The Judeo-Christian worldview was perhaps the most important element in the rise of Western civilisation. Other factors can be mentioned, but without the biblical worldview and its impact, the West as we know it would never have arisen. Many scholars and experts have spoken to this.
As just one example, American sociologist Rodney Stark has written a number of important volumes on these themes. Consider his seminal 2005 volume, The Victory of Reason. In it he says, “The success of the West, including the rise of science, rested entirely on religious foundations, and the people who brought it about were devout Christians.” He continues:
“To sum up: the rise of the West was based on four primary victories of reason. The first was the development of faith in progress within Christian theology. The second victory was the way that faith in progress translated into technical and organizational innovations, many of them fostered by monastic estates. The third was that, thanks to Christian theology, reason informed both political philosophy and practice to the extent that responsive states, sustaining a substantial degree of personal freedom, appeared in medieval Europe. The final victory involved the application of reason to commerce, resulting in the development of capitalism within the safe havens provided by responsive states. These were the victories by which the West was won.”
But the obverse of all this is also true. As Christianity goes, so too does Western culture. As we declare war on the very foundations of the West, we should not be surprised to see the West teetering on the brink. We have renounced our Christian heritage and are now surprised to see the whole thing falling to bits.
It is as C.S. Lewis once remarked, “We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.” We cannot expect the West to prosper and succeed when we are so busy kicking out from underneath it its very support system.
But the reversal of this whole process does differ in one fundamental respect. While it takes centuries, if not millennia, to develop a great civilisation, it takes but a moment to destroy it. As Sir Winston Churchill put it, “To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.”
Historians such as Will Durant could state this truth in this way: “From barbarism to civilization requires a century; from civilization to barbarism needs but a day.” And great literary figures could also bemoan this decline. As T. S. Eliot so powerfully warned back in 1948:
“If Christianity goes, the whole of our culture goes. Then you must start painfully again, and you cannot put on a new culture ready made. You must wait for the grass to grow to feed the sheep to give the wool out of which your new coat will be made. You must pass through many centuries of barbarism. We should not live to see the new culture, nor would our great-great-great-grandchildren: and if we did, not one of us would be happy in it.”
I mention all this because – if nothing else – my website is one long chronicle of the West’s slow but certain decline. Hundreds of articles here document this fundamental truth: when you attack Christianity, you attack the West which developed from it.
While most Western countries have been involved in this cultural suicide, one certainly has been leading the way. I refer to Britain, once known as Great Britain. Dozens of articles on this site have documented the war against faith there, and the slow slide into oblivion of the once great nation.
I am not alone of course in bewailing this major collapse of a nation. Just in today’s English press appeared an article which is well worth taking note of. The nation’s Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, has warned about this very matter. The title to the article runs as follows: “Chief Rabbi: Equality laws leading to new Mayflower exodus”.
The article begins this way: “New equality laws are forcing religious people to flee the country because they are being denied the freedom to live in accordance with their beliefs, the Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, has warned. The Orthodox Jewish leader claimed that anti-discrimination policies had fuelled an ‘erosion of religious liberty’ in Britain that was leading to a new ‘Mayflower’, a reference to the flight of the persecuted Pilgrim Fathers to America in the 17th century.
“His comments follow growing alarm from leading religious figures over the increasing influence of equality laws. The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, has called on the Prime Minister to review equality legislation amid concerns that religious freedoms and Britain’s Christian heritage are under threat.
“Speaking to the House of Commons public administration select committee, Lord Sacks said there was ‘no doubt’ numbers of religious believers in Britain were ‘extraordinarily’ low. He continued: ‘I share a real concern that the attempt to impose the current prevailing template of equality and discrimination on religious organisations is an erosion of religious liberty. We are beginning to move back to where we came in in the 17th century – a whole lot of people on the Mayflower leaving to find religious freedom elsewhere’.”
Much of this war against faith has come from quite small but quite vocal and active minority lobby groups, such as the radical feminists and homosexuals. The article continues, “Recent months have seen a series of clashes of rights reach the courts as a result of equality legislation which was introduced under Labour and designed to prevent discrimination on the grounds of religion or sexuality. Roman Catholic adoption agencies have closed because they cannot reconcile the requirements under the new laws with their belief that children should not be placed with gay couples.”
How ironic that a few short centuries ago Englishmen had been forced to flee their own nation to escape persecution and find some religious freedom. Now it seems it is happening all over again. The secular left jihad against faith and family values has been extremely powerful and quite successful.
Just now here in Australia an Englishman is finding himself being banned from one place after another, simply because he does not hold to the common wisdom on climate change. I have documented Lord Monckton’s woes elsewhere:
All over the Western world basic freedoms such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of conscience are being undermined, eroded, and trampled underfoot. With most of the West engaged in this war against faith, family and life, our only choice – if we must flee – is to go to the developing world where it may be much easier to live with Christian values and convictions.
The West, it seems, is descending into a new dark ages. May God have mercy on it – and on us.