Islam Through the Looking Glass: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J. B. Kelly, Vol. 3 edited by S. B. Kelly
The Real Nature of Religion by Rebecca Bynum
As Far As The Eye Can See by Moshe Dann
Threats of Pain and Ruin by Theodore Dalrymple
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2 edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1 edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy Emmet Scott
Anything Goes by Theodore Dalrymple
The Left is Seldom Right by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion by Rebecca Bynum
The Bee and the Lamb
by Takuan Seiyo (December 2011)
Toward a greater mugging onto eternity (continued )
A societal prescription of living a saintly life in the Jesus mode welcomes the looting of everything the West has and is by the great masses of the Third World with two feet already in the door. It cannot fend off global jihad, North Korea or China. It skirts modern economic reality in which wealth is the reward of productive competition, and capital has no religion but flows to where the returns are highest. What Nixon and other sincere Christians prescribe is self-liquidation with a beatific smile.
A case to ponder is George Price, the subject of The Price of Altruism: George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness. A genius, Price dedicated the latter portion of his life to explaining acts of kindness and altruism within the ostensibly contrary framework of Darwin’s evolutionary principles. He even wrote the Price Equation that explained it mathematically – a feat no one before him had managed.
In 1970, Price, a sworn atheist like most Darwinians, had a religious experience. He became obsessed with the New Testament and decided to follow Jesus. He opened his house to the homeless and, to help them, gave away most of his possessions. What he didn’t give away, they stole as he was watching. Finally, he was evicted from his rented place. In 1975, the 53 year old Price – homeless, destitute and ill --committed suicide.
The United States and Great Britain are already partially evicted from their respective homes by self-inflicted alien hordes, and are now destitute and ill too. While the socialist paternity of this syndrome receives much coverage on the Right, the Christian maternity has been a matter of discreet silence.
The most destructive U.S. Senator in modern history, Ted Kennedy, was an observant Catholic who wrote in his autobiography, "My faith, and the love of following its rituals, has always been my foundation and my inspiration.” His first Senate speech was to endorse the 1964 Civil Rights Act – a law that not only freed Blacks from unjust discrimination but replaced the concept of equal opportunity with government-enforced equal outcomes for unequals, hence a bleak future for all in a Parallel Universe la-la land.
Ted Kennedy was also the motor of the 1965 Immigration Act. He reviled its critics as "un-American" bigots evincing "hate of our heritage." The quick 1964/65 one-two punch combination ensured that America would have a Third World population to go with its soft-in-the-head ideology. Yet Kennedy is lionized profusely to this day, including in Catholic media.
Three times in recent memory, committed Anglo-Christian presidents drove America to a staggered ruin in the service of their religious precepts, and three times similarly oriented prime ministers so drove Great Britain. Recounting the full list of woes inflicted on America by Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter and on Great Britain by Attlee, Blair and Brown is beyond the scope of this work. The former being well known to the American reader, and the semi-forgotten Clement Attlee (1) requiring too much exposition, we’ll omit them here.
Tony Blair, who set Great Britain onto its path of dhimmified dissolution, is a committed Christian who has spoken of the importance of his faith in his life almost as much as his soul mate in the White House has. Gordon Brown, the most delusional prime minister in post-Attlee British history, is a “Presbyterian from cradle” who has flaunted his Christian vision in politics. But since the fantastic damage wreaked by George W. Bush alone would fill a thick book, a small W sample will do for our purpose here.
The “religiously-informed” centrist website “First Things” misses Bush because of his affection for America, lack of hate for his opponents, no haranguing of the people, and a manifest belief that Americans are inherently decent and heroic. This was a comment from “Bill”:
“I believe George W. Bush loved God. I can’t think of anything that explains his patience, forbearance and love of us. I recall the way he met with every fallen soldier’s family to thank them and grieve with them and did it out of the spotlight [snip]. He came to a point in his life where he chose to serve God rather than himself and recognized and accepted his complete dependence on God [snip]. The Left despised the sight of Pres. Bush. I love him.”
Genuinely decent and Christian man though George W. Bush is, it appears not to register with millions of his kindred fans that he ruined the United States. In his eight years in the White House, Bush started and did not finish two ruinous wars to bestow freedom, democracy, tolerance and $3 trillion in American taxpayer’s wasted treasure on unwilling and unable Mohammedans. Instead of acting on the real causes of 9/11 terror –Islam and Muslims’ access to the United States, and the corrupted functioning of PC-mad CIA and FBI -- he just threw enormous gobs of money at the problem, and voided hard-won civil liberties of a complacent sheeple.
Bush sanctioned the building of a giant new bureaucracy, DHS [Number of employees: 200,000+, Primary mission: “Diversity”]. During his tenure, the funding for homeland security increased from $19.5 billion to $70 billion (2). Much of that for salaries to people who confiscate the toothpaste of retired octogenarian Scots-Irish Lt. Generals and conduct breast milk interrogations of Evangelical Marines’ wives at America’s 450 commercial airports while hosting receptions to celebrate Ramadan. In addition to the direct costs, indirect costs of this to the economy have been over $4 billion a year.
Veto pen permanently glued to his pocket, Bush enlarged the size and cost of the government more than any president had since Lyndon Johnson (by some reckoning since FDR). He was responsible for an 83% increase in federal spending and added $1.55 trillion to the federal debt while lowering taxes too, as though America could walk on water and hoist canons at the same time. By 2009, his “compassionate” Medicare drug benefit initiative alone was piling over $60 billion a year onto the federal deficit.
Unsustainable expenditures were anchored in W’s faith-based (a prominent Bushism) delusions. He pushed the “minority homeownership” agenda, thus contributing to the subprime mortgage crisis and collapse of the U.S. financial system. Perhaps the clearest indication of the crazed “faith-based” mindset is in the speech Bush gave in June 2002 at a black church in Atlanta. Excerpts:
“We've got a problem here in America [snip]. Too many American families, too many minorities do not own a home. There is a home ownership gap in America. The difference between Anglo America and African American and Hispanic home ownership is too big. [snip] By the year 2010, we must increase minority home owners by at least 5.5 million. [snip]
The single greatest barrier to first time homeownership is a high downpayment. [snip] That's why I propose and urge Congress to fully fund the American Dream Downpayment Fund. This will use money, taxpayers' money to help a qualified, low income buyer make a downpayment. [snip] That's why I've challenged the industry leaders [snip] to [snip] achieve a more secure America, by achieving the goal of 5.5 million new minority home owners.
[Snip] Fannie May and Freddie Mac [etc.] will increase their commitment to minority markets by more than $440 billion. [snip] They will purchase more loans made by banks after Americans, Hispanics and other minorities, which will encourage homeownership. Freddie Mac will launch 25 initiatives to eliminate homeownership barriers. [snip] Consumers with poor credit will be able to get a mortgage with an interest rate that automatically goes down after a period of consistent payments. Fannie Mae will establish 100 partnerships with faith-based organizations that will [snip] increase homeownership for their congregations. I love the partnership.”
It’s impossible for a non-Looter American to read this impassively, knowing that Bush’s beloved Fannie and Freddie instruments of “racial justice” are a black hole that cost the U.S. taxpayer $141 billion so far, and no end is in sight as they have $5.6 trillion in combined liabilities. Every quarter, this dynamic duo loses an 11-figure sum of U.S. taxpayer’s dollars and demands (and gets) more. In the first quarter of 2011 alone, Fannie lost $8.7 billion and Freddie lost close to $1 billion.
Bush’s penultimate line in that speech was, “To me, that something greater than yourself is to love a neighbor like you'd like to be loved yourself. In order to change America and to make sure the great American Dream shines in every community, we must unleash the compassion and kindness of the greatest nation on the face of the earth.” His love-thy-Mexican-neighbor agitation for illegal aliens’ amnesty was permanently at fever pitch even as contemporaneous studies and plain common sense warned of dire consequences (3).
It’s not surprising therefore that when B. Hussein Obama was preparing to push America’s creaky hull for reasons laid down by Saul Alinsky, Bill Ayers et al. down the skid ramp built by G.W. Bush, it was de rigueur that he announce, "I felt I heard God's spirit beckoning me." He elaborated further, 20 months after his effort at converting America into a Black Liberation Jerusalem had begun: “The precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me.”
Christianity has turned into Origen Christianity involving self-castration. The intersection of this suicidal code with politics transpires almost daily. Memorably so when U.S. Senate Democratic candidate (and now Senator) Chris Coons promised to bring Yale University Divinity School’s values to the Senate. To check what values they might be, let us peek at YDS’s course roster/ reading list. Here are some of the offerings of the divine curriculum:
Rel 668 - Race, Tribe, Hue, representative required reading: Prejudice and Christian Beginnings edited by Laura Nasrallah. Nasrallah’s web page at the Harvard Divinity School informs of her special interest in “issues of colonialism, gender, status, and power.” Another mandatory book bears the juicy title Postcolonial Feminist Interpretation of the Bible, by Dube.
Rel 715 - Intro to Christian Ethics II, representative required reading: God of the Oppressed by James Cone. Cone is the Black Liberation theologian whose Jesus-is-Black, Destroy-Whitey proposition and other assorted Marxist Negrophile gobbledygook have won him a distinguished professorship at New York's Union Theological Seminary and fame as a fount of inspiration for Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s spiritual mentor.
Rel 740 - Martin Luther King Jr.: Religious and Civil Rights. More James Cone and other ultra-progressive, Whitey- flagellating stuff.
Rel 749 - Feminist/Womanist/Gendered Theologies, representative required reading: Mujerista Theology by Ada Maria Asisi-Diaz. The book wraps Marxism, radical feminism and postcolonial anti-White radicalism into one neat “Christian” package.
Rel 834 - James Baldwin: Religious Writer And Social Critic. Comment unnecessary but remember: this is a divinity school.
Rel 882 - Cultural Diversity, Islam, Women, and Globalization. Comment unnecessary but remember: this is a Christian divinity school.
Rel 881 - Religious Dimensions of the Middle East Peace Process. “Islam light” Muslim apologetics with books by Muslim academics Abdul Aziz Said and Seyyed Hossein Nasr.
Rel 922 - Just Hospitality, representative required reading: Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire. City Journal’s Sol Stern described this book as “a utopian political tract calling for the overthrow of capitalist hegemony and the creation of classless societies.”
Something happened to turn Christianity of all stripes into the equivalent of computer malware. You click on Transcendence, Marxism enters between the synapses. You click on Redemption, self-termination code seeps into the security holes of your Operating System. You click on Meaning of Life, you get infiltrated by putrid postcolonial masculinity-hating GLBT anti-White pop-up poop. You log on to Savior, you find Stuxnet.
It’s time to check the condition of the firewall. Something is wrong.
Between Jhvh, Jesus, Janus and Jutta (4)
As they graze in the postmodern world among the Mega-Looters, Massive Crooks, Multiculti Loons, Mendacious Marxists, Militant Muslims, Metamorphosed KGBsters, Mao-Confucian Capitalists, Pierced Polymorphic Perverts, Barbarians with iPads, Programmed Consumer Clones and Corporate Drones, the confused ontology of Christianity’s Holy Lamb practitioners (they of Blake’s Jerusalem) is perhaps exceeded only by their disoriented epistemology.
For practicing Christians, if Jesus Christ is who we believe Him to be, we must follow what the Evangelists – i.e. fallible, unknown and unknowable 1st century Middle-Eastern Jews and Seleucid Greeks with private agendas, character warps and consciousness leaks specific to their time and place wrote 30-80 years after His crucifixion. If we go another 250 years forward, i.e. the first ecumenical council, in Nicaea, the actual Jesus who lived and died has receded much farther, and the fallible, invented agendas of the religious politicians arrogating His name have multiplied manyfold. The origination and therefore divine origin problems of the much older Old Testament are even greater (5).
Superior brains have engaged in this issue at least since Thomas Jefferson and, before him, Isaac Newton. By now, supercomputer algorithms and the most sophisticated methods of textual and historiographic analysis have been brought to bear too. None of this seems to have penetrated into the skulls of church leaders, let alone their dwindling flock, even though a plausible case can be made that even if God did not actually appear to Moses, Jesus was not actually God, and Mary was not actually a virgin [for that you need to understand what the Hebrew word alma means], God had still chosen them and operated through them. And that God may not wear a toga and a white beard but manifest as a conscious homeostatic loop immanent in every particle in the Universe and vibrating it in a beautiful music of the celestial spheres too slow for us to apprehend as each beat lasts 500 years.
Moreover, no revisionism can take off one iota from the magnificence of the Bible –surely the greatest literary creation and most inspired, probably even God inspired, moral document in all of history. But that’s inspired, not dictated. And inspired into ancient, unknown writers, with all their human warps.
A semantic symptom of the mental fog in the Anglosphere is the constant reference to “our Judeo-Christian” heritage, values, civilization and so on. It’s a false meme. The Jewish inheritance embedded in Christianity is an indispensable moral and theistic foundation stone of Western Civilization, but together they make for only two of five, the other ones being Greek, Roman and pre-Christian Northern European.
That there are major Roman elements in our culture anyone with one semester of law school, Romance languages, Civil Engineering or Government 101 will attest to readily. The Roman ideals of virtue, manliness and patriarchal order sustained Western society until the mid-20th century.
As to the Greeks, the great German classical scholar Werner Jaeger called our civilization Hellenocentric. The Greek form of ennobling, acculturative education, paideia, was once the forming template for a ruling elite as recently as Victorian England and pre-1930s proto-WASP America. Paideia is now a quaint word and forgotten concept, which is why we no longer have a Praetorian Guard. We are ruled by moronic clowns or clever pillagers, and know no better.
A minor recent media event involving the word paideia allows a glimpse of the confusion of history and values in the source of “Judeo-Christianity” itself: Judaism. It was a television interview with Barbara Lerner-Spectre, the founder of Paideia Institute in Sweden dedicated to the revival of European Jewish culture. The name is a singularly maladroit appropriation, for if there is something that paideia is not, it is Jewish culture.
Paideia, per Werner Jaeger’s magnum opus (translated by Gilbert Highet as Paideia: The Ideals of Greek Culture) was the educational process shaping Greek youngsters into worthy carriers of liberty, noble character, martial valor and love of beauty. Thus raised, a free Greek man was to be Kalos kagathos, handsome and brave. The same ideal may be found in the chivalry code and training of medieval European knights and in the samurai code of bushido.
The paideia ideal was resurrected again in the school that the father of French equitation, Antoine de Pluvinel, opened in Paris in 1594 for sons of the highborn. It was ostensibly an académie for teaching horsemanship, but Pluvinel has a place in the pantheon of Classical Humanists not only because of his gentle methods of handling the horse but because his school imparted also the arts of fencing, painting and music-making, proper attire and comportment, good manners, mathematics, classical and modern languages, poetry, literature and history. Some form of that survived well into the 20th century in the British public schools and their American equivalents, and in the Swiss private schools for the rich.
The traditional Jewish form of acculturative education, on the other hand, has focused since ancient times on mastery of the canon of the Torah and its exegesis in the Talmud, Mishnah and Gemara. It has served over the centuries to preserve the legacy of Judaism. As a side effect, it’s probably the core reason for the 12-15 points that separate the mean IQ of Ashkenazi Jews from that of their neighbor white Christians. For traditional Jewish education was akin to attending law school from the age of five.
The curriculum, still mandatory in Orthodox Judaism, encompasses 613 Torah commandments (mitzvot) from Jhvh, seven more added by later rabbis, positive and negative injunctions, attenuating and nullifying circumstances, precedents of rabbinical jurisprudence and opinion, plus endless canonical arguments interpreting all those in dozens of volumes. What it does not do is teach valor, appreciation of beauty, and nobility of character. It also does not anymore, except on the esoteric margins like the Kabbalah, carry a direct experience of the transcendent God.
Less than 50% of Western Jews have any attachment to their religion now. The imperative of loving God evolved for most into an imperative of doing good. A wholesome spiritual precept was eventually perverted by “progressivism” into a leftist egalitarian and West-deconstructing ideology. Western Jews’ major cultural group trait now is secular activism to make the world a “better” place by supporting parties and policies that carry out the redistribution of power and wealth from the achievers to the slackers, from Whites to the not-so, and from the First World to the Third. As though there were no unintended consequences.
And so we arrive at a Judaic Paideia that’s not just confused in what it is and what it cannot be, but actively peddles repellent monstrosities. In the interview, Ms. Lerner-Spectre, complete with the facial and mental ticks of Nancy Pelosi, said this:
“There is a resurgence of anti-Semitism because [snip] Europe has not yet learned how to be multicultural. And I think we [Paideia?] are going to be part of the throes of that transformation, which must take place. Europe is not going to be the monolithic societies they once were in the last century. Jews are going to be at the centre of that. It’s a huge transformation for Europe to make. They are now going into a multicultural mode and Jews will be resented because of our leading role. But without that leading role and without that transformation, Europe will not survive.”
It’s the exact opposite. Europe will not survive Lerner-Spectre’s and her “Paideia’s” ministrations. Packaged into her lunacy with an astonishing lack of awareness is the probability of a future civil war in Europe and a holocaust for the remnants of Europe’s Jewry. Were she to succeed, the 1.5 million European Jews would face the violent hostility of soon-to-be 80 million European Muslims. Moreover, the Jews will have earned the implacable hatred of many millions of Europeans who would be blaming them, collectively, for their vaunted “leading role” in foisting the multiculti Islamo-African disaster on their continent.
We have here a people widely hailed for its outstanding mental powers yet courting self-extinction with the persistence of imbeciles. Huang Po, the 9th century Chinese Zen master, perhaps had such a syndrome in mind when he said, “The wise reject what they think, not what they see. The foolish reject what they see, not what they think.”
Alas, all mainstream Christianity is hitched to the same wagon. Volumes could be written about this, but we can adduce here just a few examples:
A little-known root of the “Building Jerusalem” progressive Christian madness may be found in this March 16, 1942TIME Magazine reportabout a resolution of 30+ Protestant denominations in favor of one world government, a “democratically controlled” world bank, worldwide freedom of immigration, strong limitations on national sovereignty, international control of all militaries, and so on.
As to the Southern Baptist Church, the Vdare.com blog keeps noting that it is now part of the “Treason Lobby.” For Lutherans, to hop an ocean, one might read an article whose headline, if I wrote it, would read “Swedish Lesbian Loon Bishop Driving Nails Into Her Country’s Outstretched Hands” -- though it reads differently in Danish (English translation at Gates of Vienna).
Elsewhere in the Christian asylum, the Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori , thepresiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, wrote a missive entitled “We must join immigration dialogue,” replete with fraudulent bromides like “our biblical tradition” and misapplied quotes from Isaiah in support of a mad dogma that’s destroying the United States and all western and quasi-Christian countries.
The Roman Catholic Church is no better. A section of the Vatican is called “Justice and Peace” as though it were a division in Eric Holder’s Afrocentric Latino Reconquista Department of Justice. To see how far the American RCC will go to line up behind any alien Catholic no questions asked, and against the polity of the American people, one might delve into this account of Cardinal Mahoney’s Los Angeles.
One cannot help but think of Nietzsche’s thesis that Christianity was a Trojan horse wheeled into the Roman Empire by Paul in order to destroy it. Indeed for a long time now, proto-Nazi thinkers have homed in on this idea. Those particularly afflicted by the Jew-hate virus, from Hitler through Julius Evola to Revilo Oliver to current White Supremacist groups proclaim that Christianity is a harmful Jewish import that the West had better discard, or die the death of eunuchs. The proposed replacement is usually some version of the Nazi formula: a synthesis of Rome and Nordic paganism.
But things are not so simple. As comforting as such magic serums may seem, life in pre-Christian Europe was short, brutal and dehumanizing in the extreme, even in the evolved Greek and Roman cultures.
The classical scholar Sara Ruden has delved into original Greek and Latin texts to describe in her Paul Among the People the 1st century world to which Paul brought his message of divine love and moral restraints. Slaves were considered on a par with dogs. Slave boys served for anal sex in a widespread and explicitly sadistic practice with dehumanizing intent. Babies were a disposable commodity, often killed by exposure. Commoners and slaves were subject to barbaric punishments, crucifixion by no means the cruelest one.
Paul’s counsel of meekness and forbearance has to be seen in the context of the congenital impulsiveness of that era’s people, with emotion channeled instantaneously into violence begetting further violence. Hatred and revenge were matters of pride and approbation. Stabbing, strangling and poisoning were normal ways of resolving disputes.
Paul’s railing about sorcery may seem fanatical in our age of pandering to “authentic” primitivism, until one has Ruden as a guide to what sorcery meant in the Greco-Roman context. She brings up the Roman poet Horace's description of a small boy buried up to his neck and left to starve to death while staring at food, so that his liver and bone marrow imbue with his frenzied longing, to better serve as an aphrodisiac.
The Christian message, distilled from Judaism but dispensing with the latter’s myriad rules, offered a way from barbaric brutality and enslavement to human dignity and freedom. Life in a post-Christian West brought to pre-Christian norms would remove the “civil” from “civilization.” Moreover, it was Christian inspiration that built this culture, so magnificent that it’s still coasting supreme on the strength of past glory, even though for much of the past 100 years it has done little more than smear feces on itself, science excepted.
The Mystical Nativity, Sandro Boticelli, 1501
But rescue is not to be found at the other pole, either. The kind of traditionalism that yearns for a pre-Enlightenment golden Church past that never was is playing a similar make-believe game. It’s a losing proposition to return to princely status for bishops, trials for cats and pigs as agents of Satan, burning witches, impaling Jews and mowing down other Christians because they cross themselves differently, as is the denial that this was once the Christian practice, from which only the Enlightenment rescued us. Here, a look at Estonia may again provide food for the Anglophone’s thought.
The second lesson of Estonia’s history is that a people can reconcile with their complex and far from unsullied history and tradition without the compulsive picking at wounds and other Reality-distorting rubbish that characterizes the West’s Hamletian moral and spiritual contortions.
Yes, the Christianizing process was brutal and full of ulterior motives. But the Baltic tribes themselves were no pure and noble innocents. The Estonians, Livs, Letts, Semgallians, Curonians, Lithuanians et al. were raiders, pillagers, slavers and killers – of each other. They were human predators glorifying plunder. Their pagan religion sustained this dog-eat-dog ethos. Their sacred groves saw human sacrifices and infanticide. All this had once been common across Northern Europe, but in the Baltics it persisted through the 13th century (6).
Masochistic falsification of history (7) for the sake of moral cleansing and the “building of Jerusalem” so prized particularly in the Anglosphere voids the wisdom that comes from understanding the truth. Wearing sackcloth year round because of what remote white predecessors did to the Igbo, Iroquois or Inca is terminal idiocy inverting the lessons of history into a scourge for self-flagellation. Eastern Europeans (and all non-Western peoples) don’t make a big fuss about wrong turns they have taken in the past.
Estonians do not allow that disaffected minorities or utopian moralists beat society into submission with tales of Estonian Reds who fought for Stalin’s evil or Estonian Waffen SS volunteers who fought for Hitler. That pre-empts the white Mea Culpa cult, now decimating the West. As to Christianity, Estonia has gratefully taken all the good it can offer, without dwelling much on how it was imposed.
The Church, Lutheran since 1524, was of relatively little importance, except for its major contribution to basic education. But with the revival of Estonian nationalism in late 19th century, it had become what the scholar Andrew R. Hart called “a pillar of the civil religion of Estonia” (8). The Lutheran Church helped to revive the Estonian language by holding services in Estonian, promoted Estonian culture and dispensed charity. With Sovietisation, church membership became a component of national resistance. After a Lutheran service, Hart relays, people would leave to lay flowers at the graves of patriots who died fighting the Russians.
The Lutheran Church still functions as Estonia’s cultural anchor, even though 80% of the population claims no church membership. But there is another anchor too, of pronounced pre-Christian, indigenous Estonian provenance. This shows most clearly also in the other Baltic countries: all remote from Rome and Christianized last (9).
Polytheistic, nature-based folklore builds up social capital and connectedness to the land, and through it to Reality. Love of the land harks back to the creed of sacred oaks, divine waterfalls and power rocks. Reality is encoded in myths, proverbs, folk tales and old aphorisms. Both are crucial antidotes against utopian stupidity in the manner of Western secular Body Snatchers or self-erasure through Christian Holy Lamb world repair.
That is the third lesson from Estonia. Elements of its pagan past that thrive to this day have cemented the national spirit and identity. The distinctive folk costumes one sees at Estonia’s song festivals date to pre-Christian times. Some costume parts, such as the wide, woven belts, have magic properties per ancient legends. The singing tradition itself, the wreaths on women’s heads and on men’s shoulders go back to pre-history.
Christmas, a happy and important day like elsewhere, is heir to ancient winter solstice celebrations. It has retained its original pagan name – joulud (i.e. Yuletide). Jaanipäev (St. John's Day), the second most important day of the year, is a thinly disguised pagan fest of summer solstice. Leaping through large bonfires to burn lingering bad spirits is clearly not to be found in the Catechism.
Nor are the many myths and legends. The myth of the travelling forests is instructive: when people are mean, greedy and cruel, the forest leaves them and travels elsewhere. In a country that’s 50% forest even now, that’s significant. All that and much more preserved from the immemorial past defines what it is to be Estonian.
The buried and forgotten pagan layer is the fifth part of the Euro peoples’ spiritual DNA. One who considers the trees of his native land holy will not turn them over to the custody of imported Mexican tax-eaters or hateful Somali “refugees.” One who beholds the glory of God also in the magnificence of nature will not become atheist turned off to Christianity just because he’s been taught in school about the Inquisition.
European neo-paganism has been sullied by the Nazis. Its current volkish resurrectors orbit around crypto-Rosenbergs (10) like Duke, MacDonald and Sunic, which doesn’t help. But a wholesome extraction of what was touching and beautiful in the native animist religions of the Northern Europeans would add a dose of immunity to Anglo-Saxon Christians and other Christian Whites currently in a self-cancelling pursuit of the Lamb and oblivious to all the bees buzzing about.
For Americans, who don’t have the rootedness of a hundred preceding generations living in the same land, it behooves to pay attention to Chief Seattle’s speech, describing the land where they do now have tenure of several generations:
“Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove, has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished. Even the rocks, which seem to be dumb and dead as the swelter in the sun along the silent shore, thrill with memories of stirring events connected with the lives of my people, and the very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to their footsteps than yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch. Our departed braves, fond mothers, glad, happy hearted maidens, and even the little children who lived here and rejoiced here for a brief season, will love these somber solitudes and at eventide they greet shadowy returning spirits.”
But here too, one must exercise the same intellectual rigor as is called for in reading and interpreting the Bible. First, we cannot know what Chief Seattle actually said. The date of his speech in 1854 is disputed; he spoke in the Lushootseed language that only one of the assembled understood and live-interpreted into Chinook. A third person interpreted the Chinook into English. Yet a fourth person, Dr. Henry A. Smith, took partial notes of the English version from which years later he reconstructed Seattle’s speech. Another version has Seattle speaking in the Duwamish language, which Dr. Smith - who may have only been a "Doctor" - allegedly understood and was able to capture on the fly in his English notes.
Henry Smith published his version of Seattle’s speech in 1887, with a 30+ year delay. No other record of the speech was made. Smith’s original notes and his manuscript have not been found. Besides, one who would let his brain dissolve in an uncritical noble savage myth ought to remember that the tribes of the Pacific Northwest, like all Indian tribes, lived in a state of constant internecine warfare. Chief Seattle himself kept Indian slaves captured at war.
If such ambiguities exist about an event on American soil witnessed 155 years ago by men living within recent memory, it’s no wonder that people with high brain wattage, though born Christian, cannot accept the alleged inerrancy of descriptions of events by unknown non-witnesses to Christ’s life and death 2000 years ago in a foreign land that very few now living know anything about. They do accept the prescriptions, but only to the extent that they coalesce with a Socialist agenda that is the chief refuge of those who no longer perceive God’s presence in this world.
To turn Christianity into a branch office of the Swedish Social Democratic Workers' Party, which is the universal case now, is blasphemy of the highest order. And to validate that via unverifiable reports of walking on water or out of a sealed tomb is a sorry myopia with regard to the true miracle that even the littlest bee evinces.
But all that is an issue for another day. This being December, it behooves us to close by remembering Christmas. Here is the opening of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio:
Jauchzet, frohlocket! auf, preiset die Tage, Shout for joy, exult, rise, glorify the day,
Rühmet, was heute der Höchste getan! Praise what today the Highest has done!
Lasset das Zagen, verbannet die Klage, Let go of hesitation, banish lamentation,
Stimmet voll Jauchzen und Fröhlichkeit an! Sing with joy and exaltation!
Dienet dem Höchsten mit herrlichen Chören, Serve the highest with magnificent choirs,
Laßt uns den Namen des Herrschers verehren! Let us honor the name of our ruler!
Bach signed all his scores SDG, for Soli Deo Gloria, to show where all those notes were coming from and going to. But they came from his privileged genes too: 80 Bachs before and after J.S. have been musicians.
God abhors equality and does not grant equal opportunity or outcome, except to share in His grace. The multitudes of Christian and Jewish repairers of His works ought to remember that. Humility and gratitude are in order, not the catastrophic arrogance of reengineering man and society.
(1) Clement Attlee, Churchill’s successor as prime minster, was the original Christianity-inspired destroyer who during his long career had wrought more damage than either Blair or Brown. Although referring to himself as agnostic, Attlee grew up in a religious home, with a brother who was a devout Christian Socialist and pacifist, and a sister who was a missionary.
(3) The costs were analyzed among others here, with a $2.5 trillion net deficit projected in retirement costs alone.
(4) Jhvh is the unpronounceable Hebrew name of the Biblical God. Jutta is the name of the queen goddess of birds in Estonian mythology.
(5) At this point, the wrath of Catholic and Orthodox believers usually explodes in postings of abusive comments, and Evangelical love manifests in a plea to repent and find salvation by faith alone. Prospective commenters unfamiliar with at least one and a half of the three original Bible-related languages and with the work of at least two major contemporary Biblical academic sleuths of outstanding intellect and integrity, say Bart Ehrman and Randel Helms, are kindly requested to go away and study before opining. They are reminded that if one accepts Christoph Luxemberg’s thesis that the Koran is a forged pastiche, one is a hypocrite who refuses to employ similar analytical methods to Christianity’s holy books and dogmas.
(6) This brief summary is based on “Victims of the Baltic Crusade” William L. Urban, Journal of Baltic Studies, 1998, and on A History of Pagan Europe, Prudence Jones and Nigel Pennick, Routledge, 1997.
(7) For instance, about the “unique white evil” of slavery while black-on-black slavery was widely practiced in Africa, and Arab instigation of the slave trade, including enslaving white captives was far wider and more cruel than anything white slavers’ ever perpetrated and lasted three times as long.
(8) Andrew R. Hart, “The Role of the Lutheran Church in Estonian Nationalism,” Religion in Eastern Europe, 13, No.3. June 1993, pp. 6-12
(9) Where polytheistic traces are weaker, as they are in the Anglosphere, the Greek and Roman heritage is of double importance, for it brings with it the yang elements needed to balance the yin of Judeo-Christianity.
(10) That’s Alfred Rosenberg, not your friendly Jewish dentist. Rosenberg, incidentally an Estonian German, was one of Hitler’s chief theorists of the “spiritual” foundation of Nazism, based on “religion of the blood.” He was tried at Nuremberg and hanged for war crimes.
(11) For a peek into the relevant scholarship see "Thus Spoke Chief Seattle: The Story of An Undocumented Speech," Jerry L. Clark, Prologue Magazine, Spring 1985, Vol. 18, No. 1.
Takuan Seiyo was born behind the Iron Curtain to two survivors of the Holocausts, only one of whom and which was Jewish. He emigrated to the U.S. in the mid-60s, got four university degrees while living hand to mouth, and made his career in the electronic MSM. In 2005, after many years of witnessing the staggered collapse of his beloved California, he left to live in the Far East. Returning to the U.S. frequently in search of a new place to call home, in 2006 Mr. Seiyo started writing after a long wait in a snaking TSA security check line, behind Tom Wolfe.