Seriously, this is an actual game. Doesn't appear to be one I personally would want to play. I've done my diaper duty.
Catholic priest urges European Christians to fight off Islam by having babies
BY Meena Hartenstein NY DAILY NEWS - Wednesday, September 8th 2010
A prominent Catholic priest wants European Christians to fight off Islam with a unique weapon: babies.
Father Piero Gheddo, an Italian missionary priest, said Wednesday he believes a declining birth rate among Europeans combined with a rising tide of Muslim immigrants could mean that Islam will soon dominate Europe.
"Certainly from a demographic point of view, as it is clear to everyone that Italians are decreasing by 120,000 or 130,000 persons a year because of abortion and broken families; while among the more than 200,000 legal immigrants a year in Italy, more than half are Muslims and Muslim families, which have a much higher level of growth," he said, according to Rome's Catholic news service Zenit News Agency.
Gheddo's solution? Christians need to start having more children. (Except for him and his fellow clergy.)
"The fact is that, as a people, we are becoming ever more pagan and the religious vacuum is inevitably filled by other proposals and religious forces," he said. "If we consider ourselves a Christian country, we should return to the practice of Christian life, which would also solve the problem of empty cradles." (I love his use of 'we'. The truth is a large number of Italians would not consider themselves part of his 'we'.
Father Gheddo is a well-respected member of the Vatican's Pontificial Institute for Foreign Missionaires.
His comments were made in response to Libyan chief of state Moammar Khadafy, who said this week that Europe should convert to Islam.
Khadafy, on an official visit to Italy, laced his speech with controversial remarks, such as, "Tomorrow Europe might no longer be European, and even black, as there are millions who want to come in."
"We don't know if Europe will remain an advanced and united continent or if it will be destroyed, as happened with the barbarian invasions," Khadafy added, before handing out free copies of the Koran.
Incensed that Muslims could one day outnumber Christians in Europe, Gheddo vowed to bring more attention to the issue. (Could be European Muslims will be secularized long before Islam is able to take over the Continent. A likely fact Khadafy ignores as well.)
The media hasn't "seriously taken into consideration how to respond to this challenge of Islam," he said, "which sooner or later will conquer the majority in Europe."
Gheddo intends to change that. (Easy for him to say as he can be all talk and no walk.)
"The challenge must be taken seriously," he said.
It's hard to take this particular challenge seriously when it's being issued by a man who can't be part of his desired solution. At least not officially, that is. It's exactly the same situation Catholic lay reformers are in when it comes to the priesthood. We can talk all we want, but by definition will not be a deciding part of any solutions. It's a frustrating place to be.
I couldn't help but notice that Fr. Gheddo places the blame for the demographic problems he sees in Italy on abortion and broken families. I suspect economic factors, birth control, and the reluctance of Italian males to enter into marriage has more to do with his perceived state of affairs. I see very little reason that the same kinds of factors won't impact Islamic immigrants. Secularizing tendencies, like higher levels of education for women, effect all religious denominations. Even the most reactionary. Perhaps most fundamentally the most reactionary.
Fr Gheddo, whether he intends to admit this or not, is making the case that Islam has more power over it's adherents than Catholicism. I wonder how true that will be when adherents of Islam find themselves in truly open secular societies. Even truly theocratic states like Iran are finding it harder and harder to keep secular ideas from 'infecting' their people and changing their cultures. Especially in the younger generations who have taken like ducks to water to the global revolution in communication technologies. Especially younger women.
I truly wonder if Fr. Gheddo's real concern is not Islamic immigration but the changing status of women in western culture. One of the real changes is that women are making decisions about children on the ability to raise them, not just have them. Children are no longer seen as 'random' gifts from God, but a serious personal responsibility. One that calls for serious consideration about all kinds of factors which impact families and family size. Women in the west have been empowered to have the primary voice in how many children they will have and when they will have those children. Motherhood and parenting is no longer a random crap shoot at the behest of male sexual need. Parental complementarity, as opposed to gender complementarity, is a much broader concept in which parental roles and responsibilities are shared across the board. It's incomprehensible to me that Islam will prove any better at stopping this trend than Christianity has, because the truth is this trend towards the empowerment of women actually frees and empowers men in as many ways as it does women---that is if men are willing to see it and willing to value their daughters as much as sons.
There were two other articles I read this morning that are worth pointing out. The first is on Michael Bayly's Wild Reed. It deals with the incredible man/boy subculture with in the Taliban in Afghanistan. This is a culture which stones homosexuals by religious law. The rationale used by men who engage in man/boy sexual partnerships is that it's not homosexuality because they are not in love with their boys. I guess that makes this religiously sanctioned sexual exploitation of young boys. And it's based in pathological levels of misogyny.
The other article is on Bilgrimage and deals with Focus On The Family's keynote convention speaker, Newt Gingrich. Perhaps Newt's talk will explain his concepts about how repeated practice makes monogamous traditional heterosexual marriage better--at least for traditional powerful men like himself.