They’re from arguably the most anti-Christian part of the West, and they have a message: A lack of robust Christianity is killing the West.
The warning was issued on Herland Report TV, where journalist Hanne Nabintu Herland interviewed fellow Scandinavian Iben Thranholm. “The general theme of the episode is that Western values have become almost entirely materialistic in essence,” commentator Raymond Ibrahim reports. As a result, Westerners are seeking purpose and meaning.
They’re finding it, too: in New Age or pagan age beliefs — and Islam.
“Because pure materialism is ultimately dissatisfying — ‘man shall not live on bread alone’ — more and more Western people are turning to any number of metaphysical ideologies, from Islam to paganism — anything, as long as it’s not Christianity,” Ibrahim continues. “Because many of these ideologies are intrinsically hostile to Christianity, Western culture, which was founded on Christian principles, has become suicidal — hence the current situation, especially in Europe.”
Ibrahim then quotes Thranholm, writing: “You cannot understand the world only from a political viewpoint. We are in a spiritual warfare and not just a political struggle…. It has become a taboo to speak about religion due to this anti-religious ideology that claims that religion has no value. As long as we remain in this spiritual crisis, I don’t think Europe will be able to defeat Islam. The reason why Islam is so successful here is because we have a spiritual vacuum.”
Anti-theists often indulge a fantasy that religion is dying and that the future is one of secular “enlightenment.” In reality, projections show that the world will become more religious during the coming decades, not less. It’s just a matter of what faith(s) will dominate.
As to this, “‘Thousands of Norwegians are rushing to Islam’ every year, says Herland. ‘A flood of ethnic Scandinavians are becoming Muslim,’ precisely because Christianity has ‘evaporated,’” relates Ibrahim.
This is witnessed throughout most of the West to varying degrees, with recently released “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh perhaps being a poster boy for the phenomenon. Lindh (who, ironically, is at least partially of Scandinavian extraction) grew up in liberal Marin County. “He had everything: loving parents, wealth, a childhood in a fantasyland of pleasure and natural beauty,” writes the Atlantic’s Graeme Wood. Yet before “even reaching adulthood, he had rejected it all.”
The uninitiated may suppose that a boy from a liberal place, with apparently liberal parents, would be a poor candidate for Islamic jihadism. The truth is the opposite. For the secular West “stands for shallow things, shallowly,” as Wall Street Journal writer Bret Stephens put it in 2015. “Europeans believe in human rights, tolerance, openness, peace, progress, the environment, pleasure. These beliefs are all very nice, but they are also secondary.”
They’re secondary to “First Things,” which, when dealt with at all today, are treated as Optional Things (church on Christmas and Easter). Consider Lindh: Reflecting mushy modernism, his parents had different last names, both of which John received. His father, Frank Lindh, came out as homosexual in 1997, divorced his mother, Marilyn Walker, and “married” (as they incorrectly put it) a man in 2009. Moreover, reflecting how they had no firm beliefs of their own — let alone the Truth — to impart to their son, they encouraged his interest in Islam when he was just 12.
While the details vary, the message too often received (subtly) by children in this secular time is the same: We’re just organic robots, some pounds of chemicals and water. There’s no absolute right or wrong, either; it’s whatever works for you. But, hey, you can still have fun in this meaningless existence with all our gadgets, electronic wonders, and bells and whistles. So have a nice life, kid.
But while it’s easy to get lost in materialism when you’re drowning in material things, this bread-alone life doesn’t truly satisfy. Then there’s our moral confusion.
Question: What do people say when law and order break down badly enough and for long enough and anarchy creeps closer? “We need a strong law-and-order guy,” we may hear (and I have heard it). Well, what happens when moral order starts to break down, when anarchy begins to reign in hearts and minds unfettered from Truth and infused with relativism’s anything-goes credo? Some people can commence to crave a spiritual strongman.
Say what you want about it, Islam’s messages aren’t relativistic; its minions don’t prattle on about tolerance, inclusiveness, “perspectives,” and shades of gray as they endeavor to put boys in girls’ bathrooms, sex ed in schools, or plan to value-signal at the next homosexual parade. Islam’s purveyors are definitive, while the West’s Christian clergymen dish up plain-vanilla sermons about social justice, afraid to speak the hard truths and behaving like politicians trying to win the next election.
Of course, there’s far more to the West’s rejection of Christianity, including the acceptance of pseudo-intellectual historical, philosophical, and scientific criticisms; emotion-grabbing media/entertainment propaganda; and that, sometimes, a religion is only without honor in its own (over-indulged) land. Islam, and other alien faiths, are much like the exotic foreigner who seems oh-so exciting to a smitten lass. Christianity is akin to the wholesome boy next door, who’d make a great husband but isn’t chosen because “familiarity breeds contempt.”
Regardless, bread-alone anti-theists should note: Their projection-enabled assumption that Muslims will embrace their enlightened secular “values” is a fool’s fancy. The world is becoming more religious as native Westerners become less so. And Christianity’s antagonists can cheer the faith’s demise in their nations, but they won’t like what takes its place.