I am worried that we, whose religious beliefs vary from none to the "ethical culture" mind set of Unitarians, Liberal Christians, Reform Jews, and Westernized Zen Buddhists, can never compete successfully against absolutely TRUE BELIEVER zealots willing to sacrifice their lives at a moment's notice. And, many of them are at least as smart and inventive and industrious as the best of us. How can we ever win? Will we understand this battle will not be over for decades? Will we just "put our head in the sand" and hope for the best?
I have similar concerns. But, let's take a step back both in space and time and be philosophical about a doomsday (or doom century) scenario. Historically, there is no reason for us to expect that any civilization be permanent. Extremely powerful empires like the Roman, Greek, Macedonian and Assyrian have fallen for a myriad and reasons. In more recent times we have seen the Soviet Union, the British Empire and Yugoslavia fall.
We find ourselves in a situation in which the barbarians are at the gates and our allies are weakening. I say barbarians because the forces involved are all anti-liberty, whether they be China, North Korea, Al-Qaeda, Persian, etc. Given the long view of history and the political model of what is happening in Europe, it isn't unreasonable to assume that democracy will be submerged by totalitarian regimes.
My question is this. Is it possible to accept doom without gloom? If so, how? As individuals, we accept that our lives are of finite duration without living our lives in a state of depression. Is sticking one's head in the sand actually a rational national policy such as engaged in by France and Germany?