On a Conciliatory Approach Towards Christianity

J.R.R. Tolkien, a very gifted Christian

Nick B. Steves on Social Matter pointed out that I had presented a “cardboard cut out” of Christianity, and since I have admiration for certain Christians, and certain elements of traditionalist Christianity, I have decided to write a blog post on this topic. I experienced Christianity first as the Methodism of my parents. During adolescenthood I became a very serious evangelical for three years. Then, for about a year I experimented with traditional, conservative Anglicanism, after which I decided to leave Christianity alone. I have also researched plenty of information about Catholic and Orthodox denominations of Christianity, including the various ecumenical councils. Although I may not have experienced all forms of Christianity, I may not be as ignorant as I outwardly seem.

Now the problems with low-church Protestantism, and individual interpretation-ism, are obvious to neoreactionaries as forces which have decayed the social cohesion and hierarchical order of the West, and led to whiggish liberalism. I completely understand this, however,  I would find it very hard to take the decisions of ecumenical councils as absolute truth. It’s not my cup of tea. It’s not that I don’t find cathedral architecture or traditional Christian music stunning, I do. One of my favorite Christian music pieces, De profundis, is featured is in the video below.

It’s how Christianity behaves as a moral authority that I have difficulty reconciling with my understanding of how civilizations persist in spite of foreign attack. The Catholic Church, through its authoritative hierarchy, managed include pagan practices of venerating iconography of divine beings (“saints”), and managed to use the Just War Theory to justify the military defence of Europe from invaders during the Middle Ages and Early Modern period. Protestantism has no such filter to justify the continuation of age-old pagan cultural traditions, or national defence, and the iconoclastic spirit of the Mosaic Law, as well as the pacifistic thinking expressed in the Sermon on the Mount came out unfiltered, and produced some of the whackiest people on earth: Adventists, Baptists, Quakers, anabaptists, Pentecostalists and more. So in my view, Catholicism, with its anti-iconoclastic, pagan elements, as well as the warrior ethic it permits, is great in some ways, but it is hard for me to understand it as an authentic continuation of first century Christianity. Thus to me, converting to Catholicism, or another similar form of Christianity, like Eastern Orthodoxy, would essentially be, in my view, lying to myself in a noble way. And I don’t like lying to myself.

If you can find some way to reconcile Christianity, including the “turn the other cheek” ethic, and the eschatology of the meek inheriting the earth (which looks to me like a revolutionary, not a reactionary statement) with the idea of defending a great civilization, people, or culture by force, then more power to you. I cannot. I may just lack the ability to do the proper mental gymnastics. Do not take this as an insult.

If my viewpoint on this subject continues to be a bother to some, I may add to this post, write more posts, or simply point to other websites which cover what I am saying on a more in-depth scale.

And yes, I did listen to the podcast Ascending The Tower – Episode XV, Part 1 – “That Sort Of Christo-Pagan Thing” (link)

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16 thoughts on “On a Conciliatory Approach Towards Christianity

  1. I think reconciliation is not as difficult as it seems here. In the future, I expect Catholicism to cover a lot of places on this Earth and absorb each nation’s previous / pagan traditions into it. Following this, we Catholics could perhaps present a more welcoming attitude towards the rising trend of Paganism among white people. For example, it would be absolutely fine for a Norwegian Catholic man to both worship Jesus and wear a Thor pendant, and to revere his ancestors (I am from an East Asian country with a tradition of worshipping ancestors, and Vatican has so far been perfectly happy with letting us keep that tradition, so I do not see why the same could not happen for Europeans).

    As for the turn the other cheek thing, one has to know how to interpret the Bible so that it does not come across as a sort of cuckery. Unfortunately, many Catholic churches today have been teaching this cuckery, which I believe to be a deliberate effort by the many closet heretics who run the Church these days. They shall be dealt with as soon as we come into power.

    And “the meek inherit the Earth”? Well, it depends on how you take the Revelation. I personally take Catholic end time prophecies seriously, so I believe that even now Europeans are in a weak position in terms of ethnic competition, God will not forsake them and will aid them in driving the Muslims out. But even if you do not believe in it, then it still applies. Are we not in a weak position compared to the invaders? And yet, many times in man’s history, a kind of event has always happened: a group of rebellions, who started out outnumbered and outmanoeuvered by the enemies, but nevertheless managed to overcome these obstacles and claim victory in the end. Which was how the Balkan and Spain was recovered from the hands of Muslims. From my point of view, those events were nothing short of divine assistance and providence. So I believe Christianity is at least superior to atheism and some other faiths in this regard, that it gives hope to you even in the darkest moments of your life. I have got a few experiences in which I felt despaired and thought I would be overcome with nihilism, but through my faith in God, I did not give in to it. The same could be said for the coming battles that Europeans face. Who knows, if in a moment of despair and hopelessness, some field commander who is a nonbeliever decides to do the unthinkable and start to pray to Jesus, and then lo and behold, a voice comes into his head instructing him battlefield strategies, and leads him to victory? That’s why I believe in Him.

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  2. Catholicism, by the way, is still a valid continuation of first century Christianity. It still focuses on helping the poor and downtrodden, and giving them hope in life. And just like how Christianity absorbed Jewish traditions, it is reasonable for Catholicism to absorb the traditions of each nation that it comes across. Hope this helps you.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment on my post. I suppose that in many ways I could be considered a cultural Christian, in the traditional sense. From what you have described there does seem to be a sort of yin and yang or feminine and masculine impulses to Catholicism. We are living in a time period when the yin has overtaken the yang. The Church needs to find a way to deliberately balance the two.

      I must confess that I am somewhat of a pessimist about the ability of Christianity, or any traditional religion for that matter, to reestablish itself in certain western countries which are highly secularized, and have a de-facto official religion of atheism. Sweden is a good example of this. In these types of places, it might take something more like the Cosmotheism of William Luther Pierce to coax someone towards a theistic worldview in which there is a clear purpose to living.

      The other thing that I forgot to mention, is that my blog has, in a de-facto manner, become something of a bridge between the hard empiricism and rationalism of Curt Doolittle, and the traditionalism and mysticism of more religious neoreactionaries such as Nick B. Steves. While I enjoy entertaining both viewpoints, it can become a burdensome debate to carry on over a long period of time, and I think it would be helpful if neoreactionary leaders such as Curt Doolittle and Nick B.Steves conversed about this subject matter openly on Social Matter or another NRx hub site.

      You have good insights and I think I will go check out your blog when I have the time.

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  3. Thanks. I am aware of the divide you speak of between the Curt Doolittle and Nick B. Steves folks. It has been manifested in a blog post as NRx vs HRx, which I believe is very similar to your Varuna/Mitra divide: https://froudesociety.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/hrx-takes-its-exit/

    I would even say that Nick is leaning closer to NRx, while the Alt Right is more or less HRx. I am definitely HRx type. My goal, of course, is to balance NRx and HRx, and then repackaged it into something powerful. A blogger named Mark Citadel, whom I and many other reactionaries really hold in high regards, has been doing so. You might want to check out his writings at http://citadelfoundations.blogspot.co.nz/

    Now, Mark is Orthodox. My goal, is therefore to do something similar to him, albeit from a Catholic angle.

    As for the current state of the Catholic church and the West, yes, I think people would be more inclined to be a pagan rather than a Christian. The former is both more organic and less abstract than the latter, and gives them a more defined identity. I am thinking about how the Church can integrate the non Christian philosophical / spiritual traditions of this world, including Paganism, into its corpus. I have done a podcast about it, and will write more about it later.

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  4. Problem: crypto-protestant/primitivists continually reemphasizing this or that cucked talking point from the bible (ie, acting as self appointed priests and arbiters of doctrine).

    Solution: decentralize the position of bible occupies/reemphasize the primacy of ecclesial auctoritats, as was customary throughout history (it was the bishops and archbishops who approved what writings were to be considered part of the bible or not in the first place after all).

    Stilted example in operation: “you can’t do [jus shitlordin thingz] cause Jesus said turn the other cheek!” /goonface

    Rejoinder: “You have neither ability nor authorization to pronounce on such topics in such a way: know your place.”

    Short and sweet, and not actually getting into the particulars of whatever the matter at hand may be. As in many things, its all about frame. Engaging with the leftsperg directly on matters of righteousness may certainly be possible at the limit, but it is also tiresome and taxing, and implicitly grants him the frame that such things are open to debate (by *him* particularly) in the first place.

    The elegant troll is always economical and efficient with his effort expenditure relative to his opponents; undercut the very foundations of such an attempt to begin with.

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    1. Yes, I can understand where this approach would be useful in a dispute which is centered around Christian religious morality. However, if you are dealing with a person whose moral philosophy is not religiously based, a different approach may be necessary. And yes, engaging with the leftsperg directly is taxing, and trolling is probably fit for most situations where the conflict is low profile and won’t have a large impact beyond the internet platform one is using. However, there are some issues which the left considers to be not open to debate, such as race realism, which ultimately require some debate in order to move the overton window towards our direction.

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      1. >However, if you are dealing with a person whose moral philosophy is not religiously based, a different approach may be necessary.

        Not really; always and everywhere it is men that rule, not laws, as the laws of men are the creations of men, and merely extensions and expressions of their rule, and will always ultimately be outflanked by creation, which is so much greater than the ability of anything inside of it to fully conceive of it.

        Getting rid of explicit thought leaders does not get rid of thought leaders; you simply have implicit thought leaders instead. And the selection mechanisms for implicit thought leaders tends to select for traits so much worse then any mechanism you could possibly come up with in good faith for an explicit example, save those mechanism that themselves reflect informal status games (ie, democracy). No throne goes unoccupied: if a man does not rule, demons will in his stead.

        Gas the low church, bishopric war now.

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  5. I understand what you are getting at; a non-religious individual could make the same snide remark regarding turning the other cheek that a religious one could, and in both cases, the authority ultimately lies with the bishop, because the dispute is religious in nature, therefore it should be left to the proper religious authority. I like your advocacy of explicit thought leaders, but I would say that with the current cosmopolite pope, it is evident that great care needs to be taken in any organization of explicit thought leaders to ensure that the right thought leader takes the throne.

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    1. More than that, it’d be just as important even if you’re a hindu in Delhi.

      A good church devalidates and neutralizes self appointed priests and self appointed priesthood in general; ie, pretenders to ecclesial charism; ie, any who would so claim to hear the voice of god as continually expressed and revealed through his creation so much more clearly than his fellows.

      Concordantly, a very *wicked* ideology exhorts its faithful to each all be self appointed priests, and more, self appointed *inquisitors*, constantly on edge, scrutinizing friends and family, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, for any signs of insufficient advocacy or execution of the ideological precepts (be they ‘liberty’, ‘equality’, ‘the rights of man’, or other reductionist fantasies).

      Different modes of though are more adaptive at different levels of context. In more limited, parochial, deterministic contexts (for example, engineering, martial arts, medicine, etc), more experimental, ‘plus ça change’ modes of thought can be more adaptive, because 1. feedback is almost immediate and immediately obvious, meaning 2. its easier to interpret and *understand* what caused what, thus making it easier to deal with ideologically bound spergs who try to insist that what is is not for their own aims, and 3. *failures* that result from mucking around would, themselves, be smaller in scale and limited in scope.

      As you broaden the context though, ascend higher to more transcendent contexts, things change. Things like running a country, or running a *civilization*. (Things like running a business or military outfit occupy something of a middle ground).

      Its not that there is not a range of better or worse possibilities in such things, as there are in all thing; its that *you*, specifically, imaginary interlocutor, have neither the faculties, nor the information, nor the right incentives, to be making such judgements on such things. The very attempt to try and think to come up with something better is most likely to result in something *worse*.

      The very fact of a certain state of affairs existence over a long period of time is, in itself, proof positive of a certain level of adaptiveness and selection for by Being; something that *cannot* be said for a near infinity of other, unrealized possibilities. If in promulgating an ‘innovative’ policy, one cannot find an actual example of it working somewhere in history, almost 100%, it is likely to be a perfidious calumny. That is the essence of conservatism, which is essentially an epistemological device.

      Moreover, it is the fact that the broader and more transcendent the context in question is, the more side effects and unintended consequences any sort of ‘experimentation’ may have. An attitude that may be appropriate in a microscopic laboratory environ is wholly *inappropriate* when turned on your own house. One of the key principles of the experimental method is poking things till they fail, since seeing *how* they fail can itself provide useful information. If you apply that same blase, unconcerned, (sociopathic) attitude to your communities, your society, *that you’re living in* though, well, you may see the slight issues with that. The would be managerialist would swiftly end up crumbling the very ground out from underneath his feet. The would be managerialists *are* swiftly crumbling the ground out from underneath our feet.

      The cry for ‘experimentation’ to divine more optimal social arrangements, is the cry of someone who is *incapable* of imagining such teleologies working in such contexts altogether to begin with.

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      1. He who would claim to hear the voice of god so much clearer, let him demonstrate it. Let him shew it first through the fruits of his lesser virtues.

        Ie, something much easier to verify.

        Ie, if a private can’t even run a cleaning detail, why would you trust him to run the armory?

        So often, those conditional solipsists so inclined to leftism, will make pretense at highly rarefied (and hard to verify) topics, as a smokescreen over their complete lack of ability, which would be exposed otherwise.

        So often, it is to distract *themselves* from having to face such a fact; it consoles itself, that though it may fail at this (and this, and this, and this), it is still ‘above it all’, it still has worth, and who cares about that stuff anyways compared to ‘higher’ pursuits.

        I respect many writers around the reactosphere, but sometimes some perspective would be good medicine, particularly whenever topics become personal (like the risible tendency of self-identified nrxrs to tut tut and counter-signal self-identified alt-righters).

        If they were not writing their blogs or pronouncing on such topics, what use would they be? If they were to be turned out onto the street tomorrow and told to get a job, who would take him? Those would-be academics springing up like fungus around think-tanks and universities, where would they be without that stream of manure keeping the pile high?

        Always take a reassessment when you find yourself using the same arguments as your enemy against a fellow traveler.

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  6. You had said:

    “I think it is fair to say that the leftist nature of the first estate today is largely due to the type of religion we have been living under for at least the past 1600 years, generally, Christianity, which devalues ethnicity, and encourages an excessive degree of moralism.”

    No. That is not fair to say. You’re throwing out 15 pounds of baby with a few ounces of dirty bathwater.

    You had said:

    “I understand how taxing Christianity can be. I understand how it stamps on one’s own will, imagination, and intellect. I understand why it cannot be at the very heart of the neoreaction.”

    I don’t think you understand either thing very well. Moldbug clearly sided with the medieval Church against the Protestants, and very much against every bone in his own body and upbringing. Please see Jim on Holiness Spirals. You have to have something in society that can put those down. The stablizing influence of an established religion is the only thing known to have worked. And it worked right up to 1517. Sure, we can theorize that something else might work too… but practically speaking I think we know the banner of any real Restoration: The Banner of the Cross.

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    1. I understand your way of thinking, but I can’t see Sweden going to go trad Catholic anytime soon. In fact, I highly doubt any high-IQ Northern European country will accept any kind of epistemologically dogmatic religion, they just aren’t wired that way; visit Jayman’s blog or HBD chick.

      I see early holiness spirals discussed in Bible as a result of the surplus of resources created by pre-Islamic Near Eastern agricultural societies. We have holiness spirals today because of a surplus of resources created by the industrial revolution. People don’t know what to do with all these resources, so they send them to countries to feed people with an average IQ is just above room temperature, so those people can give birth 10 more hungry mouths to feed (the absolute ban on contraception is another objection I have to Catholicism), and the people who do the feeding can then brag about their efforts at their Catholic or Protestant church. Obviously Catholicism doesn’t work at suppressing holiness spirals when the pope himself is virtue signalling, and then conservative Catholics have to put the mitre on their own heads to explain why the pope was wrong about the refugee crisis. I think holiness spiral behavior is something biologically wired in certain humans, and trying to suppress it with religion is as easy as suppressing masturbation with religion — it doesn’t work. I see taking advantage of other drives in humans — in–group loyalty, future-oriented thinking (which is more specific to high IQ groups), and the raw will to survive (something driven by competition for resources) as means by which the drive to holiness spiral can be suppressed.

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    2. Keep in mind I am not saying that Christian traditionalism cannot be a part of NRx, and I will also clarify that when I am referring to the heart of NRx, I am not just referring to Moldbug and his vasslas, I am referring to the uniting factor of the broader movement which includes people with various viewpoints on Christianity, including people bordering on the Alt-Right. I think I have been (perhaps naively) more bold than other critics of Christianity in NRx, but I think you would be able to find such viewpoints if you looked wider.

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