It is Going to Take More Than a Village: Some Evidence in Support of Theantignostic

In the lively back-and-forth comments that have accumulated below Kristor’s recent post, long-time commenter Theantignostic likens the traditionalists’ strategy to M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village.  The allusion was unknown to me, but I now understand that The Village (2004) is a movie directed by the aforementioned Shyamalan, and that the village in Shyamalan’s movie is home to a paranoid cult. The members of this cult have been brainwashed into believing that they are living in an out-of-the-way corner of Pennsylvania in the nineteenth century, when they are in fact in living in an out-of-the-way corner of Pennsylvania sometime around the year 2000.  I am not exactly sure how the plot works, but it seems that the cult members, or perhaps their parents, retreated to the village in the hope of escaping the evils of twentieth-century America, and that they are now trapped in the village because their Elders have fooled them into believing that “Those of Whom We Do Not Speak” stalk, sasquatch-like, through the surrounding forest.

Theantignostic does not use The Village as evidence that traditional Christians must overcome paranoid revulsion and mingle freely in twenty-first-century America.   He uses it as evidence that traditional Christians require a habitat much larger than a “village” (or church) if they hope to survive, and even more so if they hope to flourish.  Traditional Christians really need a country of their own.  If they do not somehow take possession of a country of their own, and then institute rigorous policies that will keep that country for their own, traditional Christians might just as well go ahead and convert their church basements into gay discos right now.

The reason I say this is illustrated by the news that students at Seattle Pacific University have joined in a suit against the school for refusing to alter its policy of refusing to hire homosexual staff, and for refusing to dox and dismiss the board members who voted to retain the school’s old “homophobic” policy.  Seattle Pacific is a small Free Methodist university that has so far shown more spine than many other denominational institutions of higher education; but one must suppose that its war chest for lawfare is small, and that SPU may therefore be converting its chapel basement into a gay disco before long.

Here is a video of several SPU graduates walking the stage at last spring’s commencement, each one handing the chagrinned university president a small rainbow flag.  The video commentator says that “this is what solidarity looks like against bigoted school administrators,” but what it in fact looks like is sodomitic subversion and supremacy.  Rather than letting the first flag fall to the floor, and then walking off the stage and announcing immediate cancellation of the ceremony, the university president submits to this humiliation with a worried and ingratiating grin.  Indeed he had no choice because he had already agreed to to admit people who hate his “village” into his “village,” and because displeasing these subversive infiltrators gives greater outside powers an excuse to forcibly convert his “village” into a “wide-open town.”

This is the great and very likely fatal weakness of formal Christian institutions in a hostile post-Christian society.  A “village” (i.e. a university or a church) can be infiltrated, publicly humiliated, and sued into submission or oblivion.  Formal institutions are thus rapidly becoming something like aircraft carriers in an age of hypersonic cruise missiles.  Deep pockets just make them more tempting targets.  Small informal clubs are better suited to survive in this environment, since they can easily dissolve when they are infiltrated.  They have no printed policies to protest, no money to confiscate, no buildings to commandeer, no officers to suborn–indeed no real existence so far as the law is concerned.

This is not to say that romantic Christianity does not entail grave dangers, only that Theantignostic is probably correct that it is going to take more than a village.

49 thoughts on “It is Going to Take More Than a Village: Some Evidence in Support of Theantignostic

  1. Back in the early days of the spread of Christianity, it was we Christians who were the infiltrators and taker-overs.

    Today, churches have 501(c) status and property tax and zoning exemptions and paid staff with benefits and “clergy tax breaks” and so on and it’s all at the pleasure of the ruling class, according to their laws.

  2. “Sued” is the operative word. Lots of institutions would put up with humiliation or criticism, but if you are one of the ones in charge, you don’t want it to go bankrupt because of your actions. I worked for a hospital, always aware of lawsuits behind every bush – and it was not a bogey, it was quite real.
    Other places in a competitive market, such as a college or a church, may be vulnerable to even a one-year downturn in revenue. We can insist all we wish that people should be willing to pay the cost for the cause of righteousness, but it is often not only our personal cost, but that of others – others with families to support. At a minimum, we should recognise on behalf of others that the cause is going to be high.

    • Seattle Pacific University would be called a college in an honest world. It enrolls about 3,000 students and I doubt it has much of an endowment. My parents were Free Methodists for many years when I was still at home, and Free Methodists are not Episcopalians. All of these little private colleges are also under tremendous pressure from the big state-subsidized universities. So you are right. They are living on the edge and cannot afford to alienate students, or to anger a class of students that a court will look upon favorably. I’m sure they also sense that liberalism now regards sexual freedom as much more important than freedom of religion.

  3. I’m OK with the tax-exempt status. I’m not okay with the Churches’ enthusiastic receipt of millions of dollars from the atheistic State in order to displace Americans in their own country, and the Churches’ berating of their Anglosphere and European congregants for presuming to believe that their countries belong to them. Then we get to the COVID dictates, and it becomes manifest that State bureaucrats, not Christ, are the head of the Church.
    Not to worry, I am told, the “real” Church is some platonic ideal out there, somewhere.
    In the meantime, be sure and give your money and time to what is, to all appearances, the immanentized Church, so it can lobby the State for your replacement and tell you to mask the imago Dei and refrain from the Sacraments.

    • I long ago wrote a post complaining that churches offer membership with no benefits. There are membership dues, naturally, but there are no formal benefits and members don’t even look out for each other. I find life in the immanent world relatively hard, not to mention increasingly hostile. I could use real help. I can wait for Christ to return, but I expect the Church to show up for work.

      • I too could use real help. I’ve been reading here a lot lately, in part because I want to ask advice from you all. But then I get to thinking that I don’t want Big Brother to know what my Real Problems are. When I ask the people are my church, they don’t know what to do. I seem to be the only one of them who’s facing the moral dilemmas I face just to make a living, but they do rejoice with me when I tell them DH and I have decided I will retire at 62, and if we have to live on beans until death, well so be it.

        Only 15 months to go! I wonder who will still be alive by then?

        I don’t mean to criticize my church. My parish of the Anglican Church in North America — I think they’re amazing people. I’m grateful as can be just to again have other people to worship with. But they don’t know what TO DO.

        Are there any millionaires out there who want to establish dowries for wives who’ve been married 23 years and who are needed to take care of sick family members but yet are working for the Left Wing Nut Man, and by that, I mean crazed feminists college-educated women? Just some cold hard cash would be helpful. It’s not just the feminists who are so very, very tired.

      • I know you can’t take it to the bank, but good luck in the home stretch to retirement. It seems to me that most churches leave their members completely on their own. I was on our parish council many years ago, and I suggested that the parish offer a course in Catholic sex education. I found a good book and even found a husband and wife, both medical doctors in the parish, to teach the course. I got an extremely nervous priest to send the proposal up the the bishop, who quashed it. Much better that our children learn about sex from deviant activists, their peers, and their cell phones. I also suggested that we offer some apologetic classes for parishioners who wanted help standing up to atheists. Nothing fancy. Just a couple of intellectual weapons to hold those blighters at bay. Too useful. Too practical. Too much focused on real-world problems of the poor schlubs in the pews. There are many Christians in your predicament who could use some practical advice on how to work for leftist nuts without going crazy, getting fired, or committing gross blasphemies. I know another woman who is in a position very similar to yours, see her once a week, and give such advice and encouragement as I can. The church seems unaware that its sheep have to spend six days of the week among wolves.

      • Right, no formal benefits other than the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. Well and a few others. But you do have to get up and go on a Sunday morning. Or by benefits do you mean something that will better accommodate laziness? Maybe expanding the EMHC programs so we can have more Communion in bed on Sunday morning?

        I’m kind of sorry for the snark, but not too much. I know you can take it.

      • No, I don’t mean benefits that accommodate laziness. But I do mean something in addition to mystical benefits. I’m not belittling those mystical benefits, only saying that we are pilgrims on a hard road and moving down that road presents us with many practical problems. I think the Church (religious and laity combined) could do more to help its members with the practical problems of a Christian life. For example, as I just said to Nell Perkins, how exactly do I keep my job and honor God when my boss tells me I must call a man “she”? How do I teach my children traditional sexual morality without sounding like a ridiculous old fogy? How do I answer the atheist who tells me God is just a “flying spaghetti monster”? In Rodney Stark’s excellent book The Rise of Christianity, he shows that the early Church grew because, unlike the Pagan cults, the early Christians took care of one another.

      • You say you aren’t belittling the mystical benefits, but it’s hard to take you seriously on that count when you admit you aren’t availing yourself of them presently.

        Hoping this isn’t getting too personal, for one thing not knowing your particular situation very well of course. Seems this has some universal application here still, particularly with the Romantics discussion that’s been going on lately.

      • I don’t mind making things somewhat personal since religious life is always somewhat personal. I don’t wish to be an exhibitionist, but I do hope putting some of my personal imperfections on display will help other people who are ashamed of their imperfections, and who feel they all other Christians are perfect in their walk and their faith. I accept the basic premise of sacramentalism, but will also say that I go stone cold when people start raving about the holy sacrament. I’m sorry for that word raving, but that’s how it lands in my ear. It is not medicine, it does nothing on its own, and I can see no earthly reason why its effect should wear off after seven days. I’m sorry if this sounds blasphemous to you, but treating the holy sacrament as if it were medicine sounds blasphemous to me. In any case, I have received the holy sacrament many times, and will very likely do so again someday. Who is to say that I am not presently enjoying its benefits?

      • @buckyinky – we were thinking more along the lines of mutual aid, patronage networks for young men, child care and homeschooling support for young women, old folks’ homes, risk-pooling, financial credits, etc. I recognize that some of this does in fact happen.

        The Amish and Hasidim are communitarian and they’re the ones reproducing themselves in their pews. Why shouldn’t a religious faith try to knock off the sharp corners of life for its adherents?

        The churches seem more concerned with importing immiscible foreigners and teaching young people to hate their own race. The purported Vicar of Christ is up in Canada, apologiizing to the atheists for a blood libel rather than staunchly defending his flock. Why should I pay the salaries of these craven old men? The sheep ask for care from their shepherds, and all they are told is that they are very bad sheep.

      • I’ll tell you the straw that broke this camel’s back. My parish had just sent more than a million dollars to the bishop’s capital campaign, and the next Sunday he sent us a new priest who in his first homily boasted that he had snuck into the country under false pretenses as an illegal immigrant. We were obviously in an abusive relationship. Maybe my heart is so black that I deserve abuse from my law-breaking moral superiors, but I’d had enough. I think everything you list in your first paragraph is correct. Why are we the only group on earth to whom ethnic nepotism is forbidden? Why was I neither rich nor poor enough to send my children to the parochial school?

      • JMSmith:

        Who is to say that I am not presently enjoying its benefits?

        I’ve got to think you know what I meant. I’ve never known you to be disingenuous here.

      • I’m sorry for that word raving, but that’s how it lands in my ear.

        Are you offended that I capitalized Body, Blood, etc. above? I can’t figure out what brought on the comments about raving.

      • It’s pretty hard to offend me. Life has made me into a rhinoceros. Not impervious, but pretty thick-skinned. I didn’t mean to accuse you of raving, only to describe the reaction of some Catholics to grumblings like mine. I accept transubstantiation (although I don’t altogether understand it), but my inner protestant comes out when someone makes regular consumption of the eucharist the lynchpin of a Christian life. In one sense the holy sacrament saves a miserable mass of wretched preaching and music, but in another sense it does not. When I have (meekly) questioned what has happened to the magnificent traditions of Catholic music and architecture, I have had more pious (or perhaps less critical) Catholics angrily answer that we at least have the blessed sacrament. That’s what I mean by “raving.” I understand that the sacrament is the heart of the mass, just as I believe that learning is the heart of a university. If a student complained that the campus was crawling with sexual predators and the cafeteria was infected with botulism, I would call it “raving” to answer “at least we have learning.” Sorry for the hyperbole of my analogy, I’m only trying to illustrate my point in bold lines.

        I should insert the fact that in more than twenty years of very regular mass attendance, I did hear some excellent homilies and some beautiful music. I should also say that, after a few years as a mere pew sitter, I was moved to seek reception into the Church by a sudden and strong desire to receive the eucharist. I remember the moment very clearly. I should finally say that I have no desire to spread my idiosyncrasies to other believers. I am happy to explain why I haven’t been to mass in a couple of years, but I would never, ever try to talk anyone into following my example.

      • Again thanks for your candor.

        I don’t want to be misunderstood either in making it sound as if I think it’s nothing for the Church to scuttle her patrimony as long as we still have the Eucharist. The fact that such scuttling is occurring is making life much more difficult for many souls, and making it much more likely that souls will fall away.

        But you do understand (don’t you?) that the entire patrimony of the Church pales almost to nothingness in the comparison to God giving Himself to us in the Eucharist. I could be an atheist and acknowledge this proposition to be true, and to accept it doesn’t mean sanctimonious or even sincerely pious utterances must follow. To be honest I *feel* nothing about receiving the Eucharist and never have even upon my conversion and first reception, unlike many others. I *feel* much more listening to a Josquin motet or reading a Francis de Sales treatise.

        But your original assertion in this subthread was that the Church offers no formal benefits. You can see why I think this is obviously and egregiously false.

      • These questions quickly get out of my depth, theologically and metaphysically, and don’t mean to start quibbling. As God is said to be perfect, every particle of God is likewise perfect. Thus if I receive on particle of God, that particle is perfect, complete, and not subject to decay (incompleteness and decay being imperfections). Thus I wonder that holy communion is not like baptism, a once-in-a-lifetime affair. I say “I wonder” because I am very far from knowing any of these things for certain. If I said “formal benefits,” I probably should have said “practical” or “tangible” or “mundane” benefits. I am right now working my way very slowly through St. John’s Revelation, and take as its most general message that the Christian life is not all fun and games. John seems to have written that whole book to disabuse Christians of the false belief that conversion will make a man happy and successful. But it is also evident that membership in the early church had practical benefits–so many practical benefits that St. Paul had to run the freeloaders off. To be honest, the Catholic Church is up to its eyeballs in practical welfare, but much of this appears to be directed at people who are not, and will never be, Catholic. The good shepherd looks after his flock.

      • Yeah, the theological and metaphysical questions raised are beyond me from the starting gate. The fact that I seem to have been addressing them already makes me confused. I’m sure St. Thomas can, for instance, explain how God can’t be a particle in the first place, but the Eucharist can be a particle, and the Eucharist is God, and how all three of these things can be true at the same time. But I’m sure you already knew of St. Thomas as a resource for such things.

        I guess it comes down to this as I see it. The Eucharist is that which gives eternal life. Everything else might lead you to it, or aid you in accepting it worthily, but “everything else” doesn’t give eternal life in the sense of its being necessary. Josquin might aid me softening my heart toward the Eucharist, but he isn’t necessary for salvation like the Eucharist is. A sound and rigorous catechetical program for parish teens might help ensure their faith is preserved throughout their lives, but it would be useless if it didn’t direct their faith in that which gives eternal life.

        I could obtain eternal life without all these other things, but I could not obtain eternal life without the Eucharist. So when you make it sound like there’s nothing to offer at Church when the Eucharist is still widely available; while it doesn’t make me say our situation is just peachy full stop for that reason alone, it does make me confounded at the despair of Mass attendance. It also makes me question whether, even if you could have gotten the parish council programs going to inject vitality into parish life, you would have had them all pointed in the wrong direction.

        But I gather I’m begging questions left and right at this point in our exchange and don’t see much good I’m doing by going on. I wish you the best, and don’t intend any sanctimony (ha!) when I say that I have been offering prayers for you, and will continue to do so as you come to mind. I am still and always will be grateful for the things you have taught me at this website and elsewhere online.

      • Thanks for these generous words, and prayers will never be amiss. As I said somewhere in this thread, we are pilgrims trying to find our way to our true home, and we should do what we can to help each other along the way.

      • To be honest, the Catholic Church is up to its eyeballs in practical welfare, but much of this appears to be directed at people who are not, and will never be, Catholic.

        A lot of it is, but I would wager the majority is directed at Catholics or potential Catholics. Now, I do undoubtedly agree a lot, if not most, is directed to non-locals or immivaders, and it is as much political as charitable. That is unfortunate and irksome in many ways, but even Judas was an apostle.

        Not to be a nag, but you really should go to Mass. You go to honor God, not to “get something” out of it – other than honoring God which is kind of a “big thing.” If you so happen to get something like a motivating sermon, uplifting music, etc. it is just a bonus.

        As others point out, it is the re-presentation in real time of the one holy sacrifice of Calvary. Calvary was full of jeering, spiteful, angry mobs, and Christ would no doubt appreciate a friendly face in the crowd. So you can just see sitting through Fr. Lithpy’s sermon as your way of offering and joining your suffering to Christ – in a way, you can consider it an honor and a blessing. And there are some parishes that offer decent Masses, although they can be a challenge to locate. It shouldn’t be that way, I know, but it is what it is, and God permits it for now for whatever purpose He has in mind.

        The real spiritual battle right now is not losing faith and praxis through this soul killing monotony of secular degeneracy both without but especially within the Church. It is a desert, and deserts are not easy.

        Having said that, yes, it would be fantastic if we had Medieval levels of social life centered on the Parish, with the mutual community support and interaction they enjoyed. But we get indoor plumbing now – tradeoffs I guess. You can fight as you can to create that Medieval parish life, but not if you abandon the battlefield.

      • I once attended mass at a church in a remote mountain village in Austria. The priest had very long white hair and looked a lot like an alpine St. Anthony. If he had heard of the Novus Ordo, he sure didn’t care. Not only did he present the host ad orientem, he also did this on his knees. He held the host out towards the altar with a gesture and facial expression that suggested a man offering a scrap of meat to a ravenous lion. Highly unconventional, but also very moving. I felt that this priest really and truly believed that he was in the presence of the Lord of creation.

  4. There are three types of religion according to their relationship with the State:
    1. Official religion. The laws of the country are based on it. They are taught in public schools. Islam in Saudi Arabia. Liberalism in USA.
    2. Tolerated religion. They can be practiced in the country, in private while they don”t interfere publically with the official religion. Christianity in Morocco. Judaism in the European Middle Ages.
    3. Persecuted religion. It is forbidden to practice it, even in private. The State actively takes action to forbid it’s practice. Christianity in Saudia Arabia or some communist countries.
    Christianity, the religion with the highest number of believers, is not official in any country in the world (except the Vatican). Even the countries where Christianity is declared as an official religion, this is not true. The laws are based on the liberal religion.
    Our ancestors a) lost the fight in a violent war (in France or USA, for example) or b) they did nothing, while liberalism replaced Christianity as the official religion. Christianity has been a tolerated religion for longtime in the West. Being a tolerated religion means being in decline because a) people abandon Churches (the European way) or b) Christianity is mixed with liberalism and ends up being liberalism with a Christian sugarcoating. Now Christianity is becoming a persecuted religion and, oh boy, it’s gonna suck so bad.

    • I would break the category of tolerated religions in two. A religion is truly tolerated when it involves rites and practices that seriously violate the official religion. Judaism was truly tolerated in the Middle Ages because it taught that the official religion, Christianity, is wrong. There is also a fake toleration of religions that are inoffensive and perfectly compatible with the official religion. Liberal toleration of gay-pride Christianity is an example. It’s not true toleration, its just LOL.

      • Agreed. Let’s call them “tolerated” and “inoffensive”. They are inoffensive because

        a) they are the official religion with the sugarcoating of another religion (Gay pride Christianity)

        b) They are fake (neopagans worshipping Thor in our times, New Age)

        c) They are ethnic religions of marginated groups that cannot be brought to the mainstream (religions of American Indian peoples)

        d) They can be used by liberalism for its goals

        Islam in Europe has gone from c) to d) and will eventually become a tolerated religion and, then, it might become a persecuted religion and and, after that, an official religion

        The Francis project is to convert Catholicism into a) In his wet dreams, Francis sees himself before the General Assembly of the United Nations while the PA system announces:” And now we are going to hear Mr. Jorge Bergoglio, the Secretary-General of the United Nations High Commissionate for the Catholics”. Then, he wakes up and realizes, with bitterness, that he is only a Pope.

  5. In all this I sometimes fear like we think God doesn’t know all this or isn’t involved.

    I’m the OT God’s people go through all kinds of successes, failures, syncretism, revivals, etc. And the victory or loss usually seems to have little to do with the strength of the enemy and way more to do with closeness of peoples relation to God and even there small minorities of the faithful can make a difference.

    Has it even occurred I wonder for many of us to ask God what we should do? I’m not saying receiving messages with absolute certainty like a prophet, but asking for genuine leading like was even available in the OT (Proverbs 3:5-6), whereas now we can experience God more directly.

    • You make a good point, but I think the answer must be yes. I will say that I could have asked more persistently, or with greater faith, but I trust there are a great many Christians more persistent and faithful than I are asking as well. I would like to think that many such Christians are, in fact, professional Christians in some sort of holy orders. If God is talking to them more than he is talking to me, they are not sharing what he has to say. In fact, so far as I can tell, the churches have no plan. I don’t know if this is because they have faith or because they are paralyzed by fear.

      • God has in fact told me a few things, not as many as I’d prefer, but I’m not Him. Start by obeying in more ways that you ever have before. Obey even if it’s ridiculous, maybe especially if it’s ridiculous. Here’s one of my little bits of ridiculousness: I wear a prayer cap like an Amish woman might, only mine is a scrap of cloth sown around a hair clip that I wear on the crown of my head. I’m practicing every day head covering in a sneaky way that looks like a fashion statement. It started when He told me to quit smoking. What would a hobbit do? A bunch of faithful little stuff.

        Ultimately it will take a general strike. But every Sunday gives you a chance to obey Him by going on strike the first day of each week. Remember to boycott the world too on that day.

        And again, hedge schools and brush arbors are the wave of the future.

        Sorry to be so mysterious but that seems to be the way it goes.

  6. We were thinking more along the lines of mutual aid, patronage networks for young men, child care and homeschooling support for young women, old folks’ homes, risk-pooling, financial credits, etc.

    These are all the hallmarks of a successful social organization, and a good goal (though only because social support is good for the salvation of souls) – but as a start I’d be happy for a Church that tells those outside who criticize its membership for failing to fall in line with fashionable politics to get bent.

    Martyrdom is easier with friends.

    • We. don’t have to go all the way to martyrdom. Persecution is much easier when you have a shoulder to cry on, not to mention comrade why will tell jokes at the persecutors’ expense. Human psychology is not designed to withstand pressure in isolation. Even the stiff-necked Jews needed their ghettos and their sly humor about the stupid goys.

      • We do have to go all the way to martyrdom, but I get your point. The power of the Church is the power of the saints and the martyrs and the problem with the modern Church is that so many of us (mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!) aren’t willing to hold to our faith to that point when given the easy out of being disaffected but mostly ignorable by the people who wish burn that faith out root and branch, be they inside or outside the Church hierarchy.

        As pointed out above, the Church is not a social institution that leads its adherents to God. The Church is those striving (very imperfectly!) to become and be faithful servants to Him, and part of that faithful service is caring for our fellow men, so that social institution and organization is a natural outgrowth of the supernatural project.

        The post-Classical Church needed martyrs and saints, It is the faith and dedication of those martyrs that dragged the medieval world into existence around the core of Christian faith.

        The modern Church needs martyrs and saints. It is the faith and dedication of those martyrs and saints that will drag us off the path to perdition, and absolutely nothing else will do it.

      • You can’t build the social institutions and hope the faith will follow. That’s just a bad Rotary club with onerous dues and old men in funny dresses. You have to build the faith first. That faith necessarily involves, over time, the creation and maintenance of the social institutions of which we lament the loss. These necessarily follow from the simple fact that faith without works is dead. The converse is also true: dead faith is without works.

      • I understand the danger of turning churches into tax-exempt country clubs. In my many years on parish council, I harped incessantly on two themes: (1) our primary mission is to help save souls, and providing an attractive wedding venue is way down the list; (2) when we provide an attractive wedding venue, real parishioners move to the head of the line. The spiritual mission is primary but membership has tangible benefits.

      • @Rhetocrates

        When the Japanese persecutors saw that the Christians welcomed martyrdom. They tried to make their tortures resemble the everlasting torment of hell. Its wretched, horrible and a foretaste of what awaits the wicked. Martyrdom doesn’t look that glorious as it is romanticized.

        “I had long read about the martyrdom in the lives of the saints – how the souls of the martyrs had gone home to Heaven, how they had been filled with glory in Paradise, how the angels had blown trumpets. This was the splendid martyrdom I had often seen in my dreams. But the martyrdom of the Japanese Christians I now describe to you was no such glorious thing. What a miserable and painful business it was.”

        Its also not so much the personal martyrdom that is as difficult but of what is done to loved ones:

        https://evidenceandanswers.org/article/silence-the-hidden-story-of-the-japanese-christians/

        A Bolshevik who was able to withstand torture and willing to endure Martyrdom broke after terrible things were done to his daughter before him.
        https://web.archive.org/web/20201101052431/https://www.dailymail.co.uk/columnists/article-483230/Traitors-family-Stalins-informers.html

        In this way one’s love for others is used against you. Make you feel responsible for the punishment of your kin.

      • @ Rhetocrates – I don’t want martyrdom; I want to live and thrive and I want my descendants to live and thrive, not be made strangers in their own lands and lectured about their inherent racism and told they owe reparations by virtue of being born. What would your priest or bishop say if I told him that? What would Pope Francis say?

        If martyrdom is the goal, then the duty of good Christians is to join the CP-USA and work hard to install a bolshevist regime so they and their families can enjoy the benefits of martyrdom. This is nihilism.

        Charles Martel didn’t want martyrdom; he wanted to make as many of the other poor bastards martyrs as he could. Isn’t he considered a good Catholic?

      • No one should want martyrdom. Even Jesus asked that the cup be taken from him. They say some people commit suicide by cop. Wannabe martyrs wanna commit suicide by persecutor.

      • St. Thomas More also sought to avoid martyrdom, and only accepted it when no other alternative presented.

      • I never claimed to want martyrdom. I don’t. I’m no St Ignatius of Antioch. Too, I’m well aware of what happened to the Japanese martyrs, to name but one set. Chinese, Roman, English – if you actually think about what happened to St Agnes, for example, it is no glorious uplifting thing. Or, much closer to our own day, the martyrdoms suffered in Cambodia and Romania and Albania and Armenia where priests and faithful were physically forced into mockeries of the Mass with scatalogical materials and then skinned alive. Or kept alive through such mockeries for twenty years in order to break them before death.

        I don’t hold martyrdom out as some glorious achievement to be aimed for. If nothing else, that would be too hard and cruel a road for most who wish to reach Heaven, which is why the martyrs are held in such esteem by both God and men.

        What I said was that in order to have a living Church and a living faith, we need saints and martyrs. If all we have is those who shrink from these callings, we have nothing.

  7. I think the big lesson you missed from The Village is that you can’t escape the horrors of the real world by constructing an intricate web of lies.

    For all of the effort the elders put into creating an elaborate fantasy world, they could not protect their people from the evil that lies within.

    And I see the same thing happening in these past few threads–a great desire to go nowhere and construct an alternate reality to protect yourself from the evils without and neglecting the evil within. The evil within is saying, “The Church, and by extension God, has abandoned us. We are our only saviors and it is only within our own arms and minds where we find strength. We, and we alone are the the only ones who are Good, and once we shore up our numbers, we will remake the world in our image.”

    The Quiverfull movement is full of extremist, apocalyptic messaging like this and as we can see with the Duggar family, their plans to create a Great White Christian Army has already stumbled in the filial generation, as Josh has sexually assaulted his younger sisters and is now a convict. Now, as a Catholic I am as pro-life and anti-contraception as anyone son of the Church should be, but doing the right thing for the wrong reasons often leads to tragedy.

    Of course, my practice of the Faith is aimed (I hope) solely at doing what God wants me to do. For a bit, I thought that would involve taking vows of religion, but I’m engaged, so that’s a no-go. Traditionalists and rigorists think, that because of their tradition and rigor, they know better than God what to do to “save the [insert big thing here].” This is simply a Rightist mirror of Leftist pride.

    • As I said, I never saw the movie and was only trying to elucidate Theantignostic’s allusion. I take your point to be that the Church needs a mechanism to force out bad actors. They could call it excommunication. We really could use something like that.

    • If the potential of religious vows still matters to you, I would recommend seeking guidance in the possibility of joining a Third Order or a Fraternal Order. These can (and I say can, because alas, many of the ones I have experienced devolve into little more than self-congratulatory social clubs) provide direction in a consecrated but lay life.

    • Ingemar, congratulations upon your engagement. But do not think for an instant that your commitment to marriage will not be submission to a holy order. Marriage is a vow of religion, or it is nothing but an adventitious, temporary deal, like buying chewing gum. So, your entry into marriage is like – is *exactly* like – your entry into holy orders. Marriage is a holy order.

      Farther up and farther in!

    • When Good is forced into the margins. We are forced into the same boat as the marginal. Including all the worst of the sins that made the marginal.

      That means said good will end up monopolized by such people.

      Without Christ and the work of the Holy Ghost. Then the margins is where the Good goes to die.

  8. I’ve lost the string of threads to these responses – dear Orthosphere editors, have you never considered eliminated these blasted nested comments?! – but a few technical points if anyone cares: The Church doesn’t command weekly reception of the Eucharist. In her immeasurable mercy the Church only commands reception of the Eucharist *once a year* at Eastertime. In fact, if one is not disposed to reception of the Eucharist he is commanded by the Church not to receive. What the Church does oblige, however, is recognition of the Divine Law to Remember the Sabbath and keep It holy. It is in recognition of this Divine Law she obliges the faithful – unless with good cause – to attend mass on Sunday. You do not have to receive communion, sing, smile, give any money, listen to Priest Lispy Breeches, shake hands, be happy, comb your hair, or even smell nice. You just have to sit your ass in the pew for an hour and, perhaps occasionally, pray. Also, the mass is the august sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is the very same sacrifice – albeit mystically before our eyes – as Calvary. It is the most powerful prayer on earth. Should you have a child or a concern or a spouse or an illness or a deceased dear, dear mother you wish to pray for there is no more powerful prayer than by participating at mass, by (in the old vernacular) “assisting” with this august sacrifice. Lastly, the Eucharist is ABSOLUTELY medicine – for the soul. It is our spiritual food, medicine for the soul. And just as to a physically ill man natural food is unappetizing or downright disgusting, so to a spiritually ill man will spiritual medicine and food be at best “bland.” For those who are not disposed to receive the Eucharist for all the shenanigans that happen down at St. Elsewhere try 15 minutes during the week before the Blessed Sacrament praying the Sorrowful Mysteries. No bad homilies or music or lisps there. My own road to recovery started with a single Hail Mary every morning. I apologize if this is thread jacking – though I thought it material to much of the recent posts. Every single thing about COVID was demonic and evil – including how some men of both the left and the right commandeered it for the advancement of insanity.

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