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Notre Dame Fire: A Sign For Our Time


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There is no way to replace what Paris, what France, what Christendom, and indeed what humanity, has lost today. It is irreplaceable. For example, we literally cannot recreate the windows, which date from the time of Dante. We do not know how to do it. As a friend said to me, “You can rebuild the World Trade Center. You cannot rebuild Notre Dame de Paris.”

Watch this and weep:

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Take a look at this short clip from Kenneth Clark’s monologue opening his great 1969 TV series Civilisation (all of which is available on YouTube). Standing in front of the Notre Dame cathedral, Clark asks, “What is civilization?” He says he can’t define it in abstract terms, “but I think I can recognize it when I see it.” He then turns to the cathedral, and says, “I’m looking at it right now.” Watch:

What we lost today is one of the great embodiments of Western civilization. It is impossible to overstate what this means. It will take some time to absorb. Notre Dame de Paris is at the heart of France’s identity. All distances in France are measured from kilometre zéro, in front of the cathedral. Though most (but not all!) of the French have turned away from their baptism, Notre Dame is the symbolic heart of the nation. And now, it’s gone, though firefighters may have saved its bones. It took 200 years to build, and now it was made a holocaust in one terrible afternoon.

Like James Poulos above, I cannot see this as anything other than a sign. The only church in all of Western civilization more important than Notre Dame de Paris is St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The consuming fire is likely to have been started from a construction accident. I hope that is the case; if this was terrorism, then France is in for unimaginable spasms of violence. Nevertheless, if this was an accident, it still symbolizes what we in the West have allowed to happen to our religious and cultural patrimony. What happened in Paris today has been happening across our civilization.

It happens whenever we fail to live out our baptism, and fail to baptize our children. It happens by omission, by indifference, and it happens by commission, from spite. It happens in classrooms, in newsrooms, in shopping malls, in poisoned seminaries and defiled sacristies, and everywhere the truths that Notre Dame de Paris embodied are ridiculed, flayed, and destroyed in the hearts and minds of modern men. The fire that destroyed Paris’s iconic cathedral made manifest what we in the West have been doing to ourselves for over 200 years.

This catastrophe in Paris today is a sign to all of us Christians, and a sign to all people in the West, especially those who despise the civilization that built this great temple to its God on an island in the Seine where religious rites have been celebrated since the days of pagan Rome. It is a sign of what we are losing, and what we will not recover, if we don’t change course now. Here are the final paragraphs from The Benedict Option [5], about a similar catastrophe in the town where St. Benedict was born:

The Benedictine monks of Norcia have become a sign to the world in ways I did not anticipate when I began writing this book. In August 2016, a devastating earthquake shook their region. When the quake hit in the middle of the night, the monks were awake to pray matins, and they fled the monastery for the safety of the open-air piazza.

Father Cassian later reflected that the earthquake symbolized the crumbling of the West’s Christian culture, but that there was a second, hopeful symbol that night. “The second symbol is the gathering of the people around the statue of Saint Benedict in the piazza in order to pray,” he wrote to supporters. “That is the only way to rebuild.”

The tremors left the basilica church too structurally unstable for worship, and most of the monastery uninhabitable. The brothers evacuated the town and moved to their land up the mountainside, just outside the Norcia walls. They pitched tents in the ruins of an older monastery and continued their prayer life, interrupted only by visits to the town to minister to its people.

The monks received distinguished visitors in their exile, including Italy’s prime minister Matteo Renzi and Cardinal Robert Sarah, who heads the Vatican’s liturgical office. Cardinal Sarah blessed the monks’ temporary quarters, celebrated mass with them, then told them that their tent monastery “reminds me of Bethlehem, where it all began.”

“I am certain that the future of the Church is in the monasteries,” said the cardinal, “because where prayer is, there is the future.”

Five days later, more earthquakes shook Norcia. The cross atop the basilica’s facade toppled to the ground. And then, early in the morning of Sunday, October 30, the strongest earthquake to hit Italy in thirty years struck, its epicenter just north of the town. The fourteenth-century Basilica of St. Benedict, the patron saint of Europe, fell violently to the ground. Only its facade remained. Not a single church in Norcia remained standing.

With dust still rising from the rubble, Father Basil knelt on the stones of the piazza, facing the ruined basilica, and accompanied by nuns and a few elderly Norcini, including one in a wheelchair, he prayed. Later amateur video posted to YouTube showed Father Basil, Father Benedict, and Father Martin running through the streets of the rubble-strewn town, looking for the dying who needed last rites. By the grace of God, there were none.

Back in America, Father Richard Cipolla, a Catholic priest in Connecticut and an old friend of Father Benedict’s, e-mailed the subprior when he heard the news of the latest quake. “Is there damage? What is going on?” Father Cipolla wrote.

“Yes, damage much worse,” Father Benedict replied. “But we are okay. Much to tell you, but just pray. I am well, and God continues to purify us and bring very good things.”

The next morning, as the sun rose over Norcia, Father Benedict sent a message to the monastery’s friends all over the world. He said that no Norcini had lost their lives in the quake because they had heeded the warnings from the earlier tremors and left town. “[God] spent two months preparing us for the complete destruction of our patron’s church so that when it finally happened we would watch it, in horror but in safety, from atop the town,” the priest-monk wrote.

Father Benedict added, “These are mysteries which will take years—not days or months—to understand.”

Surely that is true. But notice this: the earth moved, and the Basilica of St. Benedict, which had stood firm for many centuries, tumbled to the ground. Only the facade, the mere semblance of a church, remains. Because the monks headed for the hills after the August earthquake, they survived. God preserved them in the holy poverty of their canvas-covered Bethlehem, where they continued to live the Rule in the ancient way, including chanting the Old Mass. Now they can begin rebuilding amid the ruins, their resilient Benedictine faith teaching them to receive this catastrophe as a call to deeper holiness and sacrifice. God willing, new life will one day spring forth from the rubble.

“We pray and watch from the mountainside, thinking of the long three years Saint Benedict spent in the cave before God decided to call him out to become a light to the world,” wrote Father Benedict. “Fiat. Fiat.”

Let it be. Let it be.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.

The flames of Notre Dame de Paris are a call to repentance and conversion. As the monks of Norcia have been doing since their church met catastrophe, so let us all do as we mourn the loss of one of Christendom’s greatest cathedrals. There can be no greater tribute to what this holy and revered temple meant to its builders and to all those faithful who worshiped beneath its vaults all these centuries than to turn, in sackcloth and ashes, back to God, and to raise again the vaults of His sanctuaries in our hearts and families and communities — while there is still time.

For you in the West who are not religious, I hope you will reflect on what this cathedral meant in artistic, architectural, and cultural terms, and that you will think hard about what we are losing as we collectively repudiate our patrimony.

If you were waiting for a sign of the times, this is it.

Maybe it is hopeful. I wrote to my dear friend Fred in Paris tonight to tell him how heartbroken I am, and to share his sorrow. He just responded:

My dear Rod,

France, as a country and a people, was probably saved tonight. President Macron was supposed to talk tonight and everyone was saying it would be too little too late.

And now “La couronne d’épines et la tunique de Saint-Louis ont été sauvées” [“The Crown of Thorns and the tunic of St. Louis have been saved”]is breaking news on television. We shall wake up tomorrow in a different country.

Confiance et espérance. Bonne nuit à tous. [Confidence and hope. Good night to all.]

God wills it!

UPDATE: Gavin Ashenden is a priest, by the way:

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More news:

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I will contribute! Will you?

UPDATE.2: Douglas Murray is a must-read. [10] Excerpt:

There will be recriminations, of course. There will be disputes about budgets, and overtime and safety standards and much more. It is worth reading this piece [11] from two years ago about the funding problems that existed around the cathedral’s restoration. But if Notre Dame can burn then all this is as nothing, because it tells us something too deep to bear. As I said a couple of years ago in a book, in some way the future of civilisation in Europe will be decided on what our attitude is towards the great churches and other cultural buildings of our heritage standing in our midst. Do we contend with them, hate them, ignore them, engage with them or continue to revere them? Do we preserve them?

Though politicians may imagine that ages are judged on the minutiae of government policy, they are not. They are judged on what they leave behind: most of all on how they treat what the past has handed into their care. Even if today’s disaster was simply the most freakish of accidents, ours would still be the era that lost Notre Dame.

It tells us something too deep to bear. This is true, and profound. The 9/11 attacks told us that all our money and power did not make the most powerful nation that ever existed safe. The Kennedy assassination told us that a single malicious man with a gun could fell the most powerful man in the world as he drove down a bland urban thoroughfare on a sunny day. The reason there are so many conspiracy theories about both 9/11 and the JFK murder was because they tell us something too deep to bear. It is easier to believe in grand conspiracies than the awful dull truth.

Whatever the cause, ours is the era that lost Notre Dame. And that is a stain that will never come out.


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Reminds me of this from the ruins of the Twin Towers:

UPDATE.4: Christopher Roberts of Martin Saints Classical High School [14] in suburban Philadelphia sent this out to the school community this evening:

As I left school earlier this afternoon, my phone had messages from four or five faculty members: had I heard that Notre Dame cathedral was burning? I went online and looked at the pictures: the flames toppling the spire. The crowds gathered across the river, singing Ave Maria into the night.

I wept. Why? Why did a fire nearly 4000 miles away affect so many of us so deeply?

Perhaps it was partly just stress that needed to find an outlet. I’d had a difficult meeting after Mass this morning. Sometimes the practicalities of starting a school really are challenging.

But it was more than that. It mattered that it was this cathedral, this particular gem in the crown of Catholic Europe. For example, I assume that this 800 year old Rose Window no longer exists:

Receiving a classical education means, in part, learning to receive this beauty as one’s own patrimony. At Martin Saints, our students are apprentices, young men and women being cultivated so that they are capable of receiving their inheritance.

What’s on fire tonight is a piece of that patrimony, a choice portion of our inheritance. People have been worshiping on that site since Roman times, through the Carolingian and Viking ages. Eventually, two hundred years of construction in the high middle ages created the building more or less as we know it today. Thomas Aquinas would have known and recognized it. What’s burning tonight is a chapter in the story that makes us who we are.

In 1969, the British art historian Sir Kenneth Clark stood across the Seine from Notre Dame cathedral and famously said: “What is civilization? I don’t know. I can’t define it in abstract terms yet.” But then he turned and looked across the river at Notre Dame: “But I think I can recognize it when I see it, and I’m looking at it now.” (Watch the whole documentary at this link [15]; this quote occurs at 3:32.)

Civilization is a perilous thing. In that same BBC documentary, Sir Kenneth talks about how western civilization had nearly perished after the fall of Rome, and he warns that we could face similar danger again someday.

Please pray for Paris, pray for Europe, pray for the renewal of the Church, pray for the revival of classical education in our era, and pray for Martin Saints.

From the Facebook page of the classical educator Wes Callihan:

When a tragedy happens quickly, we notice and are rightly shocked. When it happens slowly, those who even notice at all are mocked or ignored. We’ve all seen the pictures in the news by now of the bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang in the interior of Notre Dame. That charred, smoking mess we see is our civilization as it has been for the last 200 years. We do not live in Old Western Culture, not even in the twilight of it. We live in the cold, charred ruins. We ought to grieve, with real tears, over the sudden demise of Our Lady of Paris. But we ought likewise to be grieving every bit as much over the long, slow, agonizing demise of the culture she watched over protectively and then sadly for so long. Notre Dame is one of many symbols of a culture that is long gone and in the surviving scraps of which we amuse ourselves daily. Before Notre Dame can be rebuilt, she needs to be mourned. And those can mourn her best who loved her best. And all these same things are true, in far greater degree, of Old Western Culture. That cathedral in the news today is Christendom. We are those figures picking through the ash.

Sources: Lewis, “De Descriptione Temporum”. Richard Weaver, “Ideas Have Consequences” (at least the introduction). Burke’s “Reflections on the Revolution in France”(!). Miller’s “A Canticle for Leibowitz”. Tocqueville. The Anglo-Saxon poem “The Ruin”. The ending of “Beowulf”. Cherston, Belloc, Dawson. And of course, once again, most importantly, the opening pages of MacIntyre’s “After Virtue”. All these are the exegesis of our situation. And Notre Dame today is the metaphor.

It is most emphatically *not* too soon to be thinking this way. Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. You who follow in light cockle shells, turn back. Tomorrow, we’ll all go back to our soma.

UPDATE.5: Claire Berlinski, who lives in Paris, says: [16]

It’s devastating. To walk across the Seine and not see the spire is devastating. To some extent, you know the feeling: it’s like seeing the Twin Towers in flames. A sense at once that it cannot be happening, and yet it is. I’ve just heard that the rose windows — built in 1260 — exploded. They are lost I feel a grief I can’t describe: They won’t be there for the next generation. Passed on, and passed on, generation after generation, and now, forevermore, people will see replicas of those windows. Reconstructions. With a plaque that explains there was a fire.


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UPDATE.6: A reader writes:

Notre Dame will certainly be rebuilt; even secular Europeans (not just the French, not just Christians) will feel a ferocious allegiance to the structure and want to set it right again. It is Europe’s Twin Towers. Little kids will be putting their coins into cardboard boxes handed out at school. The rebuilt structure may not emphasize Christian faith much, but it will provide a heart-stirring representation of what the European heart, mind, and vision once accomplished.

But taking pride in European accomplishment is emphatically contrary to the attitudes the elites in Europe and the US have been cultivating. They won’t be able to stop the upsurge of pride in this fine old building, with its inevitable implication of pride in one’s own European forebears; they will be helpless before a resurging allegiance to one’s own Western accomplishments and traditions, the whole noble, comforting, and appealing assortment of of them, whether extravagant examples like this cathedral, or the homey customs and recipes of our great-grandparents.

The impulse to rebuild the cathedral will express something that the left has, till now, conditioned us to treat with shame. But when Western culture is celebrated, it conflicts sooner or later with Islam. The changes coming in this wind will be unpredictable, and not necessarily safe.

212 Comments (Open | Close)

212 Comments To "Notre Dame Fire: A Sign For Our Time"

#1 Comment By Jefferson Smith On April 16, 2019 @ 11:12 pm

Second try replying to @Ted — briefly, and with apologies for any duplication:

You say, “let the others mourn.” That’s good advice if the patient is dead. Notre Dame is not. I think that’s the point several of us have been making here. Also that the fire, though very bad, is not a world-historical event — one of the few that will be remembered from this century a thousand years from now, as somebody said above. Besides the fact that great buildings that survive hundreds of years necessarily undergo various phases and changes, including major damage and repairs, it’s strange to rank this one fire that high given the fact that two world wars not that long ago laid waste to thousands of churches and other buildings in Europe, and not by accident but as a result of deliberate acts of destruction. This accident was serious but far less worrying than that.

As to “pastiche,” it has a non-pejorative use in my field, literary studies, but anyway, I don’t set myself up as an architecture critic when it comes to great cathedrals. I assume them all to be great. I reserve my criticisms of architecture for a few other examples I know better, like college campuses. Also Frank Gehry.

#2 Comment By Khalid mir On April 16, 2019 @ 11:21 pm

@Robert Crane.

Small point of correction. Er..I didn’t say that. I agree with you, of course. I think R. Briffault in the Making of Humanity was right. But western civilisation is thought to have only Judaeo-Christian roots. For sound reasons, perhaps. Can’t but help think that it’s partly for political reasons and a long history of mutual animosity.

I’m more interested in the question of whether *modern* western civilisation is incompatible. And there, keeping in mind Allama Iqbal’s fifth chapter of the Reconstruction, I’m not so sure.

#3 Comment By Lee On April 16, 2019 @ 11:37 pm

@ Prajna
“this is a Pearl Harbor level catastrophe that can’t be ignored. If Islamists did it, the event crushes the ideology of neoliberalism in the minds of everyone.”

Seriously? Pearl Harbor was a coordinated military attack involving around 350 planes and 6 aircraft carriers. IF this was done by “Islamists”, it was 1 or 2 of them. 1 or 2.

There is simply no comparison no matter how much you hate them.

#4 Comment By Rombald On April 17, 2019 @ 1:41 am


Ten years or so ago, I was moving in your direction with respect to Islam, but I couldn’t deal with the hatred eating me up all the time.

I am opposed to mass Muslim immigration into Europe. That’s one point where I agree with you.

However, I am equally opposed to US-NATO invasions of Muslim-majority countries, which has been a contributory factor in that immigration, and has devastated the remnant Christian communities in Syria and Iraq. Just think of that – what the Zoroastrian Persians, Arab conquest, Mongol conquest, and Ottoman rule failed to do in Iraq, Bush and Blair, two loudmouthed Christians, succeeded in doing.

Suppose you were to succeed, so that half of Europe were convulsed with civil war, and millions of Muslims were to be killed or expelled, do you think Europe would be Christian henceforth? Do you think Nazi victory would have ushered in a golden age for Christendom?

It looks to me that almost all likely political futures will be hostile to Christianity, but the aftermath of what you advocate would be one of the worst. Perhaps a Nazi-like authoritarian violent atheism, with a veneer of Euro-Asatru, and lots of Wagner? Or a Chinese-style surveillance state? Or something more like Brave New World, but with the sexuality more freakish (we killed the Mozzies for the right to bugger), drifting towards transhumanism – Cosimanoland, maybe?

It seems to me that, when there is little pressure to believe in Christianity, it settles out as the religion of a small minority. When there is pressure to believe, that introduces its own types of corruption. Perhaps the best one can hope for is to be regarded with amused and occasionally curious tolerance, like here in Japan?

#5 Comment By Raskolnik On April 17, 2019 @ 7:53 am

Raskolnik might sound overly harsh.

What people continually and (at this point I must conclude) deliberately misunderstand is that the repatriation of non-European Muslims to their respective homelands, or at the very least a total ban on non-European migration into Europe buttressed by domestic enforcement measures aimed at boosting the native European while reducing the non-European population, is the peaceful option here. There is no liberal multicultural settlement, it is not in the cards. In the absence of peaceful repatriation there will be bloody civil war, an endless downward spiral of Bataclans and Brendan Tarrants, not a pie-in-the-sky multicultural utopia.

Your failure to consider the consequences of your preferred policies ten, twenty, a hundred years down the line is not my problem. We tried your multicultural experiment. It failed, spectacularly, but it is not too late to reverse course. Soon it will be, though, and the blood will be on your hands–not mine.

#6 Comment By Raskolnik On April 17, 2019 @ 8:01 am

And don’t forget the cultural genocide practiced by the Assyrians against the ten northern tribes of Israel. Not to mention the Magyar invasion of eastern Europe, the Slavic blood diluting the ethnic purity of Greece, the Lombards in Italy, and the Turkish infiltration of the Abassid Caliphate. Oh, I guess the surviving native American tribes ar the Copts of North America.

Thank you for illustrating the point that mass migration is literally indistinguishable from war (except insofar as it is typically more damaging to the population affected)

#7 Comment By Ted On April 17, 2019 @ 8:28 am

William Tighe: perhaps a failure in charity on my part. You are correct.

#8 Comment By Franklin Evans On April 17, 2019 @ 10:32 am


I’ll take up your challenge of stipulation.

If this was indeed a deliberate act, then you must — in the spirit of your challenge — equally accept the possibility that an anti-Muslim activist or group set the fire in order to further stigmatize and drive up violent tensions aimed at all Muslims.

You don’t get a pass on the full list of possibilities. You don’t get to ride rough-shod over forensic investigation and the actual, factual explanation for the fire. Indeed, if you plan to stand firm on your belief that it was an intentional act committed by Islamists, then I expect you to offer a full mea culpa and retraction should your belief be proven false.

People believe a lie because their afraid it might be true, or because they want it to be true. With all due respect, should I observe you rushing full steam towards that precipice, I will ruefully shrug and let you leap.

#9 Comment By Northern Observer On April 17, 2019 @ 12:47 pm

Siarlys Jenkins says:
April 16, 2019 at 10:34 pm

And don’t forget the cultural genocide practiced by the Assyrians

No matter how much you mock Mr Jenkins you do not change the reality on the ground. Islamic Imperialism is real and it is vibrantly showing itself in Europe and the World. 9/11 was a revelation to the World that an asymmetrical religious war was underway between Islam and everything not Islam.
On the one hand you have those who see the war in front of their eyes and are rigging the bells and pointing at the blood red tide to warn all and save the city.
On the other side you have liberal elites and bon penssants of the West whose will to ignorance is astounding. They see nothing. They hear nothing. They read nothing that contradicts their splendid minds and when anyone dares to point at the reality in front of them they label them a Nazi and gang up with their fellows to destroy the objector as quickly as possible. Worse of all, they convince themselves that since their political adversaries dislike it (Muslim immigration to the West) it must be the most moral thing in the World and it is to their political advantage to champion and increase it. It is ignorance, it is suicide, it is madness.

What needs to happen among our elites and the Western public is an ongoing dialogue about Islam and how to exclude those Islamic elites and institutions from the West that will foment asymmetrical warfare against non moslems, like the Church desecration epidemic in France, like the kuffar rapes in England, like the Christmas market attacks in Germany. We need to figure this out or the suffering with escalate and the political backlash which requires more and more elite liberal repression to suppress. It is unsustainable. Come to reality Mr Jenkins, deal with what is happening and have the courage to change. I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.

#10 Comment By Jessup On April 18, 2019 @ 8:29 am

Islamic Imperialism is real and it is vibrantly showing itself in Europe and the World. 9/11 was a revelation to the World that an asymmetrical religious war was underway between Islam and everything not Islam.

And here I thought 9/11 was what it seemed to be (and what Osama bin Laden said it was): first and foremost a revenge attack on the US for siding with Israel against the Palestinians.

Still, our betters insist that it was actually Islamic Imperialism, and who are we to question it. So the US policy of serving as “Israel’s lawyer” in the “peace negotiations” had nothing to do with it. All those US bases speckling the Middle East had nothing to do with it. Our own arming and riling up of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan back in the 80s had nothing to do with it. Our covert interference in numerous Mideast countries had nothing to do with it. Going forward, our invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq had nothing to do with later manifestations of “Islamic Imperialism”. Our helping the Saudis kill civilians in Yemen? Nothing to do with it. Our destabilization of Libya and Syria and now Mali and other points in Africa? You guessed it! These had nothing to do with it.

Nonetheless, one can be forgiven for harboring secret doubts. It is admittedly odd that “Islamic Imperialism” seems to advance itself by Islamic countries being bombed, destabilized, wrecked, and occupied by non-Islamic armies, is it not? Ah, but that’s what makes the threat “asymmetrical”, which is the most dangerous kind!

One suspects there’s a lesson in there somewhere, but you can’t expect someone who thinks 9/11 was an example of “Islamic Imperialism” to learn it.

#11 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On April 18, 2019 @ 2:38 pm

Thank you for illustrating the point that mass migration is literally indistinguishable from war

The point I illustrated, in context of the comment I referred to, is that Copts being a small fraction of the country that once belonged entirely to them is the result of century old patterns of human development. I might have added that Copt is a religious faith, not an ethnicity, and many Egyptians engaging in riots against Coptic churches are themselves descendants of the former Coptic majority. There is a tendency in history that a good chunk of any population assimilates to the new rulers, which is how Egypt became Hellenized, Christianized, and Islamicized.

Islamic Imperialism is real and it is vibrantly showing itself in Europe and the World.

Assumes a great deal that is not evident. Imperialism generally requires an Imperium… an organized state, nation, or polyglot empire of conquered peoples, administered by a bureaucracy with an effective military and police force. The closest we’ve seen since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, was the Daesh caliphate in portions of Iraq and Syria. It was only able to assemble an effective military force by drawing a thin layer of ideological adherents from all over the world, concentrating them in one poorly policed border region, and even then, its been largely crushed as a territorial domain.

(Not unlike, if all the Nazis and KKK afficiandos in America concentrate themselves on one weekend in one medium small city, they can make themselves out to be a big fish in a small pond for a short time).

I can even agree that a lot of footloose young men with a sense of entitlement to all they can grab are slipping through various migrant streams under cover of real hazards, and indulging in opportunistic crime sprees in their host countries, which need to crack down hard on it. But that doesn’t amount to imperialism of any nature.

#12 Comment By SkyWanderer On June 16, 2019 @ 6:14 am

It is definitely a sign, but to assume anything else than intentional attack and terrorism would be also a sign – that of ignorance or self-delusion.
By now it should be evident (once we disconnect from the mainstream deception) that the Western world is going through – with the help of the Western capitalist elites who sold out the West to Islam – the lethal process of a covert and gradual Islamic takeover, that implies the destruction of our Christian heritage and our democratic political system. And yes these are times of a new civil war, or even world-war in Europe and in the West in general, or the other option would be capitulation, surrender to the barbaric Islam, which then would end up in the West-wide genocide of the white race. In other words, literally the end of mankind. Luke 21 comes to mind.