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Monday, January 09, 2006

Europe Losing Its Cultural Anchor

Making my point of last week in support of Mark Steyn's prediction of Europe's demise due to demographic data, James P. Gannon in USA Today writes:

Surveys show a sharp decline in church attendance and religious practice in most European countries. A series of Eurobarometer surveys since 1970 in five key countries (France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy) shows that regular church attendance fell from about 40% of the population to about half that figure. Declines were sharpest in predominantly Catholic nations.

As Evo Riguzzi once advised, his last visit to Italy found him and his wife 50% of the congregation one Sunday. That is alarming.

Assuming that practicing Catholicism is evidence of European culture and values, with this decline in religiosity, where is the current example going to come from for Muslims to observe and inculcate? No, I am not suggesting that they should convert from Islam. But, they need to reject the militaristic values of jihad and recognize the positive values of peaceful co-existence that has become the crux of modern Judeo-Christian life.

However, besides the lack of traditional religious faith, the economic programs of Europe will do little to attract Muslims to the Western modality. There is little positive in the example provided in Europe due to their economic strait-jacket of high taxation, regulation and labor laws. Anyone stuck in a 40% unemployment spiral is not going to accept the validity of that lifestyle or "society".

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