- Europe Rediscovers Nationalism
- Is there a Christian revival starting in France?
- Confucius the Redeemer
- Saudi Arabia's 'Great Wall' to keep out ISIL
- Vatican: Pope's Charlie Hebdo comments do not justify attack
by David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch
THE SPIRITUAL SOULS OF NATIONS: WHY THE EU WILL FAIL
AND CHINA COULD CONVERTThe nations of Europe will not find their true national identities until they ground themselves in a transcendental communal identity that can integrate their immigrants. The paradox is that only a return to the worldwide religion of Christianity will allow the European nations like France and Germany to regain their crucial civilizational roles on the world stage. George Friedman of Stratfor is too religiously tone-deaf to offer a solution, but he is eloquent in his description of the problem. Another author, a young Frenchman, argues just our point--that the way between militant Islam and libertine atheism is renewed Christianity--and he sees it happening in France. China, too, in President Xi JinPing's Chinese Dream is putting forth a transcendent view based more on Confucian cosmology and ethics than Hegel's dialectical materialism. This honest search for spiritual roots should remind Christians that the road to Chinese conversion may go through the Analects of Confucius.
THE SAUDIS AND THEIR FENCES
Our country has not yet gotten serious about building a fence on our two-thousand-mile border with Mexico, but the Saudis aren't messing around with the ISIL threat (on their 600-mile northern border with Iraq) as well as the southern boundary (a thousand miles) by Yemen. Saudi Arabia is fourth among top military spenders (behind the U.S., China, and Russia) -- almost ten percent of their GDP! It is the only nation that is on both the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. And it is the world's largest country with no river. They have about 20 million Saudi nationals, plus 8 million foreigners. They are no longer the world's largest oil exporter; we passed them about a year ago. The First Saudi State began in 1744; the Second State ended in 1891. The current Kingdom of Saudi Arabia started in 1932 (the founding monarch, Ibn Saud, ruled for two decades.)
THE CIVILIZED LIMITS OF EXPRESSION: THE POPE SPEAKS FOR COMMON SENSE
Pope Francis said it was an aberration to kill in the name of God, and added there are limits to free speech which is bound in principle to seeking the common good. By way of example, he referred to Alberto Gasparri, who organizes papal trips and was standing by his side aboard the papal plane. "If my good friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch," Francis said, throwing a pretend punch his way. "It's normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others."