Saturday, October 27, 2007

Death of the West by the Primitive Sacred

Etruscan couple, National Museum at Florence
(Future Demolition TBA in Faithful Submission to the Koran)

The quick and dirty: The West has abandoned all hope in the quest for truth afforded to it in its originary foundations of Christianity in general and the Catholic Church in particular. This one sees with special clarity today in finding
not one presidential candidate who adheres to objective truth as safeguarded by the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. One can find "conservatives" aplenty, but that spectrum is based on nothing but Henry VIII's decisions and Elizabeth I's -- or rather, Lord Cecil's -- statecraft. See where such "reformation by the might of the state and coffers of the rich" has landed us.

Therefore, with the abandonment of Catholic truth, popular culture in the West has followed a predictable arc or gradient into a slough of nihilism of its own making. And the consequences? First, in the words of
RenĂ© Girard, a "refusal to glance, even furtively, in the only direction where meaning could still be found dominates our intellectual life” in the West. And, secondly, the concomitant problematic: our old fifteen hundred-year old foe, Islam, is tailor-made for stepping into the void let by the West's "refusal to glance" at Christian truth for meaning, purpose, and freedom. Why is this so?

For three reasons: (a) It is a Christian heresy, and as Mark Gordon has observed, evangelization among heretics is difficult, if not impossible. (b) The now largely barbarian denizens of the West, being pagan rather than Christian, bow to bin Laden's theory of power: "When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse." The spirit of the Crusades and legitimate defense only exists where a people acknowledge the objective truth and temporal and spiritual power of the Gospel in the Church. Without this, might alone makes right, as bin Laden rightly observes. Which (c) leads us to the gravest difficulty of all facing the West: the power of the
primitive Sacred.

It is so manifestly obvious in Islam, yet so astonishingly unrecognized and/or thematized by even social scientists in the West. The two great expressions of the Sacred in today's world are postmodern nihilism and Islam. The former is working with a clockwork, degenerate efficiency to renounce all morals and ethics of Catholic truth with fascist glee. The latter is lining up to pick up and carry the baton to Mecca. Such oppression and mayhem in the West was never envisioned even in the wildest dreams of Friedrich Nietzsche. The dionysian frenzy in the West may not wield machetes (yet), but the effective butchery is no different. Check the stats.

Girard has plotted the parameters of the Sacred time and time again. He has thematized the cosmological origins of human culture, its myths, rituals, and prohibitions. He has provided ample evidence that the Word made flesh [Jn 1,14] speaks a categorically unique Message to the WORLD. And one message that Jesus Christ says is this [Jn 15]:
1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
2 He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
3 You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
4 Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.
5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.
6 Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned.
Unless radical, metanoic action occurs in the West, I must lay my money down with the One Who spoke these last, apocalyptical words of judgment. There is no action plan, no political ploy, no military recourse that will work to regenerate the West without a return, humble and contrite, to the Good Shepherd, the Word made flesh, the True Vine and his Church. Without this, we join the Etruscans and Mohicans. The West will be merely the stuff of the legends of Atlantis.

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