Glories of the West, and QOTD: Who said this?

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The adoption of Christianity was

“the starting point for the formation and development of [our] statehood, the true spiritual birth of our ancestors, the determination of their identity… the flowering of national culture and education.”

Continue reading “Glories of the West, and QOTD: Who said this?”

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The West Is Stirring | John Waters | First Things

No European Union Parliament

The people of the West are stirring in their slumber.

Source: The West Is Stirring | John Waters | First Things

In response to a recent “Manifesto” by “30 Pro-Europe Intellectuals” (informally sub-titled in many media reports, “Europe is coming apart before our eyes”), John Waters writes,

“It soon becomes clear that what we have here is not ‘30 Pro-Europe Intellectuals’ but ‘30 Pro-European Union intellectuals,’ an entirely different kettle of drummer boys…

“These intellectuals sarcastically dismiss Europeans’ current craving to ‘reconnect with their national souls.’ ‘Abstractions such as ‘soul’ and ‘identity’ often exist only in the imagination of demagogues,’ they declare.”

Must be nice to be able to so blithely dismiss the highest aspirations of not only Europeans, but humans, over centuries and millennia as “abstractions” that “only exist in the imagination”! But indeed, these so-called, self -defined “intellectuals” do seem lacking in both soul and identity, so it’s no wonder they find these things irrelevant or dangerous. In Waters’ words,

“The failure of the E.U. project is causally related to Europe’s retreat from its rich Christian heritage. That retreat has left a vacuum that economics, liberalism, and materialism have failed to fill. A bogus liberalism has attacked and all but destroyed the three fundamental pillars of human society in Europe: family, Church, and nation. Yet all three are capable of resurgence at any moment. Early signs of such resurgence are what scared the E.U. intellectuals into print.”

The irony is that these “intellectuals” think they are avant-garde, cutting edge. In reality, it is they – not those they mock and decry – who are the dinosaurs, lurching toward extinction. Europe – the ordinary people of Europe, replete with both soul and identity – is on the verge of a major Awakening; indeed, it has already begun. As Waters points out,

“A revolution is happening across the free world. It is not a revolution of the ‘Right,’ ‘alt-right,’ or ‘far right,’ but a revolution from the concrete center, from the places where working people live and work to build, fix, paint, and clean the world as their antecedents did for thousands of years. It is fundamentally a reaction against lies, intimidation, official stupidity, and political correctness.

“It is already sweeping Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Sweden, and the countries of the Eastern bloc. It is at the back of Brexit and Donald Trump. It may not be an ‘intellectual’ movement, but it is a movement rooted in a deep and ancient intelligence — the intelligence of the human heart — which has beat for several thousand years at the center of the greatest civilization the world has ever seen. 

“The people of the West are stirring in their slumber. Yes, Europe is coming apart at the seams, but not in the ways the E.U. intellectuals divine. What they call ‘the bonfire of our freedoms’ has already happened” – indeed, they and their ilk were the ones doing the burning – “and the people who make and fix things are building a new Europe in the ashes of the old.”

Viva Europa! May the new Awakening grow, burgeon, and flourish across that great continent and among its people, and beyond!

QOTD: “We want a Europe based on its three hills…”

“We want a Europe based on its three hills: Acropolis, Capitolium and Golgotha. Hellenism, Rome and Christianity. An alliance of sovereign states against foreign enemies, terrorism and illegal emigration, with low taxes, rebirth of national production and motives to families to make more children.”

— Failos Kranidiotis, of the Greek nationalist and populist party Nea Dexia (the New Right)

Source: New patriotic Greek party wants higher birth rates and to protect Europe from Islamic colonisation – Interview

Globalism (which has both a sociopolitical and a corporate element) and cultural Marxism are strong, and firmly entrenched in the political, social, and academic elites of the West. The “long march through the institutions” has been, in many ways, all too dismayingly successful. But now, at long last, there is a real push-back.

People are beginning to see that, in the memorable image of Hans Christian Andersen’s story, “the Emperor has no clothes.” Or perhaps one should say, if the globalist / cultural Marxist “emperor” does have clothes, they include the jackboots of totalitarianism!

In any case, nationalist and populist sentiment is growing, and political parties with a nationalist and populist orientation are either springing up (like Nea Dexia) or finding new inspiration and expression (like the French Rassemblement National) with increasing vigour. Popular movements such as the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) are another manifestation of the same trend.

It’s as if the antibodies in the blood of the West have finally detected and begun to react against the disease that has been afflicting it for so long! Those of us who have been watching with both sorrow and anger the agony of the West’s long self-immolation find this a refreshing and hopeful development, and one inspiring cautious optimism.

And I find this motif of the “three hills” of Europe to be a powerful image. Granted, one of them (Golgotha) is not actually in Europe! But anyone who doubts the impact of Christianity on the development of Europe, and its right to be include as one of the core pillars of what was, after all, known as “Christian Europe,” or “Western Christendom,” is simply not paying attention.

It has long been understood – and only quite recently come into question, by those who seek to disassemble the West entirely – that Classical Greece, Ancient Rome, and Christianity are the three pillars or wellsprings of traditional Western culture. The philosophy, art, and literature of Greece, the legal, administrative, and military ability of Rome (and the political insights of both), and the spiritual, moral, and social teachings of Christianity have, between them, defined the West for millennia.

Remove any of the three, and we are left with something less that EVROPA.

Without wishing in any way to minimize the important (indeed, vital) contributions of my own Celtic and Germanic forebears, Europe – and thus, the West! – stands or falls on the Three Hills. It is on them that we must form our shield-walls, and from them that we shall begin the Reconquest of our culture and heritage from those who seek to destroy it.

50 Years of Effete and Infertile Liturgical Culture Is Enough – Crisis Magazine

“There is only one thing to do: for the future of the Church, we must build again, drawing on those cultural accomplishments that are timeless, in the service of Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, in saecula saeculorum.”

— Dr. Anthony Esolen

Source: 50 Years of Effete and Infertile Liturgical Culture Is Enough – Crisis Magazine

From the incomparable Anthony Esolen​:

“I am struck by the strange inability of the council fathers to do the very thing they were urging the Church to do, which was to take stock of the times. Again and again, they instruct bishops and priests to adapt the life of the Church, including her places and manner of worship, to the times and to the characters of the various peoples of the world.

“What they missed, and what was right in front of them to be noticed, was that modernism as an ideology, with mass entertainment and mass education as its main engines, was obliterating cultures everywhere. Romano Guardini had written of this loss in The End of the Modern World.

“It was therefore the task of the Church not to be enculturated in a vacuum, which would be akin to emptying herself of her peculiar character, but to be herself and thereby to form culture, i.e., to bring culture once again to people who were rapidly losing their hold on all cultural memory.”

He is speaking of the Roman Catholic fathers of the Second Vatican Council, but his words apply equally to most “mainstream” churches in this day, including mainstream Anglican ones. He continues,

“This did not happen. It would have required profound meditation upon the meaning of culture, by churchmen steeped in the learning of three thousand years of Jewish and Christian arts and letters, and of the Greco-Roman matrix wherein the Church, by the providence of God, was brought to birth. However, schools and universities were abandoning that learning by throwing it overboard as ballast.”

I have commented more than once, in more fora than one, on our collective tendency to throw out the baby with the bathwater! So it is good to hear a scholar with the eminence of Dr. Esolen confirming my intuition. Here he is again:

“I am aware that the Church has often had to prune back an excessive exuberance in the arts, so that the visible would not overmaster the invisible… [however,] we now have the worst of both worlds.”

In other words, mainstream contemporary churches have given up “the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome” – by which I mean both culturally, as representing the core of Western civilization and, if by Greece is understood Eastern and by Rome Western Catholic Christianity, theologically and spiritually – for a doctrinally and aesthetically diluted and diminished form of Christianity which fails to uphold “the faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3), and which embraces vapid kitsch in what passes for liturgical art, music, and architecture.

In traditional Anglicanism, there is another challenge to be met: on the one hand a too-eager, overly enthusiastic embrace of Anglo-Catholicism to the point of seeking to become Rome without the Pope; and on the other, an Anglo-Calvinistic insistence on “Anglicanism as established,” which can almost make an idol of liturgical starkness and simplicity, and which theologically and spiritually threatens to thrust the Anglican tradition into Protestant sectarianism, rather than its true identity as a distinctive expression of the Church Catholic.

It is not as easy as one might suppose to maintain a healthy and fruitful “via media” (middle way) between extremes, “not as a compromise for the sake of peace, but as a comprehension for the sake of truth,” in the words of a Collect for the commemoration of the gifted Anglican divine and champion of that via media, Richard Hooker! Yet it is a task worth undertaking even if we often fall short of its accomplishment. As the great conservationist Aldo Leopold put it, “In these higher aspirations the important thing is not to achieve but to strive.”

The alternative is more of the same, the period and ethos which since Vatican II has transformed (and often not for the better) not only the Roman Catholic Church, but most of the Churches of the West; a period in which, as Dr. Esolen expresses it,

“we have endured fifty years of lousy church buildings, lousy music, lousy art, banal language, lousy schooling, dead and dying religious orders, and an unfaithful faithful whose imaginations are formed more by Hollywood than by the Holy One. We have been stuck in cultural and ecclesial neutral, i.e., rolling backward and downhill… neuter, effete and infertile.”

It is ironic indeed that a movement which was intended to make the Church more “relevant” to contemporary people and culture has had precisely the opposite effect: the more it attempts to ape popular culture, the less relevant it becomes.

For the relevance of the Church has always been in its critique of popular culture, pointing toward things which are higher, timeless and eternal: and ultimately, of course, to God the Three in One, Who is their Source – the perfection of Goodness, Truth, and Beauty, of which our attempts at the same are always but pale reflections. Yet that does not mean we shouldn’t strive toward the higher things, quite the contrary:

“There is only one thing to do: for the future of the Church, we must build again, drawing on those cultural accomplishments that are timeless, in the service of Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, in saecula saeculorum [unto ages of ages].

Blackburn Cathedral is Muslim territory after Islamic call to prayer | ‘Rebel Priest’ Dr Jules Gomes, Columnist for Republic Standard

When an Imam recited the Adhan in the consecrated space of Blackburn Cathedral the night before Remembrance Day, he was claiming it as Islamic territory.

Source: Blackburn Cathedral is Muslim territory after Islamic call to prayer | ‘Rebel Priest’ Dr Jules Gomes, Columnist for Republic Standard

This is absolutely appalling. How can we – by which I mean Western society in general, and Christians (or people claiming to be Christian) in particular, not, I hope and pray, readers of this blog – be so blind, and so foolish?

I’m a civilizationist!

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I’m Spartacus!

“There is a new word I’ve come across lately: civilizationist. I don’t know who coined it, and it’s an awkward word, but [it] communicates well enough [that] I may take to using it. Those who do, signify by it someone who is more than merely in favor of civilization…”

Source: The Civilizationists – Catholicism.org

What is a “civilizationist”? As the author of this piece, Gary Potter, notes,

“The civilizationist is an individual who embraces the history, customs and traditions of a place and people — his homeland or region and countrymen — in contrast and opposition to the economic and political globalist. He believes in rootedness and identity. He also thinks fences make for good neighbors. The globalist wants to ‘tear down barriers’ with all peoples homogenized into their ‘shared humanity.’

The buzzwords of the globalist – who is also usually (but not always… see next paragraph) a “liberal” and a “progressive” (note the quotes) – are just that: buzzwords. They are marketing slogans, intended to sell a product; and like many (most?) marketing slogans, bear only a passing resemblance (if any) to reality.

I am not sure which is worse, to be honest: the corporate mega-capitalist, who seeks to reduce the complexities and relationships of traditional societies and cultures to a bare dichotomy of producers and consumers, with he and his ilk sitting atop the pyramid, raking in the profits, or the true believer, who actually accepts these slogans at face value! Continue reading “I’m a civilizationist!”

The charge of the Winged Hussars: the lifting of the Siege of Vienna

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Some further details on the lifting of the Siege of Vienna:

On this day in history, September 12, 1683, the combined forces of the Holy Roman (German) Empire and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (the Holy League), under the overall command of King Jan III Sobieski of Poland, moved into position to engage the Ottoman Turkish besiegers outside the walls of Vienna. Fierce clashes followed. Imperial / Holy League forces made headway against the Ottoman invaders, but were unable to conclusively defeat them.

At around 3:00 in the afternoon, King Jan began to move his cavalry into position. As they came out of the woods and began to form up, they were greeted with enthusiastic cheers by the allied troops. An hour later, about four o’clock, the Polish Winged Hussars launched an attack which battered the Turkish lines, causing great consternation and forcing the Turkish general to retreat to a more favorable position. Infantry forces continued the fight against the Ottomans.

At six o’clock came the final blow. In the largest cavalry charge in history, King Jan Sobieski launched 18,000 cavalry, led by his 3,000 Winged Hussars, against the Ottoman lines. They clove through the Turks like the proverbial “hot knife through butter,” breaking and scattering them completely and driving them from the field. As the attack crested, the Austrian defenders of Vienna sallied from their city to join in, adding the crowning blow.

The siege of Vienna had been broken, and the decades to follow would see the Muslim Turks driven almost completely out of Christian Europe. After the battle, King Jan III Sobieski (who would receive the title Defensor Fidei – “Defender of the Faith” – from Pope Innocent XI) reportedly announced, in an intentional modification of Julius Caesar’s famous phrase, “Veni, vidi, Deus vicit” — “I came, I saw, God conquered.”

Footnote: the Lithuanians have not been mentioned. That’s because King Jan left his kingdom almost completely undefended, bringing his entire army to the relief of Vienna! As a result, the Hungarians decided to take advantage of the situation and try to take Polish territory. The Lithuanians, also marching toward Vienna, turned aside to counter-attack the Hungarians. They were successful in driving them back, but it meant that the Lithuanian army did not arrive at Vienna until several days after the siege had been broken.