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
René 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.

The Babel of the Present Crisis

Jeffrey Imm @ Family Security Matters posts on Jihad, Islamism, and the Challenge of Anti-Freedom Ideologies. I am expecting Suicide of the West to be posting on a similar subject soon, albeit from the viewpoint of a former Army combat-arms officer concerned with the freedom of the Shire and protection of the deposit of faith. Our friend there, Mark Gordon, recently posted a portion of a talk given by Gil Bailie entitled, Three Anthropologies. Bailie contends a kind of Augustinian hierarchy: the biblical anthropology affirmed by the Magisterium of the Church and substantiated by René Girard's opus; and two lesser diminutions that rightly fall into the categorical arena of the "primitive Sacred."

Sadly, it is manifestly apparent that as various groups with splintering allegiances react to the ostensible Islamification of the West, the sacrificial crisis -- so well explicated by René Girard -- continues without abatement. Hell, if Harry Potter is a snapshot of the present crisis, it's a miracle that Dumbledore is the only gay character in Rowling AND that he isn't cramming same sex unions and hate-crime legislation down everyone's throat.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Yann Tiersen-live aux eurock rue de cascades

Can You Come Play Dress-Up at My House Too?

People Always Look for a Scapegoat

The Scapegoat - William Holman Hunt

Aid to the Church in Need reports that the "fight against witchcraft" is one of the biggest problems for the Church in the Central African Republic. This aid organization, "under the authority of the Holy Father," is clearly steering through the sometime deadly shoals of the primitive Sacred in its mission to bring the light and life offered by Our Lord through the Church. From the article:
Bishop Marzinkowski, of the Diocese of Alindao, a German Holy Ghost Father, told ACN that in the consciousness of many people in the Central African Republic, there is "no natural explanation for death, sickness or natural disasters." Instead, people always look for a scapegoat who must in their view have caused the misfortune through witchcraft. It can happen to anyone, he explained, to be accused on the smallest pretext of having practiced witchcraft in order to harm someone, and they may even be killed in punishment. Such cases can even occur among Christians, he added, for among many of them the Christian faith is not yet sufficiently rooted, with the result that "at the least difficulty they relapse back into their traditional way of thinking."
Once people realize that "people always look for a scapegoat" not only in the heart of Africa, but inside the Beltway, at church councils, on CNN, Fox, and Al-Jazeera, the Gospel will have begun to get a toe hold. When street rabble put down stones and begin to go home instead of breaking heads, "starting with the eldest" [Jn 8,9b] the worst will be over. Maybe.

Till then, vigilence, chivalry, legitimate defense, and Catholic Resistance.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Okay, Okies

MSNBC reports that Oklahoma state Representative, Rex Duncan, and other lawmakers have seen too clearly to accept copies of the Koran. "(M)ost Oklahomans do not endorse the idea of killing innocent women and children in the name of ideology," Duncan stated. Seventeen other legislators have notified the Governor's Ethnic American Advisory Council that they too will return the gift.

Clearly parts of the Shire are sure enough of their manhood to put the kibosh on gifts from Mordor. [Tip: Foehammer]

Where There is Life, There is Hope

Diogenes gives us a powerful testimony from the mother of a son who died of AIDS in this installment of Off the Record.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Bonny Good Post

On the Bridge of Khazad-dûm

Mark Gordon @ Suicide of the West gives the finest summary of the foes of the West in his post, Assessing the Enemies of the Shire. He kindly cites what I hope is my entertaining fictional yet didactic explication of René Girard's cultural anthropology, The Dionysus Mandate, though this is not why I laud it. Nope.

What Gordon does in his post is this: he circumvents the usual heavy breathing, ego inflation, and tangential rabbit-chasing that typifies most discussion about the "enemies of the Shire." I attribute this, being a Catholic convert myself, to the ballast and stability he has accrued from staying in close proximity to the Eucharistic Table, for one thing. For another, he has kept his understanding of Girard's mimetic theory, or "anthropology of the Cross," as he would have it, as an active tool for explicating one's self, others, and culture in general. Mimetic theory, a clinical sounding phrase, is a breath taking instrument for plumbing the depths of Everyman and every People. If one frequents the Sacraments as a practicing Catholic ("in every sense of the word," as our pal and mentor Gil Bailie says), and firmly resolves to see the world and oneself through the hermeneutic of the Church's Magisterium, to which Girard's work merely adds a forensic footnote in terms of sin pathology, one has as sure footing, vision, wisdom, and humility one is likely to possess in the early days of the 21st century.

If I read him aright, Gordon and I share a vast pessimism about human nature, but a far more sustaining assurance in the providential grace of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. May we all hoist a tankard of Green Dragon's finest one day in a Shire that is "safe and secure from all alarms."

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Oh Great - He Gets to Keep His Job

Teacher who attacked base had death wish, FBI says
A Miami Central High math teacher was arrested after attacking the Homestead Air Reserve Base in a failed suicide bid, authorities say.
Wielding two butcher knives bought at Wal-Mart and vodka bottles to use as explosives, Tahmeed Ahmad chanted ''Death to America'' and told Homestead Air Reserve Base guards he wanted to kill soldiers.

But Ahmad was no terrorist, authorities believe.

Hmmm. So ... when does one call someone who wields a couple of cleavers, Molotov cocktails, shouting "Death to America!" (my exclamation point - I'm sure he didn't make an exclamatory statement) a terrorist? When he succeeds in offing a few folk stocking up at Walmart, or students at his day-job at Central High? The story continues:

Ahmad is in his first year teaching math at Miami Central High, 1781 NW 95th St.

A federal judge will decide Thursday whether he can be released pending trial.

If he is freed, Ahmad will be reassigned away from children, said John Schuster, a schools spokesman.

Whew! Well, THAT's good news, that bit about him being reassigned away from children at the school where he will continue receiving employment. But ... just what does a 1st-year Math teacher DO at a school "away from children?" Play with bottles of stuff in the custodian's closet? Hmmm. I wonder what the School Board would do if he were a Presbyterian? [HT: Jihad Watch]

French Philosopher on Terrorism

The 7th July 2005 London suicide bombers caught on CCTV at Luton train station at 07:21 BST on July 7, 2005. From left to right, Hasib Hussain, Germaine Lindsay, Mohammad Sidique Khan, and Shehzad Tanweer

No, it's not Girard, but André Glucksmann at City Journal. Glucksmann is an advisor to French president Nicolas Sarkozy and one of the few outright defenders of the US in France. He writes,

A pitiless new day is dawning. The powers of the inhuman and the efficacy of hatreds mutate dangerously. A generation that worked diligently to tame the threat of nuclear war finds itself driven toward a horizon more frightening to contemplate than the one it dreamed of avoiding. Now it must try again to think the unthinkable, to leave the era of the H-bomb and enter the time of the human bomb...

When, after Saddam Hussein’s fall, terrorist attacks multiplied in Iraq, they spared no one, especially not Iraqis: schoolchildren in buses or on sidewalks, men and women at the market, the faithful at prayer.

His presentation, From the H-Bomb to the Human Bomb, seems savvy and informed with insights from Girard's mimetic theory. New word for the day: "somalization". [HT: LGF]

Monday, October 22, 2007

Under the Caliphate

Rusty Shackleford sums it up tidily at The Jawa Report, No One is Free Under Sharia. And ever vigilant Foehammer's Anvil reports, Israel to Come Under Sharia Law as Part of New Islamic Caliphate (love those sidebar graphics, Foehammer!).

Update: Judge rules Muslim dowries unenforcable by Ohio law. Watch your back, Your Honor.

Lapping Waves on Atlantis' Shores

[Tip: M. Shea]

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Postmodern Nihilism, Disdain, & Evil

John Ruskin

John Ruskin's Study of Gneiss Rock, Glenfinlas, 185

A Ms. Daphne Merkin, columnist, writes a piece entitled, Speak No ‘Evil' in the New York Times Magazine. One of her observations that shows her banal postmodern casting out the baby with the bathwater is the following:
Today, the 19th-century critic John Ruskin’s observation that “the neglect of art . . . has been of evil consequence to the Christian world” sounds so overwrought to us — so filled with moral outrage — as to verge on the unintentionally hilarious.
Declarative sentences dealing with absolutes, to Ms. Merkin, are "overwrought" and "unintentionally hilarious," apparently. Ruskin, no Catholic, like so many of his 19th- century fellow travelers in English art circles including several of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, was riding on the coat tails of Catholic teaching on truth, goodness, and beauty. Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin , Catholic convert, architect and Eucharistic artist,was a notable exception.

This, clearly, does not last, but declines as others (Bailie, Pearce, De Marco, Wiker) have observed through romanticism to today's nihilism. This is Ms. Merkin's and her fellow travelers' plight. They are lost in a cosmos of their own making. If one sees and hears no evil except in relativist terms, one still has the unsavory problem of speaking evil, tho' one doesn't believe it exists.