People all over the West are abandoning Christianity and churches are closing down or being converted into spas, pubs, or mosques. Many Canadians are indifferent to this fact and others seem to accept it is as a good and natural thing (like demographic change). The unspoken feeling is that there is something backward, and perhaps even evil, about Christianity, and intelligent and modern people should turn their backs on it and embrace secularism, relativism, and atheism; and if you have to have some sort of religious belief it should be a vague spiritualism or some sort of paganism.
The leadership of the Protestant and Catholic churches seem even less concerned, seemingly confident that they can easily replace the dwindling number of native Christians (not that kind of native) attending services with people from the third world, in the same way that current governments in the West seem to believe that third world immigrants can seamlessly replace people of European stock as productive workers and model citizens. Just as these immigrants are certain to make our countries unrecognisable, Christianity too will eventually become Christian in name only once it is taken over by non-Europeans.
Though this prospect may not alarm most people of European stock who seem to believe that whether Christianity lives or dies has nothing to do with them, in reality it has everything to do with them. Religion is more than a matter of personal relevance, it is the ethos of a society or civilization and the long history of Christianity in Europe speaks to the fact that Europeans are comfortable with it and that there must be something about Christianity that is in tune with the European’s innate view of the world and his values. Just as Canadians are generally unaware of the European nature of the physical world around us because we feel so at home in it, so too are we unaware of just how much of our way of thinking has been furnished by Christianity. The European mind is so essentially Christian, in fact, that if you are of European stock you are best and more accurately described as a Christian, regardless of your personal beliefs, in the same way that non-observant Jews are still Jewish.
The European adoption of Christianity was largely bloodless and uncontested all over Europe, and one can see why; the features of Christianity that would have appealed to the pagan Europeans that adopted Christianity would have been features that reflected attitudes towards life that our ancestors had likely already internalized, specifically: future-orientation, self-sacrifice, and anti-materialism. Living in Northern climes with no great population centers, Europeans in the past had to always be aware and prepared for the coming winter and would be thinking not only of their own plight but would be concerned about their neighbour’s welfare as well, as they might need that neighbour’s help one day to survive. This constant mindfulness of an uncertain future seems to have meshed easily with Christianity’s emphasis on a vaguely defined afterlife.
The Christian afterlife was understood to be something so wonderful and completely unlike the present world, which was despised by Christians as sinful and corrupt, that it was unimaginable. The afterlife our pagan European ancestors believed in was awful; tantamount to sitting for an eternity in a dreary hopeless waiting room, like Pirithous and Hades stuck to a chair. It was not an afterlife one looked forward to, it was a ghastly denouement. The drinking done in Valhalla sounds merry but is probably a later misunderstanding of something that was more accurately the equivalent of the Greek dead drinking from the Lethe; it was something done to kill memories of life and to help you endure the unbearable boredom of an endless death, it wasn’t a celebration.
On top of that, the majority of European pagans would have seen their lives as being in a pointless rut, lives that followed the unchanging circle of the seasons, where men were born, lived and died and were replaced by another crop of men to continue the endless cycle. In contrast, Christian thinking saw human history as being on a trajectory, headed towards an end, Heaven, rather than just spinning its wheels in a monotonous routine. Though, indeed, the Christian view of life was that it was a trial, it did have a happy ending, so being alive was not some cruel curse but a temporary state one could tolerate.
One can see how trying to imagine the Christian heaven would be a potent inspiration for art and invention, as such works would be seen and envisioned as previews of the wonders of heaven. The relative unimportance of earthly life would also tend to encourage satisfaction with one’s state and patience with others, factors which in a political context would contribute to the social peace and stability, hallmarks of Christian nations worldwide. Did every European in the Middle Ages believe in a literal heaven? Probably as much as we do now, but that was not what was most important, what was most important was that official sanction was given to this optimistic view of existence, which would create a climate of cultural enthusiasm that even non-believing Europeans could get caught up in.
As important as heaven was to traditional Christianity, of course, was the figure of Christ. Not the hippy sad-eyed Christ we see in movies, but a more formidable and forbidding being. Our ancestors probably saw him more as a proud warrior or a frightening druid, not as a simple man. After all, the villager and peasant were despised in days of yore as ‘villains’ and ‘clowns,’ they were not thought to be the stuff of heroes. Legendary figures like King Arthur and Theseus also had humble backgrounds, but they were not exactly considered to be of the common people either. It is the nobility of Christianity that appealed to those of European stock. The nobility of a hero that was strong enough and brave enough to even endure death for others, and to do so of his own free will. Heroic suffering and death was always much admired by the pagan Europeans, as the stories of Cu Chulainn, Odin, and Prometheus attest to, and Christ would have been seen as part of that heroic lineage.
It’s easy to see how this admiration of selflessness gave birth in turn to Chivalry, an idea of heroism on a much smaller scale which intoxicated the European nobility as a similar but less extreme way of demonstrating your supreme self-confidence and control by not considering it imperative to have to have your superiority demonstrated or acknowledged openly in all situations, but to be willing instead to condescend to the weaker sex on occasion. While noble suffering and chivalry are now part and parcel of our ideas about heroism, what was considered to be a hero to the ancient Greeks would be someone we would consider today more of a thug. Christianity has improved the European hero without a doubt. The leaders of the pagan Roman Empire that converted to Christianity also likely saw in the Christian martyrs’ lack of fear of death something that would improve their legions’ fighting spirit. This lack of a fear of death was the missing ingredient for the creation of the kind of European warriors and armies that would conquer the world under various flags. In a sense, it turbo-charged the urges and instincts already felt and admired by European man by sanctifying and celebrating them.
Though Christ is often declared to have died for humanity, it is crucial to note that the humanity that Christ died for would have been traditionally and implicitly thought to have been European by Europeans. Europeans of the Middle Ages would have found it hard to even imagine sub-Saharan Africans or Chinese. Europe was isolated and under siege by Islam for hundreds of years, Africa would long be a dark unexplored continent, America was undiscovered, China out of reach beyond a hostile Moslem world. Christianity’s troubles only really began, in fact, when it went global; and European people suddenly found the world wide open and themselves its undisputed masters.
Modern Europeans and those of European stock do not see the pervasiveness of their culture and technology all over the world as a source of pride, but rather, seeing it in comparison to the squalor the third world is content to live in, view their people’s own inventions, conquests, and art as shameful proof of our materialism, greed, and decadence, and even a justification for terrorist attacks, as if these same vices do not exist all over the world. It is the same inclusiveness and lack of supremacism in Christianity that allowed it to unite all the European people, that has confused modern Christian people of European stock into looking on the whole world subconsciously as Christendom and stupidly seeing all people as Christians, as if people that evolved in radically different environments and societies would think and act exactly like the neighbours our Bronze Age forefathers were so concerned about. Modern Christians think they have a sacred duty to go and save the starving children and cure the diseases of other people who would never and could never return the favour, and create democracy in places where there is no knowledge or call for it, and readily accept invading and opportunistic strangers as fellow countrymen. In this so-called “post-Christian” world, Christians are still trying to prove to themselves and a world that does not care how Christian they are.
Europeans and people of European stock have rarely been able to understand other religions except as forms of Christianity, which explains their firm faith in the multiculturalism project. What little information they do have about Judaism, Islam and paganism is from books and films that portray Judaism, Islam, and paganism as forms of Christianity. The Western press and politicians strangely talk about ‘extremist’ and ‘moderate’ Muslims, for instance, as if these divisions exist, when in reality they are just imagining that Islam like Protestantism is divided into a “good” mainline or mainstream camp and a ‘bad’ fundamental or Pentecostal camp.
It is hard to imagine another religion in the world having the power and prominence Christianity has had for the last couple of centuries and not taking advantage of it to displace other religions off the face of the earth. As we are witnessing, Christian societies can tolerate a high degree of multi-culturalism before they collapse. There is nothing sinister or wrong, of course, in supremacist thinking with regards to one’s religion, that would be just a Christian presumption, it seems to be a factor in most religions as is easily detectable in phrases such as “Allah Akbar” and “the chosen people.”
It is easy to see how such supremacism naturally evolves: in ancient times there would be a cave-bear or lonely Neanderthal in the woods that the villagers are afraid of, and some of them would call it “the monster,” or “the giant,” but most would settle on calling it “the god” or “God.” The gods or gods of folklore and myth are just such humanized bogeyman. Their amazing physical strength and size alone is what makes them gods and was the reason men feared them and prayed to them. They were unpredictably good or bad, but were mostly indifferent to humans. The religious stories and classical myths of all peoples are basically more sophisticated literary versions of stories taken from simple peasant folklore about monsters and ghosts, including the most captivating stories in the Bible. Eventually, the fact that the “god” has not killed them all makes the villagers think that he is protecting them and he is “their god,” and feel spiritually protected too, and they defend their god over the neighbouring village’s god with no fear of being overzealous. How can you go too far in defending God, when he is good and on your side?
When I meet Christians, who claim to be now pagans or witches, I always feel like asking them how can you tolerate all these people around you ignoring your god or gods? It seems unnatural, wouldn’t he or they want you to strike out violently to teach others who has the correct god? Wouldn’t that be the correct course of action? But of course they do not act like that because they are simply Christians larping as being pagans or whatever. Becoming a member of another religion is more like becoming a member of another race and entails belonging to a group in every sense and adopting a completely new set of norms about among other things: women’s role in society, how you should treat animals, how society should be governed, what is acceptable sexual activity, punctuality, etc. There should be a constant clash of cultures between people of different religions, if they truly are different. Like non-practicing Jews that are still Jewish, all the atheists and agnostics of European descent you encounter everywhere that have no serious problem living in our society, are better described as non-practicing Christians.
For though we are often proclaimed to be in a post-Christian society, it will not really be one until Christianity is replaced by something else (most likely Islam, which seems to be the preference of our elite), and that has not happened yet. Boomers may seem to be the most unChristian and selfish generation, in that not only did they not reproduce enough to keep our civilization alive, and are also not leaving anything in the way of jobs or healthy communities for the generations after them, but they are not non-Christians. They are simply demoralized Christians that have been encouraged to think that what they are doing is the right thing after having been intellectually beaten down by the popularized schools of thought that have become common currency in the media and education such as Psychology, Feminism, and Marxism.
These philosophies seem to be inspired by a traditional Jewish desire to create heavens on earth full of perfect people, the afterlife never being a strong focus of their faith. Protestant countries like England and Germany did adopt versions of Christianity more influenced by an Old Testament view of life, in which one concentrated on making the most of things while one was alive on earth, embracing the material and transitory, and for a while were very financially successful and unsurprisingly behaved in a supremacist manner towards neighbouring Christian countries, seeing their own people as special or ‘chosen;’ but they have since lost faith in their heresies, apparently because these beliefs were not sufficiently European in the end to satisfy their European souls, and now these nations are the among the most lost and confused of Europeans.
The Christian god that Europeans came to believe in is a long way from the folklore-based gods of other religions and it is rather the embodiment of a spirit of optimism and good will that sees that life and men are good but flawed, and believes in selfless heroism and a better life ahead. It is a god for dreamers and visionaries. It is a god, however, that will not exist if there are no Europeans left to worship it, and without it, it will likely be a world of such ugliness, violence, and despair that no European would want to live in it.