Saturday, June 3, 2017

Europe’s Demographic Suicide

By David Martin

The title above is as it appeared atop the main opinion piece in the May 25-31 Arlington Catholic Herald, the weekly newspaper of the Arlington, Virginia, diocese. The Denver Catholic had a slightly different title, but it’s the same article that was also doubtless in Roman Catholic newspapers around the country. The article delivered a good deal less than its title promised, and because of that and because of some other shortcomings in the piece, I had a strong urge to write a letter to the editor. Then I thought of my experience 17 years ago when I wrote a letter to the same newspaper about an article by the same author and they didn’t see fit to publish it. I had to resort to putting it on my own web site, which some years later I reposted with the title, “The Brazen Duplicity of George Weigel.” Well, here we go again.

Anyone following world events knows that most of the countries of Europe are staring a major demographic problem in the face. Most have low and declining birth rates and they are being swamped by immigrants, a large percentage of whom are refugees from wars and chaos in the Middle East and North Africa, which, in turn resulted from the military action of the United States and its European allies. This war-induced immigration and Europe’s low birth rate are the twin elements of what one might call Europe’s looming demographic disaster, and because the war policies have by-and-large been supported by Europe’s leaders and because many of those same leaders, with Germany’s Angela Merkel in the forefront, have welcomed the resulting refugees with open arms, the “demographic suicide” charge might well apply to both elements. Because the largely Muslim immigrants typically have a much higher birth rate than do the natives of Europe and because they are particularly hard to assimilate, the immigration element might well be the stronger of the contributors to Europe’s “demographic suicide.”

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