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The Judeo-Christian Foundation of Western civilization

Many get the itch when reference is made to the Christian roots of Western civilization. Today Christianity is associated with pedophile priests, the pomp and circumstance in Rome, monks fighting each other in the churches of Jerusalem, stupid superstitions in pilgrimage places, wealthy preachers living a decadent life and the like. This is a typical example of throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

What does Christianity really stand for? It is a lifestyle characterized by:

- compassion and care for the poor, the weak, the widows and orphans

- selflessly committed to the well-being of others (i.e. a non-profit economy)

- unconditional love (so divorce is not an option and neither is war)

- sacrifice oneself (like that deeply religious French policeman who took the place of a woman taken hostage and was cowardly murdered by a Muslim).

So it is not about making a profession of faith, about believing in God, about accepting a creed or about attending rituals. You are a Christian if you live in the service of others, selflessly and unconditionally. Power here is a form of authority that is at the service of fellow human beings.

This Christian attitude to life has made Western civilization what it is. This is best reflected in countries such as the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries. These are the best countries in the world to be born in. There is hardly any corruption, people of different faiths do not take each other's lives, the social services are not matched anywhere, the politicians are decent people who do not abuse their position of power, there is no honor killing and nowhere in the world are women so well off. In these countries the above characteristics of a Christian attitude to life are put into practice. While there are abuses there, such as greedy bankers and employers who pressure and exploit their employees, these are people who flout the ethics that underpin our Western civilization.

Another foundation of Western civilization is critical, scientific thinking. This has led to unparalleled scientific and technical achievements. Thanks to medical advances, people no longer have to die in terrible pain, life expectancy has never been higher, technology has expanded human possibilities enormously. Critical thinking has yielded new insights into psychology and philosophy, enabling us to reach an ever higher level of civilization.

However, the two foundations, the Christian attitude to life and critical scientific thinking, must go hand in hand. Science without Christianity leads to greed, the ecological disaster, the destruction of our heritage, the arms race and, in special circumstances, the totalitarian state.

Christianity without science leads to superstition, magic, hypocrisy and possibly to a new Inquisition. The latter is reflected in politically correct thinking and the media's self-imposed censorship about the truth of Islam, for example.

What conclusions should we draw from this? 

I limit myself to the two most important:

(1) Western civilization must guard its Christian foundation and the ethics that underpin it as strictly as possible. The future of humanity and the protection of planet Earth depend on it. By putting its own civilization into practice as best it can, Western civilization must set an example for the rest of the world. Not an example that forces others to imitate, but an example that inspires people.

(2) Islam attacks the Christian roots of Western civilization because it is an imperialist religion, imposed coercively and, if necessary, by violent force. Islam also prevents critical thinking, which has caused development in Muslim countries to stagnate for eight hundred years. Muslims therefore do not belong in Western civilization. But if Western civilization is strong, then the Western civilization can stand in solidarity with the Muslims to build up the countries of origin and enable an Enlightenment.

The following picture of the future illustrates this: In Western civilization there are no more bloody attacks and no neighborhoods where white citizens no longer feel at home. The Islamic countries from Turkey to Morocco know peace, well-being and prosperity so that in these beautiful countries life is good for everyone. All children, girls and boys, can go to school in those countries, the medical facilities are of good quality, there is sufficient employment and there is social assistance for those who fall by the wayside. This vision of the future is also possible for countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and Pakistan if the Muslims return from Western civilization and, with solidarity support from Western civilization, upgrade education and hospitals and create local employment. When this is realized, Western civilization together with the Islamic countries will become a new world power, bringing ethics back into economics and politics. This means that the economy is intended to eradicate poverty and misery and the aim of politics is not a power struggle between opponents, but peace and well-being for all.

Comments (send to juliaan.vanacker@gmail.comif you submit a comment or a short essay. All reactions will be included except insults and what incites racism or violence.

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to be continued:

Other texts: 21st century politics

Articles on Academia.edu: 

1. The end of multicultural societies

2. Killing in the name of Allah

3. Climate change and human behavior

4. Enlightenment and Islam 

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   © Juliaan Van Acker 2022