I have been going through papers for recycling, and a day after the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 became law, I noticed something in a recent Church of England Newspaper, namely that by August, 95 million Americans will live in States where same-sex marriage is legal - around 30% - while in Europe, it's 169 million.
More Europeans? Well, actually that is out of a larger population, and accounts for 23% of the population.
Hmm, so a higher proportion of Americans live where there is same-sex marriage than Europeans.
There is one things that grates (well, two things - and I'll get onto the second in a minute) about a certain breed of American conservative and/or evangelical commentator. It's the seizing on any example of a European nation introducing euthanasia or same-sex marriage and to moralise about how Europe has turned its back on God, how we are rejecting Judaeo-Christian values.
While they are busy taking the speck out of Europeans' eyes, there is one thing I want to note. Namely that these things actually happen in the USA as well. There are States with euthanasia and/or same-sex marriage.
If 23% of Europeans living where there is same-sex marriage proves that Europe has rejected Judaeo-Christian values, then what does 30% of Americans living where there is same-sex marriage say, hmm?
And why - from the land of Roe vs. Wade - do they never compare and contrast abortion laws in the EU and the USA?
At least Westboro Baptist Church - for all their many faults - judge their own country by the same standards they judge every other country.
And onto the second problem I have with this sort of commentator - not only are were godless people who have rejected Judaeo-Christian values (but have not gone as far down that path as the USA), we are at the same time on our kness before Islamism.
And any shock! horror! it's Eurabia! approach is flawed. The first approach appears to take various sources of the number of self-identified Muslims, assume for each one of those there are two or three Muslims who don't say they are; get some figures only a few years apart; plot on a graph and put an exponential curve through the points, sit back and say how Europe will be dominated by Muslims in a few decades.
I remember going to Oxford to visit a friend a few years back, and on the train reading an article about American concerns about the number of Muslims in Europe. The problem I found is that there were three things to get worked up about:
- Cities like Birmingham and Leicester are minority-majority
- The number of babies born in London to mothers born outside of England or Wales
- The number of people in Europe who were not born in the country they are living in
What do these tell us about the number of Muslims in Europe, and how far down the road to becoming Eurabia we are?
Absolutely nothing at all, to be honest.
There is that interesting quick step from minority to Muslim, and from Muslim to supporting Islamists.
Leicester currently has one ethnic minority MP - Keith Vaz in Leicester East. He is a Roman Catholic. He is not a Muslim, let alone someone who supports Islamists.
Briefly, there was a second ethnic minority MP - Parmjit Gill, who won the by-election in July 2004 in Leicester South, lost it at the May 2005 general election, failed to regain it at the May 2010 general election and decided not to contest the May 2011 by-election. He is a Sikh, not a Muslim.
Leicester City Council has councillors of various ethnic identities, and of various religions and none, simply getting on with being Labour, Conservative or Liberal Democrat councillors. Sorry, but there is no Islamist group. Yep, Leicester is minority-majority. So what?
London is a multicultural city, with people from all round the world, of various religions and none. The number of babies born to mothers born outside of England or Wales tells us one thing and one thing only - namely, the number of babies born to mothers born outside of England or Wales. It doesn't provide any information about the number of Muslims there are.
And yes, there are people living in European countries they weren't born in. Partly it is the European Union's free movement of persons policy.
I saw an article some time back trying to show that Catholicism is thriving and Protestantism is dying on its feet. The comparison was two churches in Southampton. One was a tiny Methodist church on the outskirts - why they couldn't have chosen a big central church, I don't know. The Catholic example was the church two of my great-grandparents were married in. And what was missed out was that its high attendance was connected with the large number of Poles.
Polish people are moving to Southampton and filling the Catholic church - not the mosque.
Poles don't suddenly become Muslims when they move to the United Kingdom. British pensioners retiring to the Costa del Sol don't turn Muslim upon moving in.
Whenever you read a shock-horror-Eurabia article, ask yourself how it is defining "European Muslim". Is it operating a dragnet principle, where some European Christians, atheists, Hindus, Sikhs etc. find themselves under the "European Muslim" label?
I mentioned I was going to Oxford that day. And the friend I met - an evangelical Christian - and I had a laugh at the way he would come under the category "European Muslim", despite his religious beliefs.
I wonder what if we defined "American Muslim" the same way as "European Muslim". Firstly, let's get worked up about the Muslim-majority cities, such as Washington and Chicago.
Secondly, ask about the impact of having 3 successive Secretaries of State who were Muslims - Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.
Thirdly, note that already at least 49.9% of American under-fives are Muslims.
Shock! Horror! Not only has the USA rejected Judaeo-Christian values, with euthanasia and same-sex marriage legal in several States, but it is well on its way to being Amerabia by the middle of this century.