Is white guilt a Christian affliction? Edward Gibbon would probably say so.
Gibbon was the genius who wrote, in 1776, the 12 volumes that comprise “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” wherein he saddled nascent Christianity with the downfall of the Roman Empire, no less. (I read the 1943 version, which was “condensed for modern reading.”)
By so surmising, Gibbon brought upon himself the wrath of “bishops, deans and dons”—not to mention that of the great Dr. Samuel Johnson’s biographer, James Boswell. Boswell called Gibbon an “infidel wasp” for “the chapter in which he showed that the fall of Rome was hastened by the rise of Christianity.”
And indeed, Gibbon seems to point toward Christianity’s self-immolating, progressive, pathologically inclusive nature, remarking on the courting by early Christians of “criminals and women.” [Not my words.]
Even more infuriating to his detractors was Gibbon’s prodigious scholarship. “No one could disprove Gibbon’s basic facts,” notes American author Willson Whitman.
Whitman, who wrote the 1943 Foreword to the abridged version, remarks on how “Gibbon outraged the Christians of his era by suggesting the ‘human’ reasons for the success of Christianity.”
“Among these reasons [Gibbon] noted that Christianity … attracted to its ‘common tables’ slaves, women, reformed criminals, and other persons of small importance [Whitman’s words, not mine]—in short that Christianity was a ‘people’s movement of low social origin, rising as the people rose.” [His words, not mine.]
To go by Gibbon, Christianity might be called the Social Justice movement of its day. Gibbon certainly seemed to suggest so.
In no way was Gibbon, who “professed Church of England orthodoxy,” diminishing Christianity’s centrality to Western civilization, or its essential goodness and glory. He was just following the evidence.
With Gibbon’s historical analysis in mind, it’s difficult to dispute that America, once identified as a staunch Christian country, seldom stands up for and safeguards Christian interests.
Trust Tucker Carlson to take note. On April 22, 2019, less than two minutes into this broadcast, the TV anchor observed that American foreign policy imperils the already imperiled Christian communities across the Muslim world. For one, the ancient Iraqi Christian community is a shadow of what it was under Saddam Hussein.
To their own dwindling, Western flock, American and European Christian leaders seldom offer succor and support. More often than not, church leaders are inclined to scold Westerners and berate them for insufficient procreation.
Take Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput. For outbreeding Christianity, Chaput offered praise for Islam as a civilization—as if civilizations are great because of huge numbers, rather than human capital—namely, people of superior ideas, abilities and sensibilities; people capable of innovation, exploration, science, philosophy, to say nothing of mercy and charity.
Has not Christianity’s great heart been instrumental in ameliorating famine, and thus enabling Muslim Africa’s population explosion?
But, no! For the less-fruitful Christians of the West, Archbishop Chaput has only words laced with snark. Chaput taunts the waning West with the prospects of getting swamped, deservedly, and dying out if it doesn’t hurry up and breed like the Muslims of the Third World.
Is that the extent to which the church will defend its own? It doesn’t seem remotely merciful.
Why doesn’t Chaput defend, with a view to preserving, his own Christian Civilization, even if it fails to reproduce to the archbishop’s standards?
Since Archbishop Chaput and his ilk will not—cannot—encourage contraception for Africa, how about protesting Africa’s migration to Europe?
In the context of the American and European immigration S.O.S., the “demographic decline” argument, wielded by Christian leaders (and many a misguided “conservative” pundit), has been used as an excuse to swamp—and weaken—native European populations.
But from the fact that Western nations aren’t breeding to some state-set, church-approved, desired level—it doesn’t follow that these nations “deserve” to be demographically drowned by better breeders.
Why don’t Christian religious leaders stand-up for the right of Western people to retain their countries, despite their procreational foibles and frailties?
The State has orchestrated the mass migration invasion. Pressured by The Church, the State can stop it.
Just like their Christian compatriots in the ministry and the priesthood—American rabbis are generally more inclined to pop-religion and Social Justice. Like their Christian friends, rabbis aim to bring religion in line with self-help literature and common, leftist, spiritual and political hobbyhorses and quests.
Theologically, America’s rabbis are an unscholarly lot, more an extension of American pop-theology, than that of the authentic Hebraic tradition.
More specifically, while Social Justice is a pillar and imperative in the Hebrew Bible; it’s not a national suicide pact.
Deuteronomy, an early book, showcases an advanced concept of Jewish Social Justice, and is replete with instructions to protect the poor, the weak, the defenseless, the widows, the orphans, the aliens, etc.
This ethical monotheism, developed centuries before classical Greek philosophy, is echoed throughout the Hebrew Bible (Exodus), and is expounded upon by the classical prophets, who railed against power and cultural corruption so magnificently. The Ten Commandments, lest we forget, preceded the Epistles of St. John.
However, there’s none of this turn-the-other-cheek, love-thy-enemy stuff in the Hebrew Bible and in Judaism, in general. In the Tanach, there’s the imperative of justice. One of the oft-repeated phrases in the Hebrew Bible is, “Justice, and justice alone, you shall pursue.” (Deuteronomy 16: 18-20)
Be just to your enemies, yes! But love them? Welcome them into your home? Let them walk all over you, outnumber you—even kill you when The Prophet moves them? Never!
In this, Israel’s orthodox rabbis are still hard-core Old Testament, steeped in a religious and cultural particularism, whose impetus it is to preserve the Jewish Nation.
You’ll certainly not hear an Israeli Orthodox rabbi, tethered to his country and countrymen, suggest that, because the Chosen People are in violation of the injunction to be fruitful and to multiply (pru urvu, as commanded in Genesis 1:28)—that they deserve to be replaced by better breeders.
Before Gibbon, it was Voltaire, French philosopher and writer extraordinaire, whose historical analysis led him to view Christianity as having had a softening effect on Rome, culminating in its yielding to the invading barbarians.
If Christian prelates reject history’s lessons—and the imperative to harden The Faith—courtesy of Gibbon and Voltaire, perhaps they’ll heed the Hebrews who revived their fighting faith in their ancient homeland.