While the Romans were having orgies in bathhouses and cheering on the gladiators in the Coliseum, armies they dismissed as barbarians were gathering on the borders of their decaying empire preparing to strike. The glorious civilization their ancestors created was on the brink of ruin. They were on the edge of darkness but didn’t realize it.
Today we stand on the edge of darkness. The barbarians that swell the ranks of ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda and all the other variations of militant Islam are gathering on the borders of the great empire of Western Civilization. And just like the Romans, too many of us are oblivious to the threat we are under.
On the same weekend when Americans flocked to theaters to help a sadomasochistic soft porn movie dethrone the Passion of the Christ as the largest grossing film in the month of February, ISIS terrorists released a video in which they beheaded 21 Coptic Christians in front of the entire world. Soon Americans will distract themselves with the thrills of the March Madness college basketball tournament while ISIS continues its march toward Baghdad and Boko Haram spreads it’s madness in Africa.
The Romans – both their leaders and the people themselves – were too distracted by things that didn’t matter to focus on the things that did matter – those things that were necessary to maintain their way of life and ultimately, their very survival. Today our leaders and too many of us are distracted by things that do not matter. Entertainment and sports have their place, but when Americans are more informed about the lives of the Kardashians or the latest top 25 college basketball poll than they are about the events that are dragging the world into World War III, we have a problem.
Worse still are political leaders that remain focused on the same old partisan battles and attempts at domestic transformation. Our president seems strangely robotic in his statements (to the extent that he comments at all) in the wake of each successive atrocity committed by the barbarians that threaten the very civilization he leads. One does not glean any sincere outrage from him in the face of such unspeakable evil. He shows far more passion when confronting his domestic political enemies than he does when addressing those foreign entities who threaten America and America’s allies.
But Obama is not alone among Western leaders when it comes to an underwhelming response to this growing threat. The nations of Europe are well on their way to becoming vassal states to the emerging Islamic caliphate. Trapped in the box of political correctness into which they have placed themselves, the native populations of Europe have shown themselves unwilling to stop their own destruction. They would rather die with the reputation of having been friends to all Muslims than live with even the slightest suggestion that they are in any way Islamophobic.
Sadly, that same suicidal tendency is creeping into America. But our larger problem, and one that could ultimately lead to our demise, is our willful ignorance and indifference to the growing dangers in the world around us. If we don’t wake up soon, the barbarians will be at our gates and they will bring with them a darkness not seen since the dismal centuries following the fall of Rome.