Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Rules of the Club

He that is not with me, is against me: and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth.
(Matthew 12:30)

As I've said before, any restoration of the West is going to have to involve a recongition of the importance of Christianity in the formation of Western identity. Our "slouch to Gomorrah" has primarily come about from Western society's rejection and, in some instance, perversion of its Christian faith. It follows therefore that any restorative movement is going to have to acknowledge the role of Christianity in any reinvigoration of the West.

So where does it leave the others, who neither have faith or a Christian heritage.

It may surprise many of you that I have a very strong sympathy with regard to honest Atheism. My own predilections are strongly empirical and I can understand how a man looking at the universe around him sees no God.  The apparently inert response of a supposedly loving and active God in a world of so much injustice and evil is a very strong argument against his existence. Looking at the world around me, the empirical data, superficially, is powerful evidence against His existence and it's sometimes only the gift of Faith that lets you see God when the rest of your senses are telling you He is not there.

Christian theology affirms that faith is a supernatural gift doled out to those whom it pleases Him. And why God chooses to dole it out to some rather that others is a mystery. I certainly didn't warrant it and I know plenty of other better people than myself who don't believe.

Now this poses a problem. As a Christian, how can I expect the non believers to believe in the things that God has chosen to withhold from them? How can I, in good faith, expect them to believe in stuff that I wouldn't believe if I hadn't been given faith? The answer is, I can't.

Expecting an atheist to believe in God is like expecting me to deny him, a violation of conscience. Furthermore, it's contra Caritas, which protects conscience.

So given the hugely influential presence of Christianity on European identity can an Atheist or Jew be part of the European Right?

As I've said before, the fundamental criteria of Rightism is commitment to the Truth.  But as God seems to dole out the supernatural gift of Faith to whomever he pleases and he withholds from some, I don't see any obligation for non believers to uphold the articles of Christian faith which from their perspective, they don't believe to be true.  However, I do expect them to be honest in all other things.

In fact, some of the writers that have been most acknowledging of the Christian tradition, have been atheists such as Theodore Dalrymple and John Gray.  Gray, particularly, recently savaged Steven Pinkier's book and exposed it for the  propaganda polemic it was. One doesn't have to believe in the Christian religion to acknowledge its role and social utility in the formation of the West. But what characterises these atheists, as opposed to the New Atheists, is their honesty.

As I see it criteria for non Christian inclusion in the European right are;

a) Honesty with regard to the facts of European history and empirical observation.
b) A goodwill towards Christianity, which at its bare minimum is a tolerance of it.

5 comments:

MK said...

I have a very strong sympathy with regard to honest Atheism.

I agree. I usually like atheists on a personal level and enjoy teasing them with their many moral contradictions. But I also have strong sympathy for them...what a hopeless and terrible understanding of reality...no true love or romance or glory is possible in a purely material world. Shudder. But for the grace of God go I.

Jason said...

I think "A" and "B" and the end are good doctor, although perhaps something more than "tolerance" is called for. Stronger qualities like "respect" or "honor" for Christianity are necessary in our increasingly post-faith world.

Your thoughts here also made me think of Orban, and the post-liberal, benign despotism (or whatever you want to call it) he and Fidesz are creating in Hungary ("illiberal democracy" as he apparently defines the concept). While hardly a totalitarian or even a real authoritarian, he does appear to be curbing democracy to a certain degree in the country. It seems to me his defenders should acknowledge this, and admit that if a Christian culture is to prevail an anti-democratic element may be required. Liberalism and Christianity, at least today if not necessarily in the past, appear to be like oil and water, unable to mix.

The Social Pathologist said...

Sorry for the late reply but my internet is currently down.

@MK

I think as Christains we have to recognise the existence of atheists of goof faith. Like you say, there but for the the Grace of God.

@Jason

I think getting the atheists to “respect or honour” Christianiaty is going to be a tough ask. All I want is for the atheists to acknowledge the role the of the Church fairly. I think we really can’t ask much more from them in good faith.

As for the relationship between democracy and secularisation. I’m not really sure there is such a robust link. Christianity and liberalism seemed to co-exist peacebly for most of the 20th C, but it admittedly was a Christian liberalism. Gay marriage, for instance, would have been impossible 50 years ago when people still professed some kind of faith and yet the political structures in place were much the same as today.

Politics is downstream from culture and I think that trying to change the politics without changeing the culture first is putting the cart before the horse. I think one of the problems with NRx is the belief that a change in political arrangements is going to fix up what is ultimately a cultural problem.

There are many good reasons for limiting the franchise but I don’t think that a re Christianisation of culture is a given. The problem is far deeper. This isn’t a failure of politics is more a failure of Religion.

Michael Rothblatt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
szopen said...

@MK

"no true love or romance or glory is possible in a purely material world."

Being an atheist I assure you that true love is possible in purely material world.

As for me, I acknowledge the role the christianity plays in the west. I would prefer everybody being with the same views as I (atheist conservative), but that being close to impossible (the majority of atheists being clearly on the left), I prefer the second best, that is Christians. In fact some things brought by the leftwing are so terrifying, that sometimes I play with though that I would prefer to be harassed and maybe even killed in 100% Christian Europe, than to live in left-wing atheist one.