Is This the End of the West?

We can rightly ask: whither the West?

As is so often remarked, civilisations can die from at least two things: external attack or internal decay. The West has experienced its fair share of both, and one can rightly ask how much longer it can survive. Indeed, we see both things combining today to undermine the West.

Hostile ideologies like militant Islam have today replaced godless Communism as the main external threat to the West, with things like unchecked immigration and failed multiculturalism policies meaning that Islam can soon enough take over the West with no shots needing to be fired.

Couple that with the increased de-Christianisation of the West, and all that this entails – an explosion of immorality, the collapse of marriage and family, the decline of community, the rise of identity politics, the war against the free market, the rise of unchecked Statism, and the loss of hope in the future – and we see a perfect storm developing.

In the past at least when war was declared on the West – usually from hostile outside powers – people were willing to rally to the cause and defend what needed to be defended. But today most Westerners are so demoralised and indifferent to their own culture – if not now downright hostile to it – that the will to fight and stand up against the enemies of the West is quickly disappearing.

All in all things are looking rather grim indeed. Many have commented on this over recent years. Think of just a few important titles (of many) that have addressed these matters:

Suicide of the West by James Burnham (1964)
Warning to the West by Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1975)
The End of History and the Last Man by Francis Fukuyama (1992)
The Clash of Civilizations by Samuel Huntington (1996)
The Death of the West by Patrick Buchanan (2002)
The West Versus the Rest by Roger Scruton (2002)
The West’s Last Chance: Will We Win the Clash of Civilizations? by Tony Blankley (2005)
How Civilizations Die by David Goldman (2011)          
The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray (2017)

You get the drift, simply by the titles. Many are rightly concerned about whether things will continue – whether the West has a future. They wonder, following Yeats, whether the centre will hold. See more on this here: billmuehlenberg.com/2021/05/03/things-fall-apart-but-work-remains/  

Let me remind the reader of just two examples of external threats to the Christian West, and then close with yet another example of internal decay. As to forces from without seeking to overrun the West, there have been various close calls that come to mind. Let me mention two of them that both involve Islam.

Both involve decisive battles that took place in Europe. Had the outcome of either one gone the other way, history would be radically different, and there would likely not be such a thing as the ‘Christian West’. Both were crucial contests to keep Islam from overrunning Europe. Both were fought to keep the West Christian and civilised.

The first of these was the Battle of Tours (732) which halted the Islamic advance into France and beyond. Very briefly, Islam had been on the move – big time. Plenty of territory was being taken by Muslim armies in the first hundred years after Muhammad, and by 714 Spain had been occupied.

Muslim forces began moving north to take the rest of Europe. Militant Islam seemed to be unstoppable. The Battle of Tours (also known as the Battle of Poitiers since it was actually fought between these two cities in north-western France) was an utterly crucial and decisive turning point in all this.

Charles Martel (Charles the Hammer), the Frankish military leader, was the hero of the day, defeating the invading Muslim forces of the Umayyad Caliphate which was twice the size of his own forces. The result was to stop Islamic expansion into the rest of Europe. See more on this here: billmuehlenberg.com/2016/07/17/islam-versus-western-civilisation-lessons-history/

The second key battle occurred a millennium later: the Battle of Vienna. It took place on September 11-12, 1683. This also was a key battle which would have changed the course of history had it gone the other way. Again, only a brief outline can be offered here:

Islam was again on the march – this time in the form of the Ottoman Turks. A 1529 siege of Vienna had failed, but this siege looked to succeed. The Turks came with an army of around 150,000. As they approached the city, King Leopold and most of the residents fled the city, leaving only around 15,000 men to defend it.

The Ottomans decided to simply starve the city into submission, and they nearly succeeded. Thankfully at the last moment deliverance came from a few other Christian armies, primarily the Poles. Jan III Sobieski, the King of Poland, arrived with 40,000 troops, along with German and Austrian allies, and within a matter of hours the siege was ended and the Turks were routed.

Around 4000 of the defenders died, while perhaps as many as 20,000 Turks lost their lives. This stopped the Islamic incursion into Europe and was the beginning of the end of the Ottoman Empire in terms of its expansionist goals in Europe. More details on this are found here: billmuehlenberg.com/2016/07/18/islams-long-history-targeting-europe/

Phew, those were two close calls indeed. But as mentioned, the internal white anting of the West continues apace. This site features hundreds of examples of this. I offer here just one recent case in point which I just read about today. I have long been discussing how Islam is on the rise in Europe (via immigration and the like) while Christianity is taking a nosedive.

Image of The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam
The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam by Murray, Douglas (Author) Amazon logo

A new report about the situation in France makes this quite clear. It begins:

One religious building is disappearing in France every two weeks. That is the conclusion of Edouard de Lamaze, president of the Observatoire du patrimoine religieux (Observatory of Religious Heritage) in Paris. He is raising the alarm in the French media about the gradual disappearance of religious edifices in a country known as the “eldest daughter of the Church” because the Frankish King Clovis I embraced Catholicism in 496.

It continues:

Lamaze told CNA in an interview that in addition to one religious building disappearing every two weeks — by demolition, transformation, destruction by fire, or collapse — two-thirds of fires in religious buildings are due to arson. While these statistics include buildings belonging to all religious groups, most of them concern Catholic monuments, which still represent a large majority in France, where there are roughly 45,000 Catholic places of worship.

 

“Although Catholic monuments are still ahead, one mosque is erected every 15 days in France, while one Christian building is destroyed at the same pace,” Lamaze said. “It creates a tipping point on the territory that should be taken into account.” www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/247514/why-france-is-losing-one-religious-building-every-two-weeks

You can do the math. One new mosque versus one lost church structure every two weeks in France. Things are likely similar in other parts of Europe. Christianity is on the decline while Islam is on the rise. Sure, church buildings alone of course do not make Christianity, and there are other ways one can measure these things.

But plenty of surveys and national censuses tell the same story: there are fewer and fewer Christians in Europe, but more and more Muslims. That just will not end well. Again, for the committed Christian, even numbers like these do not tell the whole story.

We know that Christ WILL build his church. But in some places things really are looking quite bleak. While the church is growing in places like Africa and Asia and Latin America, it is in steady and serious decline in the West. God’s church on earth will not disappear, but it may well come close to vanishing in the West if current trends continue.

So from a purely non-religious point of view, things are not looking very good at all for the West. And we all should be concerned about this, and do what we can to turn things around. Sites like this one have been sounding the alarm for decades. Whether others will take heed is another matter.

But for those who are biblical Christians, we do know who wins in the end, and we do know that these sorts of battles will certainly continue. We take heart of course by recalling the reassuring words of Jesus when he told us that the gates of hell would not prevail against his church (Matthew 16:18).

And we can also take heart at the famous words of Chesterton who once put it this way: “At least five times the Faith has to all appearances gone to the dogs. In each of these five cases, it was the dog that died.”

Quite so. Let us soldier on, while we still have the chance to do so.

[1464 words]

21 Replies to “Is This the End of the West?”

  1. “He is raising the alarm in the French media about the gradual disappearance of religious edifices in a country known as the “eldest daughter of the Church” because the Frankish King Clovis I embraced Catholicism in 496.”
    The sad fact about France is that though it may be the “eldest daughter of the Church” it was also the first nation to secularize and reject much of Christianity with the French Revolution of the 1790’s. And not just the French Revolution, there’s also the Jules Ferry laws of the 1880’s which removed Catholic/religious influence and presence in the public schools and the 1905 law on separation of church and state which officially established state secularism. In hindsight, it’s not a surprise that Christianity is declining badly in France.

  2. The challenge facing western Christians may not be indifference so much as confusion. Most of us do not know if its ‘right to fight’ kinetically for our faith. Many of us don’t want to confuse defending our Christian faith with secular nationalism. In other words, I don’t want to take up arms ‘for the Church’ thinking I am doing God’s work, but in reality I am in disobedience. This is particularly confusing when you consider that most of us aren’t magistrates of any kind, so the Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate (Magdeburg Confession, etc.) doesn’t really apply. And the silence of the pastors, the watchmen who aren’t watching, is deafening.

  3. Thanks Randall. As you might know, I am writing a series of articles on Resistance Theory, with 27 so far penned: https://billmuehlenberg.com/category/politics/

    There were many versions and formulations of this, and the lesser magistrate was often invoked. At times however it was said that the common believer could in rare cases also engage in things like civil disobedience and defiance of ungodly laws, etc. It is indeed a complex matter, one in which great care and prayer is needed. But as things get progressively worse, we all need to start thinking about these matters even more.

  4. And this is without even mentioning the huge menace China has become to the West and specifically Australia, as it expands into the Pacific, and even into Papua New Guinea etc….
    And as it has infiltrated into Universities in Australia etc too….

  5. What a brilliant article Bill.
    The complacency and lack of interest by the West and particularly Christians as we stand back and watch Christianity collapse in the West.
    Iraq was invaded by the American-led coalition on the 20 March 2003 and Saddam Hussein was hanged on the 30 December 2006.
    He was heard to boast before his execution
    that all the Western Alliance will accomplish will be to spread Islam quicker when Muslims flee to Europe.
    How true were his words.
    Western schools and Universities have for decades been either changing history or outright lying about the past to dumb down their students so the cause of Marxism can be advanced at a frightening pace.
    Ask the average Western, particularly in Australian are you aware of the decline in Christianity, you’ll probably get a blank stare back and hear them say, I hadn’t noticed!
    Terry Hill

  6. Gadaffi famously said that Muslims will conquer the West without firing a shot but simply through producing more children than the indigenous population [1]
    Indeed, whilst all Western nations are dying from abortions, contraception and pursuing sexual practices which promote sterility and impotence, the Muslim population is growing exponentially.

    We can thank our political leaders like former Prime Minister David Cameron [2] and Liberal Democrat Simon Hughes [3] for welcoming our own oppression from Muslims when they invite them to take top leadership positions such as being head of the military and the political system in Britain, or making London the capital of Shariah banking [4]

    [1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCGYKSEsYFM
    [2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPZSMgYflyk
    [3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGUkf94Oktc
    [4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72T0x7FqLk0

    Treasonous does not even describe the words and activities of our politicians – especially Prime Minister Boris Johnson who believes the ancient Islamic Andalusian kingdom of Cordoba is the model we should emulate for a one-world civilization and therefore one world government [5] https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xfz95n (slide to 7 minutes 20 seconds)

    I do not believe that it will Islam which creates a one-world government but the Marxists who are using both Muslims and LGBTs to do their dirty work to destroy the Church

    David Skinner

  7. Any civilisation that rejects God will go into moral decline and will bring a curse on itself. Any civilisation that rejects God also will not survive. A civilisation can not survive without God and a civilisation needs God to survive. Western civilisation has rejected God and because of that western civilisation has gone into moral decline and western civilisation has brought a curse on itself. Western civilisation is going to collapse and come to an end soon and western civilisation deserves to collapse and deserves to come to an end.

  8. As sad as it is to hear many christian churches are shutting down and many christians are not standing up to the onslaught, i cant help think; a truly regenerate born again christian will stand and perservere, would they not?

    Is it possible we are seeing the falling away of false converts? Not saying true believers cannot fall (true believers come sometimes fall away, but God ensures they come back) and sometimes take the easy road etc, but, maybe God is shaking the earth a little and we are seeing the chaff fall away.
    Broad is the road to destruction and narrow is the gate and only few find it.

  9. I know I am going to tread on sensibilities here – and who am I to judge – but a large measure of blame for the collapse of the moral health and martial vigour of the West can be laid at the door the institutional church, especially the Church of England and its Head, the Queen
    On June 4th, 1213 her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II was celebrating the 60th anniversary of her Coronation. She was being reminded of her Oath she had solemnly sworn to keep which was to uphold and defend the Protestant Faith and protect her church ministers and the Christian traditions and customs of the Commonwealth nations. She was also reminded of the symbolism of the Coronation regalia she had held: the orb; the sceptre and the sword which were:
    “To do justice, stop the growth of iniquity, protect the holy Church of God, help and defend widows and orphans, restore the things that are gone to decay, maintain the things that are restored, punish and reform what is amiss, and confirm what is in good order.”
    At hearing these words she appeared to be troubled [1] , knowing that since 1967, she has given her Royal Assent to probably 4000 pieces of legislation, much of it totally Godless, and is not likely to do any better in the remaining years of her life.
    Nevertheless, the Queen may well have thought that whatever thoughts might have come into her head whilst shut within the walls of Westminster Abbey, in 2014, a good dose of reality, by attending a horse race, her great passion, [2] would be enough to restore her cheerfulness.
    just over two weeks later on June 20th any whiffs of such troubling fancies left lingering were completely dissipated by her winning the Gold Cup, at the Royal Ascot Races [3]. Did not the whole nation rejoice with her as she became richer by quarter of a million pounds and adding to the more than £6,000,000 she had earnt from horse racing over the last 31 years?
    On the 15th July, flushed with her winnings, the Queen royally gave her assent to the same sex marriage bill, reputedly, according to Stephen Fry, with the words, “Well, who would have thought that such a thing could have happened sixty years ago? Isn’t it wonderful”. [4]
    What else will the Queen sign in law before rushing off to a race track one wonders? Will it be to outlaw the belief that anyone can change from being a sinner to a saint; or to outlaw preaching from the pulpit because this will cause confusion and fright to a homosexual; or to ban the Bible completely because it is deemed to be full of hatred, or to extend killing of unwanted babies beyond birth because their abortion failed to work?
    [1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zU1rZX0wkYg&t=2722s
    [2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAGoqXCgq8U
    [3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jp0lcUmmV00
    [4] https://youtu.be/zBy3hEpRNm8?t=802

    David Skinner UK

  10. The barbarians are tearing down the gates from the outside but to many are tearing down the gates from the inside as well including those who profess Christ. To these clueless Christians Christ would be tearing down the gates right alongside them.

    Had to look up white anting that was a new term to this yank but it is apropos.

  11. David, the Queen cannot withhold royal assent. And as they say horse racing is indeed the sport of kings and presumably queens. If that’s her only vice I’d give her a break. She seems to have a genuine faith.

  12. I am reading Deus Vult, the handbook for resistance. The end result will be destroying the economy with liberals obsession with the Earth Goddess of climate change, a mass surveillance state with social credits, the aim to wipe out Christianity, to destroy any education not in the hands of the state, to destroy binary sexuality with sterile free-for all frenzies. In USA, for example, the First and Second Amendments will be abolished. Christians by and large are deeply ignorant or apathetic about what lies ahead. It will get to the stage where Christians must separate from these liberal progressive cesspits of Marxism and degeneracy. No youth should be going to a university unless they shall study medicine, nursing or dentistry and the like.

  13. Quite sad what is happening in France and all of Europe. They say that anger is the bodygurad for sadness. So do we respond with anger? Do we take up arms as our ancestors bravely did? Seems we have two “field energies” which oscillate between an Armageddon and anger. Is there anything else we can field in this Universal “ground of being” (Tillich)?

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