Category Archives: Christianity

Jordan Peterson wants to create an anti-WEF

The famed psychologist lays out his plans and vision in a discussion with Joe Rogan.

This is a very inspiring idea. However, lately JP has been somewhat uncritical to certain kinds of interventionist ideas that dovetail nicely with what typical WEF-types might say. Paul Joseph Watson commented recently on this. So it remains to be seen in which direction the Canadian sage is moving.

Creating Man in Our Own Image

Bionic Mosquito writes about a book titled “Strange New World: How Thinkers and Activists Redefined Identity and Sparked the Sexual Revolution”, by Carl R. Trueman.

Excerpts:

Modern culture sees the world as raw material to be shaped by human will.  Trueman sees technology as having played the biggest part in this change.  As noted earlier, is technology to be considered just another necessary but insufficient precondition, or was it the sufficient condition that enabled the ideas of the aforementioned thinkers to be put into effect?

Technology reinforces the idea of “individual.”  In almost every way today we can individualize our experiences – music, news, videos, recreation.  Again, the individual is placed at the center of his reality.  The world is seen simply as “stuff,” to be molded and shaped according to the will of the creator – the modern individual.

We are the ones with power, and we are the ones who give the world significance.

Technology is the addition, the rise of something that gives the individual power and authority.  On the other side is the collapse of traditional external sources of authority and identity.  Trueman offers three examples to demonstrate this reality.

First, the Reformation which fractured the Church in the West.  Institutional unity was lost, and with it the Church’s claims to authority.  Nations could choose the direction of their faith.  Eventually, the choice would be individual – completely upending who had power in the relationship: the priest or the parishioner.

[…]

Religion, family, nation.  Once, the answer to the question “Whom am I?” would have been “I am Carl Trueman, a Christian and the son of John, English by birth.  Today, almost every one of these traditional identity markers is subject of ridicule and derision.

Without these external markers of identity, we turn inward; as Trueman puts it, institutions are no longer authoritative places of formation, but of performance.

Trueman then goes to the loss of sacred order.  Cultures have traditionally justified their moral orders by appealing to traditions rooted in sacred order.  Moral codes have authority because they are grounded in something outside of, or beyond, this immediate world.  God, for example, or natural law, or the Tao, or created order, or the Oracle at Delphi.  You get the idea.

[…]

Arguments based on the authority of God’s law or the idea that human beings are made in the image of God no longer carry any significant weight in a world devoid of the sacred.

Instead we have arguments based on the authority of the inner self – creating myself in my own image.  Using my self as the yardstick by which I measure…myself.

Why has this played out so explosively in the realm of sex?

Once the authorizing of the inner psychological space happened, it was perhaps inevitable that sex would become more and more significant.  Sexual desires are among the most powerful inner feelings that most human beings experience.

The deepest of the inner self, the most powerful feelings of the inner self.  Hence, the most important manner by which one can express his inner self.  Historically it has been moral codes regarding sex that have been the primary focus across most societies.  Therefore, such codes are also the most important codes to kill.

The constitutional condition of England

A traditionalist laments

In his recent article, “Shakespeare and the Redundancy of Conservatism“, Alan Bickley laments the downfall of a country that once could rightly be proud of itself.

Excerpts:

I spent the 1980s and 1990s predicting and lamenting the death of our Ancient Constitution. This was not the provisional work of more or less stupid intellectuals. The English Constitution was part of the organic unity of our nation. It was one with our language and our history and our general beliefs about ourselves. It needed no justifications, no hierarchy of laws, no entrenchment, no supervisory panel of judges. We had trial by jury not because some piece of paper required it, but because we had agreed, since before the Norman Conquest, that a man should suffer punishment only after the lawful judgement of his peers. We had a privilege against double jeopardy because we agreed it was fair that a man should be troubled only once by the authorities with an accusation of some specific wrongdoing. We had freedom of speech because it was our birthright. We knew who we were. We looked down on foreigners, and we took it for granted that they should look up to us.

The last two sentences may be indicative of what went wrong: Pride cometh before the fall. (In fact, Proverbs 16:18 (KJV) says: “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”) That is not to say that England didn’t have something others could rightly look up to. But it did invite the wrong kind of pride.

I have given up on lamentations during the present century. I have given up on them because my predictions turned out to be broadly correct. The English Constitution is something nowadays to be discussed in various past tenses. In 1997, I looked forward with particular horror at what was now certain to come. I was like a man in fine clothes who found himself compelled to cross a sea of pig filth. I fussed and tutted over every speck on the national shoes. A quarter of a century later, we are spattered up to our waists, and it hardly seems much if we trip and land on our faces. The forms of our Constitution have been changed in random though generally malevolent ways. Even those forms that remain have been drained of their ancient substance and filled with something new and wholly malevolent.

Bickley is a traditionalist, but despairs of the current Monarchy:

The Conservative Party has not only failed us. It has betrayed us. It has conserved nothing. It has joined in the work of destruction. We now face the prospect of another Labour Government. This will almost certainly complete the draining of substance and the changing of forms. But I no longer greatly care. The Monarchy is much in the news at present. A few months ago, the Queen died. We have a coronation approaching. More importantly in the past few weeks, the younger son of the King’s first wife has published an extended ghost-written whine of self-pity. The response of the fake conservatives who are allowed into the media is to complain that he is bringing the monarchy into disrepute, and even endangering its existence. So far as they believe what they are saying, they deserve the comment that Tom Paine made on Edmund Burke – that he “pities the plumage, but forgets the dying bird.” What has the Monarchy done in living memory to uphold the Ancient Constitution? The answer is less than nothing. The late Queen was a woman of notable uselessness. Of all the documents put before her to sign, she seems to have queried only personal cheques. The new King is stupid or evil, or possibly both. What I have read of his coronation plans involves a repeat of the woke pantomime that opened the London Olympics. His son appears to be no better.

Bickley is particularly scathing about the Church of England:

I could continue. I could say the Church has been colonised by probable atheists, there for salaries that, if not generous in themselves, are higher than their personal market worth, or for easy access to under-age boys. The Bench is a committee of authoritarian leftists. The chartered institutions are the same. The whole administration is a mass of incompetence and petty corruption. The Ministers no longer try to hide that they are taking bribes. Corruption beams from their horrid faces. The classics are rewritten to be goodthinkful, and hardly anyone complains. We have indeed dropped into the filth, and those dragging us through it make a point of kicking anyone who declines to wallow in it with the approved show of enthusiasm.

But I will not continue. I have said enough. We have fallen, and, looking at those countries with a less fortunate history than our own, there are lower depths yet awaiting us. Should I care? Should I not give up altogether on writing and focus what time I have left on securing the least uncomfortable life possible for me and mine? Though always desirable, national improvement is possible only when there is a nation still fit to be improved. I am no longer as sure as I was about England. Before the spring of 2020, I could tell myself that the people had always voted for improvement when given the chance. The English had voted overwhelmingly to leave the European Union. They had pinched their noses and voted in a team of corrupt mediocrities when these turned out to be the only group in politics who seemed willing to go through with the Referendum result. Surely, though oppressed, the nation was still sound?

I am no longer so sure. I live in a middle class area. Every Thursday during the Lockdown, I was troubled by the sound, from every front door in my street, of people banging their pots and pans in required solidarity against a virus that plainly showed itself from the start to be no worse than a mild seasonal flu. I then saw the hundred-yard queues of people waiting patiently to be injected with an untested vaccine they had already been warned was at least dangerous. More recently, doubts regarding the wisdom of our war with Russia have been routinely treated in private conversation as equal in their morality to defences of pederasty. Everyone in England but the rich is cold. Everyone but the rich may soon be hungry. There are no demonstrations in Trafalgar Square. When the Ministers tell us we are all in the same boat, there is no replying shout that they are in first class and we in steerage. If every nation gets the government it deserves – government, that is, in the wider sense – the English have no right to complain; and they do not complain. Richard Lynn once assured me that IQ in England had been falling by one point every decade since 1901. 1901 was many decades ago. Whether IQ means as much as people tell me I will leave aside. There seems little doubt that the English who once defended their ways and liberty with fists and more deadly weapons, who began the scientific and industrial revolutions, and who planted their flag in every corner of the world, are as extinct a people as the Athenians of the age of Pericles were when Hadrian visited the city.

So, what is to be done?

There is, however, no doubt that the days of lamenting the death of the Ancient Constitution are past. It has gone beyond recall. Any restoration now must be much more of a new beginning. There is a case for reconnecting the most vital threads from our past to a future settlement. But I do not believe these threads involve a privileged role for the family of Alfred the Great, or any of the outward forms of the Ancient Constitution. We have been notorious, since the eighteenth century, for our indifference to questions of political legitimacy and national identity that consumed other peoples. Now that the mostly unspoken consensus has passed that allowed us the luxury of smiling at the antics of foreigners, we must begin to think about first principles. This will often be painful. It may lead us in directions that we once thought undesirable. Even so, we are left with no alternative if we are not to continue our slide towards, and perhaps below, the level of other nations. And, if I cannot be bothered to explain myself more clearly than I have, a period of Labour government may not be quite so regrettable as I regarded the advent of Tony Blair in 1997.

On Forgiveness and “Amnesty”

With regard to Covid measures and mandates, including the "vaccines"

Writes Bretigne Shaffer:

This conflict we are in, the same one that has torn apart families and cost people their jobs and had them pack up and move across the country, it is, at its foundation, a conflict between light and dark, good and evil. In this war, the side of darkness has certain strengths, certain weapons, and the side of the light has strengths, weapons. They are not the same. The dark uses lies, fear, and brute force. The weapons of the light are the inverse: Truth, fearlessness, and love.

[…]

What she [Emily Oster] is asking for is something we’ve all had quite enough of already, thank you. She is asking for a waiver of accountability for all who are responsible for what has been done to us these past three years: The mendacious mathematical models; the deliberate public fear-mongering; the rights violations, the forced closures of businesses, schools, churches; the forced isolation of some of society’s most vulnerable people; forcing masks on children; teaching children to fear other humans; the centralized suppression of effective treatment; the suppression of information about effective treatment… and of course, the coerced, experimental, medical interventions, and the suppression of information about the harm those interventions cause.

All of this is supposed to be “forgiven”, because “we didn’t know.” As if ignorance grants some sort of free pass for human-rights violations on a massive scale, because when you “don’t know” (they did know), the obvious response is raw, unbridled authoritarianism. As if people who have committed similar acts in the past have not faced criminal prosecution.

So here’s our dilemma: If society is to function at all, there needs to be accountability. We need to be able to hold people accountable for their actions, or we end up with a criminal class that can inflict harm on everyone else, free of consequence. Indeed, this is very much where we find ourselves at this moment in time, and if we cannot find ways to hold the perpetrators accountable, then we should only expect that things will continue to get worse.

[…]

So I just seek out – with an urgency – opportunities to stay connected to humanity. Whether it’s expressing appreciation for a shop assistant or call-center operator, or taking time to write up a review of the guys who delivered my washing machine, I recognize the urgency of maintaining the strength of those threads in our social fabric, those connections, however small they may seem.

When there are forces arrayed against human connection, forces that thrive and grow stronger the more we are divided against each other, the task of connecting, and of loving one another becomes all the more urgent. We don’t have to forgive the unforgivable – or anything at all, if we’re unable to. And we certainly don’t have to abandon the endeavor of holding criminals accountable for their crimes. But our capacity for love is what separates us from the darkness. It is one of the only weapons we have to fight against it. We need to take it seriously.

Pope Benedict vs the calculating elites

O'Neill defends the late Pontiff

In this interesting obituary of (ex-)Pope Benedict XVI, Brendan O’Neill, a self-proclaimed atheist, castigates “preening macho rationalists of the New Atheist set”, who, as humanists, were, according to O’Neill, more anti-enlightenment than the Pope himself:

There was also a profound irony in this Benedict-bashing spectacle. Because this man they loved to hate, ‘Pope Ratzinger’, as they demeaned him, was a far keener defender of reason than they were. He was a more rigorous student of Enlightenment, too. And he did more than they ever will to challenge the real menace to truth in the 21st century – not religion but the ‘dictatorship of relativism’, as Benedict called it. There was more humanism in Benedict’s brave, often lonely battle against today’s tyranny of nothingness than there is in the New Atheists’ snotty rage against religion.

The obituarist gets to the point:

In short, absent any notion of universal truth, devoid of social standards we might define ourselves by (or against), we’re left with just the individual, playing around in his own prison of identity.

[…]

Indeed, Benedict held that Christianity was a ‘religion according to reason’. He argued, rightly, that the Enlightenment sprung from the traditions and tensions within Christianity itself – ‘the Enlightenment is of Christian origin’, he said. One of his most striking utterances was to say that the Enlightenment had ‘given back reason its own voice’. That is, it took ideas of reason from Christianity and expressed those ideas in the voice of reason alone. 

O’Neill hints at the fundamental problem the enlightenment has, without discussing it:

Benedict’s beef was not with reason, then, as his ill-read critics would have us believe, but with what he referred to as ‘purely functional rationality’. Or scientism, as others call it: the modern creed of evidence-based politics that judges everything by experiment rather than morality.

Here’s the fundamental problem: Without morality, rationality will become ‘scientism’, the consequences of which we were able to observe since WWI in the liberal use of weapons of mass destruction, genocides and lately the Covid tyranny, environmental tyranny and other attempts at building a Tower of Babel 2.0.

O’Neill is right to defend the late Pope against the “New Atheist” set, but he does not touch the question that begs: How do we arrive at morality, without God? Rationality alone doesn’t seem to suffice.

Birmingham City Council believes in the power of even silent prayer, apparently

And they don't like it, apparently

I wonder what the A of C or the C of E have to say about this. Nothing, as far as I can see. At least, not yet. And I’m not holding my breath.

Excerpts:

Earlier this month, Isabel Vaughan-Spruce was standing silently in a public street. She was doing, saying and displaying absolutely nothing, apparently lost in thought. A policeman approached her. He asked if she was inwardly praying. When she said she might have been, he immediately arrested her, took her to a police station and searched her. Last week, Vaughan-Spruce was told she faces prosecution.

Whatever your view on abortion, even if you are strongly pro-choice, this whole episode should worry you immensely. The implications for personal liberty are terrifying. If an arrest for silent prayer is not an instance of Orwellian ‘thoughtcrime’, then I don’t know what is.

This whole affair highlights how our leaders are becoming increasingly authoritarian. Their rules and restrictions on what we can say or think are casting an ever wider net. Concerns for individual freedom are frequently sidelined.