This really does seem to be the lesson that is being taught us these days as our comfortable consumer life is being challenged. I can drive to the places where last Friday’s atrocities happened in only two hours. It is not the first time there have been bombs, explosions and terrorist attacks in our European cities. This one is brought home to us by its military precision and the sophistication of the weapons used. Hell has visited us, as the west has visited hell on other countries for their resources and money.
I am one of those who are convinced that this is no isolated attack by a gang of crazed nutters, but by a deadly serious monster that has been created (however indirectly) by the west – by the US, but also by the UK, France, Germany and many other countries with their fingers in the pie. Our own world has created this fiend for its own profit, for money, and now we reap the whirlwind. The US guys are still wanting to leave the head-choppers in place until Assad is ousted, and most of Europe is following the madness. Russia got on with the job, knowing that there will be no peace in the world until those ISIS men are dead or rotting in supermax prisons. Perhaps France will come around and start playing ball with Russia, and M. Hollande might do it if he thinks he’ll get a couple more votes at the next election! France does seem poised to break with the madness.
War brings out the absolute worst of humanity, the lowest depths of depravity, the “devil’s arsehole” as I crudely described it in another posting. It brought us to the Holocaust, but let us not blame it all on Hitler and the Nazis! Before World War II, it was quite acceptable to treat Jewish people like dirt with the idea that they bore a curse for the death of Christ. What kind of Christianity is such an idea? That is the kind of Christianity that should be banished from this earth like any other creed of hatred and murder. I am a Christian because I know that Christ’s true expression was in the Beatitudes and the many parables and hidden teachings.
How often are the real perpetrators of this hell brought to justice? There was the Nuremberg Trial of 1946 which gave the bastards better than what they deserved, a fair trial before a more or less humane execution. That was an admirable moment when the west decided not to wreak vengeance and hatred, but give them the rights they took away from everyone else. But, were the real demons exorcised when Von Ribbentrop, Streicher and the others plunged to their deaths through the trapdoor? I suspect not. My bet would be on the real oligarchs not being in Germany but in America, making their billions from the misery of ordinary folk. Will men like Bush, Obama or the big guys in Saudi Arabia hear the words “For crimes against humanity, the Tribunal sentences you to death by hanging“?
There is now no alternative to war. There will be civil war and blood in Europe, millions of deaths of ordinary people and families of refugees. ISIS is not only a high-organised group financed with millions of dollars, but also represents the same stench of nihilism and pure hatred as Hitler as he vowed to take his own people down with him when he knew he was defeated.
I have no idea of how many terrorists got into Europe with the poor refugees (as most of them are, getting away from the head-choppers). We get to hear about Belgian connections on the media, about the bungling incompetence and lack of finance of security services and the police. I don’t know what to believe. As at the time of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January 2015, we play into the hands of the real terrorists, the ones wearing suits and smoking cigars, because the knee-jerk reaction is to go for the ordinary Muslims like the Sturmabteilung went for Jewish bakers and tailors instead of corrupt bankers! Oh yes, we will swing to the nationalist Right, and the infuriating reality is that there is nothing else, no Churchill or Pius XII, only the monuments spouting platitudes about global warming and gay marriage! It is tempting to ride the wave – but we will regret it somewhere down the line, when our own foreheads are stamped with the Mark of Cain.
Some say that the only salvation for Europe is a return to Christianity. That is obvious, but it depends on what kind of Christianity. Russian erastianism? American neo-con fundamentalism with all the crap about the Rapture and so forth – all they need to justify starting a nuclear war? What Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism have become over the past fifty years? We are going to have to do better.
What would we die for? For the moment, not a lot. If the head-choppers came to our own doors and opened fire or drew their knives, what would our last thoughts be other than total terror? What will we leave behind us that they would not blow to smithereens? If we discover these things in ourselves, then the revival of Christianity would come from love, tolerance, humility, self-sacrifice and refusal of hatred. Perhaps it is already beginning. Let us hope so!
Nicholas Berdyaev wrote at length on a New Middle Ages, a notion of the period between the end of the Roman Empire and before the building of the cathedrals. He saw it coming after the demise of Marxist Communism or Nazism, but there was yet our own totalitarianism – of money – that had to run its course. We still have to suffer seeing the bottomless pit before there is any hope of God’s grace and light. There are prophecies that are more or less apocryphal, bringing tidings of beyond the end of the world and the burning ash planet. There are predictions of something to hope for in only four or five years – within our lifetime. We hope and pray… As Isaiah himself said:
And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.