At least since Nietzsche, modern European pagans of the more reckless jejune sort have been wont to proclaim that Christianity gutted Europe of her original, chthonic, manly, distinctive culture. The process took millennia, they say, but it has now been pretty much completed. Europe has been unmanned by the pale Galilean who had already sapped Rome and the wider Hellenic world with his flaccid Oriental mysteries, and lies now prone before her Mohammedan conquerors.
It’s a silly conceit. For one thing, the West began her precipitous Modern decline at exactly the moment that her formerly deep and utterly preponderant Christian faith began to weaken and splinter – thanks in no small part to that madman, Nietzsche himself (and to a few other madmen, such as Voltaire). For another, if Christianity really did gut Europe of such a vigorous exuberant cult, then … that cult must have been rather weak after all, mutatis mutandis – and so, by its own lights, deserving of death.
All such critics overlook the fact that conversion to Christianity did not delete European paganism, but rather baptised and corrected it, completing its dire baleful foreknowledge of inevitable, total cosmic disaster and dissolution by a due recognition of an inevitable cosmic resurrection (that had been hinted at anyway in the myth of the aftermath of Ragnarok).
More fundamentally, though: spiritual truth is neither more nor less competent to erase cultural particularity than any other sort of truth – economic, say, or physical. On the contrary: truth *enables* disparate cultures. Only insofar as it is congruent in its forms with the truth of how man ought best to behave can a society perdure from one moment to the next, so that it has then an opportunity of adapting to its circumstances, and so evolving traits that distinguish it from its neighbours. And cultures differ importantly not so much in matters of detail (as costume, folkways, manners, cuisine, and so forth – not by any means to disparage these matters) as in fundamental notions of morality and metaphysics. Some cultures evidently have a better, more accurate and tenacious grasp of moral and philosophical truth than others – and so, beat them.
If we stipulate that there is a body of truths about reality that is variously plumbed and more or less accurately echoed in the various sciences, we do not thereby stipulate that all cultures must in conforming themselves thereto be completely the same. Rather, we stipulate only that if cultures are to survive in competition with other cultures, they would do better to reckon the truths that constrain all cultures. If any science – theology, biology, game theory, or what have you – were to show, e.g., that polygamy is disadvantageous, then it were better for any society to abjure and abhor it, that wants to survive in competition with other cultures.
A culture is doomed by truth only insofar as it contravenes that truth. Insofarforth, it *ought* to die.
Only that of any culture that is in conformity to moral truth ought to survive. The rest of it, however glamorous or curious, is lethal nonsense, or else mere noise (not that noise of any sort is ever unproblematic …).
Take the laws of physics or economics. Are any extant cultures of Earth utterly ruled out by their obvious universal and incontrovertible truth? No. Would any such culture that did controvert them deserve to live? No. Would it manage to live? No.
Take then likewise the Golden Rule and the other moral truths of Christianity. Are any extant cultures of Earth ruled out – essentially ruled out, ruled out in toto – by their obvious universal and incontrovertible truth? No. Would any such culture that did controvert them deserve to live? No. Would it manage to do so? No.
If Christianity is true, and if it rules out the West, then the West is simply unfitted to the truth, and is then lethal, both to its members and to itself. If so, it deserves to die.
As it seems now to be doing, since it began to contravene Christian truth.
But, then, obviously: Christianity does not rule out the West. On the contrary: Christianity brought the West to its fullest flower, and its mightiest florescence of global power, to which all other cultures even now aspire, and which they still envy, and hate – and fear.
No more then ought we to abandon the truths of Christianity than those of physics and economics. That would be foolishness, indeed.
This however, obviously, only if Christianity really is true.
By their fruits shall ye know them (Matthew 7:16). Not, NB, that their fruits demonstrate their truth; but rather that their fruits are evidence in favor of their truth, and an index thereto.