Refuting the Anti-Christian Animus On The Alt-Right | Council of European Canadians

 

European Identitarians should recognize that Christianity has always recognized the importance of European identity and its own contribution to this identity.

Source: Refuting the Anti-Christian Animus On The Alt-Right

As I have noted previously, I am coming increasingly (if somewhat reluctantly) to view myself as an Identitarian:

not as a political statement, but as a simple and incontrovertible fact, an expression of biological (and in the case of my European identity, cultural and historical) reality. It is the actions and reactions of people on the Left that are gradually forcing me to view this [European] identity in more socio-political terms: my heritage, both genetic and cultural, is under attack, and that unfortunate fact forces me to defend it… Like a lot of folks, I mainly want to be left alone. But I also want my people to be left alone, and not to be subsumed, oppressed, overrun, interbred, or replaced. So I suppose that makes me an Identitarian… and if so, so be it. I did not choose the label, or the fight; both were forced upon me.

But what has been very frustrating to me – both as a Christian, and as a Christian clergyman – is the extent to which many of those who share this approach are sneeringly dismissive of Christianity. Some of these are the sort of militant atheists who dismiss any religion as “fairy stories” – ignoring both the fact that fairy stories often contain encoded within them deeper and more vital truths, and also the wisdom of no less a figure of contemporary atheism than Richard Dawkins, who famously tweeted,

Before we rejoice at the death throes of the relatively benign Christian religion, let’s not forget Hilaire Belloc’s menacing rhyme: “Always keep a-hold of nurse, For fear of finding something worse.”

In other words, even if you don’t believe a word of it, mere enlightened self-interest dictates supporting Christianity as a bulwark against more menacing alternatives – such as, for example, militant Islam.

But the even more central truth that European Identitarians – particularly those who consider themselves some species of European Pagan – tend, sadly, to forget is that much of what has made Europe recognizably Europe over the last two centuries results precisely from the fusion of the Classical (Greco-Roman) and Germano-Celtic branches of pre-Christian (Pagan) Europe with the (then-) new faith of Christianity.

It was a particularly advantageous fusion, and one which led to considerable mutual enrichment, and a great fluorescence of culture on the European continent. I am generally quite sympathetic to European Paganism, having particular respect and appreciation for the Celtic and Norse/Germanic branches. But if we would revert Europe to its pre-Christian state, the simple truth is that we would revert it (at least, as regards Northern Europe, whose proponents are generally the most vocal in attacking Christianity) to an age of mud huts and blood-feuds.

I do not forget the impressive accomplishments of the pre-Christian world of Hellenistic (Greco-Roman) antiquity. But it was nonetheless the Age of Faith that raised the great cathedrals and uncounted other architectural marvels; that inspired great art and magnificent music, from Gregorian chant to Baroque; that gave even the oft-warring kingdoms of Europe a larger identity as part of Christendom; and which defended that European Christendom against Muslim invasions, from the 8th through the 17th centuries.

For Europeans to reject Christianity is, as my late mother would have put it, “cutting off your nose to spite your face.” So I am very glad to see someone from the European Identity camp mount a spirited defense of the faith, as Richard Storey has done in this essay.

He addresses three allegedly (according to its critics) unique and damaging traits of Christianity, which those opponents claim to be “the great mutations” of the allegedly pure Europeanism that predated Christianity – mutations “that gave birth to the secular ideologies of [modernism]”: individualism, egalitarianism and progressivism.

That these ideas – at least in the extreme and unbalanced form in which they are found today – are indeed “mutant” ideologies, and as such are dangerous and ultimately destructive of human life and flourishing, is a viewpoint with which I cannot disagree. But that that they are unique to Christianity, or that the Christian faith is responsible for promoting them to an inappropriate degree, is the idea that needs challenging, and challenge it Storey does.

He also points out that

“Other claims in need of addressing are the revival of the defunct Nietzschean idea that Christianity is a slave ethic, produced by Jews to weaken the Roman Empire through the promotion of meekness as goodness etc., and the beliefs that Europe was and would be more peaceful without Christianity or that Christianity is somehow anti-white/European identity.”

These false claims are also addressed in his essay. Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest!


Notable quote:

“It is quite legitimate for nations to treat those differences [e.g., distinctions between ethnic nationalities] as a sacred inheritance and guard them at all costs. The Church aims at unity, a unity determined and kept alive by that supernatural love which should be actuating everybody; she does not aim at a uniformity which would only be external in its effects and would cramp the natural tendencies of the nations concerned. Every nation has its own genius, its own qualities, springing from the hidden roots of its being. The wise development, the encouragement within limits, of that genius, those qualities, does no harm; and if a nation cares to take precautions, to lay down rules, for that end, it has the Church’s approval.”

— Pope John XXIII (1961) “Mater et Magistra” (http://www.newadvent.org/library/docs_jo23mm.htm)

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Why Millennials Long for Liturgy | The American Conservative

https://anglophilicanglican.files.wordpress.com/2018/04/2b8ae-img_0531.jpg?w=1021&h=681
From the New Liturgical Movement website.

Is the High Church the Christianity of the future?

Source: Why Millennials Long for Liturgy | The American Conservative

America’s youth are leaving churches in droves. One in four young adults choose “unaffiliated” when asked about their religion, according to a 2012 Public Religion Research Institute poll, and 55 percent of those unaffiliated youth once had a religious identification when they were younger. Yet amidst this exodus, some church leaders have identified another movement as cause for hope: rather than abandoning Christianity, some young people are joining more traditional, liturgical denominations—notably the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Orthodox branches of the faith. This trend is deeper than denominational waffling: it’s a search for meaning that goes to the heart of our postmodern age.

What this essay calls “the High Church” – churches, particularly those mentioned in the excerpt above, whose theology and the worship that expresses it are sacramental, liturgical, and steeped in tradition – are drawing more and more attention from a younger generation: which (if I may be so bold) sees through the often rather superficial, “feel-good,” “happy-clappy” style of worship that is known (perhaps with some irony, now) as “contemporary.”

Rather than seeking to “marry the spirit of the age” (which as Dean Inge warned, decades ago, would lead churches to become widowers), “High” churches immerse themselves in the timeless tradition of the Church Catholic, the Great Tradition of Christianity, focusing more on reverence than on “relevance.”

This does not mean that present-day considerations are irrelevant to such churches, of course; rather, it’s a matter of priorities: “Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and its righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you,” as our Lord counseled (Matthew 6:33).

And this is finding resonance with many young people, who see from experience the failures and limitations of the secular, therapeutic model that has been largely dominant in mainstream churches since the late 1960s, 70s, and beyond (which is why calling this “contemporary” is more than a bit ironic). As the name of a Facebook group (founded and largely populated by millennials) of which I am a member puts, “Yes, young people do like traditional liturgy!”

From the linked article:

“If you ask me why kids are going high church, I’d say it’s because the single greatest threat to our generation and to young people nowadays is the deprivation of meaning in our lives,” Cone says. “In the liturgical space, everything becomes meaningful. In the offering up of the bread and wine, we see the offering up of the wheat and grain and fruits of the earth, and God gives them back in a sanctified form. … We’re so thirsty for meaning that goes deeper, that can speak to our entire lives, hearts, and wallets, that we’re really thirsty to be attached to the earth and to each other and to God. The liturgy is a historical way in which that happens.”

The millennial generation is seeking a holistic, honest, yet mysterious truth that their current churches cannot provide. Where they search will have large implications for the future of Christianity. Protestant churches that want to preserve their youth membership may have to develop a greater openness toward the treasures of the past. One thing seems certain: this “sacramental yearning” will not go away.

Europe’s Civilizational Exhaustion – Gatestone Institute

Pictured: French police eject some of the 80 migrants and pro-illegal-immigration activists who occupied the Basilica of Saint Denis, on March 18, 2018. (Image source: Video screenshot, YouTube/Kenyan News & Politics)

“In Sweden, by 2050, almost one in three people will be Muslim. The civilizational exhaustion is seen in Europeans’ falling birth rates, mushrooming public debt, chaos in the streets, and a refusal to invest in security. Islam is filling the cultural vacuum of a society with no children and which believes – wrongly – it has no enemies.”

Source: Europe’s Civilizational Exhaustion | Gatestone Institute

  • Islam is filling the cultural vacuum of a society with no children and which believes — wrongly — it has no enemies.
  • In Sweden, by 2050, almost one in three people will be Muslim.
  • The European mainstream mindset now seems to believe that “evil” comes only from our own sins: racism, sexism, elitism, xenophobia, homophobia, the guilt of the heterosexual white Western male — and never from non-European cultures. Europe now postulates an infinite idealization of the “other”, above all the migrant.
  • A tiredness seems to be why these countries do not take meaningful measures to defeat jihadism, such as closing Salafist mosques or expelling radical imams.
  • Muslim extremists understand this advantage: so long as they avoid another enormous massacre like 9/11, they will be able to continue taking away human lives and undermining the West without awakening it from its inertia.

Is this really what we want? Because it’s what we’re going to get, if we don’t – collectively – wake up, and start defending what is valuable: our history, our culture, our heritage.

This essay – which makes for sobering reading, but for that very reason should be read, marked, learned, and inwardly digested by defenders of the West – continues,

Stephen Bullivant, a professor of theology and the sociology of religion at St Mary’s University in London, recently published a report, “Europe’s Young Adults and Religion”:

“Christianity as a default, as a norm, is gone, and probably gone for good – or at least for the next 100 years,” Bullivant said.

According to Bullivant, many young Europeans “will have been baptised and then never darken the door of a church again. Cultural religious identities just aren’t being passed on from parents to children. It just washes straight off them… “And we know the Muslim birthrate is higher than the general population, and they have much higher [religious] retention rates.”

That is a very dangerous and worrying combination – to put it mildly. The situation has gotten so bad that no less a figure than Richard Dawkins, who is as this essay notes is

an atheist and the author of The God Delusion, responded to the study’s release by tweeting to his millions of Twitter followers:

Before we rejoice at the death throes of the relatively benign Christian religion, let’s not forget Hilaire Belloc’s menacing rhyme:

“Always keep a-hold of nurse
For fear of finding something worse.”

Dawkins is apparently concerned that after the demise of Christianity in Europe, there will not be an atheistic utopia, but a rising Islam.

Dawkins’ concern is well-founded. Secularists and atheists of Dawkins’ ilk – not, clearly, Dawkins himself, who though misguided is vastly more intelligent than many of his followers – have been happy enough to use Islam (*) as a foil for Christianity (and I would not be surprised if many have not rejoiced, secretly, in the deaths of Christians in the Middle East and elsewhere), believing that it is doing much of their work for them, and that they can then control and enervate it, too.

This makes about as much sense as trying to chain a dragon to boil a pot of tea. What they fail to realize is that those who passionately believe in something – whether that “something” is truth or falsehood, witness the passionate belief in Communism many still possess, despite its theoretical “defeat” in the 1980s and ’90s – will always have an edge over those who believe in nothing. And unlike the heirs of Western Christendom, Islam is not tired, not exhausted: it has had a rest of some centuries, and has awoken.

It is time, and past time, for us to awaken, too – to awaken to our peril, and to defend ourselves against it. We have a moral responsibility to do so (and as Christians, a religious duty, since Islam is a false religion, and a dangerous ideology): not only for ourselves, but for our ancestors, and for our descendants. So far, we are abjectly failing both. We are betraying our patrimony, by failing to defend it, and pass it on.

What is at stake, here? Let’s look to history: when the Iberian Peninsula fell to the Muslims, it took 700 years to reconquer it – and that was with most of the rest of Europe free. How long will the Reconquista take, if the whole West should fall? None of us will live to see it! But if we fail to wake up, we may live to see that fall.

Again I ask: is this really what we want?

 


• And more generally, multiculturalism and mass immigration, which – far from being a source of strength – weakens and breaks down cultural cohesiveness and integrity, and damages the host culture’s ability to defend itself against attacks both from within and from without. But Islam is the most significant unifying force among many of these immigrants, especially in Europe, and increasingly in the U.S., too.

Happy Easter! A holy and blessed Feast of the Resurrection to all my Christian readers!

Easter – Empty Tomb

“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, for he has risen, as he said.”

Luke 24:5b, Matthew 28:6

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast. Not with the old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness: but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. – 1 Cor. v. 7.

Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more : death hath no more dominion over him.For in  that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin: but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. – Rom. vi. 9.

Christ is risen from the dead : and become the first-fruits of them that slept. For  since by man came death : by man came also the resurrection of the dead.For as in Adam all die: even so in Christ shall all be made alive. – 1 Cor. xv. 20.

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

The Catholic Lady: Desiring Beauty

Source: The Catholic Lady: Desiring Beauty

https://anglophilicanglican.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/8eade-frankwestonbenson.jpg?w=258&h=320
 Beautiful clothing encourages us to contemplate God in the beauty and order of the universe.
Painting by Frank Weston Benson.

Wow! Sometimes I run across something that is, if not exactly and completely new to me, at least allows me to look at things in a new and exciting way. This is such a post! The Catholic Lady writes,

“Beauty, as St. Thomas says, is objective and has four attributes: truth, goodness, oneness and symmetry.  Beauty, when comprised of these qualities, directs us to God.”

This I had missed – I am not a Thomistic scholar, though, so there’s probably a lot in The Angelic Doctor’s writings that I’ve missed. It makes perfect sense, though, as St. Thomas Aquinas’s thought tends to. Reminds me of the Three Transcendentals – Goodness, Truth, and Beauty – which are all attributes of the “Ultimate Transcendental,” namely, God! At any rate, she goes on to ask,

“But what is the style of Christian civilization?

And answers:

“The style at the heights of Christian civilization is undeniably beautiful and uplifting to the spirit. It directs the soul to God rather then confining it to superficial worldly indulgence.”

Yes – that is one of the chief virtues of the great cathedrals, Gregorian chant, and other exemplars of classical Christian art: they lift the thoughts, the attention, the heart, and through them, the spirit, to the contemplation of heavenly things. But I hadn’t thought of applying the same reasoning to clothing styles – yet it makes so much sense:

“Beautiful clothing encourages us to contemplate God in the beauty and order of the universe. It represent the supernatural virtues of Faith, Hope, Charity, Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance. These virtues combined with the desire in our souls to do good and avoid evil, govern Christian society and also form the basis of beautiful design. Beauty is literally graceful because it comes into our lives through the infusion of Supernatural virtue.”

“Beauty is literally grace-full” (emphasis added) – again, wow! True beauty is graceful, because it is full of God’s grace. And then she goes on to apply those Thomistic qualities to it – again, taking it to a level I had not contemplated, previously:

Truth can be seen in clothing that identifies the wearer as a man or woman, his status and occupation, even his character and family. Goodness is in the quality materials and fine workmanship, and in the modesty that respects the natural virtues. Oneness is in the completeness of the ensemble and the way it matches in an ordered way. Symmetry is the proportion, consistency and uniformity that comprise it.

“This can be applied to everything: music and architecture, furnishings in the home, work and crafts, words and manners, meals and dinner tables, beautiful prayers and good reading. Local traditions sustain cultural beauty in holidays, ceremonies and ways of being that began long ago when people turned to God and received a flow of grace to generations. This realization makes us love and keep alive tradition. Beauty is expressed in many cultures and is diverse since God’s creation is immense. However, beauty cannot go against the natural order.”

Indeed. Something which does, may (perhaps) be clever, or interesting, or thought-provoking, or challenging (or disturbing!), or something along those lines. But not beautiful.

“Beauty lifts the spirit above what is purely functional to the realm of spiritual satisfaction in our quest for the Supernatural.  How can we not constantly marvel at and reach for the heights of beauty to fill up our minds and souls with the contemplation of God?”

How can we not, indeed? Yet, like the modern taste-buds, that are so used to “hyper-palatable” foods laden with salt, sugar, MSG, etc., that they have to be re-trained to appreciate healthful foods and natural flavors, so our aesthetic sensibilities are often numbed almost to the point of becoming insensate by the images of modern media, both entertainment and advertising, with which they are constantly bombarded.

But this is encouraging. It’s worth being reminded that beauty is not, necessarily or entirely, “in the eye of the beholder”; that just as there are objective standards of truth and morality, there are also objective standards of beauty.

And once again, we see the Three Transcendentals – Truth, Goodness, and Beauty – inserting themselves into the conversation! That connection was not planned, not by me. But very apt, nonetheless! A moment of synchronicity… or, perhaps, of Divine Providence.

And with that, I shall close these musings, for the night!

What is Maundy Thursday 2018? The meaning behind Holy Thursday, the Last Supper and how the Queen marks occasion | Mirror Online

Her Majesty The Queen, and The Duke of Edinburgh, at the Royal Maundy Service at Blackburn Cathedral.

Her Majesty takes part in the ancient Royal Maundy Thursday service, where she will distribute coins

Source: What is Maundy Thursday 2018? The meaning behind Holy Thursday, the Last Supper and how the Queen marks occasion | Mirror Online

A brief synopsis, from this article:

Also called Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Sheer Thursday and Thursday of Mysteries, Maundy Thursday marks the beginning of the three day celebration of Easter, an important time in the Christian calendar.

The day comes before Good Friday, and this year it has fallen on March 29.

It commemorates the last supper of Jesus Christ, when Christians believe he shared bread and wine with his disciples.

According to the Bible, Jesus also washed the feet of his followers and commanded them to love each other.

The word Maundy comes from the Latin word ‘mandatum’, meaning command.

How is Maundy Thursday marked in the UK?

The Queen will mark Maundy Thursday by distributing alms as part of a tradition dating back to the 13th century.

She will be accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh for the service at Leicester Cathedral where the Maundy Money will be distributed to 91 men and 91 women – representing each of her 91 years.

The 182 recipients of the Maundy money are senior citizens who will be given the gifts in recognition of the service they have given to the church and their local area.

Wishing all of my Christian readers – English or not! – a holy and blessed Maundy Thursday, and remainder of this Sacred Triduum.

Largest Christian university opens ‘sophisticated’ gun range for students | Fox News

The Liberty University shooting team holds their first competition vs. James Madison University on at the new Liberty Mountain Gun Club on February 3, 2018.

Liberty University does it right: “As schools nationwide debate on how to keep firearms away from their campus, Liberty University opened a multimillion-dollar gun range Monday for student activities and hosting competitions.”

Source: Largest Christian university opens ‘sophisticated’ gun range for students | Fox News

As I have commented elsewhere, the best way to deal with gun violence is precisely to train citizens, from childhood and youth on up, in the safe, legal, and responsible handling of firearms. It might be worth considering the wisdom of the Scriptures, here:

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

The passage – found in Proverbs 22:6 (KJV) – is referring specifically to religious and moral training, of course, but it applies quite well in this case (particularly since decisions on how and when to use firearms are, in fact, moral decisions).

The lure of the forbidden, combined with the very negative and irresponsible examples of firearms use portrayed in the media (including movies and video games), makes it all the more important to provide youth and young adults with appropriate training and role models to counter the pernicious influences of a culture which has, in may respects, lost its way.

[It’s a bit of an aside to this, but I do find it interesting that many if not most of the celebrities – actors and musicians – who are most vociferous in their opposition to firearms would probably be indignant or worse at the idea that we should tone down those elements of, say, rap “music,” video games, or movies that glamorize the amoral or immoral portrayal of firearms violence by “heroes” and anti-heroes.]

Liberty U. is certainly going about this in a big way:

“The lower part of the 600-acre, state-of-the-art gun range has rifle, pistol, and three-gun ranges in a valley located on the other side of Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre, a year-round ski and snowboard slope, and at the top has shotgun venues, which include skeet, trap and sporting clay facilities…

“Liberty is now the only campus with a venue fit for all Olympic shooting sports and it hopes to be one of the most luxurious facilities in the world once the project is fully completed.”

Brad Butler, planning coordinator for the University, quotes current university president Jerry Falwell, Jr., and his father, founder Jerry Falwell, Sr., as considering it axiomatic that “if it’s Christian, it ought to be better.” In this, I am reminded of my mother’s saying that we should strive to “put our best foot forward” in all that we do.

So kudos to Liberty Christian University for its stance, and its accomplishment with this! They’re doing it right.