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‘Head For Higher Ground’

Richard Fernandez writes that the willful ignorance of European leadership has set the continent up for looming disaster. [4] He says the signs were all present, in the Arab Muslim world and in Europe, pointing to the emergence of male Muslim mobs molesting women. It’s called “taharrush” in Arabic. Nobody in Europe wanted to pay attention to the threat to women — Arab and European — from this mob. Fernandez:

The New Year’s Eve crimes in Cologne were therefore what Naseem Nicholas Taleb would call a White Swan — not the unforeseeable Black Swan that he was famous for describing — but the obvious thing heralded by banners and brass bands that should have been noticed by the authorities. Yet there are none so blind as those who will not see. The Swedish police are now being accused of covering up assaults going back as far back as 2014 at a music festival. Karl Ritter of the Washington Post reported that festival”organizers received reports already in 2014 of groups of young men and boys groping girls in a systematic manner. Efforts were put in place, including more security guards, to prevent a repeat in 2015 but instead the problem got worse”.

Stockholm police spokesman Varg Gyllander confirmed to The Associated Press on Monday there was “a large number” of sexual assaults during the five-day festival and that scores of suspects were detained.

He said police should have reported on the incidents at the time “given the nature of the crime.” He denied suggestions in the newspaper report that police kept quiet because the suspects were foreigners. …

Roger Ticoalu, who heads the city government’s events department, told the AP that a “large part” of those detained were from Afghanistan, many carrying temporary ID-cards issued to asylum-seekers.

The facts were clear and for that reason all the more buried. It was politically sensitive and still is. In Cologne, in ground zero for the story, politicians are putting ludicrous plans in place to forestall assaults at the coming carnival through the use of “pictograms and interpreters”.



When the problem was largely confined to Middle Eastern women it is easy to understand why it was ignored. Now that taharrush has come to Europe it is easier still. Events are being covered up because it runs counter to the Narrative peddled by the Western left. The Narrative is the source of their moral authority, the justification for their special graft.

What makes the pathological denial so catastrophic is that a vast, almost unstoppable torrent of refugees is already on the way to Germany, the fragments of collapsing Islamic countries. Cologne is but a skirmish with the vanguard. The main host is still on its way.

Whole thing here. [4]

Fernandez goes on to say that if Europeans are to survive with their culture intact, it will have to be thanks to “the providence of a God they no longer believe in; the stirrings of memory of a nation they have doomed to oblivion.”

What does this have to do with the Benedict Option? My former TAC colleague J. Arthur Bloom is right, except “higher ground” in this case is a metaphor, not a literal call to run to the hills.

I told this story the other day, but I’ll repeat it. A Christian friend of mine who was involved for years in Republican politics has recently begun working at a national level in the fight to protect religious liberty. As he tells it, he’s always been a standard-issue Main Street Republican: socially conservative and pro-business. Since he started working on the religious liberty issue, it has shocked him to see how Big Business is pressuring Republican legislators even at the state level to back away from any attempt to lock in religious liberty protections in law. What we saw happen last year in Indiana, with major corporations interceding to quash the RFRA, was a Rubicon moment, he said. The business class is actively working to pry social and religious conservatives away from the Republican Party, and sideline them.

And it’s working. I told you last year that multiple Republican sources on Capitol Hill told me that the chance that the GOP Congress will undertake to protect religious liberty is nil.

So, when they come after our institutions and our businesses, we will be increasingly on our own.

Similarly, last year, a prominent Christian physician who works for a major, internationally-known medical research institution, told me that the things coming down the pike in the next 10 years in terms of bioethics shock the conscience. These aren’t things in the far-off future, but rather issues we will be dealing with within a decade. And very few people in his professional world, even the few Christians he knows, have any sense of alarm about it. This grieves him. He told me he’s trying to wake them up, but everybody seems to have the belief that everything’s going to work out in the end.

Over and over again, whenever I interview Protestant and Catholic college professors, they tell me the same story about their Christian students: that they are really nice kids, but know next to nothing about the faith. Nada. Zip. Zilch. These professors aren’t dumping on the kids, but rather on the parents and the churches and the Christian schools that failed to form them. The coming generation of Christians (if they remain Christians) has been catechized not by the church, but by the culture. They don’t even know what they don’t know. 

Now, aside from the personal tragedy that would result from these kids leaving the faith as adults, and all the future generations in their line who may never have the faith because the line was broken, consider the political effect of this mass apostasy. Who will stand up for the orthodox Christian institutions when the state comes after them? Who will employ those Christians who have to resign from their jobs rather than betray their faith? How will you teach your kids what it means to be a Christian when that’s going to cost them something serious? What does religious liberty mean to a people who have ceased to practice or even to understand religion?

These aren’t theoretical questions for some future dystopia. It’s coming. The signs are there for those with eyes to see. If you aren’t going to head for higher ground, whatever that might mean, then you and your Christian neighbors had better start building an ark.

Don’t panic. Prepare.

60 Comments (Open | Close)

60 Comments To "‘Head For Higher Ground’"

#1 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On January 22, 2016 @ 7:58 pm

KD, I don’t give a flying metaphor if “Christians” benefit from Supreme Court decisions or not. That’s not what the Constitution is about. We have all the protection we need or have any right to from the First Amendment, and those have not been breached.

There is much that I admire about Jefferson… I criticize him as a tarnished hero, one whose full life story helped me to understand that there really are no heroes. Individual incidents generate momentary heroism, but a life as a whole, no, all are tarnished. That should come as no surprise to a Christian.

I have a much higher opinion than you do of Madison… who incidentally was Jefferson’s closest partner in developing post-revolutionary politics. Madison was the prime mover of the Bill of Rights, and presciently sought the protections for individual liberty later enshrined in the Fourteenth Amendment.

If you want to talk about improving the caliber of the Supreme Court, we may have considerable common ground. O’Connor wasn’t half bad. I admire the way she finessed the Lynch v. Donnelly and ACLU v. Allegheny County cases. I would first bar from consideration anyone who has taken an active position as advocate on live controversies still pending or likely to come before the court. (E.g., anyone who has been either assiduously pro-life or wailed that ‘we must defend a woman’s right to choose’ is disqualified.) We need justices who will seriously and dispassionately consider the arguments in the next set of briefs. I would also decline any nominations from the DC Circuit Court (that would have excluded Ginsburg and Thomas). And I wrote to my senator that Kagen was utterly unqualified. (I got back a boiler plate letter trumpeting how important Kagen’s confirmation was to the senator).

#2 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On January 22, 2016 @ 8:30 pm

On top of that, if Europe needs workers, and Muslims are not desired, there sure are many millions of Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Confucians, Taoists, Jains, secularists, etc. who would jump at the chance.

Uh, no. Europe doesn’t need workers, it needs tight labour markets. Undermining the bargaining power of labour by importing cheap workers from elsewhere is absolutely not what Europe or any other advanced society should be doing. And I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want to see Europeans replaced by Hindus or Confucians any more than I want them to be replaced by Muslims.

The ultrafundamentalists are the ones growing on relative and absolute terms in the population. So do you let them take over

I don’t see any reason why we need to let them take over, and yes, if necessary I’d support coercive measures to stop them.

#3 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On January 22, 2016 @ 10:18 pm

We are approaching the time when there will be tight labor markets all over the world. One thing The Economist (reeks of classical free-market liberalism) and the Wall Street Journal will agree on is that this is the greatest tragedy in the history of the world. However, there appear to be no vast supply of unemployed Martians available to import.

#4 Comment By Anne On January 23, 2016 @ 3:04 am

@Isidore the Farmer,

That female sailor covered her head because it was the local custom, just as, years ago, non-Catholic women covered their heads when touring historic Catholic churches and donned black dresses whenever given an audience with a pope. That’s called being polite, not “submitting,” and it’s nice to know there are still young people, or any people, who know how that goes.

#5 Comment By JOnF On January 23, 2016 @ 1:27 pm

Re: Something can be said for societal norms and institutions, consensus, and order.

A lot can and should be said indeed. But the present generation is hardly the first time people have criticized and overturned existing institutions. Look at what the generation of 1776 wrought.

Re: Modern evil is even more insidious,

Actually, no. Modern evils tend to flame out rather quickly because they have no real ballast undergirding them. There area few exceptions, like the long tenure of the Communist Party in the USSR but more commonly that sort of thing either reforms itself, or goes the way of all flesh pretty quickly. Old evils, which have long seemed so necessary that they cease to appear evil, are another matter. As examples I give you slavery and religious persecution. Nothing currently going on in the US can hold a candle to either.

#6 Comment By charlesfrederick On January 23, 2016 @ 4:19 pm

This has all been interesting – the campaign etc.. – but, really 2012 was it. I realized it then for sure, but it probably was a little earlier.

From about World War I until the turn of the Century (maybe a little before) we were the greatest nation on earth – and I don’t just mean militarily. But that is over. Just as Margret Mitchell laid the Old South and its culture to rest, the country that most of us grew up in is gone with the wind as well.

These folks talk about making it great again, but they do so in the context of something new or of the last 20 years. It really is too late. It will be interesting to see what will happen in China in the years to come what with 200 – 300 million Christians there now. And South America has the vast majority of its population espousing Christianity. They will be interesting to watch – Brazil probably has the greatest oil reserves in the world.

But, in my opinion the West is breathing its last. At least, what made the West great.

There is a lot to a Christian society that people are just not aware of and give no second thought about. The protestant work ethic was very instrumental in making this country. Those people believed in God and believed that work was good and believed in the values of the Bible. They believed that God rewarded them for their work. They used their money for good. Hospitals, universities, charities. They built up moral capital. It could have lasted many many years. But it was squandered in the latter half of the twentieth century, in my opinion.

You will never be able to duplicate that artificially. It can’t be done. An engineer would say that the super structure had deflected beyond its service limit states and the foundation is about to go.

To all those who believe in nothing – the dupes of a countercultural generation goes some of the blame. But the elite lost their souls before then. What a damn shame.

#7 Comment By TR On January 23, 2016 @ 6:54 pm

KD: George Kennan may have been a racist because his generation/class was racist. But most academic “cosmopolitans” of my acquaintance travel far and wide and often.

You can decide whether they are right or not for yourself, but they have seen the world. And often, on your dime as a taxpayer.

#8 Comment By JEinCA On January 24, 2016 @ 6:52 am

Nationalism is on the rise in Europe. If the liberal elite don’t wake up soon and stop the flood there is likely to be revolutions in capitols across Europe. Don’t be surprised if far right vigilante groups don’t start taking justice into their own hands when a German or French woman is raped. I don’t think Europe is going to go quietly into the night as the liberals dream it will.

#9 Comment By JonF On January 24, 2016 @ 11:32 am

Re: But, in my opinion the West is breathing its last.

You could have said that after Rome fell, during the Viking and Magyar raiding era, during the Black Death, during the Wars of Religion, during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic age, and certainly during the World Wars. And yet, it was untrue each time.

#10 Comment By charlesfrederick On January 25, 2016 @ 1:17 am

Re: You could have said that after Rome fell, during the Black Death . . .

No. We’ll have to disagree on that, though I’ll remain hopeful. We have crossed a threshold and gone too far. Too much happening too fast besides. I’ll grant you that mans inherent nature is repeating itself as it has throughout history. But what this country had that was special is gone.