The cultural Left’s ever-intensifying campaign to cancel every last vestige of Western civilization has been dealt a decisive blow by the forces of sanity — not just in suburban school boards or the Virginia governor’s mansion, but in the secular heart of the European Union.
The European Commission rolled out a 32-page document in October titled “Guidelines on Inclusive Communication,” which featured the kind of “inclusion” that aims to exclude and entirely erase the Christmas holiday and Christianity in general. “Not everyone celebrates the Christian holidays, and not all Christians celebrate them on the same dates,” said the document, which encouraged people to replace the word “Christmas” with “holiday” and “Christmastime” with “holiday time.” It also counseled speakers to avoid such divisive phrases as “ladies and gentlemen,” which furthers the gender binary. The E.U. leadership said these speech restrictions will help create a “union of equality.”
The guidelines were published by an Italian journal, il Giornale, on the first Monday of Advent, touching off massive popular backlash across the supranational governing body’s 27 member states.
They also offended the E.U.’s most conspicuous Christian spokesman, Pope Francis, who likened the attempt to erase Christianity and Christian holidays to Nazi and Communist totalitarian regimes of the recent past. “In history many, many dictatorships have tried to do so. Think of Napoleon: from there … Think of the Nazi dictatorship, the communist one.”
The E.U. document, he said, is “an anachronism” that reads like “watered-down secularism, distilled water.”
“Be careful not to be vehicles of ideological colonization,” he told E.U. leaders, because politically correct language imported from U.S. academics “could end up dividing the countries and [causing] the European Union to fail.”
The secular Eurocrats repealed the document within one day of the Italian press story. Helena Dalli, the EU Commissioner for Equality (as Orwellian a title as any), said the language-regulating diktat is “not a mature document and does not meet all Commission quality standards. The guidelines clearly need more work. I therefore withdraw the guidelines and will work further on this document.”
These guidelines represent only the most recent attempt to strip out Christian morality out of European society from the top down. The results sometimes result in ludicrous statements. For example in 2019, a British court ruled that a belief in the Book of Genesis is “incompatible with human dignity.” The statement came in a ruling against a Christian doctor who refused to use a transgender individual’s preferred pronouns based on his belief in Genesis 1:27, which states, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” The judges ruled that “belief in Genesis 1:27, lack of belief in transgenderism, and conscientious objection to transgenderism in our judgment are incompatible with human dignity and conflict with the fundamental rights of others.”
The Carter Center, founded by one-term president and long-term Baptist teacher Jimmy Carter, quotes the verse in question in its “Scripturally Annotated Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” The document states, “The moral status of human beings is exalted, in large part due to the declaration first made in Genesis 1 that human beings are made in the divine image.”
While Pope Francis — who has never been bashful about bashing his opponents — may sound overly negative in his response to these guidelines, he has spent his pontificate encouraging ever-secularizing Europe to rediscover its Christian roots, which lie at the heart of the E.U. and form the basis of human rights in general. “The European Union must take in hand the ideals of the [E.U.’s] founding fathers,” he said in response to the guidelines.
He sounded a similar theme during the celebration of the Treaty of Rome’s 60th anniversary in March 2017. At that time, he said that Europe had historically embraced “a way of understanding man based on his transcendent and inalienable dignity, as something more than simply a sum of rights to defend or claims to advance.” As this writer has noted:
Emphasizing faith was particularly appropriate, given that the Treaty of Rome was signed on March 25, 1957. March 25 was formerly New Year’s Day in much of Europe (including in the United States, until 1752), because, as the Feast of the Annunciation, it marked the first moment of Christ’s Incarnation and the salvation of the world. The EU flag of 12 stars on a blue field – adopted on December 8, 1955 – is said to have been inspired by Marian imagery. Yet four decades later, the EU agonized over whether to acknowledge Christianity as a part of its history.
His words came months after the leaders of the world’s two largest churches — Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church — issued a joint statement warning of “unprecedented” global persecution of Christians:
The constitutions of our States guarantee the fundamental rights of the human person. Nevertheless, in our societies, forces are always at work to marginalise or even erase religions and their message from the public space. … [T]he personalist Christian vision of humanity is a minority view in relation to a dominant discourse that promotes hedonistic individualism, which ignores the notions of objective truth and common good.
Modern secularism, which ignores “the importance of the religious element in human culture can lead to unacceptable instances of discrimination or persecution in our societies, even as they strive to be open,” they wrote. They warned that European societies engage in “more subtle forms of discrimination against believers,” which take place “when [the faithful] are excluded from certain roles or professions, when their right to conscientious objection is disregarded, or when persons who request counselling when faced with the choice of performing an abortion have that request denied.”
“Secular Europe is deeply rooted in our Christian traditions, which have provided it with its universalist vision, its notion of the dignity of the human person and its moral principles,” they concluded. “If you are cut off from your roots, you will come adrift.”
The production of this European Commission document indicates that the E.U. failed to heed their prophetic warning five years ago. But the public reaction proves that enough people in Europe still heed the calls of an inner voice that continually calls them back to the Truth.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.