The Big Vacuum

The thing about being a wild-eyed fanatic is that you cannot shut up for long. It’s a problem. I just cannot shut up about Israel, Global Security, Foreign Policy, and anything else even remotely related to such things. Oh, I have other interests too, and I can’t seem to shut up about those either, but that’s for a different website.

However, you can get me to shut up when you turn off the flow of information. Keep me ‘in the dark’, and I get kinda pale – moldy, even. Put me in an information vacuum, and I wilt. 

Which was essentially what was going on for the past few months.

Then, things started to turn a bit more positive. Information started to reach data-starved parts of my brain. I was even beginning to try out a few excited hand waves and a beatings-of-chest, or two.

That was when Magda hit me with an email which she picked up from a friend of a friend of a… She calls it her Pagan News Network.

Anyway, the email contained an article on YNet News:

Archbishop of Canterbury backs introduction of some aspects of Islamic law in Britain

Whoa.

Here are the opening lines to the YNet article:

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual leader of the world’s Anglicans, said on Thursday the introduction in Britain of some aspects of sharia, Islamic law, was unavoidable.

His unexpected comments were welcomed by some Muslim groups, but the government was quick to distance itself from them, saying it was out of the question that the principles of sharia could be used in British civil courts.

Williams, speaking to the BBC, said other religions enjoyed tolerance of their laws in Britain and he called for a “constructive accommodation” with Muslim practice in areas such as marital disputes.

– from: Sharia law in UK unavoidable

Believe it or not, but it’s not the draconian nature of Sharia that disturbs me. I mean, yes, Sharia is an awful piece of work, and I shudder to think of ANY society voluntarily adopting such a rule of law. But, that’s peanuts compared to the larger picture.

Europe (and the West) is falling apart.

For the first time since the Roman Empire, Europe has become unified under a single political entity. It has all but eliminated the possibility of war between the major powers of Europe. Within a single generation, the threat of violence and death has been abolished.

And, then brought back.

The United Kingdom, and many other European countries have tried to create societies that value openness and acceptance. When refugees from other parts of the world desperately needed a place to flee, Europe was there to act as a haven. I cannot say enough good about that.

Unfortunately, Europe was also in the throes of self-examination. Hundreds, even thousands, of years of internecine warfare has scarred their history, and there was a desire to turn away from that past. Certain social minority groups were gaining a voice and demanding rights, and were frustrated at the slow pace of obtaining them. And, on top of all that, the mores of society were changing. Traditional ideas about marriage and family… well, they just weren’t the same anymore.

European society was bumping up against a set of ideas and values. It was a certain set of values that helped create the war-scarred history of Europe. It was a certain set of values that limited the rights of certain social minority groups. It was a certain set of values that conflicted with some who were less traditional in their ideas about marriage and family.

However, instead of attempting to ‘bridge the gap’ and find a sophisticated, long-term approach to the problem, they decided to take the easy route:

Eliminate the problem, by eliminating the values.

They stripped out the values that seemed to offend the most people. They took them out of the schools. They took them out of the government institutions. They took them out of civil discourse.

But, they failed to replace those values with anything. They created a big vacuum and left it there.

Stay tuned as I talk more about this Big Vacuum in my next post… 

3 thoughts on “The Big Vacuum

  1. Hey John,

    Great you finally used the bit of news I sent you. And you weren’t even afraid of refering to your pagan connections *laugh*

    However als for Europe united under the roof of European Union I wanted to add something:
    Even though the UK were a founding member of the EU I doubt they ever actually felt like a part of it. They haven’t signed half of EU’s treaties (actually I bet the Swiss has signed more of them then the UK!) neither have they ever stepped back from any of their interrests for the benefit of the EU. And of course they are getting so many bonuses within the EU finance systeme that you could get a whole country bankrupt from the money UK is not paying into the finance support systeme.
    Since Europe has been split up into “Old Europe” and “New Europe” by the US’ brother-or-enemy-politic it became even worse. As long as the UK 1.) are kicked out of EU or 2.) really change the way they act within the EU there won’t be such a thing as real European unity.

    So don’t take measures the UK takes to position itself away from the rest of the EU (mostly “New Europe”) too serious. They’ve been doing just that ever since and everybody seriousely interested in European politics knows very well about it too.

    As for your resumee: You’re absolutely right! We (which is not only true for Europe) withdrew the old values from our societie(s) and missed to fill the “Big Vacuum” with new values. Attempts were made anyhow with more or less success varying in different areas of Europe but the UK with their erstwhile very stric set of rules and their huge group of (2nd and 3rd generation-)immigrants plus vast problems within their society may be in the biggest troubles of all Europe. Anyhow as they offer a glimpse into a bete noir-future they may be capable of stopping evolutions going the same direction in other member states of the EU.
    So what I want to tell you is this: Just because UK’s halfway doomed it doesn’t necesarily mean that the rest of the EU is just as near to chaos as the UK. In the end the UK is the least European of all the member states.

    Looking forward to your next post

    Magda

  2. Dear John – Glad you are back. I always look forward to your blogs.

    This year, for the first time, I feel a real existential threat to the “Western” – open – free – secular – way of life we are used to. I just came back from London and – also for the first time – saw as many Muslims in the streets and in my hotel as non-Muslims………many women wearing burkas. That is their right if they choose to do so.

    Actually – I don’t really care what one’s religious affiliations are – I don’t care whether people are white or black – I don’t care what their sexual proclivities are. What I do care about, however, is that a people wants to impose their religious beliefs on every one else.

    It’s time for us to wake up to what is happening – all over the world. It’s time for all countries to say “if you want to live in our country you will live under our rules and our laws – we will not bend our laws to suit you”.

    Otherwise – we will be back to the dark ages – we will be back to religious oppression and persecution – we will, once again, have people burned at the stake – is that too extreme a scenario? I don’t think so.

  3. I agree…I feel like America is one big, huge trainwreck..for now..

    “What I do care about, however, is that a people want to impose their religious beliefs on every one else.

    It’s time for us to wake up to what is happening – all over the world. It’s time for all countries to say “if you want to live in our country you will live under our rules and our laws – we will not bend our laws to suit you”.

    I’m confused. You don’t mean religious laws?
    Or do you mean go where you fit in?
    Do you mean laws like language, etc?

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