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Showing posts with label European Civilization. Show all posts
Showing posts with label European Civilization. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Pat Buchanan: Will There Always Be an England?


By Patrick J. Buchanan

In his op-ed in The Washington Post, Chris Grayling, leader of the House of Commons, made the case for British withdrawal from the European Union — in terms Americans can understand.

Would you accept, Grayling asks, an American Union of North and South America, its parliament sitting in Panama, with power to impose laws on the United States, and a high court whose decisions overruled those of the U.S. Supreme Court?

Would you accept an American Union that granted all the peoples of Central and South America and Mexico the right to move to, work in, and live in any U.S. state or city, and receive all the taxpayer-provided benefits that U.S. citizens receive?

This is what we are subjected to under the EU, said Grayling.

And as you Americans would never cede your sovereignty or independence to such an overlord regime, why should we?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Call to Freedom

Pope Benedict in Spain 2010

Spain's youth gather to see the Pope

By Sister Janet Fearns, Missio

The UK media has repeatedly stated that Pope Benedict’s visit to Spain has touched on familiar themes. Yet, as usual, it has been left to the Catholic press to identify the central point of his message: freedom. Whilst the secular reports quote the Pope as calling Europe to return to its Christian roots, they frequently omit the reason for such a challenge: freedom.

To a society that often fails to distinguish between freedom and licence, yet is deeply concerned for human rights and justice, on his arrival at Compostella airport the Holy Father declared:

"In his deepest being, man is always on a journey, ever in search of truth… I too wish to encourage Spain and Europe to build their present and to project their future on the basis of the authentic truth about man, on the basis of the freedom which respects this truth and never harms it, and on the basis of justice for all, beginning with the poorest and the most defenceless, a Spain and a Europe concerned not only with people’s material needs but also with their moral and social, spiritual and religious needs, since all these are genuine requirements of our common humanity and only in this way can work be done effectively, integrally and fruitfully for man’s good".

If any statement can be said to summarise the content and significance of the Pope’s visit to Spain, this is it! Yet he goes one step further:

"The Church, which desires to serve unreservedly the human person and his dignity, stands at the service of both truth and freedom. She cannot renounce either, because what is at stake is man himself."

Recalling the struggles and bloodshed of Spain’s Civil War, Pope Benedict thus shows that there is something deeper and more important than the fight for civil liberties, vital as they are. What is the absolute crux of the matter is the freedom of the human heart, "because without this aspiration for truth, justice and freedom, man would lose his very self".

The Pope returned to this theme at Compostella, the burial place of the Apostle St James, who gave his life for the freedom to preach the Word of God.

"The Europe of civilization and culture must be open to the fraternity with other Continents…" to "the true and living God…" and abandon the "tragic belief that God is somehow man’s antagonist and an enemy of his freedom".

The relationship between God and humanity is fundamental to any understanding and appreciation of the meaning of life. Freedom without God is false. Society cannot relegate religious belief to the private and the hidden, because it will never reach the enlightenment for which it searches:

"God is the origin of our being and the foundation and apex of our freedom, not its opponent. How can mortal man build a firm foundation and how can the sinner be reconciled with himself? How can it be that there is public silence with regard to the first and essential reality of human life? How can what is most decisive in life be confined to the purely private sphere or banished to the shadows? We cannot live in darkness, without seeing the light of the sun. How is it then that God, who is the light of every mind, the power of every will and the magnet of every heart, be denied the right to propose the light that dissipates all darkness?"

Again and again, Pope Benedict has, in the five years of his papacy, emphasised that if God is given priority, everything else falls into place:

"One cannot worship God without taking care of his sons and daughters…"

The Holy Father’s message, in imitation of that which St James bore to the people of Spain, goes beyond national borders: it embraces all aspects of life, culture and civilisation. Social progress is possible only as a result of openness to God. The Church is thus promoting freedom, not restricting it.

"The Europe of science and technology, the Europe of civilization and culture, must be at the same time a Europe open to transcendence and fraternity with other continents, and open to the living and true God, starting with the living and true man. This is what the Church wishes to contribute to Europe: to be watchful for God and for man, based on the understanding of both which is offered to us in Jesus Christ."

Since his election to the See of Peter, Pope Benedict’s constant theme has been the importance of truth in the ongoing search for freedom. In stressing that: "One can not live without truth and freedom", he is pointing to all that is fundamental to the culture of Europe… but Europe needs to open its eyes and rediscover God.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Massive Changes Needed in EU Family Policy to Avoid Demographic "Catastrophe": Report


From LifeSiteNews
By Hilary White

The news about abortion, marriage, divorce and the birth rate in Europe is bad and only getting worse, a report recently presented to the EU said.

According to the report by the Institute for Family Policies abortion rates in Britain have leaped by a third among unmarried teenage girls and abortion is helping to age the population of Europe. Without a massive shift to family-friendly policies, the pattern of increased abortion and increasingly aging population will inevitably lead to the collapse of social welfare benefits, and, ultimately, to the bankruptcy of Europe's cradle-to-grave socialist welfare state.

Presented to the European Parliament on Wednesday, the report said that the situation of the family in Europe is "a desolate panorama."

"Europe is plunged in an unprecedented demographic winter and has become an elderly continent, with a large birth deficit, fewer marriages and more of them broken, homes emptying."

"The aging population, critical birth-rate, escalating abortions, the collapse of marriage, the explosion in family breakups and the emptying of homes are the main problems of Europeans," the 2009 Report on the Evolution of the Family in Europe said.

The study found that the annual number of abortions in the EU equals the entire combined population of its ten smallest member states, with the three top aborting countries being Britain, France and Romania. In Europe there is one abortion every 25 seconds, for a total of more than 1,200,000 abortions a year. 19 percent of all European pregnancies end in abortion and 28 million children have been killed by abortion since 1990, making abortion the main cause of death in Europe.

The population over 65 years in all European states already exceeds the population under 14 years. The EU under 14 population has fallen from 89 million in 1993 to 78.4 million in 2008. Over-65s have risen from 68.3 million in 1993 to 84.9 million in 2008 - an increase of 16.5 million elderly people. The average age of EU citizens is 40.3 years, with Italy and Germany having the highest populations of elderly people.

The dropping European birth rate, the report says, with its concomitant increasing health and pension costs, will lead to increases in public expenditure to care for the aging population and the eventual collapse of public revenues, leading finally to the bankruptcy of the welfare state. The average birth rate of EU countries is now 1.38 per woman, well below the replacement rate of 2.1 births per woman, even in relatively fertile countries like France.

Without a significant shift in family policies in all EU countries, the report predicts the result will be "catastrophic." Starting in 2010, the population of Europe overall will begin to fall from 499 million to 472 million by 2050 and every third inhabitant will be over 65.

According to the study, Britain is the "abortion capital of Europe" with rates that last year pulled ahead of France. Its abortion rate is fifth in the world, behind Russia, the U.S., India and Japan. Among these countries, Britain can least afford such a high rate, with a population less than half that of Russia and Japan, a fifth that of the US, and 1/19 that of India. The median age of women in Britain is also rising, at 41.3 years, making recovery even more difficult.

The population of the 27 EU nations reached 500 million last year with most increases in population (78 per cent) attributable to immigration, not births. The natural increase of Europe's population is 12 times lower than the US. Spain has immigration 9 times greater than its internal birth increase and Italy's native population fell (-0.14 million) and had 23 times more immigrants than births (+3.28 million). Poland, Romania and Bulgaria are losing citizens by emigration and Lithuania, Latvia, Romania and Bulgaria have falling populations due to low immigration rates.

Only France, Holland, Finland and Slovakia have internal rates of population increase higher than their immigration figures.

Other indicators show the number of marriages, especially first marriages, is down and divorce rates are up. There are 1 in 4 fewer marriages than in 1980 and the marriage rate has fallen in 9 out 10 countries. One out of every 3 children (36.5 per cent) is born outside marriage. In some countries the fall in marriage rate has been around 50 per cent since 1983 and there are over one million divorces a year, the equivalent to one marital breakdown every 30 seconds.

More people (55 million) are living alone than ever before. One in four households in Europe has a single dweller and two out of three households have no children. Of the households with children, 50 per cent have only one child.

The report recommends the creation of a European Union ministry of the family, laws to increase flexibility of working hours to accommodate families, increases in tax benefits for families and an emphasis on family welfare programs over welfare for individuals.

It calls for governments to recognize the rights of families, including the right of parents to reconcile work and family life; to have the number of children they want; to choose the type of education their children receive and the right of children to live in a stable home.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Saturday, May 10, 2008

What’s Going Right in Europe – How Localism Might Save the Continent

The following article by the Flemish journalist, Paul Belien, is an encouraging reminder that there are ethnic and historical currents moving in Europe that may be more powerful than the socialist, totalitarian EU folly. Since publication of Mr. Belien's article a fortnight ago, conservatives have made enormous gains in Britain and Italy and control the mayoral offices of London and Rome for the first time since the Second World War.


From The Brussels Journal

By Paul Belien

Following the victory of Silvio Berlusconi’s rightist alliance in Italy, The Economist wrote a condescending editorial, entitled “Mamma mia.” The article stated that Berlusconi was not The Economist’s choice and said that the “Italians may come to regret electing [the jester of Italian politics] once again.” Barely a month earlier, Spain had re-elected its own “jester,” Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, a man whose main ambition is to destroy Spain’s Christian heritage and substitute it with a postmodern, multicultural utopia where homosexuals marry and the state raises children. At that election, however, The Economist did not feel compelled to snub the winner. It just told its readers that Spain needs “a bipartisan approach to […] solve big questions of national identity.”

Italy and Spain are two frontline states on Europe’s southern border. They are being overrun by millions (no exaggeration) of immigrants, many of whom cross the straits in boats from t
he African shore of the Mediterranean. Three years ago Spain (40 million inhabitants) announced a collective amnesty for a staggering 800,000 undocumented aliens, despite having already offered six other amnesties in the past 15 years. Two years ago, Italy (58 million inhabitants) amnestied 500,000 illegal immigrants, having already offered five similar regularizations between 1988 and 2006. And still the immigrants keep coming. Immigration, however, is not the “big question of national identity” The Economist is referring to.

Obviously, economics is mostly on The Economist’s mind. Consequently, economic reform is what the above editorials mainly dealt with, though in Spain’s case the magazine also mentioned the “national identity” question in a reference to the seats won by regionalist and separatist parties from Catalonia and the Basque country. These parties kept Mr Zapatero from an absolute majority in the Spanish parliament. Hence, he will have to accommodate them in some way.

Strangely–though tellingly for a magazine which, like The Economist, is representative of Europe’s mainstream media—the editorial on Italy did not mention the astonishing electoral success of the Lega Nord, a constituent of Mr. Berlusconi’s right-wing alliance.


Like the parties in Catalonia and the Basque country, the Northern League (full name: Lega Nord per l’Indipendenza della Padania—Northern League for the Independence of Padania) is a regionalist, indeed separatist, party. Padania, in case you have never heard of it, does not exist as a nation; it is the collective name that the League uses to denote the various regions of northern Italy (such as Lombardy, Piedmont, Venice, Tuscany, South Tyrol, and others). The League is made up of several parties (including the Lega Lombarda, the Liga Veneta, the Alleanza Toscana) that want to restore to their regions the sovereignty that they enjoyed prior to the formation of the Italian State in the 19th century.

The success of the Northern League was the pivotal element in the victory of Mr. Berlusconi’s alliance. It enabled him to win an absolute majority in the Italian parliament. The League completely wiped away the left in the north. It doubled in size and won a stunning 8.3% of the national vote, sending 60 deputies (+37) and 26 senators (+13) to Rome. In some northern regions, it had the support of up to 50% of the electorate. This remarkable result, however, was not worth the consideration of The Economist, or of the rest of the European media. As they did not report on the League’s victory, they did not need to explain to their readers why the party had done so extraordinary well. Indeed, the international media preferred to lament the return of “the jester” rather than point out that the Northern League won so massively because of its forceful anti-immigration platform.

On Monday (21 April), the leftist Milanese newspaper Corriere della Sera wrote, “Fear boosted the Northern League’s vote, doubling and tripling its haul in front-line towns where local prosperity is undermined by thefts and burglaries. Unpunished crimes generate anger and people lose trust.” It is telling that even this leftist newspaper talks about “front-line” towns–-as if a war is going on—to describe the blue-collar areas around Milan where immigrants are making life unbearable for indigenous workers who no longer feel at home in their own neighborhoods. Roberto Mura, the League’s secretary for the district of Pavia and the mayor of San Genesio, 25 kilometers south of Milan, told the Corriere: “We struggle to shake off […] the image of the rough and ready, apolitical racist League militant. […] I know we’ve got to live with immigration, but the rules have to be respected. The League has been saying so for fifteen years. We’re now reaping the reward for the coherence and clarity of our project to defend the territory.”

As Mr Mura points out, the “apolitical” Northern League is in politics not for the sake of politics itself, but to “defend the territory.” There is something remarkable going on here, though it will never hit the mainstream
media because the latter do not want to see it:

The most successful anti-immigration parties in Europe are regionalist/secessionist parties. They are “apolitical” because the
y do not particularly like politics. Their militants, members and voters do not like the state, they want to be left alone. They defend local communities that want to run their own affairs. They are parties of the land and the community, rather than the state. They are, as the media and the political establishment derisively call them, “populists.”

Milan, the capital of Lombardy, is 700 kilometers (430 miles) to the south of Brussels, the seat of the European Union, that supranational European superstate in the making which already accounts for 75% of the legislation in its 27 member states. The League is as opposed to Brussels as it is to Rome: it’s regionalist, restrictionist, and “Eurosceptic,” meaning that it doesn’t much like supranational mingling in local affairs.

Let us now travel from Milan to Brussels. First we must cross the Lombardian border into Switzerland, then we cross the Alps in order to reach the valley of the Rhine River. We follow the Rhine, which constitutes the border between France and Germany, until we arrive in the Low Countries, in particular in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking northern part of Belgium, where Brussels is situated. There, we can visit the buildings of the European and the Belgian parliaments but also those of the Flemish Region
al Parliament.

The largest party in the latter parliament is the Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest) party. It represents a quarter of the Flemish electorate and is considered one of the most professional and successful of Europe’s patriotic parties. It is remarkably similar to the Lega Nord. It is separatist, in favor of restricting immigration and Eurosceptic.

The VB was founded in 1978 by Flemish nationalists aiming for the independence of Flanders. The Flemish provinces are the historic southern, Catholic half of the Netherlands. In fact, the Flemish provinces belonged to the Netherlands until the International Powers gave them to the newly created French-dominated state of Belgium in 1831. From the start, the VB warned against immigration by people from a culture entirely alien to that of Flanders; indeed, the VB was the first party to address the issue. It still demands that immigrants assimilate and, hence, that their numbers remain low enough to assure that this is possible. The party’s position is also that immigration from countries with a culture closer to that of Flanders should be given preference, but they have to adapt to the locals and learn the lan
guage of the Flemings, Dutch.

The VB is critical of immigration for exactly the same reason why it demands Flemish independence: because it wants to preserve Flemish national identity. As Frank Vanhecke, the then VB leader, wrote in The Flemish Republic in July 2003: “We defend the Flemish national identity, against the Belgian state as well as against immigrants who abuse our hospitality to wage an anti-Western war in Flanders. The VB is a party of Flemish patriots, prepared to defend Flanders’ culture and traditions, its values and, above all, its freedom.”

The Flemish provinces experienced their heyday in the Middle Ages, when the Netherlands was a confederate cluster of autonomous provinces. The provinces were dominated by powerful cities, such as Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp and Brussels, who made it quite clear to the nominal dynastic ruler that he had to leave the burghers in peace or face rebellion. In northern Italy, the situation was almost similar, with powerful city-states running their own affairs. And so it was all along the 700 kilometers that we have just traveled. The cities along the Rhein, such as Cologne and Strasbourg, enjoyed considerable autonomy, while Switzerland was a confederation of tiny, sovereign republics of Alpine farmers. This was not a coincidence. In fact, these regions have a common history that goes back to the tim
e when Charlemagne’s empire was divided, almost 1,200 years ago.

Charlemagne, king of the Franks, a Germanic tribe, conquered most of continental Western Europe and was crowned Emperor in 800 AD. He was the first ruler France and Germany had in common. His son, Louis the Pious, was the last. In 843, the Carolingian empire was divided. Charlemagne’s grandsons, Charles the Bald and Louis the German, became the first kings of, respectively, France (West Francia) and Germany (East Francia). There was, however, a third brother, Lothar, the eldest. He inherited the lands that lay between those of his brothers: Middle Francia.

Lothar’s kingdom was named after him: Lotharii Regnum or Lorraine. Today, Lorraine is the name of a province in the east of France. It is the province where Joan of Arc, France’s national heroine came from. However, contemporary Lorraine is only a tiny part of the Lorraine of old. In Lothar’s time, Lorraine comprised all the countries that lie between France and Germany today—the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg and Switzerland—plus the eastern part of presen
t-day France, the western part of Germany and the northern half of Italy.

When Lothar’s son died without offspring in 875, the middle territories were divided between Charles the Bald and Louis the German. However, as these regions lay on the periphery of their heartlands, generations of kings of France and Germany were never able to establish a firm rule over them. The result was that throughout the Middle Ages, and for some up to the 18th century and even today, the lands of Lothar, Old Lorraine, were made up of s
elf-governing republics of farmers, independent counties controlled by burghers or city republics.

Self-governing, with little interference from greedy princes, their tax controllers and meddling civil servants, these lands became very prosperous. Capitalism has its origins here. This whole axis from Amsterdam in the north to Siena in the south developed into the economic spine of Europe. The former Carolingian Middle Lands saw not only the birth of capitalism but also of limited government. A decentralized political culture developed where the burghers governed themselves without caring much about faraway rulers.

Later, and gradually, French and German monarchs succeeded in bringing most of the regions of the ancient Middle-Frankish realm under their control. The kings of France and Prussia succeeded in
subduing their part of the Rhen region. The French Revolution swept away all the existing self-governing systems, and after the fall of Napoleon only Switzerland returned to its old constitutional order. To a large extent, however, the spirit of Old Lorraine lives on today in the lands of the former Middle Kingdom where citizens are still influenced by centuries of independence, self-reliance and adherence to a local identity that opposes centralizing authorities in far-away capitals.

In Switzerland, the only remaining sovereign part of Old Lorraine (at least until Flanders and Padania regain their independence), these feelings are so strong that the country stubbornly refuses to become a member of the European Union. Switzerland itself is a regionalist nation, made up of 26 provinces (cantons) that to a very large extent rule themselves. The country has strict immigration laws and the Swiss want to make these even stricter. The last elections, in November 2007, were won by the Schweizerische Volkspartei (Swiss People’s Party, SVP), which with 29% of the votes reinforced its position as the biggest party in the country. The international media describe the SVP as “far-right,” “populist,” “xenophobic” and “intolerant.” Like the Vlaams Belang and the Lega Nord, the SVP is localist. It combines a strong attachment to local communities with a clear affirmation of the right
of these communities to “defend the territory” and preserve their own, traditional, ethnic identity.

Most of the regionalist parties in Europe, such as those in the Basque country, Scotland and elsewhere, are leftist. Except along the “spine of Europe.” These parties are the most successful of the parties of the European right. They have a localist quality, and yet they are fighting to protect the Christian, Western heritage of
the continent as a whole. The SVP is currently campaigning for a referendum, on 1 June, to “stop mass naturalization” of immigrants. Italy’s new Interior Minister, Roberto Maroni, comes from the Northern League and has announced “tough measures against clandestine immigration.” The VB, under constant harassment by the Belgian authorities, is working on a project to export its model to neighboring countries. Last January, the party established an international network called “Cities against Islamization,” in which it has aligned itself with local parties in cities along the Rhine—Pro Köln (Pro Cologne) from Cologne in the German Rhineland and Alsace d’Abord (Alsace First) from Strassbourg, the capital of Alsace, the French Rhine province. Like the VB, these parties defend local interests and oppose Islamization.

While France succumbs to North Africans and Germany to Turks, the parties from Old Lorraine, the spine of Europe, are preparing to fight for the preservation of their own identity. Owing to the massive immigration by people from an entirely different culture, many ordinary Europeans no longer feel at home in their own countries. Home is that cosy, often small, place where people feel safe among those whom they know and trust. The fight for the preservation of Europe is a fight for one’s own home, village, town, cit
y, provence. That is why it is a localist issue.

Resistance to Islamization is not a matter of ideology, as one prominent American “anti-Jihadist” seems to think. The successful re
sistance in Europe has a provincial and an ethnic basis. It is about the right of the Europeans to hand their traditions, their identity, their cultural heritage down to their children so that the latter can continue to enjoy Europe’s ancient freedoms. The spirit of Old Lorraine has survived for 1,200 years. “Populist” parties in Flanders, Switzerland, Lombardia, Cologne and Alsace and other regions along the spine of Europe are popular for the simple reason that they are not prepared to let twelve centuries of capitalist self-reliance, self-governance and limited government fade away simply because foreigners are moving in with a spirit adapted to Arabian desert life.

“It is the wrong way to fight the global jihad,” writes the American anti-Islamist. “To form one group for indigenous Europeans, as has been done in several countries, reduces virtually every issue to the one non-negotiable issue of race and ethnicity, discourages cooperation, and thus encourages Balkanization, works against the idea of representative government, and obscures the common values of Judeo-Christian civilization that are shared by people of many races and ethnicities.”

Ethnicity, however, is not by definition a racial concept; it is a cultural one. Ethnicity is about the spirit, the culture that we share. For the above parties this culture is precisely the culture of limited government, of the common values of Western civilization, the adherence to home. Is all this bad because it is indigenous rather than ideological?


Paul Belien is a Flemish journalist. He is the founder of The Brussels Journal. His wife is a member of the Belgian parliament for Vlaams Belang. This article was first published by Takimag.com on April 27, 2008 .


Thursday, December 6, 2007

European Civilization Doomed If It Does Not Preserve Christian Values - Alexy II


Moscow, December 6, Interfax - If European nations abandon their Christian roots, they are doomed to disappear from the historical arena, Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia said.

"Modern Europe will not create a new post-Christian culture and civilization but will simply vanish from history," Alexy II said at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow on Wednesday evening.

"Losing their Christian roots, the people of Europe will sign their own death warrant," he said.


Alexy II recalled that he talked about "the need to preserve moral Christian values," without which "it is hard to imagine European culture and Europe itself," in his speech at the PACE in October this year.