Undoubtedly, one of the best characteristics of the West is its ability to provide a safe haven for refugees throughout the world. I personally know many Kurdish families who were welcomed into Europe, finding refuge from Saddam’s genocide. The West’s openness towards refugees and desire for them to live freely in their new home concretely demonstrates the value we place on human life and dignity. Nonetheless, there is a large gap between willingly inviting destitute immigrants inside your home and having the clamoring mob break down your door.
This is a distinction the Pope has failed to see. In a recent interview with La Vie, Pope Francis characterized the current European immigrant situation as a process that will enhance Europe:
“We can speak today of an Arab invasion. It is a social fact... How many invasions Europe has known throughout its history! It has always known how to overcome itself, moving forward to find itself as if made greater by the exchange between cultures.”
Any student of history can tell you that the exchange of ideas, technology, and culture often has positive outcomes. Yet for that outcome to be good, the things exchanged have to be good. Pope Francis’ recent remarks show an amazing ignorance of history and an appallingly masochistic political philosophy.
In speaking of historical invasions, the Pope does not reference Europe overcoming those who aimed to tear her down. Instead, he speaks of Europe overcoming herself. I can only imagine what the Greeks at Marathon, Thermopylae, and Salamis would think of the idea that they overcame themselves and managed, somehow, to be enhanced by the Persian invasions. Or what Charles Martel, who stopped the Islamic Empire’s religious conquest of Europe at the Battle of Tours would say. Or the soldiers who held the Gates of Vienna against the Ottoman Turks. Surely the citizens of Kiev managed to “overcome themselves” and were enhanced by the Mongol sacking.
Since we shouldn’t focus just on Asian invaders, let’s talk about the enhancements made by the sacking of Rome by the Gauls, Visigoths, Ostrogoths, and Vandals. That really opened the doors for the flourishing of civilization commonly called the Dark Ages.
Civilizations can rise from the clash of hostile cultures, but they are not enhanced by it. Invasions, by definition, are not consensual things. The immigrants flooding Europe’s shores do not care if they are wanted or not. It brings to mind the colonialism of the Americas, of which the Pontiff is such a critic. Like the conquistadors, the immigrants mean to force themselves upon Europe, demanding that she give up her virtues to them. Their very means of arrival demonstrates their complete rejection of what has made Europe great: lawfulness, personal responsibility, and respect for human dignity.
What does their culture bring in exchange? Teachings that condone raping women as punishment for celebrating in public on New Year’s. A philosophy that espouses the death of democracy and rejects religious freedom. Pray, tell us how this will enhance Europe, for this is the exchange that the immigrants are forcing upon their new home.