The title of today’s post is the subtitle to the second chapter of Mark Steyn’s America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It. The main title is “Going … Going … Gone.” What’s he talking about? It’s an extension of his first chapter where he wrote of declining birth rates in all of Europe and the increasing Islamization of European culture.
In the second chapter, Steyn focuses on the apparent death-wish of certain European states. In Russia, for instance, 70% of pregnancies end in abortion. Even more distressing is that when the pro-life film called The Silent Scream, which depicts the graphic effects of abortion on the unborn child, was screened in Russia, it had the opposite effect of what was intended:
Instead of the baby’s pain, Russian viewers noticed the clean hospitals, the state-of-the-art technology, the briskly professional doctors and nurses. Women marveled: “Wouldn’t it be great to have an abortion in the West?” After seven decades of Communism, the physical barrenness is little more than a symptom of the spiritual barrenness.
Steyn has hit on the real issue here: at root, this is a spiritual problem; it merely manifests in a desire for abortions and societal suicide.
He then turns to Spain, which had stood with America in the War on Terror after 9/11. Then came March 11, 2004. A series of train bombings in Madrid killed more than 200 people. All evidence pointed to Islamic extremists. Three days later, the ruling party that had been America’s ally, and which was expected to win the election scheduled for that day, was turned out of office, replaced by the Socialist Workers’ Party, which campaigned on the platform of rejecting any role in a War on Terror. As Steyn notes, in his own unique style:
Having invited people to choose between a strong horse and a weak horse, even Osama bin Laden might have been surprised to see the Spanish opt to make their general election an exercise in mass self-gelding. Within seventy-two hours of the carnage, voters sent a tough message to the terrorists: “We apologize for catching your eye.” …
In the three days between the slaughter and the vote, it was widely reported that the atrocity had been designed to influence the election. In allowing it to do so, the Spanish knowingly made polling day a victory for appeasement and dishonored their own dead.
Meanwhile, pressure continues to mount to cave over Muslim demands throughout Europe: all female teachers in Linz, Austria, whether Muslim or not, should wear headscarves in class, Muslim activists declare; Holocaust Day in Britain should be abolished because it showcases an “alleged” Jewish holocaust while ignoring the Israeli “holocaust” of the Palestinians. “In Seville, King Ferdinand III is no longer patron saint of the annual fiesta because his splendid record in fighting for Spanish independence from the Moors was felt to be insensitive to Muslims.” Britain’s patron saint, St. George, is considered too militaristic and offensive to Muslims, so the Church of England is considering removing him from his exalted status.
How will this all end? Steyn speculates:
In a few years, as millions of Muslim teenagers are entering its voting booths, some European countries will not be living formally under sharia, but—as have parts of Nigeria—they will have reached an accommodation with their radicalized Islamic compatriots, who like many intolerant types are expert at exploiting the “tolerance” of pluralistic societies.
This is where pluralism leads. Unlike the concept of liberty of conscience, upon which America is based historically, pluralism has no foundation in absolute truth, so when a challenge comes along, such as Muslim extremism, societies based on pluralism have no spiritual resources to resist the onslaught.
I hope Steyn is wrong in his prediction, but the only thing that will forestall it is a rise in the Biblical worldview. Can that even happen today in Europe? It’s an open question, to be sure.