By Leila Marie Lawler ( articles ) | Nov 12, 2005
Mark Steyn as always cascades with mind-opening clarity on the situation in France and the world in this week’s Spectator.
Every point in his piece, It’s the demography, stupid , materializes what had been a vague ghost of an idea before he gets a hold of it.
He strips to the bone equally de Villepin’s mind-numbingly futile program, Islam and its fellow-travelers, and those who have no stake in the future because they have no children. (I take one exception – he characterizes as “a marvelous rebuke” a couple of paragraphs of mindless rant in the Guardian about the at least arguable position that unreflective U.S. support of Israel is the primary cause of global violence. I would like to see a rebuke, marvelous or otherwise; Maureen Lipman’s lame tirade wasn’t it.)
But listen to this:
I look on religion like gun ownership. That’s to say, New Hampshire has a high rate of firearms possession, which is why it has a low crime rate. You don’t have to own a gun and there are sissy Dartmouth College arms-are-for-hugging types who don’t. But they benefit from the fact that their crazy stump-toothed knuckle-dragging neighbours do. If you want to burgle a home in the Granite State, you’d have to be awfully certain it was the one-in-a-hundred we-are-the-world pantywaist’s pad and not some plaid-clad gun nut who’ll blow your head off before you lay a hand on his $70 TV. That’s the way it is with religion. A hyper-rationalist might dismiss the whole God thing as a lot of apple sauce, but his hyper-rationalism is a lot more vulnerable in a society without a strong Judaeo-Christian culture. American firearms owners have a popular slogan: ‘If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.’ Likewise, if you marginalise religion, only the marginalised will have religion. That’s why France’s impoverished Muslim ghettos display more cultural confidence than the wealthiest enclaves of the capital.
(It’s not often you get the frisson that comes from this sort of convergence of truths held so dear.)
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