Is the Pope Catholic?

There’s been a lot of commentary about Pope Francis being a commie, mostly from Official Conservatism, which now holds a puerile understanding of both communism and capitalism. Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), is a 2013 apostolic exhortation by Pope Francis that criticizes neoliberal global capitalism, among other topics. American “conservatives” took this mild critique to mean the Pope opposes the new religion of Globalism, so he must be a Marxist, because Marxists are bad.

The thing is, Catholicism has always been opposed, to some degree, to capitalism, particularly certain aspects of what we now call capitalism. The most obvious example is the opposition to usury. Every lecture on the evils of antisemitism contains some reference to the Church forbidding usury. Less well known is the Catholic Church’s embrace of localist economics and politics, in opposition to the internationalism of Soviet communism. The point being, the Church has never been a fan of global capitalism.

The criticism of the Pope on economic grounds says more about the bottomless ignorance of modern conservatism than it does the Pope or the Church. For the Church, any church for that matter, economics are downstream from theology. In fact, economic positions should only matter in so far as how they advance the particular theological points of the faith. Catholicism long attachment to the sovereign authority of the people, naturally leads it to embrace national economics over global economics.

That bit is sure to get some spergy responses from Catholics and Christians, but we’ll deal with that in the comments. The point to take away is that it is perfectly plausible for the Pope to be within Catholic doctrine and oppose the current fads in global economics and not be a communist. The fact that secular defenders of globalism are more hive minded than the clerical critics, suggests globalism has become more of an all-consuming religion than Catholicism. It is international fascism. 

Whether or not the Pope is a globalist is unimportant. What matters is whether or not he is a Catholic. Look at the response from Francis when Trump announced that he was withdrawing the US from the Paris climate deal. The Pope had heavily lobbied Trump in person on the mysteries of climate. He gave him a book pushing the apocalyptic claims of the most unhinged climate fanatics. It’s not unfair to say that the Pope bet a big chunk of the Church’s prestige on this, so naturally he was very angry at the result.

Now, the Pope had a joint presser with Trump on his home turf. Trump has been divorced a few times, has children from a variety of women. He is, by his own admission, a serial adulterer. The Church, at its core, opposes the way in which Trump has lived his life. At their meeting in Rome, the Pope could have taken the time to admonish Trump on these basic theological issues. At the minimum, he could have made the most powerful man in the world blush a bit about his lifestyle, even if he was not willing to be Thomas More.

Of course, the Pope is more than a theologian and spiritual leader. He is a politicians so it is understandable if maybe he would avoid the personal. He could have, however, weighed in on the oppression of Christians and Catholics in the US. That health care bill everyone says is a mess has provisions that compel Catholics to act in a way that contradicts their faith. That should be pretty damned high on the Pope’s list of concerns to be broached with the American President.

It’s not just a question about the Pope being Catholic, or at least prioritizing Catholic theology over his personal theology. The question is whether the Catholic Church is still Catholic. It used to be that the Church was at the forefront of social issues like abortion and homosexual marriage. Today, it is rare to hear anything from the Church on social issues. Instead, in the US at least, the Church is more concerned with maintaining their refugee rackets and defending Gaia from your lawnmower.

We are in a post-Christian world so perhaps it is inevitable that the Catholic Church would be looking around for a way to remain relevant. Attendance at Christian services continues to drop and the median age of self-identified Christians keeps going up. On the other hand, it is not unreasonable to think that maybe what hurts the Catholic Church is that it has stopped being Catholic. There are a million places to hear sermons on Gaia, diversity and other Progressive fads. The Pope is just another voice in the choir.

On Atheism

A useful way to think about faith and belief is to imagine a scale where at one end you have fanaticism and at the other end you have extreme skepticism. The Muslim wearing a suicide vest is down at the fanatic end, while H.L. Mencken was down at the other end with the extreme skeptics. Disbelief is not the opposite of belief. Skepticism is the opposite of belief. The believer is willing to accept, without evidence, the truth of some statement, while the skeptic is unwilling to accept statements without proof.

Atheists will argue that atheism is the opposite of religious belief, but that’s what is called a gratuitous assertion. The atheist believes there is no superior being. They have no proof of this as there can be no proof. In that regard, atheism is illogical as it is something that can never be proved. Christianity, in contrast, can be proved. Christ could show up and confirm the tenets of the faith. The same is true of Islam or Judaism. In other words, even though there is no proof now, there could be proof. That’s not possible with atheism.

My general impression has always been that atheists are a) mugging for attention, b) mostly opposed to Christianity in a subversive way and/or c) not well versed in religion or the role of religion. Bill Maher is a famous atheist because it makes him safely edgy. He gets to be controversial without any risk of controversy. A Penn Jillette, on the other hand, is just angry that his mother died and his prayers were not answered the way he wanted them answered. He’s also arguing from a position of ignorance. He’s just not that smart.

It’s why I don’t find atheists or atheism all that interesting. Most of it is just a pose from people who demand the right to say controversial things, but have nothing controversial to say. They are meta-rebels. These are people who talk about being rebellious and subversive, but never dare color outside the lines. Entertainers are fond of this style of edginess as it safely allows them to flatter their audience’s own egotistic need to see themselves as an avant-garde. Every modern TV comic falls into this category.

The other day I saw on twitter that Richard Dawkins went somewhere to insult Christians and was so proud of his efforts he was tweeting about it. Dawkins is more famous for being a public douche bag now, than he is for his book The Selfish Gene. I chalk this up mostly to the madness that results from trying to square the prevailing orthodoxy with the realities of biology. Dawkins wants to be a beloved public intellectual and an honest man of science. Instead he is an obnoxious provocateur and a public nuisance.

Dawkins claims to be a militant atheist, not just an anti-Christian bigot, but it’s hard to find any evidence to support his claims. He’s careful not to say bad things about Muslims, probably because he enjoys having his head attached to his neck. Similarly, he has been very careful not to upset the Jews. Christians, on the other hand, get no breaks and he seems to go out of his way to offend them. This is true of all atheists. Whether it is because Christians are a soft target or just anti-Christian animus is debatable.

The other day, someone asked me about this clip from the Joe Rogan Show that Cernovich was promoting. The point was to solicit an opinion from me on Cernovich. My reply was “I will not be shocked if one day we learn that Sam Harris has been strangling hookers and burying them in the desert.” I’ve never found Harris very interesting, so I never bothered to watch him. In that ten minute clip, I got the impression that Harris has a lot of demons. I was also reminded that atheist are almost always joyless dickheads.

I was also reminded that Vox Day used to give Sam Harris the business. I no longer remember the details, but I think a few of the alt-right people have taken shots at Harris, who in addition to being an atheist, is a hooting Progressive and an anti-Trumper. That’s a feature of atheism that goes unremarked. Most are Progressives and usually the hard thumping variety. They may not believe in God, but they are bubbling over with belief in the One True Faith. This suggests that maybe atheism is just another facet of Progressivism.

The Prog impulse to root around in the private lives of strangers, imposing their values on everyone, comes from public Protestantism. This is the general belief that societies are judged as a whole, so the faithful have a duty to root out sin and lift up sinners. In the same way, atheists seem to think that their sacred duty is to stamp out Christianity, as if it is a sin preventing mankind from reaching the singularity. It is excessive belief, manifesting as a hostility toward the more conventional expressions of belief.

To be clear, I’m not a believer. I’m down on the end of the scale with Mencken. I don’t know if the Christians are right about a God in heaven, but I don’t know they are wrong either. I don’t know. I can’t know. For all I know we could be a science experiment for some extra-dimensional species. That said, if religious faith brings you happiness, I’m happy for you and wish you the best with it, just as long as you don’t make a nuisance of yourself. In other words, indifference is my preferred position on your religiosity.

I do know I’d never want to live in a world ruled by atheists.

The Reconquest

Anthropology tells us that early modern humans slowly populated what is now sub-Saharan Africa and then began to migrate out into the rest of the world. Whether this was out of curiosity, the search for food or population pressure is unknown, but it was probably some combination of all three. The most likely route was along the western coast of the Red Sea and then into the Eastern Mediterranean. From there, humans slowly fanned out across the globe. It’s all speculation, but that’s the logical route out of Africa.

The point here is the first wave of human migration was south to north. Humans appear to have made it as far north as Siberia and Scandinavia before changes in climate forced people back south again. There are some who think that the populations to the north had acquired better cognitive and maybe even physical tools that allowed them to migrate south and displace the populations in the more temperate zones. The changes in climate had the effect of improving the human populations in Asia and Europe.

That may be debatable, but what is not debated is that large scale human migrations change both the invaded and the invader. The people being conquered are either massacred or bred out by the winning tribes. On the other hand, the invading people tend to borrow things from the conquered people, including genetics from the female line. The Irish say the Vikings took the best looking women with them to Iceland, which is why Icelandic women are some of the most beautiful in the world.

A good example of this may be Islam. Historians have assumed Islam grew out of the polytheistic religions of Arabia in the late 6th century. While the details of Mohamed’s life are not clear, it has generally been accepted that he was a real person, who lived around Mecca in the 6th century. It has been assumed that Islam was an Arab response to the growth of Judaism and various Christian sects. In time, Islam spread through the Middle East, as the Arabs conquered the region.

There’s some interesting revisionism of the origins of Islam and the accuracy of the alleged Arab conquests. This New English Review article from a few years back is a nice summary of it. The archaeological evidence suggests that Islam was a Persian implementation of a Jewish-Christian sect that disappeared after the Council of Nicea in 325. Persian coins from the period, for example, when Mohamed was allegedly leading the Islamification of Arabia, have Christian symbols on them, in addition to Persian symbols.

The revisionist think Eastern Christians migrated into Arabia and Persia. In time, their form of Christianity evolved into a monotheistic religion of the Persians. According to this line of thinking, the Persians actually conquered the region and spread this hybrid Christianity that would evolve into Islam. It was only later, when the Arabs took over for the fading Persians, that the tale of Mohamed was created, as well as the story of the Arab conquests. Islam as an off-shoot of a now extinct form of Christianity is not implausible.

What’s interesting about both approaches to the origins of Islam is the base assumption that it filled a void that existed within Arab populations. Christianity and Judaism were the dominant religions of the Near East, but those people were the hated rivals of the Arabs and Persians. A need for a unifying faith to compete with the monotheism of their rivals was probably understood by Persians and Arab rulers. Religion has always been the business of kings, so it is reasonable to think they encouraged this development.

It’s also interesting that Islam most likely evolved from a mix of Judaism, Christianity and other ancient religions. What may have started out as a Jewish heresy was transformed by the people into a religion that was useful to them. Put another way, Christianity made its way into a less than fertile land, but adapted and mutated until it was something that could thrive. The fact that Islam has not spread too far past the boundaries of the people who created it suggests something about religion in general and Islam in particular.

When you look at what is happening to Europe, there are some similarities to the Arabs and Persians in late antiquity. The attempts to replace Christianity with the sterile bureaucratic super state have largely failed. Falling birth rates and an unwillingness to resist invasion are signs of a people who have no purpose. The average European today lives for carnal pleasures and the acquisition of goods. There’s a void in the center of European life and perhaps Islam is what is going to fill it.

It could very well be that the Muslim invasion of Europe is the end of a cycle that was started by Emperor Constantine when he made Christianity the religion of his empire and bound the Church to Rome. The losers at Nicea wandered off into the desert, presumably to be forgotten, but instead, their decedents are back to reclaim Europe. Like the people who migrated north and then returned ahead of the ice sheets, the Muslims are coming into Europe armed with a purpose, against which the locals have no answer.

Alternatively, maybe the people in charge of Europe, away from the public and the press, know that their people need a religion. Maybe like the Persian king Chosroes II, who historians are sure practiced a form of Christianity, the leaders of Europe are inviting Islam into their lands, even if it means taking in Muslims. After all, the Archbishop of Canterbury seem pretty keen on Islam. It’s unlikely that there is a secret mosque in Brussels for the EU rulers, but maybe they think some form of Islam would not be such a bad thing.

Regardless, we may be seeing the start of a reconquest, of sorts. Instead of Christianity making a come back in the West, it is the forgotten version, the one many think was the first and therefore the correct version of Christianity. Islam as practiced today will never work in Europe, but it could certainly evolve into something that does work. Maybe what’s happening is that the old original form of Christianity is coming back, but first as its foreign incarnation. In time, it will evolve into something the West can use.

Angels and Demons

The general consensus among physical anthropologists is that religion co-evolved with language. By religion, they mean belief, not the highly complex and abstract stuff we now think of as religion. Early humans probably started with supernatural ideas about the forces controlling the parts of the natural world they could see. Then maybe more abstract ideas about what happens to people when they die and the need to properly handle the dead. This is all speculation, but that’s where the evidence seems to point.

Whether or not belief is baked into our genes is debatable, mostly because we don’t know enough about the human genome. The news makes it sound like science has unraveled the mysteries of human DNA and we’re on the verge of creating super babies, but nothing could be further from the truth. There’s also the fact that people continue to insist that believing in Progressive mythology is rational while being a committed Christian is delusional. Once again, Progressive orthodoxy hinders science.

When religion is treated as a subset of mass movements, then the genetic argument for belief becomes more promising. The person who is always caught up in one cause or another is well known. It is not unusual for someone to start out in one thing and end up in its opposite. The Christian, who gets into radical politics and ends up as a spiritual gluten free vegan into hot yoga. Some people are highly prone to getting caught up into mass movements, while others are disinclined to join anything, even when they agree with it.

The true believer latches onto a cause, in part, because of a deep belief in magic or the super natural. The crazy cat lady into aroma therapy will have a long list of wacky reasons why certain smells have magical powers, but it’s still just magic. She does not know. She believes and she gets satisfaction, a psychic reward, by exercising that belief. Half of Iceland believes there are invisible elves on the island, even thought no one has seen an elf. They are invisible, after all. It just feels right to believe they exist.

The ruling class of America seems to be particularly prone to belief in the supernatural, despite their alleged love of science and reason. You see this in their obsession with racism. Our betters talk about racism as if it is a demon spirit. The anointed, invested with the spirit of good-think, are tasked with exhorting the rest of us to resist the Dark Lord of Racism. You see it in this post the other day by VD, regarding the hysteria at Duke Divinity School. Anathea Portier-Young sounds like she is organizing an exorcism.

“Racism is a fierce, ever-present, challenging force, one which has structured the thinking, behavior, and actions of individuals and institutions since the beginning of U.S. history. To understand racism and effectively begin dismantling it requires an equally fierce, consistent, and committed effort” (REI). Phase I provides foundational training in understanding historical and institutional racism. It helps individuals and organizations begin to “proactively understand and address racism, both in their organization and in the community where the organization is working.” It is the first step in a longer process.

Puritan ministers use to talk like that about Satan. Racism is no longer just normal clannishness based on race. Now it is a magical, almost indescribable, force that creeps up on little cat feet to possess the soul of those who are not vigilant. These seminars all have a revival quality to them. The participants are inducted into secret rights that allow them to resist the Dark Lord of Racism and all his works. The exhortation to go forth and preach against the temptations of racism is right out of 17th century Salem.

The late great Eric Hoffer observed that mass movements can get along without a god, but they must always have a devil. Modern Progressives have only a muddled sense of a deity, but they have a devil, as well as a list of lesser demons that do his bidding. Racism is the arch demon in the cosmology of the Left. It is why everything they don’t like is associated with racism. Trump, for example, is one of the least racist guys in public life, but they swear he is the soldier of the Dark Lord of Racism.

The ruins at Göbekli Tepe are interesting for a number of reasons, but one of them is what they suggest about the nature of man. It was assumed that human organization was either out of self-interest or out of a sense of cooperation. It was homo economicus or homo reciprocans. The fact that pre-settlement people came together to build what looks like a religious site, suggests that neither is true. A desire for purpose, beyond the material, may be the force that drives human cooperation beyond the bounds of kinship.

Our ruling class has the same desire for a purpose beyond their extravagant lifestyles as Cloud People. These are people who fully committed to the meritocratic, managerial system. They are true believers. Having abandoned Christianity long ago, the ruling class lurches from cause to cause, looking for a reason to cast themselves as on the side of angels, in the great moral struggle that is the human condition. Lacking a deity, a light to give them purpose, they settle for demons they can slay.

The Death of You

Try to imagine yourself alive during the early middle ages in Britain. It is not an easy thing, of course, as the world of 7th century Britain may as well have happened on another planet, compared to our age. The largest city at the time, for example, was probably Winchester. This was a city of a few thousand people, not tens or hundreds of thousands of people. By modern standards, it was a small village or what developers in America call a town center. Of course, it would have smelled like a restroom at a truck stop.

The Romans tried to recreate the cosmopolitan life they associated with civilization, but it never really took hold in Britain. After the Romans left, things quickly fell back to their natural order. People lived in rural villages. They spent most of their time working the land and tending to the things that agrarian life required. Britain was a tribal society and people lived among their kin, ruled by men who were their kin, or by men who had ruled over their kin for longer than anyone remembered.

Anyway, there you are, covered in dirt and filth, smelling like cabbage, when some weirdos show up and meet with the rulers.  Maybe you saw them come down the road or maybe you heard about them.  All you know is that foreign weirdos have shown up and the people in charge are entertaining them for some reason. Eventually, you and everyone else is rounded up and marched down to the local river where you witness the weirdos dunking the lord in the river, while making weird sounds and pointing toward the sky.

Then, the king’s men force all of the people, including you, to do the same. You are marched out into the river, you are dunked under the water by the weirdos. To your surprise, your family and neighbors seem to be OK with it. They enthusiastically go along with this strange new ritual, even though you know they have no idea what’s happening either. Their confusion is due to fear and their fear tells them to follow along, even though they have no idea what is happening. You do the same. You have been Christianized.

That’s not an unrealistic portrayal of how Britain went from being a pagan land to being a Christian one. The Church set about converting Europe by first converting the kings, nobles and tribal leaders. It could then be the duty and interest of the rulers to force the new religion on their people, which they mostly did. In Britain, Æthelberht of Kent was the first king to accept baptism, around 601. The final kingdom to join the winning team was The Isle of Wright in 686, but the death of Penda in 655 ended paganism in Britain.

Just because the king adopted this new weird religion, did not mean the people fully embraced it. In fact, the ruling class was not entirely on board with Christianity. In order to make the transition easier, the Church gave the early Christians of Britain broad authority to practice Christianity. The goal was to get them on board first and then later enforce theological discipline. The Church was playing the long game so many pagan practices were Christianized to make it easier for the people to convert to the new faith.

Another way that made the conversion smother was for the legends and stories of the old gods carried on with the peasants. That’s where we got English folklore. All of those old legends told in the pagan era were a form of entertainment for the common people. After conversion, they still told stories about magical creatures and heroes, but they left out Woden and Loki, at least as real gods on the same level as the Christian God. They became children’s stories and fairy tales, rather than foundation myths for the people.

The removal of a people’s religion, cuts them off from their past and effectively ends their identity as a people. It was so much more effective to adapt the new religion to the culture and customs of the people being converted. It allowed the people to hold onto their identity by holding onto their past. This is also why the Americans allowed the Japanese Emperor to remain in place after the war. He was more than just a political figure. He was a defining feature of the Japanese people. Liberal democracy was modified for post-imperial Japan.

The point of all this is as it relates to what we see going on in America with the slow removal of Christianity from the culture. The ruling class long ago converted to the new religion of multiculturalism. They have been slowly erasing the old religions from the public institutions and replacing it with their own. Now they have moved into private institutions by forcing Christians to worship at the altar of multiculturalism. The next step, and there are already rumblings, is to force churches to adopt gay marriage or face sanction.

Christianity is not the only religion under assault. The soft, civil religion of Americans, based on equality before the law, individual liberty and the right to be left alone is being erased. The tearing down of Confederate statues is one example. The elimination of freedom of association is another. The rule of law, of course, has been eliminated long ago when the Talmudic parsers cooked up the idea of a living Constitution. The law is now just an endless round of hairsplitting and a morality of convenience.

The toppling over of confederate statues is often seen as a final sweeping up after the Civil War. First they came for the Confederate flags and now they are coming for the statues. Next they will be digging up the graveyards. That’s all true, but it is also an effort to erase America’s past. There are calls to topple over the statue of Jefferson at the University of Virginia.  It will not be long before Washington, Franklin, and the rest of those evil pale penis people, who founded the nation, are ruled out of bounds on moral grounds.

The whole point of the exercise is to cut the people off from their past, by taking away their religion and civil institutions. It’s tempting to think of globalism in purely economic terms, but it is more than that. It is a war on the people who make up nations. It is a direct assault on the very idea of a people. If they can destroy the civil institutions and erase the past, they will destroy the identity of the people and the very rationale for countries. The post-national paradise, therefore, is the post-you world. It is the death of you.

The Great Disconfirmation

In one of his recent communications with the resistance, John Derbyshire mentioned this Joel Pollak column about the demise of the Obama cult. Pollak does not come right out and say it, but Obama was essentially a totem for the Left. His election was not about him or his polices, but instead it was about returning the Ark to the Temple, so to speak. The long war with the bad whites over racial justice was finally won and the blessings of the void where God used to exist would now descend upon the righteous.

As Derbyshire points out, Pollak is not the first guy to notice this as readers of this site certainly know. The only way to properly understand the American Left is to look at it as a civic religion. Because the American Left adopted European anti-Christianity in the 20th century, it is easy to think they are anti-religious. That’s a mistake the Right has made for half a century. The New Religion, what Progressivism is today, evolved out of the Social Gospel Movement, so it carries with it many of the same habits.

The most obvious of those habits is the obsession with public morality. Public Protestantism starts from the assumption that society is judged as a whole. The righteous, like the virtuous in revolutionary France, have a moral duty to raise up the fallen into the righteous life. This is what gives them license to nose around in your business and order you around.  It’s not about fitting the economic pieces together as with European socialists. The American Left is consumed with building the City upon a hill.

Derbyshire makes the point that when a prophecy fails, it is does not mean the end of the religion.

In fact all the hysteria on the left this past few weeks yields to a religious, or pseudo-religious explanation. Clearly some of the same kinds of passions are involved that you find in committed religious believers.

Consider, however, the fact that religions very rarely fail. They just adapt.

Recall the Millerite sect that flourished in the 1840s. William Miller, who founded the sect, predicted the Second Coming of Christ at a certain date. Thousands of followers sold all their belongings and waited joyfully for the day. When nothing happened, Miller just reworked his calculations and set another day … then another.

You’d think a disappointment like that — it was actually called the Great Disappointment — you’d think it would kill a religion stone dead. Not at all. Here’s a historian writing about the Millerites, quote:

Following such a catastrophic failure, one might expect that the Millerite movement would fade away entirely. But that is not what happened. Although the fragmented Millerites languished for some time, and though many did abandon the movement, several of the competing splinter groups would ultimately gain new life. Hiram Edson’s [Millerite] sect … developed into a denomination that still exists — the Seventh-Day Adventists, who today number as many as 15 million members worldwide.

End quote. For truly committed believers, a religious or pseudo-religious passion like that can’t be put aside. It doesn’t fail, it only needs adjusting.

Again, readers of this site know where this is going. The thing that holds together these sorts of movements is an internal psychology that allows them to internalize disconfirmation. There is a famous study in psychology by three guys named Leon Festinger, Henry Riecken and Stanley Schachter. They studied a UFO cult based in Chicago that claimed space aliens were due to arrive on a certain date. When that failed to happen, the cult did not dissolve. It transformed into something else.

That’s an important lesson to keep in mind when watching the antics of the Left of late. Their lunacy is not directed at the rest of us. They don’t care what you or anyone else thinks about what’s happening. Their public acts are about signalling to the rest of the believers. By holding protests and making fools of themselves in a public way, they are providing support for one another as they work through the disconfirmation. Like herd animals, they are huddling together in the face if danger. It is pure instinct.

If they were left to sit alone at home, they would have no one around to help them through their doubts. These are people whose entire sense of self is dependent on the identity of the group, so getting out and “making their voices heard” lets them focus on something other than the disconfirmation. Trump as Hitler provides a short term bridge between the failed prophesy and whatever comes next for the New Religion. They can tell themselves that their faith was not wrong, it was just subverted by mysterious forces, or Hitler.

In the past, Progressive Awakenings were followed by period of hibernation as new missions and causes were conjured by the next generation of believers. The trouble for them this time is there is no obvious replacement for identity politics and social justice. When you’re reduced to championing the rights of mentally ill men in sundresses, you have run out of victims. The nation’s changing demographics also means that identity politics will play against this sort of utopianism.

In the mean time, the rage of the true believers will result in more public displays of incoherent misery. The reason they have no point is they cannot face the cause of their pain. It has nothing to with Trump or his policies. It is an unspeakable rage at having failed to reach the promised land. The rage is a distraction and a source of comfort to the believers as the Cult of Modern Liberalism comes to terms with the great disconfirmation of the last decade. Let’s hope they to make their way through it.

The Face of Modern Antisemitism

In a speech delivered Wednesday, that was supposed to be the pièce de résistance for one of the dumbest men to take up space in the political class, John Forbes Kerry declared himself an anti-Semite. He was not that polite about either. If he had simply said, “I hate Jews” that would be better than what he actually said. Specifically he said, “Israel can either be Jewish or democratic, but it cannot be both.” In other words, he hates the very concept of Judaism, not just a particular manifestation of it.

The implication, the only way to interpret it, is that he thinks Judaism is incompatible with liberal democracy. There’s never been a time when he has hinted at the same argument with regards to Islam. He has not even said this about Christianity. That would be laughably stupid, but Lurch is a laughably stupid man. No, he specifically singled out Judaism for this argument. Judaism is incompatible with democracy. Presumably, he would argue that Jews can either be Jewish or citizens of a democracy, but not both.

Sensible people have pointed out for years that Islam is incompatible with modern liberal democracy. The reason we say this is Muslims regularly say that Islam is incompatible with Western liberalism. Logically, Imams and Muslim scholars are good authorities on these issues so taking them at their word is a good idea. The fact that everywhere Muslims get to vote they go for theocracy confirms these claims. Muslims are not fond of democracy and they really hate modern liberal democracy.

Israel is a Jewish state and a liberal democracy. Christians and Muslims are free to do their thing, as long as they abide by the laws of Israel, which are written by the Israeli parliament. In theory, Israelis could vote to fling open their borders and let the Muslims pour into the country. They can vote for all sorts of things, because it is a democracy, but they choose to be a Jewish state that preserves itself as the homeland of world Jewry. As a sovereign people, that is their right and consistent with western liberal democracy.

John Kerry disagrees. He does not thinks Jews have a place in a liberal democracy, even one of their own. The modern Progressive sees national and ethnic identity as obstacles to the glorious future. It’s why they embrace open borders and multiculturalism. They truly believe that obliterating ethnic and national identity is the key to the lock. Jews are the most stubborn of ethnic groups because they combine race and religion into a single, immutable identity. That simply cannot work in the glorious future.

It was always just a matter of time before American progressives got around to Jew-hating. Once you go down the road of multiculturalism, you eventually end up trying to erase anything resembling cultural identity. Now that you-know-who is far enough in the past, no longer in the rear view mirror for most people, taking on the tree stump of ethnic identity was inevitable. For 2,000 years, Jews have kept their thing going in the West, despite every conceivable attempt to erase them. Now it is the Left’s shot at them.

The End of the High Church

Years ago, I had cause to be at the Episcopal cathedral in Albany for a mass. A friend was being ordained into the church as a priest, so I went up to celebrate the occasion with his family. I noted the subtle beauty of the church, particularly inside. It just oozed tradition, which is quite imposing in the spiritual setting. The outside of the building was rather plain, which is what made the inside impressive. I walked in expecting a utilitarian facility and instead I walked into a beautiful cathedral with arches and stained glass.

The mass was not well attended, despite the fact there were half a dozen people being minted as priests that day. My guess, at the time, was that most of the people were relatives of the condemned. Talking a bit with some people after the mass, I was told that attendance at Episcopal services in the area was down to a sprinkling and most of the regulars were old people. If what I saw in Albany is typical for the church as a whole, I’d bet they are finished in a generation at best. A church without worshipers is a building.

This is a common story with mainline Protestant churches. The local Presbyterian Church is lightly attended and the average age is somewhere in the 60’s. They used to have a grammar school, but that closed. They still run a daycare center, but I suspect that is just a business. They hope that the mothers dropping off their kids will decide to attend services at some point. Until then it is a cash relationship for services rendered. There’s a good chance government subsidies play some role as the kids are mostly black.

Part of what has destroyed the mainline Protestant churches is their full-throated embrace of Progressive lunacy. At my friend’s ordination, three of the people ordained were woman. Judging by the haircuts, all three were lesbians. Gay marriage is a huge issue in these churches, driving off the sensible and leaving only those who see Christianity as a vehicle for Progressive activism. Many of these churches are no longer Christian, as a theological matter. They are just Progressive meeting houses for the deranged.

If you are a normal person, the mainline Protestant churches have nothing to offer but endless lectures about the joys of liberalism. It’s a familiar pattern. First the women take over, then the men leave, except for the guys willing to take orders from the gals. Then the normal women bolt. This boiling off of the sensible eventually leaves the crazies in charge of the organization. Before long the freak flag is hoisted and it is the bar in Star Wars. It’s the pattern we saw with Labour in Britain and the Democrats in the US.

A similar thing seems to be happening in the Catholic Church, which had managed to resist the same fate until recently. The turning point appears to have been the sex scandals, which have been used by the lunatics to push out the sensible. It’s also emptied the pews in many parts of the world, as parishioners simply could not tolerate the handling of these cases. The conservatives in the Church should have gone on the offensive to purge the pink monasteries and the buggerers. Instead they surrendered.

It is hard to know if the Red Pope will live long enough to destroy the Church, but he will certainly cripple it. There is only one good response to the death of Fidel Castro and that is “enjoy hell.” That’s true for the Pope, as well. It’s perfectly fine for the religious to pray for the souls of the wicked, but it is not required. The Pope should be the one guy making that point, but instead he took the opportunity to celebrate the life of a homicidal maniac. The reason is Fidel belongs to the same Church as the Pope – the Communist Church.

What’s happening with the Catholic Church is it is following the same path as the Protestant churches. They are inviting in people from other religions, thinking they will be Catholic first and communist or Progressive second. It never works that way. The secular faith always comes first, which is why you can never find a liberal Catholic, who is pro-life. Their liberal faith will never tolerate opposition to abortion and their liberalism trumps everything else. A man cannot have two religions; one must be dominant.

The demise of the high church in the West was inevitable. Big, highly organized organizations need protection from the state to survive. McDonalds cannot exist without government protection. This is especially true of churches, which often challenge the wishes of the rulers. It’s why the Catholics were willing to cut deals with both communists and fascists. It is why the Orthodox Church supports Putin. No above ground church can exist at war with the ruling class. They always have to cut a deal.

When the the ruling classes of the West began to abandon their Christianity, it was just a matter of time. Students of the French Revolution know that the radical’s hostility to the Church started with economics, but quickly became ideological. As the religion of the Western ruling classes became one version of leftism or another, hostility to the high church was inevitable. It took longer in the US than Europe, but we are well on our way to see the elimination of the main churches.

Breaking: Heretic Apprehended

In case anyone thought the muzzling of dissent was a Continental problem, here’s a story from Britain that is worse than the German story.

An online troll ended up in the dock after posting comments ‘grossly offensive’ to Muslims on a police website.

Dad-of-seven Stephen Bennett, 39, made inflammatory remarks on Greater Manchester Police’s Facebook page, in response to an appeal for information in a sex case with an Asian suspect.

I’ll just note that the internet term “troll” has now been redefined to mean “people who refuse to shut up.” It used to mean “someone trolling for attention.” Now the Progs have defined it to be “the scary little man shouting hate think at the bridge to paradise.”

One comment he made concerned Asian women, another was likely to be offensive to Muslims.

Bennett, of Wythenshawe, also wrote: “Don’t come over to this country and treat it like your own. Britain first.”

He made the comments despite his mother-in-law and sister-in-law being Muslims, his lawyer told the court.

The response sparked outrage from Facebook users who feared his remarks would set people against each other.

When Bennett was arrested by officers in an 8am house call, he said: “Is this about that Muslim thing on Facebook? I’m getting locked up for sticking up for my own country.”

Notice how the writer is astonished that this monster does not like Muslims despite the fact his in-laws are Muslims. In the New Religion, diversity is our strength so there must be something really wrong with this guy. He’s getting a full dose of diversity at the dinner table, yet he remains a racist! Some people are beyond repair so I hope they put him down mercifully. Wouldn’t want his sort infecting others!

Bennett later admitted an offence under the Malicious Communications Act.

His Manchester Crown Court sentencing hearing was told that he was a dad-of-seven who was finding it ‘difficult to cope’ at the time because of the loss of his job, but was now back in work as a cleaner.

His lawyer added that his mother-in-law and sister-in-law were Muslims, and that he was not racist.

But web users who read his posts felt his remarks would fuel tensions.

One Muslim witness told police he was concerned the ‘irresponsible’ comments would ‘incite hatred’ and be a ‘potential tool for radicalisation’.

Another Muslim personally offended by the remarks challenged Bennett online, telling him ‘act your age’.

People in the wider community were also offended, prosecutor Gavin Howie told court, with one female Facebook user describing his remarks as ‘offensive to all women’.

Orwell deleted things like this from his own work as he assumed no one would believe it, even in fiction. The suspension of disbelief can only go so far. We used to mock primitives for carrying on like this. We still do. The accused would be charged with black magic and his accusers would claim to have been given the whammy by the accused. The judge would then consult the court shaman, who would read some goat innards or his star maps and offer up an opinion.

The religious aspect of this is clear. In the New Religion, the happiness of the dusky people is the sign of collective morality. If the muzzies are vexed, then it must be the fault of the honkies for failing to embrace diversity. It’s why the good thinkers take the side of cop killers. Even through the cop is doing an important duty, the unhappiness of the killers, the black ones, is a sign the void where God used to be is unhappy with the people.

You’ll also note that one can be indirectly “offended” by a heretic. Why else include in the story that one Muslim was “personally” offended? It means one can be transitively offended, in the same way one can feel shame for the sins of your society. The concept of “offense” has taken on a spirit form like a jinn. How long before the theocrats demand we affix hex signs on our homes and wear talismans to ward off the racist jinn?

 

My Problem With Atheists

My general impression of Richard Dawkins is that he is an unrelenting d-bag. I don’t know the man and I don’t know much about him. I read his one important book a long time ago and I am more inclined to his side in the great debate between Dawkins and Gould. I think Dawkins is a bit too narrow and reductionist, but Gould is simply afraid to face some tough facts about human biodiversity. None of that stirs much emotion in me. What has always bugged me about Dawkins is his evangelical atheism.

I’m not a religious man and I can’t say I’m a believer, but I’m not an atheist. To be an atheist is to know there is no god and as a matter of simple logic, no one can know that. In the set of things that are possible, no god is one member. A single god is another. Multiple gods is yet another. This set exists in the set of things no man can know, at least not in this life. You can believe, but you cannot know. Christianity incorporates this reality, which is why we have the expression “mystery of faith.”

Now, I accept that many people will disagree with that formulation. Many religious people will argue that they do, in fact, know that God exists because God speaks to them. Many atheists will argue that the lack of a belief in God is the same as believing there is no God. I don’t accept the premise of the former or the logic of the latter, but I don’t care all that much either. I’m indifferent to these things because I don’t have to live with them. I don’t walk around worried about my relationship with God and I don’t worry about your relationship with God, or the lack of one.

What I do know is man is a believing machine. Belief most likely evolved with language, which means it is one of modern man’s defining traits. As is the case with much of evolution, this is a guess, but read enough history and you begin to think it is a damn good guess. There’s never been a time when man did not have strong beliefs about a transcendent order. Even communism is an argument about returning to the natural order. Commies may not believe in God, but they believe they can do his job.

The old saying is that “a man who believes in nothing will fall for anything” and that has been my observation. Humans are built to believe and it is only a question of what they believe and how strongly. Some are deeply devout and others, like me, are over on the skepticism side of the belief range. Those fervent atheist, those devout atheists, are simply believing in something that is just as unknowable and requires as much faith as any formal religion. They just lack the decency to admit it.

Unlike those Christian proselytizers, who knock on my door to tell me the Good News, atheists never fail to let me know they are here to bring the Bad News. Atheists take a great deal of pleasure in making others unhappy. In fact, it seems to be the point of their religion, a religion they never shut up about. I’ve never met an atheist who does not hold his fellow man in contempt. It’s not a reserved contempt either. It’s a public, snotty contempt like you see in this story.

Dawkins has been making war on God for decades hoping that one day God will join the fight. In fact, it’s the reason he gets in the news at all anymore. Like many celebrity scientists, he stopped doing any real work years ago. Now he is just a professional celebrity, who courts the admiration of Progressives by making war of Christians. It’s a shabby way to be famous, but a familiar one. Black Science Guy leveraged his management of an amusement park into wealth and celebrity, by mocking the right people.

Bill Maher is a grubby pervert who got rich running a TV ministry for dimwitted liberals. For those who grew up watching TV preachers, Maher’s act is obvious. His show is church for moonbat shut-ins. Dawkins is on the show not because Maher or his audience understands a thing about genetics or biology. No, the point is to have a show where the atheists jeer at those who believe in God. Pagans lit fires and sacrificed animals to please their gods. Atheists jeer at Christians to please themselves.

Atheism is a religion for those incapable of selflessness, but obsessed with venerating themselves anyway. It’s a religion for those who want grace on the cheap. The major world religions make demands of the adherent. The Mohammedan believes Allah commands him to act in specific ways. Christians believe God has specified rules for those who accept Christ into their life. There’s no one to make such demands on atheists, so they make demands on everyone else. It’s why they always have a look on their face like they just detected a bad odor. You’re not meeting their standards.

That’s my problem with atheists. I don’t care what you believe as long as it does not ruin the limited amount of time I have on this earth. I would not care about Islam if not for the fact Muslims tend to explode in public places. Similarly, I would have nothing to say about atheism if not for the fact atheists go out of their way to be such raging public douche bags. I would have no reason to think about Richard Dawkins, but he keeps showing up to make sport of those who believe in God. That makes him a giant douche, which appears to be only point of atheism.