We’ve had some reports of difficulties accessing the Orthosphere in connection with our recent change in aesthetics. In addition to restoring our lost recent comments and blogroll widgets (the latter of which we’ve updated to include a few new links), we’ve also discovered that our particular template is not really set up to be viewed on anything older than Internet Explorer 9. Those of you still using earlier versions of Internet Explorer and having trouble with the site are advised to update their browser.
Fellow orthospherean Joseph of Arimathea sends along word that this coming July, our own Professor Dr. Tom Bertonneau will be a featured speaker at Doxacon, a convention for Christian fans and writers of Science Fiction and Fantasy, sponsored by the Protection of the Holy Mother of God Orthodox Church in Falls Church. Be there and be … spherical?
Joke! I’m sure the discussions at Doxacon will be absolutely fascinating. From Out of the Silent Planet to Count to a Trillion, from Last and First Men to Up Jim River, those trad Christianist geeks will be tripping the light fantastic. In a manner of speaking only, I hasten to add; few things could be more disturbing than the sight of science fiction fans dancing …
I’m putting this in the Civilizational Twilight category, because almost all science fiction and fantasy involves the adventures of a hero in an age that has Fallen from its halcyon days of yore – this Fall being the generator of the Problems the hero must solve. Meaning that science fiction and fantasy are *essentially* traditionalist.
This should hardly suprise us. After all, *reality* is essentially traditionalist, no? That’s why there are regularities in nature, so that there can be science, so that there can be … science fiction.
So much news lately, so little time. Here we go:
1. Well, I guess that explains liturgical dance.
La Repubblica claims that Pope Benedict’s retirement was prompted by three Cardinals’ report on an influential homosexual lobby in the Vatican.
Apparently some of the professors at my university have been having trouble keeping their hands off the grad students, so all the faculty have had to go to workshops on “sexual harassment and workplace discrimination”. I personally had to endure a required lecture for all college faculty and a required online training session–with a quiz at the end! Actually, it wasn’t so bad. For someone outside the bubble, it made for an interesting study in the dynamics of liberal bureaucratic despotism.
The American Traditionalist Society does not exist. Not yet. But it is in the serious planning stages.
The Society’s purpose, in brief, is to help foster a more properly ordered American nation through the spiritual, intellectual, and moral renewal of Americans, both individually and collectively. This renewal will be a vast undertaking, and any organization can only help this process, not control or direct it. Nevertheless, concrete organizations large and small devoted to this purpose will be needed.
Here, by way of further introduction, are three brief statements:
Brief Description of the American Traditionalist Society
The American Traditionalist Society is dedicated to spreading proper—that is, traditionalist—conservatism. We call all people to understand and repent of liberalism, and we seek the renewal of American society.
Traditionalism Briefly Defined
Whereas liberalism denies man all that sustains his spirit, traditionalism restores the life-giving ties between a man and his people, their past, and his God. It restores wisdom and common sense by reconnecting man to the eternal order of being, a multifaceted order that is spiritual, moral, intellectual, religious, social and physical. Whereas contemporary thinking is fundamentally unwise outside of the procedures of the natural sciences and technology, traditionalism seeks to fill this void and strives for justice, truth, beauty, and the proper ordering of society.
Our traditionalism is therefore not simply a longing for the past. Since the present is radically defective, we naturally look to the past for a model of a more properly-ordered society, but we do not aim to recreate the conditions of the past. As Lawrence Auster has said,
“Traditition” is but one dimension of traditionalism. Traditionalism is, first, an orientation toward the transcendent structure of the universe–the natural, social (including historical and traditional”), and spiritual orders that make us possible. Each society orders itself uniquely according to those orders. So traditionalism is not just the past tradition, it’s our active relationship and tension with the order of the world, but always grasped and expressed uniquely and newly in each time and society according to the particularities of that society.
The American Traditionalist Society: Our Raison D’être
Since roughly the 1960s, America has pursued a determined course of self-destruction in the name of liberalism. Our nation is now in a state of undeniable crisis. The federal government, close to insolvency, openly defies the Constitution and asserts its increasingly unaccountable and tyrannical power over the states and over the life of every individual. Our borders have been effectively erased, our language weakened, and our cultural foundations overturned. Our major institutions have been undermined from within. The media and popular culture have marginalized decency and virtue and made filth, transgression, and every kind of nastiness the new norm—a norm unquestioned by anyone in the mainstream culture, including conservatives. Our leaders pontificate that we must be tolerant above all else, and so many draw the natural conclusion that life is absurd. With the official-in-all-but-name denial of the God of the Bible and of any transcendent truth, many young men and women have become demoralized, leading lives that are amoral, selfish, and dissipated.
The response of institutionalized conservatism to this catastrophe has been wholly inadequate, for it has assumed that our nation is fundamentally sound and that we need only oppose the latest liberal initiatives. Failing effectively to challenge the false and evil premises of liberalism or even to acknowledge that these premises now hold effective control over all aspects of American society, the organized conservatism of our day has, at best, only slowed the rate of destruction. It is therefore time for a new, a traditionalist, conservatism which recognizes the dominance and falsehood of liberalism and the need to restore the traditional American way of life, yet updated to suit the times. It is time for men and women of good will to stand together before God, repent of their liberalism, and turn their hearts and minds toward the formation of a new social and political order, an order based on God, the wisdom of the ages, and that which is enduringly true in the American and Western tradition. We seek to foster a better order through the spiritual, moral and intellectual renewal of individuals, families, churches, and other fundamental units of society, leading naturally to an organic renewal of American society.
To this end, ever in debt to our forebears and beholden to posterity, the American Traditionalist Society is devoted.
[End of statement.]
Stay tuned for further details.
Note: Since this is an occasion for, if not exactly celebration, then at least optimism and dedication, comments that are primarily or entirely hostile will be deleted / blocked. Disagreement that is respectful and at least somewhat rational will, of course, be allowed.
What is it like to live the life everlasting that is promised to Christians? The question has arisen in the last few days both over at View from the Right, where Lawrence Auster is contemplating his own incipient death with awesome magnanimity and serenity, and at Charlton’s Miscellany. Both Charlton and Auster make important points. I had reactions to both posts, so I figure it makes most sense to consolidate them here.
Jeffersonian’s proposal, under discussion in the previous post, for the secession of conservative America was bound to arouse strong emotions. But that’s no excuse for bad comments.
Respectful and at least semi-rational disagreement is acceptable. Blanket denunciations of our side and vague, sweeping statements of the impossibility of secession are a waste of time, and will henceforth be deleted. The same will go for any comment that, in the judgment of the editors, is long on heat and short on light.
This is a serious proposal, and it deserves serious discussion. Make it so.
[Comments are closed on this entry, by the way. Josh got his comment in right under the wire.]
In 2010 Lawrence Auster published a proposal, by an anonymous reader called “Jeffersonian,” for the peaceful secession of conservatives from liberal America. Now Jeffersonian has written an expanded and fuller account of his proposal, and it has again been published at VFR.
Mr. Auster has decided, in view of his declining health, not to host a discussion of the new essay. He has left it to other blogs to host the discussion. The Orthosphere is honored to be one such blog.
To read Jeffersonian’s essay, click on the above link. [Update: I have added the full text to this post.] Continue reading
I recently came across this letter (h/t to Fr. Z.) written by Bishop (now Saint) Alphonsus Ligouri in 1774, on the occasion of the death of Clement XIV, concerning the coming election for the next Pontiff. Plus ca change, I guess.
As regards my opinions concerning the present state of the church with relation to the election of the new Pope, what opinion of any weight could a miserable, ignorant, and unspiritual person like myself possibly give? There is need for prayer and much prayer. All the human science and prudence that there is cannot extricate the church from the present state of relaxation and confusion in which every section finds itself; the all-powerful arm of God is necessary. Continue reading
The basic problem of putting women into combat is that, because they are far weaker than men along every dimension of athletic performance, it will result in mortality disproportionate to their numbers. The ratio of rates of casualty to rates of combat participation will be much worse for women than for men. Women in combat units will likewise suffer disproportionate rates of all the other hazards of military life: wounds, disease, injuries, and so forth.