-Semitic Jobbik party in Hungary was “a source of grave concern for Europe.” Additionally, EJC President Moshe Kantor was quoted in the European Jewish Press saying, “The gains made by Jobbik, an unashamedly neo-Nazi political party, should serve as a wake-up call for the whole of Europe. Once again in Europe we are witnessing democracy being appropriated by those are the enemies of democracy. This is truly a dark day for Hungary. It is the duty of both European leaders and voters to ensure that a strong message is delivered by supporters of democracy throughout Europe to show these racists and xenophobes that hate has no place on our continent.”

 

Of course the Jobbik Party did attempt to distance themselves from their former anti-Semitic and anti-Roma past reputation by presenting themselves as a more center of the road but “radical nationalist” movement focused on law and order and attacking corruption. Like many extreme fringe groups, the Jobbik rebranding of themselves to offer a more acceptable and affirming front in place of their former negative and hateful rhetoric required the relative silence of some of the more rabid old guard, something they were apparently quite successful. One such candidate is Istvan Meszaros, a candidate from Baja on the Serbian border, who is the leader of the New Hungarian Guard, a controversial vigilante group that has held torchlight marches in Roma neighborhoods, much like its predecessor, the Hungarian Guard, which was banned in 2009. Meszaros was quoted by AFP at his Baja campaign offices claiming, “Jobbik offers action, not just talk. Crime falls in those areas after(wards).” This was a reference to the measureable results of such marches. Of course, it is needless to point out that retaining candidates like Meszaros in “safe” locals fortifies the extremists from the old and less savvy Jobbik Party.

 

The question is what does their improved election results mean about the rise of xenophobia and racism across Europe? Similar results have been noted in Greece in recent elections with their Golden Dawn Party, reputed to be even more extreme group of nationalists than the Jobbik Party. There were also the gains made in France by Marine Le Pen’s Front National Party in recent local elections. In the eleven towns and districts which are now controlled by the Front National Party there has been debate on a sensitive issue about the substitution meals targeting mainly Muslim and Jewish students. Marine Le Pen told RTL radio, “We will accept no religious requirements in the school lunch menus.” She defended the decision saying it was necessary to “save secularism”. I have some problems that in some manner I can understand and even agree with Miss Le Pen’s as she has obviously discovered that Secularism is, if its practitioners were to be honest, a form of religion replete with commandments, deities, and a formative cannon. The religion of Secularism is, in many ways, one of the least tolerant religions and, as is often the case with any religion in its youth, and is determined to replace and subvert every other religion and place itself as the preeminent religion over all within any society where it gains a foothold. This is another reason for the advancement in election of the uber-nationalist as they are the purveyors on the front lines of exclusive secularism.

 

The rumors that religion has died in Europe are actually a false narrative used by the Secularists who claim that secularism is a political viewpoint and not a religion. They claim that it is anti-religion and purely logical and science based is one of the basic religious cannons of the secularists who make such claims to imply that secularism is steeped in unarguable facts and thus not faith based. Their argument is along the same line as the ecology anthropogenic global warming advocates who also claim that the debate is over and their definitions are the only acceptable and truthful views making everything else a form of apostasy. There is a fair amount of overlap between the secularists and the nationalist parties, especially when it comes to their exclusive and narrow acceptance of only those of similar beliefs and backgrounds and rejection of traditional religious minorities. Both groups also tend to be socialistic in their political persuasions. Their emotional attachment resembles religious fanatical observance to a rigid structure and defined cannon which rules out any debate or variance. Such a limited and rigid structure often leads to fanaticism and a developing hatred for those who are perceived as the other, those opposed to their political beliefs. For the secularists that includes the religious while the nationalists it includes all foreign groups and those religions other than the traditional religion or possibly a religion formed by the nationalists themselves which could easily be considered a secular belief. These groups, as they include greater numbers, can lead to oppressive societies which are often capable of victimizing minorities and whomever they label as the evil other, and the outsider is always evil simply because they are different and not in agreement with the rigid belief structure adhered to be such groups. The danger comes when they gain legitimate power through elections or other methods and can eclipse reason and acceptance of those who are labeled as unacceptable minorities who threaten to subvert the order and accepted mandates of the society. This will eventually lead to oppressive policies and animosity beyond normal acceptance under what is considered common custom. Europe has been down this road before in many different scenarios which always resulted in tragedies and abhorrent hate-filled persecutions. Hopefully the economic and social difficulties which are the driving impetus behind the rise of such fanatics will subside and the stresses relieved before Europe once again drives itself into another fanatical and hateful obsession.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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