Death of Christendom

Calvinism in New England was scorned by the heresy of Unitarianism, which deemed itself holier, but Unitarianism only lasted about a generation before it collapsed into Emersonian subjectivist Transcendentalism, which then swiftly (in less than a generation) collapsed into politics (abolition, feminism etc).

If we look at the New Testament position on slavery it is of course passivist and pacifist. Christians are encouraged, but not required, to free their slaves. Slaves are discouraged from rebelling and running away. Masters are required to be benevolent.

What happened when many Christian Churches adopted an activist position on slavery, a clearly heretical position on slavery?

An activist position on slavery requires war. War requires dreadful means, requires lies, terror, murder, and artificial famine – all in an undeniably good cause, of course.

Lo and behold, those churches that adopted an activist position against slavery ceased to be Christian. So that heresy, quite predictably, turned deadly.

But, once anti slavery became the law of the land, then a good Christian should of course support that law, so anti slavery did not destroy Christianity.

But now, however pretty much all Churches, have adopted the modern marriage vows, implying a clearly heretical position on marriage, which vows undermine and disrupt marriage, which in turn results in preaching that is fundamentally hostile to marriage as a binding contract.

Equality requires fences, that is to say, requires the dissolution of marriage. An actually functioning marriage is always patriarchal. Show me a man who picks up fifty percent of the socks, and I will show you a man who sleeps on the couch, while once a week or so his wife’s lover drops in to rough her up and take her money.

A genuinely Christian Church can no more support modern marriage, than it could support holy war on slavery. In so doing, is necessarily holier than Jesus, and so, runs through unitarianism to vagueness to leftism, and the Church building is remodeled to become a left wing bookstore.

The modern position on wedding vows is leading to pretty much the same consequences as the activist position on slavery did.

If a group of people go to war to resist being enslaved, or to escape from slavery, their cause is obviously just. It is plainly a just war. If a group of people go to war to save strangers far away from slavery even when they have no obligation of alliance or kinship to do so, then in theory it is a just war – but it is not human nature to care about strangers far away, nor does the New Testament command Christians to care all that much about far away strangers, so chances are, those making this supposedly just war are up to no good.

And, observing the aftermath of the civil war, those who abolished slavery were up to no good.

Darwinism has destroyed the strongest intellectual justification for Judaism and Christianity – the formerly compelling evidence for a creator God. Before Darwin, those who proposed various alternatives to a creator God, in particular the spontaneous formation of creatures with complexity visible to the naked eye, were obviously clever sillies.

Old religions tend to be relatively harmless, for the same reason as old diseases tend to be relatively harmless. Old religions that primarily propagate from parent to child tend to be beneficial for the obvious evolutionary reasons.

Unfortunately progressives have interrupted parent to child transmission by universal state sponsored education and by funding fatherlessness and by removal of fathers from families.

By natural selection, we would expect actually existent religions to be profertility and parentally transmitted. Problem is current changes, primarily Darwin, state education, and state funding of fatherlessness, has made these religions non viable.

The Darwin problem can be fixed by simply changing the other worldly content of the religion. The state attack on parental transmission, however, is not so easily fixed.

When paganism died, Rome fell.  With the death of Christendom, Europe is falling.

39 Responses to “Death of Christendom”

  1. Dax says:

    If I were to believe some of the comments i’ve been reading here, slaves in the South were allowed to have property, more money than their OWNERS and cordial relations with their OWNERS.
    Taking this into account I can only conclude that the underground railway was actually a tourist attraction run by Federal Parks and Recreation.

  2. […] The progressive perversions of Christian morality. Related: The death of Christendom. […]

  3. Zach says:

    Jim is brilliant. The greatest read on the internet. Refreshing as HELL!

    But he is half as smart as the engine engineer I know, but so much smarter at the same time.

    Only you real nuggas in the game will know what I’m talking about…

    There is a disease of cultural conditioning.

    I will go back to the shadows… but this is my call to arms.

  4. CuiPertinebit says:

    I would say that you have only a partial view of the Christian take on slavery. Slavery as it existed in the ancient world, and as it existed in feudalism (if you want to call it slavery; the Latin term allows for a broader understanding of subservience), was tolerated by the Church on two grounds: first, because it was often mutually beneficial for those with means and power to protect, and receive support, from those with less means and power. Aquinas closely follows Aristotle in providing the justifications for tolerating slavery, which the New Testament clearly did: some people are by nature or by habit not capable of seeing to their more or less complete provision; it is right that they receive their provision from their betters, in exchange for service. What is the difference between this and the welfare state, other than that welfare recipients do nothing to merit their support?

    Second, the Church never thought slavery was the bee’s knees, but it didn’t see it as a particularly pressing issue in the ancient world – not pressing enough to go activist on the matter. Life has generally sucked for most of history; the general subservience/slavery of the ancient world was not so horrific as to stand out very much from the generic suckitude to which all men were subject. So, no biggie.

    But, from the very first involvement of Christian Europeans in the Afro-Islamic slave trade, the Papacy and all the moral theologians condemned it as being morally repugnant. They further condemned the attempt to enslave indigenous peoples of the New World along the same lines as the African slave trade. Some Popes were cajoled into giving minor permissions for some people to hold slaves acquired from the slave trade, but the moral requirements for their treatment were exacting, and often the concern to save the souls of people enslaved by Moslems, by acquiring them and preaching the Gospel to them, stands at the forefront. In any case, the modern slave trade was different from ancient slavery in many respects, and this explains the differing attitudes from the Church.

    Finally, “heresy” is not just any wrong opinion, but is either 1) materially, an erroneous theological view on a point to be held “de fide Catholica” or “de fide ecclesiastica” (i.e., something definitely and infallibly proposed by God or the Church directly); 2) formally, the deliberate persistence in this false opinion despite knowing that the Church has condemned it. Opposing slavery along the lines of the early modern, Afro-Islamic slave trade, was actually the bounden duty of every Catholic as soon as the Church began to pronounce on it; but opposing even the milder form of ancient subservience and servitude, would not be heretical, but rather “temerarious,” according to the technical ranking of theological “notes” in the Church. Saying that St. Paul was wrong to tolerate servitude would be “error de fide,” per se, a mortal sin against the faith, but not one that severed one’s self from membership in the Church. One could make the argument that, because it also required one to believe that the Scriptures were in error, it would be heresy.

    Some of us do still use the traditional vows: husbands vow to worship (“honor”) their wives; wives vow to obey their husbands. You are right that Western Civilization is collapsing with Christianity. But the Church will survive, and rebuild, as always.

    • jim says:

      but opposing even the milder form of ancient subservience

      You are rationalizing. American slavery was better than ancient slavery, not worse.

      The church could reasonably oppose the common practice of slave raiding and enslavement of conquered peoples, but by and large, most slaves came from local African authorities selling off people they did not much want around – vagrants and such, whereas most Roman slaves came from conquest and confiscatory taxation. To oppose this, the Church was getting mighty close to holier than Jesus.

      But the Church will survive, and rebuild, as always.

      The church is designed for a patriarchal society in which parents raise their own children, or at least control their children’s schooling. If we return to such a system, it will be functional again. It is dysfunctional now.

      • Zach says:

        Jim, in all honesty, as brilliant as you are, it would be very easy for me to to criticize much of your history, if I wanted to – if anybody wanted to with sufficient knowledge. You would be murdered in a formal debate.

        This is sad. This makes me somewhat hopeless.

        Why? Because sufficient knowledge = official truth. Or they meet and cross, sometimes fucking each other, and sometimes giving a french kiss.

        Your biggest mistake ever… and I say this brah-to-brah… as a peon… a migrant factory worker…


        It’s the nature of man, that proves this. Our ape-like nature, disguised at parties and in social situations.

        Jim I work with plenty of old engineers… trust me… IQs have lowered but wisdom hasn’t budged!

        Now, you tell me how and why this is possible? It’s 100% consistent with your view, surprisingly.

      • CuiPertinebit says:

        Actually, I just did a paper on slavery from Aristotle to Aquinas to the early modern Church in my Greek course last semester. Things were almost the opposite of how you have described it, in your reply. The Papal bulls tolerated precisely the kind of slavery that you say they would do well to oppose – i.e., nations that were already “avowed enemies of Christ” (Pagans and Moslems) could, if conquered in legitimate warfare, have their population reduced to slavery. People who voluntarily sold themselves into slavery, could be enslaved. People who were vagrants and were unable to accomplish much for their adequate provision, by natural deficiency or through habit of vice, could be reduced to servitude. But people taken against their will, for no just reason, who were capable of living productive lives, could not morally be reduced to servitude. For those that were enslaved justly, the Papacy was very clear – along the very lines of the New Testament – that slaves had duties to their masters, but masters also had duties to their slaves. There were laws about how slaves must be treated.

        It was precisely the African slave trade that was condemned. It was condemned for its brutality, for the injustice involved in the manner of reducing those persons to slavery, as well as for the fact that it was being conducted primarily by Islam. You are right to say that Africans were the primary enslavers and slave-auctioners of their fellow Africans. But, at first, Europeans came into contact with this slave trade primarily through Islam – which always was, and actually still is, very much in the business of slavery (I’m sure you know of the medieval orders, whose purpose was to redeem slaves from the Moslems). To the extent that involvement in the African slave trade was tolerated, it was urged that redeeming people from the clutches of Islam should be a consideration. In fact, while the Church has always believed that “forced conversions” are an impossibility, it has always followed Augustine’s thought that, at the very least, subjected persons can be compelled to hear the Gospel preached. So, it was the law at various times and places for Moslem slaves to be compelled to hear the Gospel on a regular basis. In Rome and elsewhere, slave baptisms were often celebrated with more pomp and circumstance than royal baptisms.

        Following the opening up of the New World, primarily Spanish theologians started advancing arguments, following Aquinas’ teaching on slavery, that it was permissible to reduce the indigenous persons of the Americas to slavery. But again, primarily Spanish theologians (especially Dominicans like Francisco de Vitoria), also following Aquinas but giving a more nuanced and balanced interpretation of his writings, made the point that it was not just so to treat the peoples of the New World. They did this by pointing out that the factors involved in tolerable slavery were not present: the peoples of the New World were not “avowed enemies of Christ,” in that they had not yet heard of Him, and enslaving them in His name was the swiftest way to turn them into His enemies; they were not conquered in just war; they were not incapable by nature or vicious habit of adequately providing for themselves; they were not voluntarily reduced to slavery through penury or want. These were the kinds of slavery tolerated in the ancient world, and by the Church throughout history.

        I don’t know how you would reckon modern slavery to be better than ancient slavery. Slaves working in agriculture did have a relatively hard life in the ancient world; but they had the right to own property and engage themselves in certain contracts, they often developed positive, even friendly relationships with their owners, etc. Many works of Latin literature discuss the prosperity of certain slaves, and both Juvenal and Petronius satirically describe how many Romans felt embittered by the greater prosperity of slaves and their descendants in later, decadent Roman civilization. The modern slave trade was a far more barbaric affair, and slaves had less opportunities for freedom and even personal successes. Do you think it was better simply because they were not taken in conquest?

        • Red says:

          ” The modern slave trade was a far more barbaric affair, and slaves had less opportunities for freedom and even personal successes.”

          That’s an mighty big assertion on your part. Care to actually back it up with historical accounts?

        • jim says:

          Following the opening up of the New World, primarily Spanish theologians started advancing arguments, following Aquinas’ teaching on slavery, that it was permissible to reduce the indigenous persons of the Americas to slavery.

          The enslavement of the native Americans clearly failed to follow Christian rules. But African slaves were, for the most part, enslaved by local African authorities, and these seem to have largely been enslaved for petty crime, persistent vagrancy, or stubborn rebellion, which approximates Christian rules, assuming the local African authorities to be legitimate.

          Slaves working in agriculture did have a relatively hard life in the ancient world; but they had the right to own property and engage themselves in certain contracts, they often developed positive, even friendly relationships with their owners, etc.

          Clearly the same is true, indeed considerably more true, of African slaves. I recall a court case where a white man was accused of robbing a female slave of a large sum of money. Her owner was called in to testify as to whether it was likely that the slave had that much money to steal. Her owner testified that from time to time he had borrowed similar sums from her and that “She was most particular about being paid back on time”

          I recommend you read “A south side view of slavery” to see what black slavery in the US was actually like.

          • CuiPertinebit says:

            Yes, slavery in the USA was certainly less horrible than it is often depicted. And many slaves here, did in fact become friends with masters, occasionally owned property or possessions, etc. I do believe that this was far more true of the Roman Empire (I can’t speak for other ancient empires’ slaves, because I’ve only read the literature and history of the Roman Empire) than it was for the Americas. Ancient Romans were under no illusions about the essential humanity of their slaves; American slaveholders were conflicted in conscience, and often adapted very paternalistic views that could even depend upon the notion that Africans were sub-human. I’m not passing judgment on them for having that opinion, because God knows I’ve spent enough time in the ghettos of Columbus, Ohio, to see how a body could come to such a conclusion!

            Finally, I’ll just say that the slavery in the USA was, on the whole, kinder than that on display in South America and (especially) the Caribbean.

    • Red says:

      ” But the Church will survive, and rebuild, as always.”

      Your hubris is showing.

      Once again the christian church is helping to bring barbarians into the heart of the empire. American churches have been rallied to shame the American public into accepting this new invaders. I don’t know what’s worse, the progressives who openly gloat over the destruction of our nation or the christian leaders who tell us it’s God’s will that we let the invaders in and shelter them.

      Jim thinks it will be turned into a museum or a left wing book store. I think the children of the coming anarchy will burn it all down. When men become tried of their chains and have nothing left to loose they’ll burn the churches down with the rest of the rotten system. The modern church is a system of false truths, propaganda, and slavery over young men. While there are still good men and women who attended church, there are no longer good churches who attend them.

      God’s not going to save a church that’s not willing to even try to cast the heretics and the destroyers of marriage from it’s ranks.

      • Alan J. Perrick says:

        One glariing error I see is that both yours and the comment you are replying to seem to assume that the Roman Church is The Church. But, that error aside, “Red”‘s comment seems mostly correct.


      • Van Phauc says:


      • CuiPertinebit says:

        I’d say this is a very superficial and limited perspective, from an outsider. What I know, talking to people on the inside, is that the vast majority of Christians taking these kids on, are doing so to respond specifically to the humanitarian crisis where these kids will need food and basic care. They have every intention of seeing these kids sent back, but clearly the border patrol was not prepared to deal with this influx, and somebody needed to pick up the slack. I don’t know many traditional Christians who think we have a duty to open the floodgates to illegal immigration; they merely think that these children need to be cared for until we can figure out how to send them back. Obviously, our progressive overlords and media gatekeepers ensure that we hear lots of “Christian” voices demanding that immigrants be let in indiscriminately, forever. Even this Pope, who is certainly an embarrassment to the pristine traditions of the Church (as so many have been in these past 60 years), can be heard expressing his all-too-fallible, personal opinion in favour of indiscriminate immigration. But most traditional Catholics in the USA understand that this is an erroneous opinion, just like they understand JPII’s opposition to the death penalty was an erroneous position, and they soldier on in spite of it.

        More broadly: are there many imprudent and morally obtuse persons in the churches nowadays? Indeed. And you are partly right, when you say that there are no good churches to attend the good people who attend church. There are, in fact, some; I’ve been in them. But I see what you’re saying.

        A good object lesson is the local Newman Center on my University’s campus. The former pastor gave an absurd theological talk on our “duties” to immigrants. A bunch of Mexicans attended and got their “social justice” on with the pastor… along with old, hippie-Catholics from the University faculty. But all the young Catholics, including many Hispanics, were irritated and said so. In my department, there are 17 graduate students. Nine are devout Catholics, two are devout Protestants, one is devout Mormon, two are uninvolved and three are fire-breathing liberals. All but the liberals and one of the “uncommitted” persons, are traditional to the point of being reactionary. These are graduate students at a secular, modern university. Anyway, the Catholics made it clear to the Dominican pastor and the local province, that the reason none of us were attending the Newman center, despite living on campus and having our department headquartered a literal stone’s throw from the Newman Center, was because the hippie Masses and social-justice preaching were calculated to offend the very persons the ministry was supposed to support – students with enough gumption to try to hold onto their Catholic identity at a state college – for reasons you can imagine. Now, the former pastor is removed, a new one is coming in, a traditional form of Mass (pre-Tridentine, even!) will soon be offered regularly, etc. Huge numbers of priestly vocations are pouring in to traditional groups like the FSSP and certain provinces of the Dominicans, while orders that have gone full-on liberal (like the Jesuits) are perishing, and ho-hum orders that try to stay “moderate” are stagnant. The Church in her traditional doctrines and outlook is resurging amongst the youth – those that care enough to become priests, monks, etc., anyway – and so the Church will, in twenty years’ time, indeed be renewed. Will there be lots of ho-hum pew-sitters, who are dismayed that the Church has returned to her tradition in a public way? Sure. There may even be a schism of some severity. But the nearly complete suppression of the ancient Faith by the modernist clergy is already starting to crack.

        A lot of people have considered it hubris, when Catholics have expressed their certainty that the Church will survive. But they miss that the Church is of divine foundation. It always has survived. This last enemy is the worst – the enemy that has weakened the Church not primarily by attacking it with violence from the outside, which has always strengthened the Church’s identity and ultimately led to a flourishing of Catholicism, but rather, has subverted the Church from within and has bled out her identity through passive, non-violent means. But again, the Divine providence is seen at work, here. The Blessed Virgin appeared at Fatima in 1917, two weeks before the Soviets’ October Revolution, and prophesied that the errors of Russia would soon spread through the entire world, including the Church, effecting a massive apostasy that would exist even “at the top” of the Church, such that “bishop will fight against bishop, cardinal against cardinal” (as the Virgin said again in her appearance at Akita). This is certainly the worst crisis ever in the history of the Church – the occupation of the Church by godless forces of secular humanism. But the time for that occupation is drawing to an end; all the new blood in the Church is conservative, and how! All the young priests I talk to reveal, when you have their confidence, that they are reactionaries to the core.

        • Red says:

          “More broadly: are there many imprudent and morally obtuse persons in the churches nowadays? Indeed. ”

          This is your problem. You consider heretics and scummy people filling your churches at the highest levels to be a minor issue. It’s not. It’s a life and death issue that will decide your fate.

          “The Church in her traditional doctrines and outlook is resurging amongst the youth – those that care enough to become priests, monks, etc., anyway – and so the Church will, in twenty years’ time, indeed be renewed. ”

          The youth? HAHAHAHAHA. It’s the elders that mater, not the youth. You could have a 999 godly priests and 1 heretical priest and as long as the bishop is a heretic the next bishop will be one as well. Giving power to the young results in anarchy and destruction of the hierarchy and if your magically youth revolution came to pass it would destroy the church.

          “They have every intention of seeing these kids sent back, but clearly the border patrol was not prepared to deal with this influx, and somebody needed to pick up the slack.”

          First off they’re not kids. Most of the people coming over are men of military age(14+). Secondly, your so called Christians are giving aid to an invasion force. For that alone should and may eventually get every church burned to the ground for treason. Thirdly it’s transparently clear why churches are supporting the invasion. It means more more supporters for the church in the short run. In the long run the results for the church will be horrible, but Christians no longer think about the long term.

          During before the fall of the Roman empire the church convinced the Roman government to let Christianized, but not romanized barbarians past the frontier and they were settled in northern Italy and Gaul. The Christian authors of the time talked of them beating their swords into plowshares and celebrated it as a wonderful event. A few years later these same barbarians sacked big chunks of the western empire as most of the legions were on the border and few roman towns had defenses large enough to stop them. And you church is doing it again.

          Christians have this unflappable faith that the church will always exists no mater how asinine the current leadership is. God has become this ultimate bailout card removing the need to stand up and take person risks to cleanse the church of it’s corruption. I’m here to tell you that God doesn’t work that way. You either stand up and do what’s right, or you and your fine religion will go the way of the dodo.

        • jim says:

          are doing so to respond specifically to the humanitarian crisis where these kids will need food and basic care.


          They are doing it to destroy America, doing it to be lefter than thou, and being lefter than thou requires them to hate America and hate white people and do as much harm as possible to America and white people.

          These young men came here under their own power. They could have stayed home. If conditions at home were worse, maybe you christians should go over the border and do good there.

          • CuiPertinebit says:

            Look, I’m aware that the border crisis is broader than the children, and that many of the “children” coming over now, are not actually children. That said, there actually are a lot of children, as well. I know a couple Catholic families, very traditional, very anti-immigration, very neo-reactionary, who have taken on some kids. They did it, because it was clear that somebody needed to. They also figured that if they are taking care of kids, the kids aren’t disappearing into the USA, never to surface again (until they’ve committed some crime).

            I have no doubt that many left-wing groups and churches are also participating for the reasons you describe. Reality is often multi-faceted. It should be obvious to any thinking person that “leftist hipster Christians looking to feel super” is not the only explanation for wanting to care for children. It is conceivable that some people who oppose illegal immigration, would nevertheless not want to see children left without care (or adequate care), let alone see them sent to disappear into the network of illegals, where a criminal future is likely. I am hardly a bleeding heart, left-wing Christian. My border control policy is simple, especially after hearing about the horrific crimes some of them commit, here: anyone here illegally over the age of 16 can be shot on sight if found in the process of migration to their illegal residence (by any American citizen). Anyone here illegally over 16, if found in a place where it is not convenient to shoot them on sight (say, in a public park in front of children) can be taken into custody (even on citizen’s arrest) and, as soon as their alien status is definitively determined, may be shot without any kind of trial. Anyone here illegally under that age will be deported. Those are my honest feelings on illegal immigration, and obviously they’re not all soft and lovey-dovey. Nonetheless, even I would be willing to care for a 10-year-old Mexican kid until we can send him back home, knowing that the border patrol is not equipped to be a daycare center (not to mention, I want border patrol out doing their job).

            For the record, I and many other Christians do go to Mexico for charitable reasons. That doesn’t preclude situations like the present one from occurring. It happened with Rome and England, now it happens with us: when the great empire has declined to the point where it’s reputation for prosperity is still lingering with the last embers of its glory, but it has also arrived at such a pitch of weakness that it can no longer defend itself, either morally or martially (or both), from the influx of persons wanting an easy share in that prosperity, it is over-run by the rabble. We also live in an epoch were a diabolical malevolence has flourished amongst the “governing” powers, who are hastening this process deliberately. There are moral questions involved, which seem vexing to me at times (because right as it would be, objectively, to shoot them all, St. Thomas Aquinas and right reason tell us that prudence is required when one is in doubt as to whether he has the power to bring a revolt against immoral governance to a successful conclusion). One thing that doesn’t seem particularly hard to resolve, though, is that small children should receive reasonable care, and law enforcement should not come to an end because it has been re-commissioned for daycare services. And again, I understand that they’re not all children. That doesn’t impact the rightness of providing care for those who are.

        • Reakcionar says:

          The real question in whose perspective is truly limited.

          I am sure things look optimistic when one is surrounded by his reactionary peers, especially if they’re young and full of energy. But what happens tomorrow, when you have a job and have to support wife and kids, and everything you believe in becomes even more low-status-thoughtcrime, while everything you despise becomes high-status-high-salary?

          A priest in my town was hastily suspended because he was celebrating the Latin Mass, while it took another priest over a decade of the worst red-egalitarian-anti-hierarchy propaganda to get suspended (and actually it was political, not ideological matters that cost him the suspension). Check out what happened to the Ciudad del Este parish in Paraguay when they went a little too non-left for the Vatican. These small, anecdotal evidence speak volumes of the real political will and ideological shift in the Vatican. As Red pointed out, it’s not a minor issue, it’s a complete transformation, top-down.

          Pope Francis will not have to send the Swiss guard to decapitate you for your heretical beliefs, but when a local NGO takes your kids away because your are a sexist-racist-heteronormative-bigot, he will make sure the clergy is silent about it.

          • CuiPertinebit says:

            I see and understand exactly the problem you describe. Truly, until a major chastisement strikes the Church, the current status-quo of modernist heresy will prevail. But it is certainly true that there are many bishops willing to speak the truth and sound doctrine now, than there were in the 80s and 90s. And since the bishops are drawn from the ranks of priests, and the young men going into the priesthood now have principles and are reactionary (largely, there will always be a mixed bag), it is clear that the time is growing ripe for whatever is going to happen, to happen. And you can be sure that the only people holding on to the faith just a short time hence, will be people who understand the cost of being Catholic.

            How was your priest suspended simply for saying the Latin Mass? Summorum Pontificum affirmed what was stated in Quo Primum, saying that, in principle, that Mass can never be abolished or abrogated, nor can priests be forbidden to say it. If that was the only reason given for the suspension, your priest should have simply ignored the suspension… even if it came from the Pope himself. This is what those in the SSPX (and others, like Fr. Gruner) have done. When no canonical crime is charged, there can be no penalty even if sentence of penalty is issued. Obviously his bishop would have the power to transfer him or quit paying his salary, etc., but the suspension itself would be invalid.

      • Sam says:

        “… When men become tried of their chains and have nothing left to loose they’ll burn the churches down with the rest of the rotten system…”
        Bravo Red Bravo

  5. scientism says:

    I think it’s wrong to see religion as in need of this kind of justification. Taken literally, most religious language is nonsense, and hence has no empirical status. But it has a usefulness to society. I like to use an analogy: religion is like a high-level programming language. A high-level programming language is designed to stop you making certain mistakes that are common in low-level programming and it does this by giving a certain form to your statements (structured programming, OOP, etc). Religious language is similar. In the case of Christianity, for example, Christians aren’t likely to become nihilists or to believe that morality is mere opinion. We know that Westerners who aren’t religious are extremely likely to make these mistakes, since the majority of them do so. If you “think in Christianity” – use language that has this uniquely Christian form – you can avoid these common errors. Philosophy is low-level programming, in this analogy, and philosophy is extremely dangerous. Most people shouldn’t be doing philosophy. Most people shouldn’t be encouraged to “find their own meaning.” That’s a recipe for disaster.

    That said, I’m not a Christian for the reason you cite: that chain was broken. The Church doesn’t look particularly enticing at the moment.

    • spandrell says:

      There are no Westerners who aren’t religious. They follow a different religion, progressivism, which they are drilled into since childhood.

      People left to their own devices are not nihilist, and believe very much that their morality is objective.

      • There are plenty of nihilists around today. Fewer than Progressives, but still lots of them.

        • spandrell says:

          Point being nihilism is not the absence of religion. It’s a very elaborate state of mind, unique to people raised on progressivism.

      • scientism says:

        Well, “not religious” has a use in our culture: it means someone who no longer goes to church, participates in Christian rituals, uses Christian language, etc. But yes, progressivism fulfils the role formal Christianity once did.

        People left to their own devices follow their tradition. But given the current state of our culture, it’s hard to say what that is anymore. If you somehow remove the Cathedral from the picture, would people go back to the Church?

        • jim says:

          If the church runs the schools, or each church runs its own schools, then Christianity would survive.

    • Kgaard says:

      I like this analogy as I’ve been wrestling with basically this exact problem. Are you better off going to church on Sunday or not, given what you know to be the flaws of the various Christian denominations, versus what you know to be the flaws in sitting home or playing tennis on Sunday morning? I’m gravitating from doing the latter toward doing the former (ie going to church) precisely for the reason you cite: It stops/curtails the making of broader categorical mistakes in living.

      You know who was good on this? Joseph Campbell. He grasped the positive role of the ritual itself … the transformative effect of just doing the damn thing. The problem is the intellectual component (words/text/creeds etc etc). But if you can just ignore 50% of that stuff and keep what’s good (the ritual and the basic principles) you come out way ahead. If you hit the 7:30 a.m. express mass you are still out doing things at 8:30 anyway, so the opportunity cost is modest and the benefits substantial.

  6. Barnabas says:

    I found this while reading The Brothers Karamazov and I thought you could appreciate it.
    “I MUST make one confession” Ivan began. “I could never understand how one can love one’s neighbours. It’s just one’s neighbours, to my mind, that one can’t love, though one might love those at a distance. I once read somewhere of John the Merciful, a saint, that when a hungry, frozen beggar came to him, he took him into his bed, held him in his arms, and began breathing into his mouth, which was putrid and loathsome from some awful disease. I am convinced that he did that from ‘self-laceration,’ from the self-laceration of falsity, for the sake of the charity imposed by duty, as a penance laid on him. For anyone to love a man, he must be hidden, for as soon as he shows his face, love is gone.”

  7. Magus Janus says:

    “When paganism died, Rome fell. ”

    This is very controversial, to say the least. The Gibbon thesis isn’t really considered v accurate in modern historiography. Fall of Rome was complex, but Peter Heather makes the argument that the empire well in to end of 4th century was as strong as at any point during Pax Romana age, it was really the rise of mass barbarian tribes with more advanced tactics/weaponery/social organization that took it down.

    Even those who disagree, like Adrian Goldsworthy, ascribe the fall to different reasons such as the very damaging Civil Wars of that period, or the Rostovtzeff/Misesian thesis on the decreasing economic trade due to bureacuratization and inflation.

    The Gibbonian thesis gains much traction in popular circles due to anti-Christian prejudice, as well as the quality of his overall writing and it being the first large monocausal analysis of the Fall of Rome… but it’s simply not good history.

    • Erik says:

      And then you have that side of the controversy which maintains that Rome fell in 1453.

      • Magus Janus says:

        Right. I’m clearly referring to W empire here, not the East. But yes, in describing why the WRE fell you have to be able to say why that didn’t also happen to the East.

      • Trimegistus says:

        Yes, if anything Christianity SAVED the Empire, giving it a new source of cohesion and a moral justification which lasted until it was betrayed by the rest of Christendom and defeated by superior technology (Ottoman guns).

        • jim says:

          But the original Roman Empire lost its original source of cohesion, and Roman Christians were cool with barbarians coming in.

    • Magus Janus says:

      to the extent anyone has an interest in the specifics of Roman conversion from paganism to Christianity, I highly recommend this book:

    • jim says:

      Of course people who subscribe to traditional religion are breeding. But are they breeding people who subscribe to traditional religion?

      Even Orthodox Jews are rapidly becoming less Orthodox.

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