Romantic Christianity versus Christianity Proper

To my recent post about Finding the True Way to Life, Bruce Charlton commented:

@Kristor – I find your post and comments both surprising and confusing! Your post concedes pretty much all the ground to Romantic Christianity; so that you seem to be advocating the same attitude to churches.

Your comment of July 25, 2022 at 4:49 AM suggests that any particular actual or manifest church (including the RCC) is ultimately ‘merely’ (secondarily) helpful or harmful – but never should be regarded as primary or decisive – precisely the Romantic Christian attitude.

And that the individual person’s intuitive knowledge of the mystical/spiritual/immaterial ‘church’ is all that *really* matters at the bottom line (albeit, I cannot distinguish this concept of ‘church’ from knowledge of deity – of God the Father/Jesus Christ/the Holy Ghost).

Most remarkably, you apparently regard the actual, worldly functioning of the Roman Catholic Church to be a matter of ultimate indifference to you! I.e., whether or not the RCC locks its churches; if it ceases to offer the mass, marriage, funerals; and if most of its bishops and priests focus their teachings on defending and endorsing … whatever policies the global totalitarian Establishment are currently pushing – you say:

I am not too troubled by all of this outward and merely formal ecclesial subjection to the tyrannical civil authority.

I suppose the crux is that you regard this as ‘merely’ formal submission. Yet when formal *and informal* RCC discourse overwhelmingly endorses – and indeed instructs – not just submission, but enthusiastic and active participation, over many years and increasingly … Well, I believe you are in error.

Altogether, I don’t [see] you are putting forward a coherent argument here – which may simply mean that you are in a transitional phase.

Indeed I hope so; because I find your casual, dismissive attitude to the RCC enthusiastic-self-shut-down of 2020 (etc.) to be abhorrent!

Like Archbishop Viganò; I regard 2020 as probably the worst disaster in the history of Christianity, an existential catastrophe, the significance of which can hardly be exaggerated.

These are all important points, and it is important that I respond to them cogently, and forthrightly. The first thing that I would say in response is that this latest travesty of the craven responses of the various church hierarchs to the mandates of the civil authorities in respect to the supposed crisis of covid is not our first rodeo of that sort. Things were much, much worse with the Church during the Black Death, a real pandemic:

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On Our Recent Discussions of Christianity

The Orthosphere and Bruce Charlton’s Circle have lately been discussing the nature and current state of Christianity. This is an urgent matter so I’m compelled to respond.

I) Charlton:

In sum: I ask traditionalists for something very specific: an explicit acknowledgement that – here-and-now – the effective and resistant faith of even the most traditionalist and church-orientated of real-Christians has a personal and intuitive foundation.  [emphasis in original.]

Given the correct understanding of the meaning of intuition, this is true. But I sense that Bruce is using a somewhat incorrect definition.

Since reality exists and is what it is independent of us, knowledge ultimately refers to something out there, unless it is knowledge of one of our inner states. Religious knowledge is no exception.

Intuition is man’s faculty of knowing something to be true without engaging in a process of reasoning. “You just know it.” But since man is not omniscient, he must have confirmation that comes from outside his mind, something that is really out there.

It does no good to complain that by verifying it you make it no longer intuition. Because reality exists external to man, his intuitions are sometimes wrong. And since he can be wrong, man needs confirmation even of his intuitions.

The act that is purely subjective (purely personal, if you will) is not knowing, but rather apprehending this knowledge. Taking it inside of us, affirming it, relying on it, living by it.

Intuition is needed for the simple reason that all reasoning is ultimately based on premises that are not subject to formal proof. If everything must be proved formally we have an infinite regress, with the result that we know nothing. Therefore, it is inescapable that some things are accepted without formal proof. But since man is not infallible, he needs confirmation even of his premises. It may appear contradictory, but it is inescapable. Some things must be formally unproved, and since we are capable of being wrong we must seek confirmation outside of ourselves. Continue reading

On the Reason & Purpose & Intent of the Orthosphere

It is obvious that we can’t go back. We must go forward. The project of the Orthosphere is to limn a cult, a culture, and a society that can work properly for humans after modernism – including the modernist “Church” – has crashed, by dint of exploration of the traditional societies that worked.

Creating a new Christianity that is not the old time religion can’t work. That has already been tried. We are now living in the midst of the results of that experiment. So, one thing we can be pretty sure of is that a properly flourishing Western civilization will have to be founded upon and ordered by – and, in the last analysis, governed by – traditional, orthodox Christianity. Thus one of the main subsidiary projects of the Orthosphere is the explanation of and apology for orthodox Christian doctrine. To the extent that moderns find Christianity incredible or repugnant, it is usually because they misunderstand Christianity. One of our jobs is to do what we can to dispel their confusion.

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The Quintessence of the Reasoned Response of the Left to Dobbs

The egregor of the Left is in full control of this gal. I tell you, she’ll go down in history. This photo could be right up there with the shot of the Marines raising the flag on Mount Suribachi. Look at it closely, blow it up if you dare. You will never be able to unsee it; the quivering glossy ululating uvula of existential protest!

Man, I tell you, this is who we are, as Americans. It is the core of our democratic society.

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All the SWPL is White Supremacist, & So Must Be Stamped Out

We learn from Vice Magazine that interest in and enjoyment of the wilderness is characteristic of white supremacists. We had already learned that grammar, diction, logic, and math are white supremacist. Also science, ergo, and so then knowledge, and a fortiori wisdom; thus any notion of characterological merit, or excellence.

When truth as such is dethroned, nothing can survive. Thanks, you goddamned nominalists!

NB: that is not a curse, but a statement of fact.

A pattern emerges: everything that white people generally and particularly and so noticeably like, respect or enjoy is white supremacist, and must be wiped out.

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The Floggings Will Continue Until Moral(ity) Improves

Since the current Woke System of the World does not work, catastrophes will continue. They are inevitable.

Mankind must be pummeled until it rejects wokeness. It will evidently take a lot of pummeling to bring healing.

It is true that mankind often took a fearsome pummeling in the pre-woke age. But there’s just one thing. Under Wokeness, mankind pummels itself with entirely avoidable floggings: crush your religion, shackle your police, persecute and / or hamstring your best people, deliberately destroy knowledge. Etc. Mankind will continue to inflict easily-avoided self-pummelings until the morality improves.

Wokeness is about morality, but morality proceeds from metaphysics. Metaphysics refers to one’s understanding of the basic nature of reality. Bad metaphysics, bad morality. Bad morality, many self-inflicted catastrophes.

That is why the floggings will continue until morality improves. Q.E.D.

The Basic Liberal Conceit

The liberal conceit is that no man labors under any natural ontological requirement that he should submit to some authority, and so nor therefore can there be any legitimate authority; ergo, it is wrong, as unjust, to exert or submit to any authority, and eo ipso good to transgress against authority of every sort, and to undermine it.

The propositions in the foregoing can be rearranged ad libitum, without undermining their joint agreement or their moral effect – or their morbid consequences in human lives.

Reality being what it is, that liberal conceit tends in action always to the centralization of all power in a tyrannical … *authority,* against whom no liberal man may – or can – stand.

What is that obdurate reality? It is that, no man being he than whom no greater can be conceived, then every man is less than some other – whether an other man, or an other institution, or an other god. So the liberal who prides himself (the word is chosen advisedly) that he is himself the sole master of his fate is in fact willy nilly the servant or slave of some master far greater than he, whose existence he may not even suspect, but whose dictates he witlessly obeys.

This perhaps accounts for the spooky unanimity of our divers disparate adversaries, who all as one of an evening begin using some new phrase or proposing some new crisis or solution – or demonizing and scapegoating the victim of the hour, subjecting him to the two minute hate that destroys his life. They are of one mind because they serve one mind.

Whether you know it or not, you serve a lord. Better then for you to know who he is, and decide witly whether he is worthy of your fealty.

“Look on My Wokes, ye Mighty, and Despair!” or Brothers, Don’t Lose Hope

N.S Lyons has a Substack article No, the Revolution Isn’t Over, subtitled None of the fundamental drivers of “Wokeness” have relented. It’s a masterful presentation of the basic facts that explain our dire conditions.

Almost everything he say is correct and important. But the situation is not quite as hopeless as one would think from reading Lyons. There are always reasons for a guarded anti-pessimism. (“Optimism” may be too strong a word.) Since Lyons’s outline of wokeness is useful I quote his section headings, summarize his points, and then give reasons why it’s not quite as hopeless as it first appears.

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  1. One does not simply walk away from religious beliefs.

Lyons correctly says that Wokeness is a religion in the sense of providing metaphysical principles to order human life. It is based on a simplistic dualism of Good and Evil and rather than being a new invention, Wokeism is deeply connected to the tradition of Western religion and philosophy stretching back thousands of years. Lyons does not develop his opening assertion that one does not simply walk away from religion but if wokeness is an organic development of our civilization, it is not easily rejected.

I add that since Wokeism is egregiously absurd and wicked, no society ordered by it can survive long. Wokeism can do a lot of damage before we discard it but it will eventually be discarded because it doesn’t work.

It is said that you cannot fight something with “nothing,” meaning that you cannot rally the people by condemning evil and nothing more. But the absurd wickedness of Wokeness will eventually break its spell over mankind, leaving the way clear for sane religion to be noticed by the masses. Continue reading