Saturday, April 9, 2016

Our Capacity for Self-Deception

From Crisis:
The Da Vinci Code is significant not for what it says about the Catholic Church, but for what it inadvertently says about the state of Western culture at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The positive reception accorded to The Da Vinci Code reveals a society in deep denial of reality. The book came out to its warm reception after 9/11. The film version came out after the Beslan school massacre, after the Madrid train bombings, after the London tube bombings, and after three weeks of Muslim rioting in 275 French cities. The movie hit the theaters at just about the same time that news of the Mumbai train bombings (which killed 200 and injured 700) hit the news.

Yet such was the public mood that millions of gullible readers and moviegoers were willing to accept the thesis that the greatest threat to human happiness lay in the supposed machinations of powerful figures within the Catholic Church. Future historians will no doubt be amazed at our capacity for self-deception. That presumes, of course, that future historians won’t be under the thumbs of the Ayatollahs and Muftis—a presumption that can no longer be safely entertained.

If the Islamization of all aspects of life—history, education, culture—is the fate of the West, The Da Vinci Code, along with similar fantasies, should bear some of the responsibility. By doing his best to deconstruct the religion that historically had stood as the main bulwark against Islamic fanaticism, the author has served as an enabler of Islam’s spread into the West. The weakening of Christianity has done little to strengthen the cause of goddess worship, but it has done a great deal to further the cause of Islam.

Whatever future historians may say about The Da Vinci Code, contemporary chroniclers are already saying that the rise of Islam in the West is directly related to the decline of Christianity. As I wrote four years ago:

As Europeans started to lose their faith, they stopped having babies. They stopped having babies because they had nothing meaningful to pass on to the next generation—and also because babies get in the way of self-gratification. The decline of Christianity in Europe created a population vacuum and a spiritual vacuum, both of which Islam soon began to fill. If Christian faith had been more robust in Europe, it is unlikely that radical Islam would have advanced so far, so fast.

A number of recent surveys show that Christianity is also on the decline in America. Increasing numbers of Americans now identify as “no religion” or “agnostic” rather than as Christians. As in Europe, this will eventually create a population shift. Filled with faith, the Muslim population will grow, and lacking it, the indigenous population will grow older.

As in Europe, the spiritual shift will also have an effect on the will to resist Islamization. Traditionally, Christianity has been the main source of meaning in the lives of most Americans. Once deprived of that meaning, they will begin to lose the will to resist. What’s the point of resisting if everything is relative? If one religion is as good as another? If you have nothing meaningful to stand for? Better in that case to submit and go along with the new order of things, distasteful as it may be.
Of course, the responsibility for the decline of Christianity in the West can hardly be pinned on Dan Brown alone. The decline was underway long before he put pen to paper. The Sexual Revolution, the lure of secularism, and the work of celebrity atheists had already done considerable damage to the Christian faith. Brown provided one more excuse for not believing, and because his thesis was dressed up in the language of scholarship it proved to be a potent excuse.

Brown quite obviously intended to undermine traditional Christianity and, in the process, pave the way for a non-patriarchal, feminine-friendly type of spirituality. Ironically, one of the effects of his and similar deconstruction efforts was to strengthen the hand of the most male-dominated, anti-feminine religion on the planet. Thanks in part to Brown and his fellow demolitionists, the institutionalized oppression of women that was once largely confined to Islamic lands has now set up shop in Europe. (Read more.)

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