Barbarians at the Borders

When considering what made the Roman Empire fall, you may run up against a plethora of theories. Generally, it seems internal discord and a weakened military heavily contributed. It didn’t help that the “barbarians”, that is, the Goths, were roaming the borders and making raids until they finally invaded in force. The fattened Roman Empire wasn’t ready for that war.

I think Western civilization, heavily influenced by the glories and successes of Rome, is fast approaching a conflict for which it seems ill-prepared to handle. The “barbarians” at our borders, though, are the Islamic extremists known as ISIS. They’re growing in numbers, getting bolder in attacks, and are the biggest threat outside of the West. They are barbarians who are willing to ruthlessly kill anyone in their path in order to set up their caliphates across Europe and America. They have declared war and begun their campaign.

But the fattened West isn’t ready for this war.

In our postmodern, civilized society, we’ve booted firm beliefs to the curb for a vague “tolerance” that is largely undefined. To have a conviction in our day, in which you believe something to be morally right or wrong, is frowned upon. Religion in general receives a courteous smile and nod before it is locked under house arrest. With our sophistication comes our weakness. We no longer really accept a person’s faith as legitimate. Sure, believe what you want, but when you step out into the public square, believe only what you’re supposed to, as defined by the culture.

Thus we can’t understand ISIS and how they appeal so much to radicals. Why are their numbers growing? How can they be so effective? Don’t people who fight for them see the harm they’re doing? Perhaps in our age of believing nothing, a group that believes something, even if it’s evil, draws those in who don’t want to live in the castles of clouds created by Western civilization.

I am not defending ISIS here. Their atrocities will be visited back upon them. Nor am I taking a stance similar to Trump and saying that all Muslims should be viewed as extremists. ISIS is wrong; Trump is wrong. But who, then, is right?

In a previous post I mentioned that we need to love freedom more than ISIS loves their objectives. And here I would add that America (and the West in general) needs to recognize their Christian roots, to truly be tolerant and allow better beliefs than ISIS’ to thrive. Nature abhors a vaccuum; creating a religious vaccuum in the West by siphoning out Christianity will allow ISIS to fill its place.

One thought on “Barbarians at the Borders

  1. Excellent, excellent thoughts. This is exactly my own thoughts as well. We quickly pass over the real reasons why ISIS is fighting – we say that they ‘hate freedom,’ and America is fighting for freedom. Well it is a lot more complicated than that. It is time for us to recognize that this is more than just a geo-political war, or even a religious war – it is a war of deep-seated philosophies battling it out on the world stage – Wahhabi Islam versus secular humanism.

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