A Sterile France in a Muslim Europe: The Harvest of Bastille Day

By John Zmirak Published on July 15, 2017

According to Strasbourg Archbishop Luc Revel, Muslims are already smugly predicting it: Within our lifetimes, France will be Muslim. Sharia will be national law. The empty churches will become teeming mosques. The last hated Jews will be gone.

This won’t come through outright conquest. It won’t even require massive new immigration. It’s just that Muslims are having babies while almost nobody else is.

How could this happen? How could a country that is so proudly secularist and fiercely nationalistic allow itself to be conquered by Islam? To be colonized, like a tribe of Mohicans or Cherokees, facing cannons, rifles, and smallpox?  

Nationalism Isn’t Enough

Because nationalism isn’t enough. It’s enough to make men die for their country in times of crisis. Or to rally them to vote for patriotic candidates. Sometimes it gets out of control and leads them to target peaceful foreigners. You know what it can’t do? Convince people that it’s worthwhile to bring a child into this world. To pour their tears and toil into the adventure of making another life — which might well end abruptly, or peter out in addiction, depression, or some other sad fate.

The prophetic David P. Goldman wrote in Why Civilizations Die that the only countries with positive birthrates in the developed world are the United States and Israel. In both lands (and most lands, including France), those births happen most among devout religious subcultures. That’s not because of scruples over birth control. Mormons, evangelical Protestants and orthodox Jews are the subcultures Goldman cites as most open to life.

No negative prohibition goads these folks to breed. It’s the sustaining power of hope that comes with faith in God. The sense of awe and privilege at helping to enflesh an immortal soul. That mystical rite of participation in God’s own sacred creation. That overwhelms questions of prudence. It overleaps selfish interests. It spurs us to go beyond sterile questions like, “Is it fair to bring a child into a world with such a low birthrate?”

Secularism Is Styrofoam That Looks and Tastes Like Food

And secularism is poison. Or better, it’s more like Styrofoam that looks and tastes like food. You can stuff your stomach with it and feel nice and full. It satisfies the taste buds. You can arrange it beautifully on a plate like Nouvelle Cuisine. There’s just one thing you can’t get from it: nourishment of any kind. It is not food for humans. You might as well try to live on hay or hockey pucks.

In 1793, France’s “Deplorables” rose up against the revolution.

A key nutrient that secularism lacks appears to be the compound that makes us willing to have children. Lacking that, the flimsiest pretext will do to snuff out your progeny. “But what about our baby’s tiny carbon footprint?” “His every little breath will help to melt the ice caps.” And so on. Then you can go get your tubes tied. Maybe enjoy a pint of vegan, soy-based gelato. Take time to decide what gender you’d like to be today.

Bastille Day Doomed France

Bastille Day, France’s national celebration held every July 14, is the perfect moment to reflect on such melancholy questions. It was the birthday of radical secularism and idolatrous ultra-nationalism. To this day, those are the forces fighting for control of the failing body of France. Neither one can save it.

In 1793, France’s “Deplorables” rose up against the revolution. Ordinary peasants, scorned as bigots and rubes in Paris, rebelled against their “betters.” In the Vendée and Brittany regions, devout Frenchmen took control using pitchforks and obsolete muskets. The revolutionaries unleashed their well-armed conscript army. After two years of heroic resistance, the Christian rebels were defeated. And the secularist regime in Paris unleashed the first modern genocide. For that heart-wrenching story of Christian resistance to evil, check out this essay from 2015: “Solzhenitsyn Mourned Bastille Day. So Should All Christians.” 

Here’s a mordant irony: French secularists such as Voltaire, who hated the church, were the first to spread the myth that Islam is tolerant and sophisticated. That Muslim Spain was a paradise. That only a bigoted, bible-thumping fool would be suspicious of Islam.

That was anti-church propaganda in 1770. It’s a bitter joke today.

And tomorrow? It will be a footnote in a history book. In Arabic. Printed in Paris.

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  • Patmos

    Well fortunately France has a god in charge now.

  • tz1

    n 1793, France’s “Deplorables” rose up against the revolution. Ordinary peasants, scorned as bigots and rubes in Paris, rebelled against their “betters.”

    So are you saying Trumps supporters are just like them? Trump supporters want to defund Planned Parenthood and reestablish small government. They were and are scorned as “Deplorables”, bigots, and rubes.

    I guess you were “With H->er”.

    • Zmirak

      Yes, I’m comparing my fellow Trump supporters to the heroes who rose up against the French Revolutionaries. What’s wrong with that? Try to read a little more carefully.

      • LgVt

        tz1 wasn’t the only one confused. You briefly mentioned Bastille Day, then jumped without warning in the next paragraph to an extended description of an attempted counter-revolution four years later (though a reader would only know it was four years later if s/he remembered that the original Bastille Day was in 1789, since you only mentioned the year of the latter event).

        With the way you wrote it, it would be very easy for a reader to conflate the two.

        • Zmirak

          Sorry, I bristled at the thought of being “with her.” The chronology of these events is seared into my brain, so I never thought how they could be confusing.

      • tz1

        You were unclear. When you used the phrase:
        “rebelled against their “betters.”

        I didn’t associate “Betters” with the revolutionaries but the original elite.

        Everyone at the point of the overthrow referred to each other as “citizen” so there were no “betters”, at least not unmasked versions then.

        After a reread, the earlier sentence said it was against “the revolutionaries”, though that isn’t quite true, it was against their leadership. Many ordinary people were the original revolutionaries which stormed the Bastille.

        I also remember the Les Deplorables that Trump used.

        So which elite? Which “Betters”? The corrupt aristocracy? Or Robesperre?

        My sincere apologies, but these are strange times where lines are unclear and brief mentions can be misinterpreted easily.

  • Devieg72

    It should be remembered that France is actually America’s oldest enemy. Since before the French and Indian War.
    France has never been a democracy of the American sort. It has always depended upon a “strong man” to get by day by day. The French Revolution showed best, until October 1917 the eagerness of leftism to eat its self.

  • patsw

    The word “secular” applied to France, is actually only hostility to Christianity, not to Islam. When applied to the United States “secular” means: don’t establish a religion and don’t interfere with its “free exercise”. It’s been a struggle for keeping the government out of religion in the United States. As for France, I first visited Paris and the the south including Vichy and Avignon as a teen in the 1960’s and saw that the Catholic faith was already in the collective rear view mirror, and it has only gotten progressively worse.

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