Sunday, June 6, 2010

Are the Dirty 30's Back Again?

Who was it that said "History does not repeat itself, but sometimes it rhymes"? I'm pretty pessimistic these days compared to the "Progressives" who currently run most of Western civilization, but of course I call it "realism" because a Christian can't be pessimistic long term. But once you have rejected the idea that the world is getting better and better all the time, to think that we are replaying a previous era in significant ways is not really a sign of pessimism, but of optimism. Let me explain.

I see four major parallels with the 1930's in our contemporary situation (the beginning of the 10's).

First, there is another outbreak of the pathology from which Western civilizations has suffered throughout its history: Anti-Semitism - or more accurately: Jew-hatred. For about half a century the liberal side of the spectrum was opposed to Jew-hatred and most North American Jews are well to the left of the political spectrum. Anti-Semitism was something associated with the Right. But in recent years anti-Jewish sentiment - from boycotts of Israel to rejection of biblical morality to (especially in Europe) pro-Arab sentiment - has been growing like a cancer. Now it falls to conservatives - especially member of the much maligned "Religious Right" - to defend Jews.

Second, we are witnessing a huge resurgence of eugenic thinking and behavior. From New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman's glowing approval of China's repressive, one-child policy to the anti-natalism of the new environmentalist religion, we see a greater and greater openness to government dictated policies concerning babies and families. We also see bolder and bolder forays into new reproductive technologies such as cloning, babies with three parents and so on. The ability of the political class to "manage" the population like a herd has grown far beyond the wildest imagination of a Huxley or an Orwell. And, ominously, at this precise moment the idea that human beings are unique beings made in the image of God with an immortal soul is dying out in the West.

Third, we see growing economic crises enveloping the Western world. The European social democratic model is unsustainable and the Obama administration's suicidal economic policies are scaring the wits out of the moderate, independent American voter. We shall see how much progress we have made and to what degree history is over once employment jumps and recession lengthens.

Fourth, we have a fascist, totalitarian, fanatical group of extremists trying to overthrow Western governments and impose their will on the population. This time it is not the Nazis but Islamist terrorists. No one takes them seriously at the moment, just as Hitler's movement was dismissed in the early 30's.

This is a pretty depressing list; so on what basis can I claim to be an optimist instead of a pessimist? Well, it is clear that we have big problems and yet we have faced big problems like these and survived before. So it is not time to get out the "The End is Nigh" signs just yet.

The important thing is to ask how we, as Christians, can live faithfully in such times? And the answer must be that in season and out of season we must proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

No comments: