Saturday, 19 May 2012

Triangular duel

The cultural war in Europe between Islam, liberalism and traditional Christianity is a bit like the  triangular duel in Mr. Midshipman Easy, a book I loved at 12 - does anyone still read Captain Marryat? - but this duel is deadly without being funny. 

I think liberalism may well win in the end but Islam will be indigestible and be forever a very powerful element in Western European history and will continue to be a source of conflict and even bloodshed. Traditional Christianity is already the big loser as we have seen with civil partnerships. How well Christianity-lite will do, shorn of the old fashioned teachings on women, sex and asceticism, I do not know but I suspect fear of Islam will drive some to church and others to atheism. At the moment, supported by paedophile scandals involving Catholic priests, it is driving many young white people to atheism, yet atheism no longer seems, unlike in the 1960s, the future. It has an old fashioned 19th century feel to it. 

I think God is back to stay but I think Christianity as an organised religion will continue to decline in the developed world. Paradoxically Islam makes converts because it possesses the counter-cultural quality and rock-hard certainty which people recognised in the Catholic Church before the Second Vatican Council in the early 1960s introduced such big changes.

1 comment:

  1. A. Don't be deluded. Liberalism, thanks mostly to capitalism and improving living standards, has already won and defeated traditional Christianity in Western Europe (the only exception to this is Poland, Slovakia and maybe Italy).

    B. I'm a young man who lives in Luton which has a very large Muslim population and I see lots of Muslims in their 20's who live very modern and westernized lives so I'm not so sure anymore that Islam is 'indigestible'.