by Takuan Seiyo (January 2012)
Pendulum in the dark (continued - part 1, part 2)
We concluded the last installment with a video of the opening of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. It was Yuletide alright but there was a broader reason.
The venue is the glorious Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) in Dresden. The superb orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, is the world’s oldest (over 450 years), and still one of the very best. The magnificent choir is sane “diversity” like 50 years ago: men and women, native Germans with a few European immigrants and one Oriental woman, undoubtedly chosen on merit. Protestants, Catholics, atheists and agnostics in a Lutheran church singing a glorious composition by a Lutheran genius, parts of which, later recycled, he had composed in homage to two Saxon Catholic-convert princes. The conductor, among the world’s finest, is Vladimir Jurowski, a German immigrant of Russian-Jewish origin.
To appreciate how unusual all this is, one must reach back in history and retrace evolutionary threads. Dresden is the capital of Saxony. Saxons wrested this territory from the indigenous pagan Slavs, who had lived there since times immemorial. Dresden’s name was once Sorbian, Drež?any. The Saxons, pagan too, lived in constant strife with Christianizing armies from the West, until subdued and forcibly converted after eighteen bloody wars (772-804 AD) with Charlemagne.
Dresden Castle was from mid-16th century the seat of the Wettin rulers of Saxony. But in Martin Luther’s time, their seat was still 75 miles away, in Wittenberg. The Reformation was the combined work of Luther’s brain and the Wettins’ shield. As of 1546, for 102 years Saxony and other German principalities would become a battlefield between Catholics and Protestants, each killing, plundering, starving and inflicting plagues on the other by the hundred thousands, allegedly for Jesus, and wiping out one third of Germany’s population in the process.
As to Jews, Jurowski, standing in that church, would have been seized by the crowd in 1349 and burned at the stake along with other Dresden Jews for the presumed poisoning of wells. In 1449, 1549 or 1649 he could not have been there at all, for Jews had been expelled and proscribed until the early 1700s. In 1882, he would have witnessed in Dresden the First International Anti-Jewish Congress, and in 1936 he’d have been stripped of all his civic rights, even a right to own a pet, and eventually exterminated. Much of this got its propulsive force from the special brand of German national antisemitism that Martin Luther defined in 1543 in his On the Jews and Their Lies, and Hitler’s deputies professed to implement as per the Good Doctor’s prescription (1).
Dresden, a glory of Baroque architecture, culture and 18th century industry, paid a heavy price for such evil. The 1945 Allied bombing killed tens of thousands of its people and turned it to ruins, including its Frauenkirche. The population that survived the bombs suffered calamities at the hands of the Russian occupying forces. After that came the grey, numbing oppression of the communists; Dresden is, after all, where Vladimir Putin’s star rose at the KGB.
It’s knowing all this that makes the ecumenical assembly at the Frauenkirche so prized, for it’s a vivid manifestation of how far Germany has travelled from its previous crimes, follies and tragedies. But the many can no longer gauge this path, for what was until the 50s the intellectual capital imparted by Western society to the average high school graduate has been adulterated, devalued and falsified in the same way that fiat dollars or French francs have been.
It’s no longer possible even for most Western university graduates to discern such twists and turns in a long skein, that make history, human action, accumulated wisdom and standards of beauty and excellence intelligible. All has been traduced in the name of suppressing nationalism and Christianity in Europe, and faking the putative equality of white, black and brown cultures and aptitude for intellectual achievement in the United States.
Where there has been no input of relevant data, the synapses die off, illumination ceases and darkness descends. Surely a different Dark Age than its predecessor, but then history occurs first as tragedy, then as farce, and then comes around as tragedy again. One who still has the lantern however, knows, for he sees, that Germany has again travelled much too far: so far that it’s on lethal quicksand one more time.
A country in which demented Green Marxist twerps like Joschka Fischer and Daniel Cohn-Bendit can become powerful and respected politicians, and a gobbledygook-spouting postmodernist Marxist tautologist like Jürgen Habermas can become the No. 1 public intellectual, is in a very bad predicament and doesn’t even know it. Underneath the prosperous, benevolent facade lies Germany that has done away with itself, as per Thilo Sarrazin’s famous book’s title (2).
A country whose very rulers of Dresden once commanded armies against invading Turks, now has four million Turks living in it, plus at least as many legal and illegal Pakistanis, Afghans, Bosnians, Arabs, Iranians, and black Africans. Their fertility rate is double and triple that of Germans, and their euphemistically called “youths” are already grooming the indigenous Eloi for the future their descendants will inherit.
Again, the wheel is turning. This is how Germans received B. Hussein Obama in 2008. And this is how they received Adolph Hitler in 1935. It’s the same, brainwashed zeitgeist-for-imbeciles, with evil consequences, and it’s everywhere. “We are the hollow men/ We are the stuffed men/ Leaning Together/ Headpiece filled with Straw/ Alas!” wrote T.S. Eliot in “The Hollow Men.”
The present foolishness is thematically the polar opposite of the past one, which for broken-brain men— easily five sixths of mankind -- wraps all the goodness in opposition to the former that held all the badness. In the mirror of history however, reflected in the circular cosmology of the East, these are two quantum twins: a quark and an anti-quark. The future evil consequences of Hitler were as plainly visible in 1935 as were in 1985 the future evil consequences of the Western peoples’ doing away with themselves. Yet the crowds just boogie to each successive Pied Piper of Hamelin.
The Spanish writer Sebastián Vivar Rodríguez limned the paradox of the Eurabian gambit in his lament "Europa murió en Auschwitz”: what have we done, importing 20 million Muslim to Europe to make up for the murder of 6 million Jews. As though self-dissolution by primitive, Christian-and-Jew-hating Muslims can expiate for past acceptance, even approval, of the Nazi slaughter of the Jewish kin of Heine, Freud, Zweig, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Modigliani, Wittgenstein, Einstein, Teller, Salk, Bohr, von Neumann, von Mises, Levi Strauss, Samuel Goldwyn, Peter, Paul and Jesus.
The Holocaust and Europe's guilt over the fate of its Jews is central to understanding how "racism" has become the dirtiest word in white man's vocabulary and "fascism" lurks behind any social truth the left doesn't like. Though superficially different, America’s self-destruction since the mid-60s operates by the same mechanism of expiation for the wrongs of slavery, Jim Crow and sexism that can do nothing for the long-dead victims but debauches their descendants and destroys the future of their country.
Fifty (in some aspects 100) years of the Long March of “Progressive” education has molded young brains with a thoroughness that Hitler and Stalin would have appreciated. Both stressed the importance of shaping and controlling the malleable minds of the young. By now, all Westerners under-60 have been raised in an intellectual environment permeated with fanciful utopian-socialist propaganda, subversive lies, self-hating psychoses, fraudulent racial myths, and inverse reality dogmas. Again, the template was set up early, and reinforced annually since; here is a sample from 1946:
“To achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism, loyalty to family tradition, national patriotism, and religious dogmas....We have swallowed all manner of poisonous certainties fed us by our parents, our Sunday and day school teachers, our politicians, our priests....The reinterpretation and eventual eradication of the concept of right and wrong which has been the basis of child training, the substitution of intelligent and rational thinking for faith in the certainties of old people, these are the belated objectives...for charting the changes in human behavior.” (3)
This brainwashing has been total, in the manner of the Nazi Gleichschaltung (“coordination of all aspects of life”). The young woman entering YWCA for a workout after a day of PC mind-bending in high school will find a banner above the entrance reading “Eliminating racism, empowering women.” If she is in England, the “C” for “Christian” being an embarrassment to the Body Snatchers in charge, this won’t even be YWCA anymore but “Platform 51.” Before she has left the building she will be urged to join a forum to “share” her “feelings, opinions and thoughts about race relations, diversity and immigration in a non defensive, non critical environment.” Eventually, she is hired to mouth mad malarkey on MSNBC.
When I buy a Kuhl brand shirt, it comes with a tag that reads “High Road for Human Rights Education Project.” Where was Kuhl with its message when we needed it, in 1512? By now they are just tweaking sinister chips installed in the brains of future serfs.
When I go to church on Sunday, I find that “Thou shalt not commit adultery” is now written as “Accept our sexuality and use it wisely according to God’s will.” People who rewrite Moses this way know zip about God’s will. Where was their tolerance when the Church routinely incinerated sodomites? It’s always much too much, much too late, and just compounding the earlier insanity via mirror image insanity.
In Berlin, large events and edifices thrust Jewish themes at the visitor, from festivals of synagogue music to the 5-acre Holocaust Memorial, to the Jewish Museum where one walks on screaming iron faces. Where was Germany when real people’s faces were screaming 70 years ago? Rather than the lavish honoring of millions murdered who should not have been, a Memorial that could do more good now is for the screaming faces of autochthon dhimmi Germans 70 years from now. That screaming can still be averted, for the writing is on the wall, now (4).
The constant thread visible in 350 years of the kulturkamf since the Enlightenment is that each side resolutely ignores its own stupidity, fanaticism, greed and lust for power that causes the cosmic pendulum to swing away from it to the far reaches of the opposite camp’s stupidity, fanaticism, greed and lust for power. The struggle between the Right and Left, egalitarian and elitist, religious and secular versions of what it means to be a human and how society ought to function resembles a typical jury trial that starts from a lying “Not Guilty” plea and ends with that party winning that bested the other at manipulating a group of emotive rubes.
Just as Germany is assuming Europe’s leadership in a drive to a fiscal union, post-nationalism, forfeiture of liberty, abolition of ethnic self-determination, multiculti diversity, Islamization and “antifascism,” the pendulum is swinging back to the opposite zone of darkness where moldy lies of a different kind propagate. Much of it transpires in Dresden, as Saxony, being former commie-land, did not go through the denazification process. In 2004, it gave 9.2% of its votes to the German Neo-Nazi NPD party.
Thousands of Nazi admirers march periodically in Dresden for the usual causes: the vileness of Jews particularly in Israel and America, Holocaust denial or the unjust victimhood of Germany in World War II. And they, like Third Position parties and American “White Nationalists” weld such evil drivel in one package with legitimate grievances against the ruling Snatchers’ gradual dilution, circumvention and dispossession of the White ethny, the dilapidation of BRA (Black-Run-America) and MAFRE (Muslim-and-Female-run-Europe), the sickness of the GLBT cult, radical feminism, liberal judicial tyranny, reign of hedonism, and so on. No other political agency has the courage to raise the latter topics, for the Western ruling elites did their own welding of racial, gender and cultural truth to the lies of blanket race or gender contempt as one taboo “racism and misogynism” package.
And so we careen from one tainted formula to its poisoned antidote. Over time, to each vast falsehood there comes an opposite falsehood that sweeps its predecessor away. To each massive injustice there is an upending backlash, for the judge of history and destiny cannot be fooled but temporarily. Hence regenerating the West must start from what appears superficially as a utopian quest for truth. Truth not because it validates one belief or another, but because it stands sovereign.
Sea of malaise
The West is now at a critical juncture not seen at least since 1920s, and in some respects, since the 1st century AD when the End of Times seemed imminent. Every component and institution of the ruling elite, every value it promotes and enforces, in every Western country, seems hypocritical, malignant, the whole thing reeling toward the ash-heap of history.
Vampire banksters captured the political process and skimmed off exorbitant riches while hoisting society onto leveraged stilts of fictitious debt, layers upon layers of it with over $700 trillion – ten times planet Earth’s Gross National Product – in derivative paper alone. Corrupt politicians transferred the banksters’ bad bets and the EU socialists’ soured gambles onto the account books of Western taxpayers, i.e. the little people. Central banks are “printing” to provide the wherewithal for this economic malpractice. This erodes the net worth of the West’s middle class, particularly the prudent savers, fixed income retirees, hundreds of millions of people who played by the rules in order to find out at the end that there are no rules, not even laws. Laws are for the little people; the Jamie Dimons and John Corzines do what they want with impunity.
The vaunted globalization has merely built channels for global contagion by biological and financial viruses. Transfer of wealth from the North to the South and of technology from the West to the East was accompanied by a transfer of population in the reverse direction: perhaps the worst deal any civilization has made in history. Both prongs of this deal have built up external and internal enemies with nothing to show for it but more zeroes in the bank accounts of corporate CEOs, larger power bases for socialist politicians, minarets piercing Western skies like missiles on launching pads, and missiles on launching pads piercing Eastern skies like minarets. NATO is in Afghanistan, and Afghanistan is in Stockholm, Leeds and Boston. To evade admitting responsibility for this tide of ominous dysfunction, the rulers have instituted a regime of harassment of native White populations in the name of “security” and “tolerance” instead of dealing with the real sources of insecurity and intolerability.
Things are reverting to their intrinsic value. Recently, thieves sawed off and stole a bronze sculpture by Barbara Hepworth that stood in Dulwich Park, in London. The sculpture was valued at £500,000. It will fetch under £1,000 when melted. But £1,000 can still buy lots of matches and toilet paper for barter against flour and sugar in the coming intrinsic value economy.
The young ones -- pierced, tattooed and pansexual -- have 500 channels of garbage to sift at will on every manner of electronic device imaginable. Their brains plugged into bud earphones pile-driving inchoate shrieks in Ebonics, their fingers picking busily at tiny keyboards to exchange Sarc 1 messages with equally apped morons, they are the Children of Hamelin ripe for plucking by any pied piper. The old ones, who remember what being civilized; American, French or Dutch; man, woman or child meant and how products not made in China felt, are dying off.
Conservatives blame much of this on the rise of secularism, abandonment of the Church and its teachings, the sexual revolution and its subversion of the family. The more embittered New Right blames it on the Joos: Marx but not Engels; Freud but not Jung; Adorno, not Gramsci; Goldman Sachs, not JP Morgan.
The remnants of the fanatics of yore, largely Catholic or Orthodox, know just where we have gone wrong. “Remove all Zionists from any government position,” writes one such savant in a comment at the Economic Policy Journal. “Place crucifixes on all schoolrooms hospitals, government offices. Re-introduce the Inquisition to assure all government employees, teachers, lawyers, military personnel, politicians and anyone having to do with public well being are True Christians meaning Catholic. Then and only then will we have a just and fair government under God. Not under Satan as it is now. Sancta María, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatóribus.”
To which I can only apply the words of my favorite True Christian, friend of Popes and Professor of Christian Theology, Fr. Józef Tischner: “Religion is for the wise. And if someone is stupid, he should not use religion to disguise his stupidity” (5).
Another precept, now widely accessible due to one of the few advantages of the global village, comes from the 17th century samurai warrior and Zen teacher, Suzuki Shosan:
“Be aware of yourself and know yourself. No matter how much you have learned and how much you know, if you don't know yourself, you don't know anything. Indeed, if you don't know yourself you cannot know anything.”
Alas, save for a few monastic mystics and skewed secular methods like psychoanalysis, the Western tradition no longer contains tools for self-introspection. It has designated religious dogma as the vessel into which to pour and hopefully transmute one’s inner effluvia. Few succeed, except by turning into Christ’s Lambs destined for shearing or slaughter.
Republican pundits who parade America’s religiosity as a warranty of a better future than what awaits Europe’s heathen-socialists, are sadly misguided. The 76% Christian and still 66% white America voted an Afro-socialist, Muslim facilitator “community organizer” into office as U.S. President. It’s a demos scarfing cupcakes by the half-dozen and gobbling MSM junk food brands like Lilo and J-Lo, Kim and Snookie, Usher and Kanye. Even if one looks at the most hope-inspiring “religious-conservative patriot” segment, it’s they who made a meth-sniffing, male-hooker patronizing super-salesman with a glued-on smile into pastor of the largest church in America, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, and spiritual godfather of the U.S. Air Force Academy. That’s just a scratch of the surface of a massive feel-good industry rife with charlatans of every stripe. It’s beyond pathetic.
Christianity is in the vital marrow of the West. The aggressive secularism of Western Europe and its Amen Corner among America’s leftists has not led to a better future on a wiser path. It has turned into another gnostic religion, a Peace-Justice-and-Tolerance cult that has been ramming its Moloch of Equality into the intractable throat of Reality. It’s already certain who has won this battle; the only doubt is when Reality will assess the full measure of its victor’s ransom, and how devastating it will be.
It would do much good to bring Christianity back as a strong source of vitality, unity and prevalence. For this, we need to examine why it’s no longer a source of vitality and prevalence, for a source of unity it has rarely been anyway. We will set up our lantern in rarely accessed territory, to yield a new view.
The West is suffering from yin toxemia. Yin – one of the two eternal opposing forces that make up the dynamic structure of all things in Creation -- is the female principle: passive, light and airy, acidic, expansive, yielding, and cold like water. Yin is the essence of liberalism, multiculturalism, lunatic (yin connotes the moon) “inclusiveness” that refuses to discriminate (i.e. to discern). It is pacifist rules of engagement in combat, pregnant lesbian sailors on submarines, deference to invading barbarians, prostration before Islam, capitulation to lawfare, compassion toward stone-cold killers, welfare for wastrels etc. In an arrogant and stubbornly denied pattern, every popular Western political and cultural trend and trend-setter is pouring more yin of this kind into a society already suffering from a yin overdose, squirting more accelerant onto concentrated acid.
All this is an automatic response to the excesses of the Third Reich, before that, World War I, and before that, the Roman and Holy Roman Empire. In the 1914 - 1945 period, Western civilization had waded into such excesses of yang that it developed a toxemia opposite to its present one. Yang stands for maleness, hardness, force, dominance, heaviness, constriction, action, fire. The West had not seen such intoxication with yang as under Hitler, and just before him, in the mud fields of Belgium and France, since Roman times.
By the year 30 AD, Western civilization had been compacting into a pure yang package since Alexander, i.e. for 370 years. It had poisoned itself with mayhem, pathological brutality and inhumanity. The Judeans had experienced it so intensely under the rule of their Seleucid Greeks and then Roman conquerors, that it led to massive insurrections against the Greeks under Judas Maccabeus in the 160s BC, three wars against the Romans in the years 66 – 135 AD, and multiple, bloody insurrections against the ruling Sadducean elite in between.
Judaism itself had hardened into a misogynistic-patriarchal, racist cult uniting extreme religious fanaticism with the obsessive formalism of burnt offerings at the Temple. The theocratic elite attending to the Temple lived well from the half shekel tax imposed on every Jewish male. Furthermore, the last kings of Judah, heirs to the Hasmonean dynasty and High Priests themselves, were tyrants whose cruel oppression led to frequent civil revolts and reprisal massacres. Alexander Yannai (103 BC -76 BC), for instance, crucified 800 Pharisee opponents on a single occasion while holding a lavish banquet.
Into that yang world came Jesus (6). His message of love, forgiveness and concern for the meek and poor was the perfect dose of yin to cure yang toxemia and move society toward a more wholesome equilibrium. Moreover, according to multiple textual and historical indications, Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet predicting the destruction of the world in his disciples’ lifetime (7). Paul, the Apostles, all 1st century Christians, believed fervently in the imminence of the apocalypse (8).
The extreme yin ethos embedded in Christian teachings is fit for a world that’s about to end, a world in which a carpenter lives with his family in a perpetually dark, one room hovel, has one garment but many masters of life and death in Jerusalem, Caesarea and Rome, and the punishment for “seditious speech” may be the flaying of the flesh with hot iron combs. It is hardly fit for the world 20 centuries later, which is at the highest peak of soft and decadent yin – among Christians and Jews only – in history.
However, to admit that Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet is to admit that his prophecy failed (9). That was and remains impossible relative to a cosmic entity that the Nicene Creed defines (in the redacted 381 AD version) as “The only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father.” And so Christians continue with a map of Judea drafted in the 1st century and behaving as though it shows the terrain of the world in the 21st century. This is exacerbated by leftist reinterpreters of Christianity like New Testament scholar Marcus Borg (and others in the “Jesus Seminar”), who push a vision of Jesus as a charismatic leftist radical, working for social change. Si se puede, said a latter-day impostor in this vein, “We are the one we have been waiting for.”
Those who oppose the West’s cultural, demographic and economic self-disembowelment often want to go back to the old-time religion. But the momentum for the turn of the wheel had come from the old-time religion. Past wars, conformist oppression, persecutions, obscurantism, sexual repression, excessive prudery and other madness were fuelled by the Church animating the State. Even America, at its beginnings, was a theocracy established by victims of European theocracy. The inevitable counterstroke started with the Reformation and the Enlightenment, and continues to this day.
The seeds of a plant prone to withering were sown early. Fanatical Greek Christian theologians (e.g. Marcion, John Chrysostom) grafted onto the nascent religion the endemic Seleucid hatred of Jews, with suitable redacting of the Gospels and twisting of the meaning of the Hebrew Bible (which continues to this day, e.g. by the Christian Identity people). Eventually, they severed Jesus, Mary and the Apostles from their Jewishness, and the New Testament from the Old. Then came the North African Church Fathers like Augustine, Cyprian and Tertullian, with their own brand of fanaticism unknown among contemporaneous Greek or Roman pagans and Northern animists. Appropriately, Cyprian coined Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus (Outside the church there is no salvation), as though he had any clue or right to opine on the salvation of Karelians or Koreans, animists or Taoists.
Early Church Fathers kneaded Paul’s ideas plus imported pagan Greek notions into a Neo-Platonian creed about Jesus, whereas the creed of Jesus as relayed in the canonical Gospels was a radically reformed and non-Trinitarian Judaism. Jesus’ creed was expressed with greater fidelity in the Arian version of Christianity, then ascendant and common among the European aristocracy but banned at the Nicene Council in 325 AD.
Arius, like Jesus and Jeremiah before him, like Socrates, Cato the Younger, Cicero, Joan of Arc, William Wallace, Jan Hus, Jacques de Molay, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Churchill in the 1945 election or Goldwater in the 1964 election, Van Gogh or Juhan Liiv, Galileo then or James Watson recently, fell victim to the human aversion to carriers of the true, the pure and the beautiful.
The fanaticism and the Platonism created two voids. First, by severing Christianity’s link to its Judaic roots embedded in historical experience, the Church swathed its flock in a shroud of absolutist theology detached from Reality and pragmatic wisdom. Second, by wiping out Europe’s indigenous religions along with their practitioners, the Church cleaved the White (and later, non-white) peoples from their empirically-based folk ways and from Nature’s wisdom itself. Had that connection been preserved, as it is in Shinto and to a lesser degree in Baltic cultures like Estonia’s, the peoples of the West would not have fallen so easily for materialism, nihilism, postmodernism, multiculturalism, do-goodism, GLBTism and other daft isms — all shadow plays in Plato’s cave in the brains of solipsists cut off from ways of experiential knowing.
Japanese Shinto tomoe Old Celtic triskele
For the next 1600 years, the best brains in Europe would struggle to rationalize Christianity, pare it down to its ethical core and reframe Jesus’ divinity and its theology in a way that would purge the dross and put an end to internecine Christian slaughter. A small sample of the better recognized names would include John Wycliffe, Jan Hus and Matthew Tindal among the prestigious theologians; Erasmus, Grotius, Hobbes, Bacon and Voltaire among the intellectuals; Chaucer, Boccaccio, Goethe and Schiller among writers of genius; Mozart and Beethoven among musicians; Keppler, Leibnitz, Newton among scientists and mathematicians; Frederick II (1220s), Rudolf II (1610s) and James I (1610s) among kings and emperors.
The quest for the historical Jesus started by mid-18th century, when historiographic and text analysis methods had progressed far enough, and the threat of auto-da-fe no longer thwarted freedom of thinking. More recently, great artists attempted to restore humaneness to this most influential and noblest human who ever lived, whatever his supernatural dimensions. Nikos Kazantsakis wrote The Last Temptation of Christ, promptly condemned by the Church of Greece and proscribed by the Roman Catholic Church; Jose Saramago wrote The Gospel According to Jesus Christ that brought him censure from the Portuguese parliament; Robert Graves (with Joshua Podro) wrote, among his 140 books, The Nazarene Gospel Restored, that engendered two libel lawsuits; Luis Buñuel made The Milky Way, perhaps the most profound theological film ever, pro-Christ but contra-Church.
By the 1950s, even revisionism was no longer sufficient to keep the better brains within the Christian fold. Scientists and jurists, cardiologists and novelists, engineers and philosophers have left the Church, any church, in droves. Empirical science could no longer sustain supernatural claims. Moreover, the intellectual left had trained its canons on all the follies and missteps of Christianity past, while omitting its blessings and benefits. The Christian community at large kept fighting the science instead of admitting its validity but challenging its exclusive claim on truth. Rather than owning up to past missteps but showing the much greater balance of positives, it kept skirting the crimes and denying the missteps (10). This brought further erosion, and eventual capitulation of the different denominations and their slide into do-good, activist-leftist movements.
Christianity proper is now mainly the province of Christians in name only, or obscurantist yokels, fanatical chauvinist-nationalists of the sort that didn’t do well by Orthodox Czarist Russia or Opus Dei Spain, or people who, however bright and educated, could not withstand the internal work of resolving the pains and fears of their lives and sought refuge in irrationality instead. Christianity’s political expression is weak or ineffectual, for most of the smart people have defected to the opposition. Christian America ran toward the diversionary smoke screen of Family Values when, behind its back, its cashbox was being emptied and its sovereignty hobbled. It was up in arms about Bill Clinton’s cigar when its military secrets were being sold to PR China.
Yet, to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, one of the greatest and smartest skeptics of them all, we now see what men are without religion, and it’s more wicked than what they were with it. Indeed, the greatest gathering of superior brains and character ever– a gathering of such unlikely uniqueness that it alone can sustain faith in God – was that of America’s Founding Fathers. All Christian, but of a kind more masculine and traditional, yet more radical and enlightened than what avails now.
In what they believed and were there is, embedded, a key to a better future.
"The Prayer at Valley Forge," Arnold Friberg, 1976
(1) On the connection between Luther and Hitler see, inter alia, Richard Steigmann-Gall, The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity, 1919-1945, Cambridge University Press 2003, pp. 136 -139.
(2) To sample the dumb braying that Sarrazin’s book unleashed among Germany’s bien pensant, see this analysis of Sarrazin’s critique by Germany’s No. 1 intellectual Jürgen Habermas.
(3) Brock Chisholm (Canadian general, psychiatrist, Head of World Health Organization), Psychiatry (February, 1946), pp. 7, 9-10, 16, 18.
(4) E.g., see this interview with a suit-and-tie wearing Jordanian politician who says, "When we declare Jihad against... the German State, for refusing to allow Islam to spread to the People of Germany... We give them a choice: either to convert to Islam – or to pay the Jizya and submit to the Laws of Islam."
(5) I wrote more about Fr. Tischner here.
(6) Jesus was not the only bringer of yin among the Jews. The Pharisees were far more balanced and benign than their Sadducean opponents were. Then there were the Essenes; precursors of later Christian monks. The Jewish Christian church, i.e. the Nazarenes and Ebionites, was very much in this vein too.
(7) The comments made here with respect to the Bible, Jesus and the Apostles, church dogma etc. are based on the author’s own reading of the primary sources in their primary languages and –not quite the same—in translation, and thinking about it all for decades, plus reading books by experts. While such experts comprise hundreds of major authors and thousands of erudite books mainly in German and English written over 300 years, for the sake of parsimony the interested reader will find ample validation for the opinions expressed here in two widely available, modern works:
For the New Testament: Bart D. Ehrman, The New Testament; A Historical Introduction to Early Christian Writings, Oxford University Press, 2004.
For the Old Testament: Randel McCraw Helms, The Bible Against Itself, Millenium Press, 2006 [I have not read other works by McCraw Helms and cannot endorse them].
(8) Albert Schweitzer, who among his many talents and accomplishments had a PhD in theology, made this case in his 1899 Quest of the Historical Jesus.
(9) Every phrase on a topic like this has centuries of rift, thousands of published pages and tens of thousands of dead “heretics” imbedded in it. The whole apocalyptic prophecy business started in earnest with Daniel in the 160s BC, continued with Ezra (2nd Esdras) in 90s AD and with several other non-canonical Jewish and Christian books of that era, and, most importantly, Revelation. In each case, the apocalyptic author tries to wiggle out of the dilemma of the previous apocalypt’s failed prediction by reinterpreting it as set to occur at a later time. Mark, writing 35 years after the Crucifixion but before the 70 AD destruction of the Temple, quotes Jesus as predicting the End of Time in that generation. Matthew and Luke, writing 20 years after Mark, and John, 10 years later yet, all put pen to vellum after the destruction of the Temple and the crushing of Judea. But the world still exists and Son-of-Man didn’t come. Each therefore puts different words in Jesus’ mouth to extend the apocalyptic time frame and therefore the prophecy’s credibility. See, inter alia, McCraw Helms, ibid, pp. 66 -79, 153 -165.
(10) The Second Vatican Council (1962 -65) did express its regret over past errors and iniquities, particularly with regard to Jews and the Orthodox Church, but skirting the graphic details and omitting much else besides. Commendably, it admitted that “many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside its visible confines” and placed emphasis on interfaith dialogue. But by then, so much damage had been done over 1900 years that a goodly portion of the faithful was unable to purge accreted sediments. Among the Vatican II rejecters are the Society of St. Pius X with its Holocaust-denying Bishop Williamson, and dozens of Sedevantist organizations (e.g. here and here). All those are unable to breathe without the mother milk of Jew-hatred, Protestant-bashing and fanatically exclusive claims on capital T Truth. On the other hand, the Vatican needlessly replaced the Tridentine Mass and various liturgical elements. Its new ecumenism has a character of too much making up for too late, particularly with respect to decidedly unecumenical Islam. Mainstream Protestant Churches have engaged in other forms of Mea-Culpism, primarily with respect to past race and sexual orientation “discrimination.”
Takuan Seiyo is a European-born American writer living in exile in Japan. The concluding chapter of this multipart essay will appear next month.
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