As the election to the European Parliament gets closer, I want to highlight some of the biggest European sins that unfortunately are not very present in the political debates.
Let us, as usual, look at the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia to get a definition of today’s deadly sin: “Pride is the excessive love of one’s own excellence… By it the creature refuses to stay within his essential orbit; he turns his back upon God, not through weakness or ignorance, but solely because in his self-exaltation he is minded not to submit. His attitude has something Satanic in it.”
I would say that Europe is overflowing with pride. It is because of their pride that European politicians promote economic inequality with Europe at the top, and because of pride they oppress the poor through neo-colonialism, destroy the planet and refuse to give enough aid so that poor people die abroad. And if that wasn’t enough, pride creates xenophobia, racism and evil migration policies.
It’s not any big news that xenophobia and racism is spreading across Europe. Xenophobic parties want to stop immigration of people from the so called third world, they are hostile towards Muslims and want to limit freedom of religion, and they emphasize their own culture and nation (which always is very pathetic in Europe since basically all countries here have changed culturally, geographically and politically over and over again since the fall of the Roman empire).
Many people ask themselves why xenophobia is on the rise in Europe, and many seem content with the simplistic answer “Europe has a tough time economically, and then populist and xenophobic parties thrive – look at Hitler!” I’ve never understood such reasoning though – what law of nature would create the bizarre equation economic crisis = more racism? Why don’t poor workers blame the rich when times are hard, which would be the natural reaction, but the immigrants that often are even more poor than they are? The answer I have found is that Europe has always been racist, and so the people who join xenophobic parties are simply using the paradigm theyr’re used to – immigrants are a cost to our society – when they try to explain why the economy isn’t working very well.
See, the politicians that already rule in Europe – which in most cases are either conservatives, liberals or social democrats, are racists. You can see this by simply looking at the current migration policies. Within the European Union we have free movement – anyone can move anywhere as long as they try to get a job. Meanwhile, it is illegal for Syrians to enter the European Union. It is illegal for anyone who wants to apply for asylum and find protection in Europe to enter Europe legally. Thus, they enter Europe illegally through crossing the mediterranean sea with small boats, which kills hundreds of people every year. Hey, it’s not the first time in history Europe kills Africans, remember?
On my birthday two months ago, I was attending a seminar where representatives from most Swedish parties that are part of the election to the European parliament were present, discussing global issues. The representative from the xenophobic party Sweden Democrats was not there so when they discussed migration, they all agreed that we should welcome refugees and show them hospitality. During the question time in the end, I pointed out that it is illegal for Syrians to enter Sweden and Europe, even though Sweden has promised to give permanent residence to all Syrians that come here since the conflict is so violent and terrifying. Isn’t that a contradiction, I asked, to say that they will get residence if they come and then forbid them to come?
The answer I got was that if visas were given to asylum seekers, Syrians would come here. And of course I understood that. The thing was that while I saw that as a wonderful way to “show hospitality to strangers” (Hebr 13:2) and save the lives of people who might die in war, they saw it as a problem. Suddenly, all the politicians who previously have talked about being welcoming turned out to say no to people fleeing from war, because they feared that it would be expensive. And as one of the richest countries in the world we cannot do anything expensive. That’s why Europe lets Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon receive two million refugees while they themselves only receive a few thousands.
The only parties that said that they want to change the rules and make it legal for refugees to come to Europe was the Green and Left party. But when it comes to the others, they were sharing the racist paradigm of seeing non-Europeans as an economic burden instead of a resource – or simple human beings. Europe is a fortress where people with darker skin colour are excluded, discriminated, deported and executed. This is defenitely one of Europe’s deadliest sins and I will commit my life to fight it in the power of the Holy Spirit.