Thursday, May 20, 2010


When I've traveled in Europe as I did most recently in April, I am always struck by two things; sharply declining birthrates and even more sharply declining church attendance.
In nearly every country in the European Union, indigenous populations are declining. The only increase in births are among immigrants, particularly those from Muslim nations. That is especially true in the United Kingdom.
In Greece, where there is so much economic tumult at the moment, there are only 1.02 workers for every retiree and the average life spans are mid-seventies for men and 81 years for women. In Greece you can retire as early as age 53, which means you can spend a third of your life retired and on the public dole.
Most European Union member nations have birthrates of 1.5 children per household or less. In Italy there is a minus birthrate.
By contrast, the U. S. birthrate is 2.1 children per household.
Even more indicative of Europe's decline is church attendance, estimated as under ten percent overall. Ireland and Poland are the most religious EU members. In Italy, the seat of the Catholic Church, less than 50% darken a church door regularly, and that figure is considered exaggerated by some I spoke with. Church attendance in Scandinavian countries is almost nil.
In Greece, where the Greek Orthodox Church is considered the state religion and the president of that country is required to be a member, less than a quarter of its citizens attend church.
Socialism has flourished in the wake of a decline in religious practice by Europeans.
Can this be a lesson for the United States?
Here, religious freedom is a fundamental right. Despite the continuing assault by the Progressive Movement to sanitize any display of religious tradition from public schools, public parks, public institutions and public meetings, Americans are pushing back. And finally some acknowledgement of that push back in recent court decisions.
Decisions American voters made in key states Tuesday underscores the push back by citizens to rein in the overreach of Barach Obama and the progressive ideology that drives the policies proffered by his administration.
It appears Americans are not enamoured of the socialism and secularism espoused by those across the pond. The backbone that founded this country on a bedrock foundation of individual freedom seems to be strengthening again.
Washington, Jefferson, Adams and Franklin are surely pleased.

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