Roebuck’s Standard Orthosphere Disclaimer

I don’t like drawing attention to myself but sometimes it’s necessary.

As (I think) the sole Protestant writer at the Orthosphere, I find myself in a bit of a tricky situation. On the one hand I don’t want to be unnecessarily provocative. On the other hand I blog mainly to teach important truths, especially to my son and other young people. And the most important type of truth is Christianity.

And teaching this truth often requires that I teach what is known as Protestant doctrine. (It’s actually biblical doctrine.) I’m not looking to pick a fight with Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. I’m just teaching. But sometimes non-Protestant commenters call my teaching heresy.

[By the way, it’s a small subset of the commenters who are sometimes abusive. The other Orthosphere writers are civil when they disagree.]

At other times I diagnose heresy, heterodoxy and general foolishness in (Protestant) Christendom. And then those (generally Catholic) hostile non-Protestant commenters tell me that my Protestant Christendom is heretical and foolish by definition, because it’s non-Catholic.

*

This happens again and again and again and again… It’s not going to go away, because I intend to continue teaching, but it’s always the same. Therefore we need a standard disclaimer for my non-sectarian Christian posts, that is, posts which do not directly argue against Catholic or Eastern Orthodox teaching:

*

Roebuck’s Standard Disclaimer for Non-Sectarian-Christian Posts

Yes, I know you non-Protestant Christians disagree with justification by faith alone and sola scriptura and all that. Yes, I know you Catholics believe your Church has the God-given authority to define and rule Christianity, and I’m allegedly a rebel and a heretic. Yes, I know you non-Protestant Christians believe that Protestantism originated with heresy and disobedience.

I’m aware of all that. So you don’t need to say it again.

Also, I deny your criticisms. That’s why I’m not Catholic or Eastern Orthodox. I have good reasons for my convictions. (I’d say “I’m right and you’re wrong!” but I’m trying to be as irenic as possible.) But this is not the place to fight over Protestantism. I’m not attacking you; I’m just explaining truths.

And I don’t post hostile comments when you articulate Catholic or Eastern Orthodox doctrine. Occasionally I express my disagreement, but I don’t call you a bunch of heretics. My (Protestant) convictions may indeed require me to regard you as, in some sense, heretics, but that sort of semi-abusive language is not to my liking.  I just say what I believe, without getting personal.

Therefore, since the intent of this post is not to attack Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy, don’t attack me. Be civil. Disagree it you want, but if your language makes you sound like an enemy your comment will probably be blocked.

 

106 thoughts on “Roebuck’s Standard Orthosphere Disclaimer

  1. Pingback: Roebuck’s Standard Orthosphere Disclaimer | Neoreactive

  2. Haven’t you noticed? The *hatred* that some of the anti-Protestants who comment here have toward Protestantism is so great that they propose and imagine they can make common cause with “the old left”.

      • Here is an example which Google found for me, though it’s not as perfect — as direct — as one might hope —

        In the Whether Leftism is a Christian heresy thread —

        Ita Scripta Est:An engagement with the left (classical old-left, i.e. left on economic issues, moderate to conservative on social issues) is one route of engagement that I think could bear fruit. It is not as far fetched as one might initially think. Most of the best traditionalist thinkers in the past 40 or so years have come out of the Marxist milieu, thinkers such as Christopher Lasch or Alasdair MacIntyre. While these thinkers are not in every way perfect, they offer powerful (and too often neglected) critiques of liberalism, much more so than the libertarians and right-liberals who dominate the conservative movement today, including among neo-reactionaries.

        Svar:I am very glad to see that I am not the only one who is advocating an alliance with the Old Left. You could also add Eugene Genovese and James Burnham to that list. The Old Right has much in common with the Old Left and we personally have much more in common with the likes of Huey Long, Ernest Hemingway and H.L. Mencken that we do to George Bush or Bill O’ Reilly.

        Really, I think that an Americanized version of the German Revolutionary Right (Conservative Revolutionarism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservative_Revolutionary_movement http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Julius_Jung) is what we would need here to have any real sort of effect. The working man and the farmer (the backbone of the nation) are extremely disgruntled by this current zeitgeist.

        There are lot of good ideas here but there needs to be a point where they must be implemented.

        The casual reader must keep in mind that the “liberalism” which Ita Scripta Est wants critiqued (and overthrown) is not leftism; it is, rather, the constellation of ideas, habits of mind and ways of living that in America we group under the banner “conservative”. What Ita Scripta Est wants to overthrow is liberty

        My original statement was this: “Haven’t you noticed? The *hatred* that some of the anti-Protestants who comment here have toward Protestantism is so great that they propose and imagine they can make common cause with “the old left”.

        The casual reader must also keep in mind that many (most?) of the regulars here, including amongst the authors, are constantly accusing Protestantism of being the Font of All the Ills of the World — these people generally allow for no distinction between Protestantism and leftism — which is rather amusing, considering that leftism originated and was nourished in a Catholic social milieu … and that it has long-since taken over the bureaucracy of The One True Bureaucracy.

    • Yeah and you are allowed to get away with saying things like this- from an Ilion comment two years ago- Now, here is the point – how would all you Catholics, both those who explicitly said the same sort of thing here and those who thought it but didn’t write it react? Many, if not most, of you would be shrieking like hypocritical little pussies: “How *dare* you imply that [the Roman denomination] isn’t *real* Christianity!!1!”

      And

      So, Kristor, you’re all on-board with all that “co-redemptrix” heretical idolatry with which the Roman denomination is shot through and through?

      See here https://orthosphere.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/queen-of-heaven-a-working-hypothesis/#comments

      Right but its Catholic commentators who are always haters here. If I posted something like that I would have been banned a long time ago.

      What Ita Scripta Est wants to overthrow is liberty

      Absolutely! This is a blog for antiliberal thinkers so rejecting liberty is par for the course.

      these people generally allow for no distinction between Protestantism and leftism

      You’re saying that we “hate” Protestants because we cannot distinguish them as being a part of the left yet you are chastising us at the same time for drawing certain ideas from the left? That doesn’t make any sense.

      considering that leftism originated and was nourished in a Catholic social milieu

      Yeah and the reason that places like modern-day Sweden, Holland and England are hyperleftist is because of all those dastardly Catholics voting for their welfare programs right?

      • What Ita Scripta Est wants to overthrow is liberty

        Yes the vicious anti-Protestants Catholics here condemned the American revolution against a Protestant King and we we were likened to North Korean communists by the Mormon commentator Leo.-

        Real monarchies are hard to find these days. North Korea has one. The demon of Liberty does not stalk Kim Jong-un’s realm. The Supreme Leader, the Great Successor to the Dear Leader, would be unlikely to allow blog posts such as this, though he might be impressed with Ferrara’s support of monarchy and his condemnation of Liberty in general and America and its founders in particular.

        https://orthosphere.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/liberty-the-demon-that-succeeded/

      • “Yeah and the reason that places like modern-day Sweden, Holland and England are hyperleftist is because of all those dastardly Catholics voting for their welfare programs right?”

        Hmmm. How about those Catholic bastions of Ireland, Italy, Spain and France? For the past two hundred years France (a Catholic country) was the center of European liberalism. In Germany the Christian Democrats are mainly Catholic. And in the good old USofA who consistently votes for the leftwing party? You guessed it: Catholics. As shown here:

        http://www.pewforum.org/2012/10/11/the-catholic-swing-vote/

        and here:

        http://www.gallup.com/poll/11911/protestant-catholic-vote.aspx

        So yeah Catholicism gives us liberalism and we can see the blasted husks of this disaster in the aforementioned nations.

      • Catholic and Protestant societies apostatize in somewhat different ways, but after a couple of generations they tend to converge on the same pattern. Catholic countries tend to produce more communists, Protestant countries tend to produce more liberals. American style liberalism is a one-of-a-kind concoction, and it absolutely positively came from New England Calvinism, by way of the Unitarian movement. All of its main ideas were flourishing in the U.S. before Catholics began to arrive in significant numbers. Catholics added some of the socialism to American Liberalism, but all of the counter-cultural lifestyle bits came straight from New England.

        Finger-pointing at this stage of the Rout of Religion seems a little pointless to me.

    • JMSmith:Finger-pointing at this stage of the Rout of Religion seems a little pointless to me.

      Well, sure. Now, get the Catholics to agree to that implicit truce. But, you can’t, because The One True Bureaucracy is absolutely committed to destroying all experiments in self-government.

      • Having watched these arguments from the sidelines, it looks to me as if there are plenty of bigots on both sides. As I wrote above, on March 24th, “Bigotry is a large part of the explanation of the collapse of Christendom, and with the Saracen now at the gate (actually inside the gate), I’d like to think we have learned our lesson.” If we were living in the seventeenth century, you might reasonably hope that the Reformation would succeed, and I might likewise hope for a successful Counterreformation. But that was four hundred years ago and both sides failed. So maybe you are not simply Heretics and we are not simply the Scarlet Woman of Babylon. Just what we are and how we are related is not, at present, perfectly clear. Which suggests to me that we patiently wait for a little more light.

        You (we) have already lost self government, and it was’t the Church of Rome who took it away from you (us). The Church of Rome has considerably more regard for self government than does, say, the Supreme Court of the United States.

      • In general, I agree with your approach, JM. But with my Orthosphere essays, there is a specific and asymmetrical process that occurs:

        1) I affirm a point of Protestant doctrine, generally as part of a non-sectarian essay, and always in a relatively polite, non-confrontational way.
        2) One or more of a small group of regular Catholic readers find any expression of the dreaded “heresy” to be intolerable, and vent their spleen.
        3) Publicly attacked, I have to respond, but always in a relatively calm and impersonal manner.
        4) Other Protestant readers also respond, often with less restraint.
        5) Events take their natural course.

        My main point is that the Catholic readers start the brawl. I don’t start fights when someone expresses Catholic or Orthodox doctrine at the Orthosphere.

        Of course, my detractors say I’m the one who starts it, by expressing the dreaded heresy in their presence.

      • Alan@ I know. I’ve seen what you are talking about, here and in other places. Like you, I have no wish to paper over differences and pretend they do not exist. I distain all mealy-mouthed talk of contradictory propositions all being correct “in their own way.” Fie! At the same time, I am grieved by the internecine strive that forever weakens the universal Church of Christ, of which I take us all to be a part. One possible way forward may be to concern ourselves less with beliefs and more with believers. What I mean is that we should try to honor each other as men who are trying to worship God aright. You may well disapprove the way I am doing this just now, but you can still honor what I am trying to do. And I, of course, can honor you in the same way. We can extend this honor to any man who has a heartfelt desire to “get right with God,” even when we think he is very, very far from that end, and that he is going about it in a very imperfect way. We can honor each other as “God fearing men” without yielding one inch on essential doctrine. In fact, in honoring each other, we may well create the conditions to discuss that inch of doctrine without coming to blows.

      • Well said, Mr. Smith. I’d like to think we’ve learned our lesson too. But apparently not.

      • My main point is that the Catholic readers start the brawl.

        Not always. Ilion starts a lot of it with out any prompting.

        https://orthosphere.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/queen-of-heaven-a-working-hypothesis/

        See his comment here
        Now, here is the point – how would all you Catholics, both those who explicitly said the same sort of thing here and those who thought it but didn’t write it react? Many, if not most, of you would be shrieking like hypocritical little pussies: “How *dare* you imply that [the Roman denomination] isn’t *real* Christianity!!1!

        Of course only I get called out for responding to him. You also let Mormons spew whatever calumny against Christianity they want here without any censure. That really takes away from the Orthosphere’s claim to be defending traditional religion. I also have to respectfully disagree with JMSmith’s point. I have more respect for a lax or culture Catholic than I would say a devout Mormon. The former maybe wayward but the later is actively against the Truth.

      • Ilion starts a lot of it with out any prompting.

        OK. I acknowledge that Ilion is an exception to my generalization. But I’m no longer sure he’s a Protestant. He seems to be a general-purpose contrarian.

        You also let Mormons spew whatever calumny against Christianity they want here without any censure.

        When I see false doctrine, I respond to it if I have the time and if it seems important.

        And if it is aimed at me personally. A Catholic who is a lot closer to me theologically than a Mormon but who comes across as more of an enemy will draw more of my fire.

      • Alan Roebuck, “acknowledging” a lie by itascriptaest:OK. I acknowledge that Ilion is an exception to my generalization.

        You can “acknowledge” all the lies you wish, they are still lies. And you can ally yourself with leftists of the likes of ‘itascriptaest’ all you wish, and all you’ll get is a knife in the back.

      • Well, you do start some fights. At least you do against Catholicism here at the Orthosphere what ISE and his ilk do against Protestantism here at the Orthosphere.

        I’m obviously not an ally of ISE. I’m just agreeing with his occasional broken clock.

      • Alan Roebuck, “acknowledging” a lie by itascriptaest:

        How did I lie in quoting your own words? Are you denying that you started the attacks on that thread?

        And you can ally yourself with leftists of the likes of ‘itascriptaest’ all you wish, and all you’ll get is a knife in the back.

        Observe how for the liberal, anything beyond liberalism is “leftism” which is really to say “totalitarian.” This is how disqualifies any alternative.

        I’m obviously not an ally of ISE. I’m just agreeing with his occasional broken clock

        I agree that alliances aren’t possible, but I think most of us here agree that the Orthosphere is a forum for anti-liberalism from Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox perspectives. I wouldn’t put up with a Catholic liberal like John Zmirak anymore than I do Ilion.

  3. Pingback: Roebuck’s Standard Orthosphere Disclaimer – CHRIST THE MORNING STAR

  4. Mr. Roebuck, I’ll share what it is that irks me so sorely to read your posts. And I’ll do it in a manner that is unmistakably civil, since you normally find my polemics to be little more than abuse.

    This place is called the Orthosphere. It claims to be “a domain of Christian orthodoxy,” as well as a site for “Christian Reactionaries, since we agree that Modernity… is radically defective.”

    Protestantism has been regarded by the most excellent Catholic thinkers as the inventor of Modernism, which is the synthesis of all heresies.

    In fact, the notion that Protestantism is the progenitor of Modernism isn’t just an opinion. It is the teaching of the Church, routinely articulated in the Ordinary Magisterium prior to the crisis in the Church, and acknowledged with special solemnity and specificity by pope St. Pius X. After describing how Modernism is the synthesis of all heresies, he is explicit about Protestantism being its initiator: “Certainly this suffices to show superabundantly by how many roads Modernism leads to the annihilation of all religion. The first step in this direction was taken by Protestantism; the second is made by Modernism; the next will plunge headlong into atheism” (Pascendi Dominici Gregis 39). And, as pope Pius XII reminds us, even if encyclical letters are not infallible, the encyclical letters of any (true) pope command the obedience of the faithful:

    “Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: “He who hears you, hears me”; and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their official documents purposely pass judgment on a matter up to that time under dispute, it is obvious that that matter, according to the mind and will of the Pontiffs, cannot be any longer considered a question open to discussion among theologians.” Humani Generis 20

    So, Encyclicals teach what is already Magisterial, and when they purposefully take a side on something previously disputed, it amounts to a serious judgment on the matter. Beyond the authority of the Magisterium, the role of Protestantism in the destruction of European civilization is to me a plain truth of reason and of history.

    Now, the West has been continually eroded by compromises with our revolutionizing European brothers, from a well-meaning desire to appear “reasonable” and to “dialogue” with people whose premises and goals appear to have some common cause with us, though, ultimately, they undermine our most precious and necessary principles. After several centuries of this, some of us are very, very weary of it. So, I think some of the Catholics are taken aback by three things, primarily:

    1) That the progenitor of the precise pan-heresy we oppose, the worst heresy in history, has a voice on a site aspiring to orthodoxy.

    2) That the cradle of Modernity has a voice on a site that claims Reactionary affiliations.

    3) That this simply continues the pattern of Tradition suffering at the hands of “entryists” – i.e., people who want to join with us and be “mostly” on our side, but whose real effect is to induce compromise (as a virtue, even!) precisely on the most necessary points of Tradition’s cause.

    I will also add, that the sharpest sorrow I feel, is for the complete loss of the sense of Catholicity. Are the (Catholics?) who run the site unaware, that being an accessory to the publication of heretical views is grave matter, and has been regarded by the Church as a far worse sin than even theft, adultery or murder? Yet I imagine they view it as “dialogue,” a la the spirit of JPII and VII; the vision at Fatima of souls falling into hell like snowflakes comes often to my mind these days, so complete has been the forgetfulness of our duties to Faith and morals, even amongst Catholics. If I saw Catholics fornicating I would grieve; I grieve far more for this.

    Anyway, that is the source of the exasperation. Though I’m sure you disagree with my point of view, I think I have articulated a germane reflection upon the reaction you receive, with some surprise to you, from Catholics; I also believe I have done so without abuse, insult or any other lack of civility.

    • This is not a Catholic site, meaning a site dedicated to propagating and defending Catholic doctrine. If you don’t like my posts, don’t read ’em.

      Also, Mr. Moner is an example of one who talks like an enemy, not just one who disagrees. He sees Protestantism as the font of evil in the modern West, not just as a heresy he opposes. He wants Protestantism eradicated, not just opposed. Any expression of it offends his soul.

      That’s why he’d be better off not reading my posts.

      • I suppose I could best put it this way: when folk like Pelosi and Biden advocate for contraception, gay rights, abortion, etc., saying that they do these things as “catholics,” or even *because* they are “catholic,” Catholics rightly get annoyed, and wonder why they don’t shove off and become Episcopalians or Unitarians. There is a sense that people should be what they claim to be, and if they don’t really want to be that, to stop claiming affiliation with it.

        When I come to a site claiming to stand for orthodoxy and the Reaction, with a quote from De Maistre at the top (who was a violent anti-Protestant and anti-Revolutionary), but I find Protestantism openly preached, and a spirit of worldly politeness, with site moderators shying away from “shocking” topics like the possible inevitability of violence if we want European people or civilization to survive (and attacking those who raise these topics for doing so anonymously, whereas they have reputations to protect!), I get the same kind of feeling. The Reaction is an explicitly anti-Modern, anti-Protestant movement, and it is guaranteed, at this point in history, to ruin a man’s reputation in modern society. Also, “orthodoxy” either means something, or it doesn’t. Your blog can be about whatever you want it to be about, obviously. That being the case, it seems to me that you should not advert to orthodoxy and Reaction, under a banner featuring de Maistre, if you don’t really affiliate yourself with those ideas, and accord with the view of polite, modern society that such topics are really beyond the pale.

        You don’t have to be Reactionaries; I’m just saying that open promotion of Protestantism is precisely what de Maistre and the Reaction opposed… so, maybe you aren’t really Reactionaries, and would prefer to identify with some other point of view. If you think I’m mean about Protestants, de Maistre makes me look like a kitten. Why would you even want to post articles on a page headed by his words? I say that without any rancor; I’m just pointing out a fact. Why should you lionize men and ideals, with which you clearly don’t agree? Why should the people who do agree with de Maistre and the Reaction, find themselves banned or scolded here for speaking and thinking in a far milder manner, even, than him?

    • It seems to me that Protestantism was in fact the progenitor of Modernism — in much the same way that Catholicism was the progenitor of Protestantism.

  5. Your entire argument for Protestantism is question begging.

    You basically say: “I’m only teaching the Truth. Why are you opposed to the Truth?”

    Why don’t you just close comments on all your articles? Otherwise, I think people are perfectly justified in arguing about doctrine when you write about it.

    • You basically say: “I’m only teaching the Truth. Why are you opposed to the Truth?”

      I’m obviously not saying that. Brush up on your reading skills. I’m saying that I won’t permit a Protestant-Catholic brawl in a post not having that intention.

      Your entire argument for Protestantism is question begging.

      I have not given a knock-down-drag-out argument for Protestantism because this blog is not the place for it. Out of respect for my fellow Orthosphere writers, I don’t shoot to kill. That’s basic civility, not “question-begging.”

      I think people are perfectly justified in arguing about doctrine when you write about it.

      So do I, but they’re my posts. I decide whether a comment is worthy or not; whether it’s threadjacking or not.

      Besides, the arguments generally have a certain repetitiveness about them which grows stale. You guys say that your Church has the authority to define Christendom, I point out that there is no evidence that it does and that even if it did, its authority does not solve the problems you people say it does, etc….

  6. To the Roman Catholics here, I would ask — Is it your wish that the Orthosphere simply be another blog for the expression of Roman Catholic teachings and opinion?

    • Do you mean —

      1. like those ones who turned on a dime from saying “John Paul II is the greatest thing since sliced-bread” and “Benedict XVI is the greatest thing since sliced-bread” to saying “Francis is the greatest thing since sliced-bread”
      2. like those ones who resist saying “Francis is the greatest thing since sliced-bread”
    • Responding to Wurmbrand but speaking only for myself, I would say no, as there are plenty of Catholic-issue-specific websites. The Orthosphere is a forum for the discussion of the Crisis of Western Civilization, as that is understood by those of us on the Intellectual and Political Right. Reactionism and Catholicism tend to go together, it is true; but that typical affiliation never precludes others. Nor does it preclude the collaboration of Catholics and Protestants, Alan Roebuck belonging to the latter category. Alan sees things pretty much as I see things, so much so that I am willing to bracket the specific theological disagreements that might otherwise separate us in order to work with him. Not incidentally, he is willing to make the matching gesture in the other direction.

      I have not noticed that Alan uses The Orthosphere to preach the Protestant view. He has several times explained the Protestant view, often by request, but that is hardly the same as preaching it.

      On the matter of author-control within a thread, my sense of propriety is the same as Alan’s: In my thread, I have a perfect right to arbitrate, up to and including the refusal or deletion of comments. I admire Alan for his willingness to exercise that same right.

      Finally, to those who, like Mr. Moner, find themselves incensed or outraged or (God forbid) offended by Alan’s contributions, I join Alan in saying, skip Alan’s contributions. Not reading them is the surest way not to be incensed or outraged or (God forbid) offended by them.

      • I’m not offended by the content of Alan’s contributions; I’ve been an atheist, a Protestant, a Greek and then Russian Orthodox monk, and finally a Catholic. I’m not easily offended by different ideas, or I’d still be an atheist.

        I simply find the presentation of Protestantism jarring, on a site with avowed aspirations to orthodoxy, Reactionary views and anti-Modern convictions. Now, who am I? Do you care about how I feel? No, I’m not a liberal and I don’t think that my feelings should be interesting to other people. I only share my view, because I think it is true that these things are sharply inconsistent. I would only expect you to care about my view for that same reason – i.e., you value the truth and would want to evaluate whether there is any truth in that.

        I have not meant to imply that you should silence Mr. Roebuck. I merely offer the opinion that, if Mr. Roebuck’s are the kind of contributions you value, you may want to consider presenting your site differently. I began contributing initially some time ago, and was shocked, soon after my first contributions, to find a Protestant directly advocating Confessional Protestantism. I’m sure others were similarly confused, because it is so very jarring, juxtaposed as it is with de Maistre, “orthodoxy,” “anti-Modernist,” etc. What orthodox Reactionary does not understand, with de Maistre, that Protestantism was the origin of the Revolution? And we saw in the comboxes how the issues of Leftist dialectic played out while discussing the matter. As Zippy told Mr. Roebuck: “What you are asking for is for the kind of people who take doctrinal differences seriously to set aside doctrinal differences for the sake of opposing the modern shibboleth of ruthlessly suppressing doctrinal differences in favor of monomaniacal tyrannotolerance.”

        Can you not see how true this is? This is why I say that the two are incompatible – because they are, and people will always be exasperated and wearied by the attempt to make these opposites touch, as has been made here a few times, now. It’s not that I care what ideology you espouse, per se; I would just hope you could disentangle yourself from the ideological confusion summarized so well by Zippy, by not trying to advance religious orthodoxy and anti-Modern Reaction via pacts of tolerance and doctrinal pretermission with the seedbed of Modernity. They’re not compatible, as should be obvious by now.

    • This isn’t my blog and I don’t feel entitled to have specific wishes about the details of its internal, editorial decisions. They will express whatever opinions they wish to express.

      On a broad and general level, I do wish that people who affiliate themselves with ideas such as orthodoxy, anti-Modernism and Reactionary philosophy/politics, and who associate themselves with such persons as de Maistre, would have a sense of what those things and people stand for, and not advance ideas which are precisely contrary thereto. If they choose to promote Protestantism, they are able to do so; but in that case, sure, I would wish upon a star that they’d present themselves differently – for starters, by taking down the de Maistre quote and abandoning the pretense of Reactionary and anti-Modern convictions. Along the same lines, Vegans would be irritated if they came to a blog called “Meat is Murder,” with quotes from Gary Francione at the top, only to find helpful hints on preparing a delectable boeuf bourgignon, betwixt heartfelt pleas that Vegans form a non-ideological pact with us, to ensure that boeuf bourgignon is produced humanely, at least.

  7. I have something of a “Perennialist” disposition. Almost ALL traditionalists of any stripe, the Perennialist School is just another variant of New Age and Theosophy. There was an essay written by the metaphysician , Frithjof Schuon, that featured a super interesting defense of Protestantism from an esoteric point of view. This piece will probably be objectionable to most Orthosphereans, but it’s a provocative read all the same.

    For anyone interested, “The Question of Protestantism” by Frithjof Schuon can be found at World Wisdom.

    • Well considering that Schuon converted to Islam I’m already wary of him. I feel the same way about Guenon, despite his excellent critique of modernity. Perennialism always seemed too wishy-washy to me.

  8. Respectfully, many things could be said of the Perennialist point of view, but “wishy-washy” is certainly not one of them. At the very least, their rigorous and penetrating critiques of modernity are unmatched. But, that would be “singin to choir” here at the Orthosphere.

    • Maybe wishy-washy isn’t quite right, but there is a tendency to explain away very obvious contradictions among perennialists and, like I said, too many of them are overly sympathetic to Islam for me. I’ll except Evola from my dislike, but his beliefs were more idiosyncratic (to say the least) than perennialists.

  9. I agree that the anti-Protestant polemics on websites like this get tiring. Why are Catholics so eager to pick fights with Protestants rather than the actual imminent threat? Here are a few reasons.

    1) Intra-Catholic signaling. The way things have played out in intra-Catholic disputes, liberal Catholics have often distinguished themselves by being rhetorically positive towards Protestants, so conservative Catholics prove their zeal for orthodoxy by badmouthing Protestants at every turn. It’s important to remember, though, how selective the esteem of liberal Catholics toward Protestants actually is. You’ll never hear them say a kind word about fundamentalists, Baptists, Evangelicals, or Mormons. There’s no reason conservative Catholics can’t exercise some discernment as well.

    2) Cowardice. Badmouthing Protestants is a low-cost amusement in today’s world. Try to imagine some of these Catholic warriors saying a word against the Jews, a far greater menace than observant Protestants by any measure.

    3) Embarrassment over the cowardice of our co-religionists. How many of those bakers being sued to oblivion by gays are Catholic? To a Catholic like me, it is deeply humiliating to see Evangelical Protestants and Mormons almost exclusively taking the heat from today’s anti-Christian forces while our own bishops and pope run for cover, frantically trying to appease. Telling yourself that Protestantism is just another flavor of liberalism takes away a bit of the sting.

    4) Fear of creeping indifferentism. How can we police our own orthodoxy if heterodox communions aren’t so bad? In theory this could be a problem, but in today’s world where Martin Luther would be a more orthodox Catholic than any theologian in the Catholic Theological Society it’s really not a pressing issue. If it ever became one, I think the terms Alan proposes for our alliance would cover it.

    • Thanks, Bonald.

      If anyone here who’s a Roman Catholic or Orthodox Christian senses that he, perhaps, needs to become fairer to authentic Lutheran Christianity (though he is firm in his own convictions), I would direct such a one to the perusal of a few books.

      First — for all reactionaries — food for us all — Gaines’s Evening in the Palace of Reason: Bach Meets Frederick the Great in the Age of Enlightenment. [TFB should review this for us.]

      Then more narrowly focused on Lutheran convictions —

      The Two Natures in Christ, by Martin Chemnitz — a classic Lutheran study that was used as the textbook for an Orthodox course on Christology

      Faith and Act: The Survival of Medieval Ceremonies in the Lutheran reformation, by Zeeden

      The point is not to lure you from your church but to balance the things that usually come to your mind when you think “Luther,” “Lutheran” with some important matters of faith and practice. This could help those who would be more comfortable if Lutherans were expelled from the Orthosphere.

      • To add a bit —

        I think it would be a good thing if some Orthosphereans took time for some of the great works made by members of other groups. I’m doing my Lenten watching of Bach’s St Matthew Passion — here’s something for other than Lutherans. I relish the stories of the very Roman Catholic Flannery O’Connor, and my house contains a “beautiful corner” of icons. Eclecticism? Syncretism? It would be better for all concerned if I removed these non-Lutheran things (since I’m determined to be a Lutheran)? Orthodox and Roman Catholics should not listen to Bach?

        But all these things, Bach, O’Connor, Rublev — are signs against the modernity in the midst of which nearly all of us live; and perennial resources against it.

        Surely it is the moderns who twist themselves around about “cultural appropriation” if a white man plays Mississippi Delta blues or wears a sombrero. Fooey!

        So, here’s Bach, fellow Orthosphereans. Please appropriate to your hearts’ content.

    • though, how selective the esteem of liberal Catholics toward Protestants actually is. You’ll never hear them say a kind word about fundamentalists, Baptists, Evangelicals, or Mormons. There’s no reason conservative Catholics can’t exercise some discernment as well.
      No. Right liberals love to work with evangelicals and Mormons much more so than with traditional Catholics. Robert George will defend Mormons,even despicable ones like Mitt Romney, but will condemn traditional Catholics like the SSPX. John Zmirak is open about making common cause with evangelicals against “Catholic fascists” a.k.a. real Catholics.Let’s not forget the recent meeting on the family in Philadelphia on the occasion of Pope Francis’s visit to the US. Were traditional Catholics in any meaningful way incorporated? Were traditional Catholics who had large families and who follow traditional Catholic doctrine on contraception invited or given pride of place by a week modernist bishops? No, Mormons evangelicals were though. So the very same bishops wanted to strike down Catholic doctrine just love to bring in Mormons and Evangelicals to lecture the rest of us about “family values.”

      2) Try to imagine some of these Catholic warriors saying a word against the Jews, a far greater menace than observant Protestants by any measure.

      Actually a lot of traditional Catholics do just that fact much more so than your conservative Protestant buddies. You do realize, Bonald, that the vast majority of evangelicals and Mormons would sooner take sides with Zionists against you?

      our own bishops and pope

      Love Mormons and Evangelicals and promote them much more than ever would traditional Catholicism. Your Theoretical Mormon pal is especially incoherent on this, he says on the one hand that the modern Catholic Church under Pope Francis is hopelessly corrupt and evil, yet the modern Catholic Church under Francis bends over backwards to form unprecedented ecumenical alliances in the culture wars especially with Mormons. So what precisely are we to take away from this? But you never challenge the theoretical Mormon on this do you? You talk a big game about Catholic tribalism but in reality you let non-Catholics walk all over you, and it is even made even more pathetic by the fact that you let a theoretical Mormon influence your views on religion.

  10. Oh, come on, Mr. Roebuck, you’ll really have us believe that you don’t relish lists of obscure conciliar notes, medieval ecclesial canons, and creative classification systems to mark which ancient anathemas contemporary Protestants incur? Ha! The next thing you’ll say is that you don’t click on Rorate Coeli every morning before breakfast. I have a hard time accepting that.

  11. As one of the few Reformed commenters here, I share Mr. Roebuck’s sentiments: I do not wish to offend the Roman Catholic contributors (but probably have anyway), so I try to steer clear of forceful denunciations of Roman Catholic beliefs, yet at the same time, I feel compelled to respond to misrepresentations and attacks made by hostile Roman Catholic commenters.

    Since the key beliefs that distinguish Protestantism and Roman Catholicism are axiomatic, there is little chance of one side convincing the other: our arguments rest on bases that the other side does not recognize as valid. So—why bother?

    As Mr. Roebuck alluded to, the endless sniping by the hostile Roman Catholic commenters has grown old. How about praying for us, rather than calling us heretics and the fount of all that ails the world?

  12. Alan,
    As I think I’ve said to you before, I think doctrinal disputes between Christians should be undertaken in a spirit of charity and humility. Bigotry is a large part of the explanation of the collapse of Christendom, and with the Saracen now at the gate (actually inside the gate), I’d like to think we have learned our lesson. There is, we may hope, a means to heal this great schism and restore the unity of the Church, but at present we lack the light to discover this means. Thus we should practice patience, forbearance and prayer until that light comes.

    When in dialogue with someone on the other side of a large question, I think it is best to adopt a disinterested stance–for the sake of the dialogue. We might describe this by flipping Coleridge’s “suspension of disbelief” on its head and speaking of a “suspension of belief.” My convictions remain my convictions, and your’s remain your’s, but within the context of the dialogue we should speak of these as relative truths. We do not abandon our belief that certain doctrines are true, but we do suspend it for the sake of dialogue.

    This can prevent a discussion from devolving into a quarrel because neither side is accusing the other side of error. Relativism is rotten as an epistemological theory, but it is extremely valuable as a social theory. When you write “I’m not attacking you; I’m just explaining truths,” you are of course attacking anyone who denies that what you hold out as true is indeed true. You are attacking that person’s beliefs, their intelligence, even their sanity. If you were to say “the truth as I see it” or “the truth as propounded in the Reformed tradition,” you might provoke less hostility.

    I’m not about to defend my fellow Roman Catholics on this score, since they are no slouches when it comes to bigotry. Charity and humility ought to be Christian virtues (and did I mention that the Saracen is inside the gate). I also think they are wrong (and uncharitable) to refer to creedal Protestants as heretics, since a heretic is a false teacher inside the Church. If you claimed to be a Roman Catholic and advanced the doctrines that you do, you would be a heretic, but since you don’t, you aren’t. And I don’t think either of us should call the other a heretical Christian since we both (I believe) assent to the ancient creeds. Unitarians are heretical Christians, but so far as I can see, Calvinists are not. We Catholics should pay more attention to the genuine “heretics,” meaning the false teachers within our own Church.

    • JM,

      In general, I agree with and appreciate the sentiments you express here.

      doctrinal disputes between Christians should be undertaken in a spirit of charity and humility.

      Amen to that!

      We do not abandon our belief that certain doctrines are true, but we do suspend it for the sake of dialogue.

      I can endorse something like this formulation. Each of us has convictions, but when conversing with a sympathetic person we don’t need to emphasize our rightness and the other person’s wrongness.

      When you write “I’m not attacking you; I’m just explaining truths,” you are of course attacking anyone who denies that what you hold out as true is indeed true.

      I think it depends on the spirit of the discussion. It could just be an expression of confidence in my position, or it could be an attack, depending on various other factors.

      If you were to say “the truth as I see it” or “the truth as propounded in the Reformed tradition,” you might provoke less hostility.

      That’s a generally good point. But sometimes hostile interlocutors take the “as I see it” part as relativism or weakness. I suppose it depends on whether I’m speaking to someone who’s generally friendly or hostile.

      …a heretic is a false teacher inside the Church…I don’t think either of us should call the other a heretical Christian since we both (I believe) assent to the ancient creeds.

      Yes, I assent to the Ecumenical Creeds. And the word “heresy” is often used in a somewhat elastic sense. It can mean one who professes an important erroneous doctrine, and it can also be an expression of disagreement. As I said, I generally don’t like to call other people “heretics,” and I have used that term here mostly in the wider, looser, sense.

      • JMS:Alan, As I think I’ve said to you before, I think doctrinal disputes between Christians should be undertaken in a spirit of charity and humility. Bigotry is a large part of the explanation of the collapse of Christendom …
        =======
        JMS:If you were to say “the truth as I see it” or “the truth as propounded in the Reformed tradition,” you might provoke less hostility.

        AR:That’s a generally good point. But sometimes hostile interlocutors take the “as I see it” part as relativism or weakness.

        Someone who *is* approaching these doctrinal disputes “in a spirit of charity and humility” is not going to need the suggested qualifications spelled out. If a person is approaching these doctrinal disputes “in a spirit of charity and humility“, than the qualifications are already there, implicitly.

        Someone who is *not* approaching these doctrinal disputes “in a spirit of charity and humility” will refuse to see the “spirit of charity and humility” of the other person, no matter what he says.

    • @Dr. Smith I more or less wholeheartedly agree, except that Protestantism is the very definition of a Christian heresy. Thank you also for pointing out Alan’s circular reasoning and very thinly veiled hostile language to him. Maybe he’ll listen to you.

      @Bonald I think it’s wrong to say that we’re deliberately going after Alan. Catholics here have only engaged him when he writes trying to argue for a specifically Protestant form of Christianity. He then argues is fundamentally flawed ways such as writing that his ideas aren’t Protestant merely “Biblical.” He also classifies anyone who disagrees as hostile. I don’t see anyone going off topic on his other posts, though I haven’t read them all.

      This latest example of his passive-agressive style seems to be a response to the lukewarm reception he got for his proposed Christian pact. Most of the opposition came from those worried about your fourth point: creeping indifferentism.

      @Wurmbrand Thank you for the book recommendations.

      @wm Lewis Why can’t we do both?

      @Aurelius While it is a little weird that a site with this name and having a de Maistre quote at the top hosting Protestant writers is a little odd, I personally don’t mind. Also, don’t compare us to vegans dude; I’d rather be called a heretic.

      • OK, I’ll bite:

        Can you cite one example of my “circular reasoning”?

        (Just one so that we can be focused.)

      • It has already been pointed out that claiming that you aren’t attacking but only teaching truths when you clearly know these “truths” are in hot contention between is question begging.

        Here is another example distilled (keep in mind it has been a long time since logic class).

        You claim above: Protestant doctrine is Biblical doctrine.

        You know: The Bible by its nature equals Truth to everyone here.

        The point of contention is: which branch of Christianity does the Bible support (is true)

        You at bottom say: Protestantism is true because it is Biblical Christianity.

        It is is petitio principii in a single step.

        Similar arguments you’ve made have been pointed out to you before (by Zippy for one on an article you wrote on Protestant doctrine.

        But I’m really not interested in this since your claim that you are unfairly being attacked when you clearly aren’t is more why I’m so against this post. You only ever get the kind of arguments you so abhor when you write about topics of contention within Christianity. It is simply to be expected. And considering the condescension of this latest article, you’re more or less asking us to come out and oppose you. And your reaction to what have been perfectly valid criticisms of some of your reasoning is why your proposed pact will never work.

      • It has already been pointed out that claiming that you aren’t attacking but only teaching truths when you clearly know these “truths” are in hot contention between is question begging.

        “Begging the question,” by definition, is a form of argumentation. An assertion, by definition, cannot be begging the question because it is not an argument. You do not like my statement that I’m not attacking but only teaching, but it is not a fallacy.

        Similar comments pertain to my claim that Protestant doctrine is biblical. It’s an assertion, and therefore it cannot be question-begging.

        Furthermore, not every assertion is an intellectual attack. If you take offense at my assertions, that does not make them attacks. An attack requires an intent to offend, and if the intent is lacking then it is not an attack. It is something you dislike, but not an attack.

        …your claim that you are unfairly being attacked when you clearly aren’t is more why I’m so against this post.

        I think your response to my post would qualify as an attack. It’s not that I find such attacks “unfair,” it’s that I don’t wish to get into a major brawl here. Everybody knows the arguments that go back and forth between partisans of Protestantism and Catholicism, and they are generally unenlightening to most people. They may satisfy a primitive urge to attack the enemy, and they may influence the uncommitted, but they have no intellectual effect on the partisans involved.

      • “I defend Protestant doctrine (actually it’s Biblical doctrine).”

        This is an argument though a bad one. It is implied that you defend Protestantism because it is in fact Biblical doctrine. It was written in the context of getting people who disagree with you to leave you alone. Question begging is often disguised as an assertion (consider a Christian saying to an atheist “we live in creation.” This implies a creator, the very point of contention) but what you wrote isn’t even so disguised.

        If you intended something else, you should reword it to something like “I defend what I believe is Biblically sound doctrine.”

        Well I made it as clear as possible. If you can’t see that saying “Protestant doctrine is Biblical doctrine” in this context is the same as a lawyer’s opening statement being “that criminal is guilty” then I can’t help you.

        As for the rest, if you really want us to drop the issue, maybe you shouldn’t word your disclaimer as a condescending challenge?

  13. I would hope I have never said anything that would have been taken in a hostile way, though it is hard to remember as I comment everywhere and frequently so. Obviously the gulf between we Orthodox and the Protestants is wide indeed. While we have a ‘schismatic’ relationship with Catholics due to issues that range from importance (form of primacy, filioque) to negligability (Marian doctrine), our outlook on the metapolitical problems of our age are almost identical where there is more difference with the Protestant view, especially low-church protestantism, and this stems from our diverging concepts of the priesthood and Church authority.

    But acknowledging that, Mr. Roebuck, I consider you to be an ally and a mighty intellect, and one day I hope to have the resources to attend an Orthosphere meetup.

    • Addendum: Having read the comments under this post (I honestly was not aware of the brannigan that has apparently gone on here). Let me just articulate the following to justify how I can have a huge amount of respect for both Mr. Roebuck and Mr. Moner who I follow the work of. What brings together the wider Reactosphere is a profound and radical rejection of the Modern World, and I have pursued an approach which cultivates my own critique by taking the best of those who have disagreements with me but agree on the central premise that the Modern World is fundamentally disordered and evil.

      I have had fruitful dialogue with Roman Catholics, Protestants, Pagans, Atheists, Mormons, even Muslims. And this is not a compromise of my Orthodox faith upon which I stand with an adamant defensiveness, but addressing that even the earliest Church Fathers acknowledged that wisdom could come from without. It is why I have allowed myself to be amazed at my level of agreement with Guenon, a Sufi! I give great credence to Maistre and do not feel I must be a Roman Catholic to do so. Similarly I have met Catholics who were enamored of Corneliu Codreanu who was of course a soldier of Orthodoxy.

      With this in mind, even though I do think Protestantism provided one half of the fertile ground necessary for the rise of the Modern World and the horrors of the Enlightenment, that does not mean I shut out everything Protestants say on matters of importance. It was an evangelical apologist who opened my atheistic eyes to God, a debt which I can never repay. If Roebuck pens an article with which I can agree and find value in, then it’s worth saying so, and the same is true of the opposite, and who knows perhaps in my interactions I might peak his interest in the One True Faith 😉

      • William Lane Craig’s work softened my intellectual barriers to the point where I could accept Christ.

        I just want it to be known that I agree with the Catholic critique of Protestantism. There is nothing in substance that Moner has raised that I find myself on the other side of. In spite of that however, I respect you for the wisdom you have written with, in the same way that I respect Bruce Charlton, who is even a step further away from Orthodoxy.I guess my focus as a metapolitical theorist insulates me somewhat from theological quarrels. That’s not to say they shouldn’t happen, especially on a site such as this, and so long as they are civil, I think it is healthy.

      • Dr. Craig had a large influence on me as well. I was raised in a liberal United Methodist church and so thought of myself as a Christian, but had never been given any reasons to believe. Through Craig and others I discovered that there are ample reasons to believe.

      • It is an interesting comparison that CS Lewis (a Protestant Anglican – although toward the end of his life and after he wrote his well-known apologetics increasingly Anglo-Catholic) has been warmly praised and enjoyed by Roman Catholics (especially Pope JP II), Orthodox, Non-conformists and Evangelicals, and Mormons – Since this has been possible for many decades, I find it strange that Orthosphere commenters apparently have trouble profiting from the work of sincere and articulate Christians of other denominations.

      • @brucecharlton: “I find it strange that …”

        Bruce, I don’t s’much find it strange that Orthosphere commenters can’t profit from sincere and articulate Christians of a different flavor from themselves, as much as I find it strange or odd, the idea that gives rise to it. Namely that non-Catholics cannot possibly live and conduct themselves as Traditionalists by virtue of their/our non-Catholicism. Perhaps it doesn’t occur to them that in various important ways we have begun to move *away from* Protestant conduct, and towards traditional Catholicism? Is this not a movement in the right direction from their perspective?

        I suppose that if one is looking for, and will accept nothing less than absolute purity in living traditionalist existences, then all of us, including impure Catholics who make common cause with Protestant heretics, ought to be burned at the stake. Lord knows we all deserve it!

        In the meantime, I’m personally just going to continue living the *radically different* (I.e., traditional) lifestyle I have been living and building on for a long time now, and by virtue thereof, drawing alot of unwanted attention to myself from the paranoid liberal order surrounding me on all sides.

        Quite literally not a single day goes by that I’m not confronted, in one way or the other, by persons (liberals and leftists) who on the one hand will go out of their way to tell me what a refreshingly different kind of a family ours is (by today’s standards that ain’t saying all that much, and I do realize that), and on the other, when I share with these same persons some of the ways in which we live traditional lifestyle (I can make a list if anyone likes, but in short we reject all aspects of modernity that tend to the destruction of the family as the fundamental unit of healthy society, and the pollution of individual souls), they find it extremely odd and alarming. But why shouldn’t they? It’s radically different, as I said.

        I read this blog on a daily basis for two reasons: (1) to learn, from Protestants and Catholics alike, and (2), and relatedly, because this is a place where Traditionalists I respect and admire congregate and exchange ideas. That’s pretty much the size of it *for me*. Can’t speak for anyone else, but I see no good reason to purposely offend and drive away potential converts. There is a place for purely Catholic teaching, and if that is what I desired at this point in my Christian existence, that is where I’d spend my blogging time. Perhaps one day. But as for this moment and the near future, I’m going to hang around here amongst friends who support and encourage me in rejecting modernity, not just in word but in deed! I appreciate the Catholic contributors who teach me in a spirit of humility, good will and charity. For my part, don’t change a thing!

      • Mr. Citadel, I’m honored that a man whom I so respect and follow, also takes pleasure in reading anything I write. I wish very much to share with you the joy I am feeling in this Easter Week, but I understand the importance of the anticipation of Lent, in which the Orthodox are still laboring, so I’ll resist the urge and wish you a fruitful remainder to your fast.

        I have been an Atheist, Protestant, Orthodox monk, and now a Catholic religious in simple vows. I am very able to engage with different views, and to change my own accordingly. To this day, I consider C.S. Lewis and George MacDonald to have made important contributions to my spiritual life; I am glad for what was good in my Protestant past. And, where one expects reasonably to find Protestants, I interact with them happily enough.

        Though I disapprove of the free expression of Protestantism and/or Liberalism anywhere, it is not to the expression of such things, per se, that I object in this case. Rather, I balk at finding a site claiming affiliations to Christian orthodoxy and reaction, where there are regular posts with such flawed premises, that they inevitably provoke a recapitulation of the entire struggle with Liberalism and Modernism when they occur. The wrangling is not so much over doctrine, as over the philosophical incoherence of Liberalism. For example, he might say “you can take Confessional Protestantism seriously, because it is only liberal Christianity that is a problem” (not realizing that letting people have their own truths is already Liberalism) and then suggest a kind of pact where we “agree to disagree” and “not to harm” the other’s ideology. I’m sure I don’t need to explain to you how this already is Liberalism and Modernism, and hence the comboxes play out the typical dialogue with Leftism: calls for Free Speech, facile claims that only “hate” would preclude one from acquiescing to blessed compromise and cooperation, and even “if you don’t like abortions then don’t have one” types of statements.

        I’m actually curious as to your opinion on speaking with people who seem interested in reactionary affiliation, but do not see how completely they still subscribe to core principles of Liberalism. On the one hand, yes, obviously I could simply not read the blog if it “bothers” me so much. But that misses the point; I don’t read the blog for entertainment, I read it because there is an important battle of ideas at present, on which the soul of Western Civilization depends. Obviously I’m not the reactionary police; but I’m operating on the assumption of good will, and that aspiring reactionaries would want to understand if and how they are latent Liberals. What Reactionary could make any bones about the fact that we oppose – i.e., intend to harm, to destroy, to eradicate – Liberalism and Modernism, and that will inevitably mean eradicating Protestantism?

        One can’t even cavil that Protestantism is “low” on the list of priorities, and we’ll get around to it after we get around to all the “other things;” the “other things” are predicated upon the same principle as Protestantism, such that to destroy the principle is to destroy all of these manifestations of it at one and the same time. If the principle survives anywhere, the disappearance of this or that predicated manifestation is cold comfort; they will soon be replaced. I’ve tried to point this out, as has Zippy with much greater clarity and brevity. Do you think we’ve done a poor job of explaining these principles, which to me are crystal clear and hard to miss? How would you do it better? While I acknowledge my debt to certain pious and reasoned reflections of Protestants on general topics, do you actually think it is possible to enter into a non-aggression pact with Protestantism per se, to support calls for tolerance and free speech, to dismiss those who refuse to compromise on these principles as “haters” and “extremists,” etc., while still working for the Reaction in any meaningful way?

        If this was a shooting war, sure; buddy up with the Baptists and Pagan Nationalists and mow those hippies down; we’ll divide the country afterwards. But in the battle of ideas, how do we meaningfully cooperate by adopting the very principles we are bound to extirpate? How, specifically, do you approach this quandary? How would you improve upon Zippy’s attempts to clarify the incoherence of Liberalism at any stage, even on the ground level of Protestantism? Or, if you don’t think that’s important, how would you explain to me, that a meaningful ideological cooperation (as opposed to political or tactical cooperation, which already exists) is possible with Protestantism, including a promise not to harm it? Just for example, Mr. Roebuck’s proposed pact defines Modernism as “denial of the God of the Bible” and the attempt to “make man the measure of all things.” He gets closer to the gist of it in the latter statement, but the more usual, Reactionary understanding of Modernism is the thorough-going tolerance of error, often to the point of protecting dissent and investing it with rights abstracted from objective morality, leading to the incoherence of Liberalism and its “tyrannical tolerance.” How does one enter into a pact against this, by doing this? How to ally against “making man the measure of all things,” with the group that invented this approach? Why would a Reactionary set aside the more acute diagnosis of Modernism to form a compact with actual Modernists against a vaguely “anti-Biblical” animus in society? How would he promise “not to harm” something which the Reaction would inevitably destroy by the very act of succeeding?

      • @AureliusMoner –

        Thank you for your kinds sentiments. They are much appreciated! Since you put so much time into this response, I wanted to respond point by point to the best of my ability:

        “I balk at finding a site claiming affiliations to Christian orthodoxy and reaction, where there are regular posts with such flawed premises, that they inevitably provoke a recapitulation of the entire struggle with Liberalism and Modernism when they occur.”

        And I think when you find such posts with flawed premises, you should challenge them. The Orthosphere makes its own editorial decisions with regard to comments obviously, but I do support very much an open forum here, so long as people are serious and civil.

        “The wrangling is not so much over doctrine, as over the philosophical incoherence of Liberalism. For example, he might say “you can take Confessional Protestantism seriously, because it is only liberal Christianity that is a problem” (not realizing that letting people have their own truths is already Liberalism)”

        I’m not sure this is truly Liberalism, rather it just strikes me as theological relativism. I am, like you, opposed to such a doctrine. I do not think all men should interpret the Word of God for themselves, which leads to much error. Consider, that Sunni Islam has basically the same doctrine as Protestantism in this regard. There is no established priesthood, and as the adage goes, “for Sunnis, anybody can be an imam”. And yet, I wouldn’t say that the majority of Sunnis around the world qualify as ‘Liberal’. Theological relativism is definitely dangerous and can lead to Liberalism, but I would hesitate to define it as Liberalism itself.

        “and then suggest a kind of pact where we “agree to disagree” and “not to harm” the other’s ideology. I’m sure I don’t need to explain to you how this already is Liberalism and Modernism, and hence the comboxes play out the typical dialogue with Leftism: calls for Free Speech, facile claims that only “hate” would preclude one from acquiescing to blessed compromise and cooperation, and even “if you don’t like abortions then don’t have one” types of statements.”

        From what I understand, the idea that Mr. Roebuck was proposing was an understanding that all faithful Christians (that is, those who believe Jesus is the Son of God, consubstantial with the Father, etc.) ought to be in opposition to the contemporary state of affairs, and thus with that much in common do have a common enemy. It seems reasonable, considering this, to direct most of our energy against the Modernists rather than each other. Theological dispute can still continue, and I would fully support your efforts therein, but we should acknowledge a common enemy greater than any sect of practical Christianity.

        “What Reactionary could make any bones about the fact that we oppose – i.e., intend to harm, to destroy, to eradicate – Liberalism and Modernism, and that will inevitably mean eradicating Protestantism?”

        And I don’t think that is an overly controversial position to take, but let us do it with grace. I would hope that through Reactionary study, Protestants will be convinced of the truth of the Church (forget about what the ‘Church’ is for now, that’s another can of worms). It is also my strong belief that as the spirit of this age loses its grip on power, the Holy Spirit will move to bring worthy Christians together once more, as they were in the earliest days.

        “One can’t even cavil that Protestantism is “low” on the list of priorities, and we’ll get around to it after we get around to all the “other things;” the “other things” are predicated upon the same principle as Protestantism, such that to destroy the principle is to destroy all of these manifestations of it at one and the same time.”

        I see Protestantism as error, rather than pure evil, which is what I see Liberalism as. It may be the case that events and environment themselves lend to the destruction of Protestantism, as people require strong institutions not only for their personal needs, but their very survival.

        “I’ve tried to point this out, as has Zippy with much greater clarity and brevity. Do you think we’ve done a poor job of explaining these principles, which to me are crystal clear and hard to miss? How would you do it better? While I acknowledge my debt to certain pious and reasoned reflections of Protestants on general topics, do you actually think it is possible to enter into a non-aggression pact with Protestantism per se, to support calls for tolerance and free speech, to dismiss those who refuse to compromise on these principles as “haters” and “extremists,” etc., while still working for the Reaction in any meaningful way?”

        Not at all. I am actually an admirer of Zippy, though he and I have had our disagreements. I agree with the theological and historical refutations of Protestantism. I think they are strong and convincing, hence why I am not a Protestant. If Mr. Roebuck is not convinced, then perhaps different arguments might be tried. I’m certainly no expert in converting Protestants. You may be making the ‘pact’ a little overblown. It is more an online gentlemen’s agreement (at least as I see it) rather than a matter of binding practical policy. We occupy an intellectual sphere, an antiversity of sorts. That is somewhat different from real world politics.I definitely do not think ANYONE in this sphere should be dismissed using the words you relay. “hater” is a ridiculous epithet, and “extremist” doesn’t mean anything.

        “If this was a shooting war, sure; buddy up with the Baptists and Pagan Nationalists and mow those hippies down; we’ll divide the country afterwards. But in the battle of ideas, how do we meaningfully cooperate by adopting the very principles we are bound to extirpate? How, specifically, do you approach this quandary?”

        My response to Pagan Nationalists has been to answer their long-held apologetic against Christianity. I think most of their opposition is based on the weakness of the Church (since WWII at least), and thus I think it can be solved by fixing the Church and restoring it to its former strength.

        “a meaningful ideological cooperation (as opposed to political or tactical cooperation, which already exists) is possible with Protestantism”

        I don’t. I think in the end, our position on Church authority wins out. The Reactionary discourse gradually makes this more obvious. An ideological dialogue can serve to further truth and one side can acquiesce to the other’s truth if he is convinced. It is useful to dialogue with someone like Mr. Roebuck because it allows us to consider what the Protestant view is and interact with it, finding out exactly why they believe as they believe and working to show why they are misguided where we believe them to be so. If he has two theses (Reaction and Protestantism) that cannot be brought into synthesis, then it is positive for everyone that this be demonstrated, rather than ignored.

        You may read too much into what I’ve said, and perhaps I have not been clear enough in my own thinking. What I support is open dialogue within this ‘antiversity’ which is opposed to the Modern World. That doesn’t mean I love free speech or tolerance or any such thing, but specifically as it applies to this online medium in which intellects can compare notes on a subject we all have strong beliefs concerning, there should be an open forum. Bear in mind as well, I am not a theologian or indeed someone with priestly credentials like you, so it would be presumptuous of me to present Orthodox doctrine in a way that may be incorrect or ill-put. I mainly deal in metapolitics as this is my area of study, and this does allow collaboration with those outside the Church, even while I agree with you that Protestantism (and certainly low-church Protestantism) is at odds with the kind of social order I would conceive.

      • Mr. Citadel,

        It seems that we’re in basic agreement. To the extent that Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants alike all oppose certain elements of Modernity, there is already a de facto cooperation in this regard along the lines of a “gentleman’s agreement,” and we both seem fine with that.

        My objection, was specifically to a pact that required an avowal that there was “no intent to harm” Protestantism, as Mr. Roebuck put it; it seems to me that it is impossible for any Christian Reactionary to enter such a pact for the reasons I described, and it seemed that you agree, so far as that goes.

        You mentioned having a different understanding of Liberalism. So often confusion boils down to that – different understandings of the same term. My definition of Liberalism, is essentially the same as the Catholic Church’s definition of Modernism, with the two terms sometimes being used almost interchangeably (as in Don Felix Sarda y Salvany’s work); this definition, defines Liberalism/Modernism as a kind of synthesis of all heresies, whereby men are free to develop their private convictions, and to act upon them, independent from (or even contrary to) the objective norms of truth and morality, and the duly established authorities – leading to relativism, the triumph of γνόμη over πίστις, the false system of rights in abstraction from justice and morality, the irrational blasphemy of popular sovereignty, etc. What is your “working definition” of Liberalism?

      • A working definition of Liberalism? I’m not sure I could define it without first defining what it is the antithesis of, Tradition. In its most narrow sense, Tradition is the set of assumptions that undergirded all presuppositions about humanity present in virtually every pre-Enlightenment civilization. Patriarchy is a really good example. So while your chain from Protestantism to Relativism to Liberalism may constitute part of this definition, even in its most narrow sense this is not wide-angled enough. There is so much more to consider. It isn’t only about relativism.

        Liberalism is the negation of righteous things, although often with an intent to invert rather than outright destroy them, an upside down utopia which is revealed to in fact be dystopian. What’s more I don’t see it as a simple product of free will or mistake, but to have further spiritual significance. I believe it is satanic in nature.

        I think I understand what you are saying now, that you could not commit that Protestantism is safeguarded and sacrosanct. I could not consent to that either, in the macro, because I agree with your baseline assumption that Protestantism is doctrinally false. However, what I wanted to say was that as someone who is not a theologian and thus not the best foot the Orthodox Church could put forward on such an issue, I wasn’t going to interact with it too much and lambast Protestants, some of whom are incredibly intelligent and useful to dialogue with on a range of topics.

        And I know we can say that a gentlemen’s agreement does exist, but just look at the comment section for my open letter to the Pope. It is very clear that this gentlemen’s agreement to civil and intellectual discourse is not held by all. People perceive attacks on them where none exist, and bitterly scorn without reason. A really good way to sum it up I suppose, is that I will not engage with Protestants in the way that ‘Ita Scripta Est’ has engaged with Orthodox.

      • Ah, thank you for obliging me with a definition. The specificity of my “working definition,” is just the (Catholic) Church’s explanation for the “liberal” in “liberal”-ism (i.e., false liberty); but practically I agree with you that Liberalism is a Satanic force, which I would also equate to the “counter-tradition” (if I’m understanding that term of Evola’s correctly: a calculated inversion of the Tradition, rather than a mere, blind animus at tangents to it; I have only a passing familiarity with Evola, so perhaps I’m mistaken about what he means by that term). False liberty just seems to be the Counter-Tradition’s all-pervasive premise for advancing its own actions.

        It is because I associate Protestantism intimately with this, that I am hostile to it in excess of other groups. I am glad Protestants still retain sympathy for some righteous and holy things, but the premises of Protestantism, however more narrowly applied, are identical to the premises of a radical Gender Ideologue (as expressed in Justice Kennedy’s infamous “liberalism is…” quote, the shibboleth of scriptural authority notwithstanding). Eastern Orthodoxy is also false, from my perspective, but not by virtue of a basis upon on Liberal premises. Forgive me for offering my assessment of Eastern Orthodoxy, which I now do with merely illustrative, rather than polemical intent: Orthodoxy errs through an etiolated understanding of the Latin Patristic Tradition on its own terms, which led to a further inability to understand the Medieval synthesis of the same; this led to a tragic error that concluded the Scholastic view is substantially different from the Greek Fathers’ view, consequently yielding an anti-Latin reaction and hermeneutic that sometimes colours their interpretation even of the Greek Fathers (with the gradual erosion of their respect for the papal primacy as the inevitable result of this process, now exacerbated by the heretical occupation of the Curial institutions).

        The point, is that Orthodoxy’s error is the result of a mere lacuna in their connection with the catholicity of the integral Tradition; but their foundational premise – fidelity to Tradition and submission to the authority of the Church – remains profoundly sane and orthodox (in both senses of the term!). A Reactionary can take an entirely different attitude towards errors like this, than he can towards Protestantism – which advances, whole and entire, the premises of Liberalism, despite the fact that the liberal phenomena of Protestantism are primitive, relative to the progressively more advanced, liberal phenomena of Humanism, Republicanism, Jacobinism, Socialism, Marxism, Feminism, etc., etc. Hence, I oppose Protestantism strenuously not just because it is wrong (surely I’m wrong about some things, too), but because it is the precise paradigm and fountain of the error the Reactionary opposes.

        You mentioned that you reckoned the Counter-Tradition was broader in scope than just the Protestant-Relativist-Liberal spectrum. Yet I really do see Protestantism as the Matrix of Liberalism. What prior manifestation do you see (apart from proto-Protestant groups like Hussites and Lollards, whom I regard as of a piece with Protestantism)? I would think that Orthodox and traditional Catholics would both regard the other side as having made an error about Tradition and authority, rather than as opposing these things in their very premises. Where do you see the origins of our civilization’s Counter-Tradition, if not Protestantism?

        Yes, I was a little surprised by how strong Ita Scripta Est came at you; certainly my greatest disappointment and irritation as a Catholic, is constantly having to explain to people that Francis and the whole freak show of the Conciliar Movement, in no way represent the actual, Catholic Church; the average non-Catholic has no frame of reference for this. Perhaps ISE has just been wound up too many times, with this or a very similar frustration.

      • Yes, your understanding of what Evola meant is satisfactory. He called this the ‘Age of Dissolution’, and everything within it runs in reverse, creating much chaos and misery in both the spiritual and physical lives of people.
        I have my own issues with Protestantism, but different types of Protestants present different challenges. I’m currently having somewhat annoying dialogue with a Protestant who insists that Christians may not wield political authority at any time. To me, this is complete nonsense, but it’s just one of many errors that has entered into a world without priestly guidance.
        Yours is an explanation of Roman Catholicism’s opposition to Orthodoxy that I had not heard put that way before. As far as I understand the position of the Orthodox (don’t quote me on this), there is not so much a problem with primacy as with the form it takes. They believe doctrine should only be alterable by church councils, as with the original 7, in which the representatives of the Christianized nations may work out controversies, and such councils would be called by the sovereign emperor, as they were in ages past. Obviously this goes back to history and how the early Church conducted itself, with arguments abound over the exact words of various Saints, etc.
        I absolutely understand though that our differences are of a different order than those with Protestants, as you have that new layer of dispute of what actually constitutes ‘Church’.
        In terms of origin, you may be misunderstanding me. I think perhaps we focus too much on the genesis of negative things of such magnitude, rather than accepting that just as great civilizations rise and fall, so does the whole of human civilization. We could say that Protestantism was the first error, but then one could easily say it was in fact the invention of the printing press, or rather the events within the Roman Catholic Church that preceded it (the rise of the merchant House of Medici, selling of indulgences, etc.), or perhaps even the set of events that led to that, maybe the Schism itself. Would the Reformation have occurred had the Schism not happened? I can’t say. We are experiencing a cascading effect of spiritual dissolution, and the Protestant mindset which is disobedient to the authority of Church as a matter of principle, that is a big problem. I’m just not sure we should agonize over it in the here and now.
        I enjoy discourse with those who are ‘redpilled’ on certain issues, but not on others. Just consider it an opportunity. ‘Reactionary Protestants’ if there is such a thing, can be considered to have advanced to a higher level of understanding than the average Protestant. How far can the journey be towards an understanding of Protestantism’s error itself?

    • Thank you, Mark. You’re too kind.

      [That’s one point on which my detractors would agree with me 🙂 ]

      It’s an honor to be praised by such a solid reactionary.

  14. I present for the reader two talks by eminent Catholic leaders, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput and the late Cardinal Francis George:

    http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2016/03/awakenings

    https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/francis-e-george_catholics-latter-day-saints-partners/

    I find the substance and tone of these talks strikingly different from that of many the commenters on the Orthosphere. So much so that I must ask, who more accurately represents Catholicism, these leaders or the commenters? And which approach offers the best hope for addressing current pressing concerns about the freedom of religion, the sanctity of life, marriage, family, poverty, drug addiction, pornography, and so forth?

    • Thanks for the links, I for one will look at them later. In what I think is the spirit in which you share them with your thoughts, the other side of the coin involves Protestant leaders and evangelists who seem to never miss an opportunity to bash Catholics. I used to listen to a Protestant minister who is very good on all the issues you raise, including so called “freedom of religion,” but whose sermons became oppressive and off-putting for me ultimately *because* he always felt it necessary to make snarky remarks about Catholicism when, in fact, his understanding of Catholicism amounted to little more than what he observes in the *visible* Novos Ordo, post Vatican II church. I have been guilty of that same mistake, so I can forgive him. But it tends to wear on you after awhile.

      • … but whose sermons became oppressive and off-putting for me ultimately *because* he always felt it necessary to make snarky remarks about Catholicism when, in fact, his understanding of Catholicism amounted to little more than what he observes in the *visible* Novos Ordo, post Vatican II church.

        But, “the *visible* Novos Ordo, post Vatican II church” *just is* Catholicism.

        Instead of being “off-put” by “snarky remarks about Catholicism … [based on] what he observes in the *visible* Novos Ordo, post Vatican II church”, why not turn that around and ask, “Why, and on what ground, are these “reactionary” Catholics — who *condemn* us Protestants as being rebellious heretics — *rebelling* against their spiritual over-seers?

      • I must second Ilion here. As Lawrence Auster observed, a public figure—in this case, an organization—simply is its public positions. Regardless of the legitimacy of the position of those Roman Catholics who are sedevacantists or who otherwise reject the authority or teachings of the current leadership of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, those who do so are renegades who do not represent current Roman Catholic orthodoxy. Their current orthodoxy is the Novus Ordo church, which is a legitimate target of criticism.

      • Their grounds are the Magisterium, and all pronouncements must be weighed against it. Going against the Magisterium is similar to a president violating the constitution: the violation doesn’t make it null and void, since it is there to check the president’s actions in the first place.

        But pronouncements on immigration don’t have more than pastoral weight anyway. And right now the number of savage third-world invaders Christendom can handle is zero, since our present crisis must be solved before we can do anything else.

    • In terms of applying brakes and band-aids to the present situation as-it-really-is, obviously these two prelates offer thoughts and solutions that will be more immediately helpful, because they are more likely to be accepted in the short-term. Yet we have seen for decades, now, that their approach simply drags out the inevitable.

      In terms of a more penetrating diagnosis of the problem that is in harmony with the defined and irrevocable doctrines of the Church, reflecting the ultimate, unpalatable solutions that Western Civilization will have to adopt, in the end, if it wishes not to perish, the more traditional Catholics of this forum are far more likely to represent the actual doctrine of the Catholic Church… which the world despises as intensely as it does Her Head.

  15. Echoing Leo, which is the real Catholicism — the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (as a whole) or individual bishops (such as Chaput) or the commenters here (playing at being “reactionaries”)?

    Here is an official statement by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops concerning (the political joke known as) “comprehensive immigration reform“.

    Those who refuse to admit that The One True Bureaucracy is at war with our nation, and indeed with all Western nations, will seize upon the portion I will quote first, while totally ignoring the portion I will quote second (which is the reason for the order in which I quote).

    Under the heading: Catholic Social Teaching

    The Catholic Catechism instructs the faithful that good government has two duties, both of which must be carried out and neither of which can be ignored. …

    The second duty is to secure one’s border and enforce the law for the sake of the common good. Sovereign nations have the right to enforce their laws and all persons must respect the legitimate exercise of this right: “Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.” Catholic Catechism, 2241.

    That sounds so good, doesn’t it? Well, unless one looks too closely at what is actually said.

    Consider: “Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions …” But, of course, if they may, then they may not; that is, according this quotation from the Catholic Catechism, the enforcement of the “second duty[, which] is to secure one’s border and enforce the law for the sake of the common good” is not a matter of the duty of officials to uphold the laws of their “sovereign nation”, but rather is a matter of the discretion of officials whether they will uphold the laws of their “sovereign nation”.

    Consider: “Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them …” Really? And who is going to make this law and enforce it? Does the USCCB allow that the “political authorities” may deport immigrants who do not meet their “oblig[ation] to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them“?

    Right!

    Even in this part, which those who refuse to admit that The One True Bureaucracy is at war with our nation will seize upon, what is actually said is inimical to the interests of the citizens of the United States (and of all Western societies).

    Now, for the second quote from the USCCB’s stance paper —
    The Catholic Catechism instructs the faithful that good government has two duties, both of which must be carried out and neither of which can be ignored. The first duty is to welcome the foreigner out of charity and respect for the human person. Persons have the right to immigrate and thus government must accommodate this right to the greatest extent possible, especially financially blessed nations: “The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.” Catholic Catechism, 2241.

    According to the USCCB, the *first* duty of “good” government “is to welcome the foreigner out of charity and respect for the human person“. According to the USCCB, the *first* duty of “good” government is not to safegaurd the security and well-being of the society of human persons over whom it asserts authority to rule, but rather it is to welcome the alien, over whom it does not assert the authority to rule, who chooses to intrude upon the society over which it does assert the authority to rule.

    According to the USCCB, “[p]ersons have the right to immigrate“, from which it follows that “thus government must accommodate this right to the greatest extent possible” … and, of course, “the greatest extent possible” is throw open the borders, which happens to be precisely what the USCCB is shilling for.

    But, look at that assertion again: “[p]ersons have the right to immigrate“. Really? Since when?

    The Founders of the US government asserted that “[p]ersons have the right to emmigrate” — which, let it be noted, was a novel and revolutionary assertion by those who would rule over a people. But to say that “[p]ersons have the right to emmigrate” is a very different thing than to say that “[p]ersons have the right to immigrate“.

    Our Founders asserted that neither they nor any other set of rulers owned the human persons over whom they ruled. The Roman Denomination asserts that no existing human society (especially the ones which are “prosperous”) has the right to limit, much less refuse, aliens intruding into its midst.

    It’s a matter of simple logic: IF “[p]ersons have the right to immigrate” — if persons have the right to come into a society — THEN societies have a corresponding “duty is to welcome the foreigner out of charity and respect for the human person … to the greatest extent possible“.

    Further notice, this isn’t *just* the damned (and I mean that word most literally) “liberals” of the USCCB — and who happen to be the spiritual overseers of you American Catholics — simply making these assertions; they are directly quoting the Catholic Catechism. This call to national suicide is made not just by the USCCB, but by The One True Bureaucracy as a whole.

    • The passages you quote can be read as sane statements of Christian charity, or as an insane demand for a world without borders. You will note that the “right to immigrate” is not unqualified, but is to be accommodated only “to the greatest extent possible” (or “able”). This sounds insane, but in reality “to the greatest extent possible” means to the greatest extent possible without harming other values. If I tell a student he should read “as much as possible,” I am not suggesting that he forego sleep, exercise, or his prayers. A sane reading of this statement would be that immigration should be accommodated “to the greatest extent possible,” consistent with preservation of national character, worker’s wages, public order and morality, the freedom of Christians to worship, etc. I’m not saying that this is how the bishops would read these words, but a normal person could agree with this statement and call for very serious reductions in immigration rates.

      • The language of human (or even “naturnal”) rights is a funny thing, isn’t it? Where do these rights come from? What argument could there be that everyone has a “right to immigrate”? As Ilion noted, this is even more radical than saying people have a right to emigrate, but even the more modest claim isn’t obvious to me. Is it never the case that people have a duty to stick with the country of their birth? After all, no one would say that nations have a right to banish anyone they want. Why allow no-fault divorce in such a one-sided way? And then there’s this “right to immigrate” which isn’t tied to any particular need. Every country (but especially rich ones) has the duty to accept in as many people who want to enter as possible, regardless of why they want to enter. Why? Why must we do this? Even if it didn’t mean national suicide, why do we have a duty to burden ourselves to the greatest extent bearable to accommodate foreigners who despise and hate us? I never hear any arguments for this but vague appeals to the “equal dignity” of all people, even though the proposed arrangement is not equitable but outrageously asymmetric.

      • Bonald@
        The language of “rights” has been weaponized by our enemies, but I think there is a rational way to make sense of the concept of “natural rights.” A natural right is something that it is in the nature of humans to recognize. They don’t always respect that right, of course. If they did there would be no reason to talk about it. But a natural right is a right that most other people believe a man has a right to. This came to me once watching my children play in a sandbox. Some sort of a quarrel broke out over who had a right to knock down a sandcastle. Other children joined in the debate and came to the conclusion that the right to knock down a sand castle lies with the child who built it. Just about everyone would agree with this, and they would do so without having read Locke’s theory of property rights.

        I think we can all agree that people have a natural right to move around. It is in our nature as animals, as Aristotle would put it, so to hold me in one place is to prevent me from realizing my telos. But my right to movement does not mean a right to move in any direction or to any destination I like. I have a right to move around, and thus a right for a space in which to move around, but this is not a right to move into or across any space that I please.

        Although the migrant question is often described as a “right of movement” it is really a claim to a right to utility maximization (or what Americans understand by the right to the “pursuit of happiness”). Movement is just a means to this end. Stated in this way, however, it is obvious that my right to utility maximization is circumscribed by any number of laws, among which laws against free movement over international borders is only one.

        If there are such things as “natural rights” that it is human nature to observe, it is reasonable to suppose that these rights have been recognized for a very long time–for instance the right of a free man to the fruits of his own labor, or the right of an innocent man to life, or the right of an honest man to a good reputation. By this measure there obviously is no natural right to international migration because no one asserted this right until about twenty-five years ago. I remember first hearing arguments against international borders when I was in graduate school, and thinking they were insane. It’s not the only insane thing I heard in the 1980s that is now respectable opinion.

  16. And I don’t post hostile comments when you articulate Catholic or Eastern Orthodox doctrine. Occasionally I express my disagreement, but I don’t call you a bunch of heretics. My (Protestant) convictions may indeed require me to regard you as, in some sense, heretics, but that sort of semi-abusive language is not to my liking. I just say what I believe, without getting personal.

    Protestants and the other non-Christians get upset when we talk about liberalism’s origins in Protestantism and yet in the same thread we have Protestants joining in with Mormons to criticize Catholicism in the name of liberalism. That’s allowed. But if one criticizes the theoretical Mormon or even responds to calumnies of non-Christians, you censor comments as “hate.”

    • I don’t censor them because they’re “Hate.” It’s my post and I “censor” comments I don’t like.

      You can say whatever you want elsewhere.

  17. We can’t have nice things (i.e. good relations everywhere between trads of different traditions). The hyper-partisan anti-Prots sabotage it all, as we see in this 65+ comments thread on a post intended to be an olive branch.

    Sheesh.

    This is why I quit Twitter, because of the hyper-partisanship of the blame-Prot crowd within neo-rx. And why I refuse to identify as neo-rx.

    • Yet, in a way, it doesn’t really matter, does it? I mean, given that all you “reactionaries” are just playing at being revolutionaries, and there is not a one of you who himself wants to live in the anti-liberty world you wish you had the power to impose on the rest of us.

      • I don’t know what you’re on about. For my part, I still believe in liberal democracy, within a constitutional parliamentary monarchy system, as I always have. I don’t want to impose anything on anyone; I would simply prefer to turn back the clock in various ways. I’m not playing at anything.

      • If you are for liberal “democracy”, then you are no more a “Orthospherean” than I am. Do you not *read* what these people write concerning politics?

        Shoot, just look at this thread alone —

        me: “What Ita Scripta Est wants to overthrow is liberty

        Ita Scripta Est: “Absolutely! This is a blog for antiliberal thinkers so rejecting liberty is par for the course.

  18. Some commenters have observed, correctly, that formerly Protestant countries are in the vanguard of liberalism and its destruction of the West. This is due not to some defect within Protestantism; formerly Roman Catholic countries are also being destroyed by liberalism. We also see leaders within the Roman Catholic Church advancing liberal destruction (e.g., American bishops advocating open borders), so vulnerability to liberalism is unique neither to Protestantism nor to Roman Catholicism.

    Whence this weakness to liberalism? Any number of factors could be cited, but one of the most important is the inherent risk, as Lawrence Auster put it, of Christian society.

    Christian society is thus more complex—more differentiated, to use Eric Voegelin’s term—than any other. It is multileveled, mediating between the pole of the Christian, spiritual realm and the pole of political and cultural existence in this world, which does not come from Christianity itself. If the society loses its this-worldly pole it will go out of existence. This is the reason why Christian society is the riskiest and most dangerous type of society, the most open to catastrophic derailment, such as the derailment brought by modern liberalism. Yet Christianity’s this-worldly “lack,” which makes Christian society so vulnerable in comparison to the religiously structured society of traditional Judaism and Islam, is also the thing that, by requiring Christian society to be multileveled in order to function in this world, makes it the fullest and truest articulation of the human soul, extending downward to the apeirontic depths (the many) and upward to transcendent spiritual truth (the One).

    Protestantism, being less grounded in concrete traditions than Roman Catholicism or Orthodoxy, is therefore more susceptible to derailment than they are. However, precisely because it does not have (as many?) extra-biblical accretions, Protestantism, to the extent that it remains faithful to the inerrant Word of God (i.e., the Bible), is a truer expression of Christianity than other forms—in our estimation, of course. (I’m not trying to start up another argument over whose Christianity is true and whose is false; I’m just trying to give an explanation for the observed phenomena.)

    Another relevant quote from Auster:

    The great error of many modern Christians, especially low-church and evangelical Christians, but even many modern Catholics as well, is the belief that Christian faith by itself is sufficient for political as well as spiritual existence. And this has the danger I mentioned, that the faith of the New Testament, divorced from the particularity and concreteness of any political or cultural organization, devolves into a vapid, self-sacrificing universalism which spells the death of any earthly society.

    So it is Christianity divorced from tradition that is toxic, and this is why many of us call ourselves traditionalists: along with Christianity, we value our Western traditions and heritage, those very things that liberalism attempts to destroy.

    • Someone who gets it. I’ve been raising the same objections for years, yet the blame-one-side crowd, in different camps, aren’t interested in facts, just rah-rah-us-ism.

      • Maybe it’s a matter of running in different crowds, but I don’t recall seeing much (*) rah-rah-ism directed at Catholics.

        (*) by which I mean “any”

    • If I were Lawrence Aster, I would say “A standing ovation for Mr. Lewis!”

      Yes. With regard to the corrosion wrought by liberalism, there is no difference between formerly-Catholic Spain and Italy, and formerly Protestant England and Germany.

      Traditionalist Catholics tend to believe that their Church continues to have a God-given legitimacy that gives them hope. But like Calvinistic predestination, this legitimacy operates in a way that is empirically undetectable. Where the rubber meets the road, Rome is as corrupt as any other denomination.

      I am considering elevating Wm. Lewis’s excellent comment into a full post of its own.

      • I am but a midget standing on the shoulders of Colossus.

        Which doubtless explains the brevity of your Christian name.

      • Prof. Roebuck,

        If you would like to make my comment its own post, then please feel free to do so. I hope you will join me if (or should I say when?) it gets attacked by the usual detractors. If you post it, please use the modified last paragraph.

        Ilion,

        Har!

      • I’ve been unusually busy lately, but I’ll post it soon. And of course, I’ll join you in dealing with the “usual detractors.”

    • Perhaps I should rephrase the opening of my last paragraph.

      When Christianity is divorced from tradition, then toxic elements, such as liberalism, can infect the society and de-Christianize it. This is why many of us call ourselves traditionalists:

      etc.

      Christianity itself cannot be toxic (except to evil), but a mockery of Christianity can. We see this, for example, in the liberal worship of the Other. This is is often realized as Open Borderism, a perverse simulacrum of Christianity which relies on misinterpretation of, and unbalanced emphasis on, Biblical admonitions to treat our neighbors and the stranger among us well.

    • There’s a lot of truth, here; I’d just point out further that, with Protestantism, the revolt was largely completed in Northern (i.e., Protestant) nations, such that no further revolts were necessary after the 18th century. Catholic nations had to be subjected to continual internecine conflicts and revolutions well into the 20th century, and even then, their general populaces did not succumb to liberalism until the revolutionaries infiltrated the governing institutions of the ecclesiastical bureaucracy, imposing novel, Protestant doctrines and even Protestant-composed liturgical rites. This Protestantized “neo-Catholicism” has indeed proved itself susceptible – useful, even – to the revolution of Liberalism.

      But actual, traditional Catholics are the only people on Earth (with some Orthodox) who have never accepted the idea that liberty and abstract rights and democracy (blah blah blah) are great things. Neoreactionaries are just the cutting-edge of a tardy repentance, in which some Western men may return to their senses. Whether it is too late or not, remains to be seen.

      • For people such as AM, it’s always the Protestants’ fault. This is the same sort of monomaniacal reductionism we see in anti-Semitism, which Lawrence Auster called an intellectual rathole.

        We are in a besieged castle, and the enemy has breached the walls and joined forces with the fifth column in our midst. No matter: AM, ISE, and their ilk would rather fight the One True Enemy—Protestants—than the liberals, Moslems, and other assorted foes who are bearing down on us with murder in their eyes.

      • For people such as AM, it’s always the Protestants’ fault.

        Yep: the Humanist movement — which began as a revolt against the Biblical statement that humans are created “a little lower than the angels” and ended declaring that humans are a little lower than the animals (though, not created!) — Protestants’ fault.

        Yep: the so-called Renaissance — which reintroduced astrology and other occultism into that hot-bed of Protestantism called ‘Italy’, and made it “respectable” because the upper classes were doing it — Protestants’ fault.

        Yep: the so-called Enlightenment — which, among other crimes, invented the “Dark Ages”, discounting all Christian history that came before — Protestants’ fault.

        Yep: the French Revolution — a faithful of the daughter of the so-called Enlightenment — Protestants’ fault.

        And who can possibly overlook *this* Protestant

      • For people such as AM, it’s always the Protestants’ fault.

        I don’t think that, history is certainly very complex. But I do see Protestantism as the decisive factor. Even in this very thread you conjure up liberal arguments and take the side of liberalism against Catholicism this is the way it’s always been in this regard. But we’ve had this discussion now about half a dozen times and it doesn’t get anywhere because you sit back and start calling people bigots.

        Re Humanism and the Renaissance – Like any pagan philosophy we opposed the bad and took the good we did after all we put Galileo on trial. Humanism and the renaissance truly came into their own in the north, however. Just like Luther and Calvin “freed” the peoples of the north from the crusty monasticism and papalism of the old order, Bacon’s occult inspired New Science would save us from the outmoded scholasticism and usher in God’s kingdom on earth.

        Yep: the so-called Enlightenment

        Which gave us the rule of liberty that you adore so much. So are you seriously saying that the American founders, like Adams, Jefferson, Franklin and Madison were not men of the Enlightenment? What about Bacon, Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Smith, Mandeville, Bayle, Spinoza, Paine, Rousseau and Kant? Aren’t all these men products of your civilization or were they secret Catholics? Even the French Enlightenment figures like Voltaire and the other Encyclopedists all admired Protestant civilization, especially England and Prussia and wanted to impose that on France. And they all certainly loved liberty that’s for sure no “one true bureaucracy” for them, Protestant pluralism was the order of the day. When did Protestants ever fight against liberal forces compared to fights in France, Spain, Portugal, and Latin America and even in Italy over the course of the late 18th and 19th centuries? Never. You took sides with “liberty” at ever turn and helped impose it on the rest of the world.

        which, among other crimes, invented the “Dark Ages”, discounting all Christian history that came before

        Where do you think they got that idea from? Protestants of course!

        Yep: the French Revolution — a faithful of the daughter of the so-called Enlightenment — Protestants’ fault.

        You do realize that Protestants both in France and internationally cheered on and in some instances actively participated in the French Revolution? That it benefited them and that Protestants ardently supported the revolutionary government and urged it to forcibly secularize the country? What about the great apostles of liberty like Thomas Jefferson who cheered on while tens of thousands who were butchered?

  19. Out of curiosity: what are the (theological) limits of your ideological alliance? I assume atheism or agnosticism are out, but would, say, a Unitarian sharing your societal views be welcome here? A Muslim? A Jew? A Confucian of some stripe or other? The European reactionary tradition is as far as I know mostly Catholic, but though I’m not sure what a Jewish traditionalism would entail (since Jews have lived mostly in alien societies for a very long time), presumably Muslim traditionalism is tenable based on historic regimes, and likewise with various other long-held religions.

    • While partial cooperation is possible among just about any sort of anti-liberals, I have in mind an alliance based on (lower-case) catholic Christianity. Those who assent to the Ecumenical Creeds among Protestants, Catholica and Eastern Orthodox. Unitarians, Moslems and Jews are not within my scope, although exceptions are always possible.

  20. Pingback: Wm. Lewis on Lawrence Auster on Christian Vulnerability to Liberalism – The Orthosphere

  21. Pingback: Wm. Lewis on Lawrence Auster on Christian Vulnerability to Liberalism – CHRIST THE MORNING STAR

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