Sunday, April 17, 2005

Pop Goes, per Weigel

George Will, in an Op-Ed piece titled "Suicide by Secularism," paints a bleak picture of Europe's future, laying its demise at the feet of secular humanism. Based on John Paul II biographer George Weigel's new book, "The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America, and Politics Without God," Will speaks of a shrinking reproduction rate and increasing secularism in Europe as leading, in the very near future, to Europe's "demographic suicide."
"What," Weigel asks, "is happening when an entire continent, wealthier and healthier than ever before, declines to create the human future in the most elemental sense, by creating a next generation?" His diagnosis is that Europe's deepening anemia is a consequence of living on what he considers the thin gruel of secular humanism that excludes transcendent reference points for cultural and political life. Such reference points are, he thinks, prerequisites for freedom understood as "the capacity to choose wisely and act well as a matter of habit."
It seems that secularists don't take seriously enough the biblical admonition to be fruitful and multiply. In a world contending with an ever-increasing population and a finite resource base, this should be a good thing. Will's concern, though, seems to be that by failing to do their part to over-populate the world Europeans may abdicate control over their futures to hordes of migrating Muslims - in essence, he suggests procreation as the duty of Europeans and, by extension, Christian Americans.


Sven Sinclair said...

George Will is saying the same thing as the other George W: "I can't beat these guys, so I'll join them." Will is advocating, and W is pursuing, policies that would make us similar to the "enemy".

It was more-or-less the same with McCarthyism in the 50s - it tried to make the US more similar to the USSR.

Repeat after me: "George Will is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life." And pass the time by playing a little solitaire.

Tim said...

But to be fair, we should note that Mr. Will, in the May 5 Washington Post, has come out with an op-ed piece that is relatively sympathetic to our side. He begins:

"The state of America's political discourse is such that the president has felt it necessary to declare that unbelievers can be good Americans. In last week's prime-time news conference, he said: 'If you choose not to worship, you're equally as patriotic as somebody who does worship.'

"So Mark Twain, Oliver Wendell Holmes and a long, luminous list of other skeptics can be spared the posthumous ignominy of being stricken from the rolls of exemplary Americans. And almost 30 million living Americans welcomed that presidential benediction."

Will concludes:

"Republicans should not seem to require, de facto, what the Constitution forbids, de jure: 'No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust.'"