More on inferiority

I hadn’t realized it when I wrote them, but my last two posts were on the same subject.  It is an awkward thing to admit that one is intellectually and morally weaker than one’s ideological opponents.  It’s more natural to imagine that if we’re right and they’re wrong, it must mean that we’re smarter and/or more virtuous.  On the other hand, there is a tendency for the best taught and socialized to conform more closely to established ideology, so we should expect our establishement antagonists to excel us in a number of metrics, as they seem to do.

It’s not too painful to admit all this.  Personal humility is a virtue, after all.  What is more problematic is to admit the abiding inferiority of one’s group–in this case orthodox Western Christians.

It’s been said many times that a patriot has no need to imagine that his country is objectively better than any other, and a man can believe his religion true without thinking its adherents to be particularly impressive specimens of homo sapiens.  Nevertheless, we find it humiliating to be outclassed all around.  Jews and Christians have, naturally, found themselves on opposing sides of the debate on whether the West should be a secular or a Christian society.  Going even further back, there is our fundamental dispute over whether Jesus was indeed the Messiah.  A Christian must necessarily believe Christianity right and Judaism wrong at least on the latter issue.  Yet looking at the adherents of each side, he finds himself in a difficult possition.  The Jews are obviously smarter than us on average, and their cultural contributions have dwarfed ours for at least a century.  Their influence over the media is greater than any single other group.  More importantly, they have a credible claim to be the aggrieved party (and aren’t shy about making that claim!), which, in our victim-obsessed culture, gives them an almost overpowering moral superiority.  Even our own scriptures favor them.  They’re like the children; we’re like the dogs.  They were the Chosen People, and God loves them more.

My colleagues Kristor and Bruce seem happy with all this, but it triggers some ugly emotions in me.  Jealousy above all.  How I wish I could be uncomplicatedly proud of my people like the Jews can!  I wish I could see the effects of my peoples’ creativity dominating my surrounding culture.  I wish I could feel like part of the smart, creative set.  Instead, I belong to the people who must always be apologizing, whose great predessessors (the Church Fathers and popes) are considered morally tainted.

A people must be able to respect itself to survive, and it is healthy to think more highly of one’s ancestors than one’s own generation.  Our predecessors’ example should be a challenge to live up to, rather than an embarrassment to overcome.  Unfortunately, the historical records of every nonfictional people is mixed–some good, some bad.  Thus we divide the record into behavior that illustrates the noble essence of the people and behavior that is the falling away from that ideal by individual members.  There is nothing dishonest in this; anyone who loves his group thinks it has a good essence.  Medieval saints’ stories certainly don’t paint a pretty picture of the average Christian.  Usually the emphasis is on the one saintly man confronting a corrupt multitude of nominal Christians.  And yet these are still very pro-Christian stories, because it’s that one man who exemplifies the good essence of the religion we profess.

A Christian puts his faith in the goodness of Christ, not of other Christians (including the clergy).  Nevertheless, I don’t see how we can survive without some pride and affection for our predecessors in faith.  Thus the Jews’ insistence that we never stop dwelling on our “shameful history of anti-semitism” feels like an attack.  This is especially true when seeing how papal apologies on behalf of the Church’s sinful members are roundly rebuffed, since they leave in place the belief in the holiness of the Church herself.  During the controversy over The Passion of the Christ, it became clear that our scriptures themselves are deemed morally corrupt by a great many critics (some being Jews, others only claiming to act on their behalf).

I can imagine how black people must feel when confronted by claims that their low IQ makes them want to go out and rob convenience stores and rape white women.  It’s probably about the way I feel when I’m told that Christians’ stupidity and malice makes us want to go out and kill Jews, and that any little thing will set us off.   Even if the most insulting race realist claims are true, one must expect blacks themselves to accept a self-understanding that allows them to salvage some respect for their group.  Hence the popularity of systematic white racism theories, which give blacks moral standing over whites.  Similarly, we Christians must be able to maintain our self-respect somehow in the face of Jewish superiority.  We must at least allow ourselves to admit that Jewish criticism of us sometimes goes too far.  A Christian may admire the Jews, but when their beliefs and interests conflict with ours (which is bound to happen sometimes) his admiration will make the resulting confrontation (assuming he is honest enough to admit its existence) more painful for him.

I’m taking down my previous Judaism post.  Not because it offended everybody; I’m a blogger, and I enjoy offending people, although I do apologize to the other contributors for making enemies of this blog unnecessarily.  I am also touched by the concern of readers who emailed me and asked me to take it down for my own protection, although I doubt such an action would do much to protect me.  No, the trouble is that it was too confused, focusing on Jewish criticism of Christians, when the real issue is the sense of guilt and inferiority we have that gives these attacks their particular sting.  I now see that the bitterness I let creep into that post made a useful discussion of the real topic impossible.  In my defense, I remind my readers that I’m just a low-IQ gentile.  I want a way to be able to hold my head up even in the presence of Jews.  That was my motivation all along, although I’m only now realizing it.  Many of you had excellent comments, and I’d be willing to copy them over to this thread on your request.

So I ask my philosemitic colleagues:  how do you combine your love for the Jews and conviction of their rectitude/superiority with a continued devotion to the historic Church, when our leaders, far from sharing your sentiments, thought of the Jews as dangerous rivals?  I can see that you do it, but it seems like a very delicate task to me.

64 thoughts on “More on inferiority

  1. Bonald, even Christians as dedicated as you are likely not yet fully Christian, not after two thousand years; and two thousand years from now, most professing Christians will probably not yet be fully Christian. The Paraclete has to work with the crooked timber of mankind. Men have to work with the insuperable imperfections of their own fallen humanity and the recalcitrance of the objective world with respect to their wishes. What you call philosemitism is simply the obverse of antisemitism, and neither is seemly. Generalities have their purpose, to be sure, but the wise will not make idols of them, either to worship or despise. Indeed, once make such an idol, and the difference between worship and spite shrinks away until the two are practically the same, and until the onlooker, transfixed by his fascination, becomes the mere function of his totem.

    (By the way, liberals are exemplary idolmakers, and they are inveterate idol worshippers. They are functions of their totems and that means that they are not smart. On the contrary, they think like primitives.)

    Some people had to be first to enter into a covenant with the one God. God chose the Jews (or rather, he chose the Hebrews, even before they became the Jews). God presumably had a reason whether anyone can fathom it or not. That event is now constitutive of reality and to see it as an imperfection in reality or as an affront against those not chosen to be first is to travel the road of resentment, which the Decalogue calls covetousness. Suppose God had chosen the Cimmerians or the Scythians. How would that have changed anything? It would not have changed anything. Do not take that road.

    Please also stop referring to yourself as a “low-IQ gentile.” Okay, I give you the “gentile” part, but the other part is simply not true, as is plain to everyone.

    • Hi Thomas,

      I can’t say, actually. I’ve never taken an IQ test. I guess I was too afraid of what I might find out. (I used to be much more intellectually vain than I am now.)

      • Who knows? Everybody who reads you. An intelligent man can pretend to be stupid, but a stupid man cannot pretend to be intelligent. If you’re just pretending, then that is precisely the proof that you’re smart.

      • Did you go to parochial schools? Smart kids are routinely IQ tested in US public schools to see if they qualify for gifted programs. If you were in a gifted program, that likely means your IQ is 130 or higher—one has to hedge a bit here since parents and schools do sometimes cheat.

  2. I find it difficult to deal with those who explictly reject Christ more so than those who are simply caught in the grips of selfishness and sin. Clearly Jews are among the former rather than the latter. Yet, I find it advantageous to approach each person individually as opposed to their group because frankly, it’s the only way I am able to even begin to heed Christ’s command to love everyone, including my enemies.

    You used an example that is relevant to me obviously, as a black person who is at political and ideological odds with the majority of people who look like me while having to shoulder the burden of the most dysfunctional blacks because I look like them. We all have our crosses to bear but it doesn’t change the fact that I am fearfully and wonderfully made nonetheless.

    As I read it and thought about your conflicted emotions about the Jews, I could relate. However, when the Messianic elephant in the room is ignored, I find much common ground with Orthodox Jews with regard to lifestyle and values than the brand of liberal, non-religious Jews cranking out the substandard Hollywood fare. In other words, not all Jews are created equal, so to speak.

    Whatever my thoughts, Our Heavenly Father chose, in His infinite wisdom, to bring salvation to humanity through the Jews.

    Oh, I agree with the preceding commenter. You are clearly quite intelligent and insightful.

    • Hi elspeth,

      I’m glad you picked up on that example. It’s jolted me out of some “race realist” bad temper I’ve been having of late. When the world is alight with the claim that a black getting shot by a hispanic proves that white society is evil, it can be emotionally gratifying for a white to read indelicate discussions of “black dysfunction”. The feeling is “See, see, it’s not that we’re evil. It’s that they’re stupid thugs, and they won’t even let us talk about it.” To us whites, it feels like a way to defend ourselves against charges of moral inferiority. I expect that’s not how it seems to blacks. After my arguement with Kristor, I started asking myself why it is exactly that Jewish criticisms of what one might call “Christian dysfunction” bother me so much. Stated that way, the answer seems obvious. I love and identify with my people (I have very little racial or national consciousness. “My people” means primarily Catholics, and secondarily all Christians.); our failings are a source of pain for me. Having them pointed out to me by unsympathetic outsiders naturally makes me defensive and angry. Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does. Perhaps I’ve overestimated Jewish anti-Christian animus (although I don’t doubt that it does exist to some degree) just because I’m especially sensitive to it. I will certainly remember this before condemning blacks for not wanting to be preached to by self-rightous whites.

      • It’s not *just* tribalist pride, though, that drives you to bristle at Jewish assaults against the Christian faith. Many of these assaults are simply based in falsehood. Sure, peasant crusaders massacred Jews, and Christians are faulted for that, but they are never given credit for the fact that this was done with the disapproval of the institutional Church, including the Pope and the many bishops who often went out of their way to shield the Jews, at great personal risk and expense. Likewise, Pius XII saved more Jews from extermination at the hands of the Nazis than, like, anyone, yet he is constantly reviled as an exterminationist Nazi sock puppet.

        Jews are, indeed, smarter and better-read than us on average, so they can’t possibly be ignorant of these facts. If they are, their ignorance is extremely culpable. If they aren’t, then they’re simply lying. Either way, these kinds of attacks are dishonest, ungrateful, and irreverent. You’re allowed to be angry at them for these things.

  3. This seems a complicated business. There are plenty of surveys showing that at the level of the everyday life of ordinary people conservatives and religious people are happier, more functional, more generous and whatnot than liberals. That makes sense to me, because they inhabit an ontologically richer and more satisfying universe. They’re more connected to others, and have grounds for higher aspirations that put life’s problems more in perspective. And at that everyday popular level it doesn’t much matter that they don’t have refined theories at hand to justify their outlook. It works for them, and that’s good enough.

    At the level of elite culture, it’s rather mixed as well. I’d agree that high functioning people tend to rise in the world and take on the outlook of the ruling class, and today that means that they tend to be liberal to leftish. On the other hand, before WW II there were plenty of rightwing high-culture types. They rather dropped out of sight after 1945 but Western culture hasn’t been doing so well either, at either the high or popular levels. So it seems to me that at the level of high culture we have the advantage as well in the grand scheme of things. We have better people and greater achievements overall, and things go better when our guys are in control.

    As to what to do today, given that it’s hard to inhabit the grand scheme of things as a day to day matter, the obvious answer is make the most of what you’ve got. Social disadvantages can be a plus, because they keep you from becoming stupid and self-satisfied. Discomfort is good for you. For my own part, I’m terminally impressionable and sensitive to what other people think. The result is to force a deeper level of analysis: how is it that the things all decent people believe today, that seem utterly persuasive because all social preconceptions support them, so much so that it’s inconceivable that any sane person could disagree with them, are nonetheless obvious destructive nonsense?

    On the Jews, I’d resist the temptation that seems common among rightists and leftists to put them at the center of things. To rightists I’d say that they don’t have magical powers, and to leftists I’d say that they are a people like other peoples, with pluses, minus, alliances, and oppositions. If those issues are surrounded with too much weirdness to explore freely and productively, then remaining silent can be yet another beneficial discipline. For starters, it trains one not to exaggerate their importance in the scheme of things.

  4. Bonald,

    There are two things closest to a man’s soul. His religion and his race. They’re complementary. As an Anglo I’m intensely proud of my race’s achievements and history.

    I do not care one whit for the Jews. They’ve got nothing to do with me. Bruce and Kristor appear to be intensely philo-semitic, but however intelligent they both are, they do not understand everything, and definitely not everything to do with the Jews.

    So, to hell with them! The Jews are of absolutely no interest to me, and I have no desire to interact with them. We have our own people, and our own religion. That’s more than enough for any man.

  5. In my defense, I remind my readers that I’m just a low-IQ gentile.

    With a PhD in (IIRC) physics? Yeah, what a maroon.

    So I ask my philosemitic colleagues: how do you combine your love for the Jews and conviction of their rectitude/superiority with a continued devotion to the historic Church, when our leaders, far from sharing your sentiments, thought of the Jews as dangerous rivals?

    Serious question: Who among your colleagues, specifically, believes in Jewish superiority? The historic Church rightly divined that it would be better for all members of a polis to be of one mind religiously: The ol’ fences make good neighbors doctrine. Non-believers, however benign, are enemies… to some degree. At this late date, however, in a polis that has, more or less, defined itself by pluralism, fencing off segments of the population from one another is no longer an option… at least not a moral one. The enemies of traditional Christianity are today manifold… and for every Abe Foxman, there are probably hundreds of Katharine Jefferts Schoris.

    There is no one monolithic Jewish culture just as there is no monolithic Christian one, and the Jews that most hate us also happen to be the least traditionally Jewish… and this is in precisely the same way, to precisely the same degree, that the Christians who hate us also happen to be least traditionally Christian. And noticing this somehow makes me a philosemite? That seems a pretty low bar.

  6. God chose to bring salvation through the Jews to prove that he is God.

    There is no inferiority here. On the contrary, had he used the beautiful Danes or the intensely spiritual African, it wouldn’t have been to His glory as much as to use the materialistic Jew.

    That’s my take on the subject, and it came years ago from an unlikely source…

    The best Christian man I know is half Jewish, and this is exactly how he explained it to me.

    • Somewhere — I thought it was in Isaac Williams’s Victorian-era Tract for the Times “On Reserve in Communicating Religious Knowledge,” but I didn’t find it there just now — I have read that the Lord’s choice of the Hebrew people was in line with His “usual” manner of concealing or “minimizing” His glory when He reveals Himself. Thus He did not choose a numerous people; He did not choose a wealthy people; He did not choose a tribe of highly skilled warriors — and so on; He chose a people otherwise not outstanding in history. This choice would be of a piece with many other details in the Bible. When God becomes a man, He is not born the son of an earthly queen; He is not born in a great capital city; the angels announce His birth not to the highest-ranking figures of the religious or political establishment but to shepherds. When Jesus works miracles, again and again He tells people not to draw attention to it. When Jesus dies, He does not die as a great warrior cut down while standing on a pile of bodies of the slain, but as a criminal. Later, in Acts, when St Peter is about to raise a lifeless girl, he has the room cleared — rather than summoning everyone to come and see the great work God is about to do through him. I could multiply examples, obviously, that fit this pattern.

      Isaac Williams or whoever it was said that God often “obscures” His great works so that those who do not receive it in faith will not be guilty of a greater sin (as I recall). “Verily Thou art a God that hidest Thyself, O God of Israel, the Savior” (Isaiah 45:15).

      We know much of God’s mighty works because of the Bible, but much of what it tells us would be unknown to us otherwise.

      The Bible is (for all its “familiarity”) the “Secret History” of Mankind.

      • I have to add a little to what I just sent. The ancient Hebrew people were not the most outwardly impressive of the nations. Similarly the means by which God works savingly are typically unimpressive: water (Baptism); bread and wine; the preaching of the Gospel by a sinful man. I would hesitate to say that the Hebrew people “were a sacrament” — but perhaps that sort of gets at the point I am trying to make. We might have thought He would choose, say, the ancient Greeks, so richly endowed with philosophical and artistic gifts… but He didn’t. “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty, and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things which are; that no flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Corinthians 1:27ff.)

        Incidentally, I can’t resist adding a tangent. Sometimes “going to church” is a somewhat humdrum thing, isn’t it? But what great loving condescension of our Lord! Really, it’s like we get to go in pilgrimage every Sunday. For me this is a walk of half a dozen blocks. Yet I am going to meet God. The incarnate Savior is going to give me His true Body and Blood for the forgiveness of my sins. I don’t have to save up and make an arduous once-in-a-lifetime journey to secure this priceless benefit.

        To the outward eye it looks so middle-class-America. But I go to meet with angels.

      • Here it is after all — from Isaac Williams’s Tract for the Times #80 On Reserve in Communicating Religious Knowledge. The second paragraph is what I was thinking of:

        “As our blessed SAVIOUR in various ways retired from the view of men, and hid His glories, so it is remarkable how little we know of the saints of GOD; of one of the most eminent of the disciples we know nothing, and next to nothing, of St. John’s private history and character. Indeed, what little we do know of them is but as it were accidental, and the exception to the general rule, as in the letters of St. Paul: and even there, casual intimations greatly tend to shew our ignorance respecting them, as of the Revelations of St. Paul, of the time he spent in Arabia, and at Tarsus. Add to these, how many things are there, which more immediately respect our LORD Himself, the account of which, as St. John says, would have been more than the world could contain, yet all lost in silence. So also the things pertaining to the kingdom which were spoken for the forty days. “Verily, thou art a GOD that hidest thyself, O GOD of Israel, the SAVIOUR. (Is. xlv.)

        “It must have occurred to every one, with some surprise at first, how much the sacred people, having the visible presence of GOD among them, and containing, as it were, the eternal destinies of mankind, were overlooked by, and unknown to, the more polished and powerful nations of the world. Gibbon has not failed to take hold of this circumstance. And, in like manner, how little Christianity was noticed or know to heathen writers at a time when it was secretly changing the whole face of the world, the salt of the earth, and on which the earth depended for its existence. There may be something analogous to this in cases of unknown individuals still.”

        http://anglicanhistory.org/tracts/tract80.html

  7. Well, this book explains Jews’ high IQ as a result of evolutionary pressures.

    http://the10000yearexplosion.com/medieval-evolutions/

    But having high IQ does not always mean to be closer to the truth. See:

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Intelligence-Paradox-Intelligent-Choice/dp/0470586958

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Master-His-Emissary-Divided/dp/0300168926/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1334159865&sr=1-1

    Some people had to be first to enter into a covenant with the one God. God chose the Jews (or rather, he chose the Hebrews, even before they became the Jews).

    This is a key point. The religion of Israel is not the same religion as current Judaism. This is a rather unknown fact, because Judaism is mostly unknown by the masses.

    Modern Judaism develops between the first and fifth centuries of the Christian era. After the destruction of the Temple in 90 AD, the ancient Israelite religion was not possible, because it was all about the Temple. A new religion developed with only some points of contact with the old religion.

    Judaism is not closer to the religion of Israel than Christianity is. Both religions preserve chunks of the ancient Israelite religion but they are radically different from the old religion.

    Modern Jews wanting to be identified with ancient Israelites is understandable but false.

    So, in summary, there are three religions: Israelite religion, Judaism and Christianity. The two latter ones come from the first one.

    This is why the Chosen People are not the current Jews but the ancient Israelites.

  8. I agree with bonald’s assessment of the apparent intellectual/cultural inferiority of traditionalists, but it seems only to hold true in the modern state of things. For this reason, Mr. Kalb’s comments above seem more on-the-mark as explaining the bigger picture, because they take into account what seems to be obvious to me, that the state of things as bonald describes them have not always been this way.

    I think in line with Mr. Kalb’s thoughts also, we could say, Sure the liberals and leftists who make up the cultural and ruling elite of our day are superior to us their contemporaries in what passes for being called “culture” and “society” today, but when compared to the Western culture and societies of the past, the modern elites wane, and appear as the cultural weaklings they are in reality.
    It seems to me that the hinge upon which everything turns is whether a society prizes the virtue of humility, and by this I mean keeping things in the right perspective, most especially living in the reality that my life is only a very small part of the whole, quite insignificant. The cultural elites of yesterday seemed to live with this humble understanding, as evidenced by their disposition that the attainment of learning, knowledge, skills, relationships, etc. all pointed to a higher good than themselves. The modern elite is characterized by the treatment of all of these goods as though they are to be attained for a greater good that does not go much further, if at all, than himself. The society that prizes the latter approach produces its own elite, who excel at functioning with the self as the highest or near-highest priority, but the society itself is inferior to that in which the elite recognizes a goal much greater than himself.

  9. There is an old book by Marxist (afaik) Jaques Ellul, Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitude. I read it a long time ago but one thing I recall from it was that he asserted that intellectual elites were more susceptible to propaganda than us average Joes. This was in part because they absorb more second and third-hand information than average and because they are expected to have good opinions on any given subject they are more tempted to pass along that second-hand information without properly vetting it. This has been my experience in my roamings in netspace. A progressive will descend from Leftist Mt. Sinai and deliver unto us stiff-necked people the Ten Metanarratives (Black crime is caused by institutional racism, Same-sex marriage doesn’t effect traditional marriage in any way, blah, blah, blah), but the dumb flock instead giving docile obedience, asks pointed questions like, “What is your source for this?” and “Doesn’t the existence of Asians and immigrants from Africa blow apart the institutional racism narrative?”, etc. But rather than humbly saying, “Ahh, you may have a point” and ditching the faulty narrative, our progressive high-priest doubles down with protective stupidity which you may recognize as Orwell described it: “the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction.”

    I would think those Jedi would appreciate the difference between knowledge and…heh heh…wisdom.

  10. I am an apostate Jew who comes from the left, and I read your site regularly because of it’s honesty, integrity, eloquence, and courage. Therefore I am disappointed that you chose to delete your last posting. It spoke much truth.

  11. Bonald: You da man. Intellectual and moral inferiority? Spare me, please!

    Unfortunately, I missed the discussion in the post and ensuing comments you had deleted. I’m sure it made for insightful reading. By Coincidence, at the same time I was engaged in a Facebook debate over Israel’s election (chosenness) with an Orthodox friend.

    You ask, “how do you combine your love for the Jews and conviction of their rectitude/superiority with a continued devotion to the historic Church, when our leaders, far from sharing your sentiments, thought of the Jews as dangerous rivals?”

    As a Bible-believing (soon-to-be) Catholic, I can’t imagine trying to answer this question without considering the theological relation of Israel and Judaism to the Church and Christianity. St. Paul charts the proper course here:

    “As concerning the gospel, indeed, they are enemies for your sake: but as touching the election, they are most dear for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are without revocation” (Rom. 11: 28-29).

    Earlier in the epistle, St. Paul enumerates what he means by the gifts and calling of God:

    “What advantage then hath the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? Much every way. First indeed, because the words of God were committed to them” (Rom. 3: 1-2).

    And later,

    “For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever” (Rom. 9: 3-5).

    The relation of church and synagogue is certainly ambiguous. While the church fathers spoke harshly of the Jews, St. Jerome, St. Chrysostom, St. Augustine, and St. John of Damascus all anticipated a future awakening of Israelites to the identity of their rightful Messiah. And this is the clear expectation of St. Paul (Rom. 11) and our Lord himself (Lk. 13: 34-35).

    At the very least, a future conversion of Israel presupposes the ongoing existence of that nation along with retention of her unique spiritual patrimony in some sense.

    The Catholic Catechism (1994) § 839-840 confirms that the Church publicly recognizes the irrevocable status of Israel’s formation and election by God.

    Somehow, the Jews while alienated from the fullness of God’s blessing still retain title to all the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, including… the Land.

    All this has implications for what attitude a Christian should take toward the problems that arise wherever the Jews settle. Without a doubt, the Jews are simultaneously elect and cursed (“His blood be on us and on our children.”) As a people, they are formed by divinely instituted covenant, but the majority of them travail under the burden of covenant sanctions.

    Imagine being in covenant with God cut off from the grace of Christ! It’s a terrible position to be in.

    Christians should not add to the affliction Jews continue to undergo. In one sense they are our enemies, but not in the same way that demon-possessed pagans and Mohammedans hate them. We are to bless our enemies, not persecute them. And we are to hold them as beloved “for the sake of the fathers”, indeed, for the sake of our Lord, who is their kinsman according to the flesh. Yet, we cannot support the Jewish right to national self-determination *in the land* without qualification.

    For several reasons I cannot get into here, I do not support a secular Israeli republic. However, in light of the precarious position the Jews face in the world, and, in trusting expectation of future eschatological blessing, I support a single state solution much along the lines of what Michael Wyschogrod here proposes: http://www.firstthings.com/article/2010/04/a-king-in-israel .

    A monarchy sans reigning king–a theocratic regency–would perfectly express the ambiguity of Israel’s already-not yet, chosen yet exiled, identity and condition. For obvious reasons I commend this solution to my fellow Orthosphere reactionaries. For, the risen and ascended Lord Jesus Christ is, and remains always, the rightful King of the Jews!

  12. “I’m taking down my previous Judaism post. Not because it offended everybody….”

    For what it’s worth, you did not offend me. I am however “offended” that you take it down.

    Unfortunately, the reason I hear all too often is “things” are being “taken down” because they offend… Is there a right to be not offended enshrined in some manifest of which I am not familiar with? Because, I am really offended by the obscene taxes I pay. Could I ask the government to “take them down” in order for me to heal?

    What kills us on the traditional side of things is “vorauseilender Gehorsam” (pre-emptive obedience) to the demands of our enemies…

  13. As several have pointed out, Judaism has split between the secular/liberal and the orthodox/traditional just as Christianity has. The Orthodox Jews have the same issues that Orthodox Christians have, namely being in the minority and having difficulty debating their positions. But the Orthodox Jewish response is simply to bury their heads in the sand and reject logic altogether.

    I was raised as a secular liberal Jew. By the time I rejected liberalism and looked for an alternative for my family, I was married to a non-Jew. I went to my local Orthodox rabbi and he rejected my family. I persisted and attended synagogue for 6 months to better understand Judaism. I discovered that my family could convert, but the process is absurdly difficult. I also discovered that Orthodox Judaism is being taken over by a Hasidic sect called Chabad of which my rabbi is a member. Chabad rejects logic and is totally inflexible, which makes it resistant to modern culture, but not very appealing to me. In the end, I gave up on Rabbinic Judaism. I now consider myself a Karaite Jew and I attend a Greek Orthodox church. I chose Greek Orthodox because they are tolerant enough to accept me as I am without forcing me to convert to Christianity, and because I found the Greek Orthodox to be more logical and more intelligent than the Orthodox Jews.

    The split is Judaism is real and permanent. Those intelligent Jews who win Nobel Prizes aren’t Orthodox Jews, they are secular Jews. And secular Jews are headed for assimilation which means they will cease being Jews. The future of Judaism is Orthodox Judaism, and these are the least intelligent Jews. In a century, Jews will have below average intelligence.

    The real issue to worry about isn’t Jew versus Christian, it is liberal/secular versus traditional/religious. And in this split, one of the biggest concerns is why the traditional/religious can’t attract more intelligent people. My opinion is that the reason is the rejection by the religious of basic accepted science like evolution. There is no reason why traditional religion can’t be reconciled with science. I am not saying that all religious people should be forced to accept evolution. What I am saying is that a strongly traditional religion should make room for both types of people, both biblical literalists and scientifically minded people, as long as these people accept the basic doctrine and morality of the religion. Integrating science and religion is the key to attracting intelligent people to the traditional-right.

    I have a last comment for Bonald. Bonald is one of my favorite bloggers and I found The Orthosphere through him. I would like to urge Bonald to attend a Chabad synagogue service on a Saturday to better understand Judaism. You will then see both the good and the bad. The good is very relevant to Christianity, particularly how the service fosters tribal and traditional values.

    • Hi Franklin,

      Nice to hear from you again. I’m surprised to hear you say that the Orthodox don’t have the characteristic Jewish intelligence. I’d never heard that before.

  14. Bonald, did you just “Lowry” yourself? What a pity. I agree with Joseph above . . . we ought not to assist the Masters of Discourse by “pre-emptive obedience” (such terms do appear more impressive in German). Also, the Jewish Problem is a real issue, and those who wish to ignore it won’t thereby make it go away, just like the dominant American political establishment’s fantasies won’t make the problems of our particular ethnic diversity go away. One commentator mentioned in the deleted thread that the Orthosphere had “jumped the shark” with your entry, and another mentioned that discussing such issues might scare away potential allies or converts. Yet, the problem remains, and being unwilling to discuss it openly, rationally, and honestly cripples us — leaving us prey to the “fever swamps of the anti-Semites” or to the white, conservative, Christian hating leftists, not a few of whom are rabbinical Jews. Moreover, such delicacy and misplaced tact are insulting to Jews. Men like Bernie Goldberg, Michael Medved, and Andrew Klavan — those allies and converts that we treasure so highly — are not girly whiners. Hopefully, they can distinguish between our discourse and the agenda of Mr. MacDonald.

    I cannot really answer your chief question since I don’t frame the issue in the same way. Rabbinical Jews are not a cleanly marked “Other” for me, for personal and religious reasons, as I have mentioned in my posts about them. On a personal level, I am a total Heebiephile (though NOT a hebephile!) because I admire, respect, and share many characteristics that are peculiarly abundant among the children of Jacob. There is no other ethnic group with whom I would rather spend my time.

    Religiously, I respect rabbinical Judaism as an ethically rich, pious tradition that is historically and doctrinally close to my own religion. I acknowledge its good aspects and blithely disapprove of its shortcomings — similarly to how I respond to mainstream Protestantism.

    On matters of religious “diplomacy” and religio-socially, though, I quickly lose patience with rabbinical Jews because truth and justice trump ethnic chauvinism and personal preferences for me. This might be a family trait. Last week when I was home, I attended a passion play at a local Roman parish with my father. I was pleased that the production kept the Barabbas scene with the ugly mob. I mentioned this to my father afterward, noting how “offensive” the gospel was to those in the rabbinical community who have taken upon themselves the role of official offendees. To which my father, a man of the most judenfreundlich tendencies, retorted in a way rather unkind to the Foxmans of the world. The only other time that I witnessed my halbjude father express anything negative toward the Jewish community was during the hysterical and bigoted reaction to The Passion of the Christ — for similar reasons.

    Given the Orthodoxfest on these threads, I want to note that some of the most hateful, anti-Christian rhetoric that I have ever witnessed has been sputtered by super Orthodox rabbinical Jews. Yes, secular Jews are far more likely to support monstrous leftist policies, but they are far more cordial . . . in the way that Anglicans are preferable to Westboro Baptists. Religious fanaticism — self righteousness, not a spirit enlightened by love and wisdom — creates ugly souls. Liberalism is a form of degenerate charity, but I prefer it to cold, proud legalism. Sloppy theology is likely less harmful than nakedly demonic theology.

    Mr. Nicolo, you wrote, “for every Abe Foxman, there are probably hundreds of Katharine Jefferts Schoris.” This is a continuation of the “liberal WASP” counterargument. First, you have to consider quality in addition to quantity. Sure — there are probably more WASP fools in Massachusetts alone than perverse Jews in the entire country, but look at the caliber of the threat. One Foxman is more estimable a foe than hundreds of Shoris. Look at what that man hath wrought. Consider the ethnic make up of the elite in the media, academia, the political establishment, and NGOs, and you will quickly see why the fever swamps come up with their conspiracies. Rabbinical Jews, observant or not, are at the center of American life now. However, that community still continues to behave, in large measure, as if they were still an oppressed outsider. I think that Sailer made the point that American Jews have become the elite without having acknowledged the cultural responsibilities of being the elite. Would the same be true of the “liberal WASPs” of the nineteenth century? Which of those American patricians Who Knew Better actively worked for the dissolution of the American people?

    Second, instead of comparing the rabbinical Jewish community in America to liberal WASPS, we should compare them to American WASPS in general. Which community, as a whole, is more harmful to the culture, to welcoming Christians to having a place in the public square, and to the traditions of Anglo-Saxon constitutional republicanism? We do not know exactly what has caused such dismal forces in the Jewish community, but we cannot deny that such forces are far more prevalent among American Jews than among WASPs. Moreover, the respective talents and organization of Jews magnify their influence. Therefore, what traditional, wise Jews we get on our side are a significant boon, like manna from heaven. Yet, not many join the side of guarding and preserving our civilization. Hence, the Shoris of America enjoy the considerable intellectual, creative, material, and political power of the American Jewish community. The American Left has successfully tapped the first round top demographic pick for its roster.

    To use Kristor’s policy test against his genteel and Christian disposition, imagine the American regime without the descendants of immigrants from the Pale and compare it to our actuality. It seems pretty clear to me which America would be stronger, more united, and more sane. Though I also suspect that it would be far less interesting, learned, and entertaining. Such thoughts trigger fears of Judenrein among us, but they clarify the situation instead of indulging in warm fuzzy hopes. Bonald’s original post brings up the Jewish Problem, and his taking it down doesn’t help to resolve our mess.

    To Franklin: the traditional rabbinical communities are not unintelligent. They are simply uneducated (in the modern, worldly sense) and uninvolved. Don’t you think that they will continue to be a fount of genius, which will only be recognized in the ones who leave their insular worlds? If traditional, observant life were “moronogenic,” then please explain the bright lights that have emerged since emancipation?

    • Wow, I only now realized that there are two Josephs. I’d been carrying on conversations thinking you two were the same guy. No wonder I was having trouble getting an overall picture of you.

      Yeah, I “Lowry”ed myself (excellent term, by the way). These subjects do need to be discussed, but I find that whenever I vent my frustrations, even a little, that ends up overshadowing whatever major points I was trying to make.

      • There is no Jewish Problem, and I think anyone who uses that phrase is asking for trouble. There is a problem of political correctness which is associated with education and intelligence and since Ashkenazim have both in abundance they are naturally disproportionately affected by it.

        You bring up the “Lowry” issue (the firing of The Derb from National Review). It is most apposite to this issue. I liked John Derbyshire and found him to be in the top handful of writers at National Review I looked forward to and enjoyed reading. Yet I thought Rich Lowry was correct to fire him. Why?

        It was Derbyshire who discussed the affect of IQ on racial outcomes, in aggregate, and up until his unfortunate post in Taki’s magazine, he had done so in dispassionate terms. The left wants to stifle this debate because they want to pin the unequal status of different racial groups in the United States on the inherent racism of capitalists. (No matter that this is a ridiculous argument and goes against the definition of a capitalist, ie. one who is motivated by profit above all else.) The truth is that in a meritocratic society, success or failure of races and cultures will tend to align statistically with their inherent abilities (again, in aggregate). Up until this episode, Derb was making this point effectively.

        However, it is impossible to make that argument if you reveal yourself as a racial triumphalist and disparage individuals in another group merely because of their membership in it. That is the line Derbyshire crossed in his Taki article and I think NR was right to dismiss him.

        National Review is the flagship publication of the right. It has to distance itself from extreme positions or the left will marginalize it. William F. Buckley knew this and criticized the extremism of Ayn Rand and others. Lowry was just following in that tradition.

      • Hello HenryOrientJnr,

        Well, I would say we should be extremists, but only on our core issues, i.e. extremely reactionary, theocratic, and patriarchal, but avoiding entanglements with unpopular beliefs that aren’t connected to our core issues.

      • Henry,

        I do not agree with your trepidation toward the monstrous Left and its taboos. “Asking for trouble”? Faugh!

        I’ll explain what I mean by the “Jewish Problem.” It is basically what Auster says, and we all know what a raving Judenhasser Auster is. In any society, ethnic, religious, linguistic, cultural, and class divisions cause tension and stress social cohesion and unity. Of course, the more healthy and robust the body politic is, the better the regime is able to deal with such problems. There are also many mitigating or aggravating circumstances that lessen or heighten the impact of those stresses. Unfortunately, leftist ideas are among the latter; they turn ailments into cancers. Yet, liberalism does not make the ailments problematic. For they are natural challenges that inhere in diversity.

        A society with a self-separating subpopulation will often have some level of social conflict. There are not many ethnic differences between the Amish and their normal American neighbors, but every year there are criminal cases that result from harrassment or violence between the two groups. The greater the difference, the more likely the rate and severity of conflict. Consider the less than rosy relations between American whites and blacks that no amount of manipulative advertising, institutional indoctrination, and media framing will change. The gypsies have been in Europe for centuries, and yet there remains enmity between them and the host population.

        Why, then, would I mention a specifically “Jewish Problem”? Unlike many other groups, Jewish communities do not engage in criminality at higher rates than their host population. They do not become a parasitic class that lives by a mendicant or criminal code. On the contrary, they tend to excel. Their learning, intelligence, industry, creativity, and organization allow them to climb the social ladders wherever they settle if their hosts allow them the freedom to do so. This is the Jewish Problem. It is not a special perfidity. It is not a genetic disposition toward destruction that only Jews have. There is no worldwide Zionist conspiracy to dispossess the closest competition. Rather, Jews are a self-separating subpopulation that invariably rises to the elite in an open, meritocratic host society. That is an inherent recipe for disaster. It is a real problem, and it must be discussed. We have seen the alternatives too many times.

        Only by acknowledging the problem can we take steps to mitigate it. The Parsis of India are in a similar situation, but they and the Hindu population appear to have developed a sustainable system that works for them. America before our cultural revolution also seemed to have kept a harmonious way. Sure, there were country clubs where Jews could not golf. Sure, Jews were overly represented among American Communists. Yet, overall, the relations were decent. Jewish Hollywood celebrated Christian America, and American Christians welcomed rabbinical Jews as fellow citizens without apologizing for their own cultural hegemony. We need to return to something like WASP hegemony, but we cannot even begin to take the steps that will ensure the longterm safety, peace, and social inclusion of American Jews until we recognize and proceed to deal with what you, Henry, find unthinkable.

    • I am not sure who to count as “the traditional rabbinical communities”. Rabbinic Judaism has changed a lot in the last few centuries. The liberal secular Jews came out of the Reform movement in Judaism which was the result of the impact of the Enlightenment in Judaism. At the other extreme is the Hasidic movement which is clearly anti-intellectual. Hasidism was a reaction against the intellectual Talmudic study of traditional Judaism. It appealed to Russian peasant Jews who were illiterate. Hasidism told these Jews that there is no need to understand anything or study anything as long one prays with sincerity. Today most of Judaism comes from one of these 2 movements. There still is a non-Hasidic Orthodox Judaism which I guess is the closest we have to traditional Judaism, but Hasidism is growing much faster. The Chabad approach (Chabad being the biggest Hasidic group) is to have its members act as rabbis to serve Orthodox synagogues and to actively recruit any Jews they can find to be members. They are successful at this, but given their standard anti-intellectual Hasidic approach, they attract the least intelligent Jews to their synagogues. So to clarify what I mean, non-Hasidic Orthodox Jews are intelligent but are not growing as fast as the Hasidic (Orthodox) Jews who are not very intelligent. Of course all this is just based on my limited experience of 6 months in Judaism.

      • Franklin, you’re right about some of this, but it’s really incomplete. I don’t have time to reply in detail now, but the fact is that soon after the founding of Hasidism, the Hasidim reacted to their reputation of being ignorant and decided to out-study their non-Hasidic opponents. Modern Hasidim are just as focussed on Talmud as their non-Hasidic Haredi counterparts, and much more so than the vast majority of Modern Orthodox. Think of what CHaBaD stands for – Chochmah, Binah, Da’at (Wisdom, Understanding, Knowldge). Chabad in particular DO tend to attract less intelligent Jews to their shuls, because they’re so focussed on outreach, but being affiliated with Chabad is not at all the same thing as being actual full-on Chabad-Lubavitcher Hasid. The actual Hasidim are normally quite smart, especially the men. Judging someone’s intelligence on whether or not they accept evolution/creation is just a shibboleth of modern secular culture; in my experience, it is far more correlated with what group you identify with than with intelligence.

        A couple of general points:

        1. Quite a few of the Orthodox, particularly the ultra-Orthodox, are either contemptuous or hateful of Western Christian culture…but typically they keep it to themselves. They are not well-educated about it, either – halachically they are not supposed to study other religions at all, and non-Jewish history and cultures only to the extent it is absolutely necessary to function. Also keep in mind that they are about as free to leave their communities as the Amish are, or probably slightly less – sure, they’re free to do it as Americans (or whatever), but at the cost of losing their families and the entire cultural matrix which is all they know, and they are unlikely to have many marketable skills outside that community. When it comes to Christianity, I’d guess that they are probably the least personally culpable non-Christians I have ever met.

        2. It’s the secular Jews that are the immediate problem, as many people here have pointed out – but I do think that part of that is not just liberalism, but the last dregs of Judaism mixed with liberalism, which is worse. Secular Jewry has major roots in the liberal emancipation of the Jews – they never wanted to assimilate to traditional Western culture, they wanted to assimilate to the new liberal Western culture. They have lost nearly everything of Judaism EXCEPT the aversion to traditional and conservative Western religion, culture and values, which provides a multiplier force for liberal values. To take a trivial example, one of the known points of non-observance amongst margially-observant Jews in the urban US is the consumption of Chinese food, particularly on Christmas. Chinese food is normally non-kosher, but it became popular among marginally-observant and newly non-observant Jews for several reasons, partly because it ‘feels’ less non-kosher than mainstream Western cuisine (Chinese cuisine tends have meat and seafood chopped into less-recognisable little bits, and, like kosher food, it doesn’t mix meat and milk), but also simply because Chinese food is definitely NOT mainstream Western cuisine. Just like atheism, Buddhism and neopaganism do not put one beyond the pale in secular Jewish society, but Christianity does, likewise marginally-observant Jews will eat Chinese food with pork chopped in tiny pieces, but NOT such recognisably Euro/American things as a roast ham, chicken in cream sauce, or cheeseburgers.

      • Franklin and Brock,

        Thank you for your responses. Only time will tell what rabbinical Judaism will look like in a century. Imagine yourself at any given point in time and think what would be reasonable to expect in the future at that moment. Then, think about what followed. History is usually surprising.

        I never thought about Jews and Chinese food that way. I just assumed that Jews ate Chinese on Western Christmas for the same reason that the Parkers ate Chinese in A Christmas Story — those joints are the only places open. Maybe the film was just Jewish Hollywood’s dastardly covering their tribe’s tracks by hoodwinking the gullible goyim! 😉 I spent Western Christmas in New York City one year, and I took my mother to Joe’s Shanghai for dinner. It was a very festive atmosphere.

        I have a question for you that I raised in “Jewish Leftism.” Basically, I want to know why the earlier wave of predominantly liberal, German Jews — who brought the Reform movement to America — appear to have become conservative while the later wave of traditionalist, Eastern European Jews have supplied the Gramscian Left its most formidable recruits in this country for the last century. In my ignorance, I can see several possibly explanations:

        * Liberal German Jews meshed well with conservative American ideas (“right liberal” in Auster’s terminology).

        * German Jews from the nineteenth century had better relations in the old country with the majority population, while immigrants from the Pale hated and feared non-Jews due to the pogroms.

        * German Jews were emancipated assimilationists (Reform Judaism is somewhat Protestant Judaism), while the folks from the shtetls had no experience of or desire for assimilating. Such would explain their varied responses to American society.

        * The earlier wave was accepted more into the mainstream of the American Midwest than the later wave that settled in East Coast ethnic ghettoes.

        * The political climates where the two groups settled determined their orientations, just like the Irish. Cincinnati Jews often registered as Republicans while New York Jews became Democrats with few exceptions.

        * “Conservative” and “progressive” tendencies within one’s religion do not necessarily match such tendencies toward outsiders.

        Do you have any insights about the issue?

      • Joseph,

        Didn’t see your comment until today. Yes, the fact that Chinese restaurants were open on Christmas was a factor, just not the only factor. (See ‘Safe Treyf’ http://dragon.soc.qc.cuny.edu/Staff/levine/SAFE-TREYF.pdf for an interesting take on the topic.)

        I am by no means an expert of every nuance of American Jewish history, but here are my guesses regarding your question.

        * Liberal German Jews meshed well with conservative American ideas (“right liberal” in Auster’s terminology).

        Yes, although of course they were recognised as very liberal at the time.

        * German Jews from the nineteenth century had better relations in the old country with the majority population, while immigrants from the Pale hated and feared non-Jews due to the pogroms.

        I agree, although I’d note that that the last clause is a very uncritical version of the mainstream Jewish view of the matter – the 19th/early20th century was not a good period for Eastern European Jews, but there’s more to historical Gentile/Jewish relations than that.

        I would also note that in my experience, there is a Jewish stereotype that the German Jew, the yekke, is very German in character, especially in the rigid and orderly sense, which fits well with the idea that they’d want to assimilate (mostly) to the local ‘conservative’ establishment.

        * German Jews were emancipated assimilationists (Reform Judaism is somewhat Protestant Judaism),

        Agree…and better-off materially, I believe, than the Ostjuden of the period.

        while the folks from the shtetls had no experience of or desire for assimilating. Such would explain their varied responses to American society.

        As I see it, the folks from the shtetls took one of two different paths when they emigrated. (Yes, I’m oversimplifying.) Some stayed observant, and are today’s ultra-Orthodox and Modern Orthodox, and today they have an increasing tendency to vote Republican, for several reasons – see http://www.momentmag.com/moment/issues/2011/12/Opinion-Roseneberg.html regarding the ultra-Orthodox. (I would note that historically, some Hasidic leaders publically preferred the Czar over Napoleon, mainly because they figured that as far as preserving traditional Jewish way of life was concerned, mild oppression was better than emancipation.)

        The other group took the opportunity of emigration to reject most of that culture/religion (some were already rebelling back in the old country), and are the ones I meant when talking about the dregs of Judaism combining with Western liberalism. These became the typical liberal American Jew.

        I don’t know enough detail about their historical patterns of political alignment to comment further – although I suspect that during much of the 20th century these two types were not differentited as much as they are now. They may have been much like working-class Catholics during the same period – many who were politically liberal but still identified as fairly religious/observant, and Democrats had not yet utterly rejected traditional morality.

      • Brock,

        Thank you for the response. I have not been able to find statistics on voting patterns for Jews in different places, but I know that there has been a consistent stream of Jewish Republican politicians in Cincinnati from the Civil War on in addition to Jewish officials in Republican administrations from Grant on. And they’re still around. So, I assume (possibly in error) that the populace matched the political orientation of politicians. We need no further evidence for what happened in the Northeast.

  15. “God loves them more”

    This is not what the Church teaches.

    “The Jews are obviously smarter than us on average, and their cultural contributions have dwarfed ours for at least a century”

    Certainly not true.
    I have read many Jewish writings and none of them have the depth and life of a Chesterton book.

  16. As a person who’s neither humble or expessially intelligent yo, let me console you. Quit being a beta male. There is always a fighter who is going to outclass you; think you’re strongest? Give it 5 minutes. Want to be strongest? Practice. Overcome. Don’t cry about it. Kick their butt and then shake their hand. Fight by the rules. Win on your terms, and if you’re really good win on their terms at. The same time. Write your legacy, and pass it on to your sons once you’re all washed up.

    Watch the tape to see their/your strengths and weaknesses- there is always a new way to overcome.

  17. With respect to ‘tribalism’, I am – like it or tormented by it – English, in much the same way as Tolkien: Englishness affects me, moves me, roots me, the older forms of English feel like my natural language and the only place I feel (sometimes) at home.

    Yet there may come a time when I must choose between English things and Heavenly things, indeed I feel that this time is very likely to arrive in the next few decades; and many English things must (one way or another) be abandoned with all the loss that entails.

    A man cannot serve two masters. Christianity trumps tribalism.

    In his Roman Catholicism, Tolkien no doubt felt the un-Englishness of that Church (e.g. his guardian was half Spanish, most RC priests in England were Irish) – and reached back across the Reformation to a time before even the Great Schism, to identify with the Anglo Saxon era of Oswald, the Beowulf poet, Alfred the Great.

    Christian reactionaries must, I think, do the same – we must reach back into history as a focus for our worldly loyalty: there is no modern institution that is worthy.

    • BSC,

      I am reminded of Nietzsche’s criticism of Christianity as a new Buddhism. Remember, we have an incarnational religion. The nihilistic interpretation of the gospel is for the gnostics, not for us. Do not eschew your English heritage as a Buddhist consolation while you witness evil men mar your civilization. Rather, redeem your civilization to the extent that you can. The Left hates Christendom. It thus hates England. You do not hate your mother because she is not Jesus, though the gospel leaves itself open to such Buddhist interpretations in many places. Resist and rejoice. And sing “Jerusalem” to yourself in moments of doubt!

  18. Good Lord. Exactly as I predicted would happen, the Orthosphere comes to a grinding halt over…. the Jews.

    And you know what? It didn’t take a great IQ to know it would happen. It was so predictable I’d say even a simpleton like Joseph of Cupertino could have foreseen it. And without any mystical visions or divine intervention.

    I just wish I had read your original post and winessed the usual suspects go into full on “YOU ANTI-SEMITE!!!” mode. Oh, well. Off to Google cache we go with a hope and a prayer.

    • The Orthosphere hasn’t come to a grinding halt.

      Contrary to what you say you assume, the usual suspects didn’t go into full “You anti-semite” mode. I was there and read the criticisms to Bandl’s original posting — which Bonald himself has said were well taken.

      I do not understand what is the good that is to be secured when people harp on “the problem” of “the Jews.” How does doing so help us to be better Christians? How does it help anything? What does it help?

      To me, such griping is reminscent of the whinging of onpopular high school boys who resent the jocks who get the pretty girls and the favors of teachers. Much of such griping isn’t pathological, the way the fondly-nursed bitterness of swastika fanciers is, but still it is distasteful — unmanly, I would say. Like, what’s your big problem? Haven’t y’all got other things better worth your time and communication?

      Put another way, since we are advised on the highest Authority that we will give an account of every idle word — How are such comments an improvement on silence? Isn’t there already enough chatter in the world? Surely we could all benefit from a little more silence — ?

      • I do not understand what is the good that is to be secured when people harp on “the problem” of “the Jews.”

        Harp? You seem to be living in opposite world. Here on Earth, critical talk about Jews is verboten . To find people “harping” on them, you have to go to some pretty fringey places, much fringier than the Orthosphere.

      • Bill, your response meets my questions with an assertion for which you don’t provide support.

        What is the discussion about “the Jews” that needs to occur here? How will it help you, and me, and others here to be better Christians, to be salt and light in our time and place?

        For all the griping about “the Jews” that I saw before Bonald took down his original posting, and elsewhere, I am still left wondering what emotional needs or itches are gratified when people gripe about “the Jews.”

        Are we not facing urgent trials, personally as Christians and as citizens in our various countries? Is it a responsible use of our time and a worthy expenditure of our thoughts to vent resentments about “the Jews”?

        Let me ask you, Bill, personally: what is one thing in your life that would be better if not for “the Jews” — or what is one thing you ought to do that you cannot do because of “the Jews”?

        Please answer — these are sincere questions, not simply rhetorical ones.

        I don’t see that it is “the Jews” who are coming over American borders and settling illegally in high-crime neighborhoods. I don’t see that it’s thuggish Jews who are beating up, setting fire to, or shooting people of other ethnicities. I don’t see that it is “the Jews” who are responsible for Roman Catholic bishops severely “disciplining” their orthodox pastors. I don’t see that Jews are the ones who are turning public education into an intellectually wasteful, spiritually demoralizing enterprise that swindles children out of their precious best years for learning. I don’t see that Jews are oppressing small farmers and compelling tax payers to subsidize agribusiness. I do not blame Jews for the obesity epidemic nor for the catastrophic rise in the numbers of parents bringing their children into the world as bastards. And so on.

      • Well Dale, we’ll never know now what the usual suspects said since the post has been deleted, entirely consistent with real world behaviour when it comes to mentioning in a critical manner anything to do with the Jews.

        You mention “harp” on the Jews. Is that what Bonald did, he harped on the Jews? That idiom is defined as “to repeat something many times in an annoying way, …said especially about complaints”. Is that what Bonald did, he harped on the Jews? Sounds to me like this is the first time he’s mentioned the unmentionable (unless adulating the Jews for their awesomeness) at this blog, and it’s certainly the first time I’ve commented here, yet you characterise one post and one comment as ‘harping on’ the Jews. Why Dale, why?

        You then call one post and a comment “griping [which] is reminscent of the whinging of onpopular high school boys”, but concede it isn’t “pathological”, which implies it may well be pathological as well.

        You sure have some loaded impressions happening in your world.

        Sounds to me like you have a problem with the Jews. Perhaps you are an anti-semite. They do say a philo-semite is an anti-semite who doesn’t know it yet.

        You ask “what is one thing in your life that would be better if not for “the Jews” — or what is one thing you ought to do that you cannot do because of “the Jews”? The answer is, obviously, posting in a critical manner about the Jews at the Orthosphere blog. See, there’s one thing you cannot do because of the Jews (or actually, for fear of the Jews).

        And you must know that any criticism of the Jews is to run the gauntlet of social ostracism, loss of job, and even imprisonment. For example, in Australia, there is a man in jail here right now, three year sentence, for the crime of anti-semitism.

        You must have missed the whole The Passion of the Christ attack on scripture and Mel Gibson Dale. You come across as a finger wagging, shaming, ignoramous who would be better to remain silent rather than expose your obsequiousness to the world. It is very unbecoming of a Christian who proclaims his own manliness.

        For everyone else, they must know by now that people like BGC, Kristor, Roebuck etc hold the Jews and their Talmudic religion as the highest of the high, which means their own faith and God is subordinate. So if you are wondering what profit there is in discussiing the Jews, there it is: it is to sort the wheat from the chaff.

      • Bill, your response meets my questions with an assertion for which you don’t provide support.

        What purpose can it possibly serve to say things like this? Do you really think there are people reading you who are so stupid as to not have noticed the rather strong social sanctions brought to bear? Do you think there are people so oblivious as to not have noticed that there has been no “harping” on the Jews on the Orthosphere?

        Or, maybe you somehow missed the point. I’ll help you out. Your question contained the predicate that the Orthosphere was “harping” on criticisms of the Jews. This predicate is an insult. Seeing as I kind of like this place, I asked you, not particularly nicely, to provide evidence for the truth of this insulting predicate. You have responded by trying to shift the burden of proof to me.

        I am still left wondering what emotional needs or itches are gratified when people gripe about “the Jews.”

        Of course, it must be mental pathology. What else could it be?

        Please answer — these are sincere questions, not simply rhetorical ones.

        Thanks for clearing that up! I would have thought they were rather infantile and passive aggressive attempts at personal insult had you not helped me out!

  19. Christian reactionaries must, I think, do the same – we must reach back into history as a focus for our worldly loyalty: there is no modern institution that is worthy.
    That is exactly what has been on my mind a lot lately.
    I would like to pursue that topic of discussion. What historical institutions, how we reach back to them.

    • The current example I am pursuing is the Church of England – which is currently in a very sorry state, but within the past century contained individuals of the stature of CS Lewis and Charles Williams, and supported a thriving (but new) monastic tradition such as the Cowley Fathers, Mirfield and the Society of Sacred Mission.

      I have been looking back a bit further to understand how this was possible and have been very pleasantly surprised by the spiritual depth and seriousness I have discovered.

      I then affiliate myself spiritually to this historical (but transcendentally alive, indeed permanently available) tradition which can still be glimpsed – here and there – in the (mostly) horrendous morass of modern Anglicanism.

      • Thank you–that’s encouraging to hear. I’ve struggled with an on again/off again relationship with the Catholic church for many years. This past year, I finally decided to go through RCIA, where I’ve learned a lot, but I have balked at going through with confirmation. If the Catholic hierarchy would stop trying to turn the church into a socialist organization, maybe I would go through with it.

        There are plenty of people like me who think the Catholic church is in a sorry mess. I find them on blogs like this one all the time. I just never meet them in the real world. If I did, I might go and join their parish.

        Meanwhile, I’m glad to hear you’ve found a tradition that give you spiritual sustenance. That encourages me not to give up, and to keep looking.

      • Clearly Obscure,

        Maybe I’ve asked you before, but is there a Fraternal Society of St Peter parish near you? You would find kindred spirits there. If the Society of St Pius X is ever regularized, you could try them, too—they are present in more places.

      • I’ve often wondered what it will be like for future generations, or even younger generations today, once Western Civilization has been replaced it with a drab, lifeless, totalitarian monoculture. Won’t they feel starved?

        I had some insight into that question recently, when I acquired a new client who is a video game designer.

        The titans of the video game industry are predominantly white males, extremely bright, creative, talented and successful. They make more money than I’ll ever see in a lifetime. They’re the nicest guys you could ever hope to work with. In another age, you could easily picture them marching off on crusades or going on quests.

        All the while the left is sucking the blood out of our civilization, these guys are busy recreating it in the virtual world. There’s a video game, wildly popular, called Civilization IV. You get to rule countries, fight barbarians, put down uprisings, all that stuff from the good old days.

        You can even try out roles such as blacksmithing. That really blew my mind. How many video game players have actually ever seen a blacksmith at work? Who would have thought that someone who spends all day in front of a computer has a secret hankering for being a blacksmith?

        I realize this is probably not an original insight, so I apologize, but it was new to me. It reminded me of stories you hear about small children who eat paint chips and dirt because they’re calcium-deprived. These guys are starved for civilization and they’ve found a way to turn that hunger into a billion-dollar industry.

        What are the odds these guys are Christian? I’d say probably close to nil. I don’t think we even need to ask how they vote.

      • Clearly Obscure, the Catholic Church needs people like you praying for its deliverance, writing letters to the bishop, offering encouragement to priests who give sound homilies, etc. There are, believe it or not, many good bishops and cardinals; Bp. Bruskiewitz in Nebrasks, Card. Dolan in NY, Card. Ranjith of Colombo (who recently ordered communion to be received exclusively through his diocese kneeling and on the tongue), etc. And the Holy Father is appointing more with every new consistory.

        Bill — Scuttlebutt has it SSPX regularization may be on the imminent horizon. Supposedly their response to the Holy Father’s last communique will be very positive.

      • Proph: thank you. It really helps to hear that. I haven’t given up on the Catholic church. Recently I felt the call to start a prolife ministry at our parish, since there isn’t one. I told our parish priest about it and he liked it. He said there’s a need for that kind of leadership. So that will give me something good to do.

      • Clearly Obscure: If you can stand it, maybe you should stay in your regular parish. Pro-life ministries are, as I understand it, often where the most orthodox members of parishes are to be found. Starting one at a parish which does not have one would be a service indeed. Not to mention the whole helping to stop the mass murder thing.

        Proph: From your lips to God’s ears.

  20. the real issue is the sense of guilt and inferiority we have that gives these attacks their particular sting

    You should examine this more Bonald. Why do you feel guilt and inferiority? I certainly don’t, quite the opposite. Justified, and superior. I let the facts do the talking without fear nor favour, though hold to my people thick and fast.

    You make a litany of unsupported statements about Jewish IQ and contribution to Western culture which cannot be critically examined as to their veracity without also being prepared to discuss Jewish failure and possible malfeasance. You cannot praise them alone and cast out any criticism. What value would the praise have when you have forbidden and criticial judgement?

    You assert “the Jews are obviously smarter than us on average, and their cultural contributions have dwarfed ours for at least a century. ” That’s some mighty big statement there. Dwarfed White contributions to our own civilisation since at least 1912. Wow, just wow.

    But setting that aside, let us note that if you want to praise Jewish contributions to our civilisation then you must also be prepared to criticise Jewish contributions to our civilisation where they have been negative. Otherwise there is no value in your praise, other than being a public declaration of your obedience to the realpolitik of life in the West.

    You’ll always have these shaming grovellers who want to drag you down into guilt and feelings of inferiority. Ignore them. Even better, chastise them. They are wrong, they refuse to examine the facts, and are very much of the ilk who have subjugated our own Catholic faith to being a mere choice among many choices, just another way or path to God, all equally valid ijn their error. Yet, that has never been our Catholic faith, and it was never the founding principle of our people and our God, which created this civilisation.

    You were on the right path to criticise the Jews, just as you would criticise any other impediment to our own salvation. Please continue and put this down to a minor setback.

  21. I, for one, am wary of intelligence quotients and genetics determining who is considered intelligent in our society. Though naive to think that certain genetic pressures have produced groups with faster cognitive ability and processing; the adaptation of cognitive ability to a situation is both relative and says nothing about what intelligence actually is or what is required to be considered one with a superior intellect and it perplexes me that so many reactionaries/traditionalists and men on the right embrace noetic attitudes which ultimately succor leftist thought.

    As it has already been pointed out, there are downsides to a faster cognitive ability, like easier susceptibility to propaganda; there is also a distinct narrative which defines intelligence by ‘liberal’ traits that reveals little about about cognitive processing. Why should we concede that the type of novelty embraced by high IQ peoples is a sign of intelligence? Which animals, not stressed or under duress, survive with such maladaptive traits in their environment? How is novelty more of a sign of intelligence than habit or the application of phronesis? What about wisdom in general? How intelligent is it to reduce intelligence to the mental sphere and embrace the Cartesian reduction that the “mind” or “self” is some sort of thing and not an hypostasized abstraction. Somewhere along the line, the embrace of liberal thinking has infected all intellectual pursuit and obscured what often girds even their most intelligent members? What about the fluidity of cognitive ability in each individual? IQ has been shown to be very fluid over an individuals lifetime….

    I think we are living through a period where there are very few people who should be seen as intelligent, despite their cognitive ability or novel techniques. So much of it is based on circular reasoning, and self-definitions. [as for example the Whiggish/Weberian notion that Northern Europeans are smarter than Southern Europeans because they succeed in the areas they assess themselves by.] Those on the right should feel that they are solid ground, with plenty of empirical evidence, when they speak of intelligence because intelligence starts with ‘witnesses.’ An intelligent man is a good witness, and a good witness starts with a good social order and excellent habits. Order and Habits that are not produced by leftists. If they were, the leftist elites today wouldn’t so closely mimic these habits socially. Western civilization, the Abrahamic Faiths, and Christianity has produced the greatest intellects thus far because it has given people the environment of the habits, wisdom, and social order to thrive intellectually.

    This isn’t ground that anyone, with the proper amount of humility, should concede by today’s standards.

    • I don’t think that problem solving abilities, which is what we basically mean by intelligence, is a cultural bias. Different individuals and different groups have different gifts in different distributions. Among such gifts is the ability to notice patterns, absorb information, make distinctions, and propose solutions. That is something that we should want for our society.

      Of course, only birds that fly will crash in midair. Snakes will not crash in midair. Is that an argument against the gift of flight?

  22. This is one of the most pathetic things I’ve ever read.
    The Jews are the murderers of Christ and the enemies of the Church; how can
    you call yourself a traditionalist Christian and believe otherwise?

    Being a philosemitic Christian is a contradiction; it is like being a
    pro-Pharisee Christian.

    How can you be envious that your tribe is not the one controlling the
    godless pornographic media that dominates our culture?

    God is punishing the West’s apostasy by allowing the vile Jews to dominate
    us. As Christians, we are to glory in the Lord, and not to be prideful of
    how well we do on tests, or how much political power we have within a
    deeply diseased society.

    I’ve created a website intended to educate poorly informed evangelicals
    about the Jews; I must say that even the writers on what I thought was a
    more learned site are in need of the same basic instruction, which is quite
    sad.

    • Hello Mr. Pulaski,

      If you think I’m a philosemitic Christian, just wait till you meet my colleagues.

      Yes, I do envy the Jews’ cultural power. Who wouldn’t want their tribe to be the ones running the culture?

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