Journalist James P. Gannon offers a bracing picture of what happens when secularism takes hold of a civilization in “Is God Dead in Europe?,” published in USA Today.

Consider these observations:

“Common wisdom has it that alcoholics outnumber practicing Christians and that more Czechs believe in UFOs than believe in God — and common wisdom may be correct,” wrote Nate and Leah Seppanen Anderson in a Prague Post commentary; he’s a freelance writer, and she’s a political science professor at Wheaton College in Illinois and a specialist in Czech politics and society. Surveys show a sharp decline in church attendance and religious practice in most European countries. A series of Eurobarometer surveys since 1970 in five key countries (France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy) shows that regular church attendance fell from about 40% of the population to about half that figure. Declines were sharpest in predominantly Catholic nations.