Monday, March 29, 2021

The Modern Christian Dilemma

Apologies for not posting for a while but as I've mentioned in the comments section of a previous post, I'm currently down follow intellectual rabbit holes which came about from reading a biography of Charles De Gaulle and I'll hopefully be posting properly soon.

However commentator MK gave me a heads up with regards to an interview of Rod Dreher by Aaron Renn and wanted to know my thoughts about it. In my opinion the pivotal moment of the interview occurs when Renn quotes Dreher a passage of his own writing. From Retribalising America:

Eventually, the provocations of Social Justice Warriors, especially when they are race-based, is going to empower the militant whites, especially those drawn to pagan masculinity, and they are going to do what the rest of us would not do: Fight. This, because the best — that is, those who want peace, civility, and tolerance — lack all conviction to defend the conditions under which we can have those things against their enemies.
Renn then asks Dreher "Why cant we [Ed: Christians] fight?"

Dreher: "How can we do that? I'm not trying to be provocative, I'm really trying to figure this out."

Here is the YouTube link to the interview segment.

I don't think Dreher was trying to avoid the question here rather the Christianity that Dreher espouses inhibits any type of fighting back.  I don't think that it's an issue of "conviction" as much as it is a perversion of Christianity which sees any type of righteous assertion as immoral. The "suffering" Jesus is seen as a moral example, the Jesus who chased the money lenders from the temple is ignored.

I really want to go back to one of my favourite quotes from Chesterton's, Orthodoxy:
So it is also, of course, with the contradictory charges of the anti-Christians about submission and slaughter. It IS true that the Church told some men to fight [ED] and others not to fight; and it IS true that those who fought were like thunderbolts and those who did not fight were like statues. All this simply means that the Church preferred to use its Supermen and to use its Tolstoyans. There must be SOME good in the life of battle, for so many good men have enjoyed being soldiers. There must be SOME good in the idea of non-resistance, for so many good men seem to enjoy being Quakers. All that the Church did (so far as that goes) was to prevent either of these good things from ousting the other. They existed side by side. The Tolstoyans, having all the scruples of monks, simply became monks. The Quakers became a club instead of becoming a sect. Monks said all that Tolstoy says; they poured out lucid lamentations about the cruelty of battles and the vanity of revenge. But the Tolstoyans are not quite right enough to run the whole world; and in the ages of faith they were not allowed to run it. The world did not lose the last charge of Sir James Douglas or the banner of Joan the Maid. And sometimes this pure gentleness and this pure fierceness met and justified their juncture; the paradox of all the prophets was fulfilled, and, in the soul of St. Louis, the lion lay down with the lamb. But remember that this text is too lightly interpreted. It is constantly assured, especially in our Tolstoyan tendencies, that when the lion lies down with the lamb the lion becomes lamb-like. But that is brutal annexation and imperialism on the part of the lamb. That is simply the lamb absorbing the lion instead of the lion eating the lamb. The real problem is--Can the lion lie down with the lamb and still retain his royal ferocity? THAT is the problem the Church attempted; THAT is the miracle she achieved.
Chesterton recognised that "sound" Christianity was able to incorporate the gentleness of the lamb with the fierceness of the lion. How it did so is for a later time. But was happened over the last century or so is that Christianity has deligitimised the lion's nature and told it to be more lamb like.  In fact, what Christianity has done, through a Kenotic interpretation of itself, is told the lion to treat the lamb as a type of Buddha and incorporate himself within it, resulting in both a destruction of it's identity and nature. Chesterton saw that the pacifistic trend in Christianity had strong tendencies with Buddhism.

We don't have a Church that "told some men to fight" as it did in the Ages of the Faith. This could either be as a result of a doctrinal development or as a result of heresy. But as the Master says: "you judge a tree by it's fruit" and contemporary Christianity, especially in the West has been bleeding. The empirical evidence leads points to the latter.

The thing about heresies is that none of the heretics think that they are wrong and it just might be that we're in another one of those ages, like during the Arian controversy, when the laity were right and the senior clergy wrong.  Note, this trend in Christianity--especially Catholic Christianity--has been gaining traction over the last century, so this isn't a post Vatican two effect.

As for "fighting" I think our primary purpose at the moment should be to drive out the kenotic heresy from our Churches.