I have excerpted the following paragraphs from a blog by Douglas Wilson entitled “As Hollow As A Jug”. The bold print and colorization are mine. His entire post can be found here.dougwils
“A Culture with AIDS
The recent attacks in London were breathlessly reported on one news channel as a monumental problem. ‘Saturday attack in London a tipping point in a campaign to destroy the West.’ To this one commenter said, in effect, really? The West has gone through a couple world wars, worse terrorism than this in the 70’s, not to mention the Cold War, and now we have reached the tipping point? After all that, we somehow cannot handle ‘a van and two guys with machetes’?
“And of course the commenter has a point if he is comparing threat to threat, attacker to attacker, and danger to danger. But if he has missed the point entirely—as he has—he fails to compare the cultures under attack. He is not comparing the culture that fought the Second World War to the culture that is responding to these current threats. The residents of London withstood a withering bombing campaign by the Nazis with courage and aplomb; we answer the terrorists with teary candlelight vigils, mounds of Teddy Bears propped up against gates, and blathering PC nonsense from our elected officials.
“A man whose immune system has collapsed can’t laugh off what years before—back in his robust days—would have been just a minor infection. The fact that he blew through a bout of pneumonia thirty years ago is irrelevant. What his immune system was like thirty years ago is not to the purpose. We need to know what his immune system is like now. This is because the threat is not the threat. The state of the immune system is the threat.
“So the issue is not whether the West has ever faced greater threats. Of course we have—much greater threats. But that is a different question from whether we have ever been in as great a danger. We are in great peril, not because the threat is so much greater, but rather because we are so much weaker.
“So a culture that does not stand for something will fall to anything. And this is because somebody else with a different brand of “shared values” will come along and say that they like blowing up little girls at concerts. They like driving vans into pedestrians. They like watching the candlelight vigils afterward. They like measuring how bloodless and desiccated and lame our responses are. They like watching us not having a clue. Why wouldn’t they?
“Collectively, we have no God. The ramifications of this are simple. We have absolutely no way to answer the most basic questions. Why are their ‘shared values’ inferior to ours? They prize suicide bombings. We prize sex change operations. They prize one kind of genital mutilation and we prize another another. Tomato, tomahto. So we need to answer the questions.
“And this brings us back to the threats of radical Islam. The issue is not whether a van and two guys with machetes are stronger than all of our assembled might. Of course they are not. But the point is that our society does not have a unified direction or point, and on top of that, we have all of us pretty much noticed this fact. And what that means is that our enervated society has no real reason to rise to its own defense. We cannot articulate to ourselves what we do not possess. And if we do rise to our own defense, we manage to make our displays of strength just as pointless as everything else is. If we send our ships far enough east in the Mediterranean, we could fire our Tomahawks in pretty much any direction. Whatever else it is, that should count as a show of strength. Flexing on the lip of the Void is no more impressive than wailing on the lip of the Void.
“We have no direction, no eschatology. Our politicians do promise to build bridges to “the future” (as though there were anywhere else to go), but the nature of that promised future is shapeless and ill-defined. This is all done under the banner of progress (with that word undefined as well), but maybe it means that we will build machines with sharper blades that can chop babies up into smaller pieces faster. Maybe we can continue to develop this promising new religion that worships the weather gods of the next century.”
Can I ever relate to the immune system analogy! I am 70 years old. Until 2006, I was hardly ever sick, and never hospitalized (except to remove a benign tumor in 2001). Since 2006: well, the list of problems is too long to go into, and who cares. I’m not sure I even do anymore–I am much closer to the end of my life than the beginning. But my children are, God willing, much closer to the beginning of theirs. THAT IS WHY I CARE SO MUCH ABOUT THE FUTURE! Your children should be reading this as well. If not….well, maybe their future looks like the Terminator movies.