Could Religion Save the West?

So argues Greg Sheridan, who sees the decline of religious faith, and especially of Christianity, as the reason for the West’s crisis of confidence:

The European Union famously declined to make any mention of Europe’s Christian inheritance when it produced a quasi-constitution. Modern liberal opinion is not only hostile to Christianity, it is positively embarrassed about any connection with it. If the EU holds the good parts of European history in contempt, it’s not surprising people are losing faith in the EU.

I have come to a disconcerting conclusion. The West cannot really survive as the West without a re-energized belief in Christianity. The idea that we can live off Christianity’s moral capital, its ethics and traditions, without believing in it appeals naturally to conservatives of a certain age. But you cannot inspire the young with a vision which you happily admit arises from beliefs that are fictional and nothing more than long-standing superstition.

[The “New Atheist” guru] Richard Dawkins, et al., assume that faith is irrational. Most British people seem to take it on faith (ironically) that to have faith is stupid. But the way I see it, faith is not the enemy of reason but the basis of reason. [Moreover], the most radical statement in favor of human dignity in the ancient world comes in the book of Genesis—human beings are created in the likeness and image of God.

Read more at Spectator

More about: Christianity, Europe, European Union, Religion, Richard Dawkins

 

To Save Gaza, the U.S. Needs a Strategy to Restrain Iran

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, America has given Israel much support, and also much advice. Seth Cropsey argues that some of that advice hasn’t been especially good:

American demands for “restraint” and a “lighter footprint” provide significant elements of Hamas’s command structure, including Yahya Sinwar, the architect of 10/7, a far greater chance of surviving and preserving the organization’s capabilities. Its threat will persist to some extent in any case, since it has significant assets in Lebanon and is poised to enter into a full-fledged partnership with Hizballah that would give it access to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps for recruitment and to Iranian-supported ratlines into Jordan and Syria.

Turning to the aftermath of the war, Cropsey observes that it will take a different kind of involvement for the U.S. to get the outcomes it desires, namely an alternative to Israeli and to Hamas rule in Gaza that comes with buy-in from its Arab allies:

The only way that Gaza can be governed in a sustainable and stable manner is through the participation of Arab states, and in particular the Gulf Arabs, and the only power that can deliver their participation is the United States. A grand bargain is impossible unless the U.S. exerts enough leverage to induce one.

Militarily speaking, the U.S. has shown no desire seriously to curb Iranian power. It has persistently signaled a desire to avoid escalation. . . . The Gulf Arabs understand this. They have no desire to engage in serious strategic dialogue with Washington and Jerusalem over Iran strategy, since Washington does not have an Iran strategy.

Gaza’s fate is a small part of a much broader strategic struggle. Unless this is recognized, any diplomatic master plan will degenerate into a diplomatic parlor game.

Read more at National Review

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy