By Alec Rooney
A terrible paradox is at work as Muslims from the Middle East keep flooding into Europe, Britain and the United States, often with material help of western countries’ respective leaders.
Why are they coming?
Simple. They are coming because the west offers things that they do not have:
- law and order
- business opportunities
- safe streets
- charitable assistance
- pretty surroundings
- clean water
- roads and railways that work
- systems of government that don’t let the police come to your house and beat up your dad or brother
- New consumer products
- safe food in clean restaurants
- garbage collection
This is an incomplete list. These are all things that aren’t too common in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan — countries that have lived under generations of tyranny and Islam, manufacture virtually nothing (they can’t even produce their own guns), and haven’t capitalized on their petroleum assets as effectively as Saudi Arabia, Iran or Kuwait.
Why is the west blessed with all these things, while these Middle Eastern countries are not?
Because of something called western values.
Central to western values is the concept of a loving Christian God, who wants humans to be free to choose good over evil, to worship Him, to use their God-given reason and talents, and to love their families and neighbors and treat others the way they would like to be treated.
This concept led to the rule of law and to personal liberty — the freedom of individuals to seek and realize their own potential for their own well-being, without being slaves to others.
The west has had its problems, including terrible wars, but overall, what a harvest of plenty has come out of that notion!
And it’s this harvest in which the throngs from the Middle East would like to share. Once guarded and walled off by governments, strict borders and guns, the riches and comforts of the west are now lying out in the open, available and unprotected by their own confused leaders.
It’s like a huge, chaotic Christmas morning, complete with a stampede and wrapping paper flying in all directions.
Hooray! What’s wrong with that? That seems to be the attitude of many western leaders, misled by guilt and flawed reasoning into thinking it’s time to throw open the doors and stop “hogging all the good stuff.”
Share the wealth!
Problem is, all the nice things on that list can go away when the people enjoying them — as well as those protecting them — do not know where they came from, or how. All will be eaten, used up, trampled and defiled.
In a variation of the old Persian proverb "Wealth comes like a turtle and goes away like a gazelle," it will happen very quickly.
The west is not a treasure pile. It is rather a treasure tree, which can keep bearing fruit indefinitely as long as its roots and trunk are cared for, its soil tended. And those roots and trunk are western values, rooted in reason and most of all in the loving God of Christianity, who sets us all free to be the best versions of ourselves, flawed though we may be.
So … that paradox: What is it?
It’s that all of these nice trappings of civilization could be destroyed by those who want them so badly. With no concept of the faith and discipline that allowed the west to grow and prosper, the Muslim masses will rush in, consume all that’s immediately available and end up right back where they started, in squalor and slavery.
In a recent speech, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö spoke of the worsening crisis in Europe:
"Migration is a serious problem," said the president. " … Just a few years ago we were exporting our values and regarded them as unquestionable; now we are having to consider whether even we ourselves can preserve them."
It should be the other way around. Freedom and hard work and faith should be exports from the west.
Or have we forgotten where all those nice things come from, as well?
Alec Rooney serves as communications director for the Christian Action Network. He is a longtime journalist, with experience as a writer and editor at five daily newspapers over 25 years. An award-winning print copy editor and copy desk chief, he also works as a freelance academic book editor. He is a 1986 graduate of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., and holds an M.A. in English from the University of Kentucky.