Acton Institute Powerblog

The road to London Bridge is paved with self-loathing

The day after Thanksgiving, the world saw a murderous terrorist prevented from maximizing his death toll by desperate people armed with nothing more than personal courage, a narwhal tusk, and a fire extinguisher. As I write at The Stream, unless the West jettisons its paralyzing doubt of itself and its historic faith, that scene threatens to become an “epoch-defining event.”

Naively believing that all religions are alike, and that Western capitalism is uniquely exploitative, renders European culture incapable of understanding those who kill in the name of God – or even of daring, in Douglas Murray’s phrase, to “take its own side in an argument”:

The 2019 London Bridge attack took place at the intersection of a myriad of policies that show the West’s lack of confidence in itself. Those policies include denying their citizens any form of self-defense while maximizing prisoners’ rights, losing sovereignty over its immigration laws, turning a blind eye to hostile religio-political extremism, and a prevailing hostility to its own institutions and culture. It has uniquely demonized its own history (blithely unaware that self-reflection and acts of penance and atonement are distinctive marks of Western civilization). It has equalized all truth claims — and assumed everyone else shares our indifference about ultimate things.

The story continues, “Without a new era of cultural self-confidence, this terrorist attack provides a glimpse into the future of a faithless, graying Europe, slowing losing the battle for its own survival.”

Read the whole article here.

(Photo credit: Screenshot.)

Rev. Ben Johnson

Rev. Ben Johnson (@therightswriter) is an Eastern Orthodox priest and served as Executive Editor of the Acton Institute (2016-2021), editing Religion & Liberty, the Powerblog, and its transatlantic website. He has extensively researched the Alt-Right. Previously, he worked for LifeSiteNews and FrontPageMag.com, where he wrote three books including Party of Defeat (with David Horowitz, 2008). His work has appeared at DailyWire.com, National Review, The American Spectator, The Guardian, Daily Caller, National Catholic Register, Spectator USA, FEE Online, RealClear Policy, The Blaze, The Stream, American Greatness, Aleteia, Providence Magazine, Charisma, Jewish World Review, Human Events, Intellectual Takeout, CatholicVote.org, Issues & Insights, The Conservative, Rare.us, and The American Orthodox Institute. His personal websites are therightswriter.com and RevBenJohnson.com. His views are his own.