America was settled by colonists from the British Isles. In 1789, two centuries after Jamestown and Plymouth Rock, we were 99 percent Protestant. Until the Irish came in 1845, there was almost no immigration. Even during the Great Wave of 1890-1920, the number of immigrants was a fraction of the 38 million here today. And all had come from Europe. By 1960, we were almost 90 percent European and more than 90 percent Christian — of one nationality, American, one language, English, and one culture.

That America is gone forever

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Last week, we learned that in the last seven years 10.3 million people, almost all from the Third World, entered the United States, more than half illegally. The nation that was one-tenth minority in 1960 is now one-third minority. European-Americans will soon be a minority in the nation, as they are today in California, Texas and most large American cities.

And when that day comes, what then will unite us as a people?

Certainly not religious faith, for the last 40 years has seen a large influx of Muslims, the rise of a rabid secularism and the break-up of Christian churches — the Episcopalians most recently — over issues of morality: abortion, civil unions, homosexual bishops, assisted suicide, stem cell research, Darwin, creationism. No longer are we united by a common language, as the fastest growing radio and TV stations are Hispanic. And certainly not culture, as we are in a cultural war over history, heroes and holidays.

And how can we say diversity is a strength, when the most diverse nations of Europe, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, shattered into 22 nations as soon as they became free, and Slovaks and Czechs divorced? Ethnic and linguistic diversity is now pulling Belgium apart, as they tore Cyprus in two.