Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Chivalrous Alternative

Now we know.

"Anjoum Noorani, 31" writes Damien Thompson, "was the leader of the Foreign Office’s Papal Visit Team which drew up a document suggesting that the Pope should launch his own range of “Benedict” condoms and open an abortion clinic. He’s been moved to “other duties” after he gave authorisation for the memo to be sent to Downing Street and three Whitehall departments."

What seems telling to me is the look on Mr. Noorani's face. He clearly is saying, "So, what do you plan to do about it?"

Tell me I'm projecting.

Like the Scimitar in general, he does not expect a Christian form of fatwa placed upon his head; it's been thousands of years since sanctioned violence was acceptable to biblical peoples.

Ross Douthat recently observed that the Scimitar's recent threat (or promise?) to the creators of "South Park" that they would end up like Theo van Gogh was a reminder that Islam is "just about the only place where we draw any lines at all."

For students of mimetic theory, this means that the Scimitar is very nearly the only enforcer of the anthropologically sacred in the world today. The Christian faith, on the other hand, has to force itself to even consider the possibility of performing legitimate defense and chivalry of any kind: a clear indication that as Chesterton pointed out, the contemporary world is filled with Christian virtues gone mad.

We must find an ennobling and truly chivalrous alternative to playing possum or playing dead to such affronts. It must take into account the real demands of Our Lord who, if you remember, drove and lashed the money-changers from the Temple (Mt 21,12-13), integral participants in the concretization of the sacred. We must wage the kind of holy knighthood that will neither make us blush because of its unwarranted violence nor squirm because we sat on our hands and did nothing.

What is that alternative? That chivalrous alternative? I do not know with precision. The image of Reepicheep swatting Eustace Scrubb (Voyage of the Dawn Treader) with the flat of his sword comes to mind.

But whatever chivalric measures begin to be taken they must wipe that smirk off his face and make his smarmy, self-righteous self think twice about spitting on the Holy Father again.

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