It would be clear to most folks that France and the other western European countries, all in all, are far more secular today than most any other nations around the world.
For decades, the joint trends toward European socialism and economic union and parity have been systematically gutting the diverse, traditional cultural traits out of the midsection of European life. Among the vital victims ... nationalistic self-identity, foundational religious belief systems, and value sets that include pride, responsibility, and honor. Italy, where Roman Catholicism remains a core institution, may be less distant down that path.
Most sadly of all, there are no nations today that are effectively resisting the trend toward global, economic homogenization ... it's just that some are more deeply immersed in the drowning pool than others. That point magnifies the potential significance of this observation ...
Sweeping into the Void
If debates on morality--the pros and cons, the ins and outs--were once upon a time the exclusive realm of philosophy eggheads, today we are sentenced to actually live out the futility of life in the abstract without even a basic moral value set in western society. The utopian eggheads have seized the day and we are all now in an inescapably sterile petrie dish.
Of course, basic physics cannot help but make an impact on most any grand experiment, even in social science ... most obvious--into any open vacuum will rush the nearest diffusable mass.
Today, the Muslim value set is engulfing an empty Europe. Unfortunately, there is no room for cross-cultural tolerance or immorality in this emerging force of nature. And the hollow remnants of what once drove a great European epoch in history have NO strength or ballast remaining to withstand the opposing momentum.
Western society today is farther along in its decline than we may have realized. We are right now being challenged in increasingly violent confrontations on our own territories to find some firm footing where we can stand our ground against an explosively driven culture focused not only on dominating, but destroying all other cultures.
Can there be any hope that it can be done? We cannot even get beyond the philosophical conundrum of defining "enemy" in any certain terms or whether we ourselves are worthy to exist as we understand ourselves. Meanwhile the "poor insurgents" at the gates thrill to blow themselves to smithereens to further their holy pile-driving mission.
It's all a bad dream, this recent history of ours.
Perhaps, but that doesn't mean it can't be fatal. Western culture fell into a deep, dark slumber and eventually we went comatose when we slowly but surely rejected all traditional values and common sense, to include the Judeo-Christian values that gave birth to the 19th and 20th century golden age of enlightenment and increasing plenty for ever growing numbers of people around the globe. Today the economic machinery continues to grind along but we the former masters of destiny lie beneath it, numb, motionless, and vulnerable.
When capitalism was allowed to become THE hollow foundation of it all, displacing the morality of right and wrong, we lost the tensile strength that would continue to hold us up against the winds of time and the oppression of challengers.
Time to wake up.
Executive summary: No moral fiber, no internal standing against attack. Return to and rebuild the immovable force of a spiritual and moral infrastructure or be pulverized by the irresistible object of a passionate onrushing enemy.