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The Spiritual and Physical Death of Europe: One Follows the Other

  • 2016 May 10

In early May, Brussels Airport finally re-opened after being closed for nearly six weeks, following the March terrorist attack that killed sixteen people.
While it will not be back at full capacity until mid-June, the Belgian government sees the re-opening as part of their effort to regain some sense of normalcy after the attacks.
Another part of their efforts is figuring out how to deal with its restive and disgruntled Muslim minority, especially in places like the now-infamous Brussels suburb of Molenbeek. This tiny municipality, measuring less than 2.5 square miles, not only produced the March 22nd attackers, it’s also the reason Belgium produces proportionately more ISIS fighters than any other European country.
In recent remarks before the European Parliament, Koen Geens, Belgium’s Minister of Justice, told parliamentarians that “In Europe, very shortly we’re going to have more practicing Muslims than practicing Christians . . . That is not because there are too many Muslims, it is because Christians are generally less practicing.”
Not surprisingly, people, and not just Muslims, took offense at his comments. Belgium’s Interior Minister said that Geens was “making an enemy of Islam” and insisted that “the overwhelming majority of [Belgian Muslims] share our values.”
Lost in the furor over Geen’s comments was the fact that he was talking primarily about secularism and the decline of Christian practice, and values.
Also lost in this conversation over Belgium’s future, Islam and its jettisoned Christian heritage, is that the nation has turned euthanasia into a fundamental right. As PBS put it, and everyone already knows, Belgium has “the world’s most liberal euthanasia laws.” Physician-assisted suicide there isn’t limited to the terminally-ill – people with psychiatric illnesses or even children can also be euthanized.
As a member of Belgium’s Euthanasia Control and Evaluation Commission told PBS, at the heart of the law is “a respect to individual autonomy.” Thus rather than being limited to the terminally ill, the dark practice is available to anyone who sees his or her condition as “hopeless.”
And that includes, as we’ve previously told BreakPoint listeners, children as young as twelve. All that’s needed is the approval of two doctors, three in the case of psychiatric patients.
By all accounts, Belgium’s law, which goes against everything Christianity teaches about the sanctity and dignity of human life, enjoys wide support. While Geens’ party, the Christian Democrats, has opposed Belgium’s euthanasia regime, their view is a minority one.
The majority view of Belgian elites not only sees euthanasia as an indispensable part of respecting human autonomy, it has laughably convinced itself that the “overwhelming majority” of Belgian Muslims share these secularist values that made euthanizing children not only conceivable but the law.
Now while we’ve singled out Belgium, it’s by no means unique. In fact, it wasn’t even the first country to legalize euthanasia. That dubious distinction belongs to the Netherlands. It’s also legal in Luxemburg and Switzerland. So-called “right to die” advocates expect other western European nations to follow over the next decade.
In light of this, it’s hard to avoid the sense that Europe is committing suicide on multiple levels: first it committed spiritual suicide, turning its back on its Christian heritage. And once this happened, physical suicide wasn’t far behind.
And now, the de-Christianized Europeans find themselves ill-prepared to respond to what’s going on in places like Molenbeek. Not only that, but as they try to figure it out, they miss the obvious—like if you want your nation to survive, legalizing suicide is not only immoral, it’s, shall we say, counter-productive.
Or as Chuck would say, that’s what happens when you saw off the branch that you’re sitting on.


BreakPoint is a Christian worldview ministry that seeks to build and resource a movement of Christians committed to living and defending Christian worldview in all areas of life. Begun by Chuck Colson in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print. Today BreakPoint commentaries, co-hosted by Eric Metaxas and John Stonestreet, air daily on more than 1,200 outlets with an estimated weekly listening audience of eight million people. Feel free to contact us at where you can read and search answers to common questions.

John Stonestreet, the host of The Point, a daily national radio program, provides thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.

Publication date: May 10, 2016