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Letters by a modern St. Ferdinand III about cults

Gab@StFerdinandIII -

Plenty of cults exist - every cult has its 'religious dogma', its idols, its 'prophets', its 'science', its 'proof' and its intolerant liturgy of demands.  Cults everywhere:  Corona, 'The Science' or Scientism, Islam, the State, the cult of Gender Fascism, Marxism, Darwin and Evolution, Globaloneywarming, Changing Climate, Abortion...

Tempus Fugit Memento Mori - Time Flies Remember Death 

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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Paul Johnson: 'The Quest for God: A Personal Pilgrimage'

An outline of why Christianity - in its essential form - matters.

by StFerdIII


Johnson is a superb historian and a Catholic. He has kept his faith over his 82 years. This is commendable. Johnson is much criticized for his pro-market; pro-individual and 'conservative' views. He was after all a well regarded speech writer for Margaret Thatcher, a position anathema to all the coveted beliefs of the really-smart-people. Today the Catholic church is a left-wing institution, whose members vote in a plurality for left-wing parties and programs. Johnson is one the few extant members who is still a conservative.

This book is an excellent read. It offers insights into how a person with a long and varied life such as Johnson, kept his faith. It is full of facts, ethics, and questions. You might hate religion, but there is little denying that some sort of faith, and spirituality is a necessity. Without a framework of belief, a person is easy prey for any state propagated cult which arises, that desires the complete control of the individual and the sublimation of the person into the communal. Without a framework of belief the natural egoism of the person supersedes other concerns and morality disappears from civilized society. As Johnson so rightly frames it:

“There are no commands to follow except what society imposes upon us, and even these we may evade if we can get away with it. In a Godless world, there is no obvious basis for altruism of any kind, moral anarchy takes over and the rule of self prevails.”

It is not the 'Church' that Johnson is defending or criticizing. It is 'faith' in the abstract. Morality as an existential and social program. Ethics as a means to personal fulfillment and success.

“Far more dangerous than the humanist impact have been the twentieth-century attempts to find substitutes for God – attempts both conscious and unconscious – which appeal not so much to the intellectual pretensions as to much deeper, darker, and stronger instincts in mankind.”

Quite right. The greatest crimes in history have been made by Statist governments who were morally anarchic and atheist. Today we have such cultish fantasies as Islam; Globaloney Warming; Gay Sex; Obama-socialism and other anti-reality constructs posing as moral-spiritual alternatives to fill the spiritual vacuum.

“Such totalitarian substitutes for religion spread rapidly in the 1960s, following the withdrawal of the colonial powers, to Africa and parts of Asia. Voltaire's dictum that religion was the enemy of mankind.....In the minds of almost all intelligent people in the West, these totalitarian alternatives to God...have now been demonstrated to be incorrigibly destructive and evil.”

Statism is evil, but its theology of control is mutable. Eco- Fascism; Corporate Fascism, various welfare policies, illegal immigration, appeasement of Islam, all geared to the destruction of the individual can and will find expressions in new and even more ludicrous programs and rhetoric. Yet the mass seems to indulge the state and even buy into many of the 'progressive' programs with nice, tear-jerking names and objectives.

How was the universe created? Why is there evolution? Is pantheism even rational? How can 'God' be in nature, in us and all around us? Johnson believes that God is a power, a definite and to the human-mind, supremely powerful 'thing'. He is not in a tree, a rock, a sparrow or the wind. He is in the human consciousness but also quite physically, separate from the human mind and body. He is the embodiment of love.

“Without love, the universe makes no sense at all. Love is its creative principle, its sustaining principle and its energising principle. God's love, being perfect, does not need or even expect reciprocation, while delighting in it, there is no symmetry between his love and ours.”

God's love is the key to natural law. As Johnson so capably puts it, moral relativism, the basis of Cultural Marxism and rampant, repugnant Statism, is an evil of gigantic proportions. There is natural law. By praying to the false prophet of cultural relativism, the modern world is self-destroying. There are immutable, God-granted, and naturally parametrized laws.

“But just as homo sapiens is the rational creature par excellence, so he is the morally coded creature par excellence, and that is undoubtedly part of God's scheme for the universe. Ours is not a chaotic universe but a universe of laws, and they include moral laws. We ignore them individually at the risk of our immortal souls, and mankind ignores them collectively at the risk of its social health and even existence.”

No better summary for natural law imperative can be written. Johnson is absolutely right on every score.

Why then wither the Church. Johnson does not address it. It is too bad. I would like to read his ideas on why Christianity is becoming marginalized in fast-Islamicizing Britain for instance, his home country. Or why within Continental Europe is statism and socialism so all-powerful as the Church[es] recede from view and social power?

I would forward that the Christian Church itself is largely to blame for this replacement of the Book of Matthew with state-ordered cults. The Church, in order to appease its critics, has in essence become little more than an organ for Marxist-socialist theology. This includes both the Catholic and the Protestant versions of Christianity. The Book of Matthew, the most formative text on ethics yet devised, has been replaced by homage to Globaloney Warming, Socialist economics, anti-Semiticism, sermons against capital and capitalism; and the cry of Internationalism, open-borders, illegal immigration and declarations of support and awe for Islam. The Church is openly ashamed of the Western world's history and civilized march. The Church has become morally, socially, and intellectually defunct. It is now part of the problem, not the solution.

The descent of the 'Church', which is viewed through its declining membership and shrinking congregations, is a by-product of its disavowal of what Christianity actually stands for. Reason flourishes best with faith. Spirituality gives rise to material progress. Mental therapy through ethics, prayer and humility, expressed oftentimes through meditation, is an important aspect of a healthy life-style. The decline of the Church is one of the most important and destructive trends in Western history. But in toto, the Church has only itself to blame.

The Church as allowed Cultural Marxism to bastardize its ethos and purpose. In its long-march through Western society in the past 150 years, Cultural Marxism has ravaged and eradicated much of what made the Church so important. So much of what the church stands for today is such utter bunk and not Christian at all in the real, practical, and rational sense of what Christianity offers. What then about God ? Isn't God dead or at least unimportant?

This is perhaps the most important theme that Johnson indirectly tackles. Why bother with God in age of iPhones and self-esteem? Aren't we all Gods? Don't all the us-Gods Twitter, YouTube, Blog, and give instant commentary which befuddles even the most Solomonic of our ancestors? Aren't we just so much smarter and better than our 'conservative', 'boring', progenitors? Johnson suggests that we need God and the image of a human-like deity:

“We have to anthropomorphise God to some extent because there is no other way, in practice, that we can imagine him. But beyond a certain point seeing him as man, or rather a superman, is misleading and dangerous....”

God might be in us, around us, and running through our conscience. He could just be 'goodness'. Or maybe he is a Zeus-like character full of sound and fury and at times quiet and tepid. No one knows.

The value of this work is that Johnson brings up plenty of evidence as to why God is a never-ending personal project of search, inquiry, debate and ultimately reason. It is in fact vital that each person try to understand their place in the world, and remove the ego from their reality by inquiring and discussing with themselves and others, the role of divine power, or at least the ethical code that such a power or consciousness must demand. We are not beasts, and we are not angels. What then is the purpose of this sound and fury? This is one reason that Christianity created the modern world. Embedded in Christian theology is debate, rational analysis, and the quest for truth. No other theology in man's history has provided such a framework. This book helps explain why. It is intelligent and forces you to think and no reader should ask more from an author.



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