Pentagon Says Guido Reni’s Saint Michael is White Supremacist Dog Whistle

The banner of the Orthosphere has always been a detail of Saint Michael, Archangel, a 1636 picture by the Genoese painter Guido Reni.  The scene is based on Revelation 12:7-9, which tells us:

“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

St. Michael has ever since been taken as the patron of those who defend that which is holy and oppose that which comes from Satan and his fiendish crew.  I was not here when the Orthosphere was founded, but suppose this is why the founders chose to use an image of St. Michael in the website’s banner.  Little did they know that Reni’s St. Michael would become (in the hands of those who “deceiveth the whole world”) an emblem of white supremacy.

Continue reading

Resurfacing, Sort Of

I have been traveling and while traveling I fell sick.  The blogging muse does not visit a sick man who daily moves between hired lodgings, and who nightly groans and gags in a damp and tissue-strewn bed.  My illness may be best described as a great sticky sundae of influenzal misery that is garnished, science now says, by covid sprinkles.  This misery was yesterday, however, somewhat tempered by the fact that I returned home and am now gagging and groaning and napping just as I please. Continue reading

Divine Providence in Satan’s kingdom

Satan is the prince of this world.

It is said that God can bring good out of evil, but that’s not quite true. Evil in itself cannot be the cause of good, even by divine arrangement. God can use the occasion of misfortune to work some good in the universe, but it is the good He adds to the occasion that is the true cause of subsequent goods, not evil itself. If we are loyal to God, we can expect misfortune. God’s providential care of us means that He will give us the opportunity to learn needed lessons and inculcate needed virtues through the occasion of these misfortunes. However, we will only benefit from these opportunities if we consciously choose to recognize them and see circumstances in this light. Suffering, deprivation, and fear in themselves will not make us more virtuous. In fact, we can expect that the Enemy who deals these out will calculate his afflictions to be those most likely to inspire discouragement and resentment. No improvement will come to us without our consciously recognizing the goods God is offering and deliberately participating in their actualization. Still, I have find a real comfort knowing that God is also calculating, that He will provide opportunities for our spiritual benefit in everything the Enemy will do to us.

Of course, we must have true and not false hope. We shouldn’t expect that these spiritual benefits will ever translate into future temporal success, e.g. that the suffering of the Church Militant will cause her to get her act together and inspire a future religious revival. In the order of this world, God’s side will never know anything but humiliating defeat after humiliating defeat. The Satanic Left is invincibly triumphant, and nothing will stop the totalitarian hell it is constructing. Whether we are exposed and ostracized or manage to squeak out our lives in hiding, we will suffer a nightmarish isolation from our fellow men, and this will be relieved only by death. But we as individuals may gain in endurance and resignation to our own sufferings and in tender love for Christ’s helpless Bride.

I used to share the popular belief that there could be a Christianity that de-emphasizes the next life, that a Christianity ordered primarily toward spiritual goods in this life might actually be “purer”. I no longer think that, and it is clear that serious Christians of all past ages put their hope not in moral improvement, not in social justice on Earth, but in being with God in Heaven. I’ve come to suspect that these Christians who want us to put our hopes in this world are thinking to cut a deal with its Prince.

On the other hand, I’m unable to be comforted by the thought that what happens to my soul is the only thing that matters, and that the Enemy can’t control that. The Enemy also has designs on my daughters, and enormous resources with which to ensnare them. This terrifies me, and I know it’s bad theology, but I can’t imagine being happy in Heaven with them in the other place. I can, however, imagine that if I were to wake up in Heaven and find my family and my good friends–and while I’m fantasizing why not include my Orthosphere comrades here–there with me, welcomed into eternal communion with our Lord, Jesus Christ, then the thought of the world going to hell wouldn’t bother me overmuch.

I have long struggled with an inability to believe in the afterlife, but I find that most of my prayers now are for my salvation and the salvation of those close to me. My hopes are more and more focused on a Heaven in which I can hardly believe, because there is nothing else to hope in.

The last years have been a brutal education in the futility of hope in this world. The Christians of all past ages thought that the appropriate attitude toward this world is scorn, and they were right.

Is the Liberal a Voyeur?

“For your Lordship sayeth, it is sincerity, as such, that procures the favor of God.  If it be sincerity, as such, then it is sincerity independent and exclusive of any particular way of worship: and if the favor of God equally follows every equal degree of sincerity, then it is impossible that there should be any difference, either as to merit or happiness, between a sincere martyr, and a sincere persecutor; and he that burns the Christian, if he be but in earnest, has the same title to reward for it, as he that is burnt for believing in Christ.”

William Law, Defense of Church Principles (1717-1719)

I detest the phrase “people of faith.”  Firstly because it draws a false division between people who live by ancient faiths and people who live by the mushroom faiths of the hour.  Secondly because it peddles the notion that it is not what a man believes that matters, but rather the ardency with which he believes it.  There is, for instance, a fad for home decorations that bear the simple and impertinent exhortation to Believe.  Has there been an outbreak of Pyrrhonism?  Do these hortatory pillows and coffee mugs shame men out of epochê.  Are they inciting a rush to judgment?

Continue reading

Some Lessons Worth Learning from Edmund Burke

We must begin to think like a minority.  Not like those modern minorities who are protected clients of the state; but like the old despised and friendless minorities that had to be shrewd.  A rich man can be careless with his money.  A poor man must be thrifty.  And a man no longer rich finds old habits hard to break.  This post contains some lessons on how to be a shrew minority taken from a letter Edmund Burke wrote to the Marquis of Rockingham in the summer of 1775.  The American rebellion was coming to a boil and Burke and Rockingham were in the despised and friendless minority that opposed the war.

Continue reading

You Can’t Be Serious

I started to write that I have lately entertained fantasies of living under autocratic rule of some kind so long as the despot retained some basic impulse towards avoiding system failure.  Preferably a monarchy reliant on the divine right of kings. But, of course, I already do live under such a regime, minus the basic impulse. Someone recently described the Republicans as the Washington Generals to the Democrats’ Harlem Globetrotters. At most, the former offer a temporary respite to the worst behavior before a return to the abnormal normal. This merely serves to give the population a chance to adjust to the new horribleness before a new round of horror begins again. The ship cannot be turned around, it can merely move faster or slower in its inevitable direction.

I know plenty of people who hate what is happening on campus and elsewhere who would never dream of voting for someone right of center. One woman was even fired for failing a black student by a black head of department. The student had simply not submitted any work, making even a gentleman’s “C” out of the question. Not long after, that same woman could be found writing Facebook posts complaining about the existence of the Right wrong-think.

When I was in my late twenties, my capacity to believe suddenly enlarged, such that if I did not believe in some religious topic, it was typically not because I couldn’t, but I find myself simply incredulous at the behavior of the global elite. The sheer pathological nature of it beggars belief. Ed Dutton and evolutionary psychology identifies the biologically archetypal man as conservative, tallish, good looking, moderately intelligent, and religious. Needless to say, he will also be heterosexual with no desire for cross-dressing. He will be interested in competing for social status and accomplishment as a way to attract an equally healthy-minded and bodied woman. These pro-social men and women will reproduce and engage in co-parenting within the once admired institution of the family. He will be ethnocentric and love his community, defending it from the predations of outsiders. He will not ally himself with those who hate his group and seek to undermine it with their help. All this requires, so it seems, “harsh Darwinian conditions” with high mortality salience. The latter fosters religious belief and a desire to have children. The weak, maladapted, and genetically mutated die mostly in infancy. With luxury comes decadence. Awareness of death fades into the background. Religious belief and having children decline. The distinction between men and women diminishes – with women no longer needing men as protectors and providers so that they take on more male characteristics while men become more effeminate. Mental health declines as a product of genetic unfitness and a general malaise and ennui. There is an evolutionary mismatch with our environment. Instead of worrying where our next meal is coming from and whether we will be killed or eaten by man or animal, we sit around wondering, “What’s it all for? Is this all there is?” Continue reading

Cold Comfort

“Marvel not, my brethren, if the World hate you”

1 John 3:13

In a comment on Bonald’s latest post I said the distillation of Christianity is probably 1 John 3:13 and not John 3:16.  Read Bonald on what it means when “the force” is with you and against you.  His post inspired me to Christianize the twenty-third Psalm, next to John 3:16 the most comforting verses in the Bible.

Continue reading

Punishment and Reciprocity

[Thought occurring to me in class today.]

We humans have two conflicting intuitions and impulses. One is to reciprocate. One good turn deserves another. The other is to punish those we feel have wronged us. To do that, instead of merely an eye for eye, we take one eye and add an ear. You punch me and I punch you back harder to teach you a lesson.

We go from, “Hey, no fair! Why did you hit me? I didn’t do anything.” To, “I will now hit you harder than reciprocity would demand and require, to punish you.” As soon as we ourselves are the recipient of such an over-the-top response, we take umbrage and vow our revenge. We flip from fairness, to punishment, back to fairness, and so on. Each time we take one of the perspectival stances we are sure we are in the right. But, when the shoe is on the other foot, we are convinced the other person is being entirely unreasonable. One minute we are the dear friend and ally of fairness and reciprocity, and the next we are abrogating our principles to get retribution. In the process, we up the ante. Perhaps we could call it “Revenge +.”

The Ultimatum Game demonstrates both tendencies but without the upping the ante aspect. One person is given $100 but can only keep it if another person accepts his offer of a portion of the money. If the other person does not think the offer is “fair,” even though any amount of money would be technically be better than nothing, he will punish the other person by refusing the offer. Of course, he punishes himself in the process by getting nothing either. Unsympathetically, this could be described as cutting off your nose to spite your face. More sympathetically, it could be described as a human need to police antisocial displays of greed in the interests of communal harmony. “Excuse me, buddy. We don’t behave like that around here.”

The prince of this world

What does it mean that Satan is the prince of this world? I take it to mean that the world is fundamentally hostile, that holiness is “moving uphill” and sin is “moving downhill”. In particular, impersonal forces alway oppose Christianity and support the Left. Changes in technology, in economic structures, in cultural fads–in summary, everything that we think of as a cause of changes in society that are not direct human choices, always and everywhere tend to erode Christian belief and morals and to support personal hedonism and secular tyranny. Atheist materialism just happens; the good must be consciously chosen. Natural and economic disasters favor the Left, but so do the general social drifts in times of comfort and prosperity. Furthermore, chance nearly always favors the Enemy. Chance plays a great role in war, and you will have noticed that the overall-more-evil side usually wins wars, that fortune nearly always frowns on the defenders of Christendom. The last war whose outcome I’m entirely satisfied with is the Spanish Civil War, and I take it that in that war, the good guys won only because General Franco was a much more competent leader than anyone on Satan’s side, and this was able to overcome the natural advantage of evil.

You may encounter this even in your personal life. When people decide to reform and “get right with God”, I don’t think they do it–even unconsciously–in order to win favor in their worldly affairs, but they do at least unconsciously tend to take good fortune as a mark of divine favor, and it seems fitting to them that becoming a better person should make life better, at least in the emotional sense of more contentment and happiness and better personal relationships. However, because Satan is the prince of this world, then when a person makes a commitment that really puts him on God’s side, he should instead be prepared for a string of bad luck. If he decides to get serious about prayer, he suddenly starts having bad news at school, at work, with his kids’ behavior or his parents’ health. If he starts preparing to be canceled and lose his job for loyalty to the truth, he suddenly finds himself being hit by painfully expensive home repair or family health problems, strokes of bad luck to make it especially difficult to have a break in steady income. If he volunteers to help the Church through catechesis, bible study, the youth group, or whatever, he will have a string of bad weather, broken technology, impossible scheduling problems, and parish indifference. He sees that those who serve the Enemy seem to go from one fortuitous victory to another. “Why are you doing this, God?” he asks, but it’s not God. It’s the other guy.

The Right should abandon hope that impersonal forces serve them as they have so often served the Left, that Leftist programs will collapse on their own without anyone having to stick his or her neck out and disagree with it from a strictly moral perspective, facing down the resulting media/academic/business/government wrath. For example, it is hoped that some Leftist program will prove too expensive, that some egalitarian dogma will collapse under the weight of contrary biological research, that hostile businesses or schools will “go broke”, that the American empire will be defeated in war (or, at least, that such a defeat would benefit us in some way), that high energy prices in Europe or criminal anarchy in American cities will finally break the spell and cause the people to repent their Leftism, and until then we can wait and come out of hiding after this happens. Nothing of the sort will happen; Satan is the prince of this world. Certainly, Leftist programs may sometimes fail to deliver their promised results, but that in itself will not bring mankind one step toward repentance and spiritual renewal. No one “falls” into God’s side. God must, through His grace, inspire free actual acts of faith, hope, and charity. Probably nothing can defeat the Left, but if it could be defeated, it could only be by a large enough group of people openly defying it on fundamental moral principle. We should not do this recklessly. Everything must be thought through, because as soon as we challenge the Left, things will start going wrong, and luck will never be on our side. I’m not even writing this under my legal name, after all. However, there’s no point in hoping that some big global political-economic catastrophe is going to eliminate Satan’s kingdom for us.