Bruce Charlton, neo-reaction and the Pope

Here’s Charlton:

From the perspective of the religious Right, the neo-reactionary Right is “dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good” – to quote TS Eliot – and the religious Right believe that this is a deadly delusion.

I don’t really follow his line of reasoning. Certainly no one on the neo-reactionary Right dreams of any such thing. If I had to describe the “dream” in a sentence or two, I’d say: The neo-reactionary Right approaches governance as though it’s an engineering problem. The goal is to get the best possible outcome from the resources at hand. If you think this is idealism, you should at least offer a word to replace the current word “idealism.”

Here’s Charlton describing the dream of the religious Right:

Thus the ‘strategy’ is to try and evoke a wholesale repentance and mass conversion – a religious Great Awakening.

Only if or when this has happened will systems and ideology, flow diagrams and propaganda, become relevant.

This was a cool theory . . . until it happened and we got . . . more Leftism.

This is a particularly odd thing to highlight at a time when the Pope is flaunting his Puritanism – much to the chagrin of many of my favorite religious bloggers (Dreher has been trying to argue that the Pope’s comments aren’t that bad, but he’s protesting too much, if you ask me).

The only solution to too much protestantism is more protestantism! Now, perhaps you could argue that the Pope isn’t religious in the right way, but if you’ve lost the Pope . . .

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54 Responses to Bruce Charlton, neo-reaction and the Pope

  1. jamesd127 says:

    Bears still shit in the woods, but the Pope is no longer Catholic.

    This tells us that the Christian reactionary solution (Bring back Restoration Anglicanism) is unlikely to fly.

  2. Alexander Irwin says:

    The Pope is broken, but the system is resilient–although it sometimes takes St. Athanasius to reboot.

  3. jamzw says:

    Christopher Hitchens was robbed of all his usual skills of analysis and argument–and even his weapon of wit– when he addressed belief. Curiously, the same thing happens to some believers.

  4. asdf says:

    “The neo-reactionary Right approaches governance as though it’s an engineering problem.”

    Then what is the engineering solution?

    I can’t think of one and I’ve tried a lot, I think Moldbug’s doesn’t make sense, and I’m not an optimist about some magic technological breakthrough that solves all the old problems.

    What I think you’ve lost is that most of your Cathedral opponents also believe, “the goal is to get the best possible outcome from the resources at hand.” This was their engineering solution. We are living it. Other people around the world had to endure lots of other engineering solutions in the last century.

    You’re putting way to much emphasis on the idea that there is some more optimal outcome that can be arrived at through man’s pure reason alone. There is a lot of unjustified hubris in that belief IMO.

    On of the “resources we have at hand” is faith. I don’t believe there is a solution absent using that resource.

    “Now, perhaps you could argue that the Pope isn’t religious in the right way, but if you’ve lost the Pope . . .”

    Do you know much about the history of the Papacy? Let’s just say we’ve had a lot worse and the faith survived.

    • jamesd127 says:

      Moldbug’s solution is a typical nerd solution, worse, typical Jewish nerd solution. Would not work.

      Restoration Theocracy worked pretty well. Of course Christianity was alive and kicking back then. We could not just disinter Restoration Theocracy from its grave and resume from 1800.

      Restoration Anglican theocracy was overthrown because it was excessive tolerant of its enemies.

      Used to be you could not get anywhere near the levers of power, or go to the most prestigious universities, unless you swore to the thirty nine articles and the second book of homilies. Unfortunately, the opponents of restoration Anglicanism changed their antigens, while the thirty nine articles were not updated with new antibodies.

      Now, to go to a prestigious university or get a government job, you need to submit an essay and extracurricular activity showing yourself to be progressive.

      So, we create a suitable replacement to the thirty nine articles that excludes progressives.

      For a replacement to Restoration Theocracy, or restoration theocracy updated to modernity, we cancel all ed school credentials, and they all have to get new credentials to authorize them to teach children.

      I expect most of them would get the same high marks on the refresher course as they got on the original course, piously declaring that slavers and pirates brought civilization and Christianity to the heathen backward peoples with the same confident certainty as they previously piously declared that today’s capitalism rested on the ill gotten gains stolen from non whites by those pirates and slavers. Indeed, most of them would scarcely notice the change in the curriculum. They could recycle their previous essays using a word processor macro that replaces “Four legs good, two legs bad” with “Four legs need supervision by two legs”.

      Restoration Anglicanism taught that all men were created unequal:

      Each little flower that opens,
      Each little bird that sings,
      He made their glowing colors,
      He made their tiny wings.

      The rich man in his castle,
      The poor man at his gate,
      He made them, high or lowly,
      And ordered their estate.

      In other words, since (before Darwin) the natural world was obviously the product of divine design, social inequality was also the product of divine design.

      And women also unequal to men

      then shall the Curate say unto the Man.

      . Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honour and keep her, in sicknes and in health and forsakeing all other, keep thee only unto her so long as ye both shall live ?

      Then shall the Priest say unto the woman.

      . Wilt thou obey him, and serve him, love, honour, and keep him, in sickness, and in health, and forsakeing all other, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live ?

      Alas, Christianity is likely dead beyond possibility of revival.

      So instead of God making men unequal, we teach Darwinism and microeconomics making men unequal.

    • Steve Johnson says:

      Approaching government as an engineering problem alone is a huge improvement.

      Progressives – at best – treat society as an engineering problem which can be optimized with the right government schemes. If you try to analyze the likely outcome of their engineering projects they quickly shift focus. Conservatives don’t have any idea of how government actually works so they propose insane solutions (“the government should follow the Constitution”).

      Talking about government design as opposed to talking about policy is an immense change and even if the project isn’t a success yet it actually has a chance to come up with solutions – unlike talking about this or that policy.

    • Foseti says:

      This is wrong. Who said anything about “pure reason”? Certainly not me.

      Objective analysis is still possible. Is Zimbabwe better than Rhodesia? Is 2013 Detroit better than 1960 Detroit? Etc.

      • josh says:

        You realize that the *actual engineers* of our current engineering problem *actually* would argue yes to both *in actuality*. Rhodesia and Detroit were racist, which trumps everything.

        Objective analysis requires and objective objective. In this case, you need a definition of the good society which is true. You and I seem to agree that there is such a thing as objective goodness, although I have no idea how you think such a thing is possible without reference to something outside the system.

        Nobody is arguing that governance is not *kind of* like engineering. The first question you are going to have to ask is ‘what is the good society?’ Which is a fundamentally religious question and can only be answered using the methods of inquiry developed by religion. Its also been pretty well answered by religion already.

  5. What asdf said.

    And – I am re-reading a really excellent book on the history of intelligence testing – which is also a history of the Left since the late 1800s – Adrian Wooldridge’s “Measuring the Mind”.

    The reinforces my own memories of Old Left English (Fabian) socialism of the pre-1965 era (to which I – belatedly – was a devout adherent in the early 1970s) – wrt engineering solutions to social problems there never was, there never could be, a more engineering approach to society than was mainstream among the most influential English intellectual socialists of the late 19th and early 20th century – the likes of Sydney and Beatrice Webb.

    Engineering analysis and solutions to societal problems just IS Old Leftism, in its intellectual wing.

    BUT this never had much traction in the USA. The transition between Old and New Leftism – between ‘engineering’ and ‘isms’ – was, indeed, the transition between Britain and the US as the focus of international socialism.

    My point is that socialism was a British thing until the post war era, and the transition was not until the mid sixties – engineering solutions are very old hat in England, and we know precisely where they lead to (at best! – modern USA is a *far* worse place for Fabianism than old England).

    Early English socialists were not egalitarians, they were meritocrats – they were obsessed with educational selection, hereditary individual differences, stronger but more rational social stratification, artstocrats of the intellect and so on. They invented IQ testing and some of them regarded it like a religion.

    *

    I keep returning to the essential problem about secular plans and schemes and blueprints for a better world on reactionary lines – there is near-zero motivation/ dedication to bringing them to fruit, a microscopic constituency who wants this – and *no track record* of anything of the sort suceeding anywhere.

    Religion (theistic religion), by contrast, is the natural and spontaneous basis for government; built into humans.

    Religion *will* return unless continually supressed by vast daily propaganda, bribes and threats – when these stop, and they will stop, religion will return.

    The only question is – which religion?

    Christianity is weak and getting weaker. prospects look bad. No matter – since it is true (and good) I want Christianity to be the religion that returns, and that – for me – is the main priority without which there will be *change*, secular Leftism will collapse – but such change will be net bad.

    • Handle says:

      When Foseti says, ‘engineering problem’, he means a rational decision making process. If a Christian society, the government still has to decide 1) what it wants to do, 2) how one goes about achieving those goals in reality. You call call ‘trying to win at chess’ an engineering problem by that definition.

      Saying there are different ways to err in choosing what one is trying to optimize, and different ways to err regarding the true nature of one’s constraints, is not a criticism of rationality itself.

      • @Handle – Yes, but it is entirely a matter of what must come first – what is the basis for the other – Engineering, or Religion?

        I’m saying that without a basis in Religion (I would argue, but it is not entailed, specifically Christianity) then there can be no engineering solution to anything, because nobody will bother doing anything long termist and difficult.

        No means without an end.

        Secular neo-reaction does, in fact, have an ‘end’, implicitly – in general this is utilitarianism, and thus exacty the same end as the Left has.

        i.e. maximum happiness/ minimum suffering for some specificed group – usually men, natives, those of European descent, extended families or whatever.

        This contrasts with the New Left ‘end’ which is max happiness/ min suffering for everybody *except* men, heteros, natives, married people, families and so on.

        Hence the disagreement between secular Right and Left – the difference between the positive ‘us’, and the negative ‘everybody except us’; between selfishness and self-hatred.

        (i.e. a choice between evils.)

        But how to decide between the benefit groups – who gets to be a focus of the utilitarian engineering plans?

        That decision needs a religion – and it must be strong, real – the most important thing.

      • Handle says:

        “I’m saying that without a basis in Religion (I would argue, but it is not entailed, specifically Christianity) then there can be no engineering solution to anything, because nobody will bother doing anything long termist and difficult. ”
        I judge this to be a false assertion. I get the impression that devout Christians, especially latter-day awakeners is post-Christian societies, tend to overestimate the necessity of certain religious notions for the encouragement of their favored opinions and behaviors. They experience their own Christianity with such salience, and they witness the ‘fallen-because-un-Christian world’ around them, that they cannot imagine that ‘Christian-like’ attitudes could arise, or be sustained or motivated, without religion.
        But they certainly can be. Certain people (My hunch is that tend to be more high-functioning than average) naturally are predisposed to long time-horizon / low discount-rate / concern for the welfare of future generations behavior, with or without a religious motivation. I can already hear the catch-all objection of ‘unrecognized, and last fumes of a residue of cultural inheritance’, and perhaps that’s true to an extent, but not in total, and anyway, it’s an unfalsifiable assertion.
        The same applies to natural savers or hoarders, which you can observe from early childhood (I’ve certainly witnessed it to be an inheritable trait). It is convenient for such people that a policy of saving and deferred gratification is beneficial under most economic circumstances, but they would do it regardless. Personally, it is convenient for me that my religious persuasion aligns with my tendency to think long-term, but I would also do so regardless, and I certainly know many self-professed atheists who would do likewise. I think the most adaptive primitive pagan cultures had their share of such people too.
        But perhaps more importantly, even if they aren’t predisposed to it, or motivated theologically towards it, people can be paid to think long-term (for example, and in my experience, in the corporate or military contexts), which, in my observation, is more than sufficient incentive to yield strenuous efforts to accomplish high-quality, long-term strategy and follow-on actions.
        At any rate, I would also challenge your characterization of secular neoreaction as favoring utilitarianism only for favored groups. A more correct description (of my own multizionist perspective at least, or anyone who favors strong hyper-federalism and strong subsidiarity) would be medium-scale ‘market utilitarianism’. A market for societies is a market for ends. If ends are true, should we not expect them to prevail? If ends do not prevail, can they be said to be true?
        Utilitarianism fails to optimize utility at the two absolutist extremes of individualist and universalism because people also prefer to live in communities of certain society-types (‘zions’) but have various social preferences. The optimal solution is a market of a multiplicity of community-scope / medium-scale, independent options from which individuals can choose. For example, a sovereign Amish community.
        Successful communities are bound to share some core features, wise and consistent with the most common attributes of human nature, and to this extent we can label those features ‘true’. Gloves may be of any color, size, or material, according to what a person both needs and prefers. But all well-tailored gloves have four fingers and a thumb. The problem today is that we are being told that a seven-fingered glove is true for everyone.
        Perhaps instead of defining or dictating ‘true’ ends , ‘quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus’, we can adopt a frame of mind in which life is a journey of discovery to try and find the ends which fit us, uncovered through natural revelation – by the degree of satisfaction of the consumers and in the social competitiveness overall. The Gnostic approach is to postulate just such a circumstance – that we have become alienated from this kind of truth, and cannot trust claims about it on assertion alone, but that that we are capable, indeed it is our duty, to try and rediscover it together.

    • jamesd127 says:

      But the fabians were not engineers, but social planners. They knew no economics. They had faith. They thought they could engineer men, the problem, they were sure, being trivial.

    • jamesd127 says:

      Fabians were no more engineers than Marxists were scientists.

      Religion will not return, because it never went away. But the pope will worship Gaia, not Christ.

      • @jamesd127

        “But the fabians were not engineers, but social planners. They knew no economics.”

        Just plain wrong: the Fabian society (The Webbs, Bernard Shaw, HG Wells) founded the London School of Economics – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_School_of_Economics.

        But I had not previously realized that the essence of neo-reaction was that the advocates were supposed to be actual *engineering* graduates and professionals – and that this is being presumed to make them into better analyzers and designers of human societies, coup organizers, and future rulers.

        I shall not be holding my breath…

      • Foseti says:

        Seems more likely than everyone becoming Amish though, doesn’t it?

      • jamesd127 says:

        The London School of Economics, infamously, knows no economics.

      • jamesd127 says:

        But I had not previously realized that the essence of neo-reaction was that the advocates were supposed to be actual *engineering* graduates and professionals – and that this is being presumed to make them into better analyzers and designers of human societies, coup organizers, and future rulers.

        Nah, it means that they are more likely to know and believe Darwinism, thus more likely, when they read two hundred year old books, to realize that those writing those books were right, and moderns wrong.

        It also means that they are more humble about attempting to engineer complex systems to do complex things than the Fabians were.

        And the London School of Economics knows no more about economics than Marxists know of science.

      • @Handle – You can’t be proved wrong, since everything you are saying is conjectural. It all sounds like good intellectual fun – but really a variant on the Fabian style of thinking I used to read and believe – including the idea for a new religion which would underpin the new society (for GB Shaw and CEM Joad the new religion was Creative Evolution)

      • josh says:

        Bruce, I assume you have read “The Abolition of Man”.

        At the moment, then, of Man’s victory over Nature, we find the whole human race subjected to some individual men, and those individuals subjected to that in themselves which is purely `natural’—to their irrational impulses. Nature,
        untrammelled by values, rules the Conditioners and, through them, all humanity.
        Man’s conquest of Nature turns out, in the moment of its consummation, to be
        Nature’s conquest of Man. Every victory we seemed to win has led us, step by
        step, to this conclusion. All Nature’s apparent reverses have been but tactical
        withdrawals. We thought we were beating her back when she was luring us on.
        What looked to us like hands held up in surrender was really the opening of arms
        to enfold us for ever. If the fully planned and conditioned world (with its Tao a
        mere product of the planning) comes into existence, Nature will be troubled no
        more by the restive species that rose in revolt against her so many millions of years
        ago, will be vexed no longer by its chatter of truth and mercy and beauty and
        happiness. Ferum victorem cepit: and if the eugenics are efficient enough there will
        be no second revolt, but all snug beneath the Conditioners, and the Conditioners
        beneath her, till the moon falls or the sun grows cold.

    • Red says:

      >>Christianity is weak and getting weaker. prospects look bad. No matter – since it is true (and good) I want Christianity to be the religion that returns, and that – for me – is the main priority without which there will be *change*, secular Leftism will collapse – but such change will be net bad.

      I’ll argue that Christianity is quite bad for most people who follow it. All I see a sea of churches that support evil men and women and actively work against civilization and order. Europe has a better chance of surviving in a degenerate, but self supporting religion like Islam than in the progressive husk of Christianity.

      The church can be saved but it must save itself from heretics and heresy first. I see no evidence that religious leaders are doing anything to save their religion. Everything is focused on blaming the average believer instead on cleaning the devils and anti-Christs from the pulpits.

      • jamesd127 says:

        > The church can be saved but it must save itself from heretics and heresy first. I see no evidence that religious leaders are doing anything to save their religion. Everything is focused on blaming the average believer instead on cleaning the devils and anti-Christs from the pulpits.

        And, in fact, I have had this argument with Bruce Charleton. What is his church doing about progressive beliefs on the role of women and the third world?

        I understood his response as saying that that does not matter – that Paul’s words on the family were symbolism about heaven, so the Church can adopt any beliefs politically convenient about this world.

        But Christianity is a patriarchal religion. A patriarchal God needs a patriarchal Church attended by patriarchal families, needs patriarchy in this world. If you don’t have that, the congregation winds up worshiping Gaia, or, like Oprah’s congregation, worshiping themselves. (Oprah’s congregation supposedly has magical powers, so they pray to themselves. Very democratic of them)

      • Red says:

        >>I understood his response as saying that that does not matter – that Paul’s words on the family were symbolism about heaven, so the Church can adopt any beliefs politically convenient about this world.

        I’m sure that will end well.

  6. josh says:

    “This was a cool theory . . . until it happened and we got . . . more Leftism.”
    This is why you need to understand what Puritanism is. Oversimplifying greatly…
    The Jewish religion during the Rabbinical period defined itself in opposition to Christianity. Although it maintained some adherence to “the Law” of Moses, because there was no priesthood, heirarchy or sacrifice, it fundamentally became a post modern debating society in which The Law is as alive as the US constitution. This unsurprisingly took the form of debunking the natural order, visions of tikkan olam and placing man at the center of all things. Eventually, despite the efforts of Maimonides, the vanguard of international Jewry moved away from rationalism and systematic theology toward mysticism and ethnic pride.
    This is just what happened.
    After Sephardic Jews were accepting baptism for political and economic reasons while continuing to practice Talmudic Judaism in secret, they were expelled from Spain, from which they went to Portugal and then from Portugal from which they went to the Netherlands. These people called Marranos or Crypto-Jews, were largely responsible, if not for the creation, then at least the spread of Calvinism. The Puritans and other dissenters were called Judaizers and demi-Jews because it was well known that they were importing Talmudic thinking into Christianity. Some of the early Puritans in England itself were likely Marranos. Not surprisingly, the first things to go were the Priesthood, Sacrifice, and the Trinity. What was also introduced was tikkan olam, the messianic fervor of a leaderless mob, debunking, and the tradition of appealing arguments to force majeure. The mixed legacy of the US, which was alternately conservative in character and the avant garde of the revolution reflects the hybrid religious foundations (this is true of both the north and south which harbored two different strains of enlightenment).
    Now, I’m not saying that the Joos are evil or that Judaism is the only source of nihilism in the world. Rabbinical Judaism just happens to have developed an anti-nomian tendency which spread to the West and was carried on by the Puritans (who always remained in close contact with whoever was the current vanguard of international Jewry).
    The reason this is important is that it is keeping you from seeing the obvious. You can’t just say “We’ve tried a religious awakening, and it didn’t work”. People did not become more Christian during the Great Awakening; they became more Jewish. This is not “No True Scotsman”; this is defining things by their essences or even their clades. All ideologies are religious at bottom, but not all are identical or equal. An actual counter-reformation would have to be based on the idea that there is such thing as logos and to weed out all of the enemies of logos. You are treating nomianism and anti-nomianism as if they are the same phenomena (while at the same time insisting we can objectively say what the good society is). It’s incoherent.

    • Foseti says:

      First the Jews took over hyper-Protestants, then . . .

      I just don’t see it

      I’m willing to grant that all reformed religions head in the same (progressive) direction, but the idea that few Jews in the US in the early 1800s somehow took over the established elite just doesn’t make sense. Nor do we need a theory to explain why the established elite got more progressive – they never were otherwise. Why seek a complicated explanation for the self-explanatory?

    • jamesd127 says:

      PUritnas appeared in England notwithstanding the fact that all Jews had been kicked out of England several hundred yeas earlier and not allowed back in, and there had never been very many in the first place.

      If you were looking at crypto Jews, you would find them in Spain.

      The similarity between Puritans and Jews is due to phariseeism, not direct inheritance.

      • josh says:

        They were in Spain. The Spain had the inquisition. Then, they were traders in the Netherlands. The east Anglicans learned their Calvinism from the Dutch traders.

        Jim, the rise of protestantism coincides with the reintroduction of crypto-Jewish Marranos into England which was followed shortly thereafter by the reintroduction of not-so-crypto Jews.

        Foseti, I’m not talking about the 1800s.

        There’s not much of a market for gentile historians to study the role of Jews and Marranos in England and the Netherlands. Happily, Jews love to write about this stuff. This is all eminently googlable.

      • jamesd127 says:

        Jim, the rise of protestantism coincides with the reintroduction of crypto-Jewish Marranos into England which was followed shortly thereafter by the reintroduction of not-so-crypto Jews.

        The reintroduction followed the rise of puritanism in England.

        Puritans are like Jews, but the merger between progressive Judaism and progressivism did not happen till 1950 or so.

      • josh says:

        The official reintroduction.

        The actual reintroduction was of crypto-Jewish Marrano Portuguese merchants. The official reintroduction was a century later.

      • jamesd127 says:

        The actual reintroduction was of crypto-Jewish Marrano Portuguese merchants

        Puritanism did not come from Portuguese merchants.

        Puritanism was as English as English could be, and remained so until the progressive/Jewish merger of around 1950 or so.

        Until then, Jews were not invited to the correct clubs.

      • Candide III says:

        josh, there were Lollards in England long before the English Revolution. In Europe, too, there were many similar heresies long before Reformation — Cathars, Joachimites, Apostolic Brethren and Brethren of the Free Spirit, Taborites, Anabaptists etc. Were they all offshoots of Talmudic Judaism? Also I’d like to know if there were any Jewish sects preaching commonality of property, commonality of wives and the rest.

    • Handle says:

      Josh, I’m sorry, your Jewish-Centrality theory of modernity and progressivism is very far fetched. I judge it entirely false. I understand perfectly well what you are asserting. I don’t find it at all persuasive.

      More to the point, even assuming the truth of everything you claim arguendo, you still haven’t explained the implications. What do we have to do to save or improve society if not, at a bare minimum, ‘exile all the Jews because they are Jews’. Is that what you are advocating for here?

      Because if we don’t do that, you still haven’t explained how a Restored Christianity isn’t supposed to immediately lapse into its existential vulnerability to Jewish undermining and capture.

      • josh says:

        It makes as much sense as the Christian-centric view

        Not at all on the expulsion of the Jews. I will reply tomorrow if I get a chance.

  7. Gyja says:

    Charlton is not wrong.

    At the moment, secular neoreaction seems to be more pragmatic than progressivism, because it doesn’t have a universal vision of human progress, instead it embraces the idea of a variety of different competing societies, designed to provide different things to different populations with different values and because it embraces “what works” rather than “what is just”.

    But if you go back in time far enough, you can probably find a time when the left thought quite similarly. Beliefs tend to evolve and it’s quite likely that secular neo-reaction would eventually end up evolving into a something quasi-religious that resembles a new progressivism.

    But we’ll be dead by then and a reset to a decentralized particularist situation might buy humanity another few hundred years, so destroying the Cathedral and replacing with with a system of decentralized pragmatic particularism is still a very worthy goal for our lifetimes. It’d give our successors some time to work on a longer term fix.

    Religion is, of course, the long term fix. Humans are hard wired for it and religiosity boosts reproductive fitness so we’re only getting more hard wired for it. You may have noticed that Islam is growing.

    But devising a religious fix isn’t easy. It’s not as simple as a mass conversion to Christianity; the Christian vision for humanity has already been largely fulfilled in progressivism and that didn’t work out too well. Something less radically leftist will be necessary.

    Somebody will need to create a new religion for the West to save it from Islam. It could be us, but I’m not sure we’re up for the task.

    • Foseti says:

      “Religion is, of course, the long term fix. Humans are hard wired for it and religiosity boosts reproductive fitness so we’re only getting more hard wired for it. You may have noticed that Islam is growing.”

      Ok, but if the Pope isn’t religious enough . . .

      Seriously, how religious do we have to all get? And at what point is it so religious that it’s inconceivable? Again, if you’ve lost the Pope . . .

      • @Foseti – You are beginning to sound like Saruman.

      • Gyja says:

        Don’t be silly. The Pope is religious. He’s just not Catholic.

      • Erik says:

        Sometimes, the Pope will be a squishy moderate. This happens. It should be survivable, he’s locked into what previous ones said, after all. I’d wait for the next one before panicking.
        (“Wait for the next Pope” seems an eminently sensible long-term strategy overall to avoid fads and fancies.)

      • Gyja says:

        I guess I should elaborate. The Pope is religious enough. His religion just happens to be progressivism, not Catholicism. This may well mean that Catholicism has finally failed (time will tell) but it had a pretty good run.

        If whatever comes next has a similarly good run then we’ll be doing alright.

      • jamesd127 says:

        asdf says we have had worse. I don’t think so.

        One of the popes he lists was considered bad for growing a beard (previously, popes were expected to be clean shaven)

        Another for spending lots of money on the greatest of artists.

        Several for immoral sexual acts, but the problem with Francis is that he is appointing gay archbishops.

        Several for having children – but celibacy is arguably heretical, for Paul tells us that the clergy should patriarchal family men.

    • K(yle) says:

      This is basically the problem. Christianity is Leftist. As much as I am sympathetic to the idea floated above that it was all the Jews, fact of the matter even if Marrano help was involved the “Judaizer” Christians were actually following dispensations that were more Biblically sound. No need to nag me about Sola Scriptura and all that, I’m aware of the arguments.

      Regardless if you are using the Bible alone or not you are still going to run into the problem of what it actually says in the Bible and no one has ever really been able to answer this without resorting to examples of Christians who had absolutely no idea what it said in the Bible.

      The actual form of their religion was mostly the folkways fostered by their prior pagan religion. A religion that was significantly enervated and borderline atheistic if the surviving Sagas are any indication; similar to the eventual fate of Hellenic paganism giving way to sophistry. The new, powerful God simply reinvigorated what was already there and cleared away a lot of disabling ‘theology’ that removed the possibility of fundamentalism from their religion.

      What they believed was apparently great for them, but we haven’t got a very good idea of what it was exactly, and it certainly didn’t proceed from the teachings of Christ and reconstructing this brand of Christianity is about as insurmountable a task as reconstructing their pagan religion (it’s basically the same task.)

      Maybe Christian reactionaries should actually delineate what their brand of Christianity looks like in terms of commandments for the faithful. Now keep in mind it has to condone all of the things that made “Christendom” great, if it’s to be a formula for a way back.

      • Red says:

        The over emphasis of the bible is the original sin of Protestantism. Religious traditions made by communities and learned men are a far better basis for a faith than you or me reading the bible and deciding for ourselves what it means.

      • jamesd127 says:

        This is basically the problem. Christianity is Leftist

        In two very important ways it is rightist. It is patriarchal, and it endorses inequality in this world.

        Of course actually existent Christianity has ditched these (see Dalrock) which means it is transitioning to humanitarianism, unitarianism, and thence to militant atheism.

      • Foseti says:

        “Maybe Christian reactionaries should actually delineate what their brand of Christianity looks like in terms of commandments for the faithful.”

        That would be immensely helpful

      • jamesd127 says:

        K(yle) says:

        Maybe Christian reactionaries should actually delineate what their brand of Christianity looks like in terms of commandments for the faithful.

        Dalrock and Sunshine Mary want Christianity that holds the New Testament position on marriage and sex roles

        Sunshine Mary endorses the Darwinian Dark Enlightenment insights of the nature of man, though she attributes them to the curse upon Adam.

        They don’t take any very strong position on innate inequality between men, though they do take a strong position on innate inequality of the sexes.

        Still, once you have incorporated Darwin into the old testament, as Sunshine Mary has, you have at least somewhat immunized your religion against egalitarianism.

    • Thales says:

      “Religion is, of course, the long term fix. Humans are hard wired for it…”

      The only religion humans are hardwired for passed away nearly three thousand years ago. All modern religions with their idols, icons and temples are cargo cults supported by tradition alone.

  8. Victor says:

    Really? The Pope is flaunting his “Puritanism?” Do you really think the Pope draws his foolish beliefs about saved atheists from Calvinist Puritans, believers in the doctrine of Limited Atonement and Unconditional Election? Why do you continue to associate goofy liberal ideas with Puritanism?

    • jamesd127 says:

      Recall the Pope’s ostentatiously humbler than thou inauguration. Right out of the seventeenth century Puritan playbook.

      And if he is keen on gays, that is just hyper puritanism. The seventeenth century Puritans were keen on divorce. Gays are just another step in being holier than thou.

      I expect Francis to be the first Pope to be declared a Saint while still alive – with his great humility being listed as one of his many saintly attributes.

  9. […] assuming Bruce Charleton is right that we ‘secular’ (non-Orthodox-Christrian-theocratic) neoreactionaries are no better […]

  10. […] civilized banter about Bruce Charlton’s “No True Scotsman Christian” fallacy. Charlton’s main contention is that Leftism is inherently anti-Christian, which is true only […]

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