A Love Letter To France

With all the France bashing going around, Rod Dreher explains why even Jacques Chirac and Dominique de Villepin can’t ruin France.

Now, this doesn’t mean they aren’t treacherous creeps. In many ways, they have put their own civilization at risk. They have discarded their Catholic religion. They have let so many Muslim immigrants into their country that they now find it difficult to stand up to Islamic terrorism. In their pride, they are trashing their relationship with the only country capable of fighting effectively for Western civilization and its values against the barbaric Islamic onslaught. If more of our troops die trying to fight Saddam in the sandstorms that have now begun in the desert, it will be partly France’s fault for causing these delays. Tarte tatin or a good bottle of Bordeaux can cover a multitude of sins, but not these, not this time.

But I can’t hate France, and when this ugly time passes, I’ll be back. I’ve got a little boy of my own now, and rather than just tell him about the wonders of France, as Aunt Lois and Aunt Hilda did for me, I’m planning to take him there one day and show him. I want him to see the cathedral at Chartres, the experience of which first stirred me to seek Christian faith (wondering what kind of religion would inspire men to build something so magnificent to the glory of God). I want him to see the castles of the Loire Valley, the vineyards of Bordeaux, and the graveyard at Normandy, where so many of his countrymen died to make France free. I want him to see Paris, the world’s most beautiful city, and the bridge over the Seine where his father kissed his mother one warm spring evening when they were first in love, and to walk over to Berthillon on the Ile St-Louis to taste the best ice cream in the world. France is for him to love too, and not even the perfidious pomposities of Dominique de Villepin can take that from him.

I feel rather the same way. France is a magnificent country with beautiful architecture, great food, and centuries of history. Which makes it all the more sad that it has to be ruled by such self-serving, short-sighted, and morally deficient leaders.

5 thoughts on “A Love Letter To France

  1. A good article that shows the difference between French diplomacy and French culture. I cheer on France’s world class soccer team, watch a good number of French films, and listen to a fair amount of French rap. That does not mean that I necessarily like Chirac, De Villepin, and Sarkozy.

    And the fact is most Americans who are leading the anti-French charge have never been there, and have a grasp of history that a 4th grader would find childish.

    One thing bothered me though, the comment on immigrants. The fact is that France is a multi-cultural nation. You have roughly 2 million black people (of either West African or West Indian descent) 5-6 million North African Arabs, and substantial numbers of Southeast Asians as well. Many have lived their for 3 generations, some longer. To label any muslim who enters France as an immigrant it really to side with the likes of Le Pen. If you look at French sports, films, and music, it is very diverse, a good microcosm of the new Modern France. French politics is a good ole boys club, dominated by the old guard of lilly white beret wearing Frenchmen.

    Also when considering the multi-cultural question, look at France’s 4 overseas departments, Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, and Reunion are equal to the French mainland, just like Hawaii and Alaska are to the lower 48. Being French does not just mean being from mainland France or Corsica.

  2. We saved France twice? When was the second time? If you are refering to World War I, you are sadly showing that you have a typical american ignorance of history.

  3. “Since then we’ve saved that country twice and gave them nukes and elevated them to the security council. And now they hate us.”

    When the UN was established, it was ruled that there would be five permanent members of the Security Council with veto power- and France, at the time, was an obvious choice. Most of the powers that are more deserving today (India, Germany, Brazil, Japan) were either colonies or were under foreign occupation.

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