Joe Loconte of The Weekly Standard reports on a poll showing the anti-Americanism of America’s European allies. Loconte gives an explanation for this antipathy that is in part theological:
‘The poll, conducted between July 15 and August 31 and involving over 16,000 respondents, suggests that America’s European and NATO “allies” are in fact infested with legions of anti-American conspiracy theorists. A slight majority of Britons blame al Qaeda for the attacks (57 percent), but another 26 percent say they don’t know who the perpetrators were. The numbers were roughly the same for the French and the Italians, many of whom (8 percent and 13 percent, respectively) think the United States authored the act. Among Germans, nearly a fourth of all respondents (23 percent) finger the United States. Yes, one in four. . .
‘How is it that so many enlightened minds seem trapped in a byzantine world of political superstitions? How is it that the children of Rousseau and Voltaire embrace theories that draw strength from the forces of irrationalism and despotism? . . .
‘Perhaps the Enlightenment spirit of Voltaire is partly to blame. As Pope Benedict XVI has warned, Europeans who sever themselves from Christian doctrines are vulnerable to all kinds of ideologies eager to fill the void. Secular Europeans, slavishly devoted to the soothing powers of diplomacy, have a difficult time taking the problem of evil seriously, especially when it claims a religious sanction. They instinctively seek a political explanation–no matter how improbable. Americans, whose Constitution pays homage to the doctrine of original sin, find it easier to imagine the existence of individuals, and entire social movements, given over to moral and spiritual corruption. “The Bible says somewhere that mankind is desperately wicked,” quipped Abraham Lincoln. “I think I would have discovered that fact without the Bible.”‘
Read the rest here: