Are Europe’s Leaders the New Gnostics?

The Gnostic heresy has had a long life, reappearing throughout the ages in many forms. The early Church experienced the original Gnostics, St. Augustine spent many years following the Manichaeans, the Dominicans fought the Cathars, and the 20th century experienced Father Divine, Jim Jones and the People’s Temple, and Heaven’s Gate. While each of these movements differed in some respects, they all shared elements of Gnosticism.

The Gnostic heresy in its fullest form posits two deities, a good god and a bad god. The good god is found in the spirit, while the bad god rules the body. To attain salvation, the gnostic must escape the body, even to the extent of committing suicide. Sex is to be avoided, and procreation is seen as a serious failure, condemning a new life to the whims of the body and to the rule of the bad god.

While the European leaders are not pure gnostics, many of them do share one striking similarity with that heresy: they are childless. These childless leaders include the heads of Germany, France, Britain, Italy,  Scotland, Holland, and Luxembourg, as well as the head of the European Commission.

The gnostic choice not to reproduce has important consequences, particularly when that choice is made by leaders of a country. A German philosopher, Rudiger Safranski, has observed of the European leaders that “for the childless, thinking in terms of the generations to come loses relevance. Therefore, they behave more and more as if they were the last and see themselves as standing at the end of the chain.”

Such a view has important real world consequences. As European society becomes more and more childless, the future is handed over to those who choose to have children. Germany provides a stark example. It now has the lowest child birth rate of any country in the world, recently overtaking Japan for that dubious honor. Following their leader’s example, 30% of German women are childless, with university graduates in that country nearing a 40% childless rate.

This mortgages Germany’s future to the Moslem immigrants who have come into the country and have chosen to have children. It also threatens the already declining practice of Christianity in that country and in most of Europe. Indeed, it is estimated that 25% of all European women will remain childless.

The choice to remain childless also encourages acting without regard to future generations in order to maximize current pleasures. Unlike the pure Gnosticism of the past, this new Gnosticism in Europe encourages nontraditional sexual relationships, including same-sex marriage and support for transgenderism. It also supports a banning of any presence of religion in the public square, and a more generalized demonization of traditional religion and those who practice it.

Hilaire Belloc once said that “Europe is the Faith and Faith is Europe.” That observation has become increasingly archaic.




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