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Faithless People

By | July 16, 2018 | 0 Comments

The word “faithless” has two meanings − lacking faith, and untrustworthy. It is no accident that these two meanings are connected.

Take the Western Europeans. That is, take the self-anointed “intellectuals” whom Western Europeans try to imitate. Take the pompous politicians. Take all those who have lost their faith − in God, in freedom, in their nations, in the future, and in themselves. They are filled with bitterness and jealousy of Americans, which they often mask by a sense of superiority and condescension. But they don’t want to regain their own faith. They hope we lose ours and become like them.

Are there faithful Western Europeans and faithless Americans? Of course. There were also anti-Nazi Germans and pro-Nazi Americans. But there weren’t enough of them to matter. A nation’s future depends on what course the majority allows the nation to take.

Today, America is going one way, and Western Europe (with the possible exception of the British) is going another.

Eastern Europeans know better. They suffered under communist tyranny. They remember who hastened the fall of the Soviet empire. No, it wasn’t American or European “intellectuals,” who continue to flirt with Marxism. It was “cowboy” Ronald Reagan, whose defense buildup finally bankrupted the Soviets. It was “cowboy” Ronald Reagan who shouted, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Together with “Iron Lady” Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and Saint John Paul II, they triggered the implosion of the Soviet Union.

But Western Europeans, for all their self-proclaimed love of history, can’t seem to recall what happened only a half-century ago. They have forgotten what happened when their “intellectuals” were seduced by Nazism. They have forgotten what happened when their cowardly politicians tried to appease Hitler. They have even forgotten the horrors of Nazi occupation during World War II.

They surely have forgotten the American and British troops who fought and bled to free them. They drive by huge American and British military cemeteries, apparently without noticing.

People who have gaps in their memory − alcoholics, for example − sometimes fill the gaps with false memories. Many Western Europeans have a similar malady. They don’t recall who rescued them from Nazi tyranny. They don’t recall who helped them rebuild their shattered nations with generous aid. They don’t recall who installed a viable democracy in Germany, and then forced the Wall to come down. They don’t recall who saved them from being submerged in the oppressive Soviet bloc.

But they do recall what didn’t happen. They recall how large numbers of their people fought in the anti-Nazi resistance, and then went on to oppose communist oppression. They recall how American imperialism dominated their nations. They recall how capitalism made America rich at the expense of Europe. Most of all, they recall their own “moral superiority.”

Perhaps too much French wine or German beer is bad for the memory. Perhaps that’s the reason many Western Europeans forget what happened, but remember what didn’t. In medicine it’s called the alcoholic confabulatory syndrome. In politics it’s called the European ingratitude syndrome. But it’s equally annoying to deal with.

The underlying problem is loss of faith. Western Europe is filled with glorious cathedrals, but they’re almost empty, though the mosques are full. It lost its religion but kept the bigotry. It’s filled with arrogant “intellectuals” and pompous politicians, but lacks self-confidence. It’s filled with intrusive nanny states, but lacks faith in freedom. It’s filled with pride in the past, but lacks faith in the future. It’s filled with tolerance for radical Islam, but is intolerant of any hint of its own Christian heritage.

If I believe I am a unique individual created in God’s image, I don’t need a special class in school to have self-esteem. If I believe God knows me and cares how I behave, I don’t feel lost. If I believe God rewards good and punishes evil, I have faith in the future. But if I believe the opposite, what is the result?

● If there is no God to define good and evil, how can I tell the difference? Then all I have are my opinions – and you have yours.

● If there are no transcendent standards of good and evil, all I have are business interests.

● If I am merely a random collection of molecules living on an insignificant flyspeck of a planet, why should I think I deserve freedom?

● If I am unwilling to fight for my own freedom, why should I care about the freedom of others – in the Middle East, or anywhere?

● If I lack faith in the Almighty, I can have faith in the almighty state.

● If rights aren’t God given, they are given by the state, and what it gives it can take away. Then no rights are inalienable − or worth fighting for.

● If nothing is worth fighting for, I can reduce my armed forces to minimal levels. Then there is nothing I can fight for, even if I change my mind and want to.

● If I have no effective armed forces, I can leave America to be the world’s policeman – and then condemn America for doing just that.

● If I have no deeply held moral values, I can emasculate the U.N. − and then blame America for acting when the U.N. does nothing.

● If I have neither the means nor the desire to be the world’s policeman, I can allow the U.N. to throw its badge into the gutter – and then berate America for picking it up.

● If I don’t believe in the next world, I can try to create a paradise on earth − with all the horrors that entails. Remember Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and Kim Jong-Un?

● If I don’t believe in God, I can believe in leftist politics, even though I know it failed in many areas and is largely baloney.

● If money, health, and having fun are all that matter, all I have to look forward to are loss, illness, old age, and death. So how can I have faith in the future?

● If I have no faith in the future, why should I have children? Going the old saying one better, I throw out the baby but keep the bathwater.

● If I have too few children, birth rates drop below replacement levels. Then how long will it be before extremist Islam takes control of Western Europe?

● And if I lack faith in the future, have no way to tell good from evil, have a declining population, have no effective armed forces, and have only business interests, how can I be a faithful ally?

To paraphrase Dennis Prager, World War II should have taught Western Europeans to fight evil. Instead, all they learned was that it is evil to fight. They can distinguish between Camembert and Brie, but not between good and evil. Many “progressives” want America to be more like Western Europe. But being big in the world of cheese is not the same as being a big cheese in the world.

Whom we choose as our role models not only reveals what we want to become ‒ it also tells a lot about what we already are. The key question is this: Whom do you choose as your role models: Western European “intellectuals,” or Americans from the heartland?

Perhaps faith in God is the foundation on which all other forms of faith are built. America has plainer churches than Europe, but they are filled with worshipers. We lost the bigotry but kept the religion. Like Europe, we have arrogant “intellectuals” and pompous politicians. But unlike Europe, we also have many nonconformists and mavericks. And when we’re in trouble, we turn to them to lead us.

But most of all, we have faith − faith in ourselves, faith in our nation, faith in freedom, faith in the future, and faith in God. Those who have lost their faith are jealous of ours and resent us for it. They would be happy if we lost our faith, too.

It’s too soon to be sure. But you know what? I don’t think we will.

Contact: dstol@prodigy.net. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.
www.stolinsky.com

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