Naming our Adversary

Taking demons seriously is not optional for Christians. Jesus – that is to say, God – believes there are demons. He believes that they are after us. He can’t be wrong – I mean, He’s God, right? So there are demons. That’s all. What more do you need to know? Do you believe the Creed, or not? If you do, then you believe what Jesus believed. So, you believe demons are real. They are as real as the flu you got over just last Wednesday, as real as the car door you slammed on your finger back in ’98. And they are after us. That’s it. Get over it.

Do you find it hard to believe that there are demons? If so, think for a moment about what is properly denoted by the term, “God.” Once one has taken on board that denotation – a being who calls the world into being at every moment from absolute nothingness, and who procures our continued existence from each moment to the next, together with all the causal regularities we are pleased to call “Laws” of Nature – why then, the notions of angels, or of Incarnation and Resurrection, or, a fortiori, of demons, are easy. Once one has turned and squarely faced what must be meant by “God,” if one is to speak coherently to begin with, why then nothing can ever again be a total surprise.

If you are a Christian, or even just a theist, then you know that anything – absolutely anything, within reason – might happen, at any minute. So, for Christians, while angels and demons might be only as real to them as, say, black holes, they are nevertheless real.

Demons are angels who have Fallen. What are angels? They are what the pagans understood as the gods of their pantheons. In the pagan religions, every creature of this world is inspirited by a god. Christians call those gods guardian angels. The notion of angelic guardianship is manifest in the Hebrew and Canaanite practice of calling the guardian angel of a people its “Shepherd.” Thus, the Shepherd of Israel is YHWH. Many ancient cultures understood their kings as incarnations of their angelic Shepherds.

Angels are all Sons of God, Sons of Heaven. Ancient peoples understood their angels as Sons of the Most High God (if you look carefully at ancient pantheons, you will sooner or later find that they all had a Most High God). Israel was unique among nations in believing that their angel, YHWH, was, of all the Sons of God, the only one who was begotten of his Father, rather than created and subsequently adopted.

How are we to understand angels? Well, one way that has made sense to me is to understand them as the principal actual instantiations of principles, of Platonic Forms. For every principle implemented in this world, there is a Principal. Thus there is, e.g., a Form of Man. And the Principal actual instance of Man is the angel of Man. He is the actual archetypal Man, of whom all men are quotations. To the extent that a created being is a man, he has felt and incorporated the influence of the angel of Man, and has been informed by that angel’s form; and this is how a man comes to have the form of a man.

But that is neither here nor there, really. It is just a way to understand angels, once one has recognized that God knows that angels and demons are real. It is not necessary to understand angels, in order to recognize that they exist, and to hold converse with them.

The demons are angels who started out good and then, quite literally, defected: they destroyed their initial perfection, introducing a defect to their own beings by deciding to disobey the Will of God, and pursue a path of their own. They have been dedicated to the pursuit of that path ever since. And since it diverges from the truly Good path willed by God, it is ipso facto an evil path. The demons are devoted to the implementation of evil. To the extent then that a man is good, they hate his goodness, and will do their best to destroy it; likewise, to the extent he is evil, they will encourage that evil. But the very existence of men is a good, for existence is the good that must be realized if any other good is to be realized. So the demons object to our very existence. They want us all dead. They will not stop their war upon us until we are either destroyed or converted to their side. Satan is the Angel of Death.

Now it is interesting that there are two movements in human history that have the same attitude toward their adversaries that the demons do: Islam, and liberalism. Neither of these movements will end their war upon us until we have all been either converted or destroyed.

I had always thought of those worldly adversaries as ideologies that have taken possession of human beings the way ideas generally do – because their adherents believe them true, or because they have been inculcated in those ideas since birth. I had been thinking of our adversaries as memes; as memetic diseases.

I still do. But I have come to think that there is more going on here than just some daft ideas. With the accelerating infanticidal developments of the last week or two, and after my conversations about them with Tom Bertonneau, Lawrence Auster, and Lydia McGrew, I had more and more been coming round to the idea that our principal adversary is, not Islam, not liberalism, not nominalism, not any “ism,” nor any devotees of any such ideologies, but Moloch himself, the demon Lord of Tyre, Phoenicia and Carthage, whose rites consumed thousands upon thousands of infant victims.

I turned the corner viscerally with a comment I insouciantly posted in a thread here at Orthosphere. Commenters were using Moldbug’s term for the academic / journalistic axis of evil, the “Cathedral,” and I asked plaintively if we couldn’t, please, call it something else, so that I could still love the word “cathedral.” A short discussion ensued, in which Joseph suggested that we call the font of evil propaganda by the name “Baalbek,” a city of Moloch, the devourer of children. I wrote:

Baalbek. Hm, that’s interesting. But Baalbek is not well enough known, and was never very powerful. How about Carthage, the Canaanite/Phoenician colony? Carthage was to its forebears in Syria as Britain was to … well, to all its Viking and Germanic antecedents. I mean, Britain was the greatest Viking nation ever, right? So, likewise, Carthage was the greatest Canaanite/Phoenician power ever.

We can be Rome, Athens and Jerusalem, contra Carthage, Crete, and Phoenicia.

A moment later I wrote another comment, and with it suddenly began to see things in a different light:

“We can be Rome, Athens and Jerusalem, contra Carthage, Crete, and Phoenicia.” Man, this war has been going on for a long time.

And then it hit me with tremendous force that we are fighting exactly the same enemy that Scipio Africanus fought. It is exactly the same enemy that Abraham, and David, and Leonidas, and Alexander fought. It’s Sauron himself, by God. He was on the other side at Manzikert, and at Salamis, and at Lepanto, and at Tours, and at Vienna.  

This war on Earth is just a theater of the War in Heaven.

So I humbly propose that we call our adversary by his true name: Moloch.

Give it a try for a few days. Whenever you would otherwise have written “liberalism” or “the left,” write “Moloch.” I think you will find that it rings true with a dreadful solidity.

Learning the name of a possessing demon is the first step toward an exorcism.

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104 thoughts on “Naming our Adversary

  1. So Islam is demonically inspired? This, of course, explains why every formal Islamic prayer begins with the following invocation of Divine protection: “I seek refuge in God from Satan the accursed” – words a pious Muslim will say, in Arabic, five times in the course of a day. As portrayed repeatedly in the Koran, Satan is a rebel against God and an enemy of mankind. Ch.7 of Fazlur Rahman’s “Major Themes of the Qur’an” provides a reasonable summary. The discussion on pp.139-42,152-5 of Sachiko Murata & William Chittick’s “The Vision of Islam” is also helpful.

    • Someone said to me that all religions are made up by men. I told them that is obviously true for the most part. But that got me to thinking. All those other religions out there are completely fabricated. Wow. Islam? Fabricated by Muhammed. Made up. Good job Muhammed, eh? Scientology. Mormons. Just made up.

      Or, they might be the creations of evil spiritual powers. Was Muhammed posessed? John Smith? Or were they legendary snake oil salesmen?

      • Earl,

        ” …they might be the creations of evil spiritual powers. Was Muhammed posessed? John Smith? Or were they legendary snake oil salesmen?”

        There is, since they are fallen angles and angels are hierarchically structured, an obvious hierarchy among demons. From this it follows that some of the religions, like Islam, were formed by eminent demons and snake-oil salesmen and Tele-Evangelists are the products of demons with lesser imaginations…

    • Peter: Even a good man can be possessed. Professing Christians can go about all day long saying “Lord, Lord!” and “lead us not into temptation,” while doing the devil’s work. Viz, Nancy Pelosi and Kathleen Sebelius. And me, more often than I’d like.

      And, even a religion that is riddled with falsehoods can produce great saints, and penetrating insight into profound truths. To think that a perfect religion is needful in order to be efficaciously religious is the heresy of Donatism. Man proposes; God disposes.

      But, by their fruits shall ye know them. Is it, or is it not, the case that Islam instructs Muslims to make war upon the infidel, and to persecute those who have not been killed and do not convert? Does any other religion impose such a requirement upon its followers?

    • Re: Kristor,

      My apologies for being waspish on this point and thanks for your patient forbearance.

      My position above is that it is unlikely that a religious tradition that grounds itself quite formally, explicitly and emphatically in the rejection of the Devil – “Satan the accursed” – is unlikely to be in the Devil’s pocket. Unless, that is, you want to propose the hypothesis of a devilish “double-bluff” in which Islam, in emphatically rejecting the Devil is unknowingly playing right into the Devil’s corner. Fine, the Devil is certainly in principle devious enough for such a gambit, but such a proposal lays Christianity open to precisely the mirror-image of the same hypothetical scenario. Indeed, as you go so far as to suggest, even Christians – at least Democratic ones – may be, as it were, renouncing the Devil with their mouths while doing his bidding with their hands. But if Christians, why not Christianity per se? The whole line of argumentation leads very quickly to an epistemic breakdown characterized by radical doubt. The ‘locus classicus’ of this argument is, of course, the ‘evil demon’ – posited by Descartes in his “Meditations on First Philosophy” – the mere possibility of which provokes epistemic crisis.

      As for Islam and its fruits, let me restrict myself here to a single reference – one I have had occasion to mention previously – of the many I might cite: the Persian poet and mystic Farid al-Din Attar’s “Memorial of the Saints” (translated under the title, “Muslim Saints and Mystics”; see http://www.omphaloskepsis.com/ebooks/pdf/mussm.pdf), in many ways the medieval Islamic equivalent of the popular Western medieval Christian work “The Golden Legend”. The highest fruits by which a religious civilization may be judged are its saints. Such is certainly true for Christianity, to its everlasting glory; you may judge whether the matter stands any differently for Islam.

      You ask, “Is it, or is it not, the case that Islam instructs Muslims to make war upon the infidel, and to persecute those who have not been killed and do not convert?” To answer this, you need to look to the Koranic testimony on the matter. It is a large topic, but in brief, the answer is a qualified “No”. This requires a brief demonstration, as follows – I beg your indulgence for its length. All translations are taken from Arberry, preferred among scholars.

      The Koranic directive against aggression in war and towards the cessation of conflict:

      “And fight in the way of God with those who fight with you, but aggress not: God loves not the aggressors.” (2:190)

      “If they withdraw from you, and do not fight you, and offer you peace, then God assigns not any way to you against them.” (4:90)

      “And if they incline to peace, do thou incline to it; and put thy trust in God; He is the All-hearing, the All-knowing.” (8:61)

      The Koranic promise of the possibility of accord between erstwhile adversaries:

      “Not equal are the good deed and the evil deed. Repel with that which is fairer and behold, he between whom and thee there is enmity shall be as if he were a loyal friend.” (41:34-5)

      “It may be God will yet establish between you and those of them with whom you are at enmity love. God is All-powerful; God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.” (60:8)

      “And thou wilt surely find the nearest of them in love to the believers are those who say ‘We are Christians’; that, because some of them are priests and monks, and they wax not proud.” (5:82)

      The Koranic claim of the freedom of individuals from compulsion in matters of faith:

      “No compulsion is there in religion.” (2:256)

      “Say: ‘O unbelievers….To you your religion, and to me my religion.’” (109:6)

      “And if thy Lord had willed, whoever is in the earth would have believed, all of them, all together. Wouldst thou then constrain the people, until they are believers? It is not for any soul to believe save by the leave of God.” (10:99)

      The Koranic claim of the Divine determination of religious diversity:

      “If God had willed, He would have made you one nation; but that He may try you in what has come to you. So be you forward in good works; unto God shall you return, all together; and He will tell you of that whereon you were at variance.” (5:48)

      “O mankind, We have created you male and female, and appointed you races and tribes, that you may know one another. Surely the noblest among you in the sight of God is the most godfearing of you. God is All-knowing, All-aware.” (49:13)

      “Had God not driven back the people, some by the means of others, there had been destroyed cloisters and churches, oratories [i.e. synagogues] and mosques, wherein God’s Name is much mentioned.” (22:40-41)

      “We have appointed for every nation a holy rite…” (22:34)

      The Koranic claim of the Divinely sanctioned diversity of salvation:

      “Surely they that believe, and those of Jewry, and the Christians, and those Sabaeans, whoso believes in God and the Last Day, and works righteousness — their wage awaits them with their Lord, and no fear shall be on them; neither shall they sorrow.” (2:62; 5:69)

    • Peter S.

      Satan is also known by his other name “The Father of Lies”…..
      Would it be to hard for you to imagine that Satan was the “inventor” of the so-called religion of Islam? Study its tenets.
      Would it surprise you if Satan would lie about who he is? Read the story of Mohammed’s “conversion” and the angel (demon) who choked him.
      Would it be beyond Satan to try to usurp God’ position…? Read the Bible…

      Isn’t the inscription on the shield of St. Michael the Archangel and leader of the heavenly armies the challenge “Who Is Like God”?

      On a personal note. Be careful when playing the “tolerance” shtick. The intolerant do not care about your tolerance…

      MOLOCH it is….

    • Peter,

      youtube ‘How mohammed received his 1st revelation’

      ‘The Satanic Verses’

      http://prophetofdoom.net/Prophet_of_Doom_11_Satans_Bargain.Islam

      Is the traditional account of Islam historical?

      http://spengler.atimes.net/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=17286

      The peaceful verses are relativised by the rule of abrogation

      http://markdurie.blogspot.com.au/2009/12/major-nidal-m-hasans-jihad-seminar.html

      A potent, resilient heresy I would have thought a prima facie candidate for the label ‘preternaturally inspired’.

    • So Islam is demonically inspired?

      Yes, as are all heresies, those divisions between G-d and man. Belloc was helpful to me in understanding this.

      Demons are real, but they aren’t necessarily conspicuous – they prefer to eat their hosts from the inside out, and they seem to like to start with perverting orthodoxy.

  2. “Again, you shall say to the Sons of Israel: Whoever he be of the Sons of Israel or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that gives any of his seed l’Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. And I will set my face against that man and will cut him off from among his people; because he has given of his seed l’Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name. And if the people of the land do at all hide their eyes from that man, when he gives of his seed l’Molech, and do not kill him, then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go astray after him, whoring l’Molech from among the people.” – Leviticus 20:2-5

    I suppose that places us in a very difficult situation.

    • Giving your seed to el Molech – “the god Molech” – was sacrificing your children at his altar. Joseph Arimatheus has suggested that abortion is the central religious rite of the new cult of Moloch.

      But I hope we may rest in thinking that we are not obliged to stone those who abort their children, because, except for a very few – the philosophical leaders of the abortion movement, I suppose? – they do not *understand* themselves to be particpating in a ritual sacrifice to a demon. They are not killing their children to propitiate a demon, but just for the sake of convenience.

      • “But I hope we may rest in thinking that we are not obliged to stone those who abort their children…”

        I know they rest in our thinking.

      • Just a linguistic quibble here: The first element in “l’Molech” is not “el” and does not mean “god”; it’s a preposition, usually meaning “to.”

    • It’s important to be careful about this. The terms Baal, Moloch and Ishtar are none of them univalently wicked. As with “sophist” and “gnostic,” the Enemy has perverted them.

      Baal is bar-el, son of the most high. So, it means, simply, “angel” or “deity.” YHWH is a Ba’al. He’s the King of the Ba’alim, the central light of the menorahs that grace catholic sanctuaries.

      Ishtar is Eostre, goddess of the dawn (and Asherah, and a host of other similar sounding names). She is the Morning Star, Venus; she is also, therefore, the Evening Star. In the West, we celebrate her annual festival three days after Good Friday. Jesus is the Son of the Morning Star; so she is associated with Mary, the Queen of Heaven, the Woman Clothed with the Sun (an evocative description of Venus in the eastern sky, bathed with the radiance of the Sun, her Son). The cult of Asherah was popular throughout the ancient Near East, but particularly in Israel – thus also in Galilee. Her token was the dove. Numerous ceramic molds for the production of circular wafers engraved with the image of a dove (such as those we eat at Mass) have been found all over Israel and Judah, dating from the intertestamental period all the way back. Asherah may have been the patron of the Temple virgins. If she is really Queen of Heaven, then she’s just a feminine angel.

      And “moloch” is just “melek,” “mighty.” So, Ba’al melek means just, “mighty god:” just what Isaiah called the messiah. The mighty god we call by the name Moloch today, the Ba’al Moloch of Tyre, was not actually named moloch; moloch was just an adjective applied to him, as it was to YHWH. The real name of the ba’al moloch of Tyre may not be known.

      But the ba’al moloch of Tyre became known popularly as Moloch, because that’s what people called him, just as they called YHWH Adonai. Our enemy is the demon who came to be called Moloch; would that we knew his true name. Until we discover it, everyone will know whom we denote, when we call him “Moloch.”

      • “… everyone will know whom we denote, when we call him “Moloch.”

        and that is all that’s necessary.

  3. I must agree with Peter S. Equating Islam with Moloch-worship or with liberalism is not justified by that faith’s beliefs or historical record. Why not just say that Muslims have an imperfect understanding of God?

    • bonald,

      next step on your journey would then be declaring Islam a Christian heresy >>> forgive>>> kiss the holy book>>>accept>>>then what?

      I don’t know how much and in what depth you have informed yourself about Islam. Because if you had, you would not say something like that. If there ever was a demonic cult, then Islam is it. Islam may not be the particular cult of Moloch, but since the demons are legion, there is one among them that fits the bill.

      Now, Liberalism IS the cult of Moloch, especially developed for the atheistic, hedonistic, child-murdering, Spassgesellschaft of modern man… it is just as demonic as Islam, but on another level of civilisational decrepitude…

      • But Mohammedism is a heresy, at least according to the Christians who experienced it in its early years. I do not think that Saint John of Damascus could be suspected of “kissing the holy [sic] book” or accepting the deviations of the infidels.

        All error is demonic, though some errors are more serious than others. Punic child sacrificers, Jihadists, Planned Parenthood employees, Presbyterians . . . there is no shortage of confused people in the world. Yet, the danger that they pose differs. I have no doubt that Saladin was more virtuous and had truer opinions about pretty much everything than your typical Unitarian Democrat who shops at Whole Foods, but I might rather have the latter day hippie in my society than Saladin. As Kristor says, Mohammedanism is a powerful opponent because it is so true, and yet it falls short and is set against us, whereas the progressive may come to see the error of his ways. The Dar al Islam is built to last, but the fantasyland of the Left’s expiration date is fast approaching.

      • I am sick and tired of Catholic bigotry here on the Orthosphere. Yes, we know you think all Protestant denominations are wrong; that’s part and parcel of being Catholic. Did you ever stop to consider that Protestants think that Catholicism is rife with error and heresy? Please keep your Catholic chauvinism to yourself, or find a more appropriate forum for it. Beyond that, internecine feuding is detrimental when we have liberalism seeking to extinguish us all.

        The Presbyterian Church was an early victim of liberalism in America, with a liberal coup at Princeton Seminary accomplished in the 1920s. This was followed by a formal split within the church. I agree that the PCUSA, the liberal descendant of the split, is teeming with error, but it is error born of liberalism, not of Presbyterianism. However, the other side of the split—the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, as well as like-minded churches, such as the Presbyterian Church in America, and other Reformed, Confessional denominations—rejects liberalism and holds to biblical inerrancy, amongst other beliefs.

        Presbyterians argue that their form of church government and organization goes all the way back to Abraham, with God’s church being led by elders, a practice also found in the New Testament (πρεσβύτερος presbyteros means “elder” in NT Greek, hence the name). (At least some) Presbyterian churches follow Paul’s example of church planting, then eventual local governance by the local elders. Distinguishing between elders and overseers (ἐπίσκοπος epískopos, i.e., “bishop”) in the church did not happen until the Second Century, suggesting this to be a human innovation, rather than a biblical practice.

        In any case, gratuitously lumping Presbyterians with Moslems and those who practice infanticide is offensive and counterproductive. Please find a more mature and thoughtful way to express your disagreement—or better yet, find another outlet.

      • William, I understand and sympathize with your hurt feelings on this score, but I hasten to say that I am morally certain that Joseph meant nothing by it. As an Anglican, I know that if he had said, “Episcopalians,” rather than, “Presbyterians,” he would not thereby have meant to indicate any pejorative judgement of the orthodox remnant of the Anglican Communion – such, i.e., as I. I would, that is to say, have understood him to be talking about that (predominant) portion of the Anglican Communion that is apostate. I feel sure that by, “Presbyterian,” he meant to indicate the liberal, heterodox creatures who go by that name, and who contribute the predominant influence to the public perception of Presbyterianism. Of that perception, let’s just say, “Calvin ain’t in it.” Nor, for that matter, are any Confessions or Creeds. The same goes, alas, for all the mainline Protestant species, all of whom are out in the deep end of the liberal waters. Which accounts for their extreme demographic vitiation.

        How can I be so sure of Joseph on this score? First, because I know him as a gentle, synoptic and compassionate soul, with great respect for the beauties so far produced by the Protestant churches. Second, because he happens to be Orthodox, so that the spats between Catholics and Protestants appear to him as essentially intramural to the Western Church, and as relatively interesting to him as the disagreements between Alexandria and Antioch might be to Pentecostals in Iowa.

      • I always appreciate your comments, Kristor.

        While you are certain that Joseph “meant nothing by it,” it is clear that his words conveyed a certain meaning nonetheless. Regardless of his (and others’) intentions, all I am asking for is consideration, recognition that while we differ in details—important ones, to be sure—we are united in Christ, that we share common ground and common enemies.

        I am so happy that the Orthosphere is a place for proper, ordered, measured discussions and debates. Gratuitous insults have no place here.

        If the Orthosphere is big enough to include a devout Buddhist (I benefit greatly from nilakantha108’s contributions), then certainly it is big enough to include traditionalist Christians of different denominations.

    • bonald, I don’t mean to confuse Islam and liberalism. Nor do I mean to say – nor, in fact, do I think that I did say – that all the works of either liberalism or Islam are wicked. In fact, it seems plain to me that this cannot be so. Complete and thoroughgoing wickedness is extremely weak (“wicked” is “weaked”), and could not have succeeded the way both liberalism and Islam have. The only way they could thus have succeeded is by expressing a number of important truths, or by appealing to truly good motives and reasons in their adherents.

      Nor do I think that either of those religions is demonic per se, or that they are the same thing as the forthright worship of Moloch. The outward worship of Moloch, the bad old-fashioned religion of Carthage and Phoenicia, is way too gruesome for today’s tastes. It must hide.

      It must hide in something beautiful, and attractive. And it would be silly of me to argue that there are no noble precepts in either liberalism or Islam. Obviously there are. That’s why they are so appealing. And those noble precepts are not from Moloch. Truths are all from Truth Himself, whether we use them for good or ill.

      I respect Islam, and treasure the Sufis. But I cannot gainsay the fact that Islam has been at war with Christendom, and with the body of Christ, since its very beginning. I am not so much at war with Islam, as Islam is with me. And Islam is a fell adversary. The nobility of its truths is the source of much of its strength.

      I say again, even a good man may be possessed, or perverted to evil works. So likewise for a people, a culture, or a cult. And there is no call for us to exult that there, but for the grace of God, go we. The fact of liberalism at the core of the West amply demonstrates that we are not immune from this disease.

      • HI Kristor,

        In general, I don’t object to what you’re saying, but there are differences of degree that we should keep in mind. If anything at war with God belongs to Moloch, then all of us sinful humans are at least partly in his camp. In a sense that’s true, but I think you’re wanting to refer not to run-of-the-mill weakness and error, but to a really diabolical force. I have no problem with saying that liberalism is Satanic, because its very principles are those of the rebel angels. Islam I would say is something that is mostly good but a little bit wrong. That doesn’t change the fact that it has been a threat to the West, just one may see a lion as an ontologically noble creature while not desiring it be in one’s close proximity. After all, Judaism has been the enemy of Christendom for longer than Islam has, but I don’t think it’s quite right to say that the Jews are explicitly in league with the devil the way the liberals are.

      • The Jews have not been stoning Christians since about 50. Relations between the Christian, Pharisaical, and Sadduccean Jews were actually quite good in the 60s. The antagonism between Judaism and Christianity since then has been predominantly pacific.

        Islam is a different thing altogether. It is an existential threat to the Church. It holds sway over 60% of Classical Christendom. It persecutes and kills its Christian subjects. Its clerics preach our destruction. I mean, these are just facts.

        If Islam is like a lion, it is like a lion that has acquired a taste for manflesh.

        But in a way, discussing Islam in this thread is rather beside the point. Islam having forthrightly declared its enmity with us, then whatever the source of that enmity, demonic or not, seeing that it has made war upon us continuously for 1400 years, we are willy nilly at war with Islam. It las left us no choice in this matter.

      • The contemporary Western fear of Islam, while certainly understandable, also rings strange to the ear under the least reflection, given Western colonial rule – in fact a systematic military conquest – over some 70% of historically Muslim lands and some 90% of the world Muslim population prior to second half of the 20th century and the widespread continued Western political, economic, cultural and military domination of Muslim countries. Further, the dysfunction and ugliness of much of the contemporary Islamic world may have as much if not more to do with its being civilizationally overtaken by the West in political, military and economic terms than with anything to do with Islam per se. This is certainly consonant with the reading of Ali Allawi’s important recent study, “The Crisis of Islamic Civilization”, for instance. Further yet, the contemporary Muslim fear of the West has far greater ground for legitimacy, however seldom perceived in the West itself. As a recent article I happened across put the matter:

        “Washington is now in the second decade of murdering Muslim men, women, and children in six countries. Washington is so concerned with human rights that it drops bombs on schools, hospitals, weddings and funerals, all in order to uphold the human rights of Muslim people. You see, bombing liberates Muslim women from having to wear the burka and from male domination. One hundred thousand, or one million, dead Iraqis, four million displaced Iraqis, a country with destroyed infrastructure, and entire cities, such as Fallujah, bombed and burnt with white phosphorus into cinders is the proper way to show concern for human rights. Ditto for Afghanistan. And Libya. In Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia Washington’s drones bring human rights to the people. Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and secret CIA prison sites are other places to which Washington brings human rights.”
        [http://thepittsfordperennialist.blogspot.com/2012/02/washington-lectures-beijing.html]

      • “…the bad old-fashioned religion of Carthage and Phoenicia, is way too gruesome for today’s tastes. It must hide.”

        Are 40 Million aborted American babies, never mind those in Europe and around the world of our degenerate civilization, not gruesome enough? The Phoenicians were altar-boys in comparison…

        Today’s “tastes” are in shock before the fact that the Phoenician babies were publicly burned alive, while the new form of Moloch-worship kills babies in an sanitized, non-public, environment and the sends the bodies to be disposed off as hazardous biological waste….

      • “…I don’t think it’s quite right to say that the Jews are explicitly in league with the devil the way the liberals are.”

        Who says that? The discussion is about is Islam a demonic religion and is Liberalism in the same category. I say yes to both and have to part with any apologist for Islam.

        Finding sugar-cubes in the teachings of Islam is not hard to do, since many things, also distorted, have “borrowed” from Christianity and Zoroastrianism. Any demon worth its salary would not construct something so blatantly evil that even the last of the slow-thinkers would not immediately notice. Give Satan some respect…

        To throw the Jews and their religion into this stew is disingenuous to say the least… The Jewish God is the God of the Christians as well, Moloch and Allah are definitely NOT. Oranges >>> Apples >>> Bananas.

      • Peter, the Muslims can hardly be surprised that when they wage war on us, we wage war back. Is our response disproportionate? All the more reason why they should refrain from provocations. They should be grateful that we of the West have been ambivalent and dilatory in our response so far, and have so far held back from the sort of total, annihilating war we customarily wage on each other.

        Nor is it quite fair to blame us for being a more excellent, powerful, capable civilization than they, despite our many admitted and egregious shortcomings. Just think how much *more* powerful and capable we would be, if it weren’t for our vices! Nothing we are doing is preventing their becoming just as excellent as we are, or more. Indeed, we are spending hundreds of billions on their oil, and on building their infrastructure, and importing millions of them into our lands, and educating their young. We might instead have enslaved them all, taken their oil, and left them in poverty, starvation and disease. It is within our power to have done so, ever since we conquered the whole of dar al Islam as a sideshow to our own internecine spats.

        If Muslim civilization is so great, then why have they not outpassed us? Why have they not already finished the establishment of the global caliphate? Why don’t they just beat us in open war, on the field of battle?

        It’s because they can’t. They tried, and they utterly failed. And the reason they can’t is not because they don’t have enough money or resources.

        More books are translated into Spanish every year than have *ever* been translated into Arabic. The reason we dominate them is not far to seek.

      • Re: Kristor,

        The critical “we” and “us” in your comment assumes a continuity of civilization that has, of course, been fundamentally ruptured – secular modernity is radically distinct from traditional Christian civilization after all, the continuities being largely those of geographical coincidence and historical descent. It is, in a way, very apposite that your originating post should address the existence of demons, for the very issue at hand, buried in your response, is that the West has made a Faustian bargain, a trade with the Devil – whether conceived figuratively or in actual fact – in which it gave up its soul for worldly power. It is no accident that the historical domination by the West of the rest of the world – with the Islamic world thrown into the bargain – went hand in hand with its turn away from religion and its loss of faith. We are, of course, living amidst the consequences of that midnight meeting at the crossroads long ago. And so we live, as a society, near the pinnacle of worldly influence, as we are progressively hollowed out by our own nihilistic emptiness.

        You speak of the ‘power’ and ‘capability’ of the West over its rival, but this is not the language of God and sanctity, but the language of Hell – the language of Screwtape, in fact. It is not Christian civilization that overpassed Islamic civilization – it never did so. Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798, the first obvious marker of Western dominance over Islam, was already in a context in which the cathedrals had been defaced, the priests slaughtered, the King and his family murdered and the Ancien Régime – in both its specific and general senses – destroyed forever. The categories of judgment are different than what you surmise: it is secular modernity, opposed to the Transcendent in its definitional principles, which stands opposed to the human condition under Heaven generally, whether in Christianity, Islam or elsewhere.

      • Peter, the fact that, “it is secular modernity, opposed to the Transcendent in its definitional principles, which stands opposed to the human condition under Heaven generally, whether in Christianity, Islam or elsewhere,” does not mean that Islam is not at war with the West. There can be more than one sort of conflict proceeding at the same time. The sad fact is that Islam is at war with the West: she made war on the last centuries of Classical culture, she made war on the Medieval West of 1000, she has been at war with the modern secular West through every stage of its development, and she will remain at war with whatever else the West might become, except it become Muslim, and in so doing perish; as she is at war with every sort of infidel. She is not at war with us because we are not sufficiently Christian, or traditional, or attuned to the Transcendent. She is at war with us because we are not sufficiently Muslim.

        Would Islam cease her enmity with us if we were to return to the traditional Christian cultural values that ordered the West a thousand years ago – when she occupied Sicily, Iberia, half of Italy, and much of southern Gaul, harried our trade, stole and enslaved our young – and when she besieged our brothers in the East? Why should she?

        Peter, I can tell you are a man of enormous good will, and that you are wonderfully alive to the good in other men and cultures. But I fear you face a terrible decision: do you love your own civilization above others, or not? Will you defend her against her adversaries, or not? If you cannot say with a whole heart, “yes, I love my civilization despite her flaws, as I love my family despite theirs, and I will defend her against her adversaries, as I would them,” then you cut yourself off from your patrimony, and must admit yourself no longer a patriot.

    • Bonald, if you’re not worshiping G-d, triune style, then aren’t you abandoning Him? I mean it’s either all Him, all the time, or it’s something of a deception (demon), isn’t it?

  4. There is nothing special about Islam. All heresies are demoniacally inspired.
    If you were in England in 1530’s and 40’s, you would have felt the same as you feel towards liberalism now. You would have seen desecration and looting of Churches, breaking of statues, killing of monks, ban on religious processions, attacks on Marian worship et al.

    • Gian: the physical evidence of iconoclasm in the great British cathedrals makes me physically ill. Visiting the ruins of Tintern Abbey was one of the saddest moments of my life.

  5. I’ve long suspected that although the early suras *might* have been dictated to Mohammed by a holy or angelic source, the early suras were dictated to Mohammed by a demon, or perhaps Satan himself. Is there any reason to doubt this?

    • Jonathan, why would good and evil angels do shift-work on Mohammed? I don’t understand why there is such a desire to find “good-thing” in that demonic construct.

      As I said before, Satan is not a simple-minded being. He is the Lord of Lies, he knows all the trick in his book…. we don’t.

      However,
      Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? (Mathew 7:16) Where and what is Islam gathering?

  6. I think most of what passes for liberalism in our day is far too banal to be demonic. Demons are terrors animated by unworldly spite and primordial resentment.They have stage presence. More often than not, they make themselves known. I don’t see Baal or Mephistopheles in the teeming presence of college kids who posture over inane causes like gay marriage, or the bored middle class white women who think ‘liking’ something on Facebook makes them great humanitarians. I just see a culture that has turned to gimmicks and political escapism in order to avoid confronting its imminent collapse.

    The destructive element in leftism does have a kernel of demonic influence, of that I’m sure. I suppose I’ll also grant you Islam, although it doesn’t seem quite as relevant here, living as I am on the West Coast of the USA and not on the peripheries of Muslim influence (and in any case I’d sooner ally with them than the left). But for the most part the left is more folly than fright. A powerful and hegemonic folly, to be sure, but something to laugh at all the same. On the other hand, I take demons much more seriously.

    • ‘….I think most of what passes for liberalism in our day is far too banal to be demonic.”

      I recommend reading c.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters”….

    • Carthage was a colony of Phoenicia, and continued its practice of ritual child sacrifice. I wouldn’t call the Romans simply good, but at least they didn’t do that. The practice was revolting to them.

    • “Why was Carthage evil and pagan Rome good?”

      Who made these generalizations? This debate is about the child-sacrifices to Moloch and its similarity to today’s state-sponsored abortions…

      Otherwise, the Carthaginians were no better or worse than the Romans. (although, I prefer the Romans for obvious reasons). Unfortunately for the Carthaginians, they got in the way of Roman imperialism and lost…

      • Roman paganism was different. Read GK Chesterton’s Everlasting Man, the chapter War of Gods and Demons for the Rome-Carthage wars

      • “Who made these generalizations?” Vergil, to cite one famous example. Rome was a traditional patriarchal society whereas Carthage, from what I understand, was a more liberal, feminist, materialist one. Too much goddess worship is a marker of a corrupt civilization.

      • Rusty, don’t you think Virgil could have been a tiny-winy bit biased?

        But I understand where you are going with this. I stated that I also prefer the Romans over the Carthaginians…. for some obvious reasons… ;-)

      • “Rusty, don’t you think Virgil could have been a tiny-winy bit biased?” Well, maybe just a little. ;-) But the story wouldn’t have worked if there wasn’t some truth in it.

  7. You can pretty much stop reading after the first paragraph: that’s everything you need to know. Demons exist. They hate us (in the metaphysical sense of the word: they will our sin). They endeavor constantly to corrupt everything good. Our Lord has told us as much, directly and through revelation throughout the ages. And the idea of the primary adversary of man as a being not ontologically equivalent to God but a subordinate who rebelled against Him (i.e., not an “evil God” but a “fallen angel” — a being whose evil consists precisely in his rebellion against his own natural goodness) also accords neatly with our understanding of good, evil, and being generally. We should be suspicious of incongruence if the Devil were thought to be God’s brother, but he isn’t.

    Peter S. makes a good point that it becomes tricky trying to pinpoint what is demonically inspired, and that we ourselves aren’t above suspicion. But of course we aren’t. There is a reason why, if the numerous revelations on the topic are any indicator, even the vast majority of baptized Christians go to Hell. I don’t think it’s necessary to explain the degree or extent to which Islam or liberalism are demonically inspired. It suffices to point out that they’re evil. And evil is a corruption of good, and corruption requires an agent or actor, no?

  8. “Islam is a different thing altogether. It is an existential threat to the Church. It holds sway over 60% of Classical Christendom. It persecutes and kills its Christian subjects. Its clerics preach our destruction. I mean, these are just facts.”
    Really facts? Islam holds sway over 60% of Classical Christendom since more than 1200 jears. And until recently millions and millions of Christians could survive in the lands of Islam, practice their faith and have their morals untouched. Yes, as dhimmies under a sometimes brutal rule. But even as dhimmies they were not made subject to sexual license and usury. That the Christians there are now facing extinction is because they are now, from the view of the traditionalists of Islam, siding with Moloch and Mammon, with sexual license and usury, with modernity and its wicked ways.
    This is tragic, because sometimes the enemy of your enemy is your friend.
    Who talks of Moloch should not be silent about Mammon. Because Mammon gave birth to Moloch.

    • All things considered, the Ottoman rule over Byzantine Christians was fairly lenient. The Rum Millet which organized the Christians of the Ottoman Empire was allowed the freedom to religious expression so long as it remained loyal to the Sultan. In fact, many of the Byzantines preferred Ottoman domination over the rule of Western Catholics, who by contrast did not allow them that religious freedom. Kallistos Ware makes much the same point regarding the Tatars and Nevsky’s Novgorod.

      • There is not much extraordinary in this. Wholesale barbarism in medieval period seems to be rare. After all, Islam is an offshoot of the West, as GK Chesterton writes, Islam is an arrow of West pointed in the heart of Asia.

        Periods of medieval barbarism are still remembered such as the eruption of Mongols and the rampage of Tamarlene.

    • I have a friend who is an orthodox Christian from Palestine. Sometimes we visit together a Serbian Orthodox Church. In this way I know quite something about what the Christians had to endure under Islamic rule. But even the Serbs despise their american “liberators” now more than their moslem neighbors. And my friend from Palestine was witness when the IDF – the force of modernity in this region- some years ago closed down all tv stations in his town and aired -as an act of psychological warfare- pornographic movies 24 hours a day. His family was as shocked as the muslim family next door.

      „The Dar al Islam is built to last, but the fantasyland of the Left’s expiration date is fast approaching.“

      The structures of sin, erected over centuries in the west are not a ponzi system and will not collapse like one.
      They are build to last and it will need centuries of repent-ion to evict the smoke of Satan and overcome the self sealing of the western mind within its godless dreamland.

      • “They are build to last ….”

        They will collapse in one fell swoop, the moment the money for bread and circuses runs out…. and the money of Mammon IS a Ponzi scheme… and Mammon has build its collapse into his game.

      • And you think when the system of prosperity by usury collapses, millions of men will suddenly stop watching pornography and millions of women will stop aborting their children etc.? Mammon´s false promises shielded us a while from the consequences of Moloch´s nightmare as much as they enabled the perversity of his system.

        „A man going uphill may be at the same level as another man going down hill; but they are facing different ways and have different destinies. Our world, passing out of the old Paganism of Greece and Rome towards the consummation of Christendom and a Catholic civilization from which we all derive, is the very negation of the same world leaving the light of its ancestral religion and sliding back into the dark. …
        The future to envisage is a pagan future, and a future pagan with a new and repulsive form of paganism, but none the less powerful and omnipresent for all its repulsiveness.“
        Hilaire Belloc

      • Mr. Fink,

        Necessity is not only the mother of invention but also of virtue. Profligacy leads to death without significan crutches. When the treasure empties, the masses will still be wicked, but their wickedness will no longer be cushioned. Men will feel the material consequences of their evil. Having forsaken their spiritual side, they have become blinded to the spiritual damage of evil. Yet, they remain animals while they draw breath, and bodily suffering will teach them at last. The herd will be culled. Such must happen; that is why the expiration date is coming. Sodom would have self-destructed — a thoroughly debased society is not sustainable.

      • Maybe Joseph, maybe. I notice that many people really have difficulty to understand, why and in which ways sexual liberation is a form of social control. There is so much talk about the evils of liberalism. People should read Dostojewsky (Die Dämonen – Brüder Karamasov) to get the mind of the revolutionary. “Fire in the Minds of Men” from James H. Billington is also not bad. And “Libido Dominandi” from Michael E. Jones. The revolutionary faith (and it is a faith) is an old heresy but at the same time something new. Even Sodom had not opened the door for the Adversary that wide and complete. And an economic and social breakdown will not close this door. No way. I hope I am wrong. You see, an ExAlcoholic who got, by the mercy of God, really and irretrievable sober, can see the workings of alcohol in very subtle ways. Someone who had never problems with alcohol usually cannot see that ways. And I got the impression that an ExRevolutionary and ExSexualLiberator who got, by the mercy of God, really and irretrievable sober, can see the subtle workings of sexual liberation and the revolutionary mind in our society much more clearly. The subtle ways. I sometimes wonder about conservatives. Some of them just want to go back to the 80s. And for others the 50s was paradise. And they stare blank when you tell them about Sayyid Qutb, one of the founders of the Muslim Brotherhood, who was 1949/1950 in the USA and was disgusted because he could see sin everywhere. He probably could not appreciate american freedom. Yeah. You see, when I say I am proud to be a German, I am proud of something that has its root in premodern times, in the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. Can an american be proud of something which is not already a creation of Modernism?

      • “You see, when I say I am proud to be a German, I am proud of something that has its root in premodern times, in the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.”

        Thomas, my ancestry as well goes deep, more than half a millennium, into the German past and I honour that past. However, when I look at Germany today I see a deep pathology, inflicted by re-education, actually brainwashing, and a willingly accepted liberalism of the worst kind.

        There is the long history from Otto I. the Great, Emperor in 962, to Angela Merkel in 2012 which is divided into two parts….. The all-encompassing, all-important, all-consuming time of 12 years from 1933 to 1945 and the rest of 1050 years. The appropriate adjective of the latter seems to be ” Oh, never mind”

        And then there is “die bunte Spaßgesellschaft!” of today. The German nation and its people are sick to the bone, spiritually and physically.

        What is surprising to me (not really after what we are here discussing) is that this sickness of heart and soul seems to be consuming now all of western men.

        As for myself, and I said this already above, I will detach myself as much as possible from modern society (can a goldfish detach itself completely from the pond?) and try and live a life in communion with my fellow believers and hope to honour God’s commands as much as I can.

        However, if even the smallest opportunity arises, I will happily kick the can of Moloch further down the road that leads to the precipice….

      • What you say about the Germany of today is true, Joseph. Sadly so. But still there is an ironic twist: The medicine the re-educators gave us, was swallowed by themselves. And it turned out to work on them much more worse. Look at France, England and America the Great in terms of multi-cultural society. Much more worse. We have our Turks. But their social disfunctionality cannot be compared with that of the Pakistanis in Britain, the black undertow in America and the Arabs and Negros in France. There is underlying the „bunte Spassgesellschaft“ a resistance regarding the instructions of the Overlords in Germany. A resistance which not expressed in political parties or movements and which would be actually denied by most of the persons who are actually resistant. It will surface when the tight grip of our american Overlords is loosening due to problems of their own.

      • Thomas Fink, zwei Schnäppschen im Freundes- und Familienkreis und das Ventil auf dem Druckkocher fängt an zu pfeifen… ;-)

        I am visiting Germany in June and will enjoy the Schnäppschen and the whistling…

      • Thomas Fink, that’s a great analogy between being an ex-alcoholic and an ex-liberal. Very useful.

      • Thank you Kristor. I still have difficulty with the terms liberal or liberalism. They have so different connotations in Europe, especially in Germany, from their use in America. Ein Liberaler in Germany is not inevitably an american liberal. A american liberal is for a German a revolutionary (now predominantly in the sense of cultural revolutionary) and a socialist.

  9. MAMMON’S SERVANTS

    “The ethical principles on which Islamic finance is based may bring banks closer to their clients and to the true spirit which should mark every financial service.” “Islamic finance proposals and the West in crisis,” Loretta Napoleoni and Claudia Segre, L’Osservatore Romano as reported by Bloomberg.

    “It can be convincingly argued that the spirit of Sharia is governed by a strong sense of social justice, fraternity, equality, and co-operation.” Islamic Economic Systems, Farhad Nomani & Ali Rahnema, p. 59.

    “Shariah finance is a threat to Western values, human rights and US national security.” Sharia Finance Watch, Center for Security Policy (May 21, 2011) founded by Frank Gaffney, Jr

    “The markets in the West are saturated, or, perhaps more properly, the people are exhausted, and dying. The population in the United States is now declining, just as in Western Europe. The housing market is in its worst decline since the Great Depression. Manufacturing has been shipped overseas for the most part. New families are simply not being created as the traditional family has dropped to less than half of all households. Gen Xers and Gen Yers are living at home with their parents and not venturing out to create their own households, and there is a growing exhaustion and malaise in the hearts and souls of Americans and Westerners. Like the old horror movies from the 1960s and 1970s that showed Martians or some other creatures from a dying planet trying to colonize the Earth because their home planet was dying, America, and Western Europe, have to colonize -by opening markets- the healthy, young, teaming, vibrant Moslem world of nearly 1.5 billion souls. That is a huge, untapped potentially lucrative market of producers and, especially, consumers. Such large numbers promise enormous profits for banks that can use the tried and true tool of enslavement —interest— to both reap profits and keep the Moslem people in bondage. The obstacle to this plan is the religion of Islam, and so Islam must be subverted or stripped from the populace. And the way of doing that is to wage a war, called a “war on terror” against “extremist” or “radical” Islam.

    With the surrender of the Catholics (1965) and the collapse of the Soviet Union (1991), the next obstacle to capitalism, and target of America, became Islam. The war is fought in large measure like the Cold War or World War III—psychological warfare with limited kinetic operations (that is, shooting, or bombing, or otherwise killing people). Because of the nature of Islam and the social structures of the Islamic countries, the war has to be intergenerational, and for America, it is a race against time as it collapses demographically and economically.

    Of course, the Masters of Discourse are shrewd and they have observed that Islam lacks a central, universally recognized hierarchical authority (in contrast to, say, the Roman Catholic papacy) which complicates the work of “moderates,” who, as Catholics should know by now, are fifth columnists who will deliver their own people up to Mammon’s servants. It is clear that the Zionist-Americans know that the influential Islamic scholars and commentators along with the institutions devoted to Islam, have to be targeted and undermined. A doctrinal war is now being planned and waged against Islam just as it was successfully waged against Catholics two generations ago. This kind of rhetoric is meant to obscure what is apparent to the West’s own chattering class–which is that Shariah law (and hence, Shariah finance) is a good thing. David Lamb, a journalist and eight time Pulitzer prize nominee, spent several years living in Arab lands in the 1980s. He wrote a book entitled The Arabs: Journeys Beyond the Mirage in which he interviewed Frank Vogel, a lawyer, and a Fulbright scholar engage in studying Islamic law for a Harvard doctorate in the field. Vogel said `The Shariah has gotten a bad press in the West simply because it runs counter to our trends of thought…We treat morality and behavior as an individual matter. The Saudis treat them as social matters that are the responsibility of the entire society. Why s the Sharia effective? Because there’s basically no crime in Saudi Arabia. In the United States how many women are raped each year? How many people are killed? How many billions of dollars are spent on burglar alarms and anticrime devices?´ Lamb compared the figures that Vogel gave him of crime in all of Saudi Arabia with crime statistics just in Los Angeles County in one year and the result was shocking: Saudi Arabia, 97 murders and LA County, 1,415 murders; Saudi Arabia, 14,220 major/minor crimes reported, LA County, 499,499 ar- rests for felonies and misdemeanors. Lamb observed from his years of living in the Middle East that the Muslim economic system is based on reason. He wrote that at `the heart of the system are the Muslim beliefs that wealth is transitory, that money is not a commodity and that those blessed with abundance have an obligation to share with the less fortunate. The Koran urges individuals to labor and increase production it encourages the acceptance of risk but forbids speculation.´ This is a humane and human system, much like Christian nations used to be when the West had Christian nations, because as Lamb notes, if one is `poor and want to buy a house, the bank may give you–yes, give you–the necessary money. It provides numerous college scholarships and donates 2.5 per- cent of the shareholders’ profits to charity each year…. You want to build a factory or start a business? The bank may write you a check, interest free, that will make you a partner. You and the bank then share the profits or losses of the venture.´

    To defeat the capitalists, Islam, and hopefully some day the Church leadership, must recognize the true object and nature of the so called War on Terror which is to subvert doctrine and corrupt morals so as to colonize the Moslems to turn them into servants of Mammon. Materialism, technology, and false doctrines like freedom and democracy must be rejected, if Islam is to remain pure, because all of these things go together to serve capitalism. This may be best done by educating the Moslem people to the horrors that capitalism has brought to the people of the United States and the countries of Europe, all of whom have rejected Christ, and hence, God. If Islamic societies keep Allah foremost and maintain Shariah law, they may keep together their community and they may successfully resist the American assault. And, Islam helps in that regard by making more babies than the dying West.
    Catholics and Moslems have common ground in the economic arena, which is crucially important at this time of collapsing economies in the West and struggles in the Middle East, all of which affects perhaps half of the world’s population. Americanism and capitalism are not friends of either Catholicism or Islam, and though the Catholic mind is conquered by the same ideology that is now seeking to conquer the Islamic mind, Catholics should hearken to the truth in the Arabian proverb that `The enemy of my enemy is my friend.´ Catholics and Moslems should take the Holy See’s advice and join together in building a better economy for the world.”

    From “The War against Islamic banking” by David A. Wemhoff, Culture Wars Magazine 09 + 10 / 2011

      • Sorry, if you got that impression, Joseph. But my quote was not meant offensive. It was just for illustrating that `The enemy (Islam) of my enemy (Modernism) is my friend.´

      • Thomas, I got that. But I think that is offensive. That is what I mean with purging the devil with Beelzebub…

        As an Orthodox Christian I have my own ideas about Islam. Islam will NEVER be my friend…

    • Mr. Fink,

      I understand your warm fuzzies for the Musulmans. I respect the Ummah Wahida a thousand times more than leftist Westerners, their idiocy, and their filth. I have had many cordial relations with Muslims, and I have enjoyed my travels in Turkey (gasp — yes, I like even the Turks) and in Palestine. However, such does not blind me to the chief goal of Mohammedanism itself, which is to subdue the world to what its practitioners hold to be the law of God. We must tirelessly oppose that. We cannot let the sad remnants of Christendom to enter the Dar al Islam. Such societies will be lost forever. You seem to maintain that the Christian West has already been lost and exists only in the past, but that fate has not yet been sealed. There is time, yet, for renewal.

      I respect the Mohammedans, but I recognize that, in the end, they’re on a different team — and I want my team to prevail.

  10. Theologically speaking, its quite probable that God has hardened the hearts of apostate sinners, made man prideful, instigated revolt against Christ as both a crime and a punishment for mans’ collective transgressions, and animated Moslems to war against all of them as a vessel of His wrath. That’s the Christian perspective.

    The Dungeons and Dragons playing fag perspective is that Moloch and Sauron are level 9000 evil wizards who are being mean to the Elven folks.

    • “Theologically speaking, its quite probable that God has hardened the hearts of apostate sinners, made man prideful, instigated revolt against Christ as both a crime and a punishment for mans’ collective transgressions, and animated Moslems to war against all of them as a vessel of His wrath. That’s the Christian perspective.”

      So, God has done all that? What kind of god are you talking about? Definitely NOT the God I worship.I think what is lacking here is a basic understanding of the tenets of the Christian faith… Your scenario is what usually goes for Islamic Theology… this god of yours entertains himself by moving us about like chess-pawns. Well come to think about it, Zeus and his merry band could have done something similar as well…

      • That the French Revolution, the Bolshevik nightmare and now the endgame of Modernism is a punishment from God, that´s not an alien issue to Christian Theology. Read the the Popes from the 19th and early 20th Century especially Pascendi, the great Encyclical Letter of 1907 St Pius X, read Joseph the Maistre etc.

      • “That the French Revolution, the Bolshevik nightmare and now the endgame of Modernism is a punishment from God,….”

        Thomas, not in my book… it is man-made evil, supported and instigated by the devil. God does not do evil…man turning away from God is creating evil. God may allow it to happen, but that is different.

        But it is late and I am in no mood to give an Orthodox apologia on evil…. maybe some other time.

      • “made man prideful”

        The issue here is interesting, inasmuch as at least some… like me… are willing to entertain the idea that some aspects of modernity are the result of an inadequate theology. If you read something like Hume’s Natural History of Religion, you can get a very good feel as to why atheism / agnosticism is a very persuasive position *as a response* to a particular variety of theism. One such variety might be a version where God causes us to do bad things so he can punish us.

        And, frankly, with particular varieties of theism, the correct response does seem to be something like Ivan Karamazov’s opt out: well, if that is the way the world is, I’m afraid I cannot accept it thus and must be a rebel against God. Not that I think that such ideas of theism are true, or even possible; or that I think Ivan’s opt out is justified; but, when faced with such an idea of theism, the opt-out suddenly becomes very persuasive.

        So you have to look at the truth in the liberal critique of religion. There’s some.

      • “…….And, frankly, with particular varieties of theism, the correct response does seem to be something like Ivan Karamazov’s opt out”

        I agree. However, my reply would be that there is only one orthodox Christian theology and there are many heterodox attempts. I consider that particular “theology” heterodox if not heretical.

        So I can see Ivan K’s. “opt-out” as the logical result of accepting a flawed theology..

      • If your theology pushes you to a *moral* rejection of God, then you can be sure there is something wrong with your theology.

    • “The Dungeons and Dragons playing fag perspective is that Moloch and Sauron are level 9000 evil wizards who are being mean to the Elven folks.”

      Pretty much.

      • “The Dungeons and Dragons playing fag perspective is that Moloch and Sauron are level 9000 evil wizards who are being mean to the Elven folks.”

        “Pretty much.”

        Kirillov, pretty much what? The uttering of a basement-dweller of late adolescence? It sure sounds “theological” to me, no?

      • Calling liberals minions of Sauron is LARPer Dungeons and Dragons shit. I don’t people who talk like that seriously.

      • Are we going to make fun of Jesus the disciples too?

        Mat 17: The disciples tried to cast out a demon named Frieza, but his dragon power level was too high. Our heroes fled to their master, Jesus, who finished the demon with his Faithless and Perverse Generation Death Beam.

        Acts 19: Paul receives a +5 handkerchief of demon turning?

  11. ”So, God has done all that? What kind of god are you talking about? ”

    An omnipotent and omniscient one.

    ”Definitely NOT the God I worship.”

    That’s wonderful. The ”God” you worship is a friendly gay man who loves everybody.

  12. ”Thomas, not in my book… it is man-made evil, supported and instigated by the devil. God does not do evil…man turning away from God is creating evil. God may allow it to happen, but that is different.”

    You follow a Manichean heresy.

  13. ”Sorry, if you got that impression, Joseph. But my quote was not meant offensive. It was just for illustrating that `The enemy (Islam) of my enemy (Modernism) is my friend.´”

    Absolutely correct. Moslems are carrying out God’s will.

  14. @Kristor – I think you are now beginning to discover why I screen all comments on my blog.

    I’m afraid that it is necessary.

    Or else one must be a swift and ruthless deletor – but a man must sleep!

    • Many blogs have disabled comments altogether.

      Instead, readers who wish to respond are encouraged to write articles on their own blogs. Or, in the case of a community blog like this one, to submit a full-length article of their own.

      This ensures a more thoughtful, responsible conversation. It’s the online equivalent of the model used by academic journals.

      Lawrence Auster has his readers send him email, which he then reviews and selectively includes in his blog entries. This is the “letters to the editor” model. It requires more work from the “editor” but helps preserve the focus and tone of the blog.

      Comment threads, moderated or not, tend to drift away from the topic of the original blog article, as readers begin to respond to each other’s comments. (Example: the comment I’m writing right now.) This is the forum model. It fosters community, but often at the expense of focus and tone.

      • Corky and others,

        I apologize if I have acted rashly in replying to Thomas777. I should have ignored his comments.

        However, the topic of monitoring postings would have come up sooner or later. So, maybe this will push this problem toward a solution.

        Please delete any of my responses if you think them inappropriate. I would hate to think that I acted disrespectful or irrational

  15. I’ll have to mention these books again, since perhaps few readers will see a comment so low in a string of responses.

    Please go to Amazon or some other useful site and read about Gregory Boyd’s God at War and Frederic Baue’s The Spiritual Society. These are readable, thought-provoking books providing much insight into the spiritual reality that underlies society. Boyd’s book in particular came to my mind as I read the “Naming Our Adversary” original blog entry. It is a rich and scholarly presentation of traditional Christian knowledge of this subject; I think any of us here would learn from it. Baue shows why society is headed out of secularism and into a spiritual — but Antichrist-oriented — milieu. I will put my money where my mouth is and say that I will buy used copies for the first five people who want to read either or both but have a financial difficulty. Elsewhere I said that, if this blog had a Book of the Month for discussion, my nomination would be Gaines’s Evening in the Palace of Reason, about the great J. S. Bach — and I do most warmly recommend that book; but perhaps these books by Boyd and Gaines are more urgently needed. I may be emailed at extollager at gmail dot com.

    In fact I have just ordered two copies of each book. I am standing by for your request!

  16. What Peter,Thomas 777 and Thomas Fink, mostly wrote/said.

    I would expand on it, but I can see the majority here is against it, and I’ve already covered most of this at my own place since March 2010.

  17. Pingback: Father Knows Best: First Edition « Patriactionary

  18. Pingback: Curing apostasy with paganism « Traditional Christianity

  19. Click
    If a new article becomes available or if perhaps any changes occur on the current publication, I would be interested in reading a lot more and finding out how to make good usage of those approaches you discuss. Click

  20. From Kristor to Peter: “Peter, I can tell you are a man of enormous good will, and that you are wonderfully alive to the good in other men and cultures. But I fear you face a terrible decision: do you love your own civilization above others, or not? Will you defend her against her adversaries, or not? If you cannot say with a whole heart, “yes, I love my civilization despite her flaws, as I love my family despite theirs, and I will defend her against her adversaries, as I would them,” then you cut yourself off from your patrimony, and must admit yourself no longer a patriot.”
    Kris, what Peter has pointed out is exactly what I want to say. I think there is a flaw in your thinking. It has to do with the very idea of “saying something with one’s whole heart.” “Western civilization” has glorified sin from the beginning, pace much of what has been said elsewhere. Colonial expansion and slavery were sins. The whole history of our country is the history of stealing. Capitalism is NOT easily reconciled with the teachings of the new testament. (which is not the same as saying it stands condemned. Perhaps it really is the best humans can do–I mean to suggest this seriously. But that is a fact that should not inspire pride.) “Liberals” latch on to these facts and conclude that our whole tradition is worthless. This is an unwarranted conclusion. The truth is that purity is never to be found in any human society. I believe that the meaning of Christian revelation is that there is only one being to whom we can or should embrace with our whole heart–God in Christ. And then we must live in this world. And that does imply making commitments to others. But to accept the love commandment also means we are often going to be sick at heart–since the community of which one is a part is bound to commit crime after crime–and one may be even morally bound to participate. Soldiers, for example, can’t just privately decide which orders to follow (I don’t mean that all military action is criminal–though much certainly is. But if it is not criminal, it is certainly tragic nevertheless). “Liberalism” deceives itself in thinking it can dismiss the essential importance of loyalty to one’s own country. “Liberalism”–by which I mean the standard issue variety–is hypocritical because it fails to acknowledge the fundamental ways that all we value in life depends upon the stability created by a nation that can protect itself. But that stability has a price. And it is often a price that we make others pay. And that price may even be morally necessary. But when that happens, Christian faith dictates it be done in fear and trembling. Our loyalty to our nation or even our religion considered as a human group is NOT something that we dare make absolute and unequivocal. H.Richard Niebuhr is a theologian who explores this whole issue very effectively, and I recommend his writings to you, especially “Radical Monotheism and Western Culture.” As important and legitimate as patriotism, for example, is, when it becomes an ultimate and absolute loyalty, it in fact becomes a form of idolatry. What does it mean to “love something with your whole heart”? It has alot to do with the PLACE of something in your heart. Believing in God means that he has a place in my heart above all else–or better–incomparable to all else. This means that however essential and even rightly uncompromising other commitments are–they are relative in relationship to God as absolute. One way to put this is notice that Christian revelation might indeed–someday, under some circumstances–rightly lead someone to no longer love one’s “own civilization” (by the way, how do you define that?) above all others. (Now this is speculation–but speculation to help elucidate a core issue: the historical trend in fact right now is that Christianity is growing by leaps and bounds in Africa and South America, declining in Europe and to a lesser extent in the U.S. And growing in China. What will the world be like in 100, 200, 300 years? Which civilization will be most championing the good news of Christ by then? Who knows? But it might well not be “us” anymore…..)

    • Jeremy, thanks for the comment. I actually agree with pretty much everything you say. But so does what I said to Peter. NB that I did not urge that patriotism required him to love his fatherland above all other things, but rather to love it above all other fatherlands, as we love our own, defective sinful fathers above other fathers. That’s all.

      Nor did I urge Peter to devote his whole heart to the love of his fatherland, to the exclusion of God, his children, his wife, his father, etc. That would indeed be idolatry, and far be it from me. I said simply that if he could not say with a whole heart – i.e., honestly, straightforwardly, and without mental cavil or reservation – that he loved his own fatherland above other fatherlands, despite its manifold sins and weaknesses, he could not then really count himself a patriot. He would rather, in that case, have to count himself a cosmopolitan.

      I would however disagree with your statement that “the whole history of our country is a history of stealing.” Really? I’m going to assume that this was a bit of rhetorical hyperbole on your part, because it doesn’t hold up under a moment of scrutiny (consider: antibiotics, rural electrification, the telephone …) – and indeed, as you say a few sentences later, there is none righteous – no, not one. Yet still it was the West, and the West alone, that first renounced slavery, colonialism and empire – and that, not because we were compelled by some greater Earthly power, but only because it seemed to us the right thing to do. The jury is still out on whether the latter two renunciations were a good idea on the whole; for, since Nature abhors a vacuum, there will sooner or later be empires again, and I’d rather the West were in the driver’s seat than not – better for everyone than any of the alternatives on offer so far. Unless Christianity goes very deep, very quickly in China – which God send – it’s the only hope of preventing a recrudescence of slavery.

  21. Kris, You’re absolutely right that my statement that “the whole history of our country is the history of stealing” was hyperbole and I’m glad you saw that it didn’t really reflect my specific point, which is precisely NOT that our history is “nothing but” evil, but rather that it, like all histories of all countries, is a very mixed bag of good and evil. But what about “loving one’s fatherland above all other fatherlands”? Here again, H. R. Niebuhr is relevant. Life is in community and we all rely upon community to live, and community now means, among much else, nation state. “Liberals” often are very “uncomfortable” with this. “Patriotism” for standard issue liberals is often almost, and sometimes unmistakably, a dirty word. Whatever else one may say, this is at least blatantly hypocritical. As Niebuhr puts it, without loyalty and trust, we simply do not live. But Niebuhr says that monotheistic faith brings a difficult additional consideration to bear. God affirms the being of each individual. I agree with this, and I think that we should pause over the meaning of the word “each.” The being and value of each individual cannot even be compared with that of any other individual–or with anything, including the “wholes” of which that individual may be a “part.” (And of course there is another MORE SUPERFICIAL sense in which the “value” of individuals can be compared–and the more superficial sense is precisely their USEFULNESS. Kant acknowledged this in the way he stated the categorial imperative: always treat others as ends in themselves and never as a means ONLY. He acknowledged that we cannot help but regard others as means–that in fact we need to.) This is kind of a complicated way of saying that Christianity teaches love of neighbor–and that the meaning of “neighbor” here has NOTHING to do with proximity. Still another way of saying this is that life is simply impossible without preferential love, and that the finite commitments we make to specific others are required by love in any sense. But at the same time there is no way to neatly reconcile preferential love with the absolute love required by Christian charity. God does not love Americans more than Mexicans. Does God love Christians more than Muslims? This gets at very deep questions about what “God’s love” even means. Does God only love people who have accepted his offer of forgivenness through Christ? For example. On the one hand, if one is a Christian, one can hardly believe other than that Christian revelation really counts for something. On the other, it seems to me that would be a radical misunderstanding of Christian faith to regard faith as a deed we do for which God rewards us by loving us. Still another way of making my point is this: Loyalty to one’s nation really is part of one’s identity (again in a way that “liberals” are loath to acknowledge.) But talk of “love for one’s fatherland above all other fatherlands” can easily lead into something very evil. To be loyal to one’s own nation MEANS to in fact place it above all other nations–there is no gainsaying that (again, as much as “liberals” get antsy at this point.) But in fact–the examples of course are obvious–patriotic fervor all too easily slides off into contempt for all humans except one’s compatriots. To the point of regarding them as inherently worthless, like garbage. Of course, Nazism said this explicitly. But even when not explicitly stated, the lived experience of nationalists all too easily takes this direction. Liberals–here I omit the scarequotes–I think are rightly highly impressed by certain historical facts: World War II, the Holocaust, slavery, segregation (U.S., South Africa), the expulsion of Jews from medieval England and Renaissance Spain. (They should also be impressed by the ethnic cleansing of Christians and Jews that has taken place in the middle east over the course of the twentieth century.) Liberals are right in acknowledging that there is something we must learn from these historical realities. They are right that we are morally obligated to keep them always at the center of our attention. One of the things we need to remember is how easily patriotismand even Christian faith can slide into demonic, murderous rage. Things have happened in the last 500 years from which we should learn. And sometimes people do learn on a large scale. For example, something really did happen in the 1960s–it at least seems to me that many white people acknowledged and to some extent moved beyond their racism. Liberals are absolutely right that this is a good thing. I think something else happened in the sixties that was of value: Vatican II. For example, The catholic church, in response to the holocaust, changed its attitude toward Jews. Martin Luther King, John 23rd, John Paul the second: these are people who represent the way a genuine tradition preserves itself while responding to what has actually happened in history. But something went wrong with “liberalism.” From reminding us of the dangers of nationalism, it moved into a hypocritical mockery of patriotism. From affirming human dignity in the face of racism, it moved to a relativism that, incredibly, in fact destroys the basis for the very idea of human dignity. From affirming the dignity of each individual, it moved to an opportunistic and selfish insistence on more and more specific rights and a (actually self-contradictory) dismissal of responsibility. And, again in an actually self-contradictory way, it moved away from Martin Luther King’s insistence that “life is individual and social” to an outlook of pure sociological determinism. So suppose one rejects this now dominant decadent pseudo liberalism, but nevertheless continues to take seriously the original genuine insights of this sort of outlook–which, again, I think are expressed very well by H. Richard Niebuhr and Martin Luther King. I frankly think that this is all that Peter is doing. So it comes down to this: I just don’t see why you assert that he could not be a genuine patriot.
    And I guess there is one more thing that has been preying on my mind that relates to what he has said. Europe over the past 500 years has pretty much dominated the world. That role has now more or less devolved to the U.S. (And I do not at all think it is an exaggeration to regard the U.S. as an imperial power: what is in fact our relationship to Japan, Europe, the middle east, south America?) Why have things turned out this way? Is it because “we” are “better”? Social organization, technological and economic development, even the development of a middle class unlike anything found before in the world: these can be called good things. Wider prosperity is certainly good in itself. But all of these other “good” qualities are only instrumental goods. They represent skillfulness. Those who are more skillful are able to get the upper hand. So those who get the upper hand generally are “better” in the sense of more (collectively) skillful. But that the more skillful do tend to get the upper hand does not begin to mean that they DESERVE their success. By which I mean: To the extent that their efforts are motivated by sheer self interest–as the efforts of groups inevitably are at least to a large extent–there is no room at all for any sort of moral approval of success. Also, I do not by any means intend to suggest an across the board moral equivalence among nations, civilizations, etc. Others may have well been worse than us. For example, the Portuguese or Belgian colonization of Africa was far more brutal than the British. Pol Pot was far more brutal than Ho Chih Minh. Chinese society remains authoritarian and our imperfect democracy is obviously preferable. But this is simply a different point entirely from that of whether success is “deserved.”
    One last observation: it is part of the tragedy of human life in the world that the success of a cause to which one is rightly loyal is not necesarily something morally praiseworthy. This is not to detract from the nobility of the ultimate sacrifice made by soldiers who die in battle. But the fact that I must be loyal to my nation does not necessarily mean that my nation was the one that deserved to win the war.

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