Saturday, February 11, 2006

Paying the Danegeld

Gateway pundit has this post regarding a march for peace by 700 Danes. I posted the following comment there in response to another commenter's use of the term "dangelt".

The comment about Danegeld inspired some thoughts:

Danegeld, of course, was money paid to the Danes by the Christianized Anglo-Saxons back when the Danes were raiding the coast of England. That was in the days when a common prayer among Christian monks was, "from the fury of the Northmen deliver us, O Lord!" Where is the fury of the Northmen now? Why are they now praying, "from the fury of the Mohemmedan deliver us, O Lord," rather than fighting to defend themselves?

There is a very good explanation, of course, and one only has to look at their flag to comprehend it. Christianity, as exemplified by Christ, excels at producing martyrs. It is a philosophy of pacifism in the face of violence and persecution. In the Dark Ages, faced with imminent destruction by barbarians from the north and east, and Mohammedans from the south, Christianity had to become self-assertive. As a personal religion, Christianity could counsel self-abnegation, pacifism, and martyrdom, but as the religion of a people, it had to give its blessing to whatever it took for those people to surivive, or risk extinction. In order to become self-assertive, Christianity had to militarize, and in doing so, it compromised its core principles. While exalting the crucified, it gave its blessing to the crucifier.

This internal contradiction manifested itself in the corruption of the Church, which brought about the crisis of the Protestant Rebellion. The splintering of the Church could only be resolved by a mutual non-aggression treaty in which all sides relinquished control of the state. Christianity became, once again, a personal religion instead of a state religion. As such, it was free again to counsel pacifism and martyrdom in the face of violence. As long as the majority of people in a country were willing to turn a deaf ear to religion when self-defense was required, rather than turning the other cheek, the people and the state would survive. What would happen, though, if the majority became completely consistent in their practice of Christian ethics? We are about to find out in Europe.


In point of fact, we've been paying danegeld to Muslim countries for years, sending them foreign aid and contributing money to the Palestinian cause in an effort to buy them off. But worst of all, we have abstained from responding with effective violence when attacked by them on numerous occasions. (I don't count blowing up empty tents with cruise missiles as effective, nor even dropping a few bombs on Libya.) Our tribute and our pacificism have bought us nothing but more hatred. As Kipling noted, once you've paid the danegeld, you never get rid of the Dane.

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