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Pater Noster

Oedipus’ problem is our problem. Oedipus did not know who he was. Neither do we.
The essence of any culture is contained in its religion. But what happens when a country turns its back on God. What happens when they kill their Father?
Generally, those who stop worshipping at the altar of God, start worshipping at the altar of State. It is no accident that the totalitarian regimes of the past century were the most atheistic. As we aggressively remove God from the public square, the State looms aggressively ever larger.
And in forsaking Heaven we marry Mother Earth and all she encompasses: materialism, temporality, sensuality, and every ideology whose alpha and omega exist in the here and now. It will not matter how often the ideologies fail. Why? “Because THIS time WE are running the show, not those oppressors of yesteryear who were not as progressive and enlightened as us.” Wasn’t it Aristophanes who said, “Master, shall I begin with the usual jokes that the audience always laughs at?”
And the freedom born of Christianity disappears with the disappearance of that Faith. So when the ten commandments are verboten in the courthouse, why act surprised when property rights start to disappear as well? The traditional religion is attacked;subdued, and the traditional ethos follows.  Then one observes the dominoes fall: traditional values, traditional rights, traditional marriage, traditional art.
Do we board a ship for Tarshish?  Lament our loss between pints of ale and Auld Lang Syne?  Or will we come to our senses and remember Who We Are. We are a country founded on Christianity and Christian freedom. We recognise property rights as did the God who gave Moses the Ten Commandments. Our ancestors who came from various other countries learned to speak English and embraced American culture. We believed that government should be as small and as local as possible. And that it should be representative. Where is my representation? I approve of very little that the government has done since Coolidge retired.
But where are the freedom loving Christians? The rugged individualists? The huddled masses yearning to breathe free? I have no answers. At one time I believed that conservatives would make their stand but they cannot.
Most of them are in the same position as Oedipus. If they believe in God, it is merely an idea of God, not God Himself. They see economic freedom as the Great Liberator and believe that the Free Market is rational. No, the market seeks to satisfy every appetite; one can hardly call that rational.
They seem to be unable to take a genuinely conservative stand because their conservatism is so shallow. Case in point: National Review did a Top 100 movies issue in the Nineties. It contained a wide range of movies over a long period of time. NRO recently did a list of conservative movies by poll and it only went back 25 years. And many of what showed up there did not belong on a list of conservative anything. Unfortunately, our idea of a conservative movie has been so dumbed down, we end up calling “conservative” any movie that doesn’t explicitly praise Che Guevera as a hero.
Perhaps I am just tired of liberals who call themselves conservative simply because they don’t approve of marxism. But honestly, we just need some really solidly based conservatives who know that the French Revolution was a big mistake. One that we’re still paying for.

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Categories: Christianity, Culture, Western Civilization, World Events

9 replies

  1. No, religion as an institution (not as a personal faith) is atleast as dangerous to personal freedom as government. Our freedoms come from the Constitution, the Constitution was written by men who were heavily influenced by the European enlightenment, which in turn was simply the casting off of the yoke of Christianity and rediscovery of Greek and Roman philosophy, political structures, and art. The French Revolution and the American Revolution are blood sisters, one went into the dark side of radicalism, while the other focused on forming a stable government. Still the ideas behind the two revolutions were virtually identical.

    Among the greatest innovations of the US Constitution was the separation of church and state, which allowed a very religious nation to avoid sliding into theocracy. There seems to be a complex system of denial which forces some people to try and revision the American Revolution into some kind of Christian revival which it blatantly was not.

    The Ten Commandments do not belong in a court house because our law is not based on them. I wouldn’t want to go to a court house and to be confronted with passages from the Koran written on the wall, and same goes here.

    • Our laws are based on the Judeo-Christian ethic and the Ten Commandments. Seperation of church and state was designed specifically so that there would not be a set denomination supported by the government (you all have to be Lutherans, for example) and the freedom of worship and of religion was considered extremely important in both public and private life. The morals and values that both conservatism and Christianity are built upon cannot exist without the other. One builds off the other.

      • Not really, these are Christian conservative talking points that are mostly not true.

        Ten Commandments:

        The first four are completely irrelevant to modern American politics. Nobody keeps the Sabbath but orthodox Jews, and the other stuff is purely religious in nature. The fifth commandment is nice universal advice but not exactly relevant to modern politics. Six through nine are great ideas found in numerous other religions and not really unique to Christianity. Most societies Christian or not follow these rules. The tenth commandement is impossible in a capitalist economy.

        On the other hand the Bible has little or nothing to say about the separation of powers, judicial review, federalism, democracy, human rights, slavery (actually endorsed), right to bear arms, rights of the accused, prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, women’s rights, minority rights etc.

        There are plenty of non-Christian societies with freedom loving conservatives, and some of the most brutal dictators and controlling statists were devout Christians.

      • I hate to squabble, but I’d like to point out that some of the great monsters of history were atheists and hated religion. Lenin, Stalin, and Mao all hated religion and were atheists. Hitler was basically an occultist and in effect created his own religion so I’m not sure where that puts him.

      • Yes you are right, but you avoid my overall point, which is that conservatism and freedom are not inseparable from Christianity as the original poster suggests. Nor is the Bible the primary source of inspiration for our founding documents, every head of state described in the Bible, good or bad, is a tyrant with absolute power over his citizens, and most of the fundamental ingridients of a free society are never mentioned.

        You can have a very devout tyrant or a non-Christian freedom lover.

    • Wrong, wrong, wrong.

      No, religion as an institution (not as a personal faith) is at least as dangerous to personal freedom as government.

      The most repressive regimes of the past 100 years have all been secular. Soviet Communism, Nazism, Chinese Communism, etc.

      Our freedoms come from the Constitution, the Constitution was written by men who were heavily influenced by the European enlightenment, which in turn was simply the casting off of the yoke of Christianity and rediscovery of Greek and Roman philosophy, political structures, and art.

      The Great Enlightenment was an artifact of the Reformation, and the Yeoman’s work was done by deeply devout men in mainly Protestant countries. And our freedoms do NOT come from the Constitution, rather from the natural rights of Man. Jefferson made it plain in his Declaration Of Independence:

      ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’

      Obama tends to edit the “Creator” bit out when he cites this line, but it’s there, and it’s consistent with the views of all the framers. Right do not proceed from a line of text, or a King, but from God himself.

      Among the greatest innovations of the US Constitution was the separation of church and state, which allowed a very religious nation to avoid sliding into theocracy.

      There is no “Separation of Church and State” in the US Constitution – that’s a Lib Supreme Court Doctrine from the 60’s and 70’s. The actual text in the first amendment states clearly that the US Government shall not establish a state religion – meaning no American equivalent of the Church Of England. The “Establishment Clause” was meant to protect church from state, not the other way round, and one could make a plausible argument that the subsequent (and oft ignored) “Free Exercise” clause makes some of the more extreme anti-religious prohibitions dubious.

      There seems to be a complex system of denial which forces some people to try and revision the American Revolution into some kind of Christian revival which it blatantly was not.

      No, the Christianity of the founding fathers was well established, it’s only when the left tried to shoehorn that away in the past 30 years or so that the revisionism reared its ugly head.

      • “Enlightenment was a desire for human affairs to be guided by rationality rather than by faith, superstition, or revelation; a belief in the power of human reason to change society and liberate the individual from the restraints of custom or arbitrary authority; all backed up by a world view increasingly validated by science rather than by religion or tradition.”
        -Wikipedia giver of all wisdom

        Enlightenment writings often (but far from always) originated in protestant circles. But the final result was a rationalistic, scientific, humanists movement.

  2. the Constitution was written by men who were heavily influenced by the European enlightenment, which in turn was simply the casting off of the yoke of Christianity and rediscovery of Greek and Roman philosophy, political structures, and art. The French Revolution and the American Revolution are blood sisters, one went into the dark side of radicalism, while the other focused on forming a stable government. Still the ideas behind the two revolutions were virtually identical.

    The establishment clause was put in to prevent the government from having authority over religion, which is exactly what happened with the protestant Church of England. That revolt, initiated by Henry VIII, showed preciselyhow the rebellion against the authority of God leads to people losing their heads. True enough, the Elightenment claimed to love rationality and ideas but ended up embracing a faith in rationalism and various ideologies. Many rationalists spoke in triumphalist tones about throwing off the shackles of religion and giving humanity a Brave New World.
    Those who completely threw off the shackles of religion (which was simply self-restraint:a good thing) gave us the gulags and concentration camps and euthanasia and abortion-on-demand etc.
    In the U.S.A. we have been quite busy educating the founders of this nation by finding penumbras in the constitution to eliminate Christianity and its ethos. No creche in the public square, no praying in schools, no ten commandments in state judiciaries, no teaching of either creationism or intelligent design, etc. One wonders if these things were not there at the beginnings of our country how did they Ever get there? The founders were far more supportive of Christianity and its ethos than progressive historical revisionists would lead us to believe.

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