Friday, April 22, 2005

Evangelizing a hostile homeland

Europe apparently hates religion

"Although there is plenty of religious apathy in Europe, it is far less powerful than the antipathy directed not just at the Catholic Church in Europe but at religion in general. An influential group of intellectuals and politicians heartily despises everything about it.

Some of this was visible Tuesday. Within hours of his election a BBC profile had already speculated that the new pope had honed his rhetorical skills in Nazi Germany (he deserted the Wehrmacht at age 15) while some on the German left were describing his election as a "catastrophe."

The Catholic scholar George Weigel calls this phenomenon "Christophobia" (a phrase he borrowed from the South African-born American legal scholar J.H.H. Weiler, who happens to be Jewish). Weigel began investigating the phenomenon after being struck by the European Union's fierce resistance to any mention of the continent's Christian origins in the draft versions of the new, and still unratified, European constitution."

I've seen first-hand what the worship of secularism has done to Europeans. A Twenty-something college student, on recess from studies and home without a job, gets up at 2 in the afternoon almost everyday. He sees his pregnant aunt enter his house struggling with groceries. When she asks for his help, he responds, "go ask my brother."

This would be his younger brother, the one that works every day, and wasn't home at this time. This is just a small sampling of what secular post-modernism has done to the character of a continent. Now, imagine the international policy implications when participants in this culture bring their agendas to the fore. Consider:

1. France, which strives to rival the US as a geo-political superpower, faces the prospect of being the nation that destroys the institution it has struggled to create: the European Union. The French president has had to delay a key vote on the EU because polls indicate the people will not support it.

2. Sweden's "human rights" legislation threaten imprisonment to faithful christians that witness to their faith against the current of the Politically correct. Ask the Lutheran Minister facing time for condemning homosexuality.

3. Spain's socialist government appears determined to strip western civilization out of the Iberian Peninsula. Gay "marriage" and other moves to reinforce the "I am the Lord, my God" thinking that run rampant throughout the post-modern world.

"In any case, when Benedict XVI finishes his glass of champagne -- or whatever popes drink to celebrate their election -- he'll find his work cut out for him."


Hat tip: Fr. Sibley