Churchianity in Our Thing

Back in the days, I’m told, those who studied the “Dark Ages” wondered just how “Christian” Europe really was.  There was no “unity of theory and practice,” as the Marxists would put it, because there couldn’t have been.  Scholastic Theology was weird and wonderful, but so heavy that even the scholarly elite struggled with it.  The peasantry, of course, were ragged illiterates on the edge of survival.  In a world where everyone knows someone who knows someone who starved to death, you just do what the priest tells you.

There was a similar debate about “individuality” in the Dark Ages, I hear.  There was lots of art in the Middle Ages, but no artists.  (Seriously, here’s a list.  A mere handful of names, most very late, all pretty much indistinguishable from each other in terms of style).  Ditto the rulers.  We know their names, but — a few florid psychotics aside — they’re pretty much indistinguishable by their acts.

Part of this is the blurring effect of time and distance, no doubt — 1,000 years from now, the Chinese robot historians digging through the rubble will have a hard time distinguishing Eisenhower from Obama — but the fact remains that for all we can tell, you could drop the average peasant from 850 AD into his home village in 1350 AD and he’d be done the wiser… if there was even a “he” in the first place.

These debates (if they happened) were interrelated.  The most striking fact about the Middle Ages from a modern perspective is their love of lists, categories, forms.  This is partly practical — Church art all looks the same because it has to communicate a consistent message to the aforesaid illiterate peasantry — but lots of it isn’t.  They were simply obsessed with forms, with outward order, to the point that even the few true individuals were hard to tell apart — William of Ockham and Thomas Aquinas were as different as two thinkers could possibly be, but unless you’re a subject matter expert, their writings look identical.

“Individuality,” on the other hand, comes from inward experience.  What, if anything, did the medieval peasant believe when he went to Mass?  Impossible to say, but one of the reasons that’s so is because the form of his “piety” was so all-encompassing.  Some years back, a Jew wrote a funny book about trying to live his life by the letter of the Mosaic law.  One could do the same thing with medieval Catholicism.  Take a gander at the liturgical year — hardly a day goes by without a feast, a commemoration, a celebration.  Do all of that, and you’ll hardly have time for anything else.  They were so focused on the outward show, at least in part, because there was so much showing to do.

When the Reformation shitcanned all that, piety turned inward.  There are zillions of sources for what the Reformed believed (or, at least, said they believed), because the Reformation was a middle-class pursuit and the middle classes were literate… and, crucially, had the free time to be literate.  I’m guessing here, but since people are people and always have been, I’m pretty sure that your medieval peasant loved the show of his religion, because it gave him a little much-needed time off from his hourly grind of back-breaking, ragged-edge-of-survival physical labor.

Your middle-class incipient Calvinist, on the other hand, was bored to tears with stuff like “creeping to the cross” — all those billable hours lost (surely no one is surprised that Calvin, Knox, et al were all lawyers or merchants).  In their vanity, they insisted it wasn’t enough to seem pious; you actually had to be pious, which meant putting the time you would’ve spent doing public penance into contemplating the state of your soul.  Check out The New England Mind — once you fight through prose, you’ll see that the vaunted Puritan piety was little more than Special Snowflakism with a New Testament twist.  They’re “individuals,” all right, but only because they’re as obsessed as Tumblrinas with their very own pwecious widdle selves.

The point of this isn’t just to bash Puritans, fun as that is (and as richly as they deserve it).  The point is that, as Current Year America is a thoroughly Puritan nation, we have to realize just how historically contingent Puritanism really is in order to beat them.

Puritans desperately wanted to be individuals in a world that couldn’t support very many individuals.  You need a lot of free time to be a Puritan, and in the 16th century free time was almost inconceivably expensive.  Whatever else it was, Puritanism was gross conspicuous consumption — Puritans announced to the world that they alone had the free time to indulge in expensive educations, books, Bible study, and the endless hours worrying about whether or not it’s Biblically justified to paint the altar.  In a world where most everyone still knows someone who knows someone who starved to death, that’s one hell of a statement.

In the modern world, by contrast, nothing is cheaper than free time, and we’re terrified of individuality.  Spend five minutes among Social Justice Warriors.  If you manage to hang on to your sanity, you’ll see that they’re frightened above all of stepping out of the herd… and because they are, since they control the culture, the worst thing a young person can be these days is original.  They’d rather do anything than think.

This is exploitable.  Churchians could be our staunchest allies, if we could turn their piety away from save-the-worldism (hereafter “dinduism” or “negrolatry”) and towards social benefit.  I’m pretty sure Jesus said some stuff about getting your own backyard in order before going out to clean up the rest of the world.  Pitch it as anti-poverty, anti-addiction, anti-whatever-it-is that doesn’t involve sending money to distant places to “help” brown people.  Focus on the here-and-now.

Puritanism makes you think, but our neo-Puritans desperately want to avoid thinking.  They currently do this by sending some money to Save-the-Africans, then boasting about it on social media.  Make them do the modern equivalent of “creeping to the cross” — you can still post on social media, but it has to be selfies of you helping a guy, yourself, personally, down at the Homeless Shelter on 24th Street.  Let the inner-city churches worry about what’s happening in the inner cities, and African churches about Africa.  You worry about your community — I guarantee you there’s something wrong that a good dose of Jesus can fix.  You just have to go out there and do it, you yourself, personally… and if a White guy gets off fentanyl, and that opens your eyes to what’s going on around you, well, that’s a feature not a bug.

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4 thoughts on “Churchianity in Our Thing

  1. kirkforlatt

    Well, no one else has commented, so I’ll offer a few words here. Recuperating from some surgery and debilitating health issues has given me time to reflect on the faith.

    I stopped voting many years ago, and whenever people ask me in recent elections I’ve I remembered to get out and vote, I sometimes lie by nodding just to shut them up. But sometimes I’m honest and I say, “No, I don’t vote anymore.” This usually leads to some version of “Well, I’ve always felt that if you don’t vote, you don’t have the right to complain about the political landscape.” To which I usually say, “Hey, look. I wore the uniform, served with distinction, and carried a fucking rifle for this country while you were puking at frat parties. Don’t you EVER tell me I don’t have the right to criticize my own country.”

    The reason for that long Grandpa Simpson sashay down memory lane is to provide context. I have the right, as it were, to criticize my country because I served and sacrificed for her. Likewise, I have the right to say very harsh things about Christianity because I served and sacrificed for the church. I’ve been following hard after God all my life. I served as a ruling elder for many years in a very conservative Presbyterian denomination. I have taught Sunday school and seminars and have presented at theology conferences. I have preached from the pulpit and done street preaching, and I”ve led worship services in nursing homes and rehab centers. I am very comfortable in New Testament Greek and have in the past done my own translations for classes and sermons, and have a rudimentary (albeit rusty) working knowledge of Hebrew. I’ve read countless works by the Puritans and by contemporary P &R scholars. I’ve served as defense counsel in two church trials. And I once physically threw a fellow out of a Bible study I was teaching because he opened a Budweiser tallboy in the church sanctuary and then cussed me in front of the class when I asked him to please take it outside (spent four hours at the police substation for that little bit of fun & games). So when I criticize Christianity, as I’m about to do, I do it from the perspective of a former insider and True Believer.

    Fact is, I am nauseated by most of Christianity and Christians today. I honestly don’t see a place for most of them in Our Thing. Christian men are weak and cowed in all the areas where they should be bold and fierce, and they’re obnoxious and self-righteous on the topics where they need to shut the fuck up. They’re truly not very different from the shitlibs and SJWs we make fun of. Their verbal responses to tough issues seem to be recordings that they just hit “play” on and let inane words spew into the ether. And I’m not just talking about your typical mainline or community church types, the ones who go to church to please their wives or make business contacts. No, the hardcore guys who LOVE to debate theology and apologetics act like good Party members when they think they can signal a little virtue or holiness.

    The big debbil to Christians these days is, you guess it, racism. Christian men fall all OVER themfuckingselves if a black person visits their church. The Cringe-O-Meter needle goes off the gauge when they use the word “man” in conversation with black men. Four times per sentence. I had a pastor denounce me, call for my ordination to be revoked, and wouldn’t allow his family to even speak to me after I pointed out some uncomfortable facts (the crime stats of blacks, the usurious nature of Jews, etc) and then pointed out his own hypocrisy in living in an all-white area but telling his congregation that they should be ashamed to be a lily-white congregation.

    I’ve watched good men get run out of churches because some vinegar-chugging bitch in the group found a blog post or a blog COMMENT that dared to suggest that the Africans aren’t quite as noble as we’ve been led to believe, or because he said confidentially that he wanted his grandchildren to look like him and not like Kanye West. I mean run out and shunned, backstabbed, slandered, hounded at work, the whole cheeseburger.

    Christian men are, as a whole, completely dominated by their women. Look up Dalrock’s blog if you’ve never visited it and read through some of the well-documented horror stories of how things are going all across this land in the churches. The men who allow this sort of thing are not the men who are going to help Our Thing. They are treacherously weak, forever holding their soft, uncallused fingers up in the wind to see how they should talk and act.

    I believe the professional pastorate is a disaster and keeps good men enslaved to parasites. Men who work hard, hard jobs…the kind of jobs the tough grrrls won’t touch….these guys crawl around under engines or walk on steel girders hundreds of feet off the ground or teach violent kids in high schools or drive trucks on dangerous highways with drugged up people all around them…these men will obey their wives and waste two to four hours a week sitting obediently in front of some little popinjay with an MDiv and let the Anointed One tell them how to run their families and how to spend their money. And how does the pastor spend his week? Why, preparing his fucking SERMON, that’s how. In other words, he gets to pursue his hobby of reading books and get paid for it, paid a good salary to produce two pep talks per week. While the men he berates on Father’s Day and the young men he taunts to “man up and marry” the sluts in the congregation get to go to their hard, dangerous jobs tomorrow morning.

    I think a new civil war in this country would be a horrible thing, no matter what the larpy preppers say. But I also believe that violence is the only thing that’s going to help white men. [I say this in theory and parody, Federal agents, and for the record, I STILL haven’t stopped clapping at Obama’s speeches.] In a similar vein, I think the church has historically been a major strength in Western civilization, but I also believe the current thing known as “the church” has to be razed and burned and the ground salted before it can be rebuilt. It’s a useless, corrupt institution.

    Now here’s the part where all the Christian men tell me how out of line I am, or how I’m overreacting, or how the church is a divine institution and that God will never forsake it, or how I’m a heretic, or how I might make a good point or two but I’m proposing throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Or how it’s unfair to categorize good men and good pastors with such a broad brush. Fair enough. Ignore what I’m saying, and continue to do things the same way. I’m sure you’ll get different results just because you go to the Lo-ward in prayer. I’m sure the church in Africa is going to turn things around and that God is going to send a revival sweeping across America because all y’all gave money to the poor dindus over there.

    Let me tell you this: The pastor you think is such a stand-up guy because he says faggotry is a sin…he is NOT going to help Our Thing. Not one man in Our Thing can fly his true colors in his church. He’ll get kicked out if he does. Don’t you find this significant? What is the value in an organization, divine or not, in which you have to hide your opinions –the same opinions your great-grandfathers, held, incidentally — or you’ll lose your standing while your pastor loses his shit about your narrowminded bigotry?

    Severian, I really and truly didn’t mean to hijack the comments section here. This comment is very knee-jerk and spontaneous and rambling. But I felt compelled to say that I believe churchianity has NO place in Our Thing. I’m not suggesting we become pagans and wear mjolnirs and drink mead. I’m not suggesting the Christian faith has no place in Our Thing. Quite the contrary. I believe Christianity is true, and that it works. But in its present form, it’s a disaster for our men. I can look back from the perspective of my years and experience and see how Christianity is, at least nowadays, based in weakness. The leaders are just like political leaders. Christians and conservatives might not necessarily be interchangeable, but the similarities are striking: Christians CLAIM to be contra mundum, and they CLAIM to be for Christ and against the enemy. But instead of listening to what they say, watch what they do. Their actions betray them. Christians really, truly think we’re evil just because we want our grandkids to look like us, and just because we don’t want to live in the same neighborhood as LaQueesha and Rugdish and Jorge. Christians want to lose nobly. They need an authority figure (usually their pastor, but their wives will do in a pinch) to approve of them and pronounce a benediction over them. Christian men are not very masculine on the whole. Their women are generally a pinched-face coterie of harpies, little different in temperment (and sometimes in aspirations) from the pussyhat crowd.

    If churchianity wants to be a part of Our Thing (and trust me, they will….once their grandchildren start enjoying the real joys of forced proximity and diversity), then they need to approach us with hat in hand. We should never forget that Christians routinely denounce everything the men in this forum hold important, and they do it in the name of Christ with their concave chests poked out and their mouths twisted in that cold sneer that looks so much like John Calvin’s. Christians will betray the men who actually live their convictions.

    I’ll shut the fuck up now, and I’ll leave you with a question I’ve asked many, many times over the years. If you were walking down a street at night with your woman and a group of diversities stepped out and blocked your path and began describing their plans for you….if you saw a half dozen upstanding Christian church members coming towards you from the east and a half dozen Cat Fancier types coming from the west….who would you trust to pitch in and help you?

    Uh-huh.

    1. Severian Post author

      Hey, rant away!! Anything that generates a passionate response must be doing something right (and I must say, if you’ve got the juice to post all that, you must be feeling better — great news!).

      I largely agree with you about Churchianity’s so-called “leadership.” Hell, I’ll go you one further, and assure you that when I’m People’s Commissar for Truth and Reconciliation, the Joel Osteen types will be up there on the lampposts next to the professors and the Uniparty apparatchiks. My concern is with those good folks who are functionally Churchians, but only for lack of an alternative. The long haul truckers etc. you mention above. We need those guys!

      To get them on our side, we have to “exacerbate the contradictions,” as the commies put it. Urge the guy who gets dragged by his wife to the Nondenominational Church of the Fabulous Hairstyle each weekend to drag his wife down to the homeless shelter to do real missionary work. Watch what happens. Worst case, some poor guy gets a hot meal. Best case, both husband and wife wake up to what’s going on in the world. Likeliest case: Husband wakes up to what’s really important to wife, and tells all his friends. That’s still a very big win.

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