Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Christianity Evaporating.

Christendom is such a nebulous word.  Easily dismissed in this era of atheistic hedonism and cowardice.  But we don't dismiss and demean Nebulas. They may be gasous but they give birth to stars.

And the nebulous Christendom gave birth to our western civilisation; arguably the greatest civilisation this humanity of ours has produced.

When was the last time you heard a leading Politician or mainstream news reporting organisation in Oz being overtly critical of Sikhs? Or Buddhists. Or Muslims?  You will have to dig a long way into obscure reports to find anything. Yet Christians are 'fair game'.

It seems a similar picture across the western world, particularly the Angloshpere. In fact when it comes to the first two above, barely a word is heard at all. And Muslims are fawned over, despite being a violent ideology more akin to the Nazis than any 'monotheist' religion.  The Sihks are monotheists. 

Once it was just Jews who came in for sheer dismal hatred and demeaning. But now it is Christians.  And it is not just being critical. Politically there are increasing moves to make Christianity a 'proscribed' religion. Last year President Obama tried to forbid Catholic Mass being said on military bases. It took some courageous men to tell him where to shove his orders. 

It is all too easy to overlook that the entirity of Western Civilisation is built upon Christianity: indeed for the first 1500 years of the last 2000 it was Catholics who laid the foundations and built the edifice. One might say that the Protestants did the inerior decorating. And having shoved the originating Catholics into the background, the fabric of the building is falling apart. Evaporating. 

Our civilisation is crumbling and few seem to be shaking the collection tin to repair the leaking roof. Instead they are wanting to turn the churches into night-clubs, trendy homes or even worse, Mosques. 

But voices are starting to speak out.  Brett Stevens took an overview and our own Senator Eric Abetz brought Oz into focus.
In Defense of Christendom
Having ignored its inheritance, Europe wonders why its house is falling apart.
The death of Europe is in sight. Still hazy and not yet inevitable, but nevertheless visible and drawing nearer—like a distant planet in the lens of an approaching satellite. Europe is reaching its end not because of its sclerotic economy, or stagnant demography, or the dysfunctions of the superstate. Nor is the real cause the massive influx of Middle Eastern and African migrants. Those desperate people are just the latest stiff breeze against the timber of a desiccated civilization.
Europe is dying because it has become morally incompetent.  
It isn’t that Europe stands for nothing. It’s that it stands for shallow things, shallowly. Europeans believe in human rights, tolerance, openness, peace, progress, the environment, pleasure. These beliefs are all very nice, but they are also secondary.
What Europeans no longer believe in are the things from which their beliefs spring: Judaism and Christianity; liberalism and the Enlightenment; martial pride and capability; capitalism and wealth. 
Still less do they believe in fighting or sacrificing or paying or even arguing for these things. Having ignored and undermined their own foundations, they wonder why their house is coming apart.
What is Europe? It is Greece not Persia; Rome not Carthage; Christendom not the caliphate. These distinctions are fundamental. 
To say that Europe is a civilization apart is not to say it is better or worse. It is merely to say: This is us and that is you. Nor is it to say that Europe ought to be a closed civilization. It merely needs to be one that doesn’t dissolve on contact with the strangers it takes into its midst.
Hmmm. I would say it IS better. 
That’s what makes the diplomacy of Angela Merkel, undisputed regent of European foreign policy, so odd and disconcerting. The German chancellor leads a party called the Christian Democratic Union, one of the chief purposes of which is to rally the German right to a reasonable conservatism.
Yet there she was in Istanbul on Sunday, offering a deal in which Europe would agree to visa-free travel for Turks in Europe starting next year, along with quicker movement on Turkish membership in the European Union, if only Ankara will do more to resettle Syrian and other refugees in their own country. Europe would also foot the bill.
This is machtpolitik in reverse, in which the chancellor is begging small favors from weaker powers on temporary matters in exchange for broad concessions with far-reaching ramifications. 
There are 75 million Turks, whose per capita income doesn’t match that of Panamanians. 
The country is led by an elected Islamist with an autocratic streak, prone to anti-Semitic outbursts, who openly supports Hamas, denies the Armenian genocide, jails journalists in record numbers, and orchestrates Soviet-styleshow trials against his political opponents. 
Turkey also has borders with Syria, Iraq and Iran. These would become Europe’s borders in the event of Turkish membership.
This is the country Ms. Merkel proposes to bring into the bosom of Europe. Her apologists will say she’s being disingenuous, but that only compounds the disgrace of her overture.
It also compounds the danger. Could Europe’s liberal political traditions, its religious and cultural heritage, long survive a massive influx of Muslim immigrants, in the order of tens of millions of people? 
Not given Europe’s frequently unhappy experience with much of its Muslim population. Not when you have immigrant groups that resist assimilation and host countries that make only tentative civic demands.
And not when a heedless immigration policy, conducted in fits of moral self-congratulation, leads to the inevitable reaction. 
In Switzerland on Sunday, a plurality of voters cast ballots for the Swiss People’s Party, known mainly for its anti-immigrant stance. Its sister parties throughout Europe are also the political beneficiaries of the migrant influx, trafficking on legitimate grievances against the postmodern state to peddle illiberal cures. Few things are as dangerous to democracy as a populist with half a case.
It says something about the politics of our day that this column will be condemned as beyond the moral pale. Such is the tenor of the times that it is no longer possible to assert without angry contradiction that Europe cannot be Europe if it is not true to its core inheritance. This is the marriage of reason and revelation that produced a civilization of technological mastery tempered by human decency.
“It is commendable that the West is trying to be more open, to be more understanding of the values of outsiders, but it has lost the capacity for self-love,” a prominent German theologian noted about a decade ago. “All that it sees in its own history is the despicable and the destructive; it is no longer able to perceive what is great and pure. What Europe needs is a new self-acceptance, a self acceptance that is critical and humble, if it truly wishes to survive.”
That’s Joseph Ratzinger, better known as Benedict XVI. He’s out of fashion, which makes him that much more worth hearing.

Well that is the broad-brush.  But Eric pointed a stern finger directly at the purveyors of cant and bias. Sharri Markson told us. Eric is a Senator for Tasmania, so his words are heard in the Tavern. And what mournful, laboured and deliberate words they usually are, often tugid and slow but always Conservative and Principled. He is not the easiest speaker to listen to. But it is worth the listening work.
Godless Left gets clear run as media mocks Christian Right: Abetz
Senator Eric Abetz says the media had treated him and his conservative colleagues, in particular former prime minister Tony Abbott, ‘unfairly’.
Liberal senator Eric Abetz has unleashed an attack on the Canberra press gallery, arguing it is hostile to conservative, Christian politicians while giving favourable treatment to left-leaning or Muslim MPs.
 He said the media felt comfortable vilifying politicians like Mr Abbott because of their Christian faith, but would never dare speak the same way about people of other religions.
“Journalists will need to explain why they do this, but it is very clear that if somebody swears their oath on the Koran, this is a wonderful expression of diversity and to be encouraged, whereas if you swear your oath on the Bible then you’re an old fart and not to be taken seriously. Well, excuse me, what’s the difference?” he said. “There is a special negative-sentiment override for those that profess the Christian faith.”
Senator Abetz referenced a description of Mr Abbott as the “mad monk” that often appeared in the media. “Just imagine making fun of somebody else’s religion of a different nature, as in if you are a Muslim, Buddhist or a Hindu,” he said. 
“There is the double standard that you can basically vilify anyone from the Christian side of the tracks but don’t you dare touch anyone else.”
Senator Abetz, an employment minister under Mr Abbott who was dropped from cabinet by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, said Australian political reporters did not give fair treatment to conservative policies, such as stopping the boats, scrapping the carbon tax and opposing gay marriage, often mocking the conservative point of view.
Mad Monk ? Or Good Man.?
He indicated that compared with other prime ministers, the media had treated Mr Abbott and John Howard far more harshly.
“The public can make up their own mind as to the coverage and treatment by the media of John Howard and Tony Abbott as prime ministers in comparison to others,” he said.
Members of the Canberra gallery gave more positive coverage to politicians and policies they agreed with, Senator Abetz said, arguing that journalists hardly ever referred to the far Left or the extreme Left when discussing the Greens or the Labor Party, but frequently referred to him, Cory Bernardi and other conservative politicians as being from the far, extreme or religious Right. 
“I’ve been referred to as from the religious Right a number of times in the media and when I’ve thrown out the challenge, when are you going to report on the godless Left? The answer is never,” he said.
The ABC was one of the worst offenders, he said, providing coverage that was markedly different for the politicians it supported. “I’m terribly loyal to my new leader but you might comment on the flirtatious approach of Leigh Sales when she interviewed Turnbull. Just ask yourself the question, did Leigh Sales ever apologise for interrupting Tony Abbott?” he said. “If you’re a conservative, you’re fair game to be interrupted.”
Senator Abetz said that when ABC host Tony Jones interviewed Joe Hockey onLateline, he interrupted him 33 times. However, when he had Wayne Swan on the previous evening, there was barely an interruption.
“Then they say Joe Hockey is unable to sell the message. Well, with 33 interruptions in one interview, one might understand why it is difficult to sell the message,” he said. Senator Abetz found the “groupthink” of political journalists had worsened since he entered federal parliament in 1994. And it was to the detriment of democracy, he said.
“If you promote conservative policies, you are immediately demonised and conservative policies are demonised,” he said.
“If you have a Christian, conservative point of view to offer, the media will have this negative-sentiment override which will simply be critical of any views that you may seek to express and that has, regrettably, been the case now for many years in the media gallery.”
The result, Senator Abetz said, was that some politicians were too intimidated to admit they agreed with conservative policies. “Parliamentarians are intimidated from stating their point of view because they know, no matter how sensibly they present it, it will somehow be misrepresented or a negative picture, negative commentary will be presented,” he said.
“I think the groupthink of the media gallery has got worse as the years have gone by and the concept of a diverse range of opinions or interpretations is now lacking.”
When asked if journalists were reflecting the view of their audience, particularly when it came to issues such as gay marriage, Senator Abetz said he did not subscribe to the view that conservative Christian values were unpopular with the public. 
He said they (the views) were unpopular with the media, which was unrepresentative of the Australian people.
“If you go to the footy, you’re a man or woman of the people, but if you go to church, what a strange individual you are. Yet around Australia, as I understand it, a lot more people go to church on a Sunday than go to football on a Saturday.”
Senator Abetz said the press gallery tended to report on issues in the same way.
“The genuine diversity of reporting just does not seem to be there as one would have hoped it might,” he said.

A Catholic would say that the media practices Calumny. A Sin. 

It is far easier to break something than make something. Civilisations can be undermined, white-anted, demeaned, dismissed and destroyed as easily by fools and charlatans as by a vigourous enemy.

Religions too.

But if the Great Evaporation is occuring then perhaps we can look to the residue left behind. 


Think on't, and drink deep.


1 comment:

  1. It was GK Chesterton, referring to Father Christmas, who noted that he was forever on his last legs, at his death bed but they never quite managed to stamp him out. Let us continue to be a great annoyance to this world.


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