Let the Vikings In?
Nowhere is the lesson that erosion of foundational belief systems invites collapse from within and without made more apparent than in the present immigration crisis in Europe.
Wars begin and invasions commence when formerly insignificant and disempowered entities feel it is safe to attack a dominant power. The weaknesses noted by rival powers may include internal conflicts, enervated or deluded leadership, the reduction of military forces, and the deterioration of formerly strong alliances, all of which are current weaknesses of Europe and Northern America. All invite attack.
But the most significant invitation to enemies to wage war by all means is the weakening or loss of a national unifying raison d’être; a justification for continued existence as well as a reason to fight. A loss of faith and belief are inevitably coupled with feebleness.
The plain fact of the matter is that Europe does not have a coherent belief system -- at least not one strong enough to combat enemies or to resist invasion. The lack of her formerly pronounced and strong Christian worldview is due to the fact Europe embraced the tenets of multiculturalism decades ago. She then made the multicultural world view foundational to her public and foreign policies. Renouncing her expansionist and colonizing past, she repented of her sins of believing some nations are inherently more virtuous and/or advanced than others by embracing the ideas that all nations are equally virtuous; all religions are equally valid; and all personal beliefs may be accommodated within a given and forgiving nation bent on repentant ways.
But Europe’s failure to discern or to foster the strengths of a Christianized Europe and the substitution of the belief in cultural equivalency led to a pronounced shift in European policies toward immigrant (and formerly colonized) peoples. The belief that all cultures are equal, with none inherently superior just because of their Christian foundations, meant in practice that peoples whose worldviews are radically opposed to Judaism and Christianity were invited in without aforethought as to what damage to European mores and institutions would ensue. Even those who adamantly and fearlessly declared their purpose at all times and in all places was to annihilate Jews and Christians in Europe and America were allowed in; not only allowed, but invited.
It is hard to think of the historical equivalent. What nation or empire ever allowed into its boundaries those who threatened death and destruction to its citizens? It’s as though the Vikings or Mongol hordes were given entrance visas to Europe and told, “Come in; come in! Help yourselves.”
And so they came. And so they still are coming.
Yes, not all who come are barbarians. Not all seek to devour their hosts.
But is it too much to say that the very peoples who are flooding Europe because of the unbearable situations in their native countries have among their ranks many who are committed to the annihilation of the very nations they want to offer them refuge? Is it fair to say Europe may be importing fifth columnists along with some genuinely distressed and needy human beings? Is it fair to say the floods of people from Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Pakistan and the Horn of African now threaten to overwhelm Europe’s systems? Might it be reasonable to assume that while European nations are struggling to respond to the crisis, its enemies within and without may be waiting in the wings to take advantage of the chaos and confusion?
The problem has not escaped the attention of Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who stresses the fact that even without violence, the exodus from the Middle East and Northern Africa threatens to undermine Europe’s culture and way of life:
“We shouldn’t forget that the people who are coming here grew up in a different religion and represent a completely different culture. Most are not Christian, but Muslim,” he said. “Or is it not worrying that Europe’s Christian culture is already barely able to maintain its own set of Christian values?”
How ironic that once the Ottoman Empire, from whose desiccated body many of the migrants have sprung, was characterized as the “Sick man of Europe.” Now Europe itself is deathly sick, barely able to maintain the health of a once Christian body.
The weakness of Christianity in Europe is a primary and absolutely vital concern. While the Christian virtue of compassion is a good thing; so is the admonition of Christ to be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”
There is little wisdom in allowing peoples committed to your death and the death of all you hold dear into your native lands. It’s a good idea to remember that brute strength coupled with zealous, though simplistic ideology has time and again undone whole civilizations and empires. The brutal, warrior minimalism of Sparta undid the more fragile complexity of Athens. The cruel and mono-focused Vikings very nearly undid Christianized Europe. The devouring Mongol hordes temporarily achieved the elimination of Kievan Rus and threatened the entirety of European civilization.
Annihilation of weakened civilizations is what “soldiers only,” civilizations do. Empires committed to expansionist brutality swallow the weak.
In sum, when formerly reigning powers’ foundational beliefs are eroded and its population no longer adheres to the core convictions on which its culture was founded, the inevitable internal confusion and anarchical chaos invites intervention on the part of other powers that have a more unified belief system, even though that rival belief system may be severely reductionist and even evil. Regardless of the ideological severity that ISIS and its variants embrace, that severity creates a sere unity coupled with a knifelike ability to sever the heads of nations that may have had more complex, subtle, and civilized manners, mores and institutions. Simple, ideological severity is employed even more effectively against nations that have embraced folly, ignorance and dissipation -- and who have rejected the very foundational beliefs that have informed and built their institutions for centuries.
But regardless, the truth of the matter is that Europe is not Muslim in any sense, even though it has large Muslim minorities among its peoples. It is still largely Christian, though weakened by the dangerously fatuous ideology of multiculturalism. Multiculturalism, along with its companion moral equivalency, has led to the current crisis.
An enervated Europe -- indeed the entire West -- is finding herself inundated with immigrants, among whom are aggressive men who will take advantage of her weaknesses as well as her wealth.
The only question that remains is whether or not Europe will take its own survival seriously.
She can begin by re-examining her once foundational Christian beliefs. She can reclaim the reforming principles which have from time to time revitalized the Christian church, principles that invite the whole of European civilization to re-examine the biblical truths of Christianity.
If Europe can once again mount an effective defense of the Christian faith that once completely informed her culture; if she can find that balance of compassion and wisdom, she just may survive.
Fay Voshell is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and many other online magazines. She was selected as one of the Delaware GOP’s “Winning Women,” Class of 2008, and was a writer for the 2014 U.S. senatorial campaign of Kevin Wade. She has been interviewed about her articles on talk radio. She holds a M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, which awarded her a prize for excellence in systematic theology. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org