Every once in a while, one comes across a book that cannot be put down, or rather should not be put down. Patrick J. Buchanan's latest work, The Death of the West, is one of those books. It's a volume that should be read by every Christian cultural warrior.
Mr. Buchanan chronicles the major paradigm shift in Western/American culture away from its Christian roots to one of secular humanism by examining what has happened to our various cultural institutions, particularly the family.
A critical look at the birth rates of Western nations reveals that our country, and nearly all of Europe and Japan, is literally dying. In place of a large, traditional family, Westerners are opting for a life of luxurious living with fewer offspring, if any. At the root of the problem are lack of faith and the destruction of the God-ordained roles for men and women that extends from it.
Buchanan doesn't hesitate to blame the success of radical feminism for the disintegration of the family. With stinging indictment, he eloquently describes the consequences of women moving from the home to the workplace. Instead of raising families, Western women are now more interested in their careers. Thus, child rearing is delayed or permanently postponed.
In contrast to the prevailing Western attitude toward the family, the birth rates in Third World countries are exploding. Many of these countries have cultures that are openly hostile to the West and particularly Christianity. Buchanan details the alarming birth rate in Muslim countries like Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He then examines how uncontrolled immigration policies towards such countries could spell disaster for the West. The implications of these facts are sobering: Muslims will literally outbreed Christians in a short amount of time.
Mr. Buchanan then turns his guns within and lays the blame for all of this squarely upon Christians and conservative Republicans who have refused to engage in cultural warfare. Highly motivated secular humanists filled the vacuum created by the abdicating conservatives and these liberal elites had no qualms about subverting all of our cultural institutions including our schools, the arts, media, and government institutions.
The book ends with some practical solutions that could help turn the tide of decades of cultural decay.
While The Death of the West is a superb chronicle of what is wrong with the West and places the charges exactly where they belong, some words of caution are in order:
First, we must never misplace the Antithesis. God has placed enmity between the Seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. In other words, all of redemptive history is warfare between God's people and the rest of the world. The Antithesis is not found in racial or ethnic distinctions. The mystery of the gospel is that all people, throughout the whole world, can be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ's redemptive work. The strength of Western culture is not in her ethnicity, but in her historic Christian character and the cultural benefits that were created by a fully orbed Christian faith. If a foreign country does not share these cultural values that flow from Christianity, then immigration should not be allowed, period. On the other hand, if a country's culture is Christian and shares those values, immigration should be permitted at a reasonable rate to allow the immigrants adequate time to assimilate into our society.
Second, our emphasis must always be on recapturing culture and not merely the political apparatus. While Mr. Buchanan says as much, we need to be self-conscious enough to realize that this is exclusively the function of Christians laboring for Christ in every area of life, including politics. Pietistic, reductionistic, and effeminate Christianity isn't going to cut it. Like an armory, the Church should equip her members with the tools of cultural warfare. Morbid introspectionism must, therefore, give way to a virile, totalistic, and masculine Faith. Anything else is unconditional surrender to the enemy.
- Val Finnell, M. D.
Dr. Finnell has served as a grassroots lobbyist for Gun Owners of America in the Virginia legislature and was the first President of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a statewide gun rights and Constitutional liberty organization. He has taught confrontational politics to activists in three states. He is an e-mail junkie and can be reached at [email protected].