Quote

Self-Determination through Guilds

bakers’ guild

William Morris on the power of mediæval guilds, in ‘A Summary of the Principles of Socialism’:

‘The trade guilds which in the first instance were thoroughly democratic in their constitution, protected the craftsmen against unregulated competition, or from the attempt to oppress them in any way. Moreover, as it was easy then for a labourer to obtain a patch of land, and to remove himself wholly or in part from the wage-earners, so a journeyman apprentice starting in life as a mere worker could and generally did attain to the dignity of a master craftsman in mature age. The amount of capital to be amassed ere a man could work for himself was so small that no serious barrier was placed between the journeyman and independence; besides, the arrangements of the guilds were such that wherever a craftsmen wandered he was received as a brother of his particular craft. Although also the rest of Europe was behind England in the settlement of the people on the soil, the craft-guilds were even more important in the Low Countries and part of Germany in the Middle Ages than in England. Thus it should appear that in the record of the feudal development the period reached in each country when the peasant was a free man working for himself upon the land, and the craftsman was likewise a free man master of his own means of production represents the time of greatest individual prosperity for the people.’

Quote

Justice Requires Æquity

640px-antoninianus_claudius_ii-ric_0137

Many, following Thomas Jefferson, assert that all men are created æqual and therefore that all men must be treated the same; others assert with the like vehemence that men are not created æqual and therefore that no one is bound to care for other men except a certain class regarded as one’s own. But Lactantius says this, in Divine Institutes 5.14.15–20, on justice:

‘The second part of justice [after pietas] is fairness; I mean not simply the fairness involved in good judgments, which is itself a laudable thing in a just man, but the fairness of levelling oneself with everyone else, what Cicero calls “equality of status”. God who created human beings and gave them the breath of life wanted all to be on a level, that is, to be equal, and he established the same conditions of life for everyone, creating all to be wise and pledging them all immortality; no one is cut off from God’s celestial benevolence. Just as he divides his unique light equally between all, makes springs flow, supplies food and grants the sweet refreshment of sleep to all, so too he bestows fairness and virtue on all. No one is a slave with him, and no one is a master, for if “he is the same father to everyone” [Lucr. 2.992], so are we all his children with equal rights. No one is poor in God’s eyes except for lack of justice, and no one is rich without a full tally of the virtues; moreover, no one is illustrious except for goodness and innocence; no one is most notable except for lavish works of charity; no one is most perfect except for having completed every degree of virtue. That is why neither Romans nor Greeks could command justice, because they kept people distinct in different grades from poor to rich, from weak to strong, from lay power up to the sublime power of kings. Where people are not all equal, there is no fairness: the inequality excludes justice of itself. The whole force of justice lies in the fact that everyone who comes into this human estate on equal terms is made equal by it.’

From Distributism to Better Things

What took me away from distributism: too much wishful thinking and nothing significant about actually using force to protect national sovereignty. Concretely, there is overlap between distributism and national syndicalism, but the former seems to suit ultimately bourgeois fantasists who have little concern for geopolitical reality. The latter actually aims to defeat international capitalism and strengthen the place of the nation. Some will reckon that a weakness; I consider it a strength. There are alternatives to the usury-owned bourgeois managerial state, but I think distributism is not it. What force it lacks, national syndicalism has. So forgive me for not being a hobbit.

Turning Christians into Followers of Christ

After Tuesday’s resounding victory for Donald Trump, you’ve got to love some of the sanctimonious remarks tweeted by evangelical clerics and retweeted by evangelical theologians. Here is one:

I could not help saying something. The craven capitulation to globalist propaganda, the Pharisaic condemnation of Christians who disagreed and voted accordingly, the rejection of a reading of holy Scripture on natural law rather than liberal ideology, all conspired to elicit a response. Never before liberal modernity have such things been imagined, and never before have such things been taken into the Church to be enshrined as orthodox doctrine.

(Edit: I see that the bloke has deleted his tweet, but it remains here for posterity.)

I see. The Lord has called upon me, a Chinaman, to be a race traitor and regard my people as nothing. After all, if any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. If the Chinese nation were to fall on account of an unrestrained flood of strangers from abroad, I should not oppose it so long as the strangers were Christians or potential Christians. For it is said that water is thicker than blood, and therefore the common bond of baptism erases every consideration of ethnicity in civic prudence. I would be astonished were the sentiment not so common.

Then, a red herring all too easy to find is the proposition that the world is saved by the weakness of Christ on the Cross and not by the strength of the nation. No shit. I fail to see how this truth about everlasting salvation impinges upon my duty to consider myself responsible for my own family, my own tribe, and my own nation. It is Christ that has justified me by his death; therefore I shall never do good works again, because such works would deny the gospel. God forbid! Yet here is an accusation of implicit hæresy against all who would support our own people according to the principle taught by St Paul, that if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. Have any of us claimed that a man will thus be accounted holy before God, or that the human race will thus be healed of sin? For that indeed were hæresy, and that indeed were publicly to be opposed. Yet not once have I heard a professing Christian make that claim, which liars now pin upon Christians who support the policies Donald Trump stands for. In the hands of these snakes, even truth is wielded as a weapon against truth. May they crawl on their bellies to the end of their days, and may their heads be crushed in the dust unless they repent.

This sort of nonsense, by the way, is why millions of Christians have abandoned going to church. Such a fate befell the Protestant Episcopal Church as it left orthodoxy behind, and it now happens to all the other churches that pander to those who despise Christians. They are the Pharisees who call others Pharisees and talk about making them ‘followers of Jesus’.

No, turning Christians into actual followers of Christ, fearing no death and conceding nothing to the powers and principalities, is quite other than certain clerics have imagined. The task of learning to do so, and teaching others to do so according to God’s word as it is – and not as the plastics wish it to be – will be neither easy nor quick. God willing, however, it can be done.

Natural Beef

cattle-pasture-ozarks

By Julie A. Brown (CC BY 2.0).

I once saw a specimen of beef in Wegman’s, so fine that I could not help drawing my parents’ attention to it, that they too might appreciate the beauty by which naturally raised beef is distinguished: the meat’s deeper red and the fat’s orange tinge, but especially the fat’s delicate fractal interlacing with the muscle. When we consider the necessity of food for the human race’s large population, and for its various populations considered severally, I hope we can treat with dignity what is often a short and miserable life.

Quote

We Must Desire What Seems Impossible

dsc_0172-nevin

John Williamson Nevin, in ‘Catholic Unity’:

‘Nor should it relieve the case at all to our feelings, that we may not be able to see how it is possible to bring this state of things to an end. An evil does not cease to be such, simply because it may seem to exclude all hope of correction. Those who seek to reconcile us to the system of sects in the Church, by insisting on the impossibility of reducing them to the same communion, presume greatly either upon our ignorance or our apathy as it regards the claims of the whole subject. If we know that the Church is called by her very constitution to be visibly, as well as invisibly one, we are not likely to believe that any difficulties which stand in the way of this are absolutely insuperable in their own nature. And if we have come to feel the weight of the interest itself, as exhibited in the last prayer of the Saviour, we are not likely to be soothed and quieted over the general surrender of it by a view which cuts off all hope of its ever being recovered.’

Supreme Court Judicial Review Not Absolutely Binding

11-533902-recadre_02

John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it.

Many have spoken – rightly, I believe – against some Americans’ attachment to provisions of a paper constitution which neither have real force nor conduce to the good of the American people. Not infrequently is it also alleged that the US Constitution teaches a harmful concept of judicial review. Nowhere, however, does the Constitution say or imply that the courts have exclusive right to review a law or executive order’s constitutionality; no more does it establish that the Supreme Court of the United States has supreme right to interpret the law unchallenged and with absolutely binding force. The Supreme Court did articulate a certain principle of judicial review in its opinion on Marbury v. Madison (1803), but in vain would we search for any such principle in Article III, which lays out the powers of the judicial branch of the US fœderal government.

Section 1 is brief and does not tell us all that much.

The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

In this section, the only relevant point is that the Supreme Court is primary in institution, and that the inferior courts are secondary thereto, the individual existence of each being subject to the will of the Congress.

Section 2 is longer. We can look at each paragraph in turn.

1. The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority; – to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls; – to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction; – to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party; – to Controversies between two or more States; – between a State and Citizens of another State; – between Citizens of different States, – between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

This paragraph spells out the cases of law and æquity to which the judicial power extends. It can tell us nothing about the power of judicial review.

2. In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

This paragraph establishes that the Supreme Court now has original jurisdiction in cases affecting diplomats and in cases in which a state is either the plaintiff or the defendant. All other cases of the kinds spelled out in Paragraph 1 go to the Supreme Court only by appeal. In judging appeals, the Supreme Court has the power to sustain or overturn the judgements of the inferior courts in both matters of the law and matters of fact. That is to say, it holds supremacy over the inferior courts in the judgement of two things:

  1. how to interpret and apply the law, with the authority to declare an inferior court mistaken in its judgement of the principles in the law;
  2. the facts of the cases already tried, with the authority to declare an inferior court mistaken in its judgement of the events and what those events mean.

This paragraph also establishes, however, that even this appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court is in some respects restrained by the Congress: the Congress has the right to make exceptions to what appeals the Supreme Court may hear and to make regulations on how it may handle the appeals it does hear.

3. The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

This paragraph, the last in Section 2, has nothing relevant to the concept of judicial review.

Section 3 treats of cases in which the courts must try persons for treason against the United States. It says nothing about judicial review, but only specifies in what way a person may be convicted of treason, and what limits must be observed in any attainder of treason.

1. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

2. The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

The paper constitution, then, in fact says nothing to imply that only the Supreme Court, with the inferior courts subject to it, has the exclusive legal power to judge what is and what is not constitutional. Indeed, given the conventional limits – for example, that a case must be ripe for being judged in court by virtue of an ambiguous law’s having actually been applied and not merely enacted – it is clear that someone else has to interpret the law before it has ever reached a court, and that a consensus on interpretation would keep it from ever appearing before the courts. Both President Jackson and President Lincoln have in fact openly defied the will of the Supreme Court, and the rational observer will judge their acts not by their submission to the judgement of the Supreme Court but by the criteria of justice itself.

From these facts we can infer that the real constitution is bigger than the paper constitution, and that the application of the paper constitution is always contingent on power. The paper constitution, such as it is, does not make the Supreme Court’s constitutional judgements absolutely binding; nor, as can be seen by those who are not committed to corrupt customs, does it exclude those who have power and true justice from rejecting that court’s opinions when they are neither just nor persuasive.

Brexit Hits the High Court Snag

Lord Thomas, the Lord Chief Justice, presided over the three-day hearing

Lord Thomas, the Lord Chief Justice, presided over the three-day hearing.

BBC reports, ‘Parliament must vote on whether the UK can start the process of leaving the EU, the High Court has ruled. This means the government cannot trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – beginning formal exit negotiations with the EU – on its own.’

You think democracy works, goy? No, it doesn’t. We know the Brexiteers, drawn from actual working-class Labour as well as Conservatives, outnumbered the Remainers, those limp-wristed liberals. Yet even now the liberal globalists, who pay lip service to ‘the will of the people’ but decry working-class opinion as demagoguery, will weasel their little fink fingers into the matter in order to stop the very thing they make a show of honouring. Will they leave no way but violence?

All Souls

Today, the day after the Romanists’ observance of All Souls’ Day, I wanted to link to some 25 pages from the Rt Rev. N. T. Wright’s For All the Saints? Remembering the Christian Departed (SPCK, 2003) about the bodily resurrection of Christian believers and various other matters related to the destination of the departed. If you have not already read Dr Wright’s thoughts, I highly recommend them.

Along with the theology, I think a bit of æsthetics is in order here. For that purpose, there may be few things as grand and yet sober as the funeral procession in Brussels of the mighty Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. Below, I show some parts of this procession.

funeral-charles-v-24-25

See here the heraldic dignities of the dead emperor. Four men display the arms of Burgundy, of Castile and León, of the Empire as ruled by the House of Habsburg, and of all Spain. They are followed by other imperial insignia: standards, maces, golden tabards. Yet for all this grandeur the men are all dressed in black, and for all the sombreness they show the colourful signs of earthly dominion under God.

funeral-charles-v-26-27

See here, following the horse dressed in the imperial arms, first the collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece, then the sceptre, then the sword.

funeral-charles-v-28-29

See here the orb and the imperial crown, and staves of authority.

funeral-charles-v-30-31

See here the emperor’s mourning son, King Philip II of Spain, his train carried by a nobleman; behind him follow a line of other nobles.

What lordly dignities! what great power on earth! And yet, once summoned by his Maker to a presence he cannot flee, the emperor could not refuse, and like all men he was buried into the dust from whence he had come, to await the resurrection of the dead.

Poem Published in The North American Anglican

The North American Anglican has published a poem by me, ‘I Travelled These Roads with My Father Once’. Check it out, and tell me what you think. Be sure to look at their other stuff, too!

Passivism and Struggle

gs-general-strike-590x317

The failed 1926 general strike in the United Kingdom.

Free Northerner wrote half a year ago against activism and for passivism as a way to defeat the American Deep State. Naturally, in his piece, he quotes Sunzi’s Art of War:

What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease. Hence his victories bring him neither reputation for wisdom nor credit for courage. He wins his battles by making no mistakes. Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated. Hence the skillful fighter puts himself into a position which makes defeat impossible, and does not miss the moment for defeating the enemy. Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

To be wise as serpents, indeed, is the infallible counsel of Jesus Christ. Therefore let Sunzi be heard, and his words be heeded. Fights in the streets, attractive as they are to young men, who love to prove themselves by martial heroics, are not the way. Instead, the Lord would have us watch for the right time, the ripe time, the time the Greeks call καιρός, the passing instant when an opening appears which an arrow must drive through with force. The space that appears is, in the Zhuangzi, the space into which Cook Ding moves his knife without tiring out the blade: ‘A good cook changes the knife once a year – because he cuts. A mediocre cook changes the knife once a month – because he hacks. I’ve had this knife of mine for nineteen years and I’ve cut up thousands of oxen with it, and yet the blade is as good as though it had just come from the grindstone. There are spaces between the joints, and the blade of the knife has really no thickness. If you insert what has no thickness into such spaces, then there’s plenty of room – more than enough for the blade to play with. That’s why after nineteen years the blade of my knife is still as good as when it first came from the grindstone.’ Such, it seems, is the principle Free Northerner advocates for war against the tyrant: to make no mistakes, be in a position that makes defeat impossible, and never fail to strike at the spaces that open until – ‘flop! the whole thing comes apart like a clod of earth crumbling to the ground.’

christians-to-the-lions

Christians thrown to the lions.

About power, then, Free Northerner is no quietist; unlike many advocates of Rod Dreher’s Benedict Option, whose hands and tongues are tied by the need to appear respectable and avoid being seen as extremists, he is not shy of seizing power. When they’re ill, he’ll go for the kill. Thus he speaks of power and authority:

As Mao once said, power comes from the barrel of a gun. Power is violence. The ability to force your will on others, even if it might be concealed behind a few layers of a civilized facade. In society, many men have more violent force than any single man, now matter how strong he might be, so man’s capacity for violence comes from his authority, which is, essentially, how many armed men can a man get to follow him?

Authority comes from either illusion or legitimacy. Legitimate authority comes from men obeying you because they accept you are their rightful leader. Illusion comes from people obeying because they believe others perceive you as legitimate and are afraid of the violence they will enact should they disobey. It is necessarily tyrannical. Legitimacy lasts until it is squandered or the authority dies. Illusion and the tyranny that results lasts until someone openly disobeys without consequence and [thus the illusion] is dispelled.

Right now, the left holds power and it holds legitimacy. People believe the left should rule because they believe in equality and the rule of the people, two left-wing ideals. Cthulu continues to swim left as people hold these ideals ever stronger.

The myth that the repræsentative institutions of the liberal state are actually the ‘rule of the people’, of course, is a strong one – though the myth weakens as the people see that the media, which once held them securely in thrall, are baldly and boldly lying. Indeed, Free Northerner says, Golden Dawn in Greece has become a major force precisely by switching, after decades of work with little fruit, from an activist to a passivist strategy. In the face of tyranny, the quiet building of institutions is something I heartily approve of. To gain skills useful to those around us, that is wisdom. To appear weak while building strength, that is wisdom. To be quiet until the perfect moment to speak, that is wisdom. Patience, no doubt, is everything in this game. There is nothing new under the sun. The Church has beaten the ungodly before, and indeed we can and will do it again.

557px-jacopo_tintoretto_-_the_resurrection_of_christ_-_wga22555

‘The Resurrection of Christ’, Tintoretto, between 1579 and 1581.

Nevertheless, doing the work required will be more difficult perhaps than many passivists reckon. Free Northerner says,

You can not change the education system to stop being leftist, but you can homeschool your kids. You can’t stop the Supreme Court from driving bakeries out of business, but you can become an elder at your church and keep gay ‘marriage’ out. You can’t change divorce laws, but you can build a working home with a good woman. You can’t stop the feminist invasion and destruction of male public spaces, but you can create your own male private spaces.

While I agree that these are crucial areas in which to work, I am highly sceptical that the Deep State will leave us alone to do our natural work. The Deep State already has broken the power of the sovereign states to resist. What state magistrates, after all, beholden to the power of national party officials, will actually call for nullification and give it teeth? And this Deep State, in its arrogance, has shown no signs of stopping. It has continued to intrude deeper and deeper into those parts of life in which the magistrates once respected the natural sovereignty of the family and intervened only in cases of gross injustice.

For homeschooling without fulfilling the Deep State’s requirement, you can be jailed for extremism. For keeping sodomitical ‘marriage’ out of your unregistered religious meeting, you can be jailed for extremism. For keeping your wife from using her freedom to work outwith the home, you can be jailed for extremism. For creating discriminatory male spaces that are at all visible, you can be jailed for extremism. In any divorce, moreover, court settlements can easily – as they already do – favour the party who better serves the system. In my æstimation, Free Northerner has still banked on too much freedom.

640px-noyades_de_nantes-joseph_aubert

‘The Drownings at Nantes in 1793’, Joseph Aubert, 1882.

There is certainly something passivism gets right: attracting too much attention will get nothing done. But even the Church in Qing China, between 1724 and 1860, was persecuted sporadically. Foreign missionaries were banned, of course, but now and then Christians also had their books and images confiscated, and they themselves after interrogation were compelled to recant their faith. To these things the Church was subjected even when it remained largely quiet and even when most of the magistrates were inclined to turn a blind eye to Christianity in order to avoid causing trouble for themselves. The Church remained resilient in China because it was so much a part of the fabric of social life, though quietly, that the ‘cure’ against Christianity would generally be worse than the ‘disease’. But I can only imagine that the Western magistrates will be more zealous to stamp out hidden institutions that do not teach or at least submit to the Deep State’s propaganda, and that – at least now and then, if not as fiercely as the Japanese – they will deal exemplary punishments to cow both churches and other institutions into submission.

When the Deep State decides to take children away from their parents to make them janissaries for ‘social justice’, it will not deem resistance acceptable, and it will not hesitate where the Qing dynasty magistrates did. Is a passivist then to allow his children to be taken? For the sake of not attracting attention, will he give up his natural duty and not fight because the time has not yet come? I do not know, but I think most believe it justified, right, and necessary then to take up arms against the will of the magistrates, and to call his neighbours to defend their own right and duty by defending his right and duty. But that is the spark of civil war, and I cannot say in what circumstances men will accept that as a duty and actually win.

oath-of-brutus-edouard-cabane-1884

‘The Oath of Brutus’, Edouard Cabane, 1884.

The hope of winning a civil war against a ruler tyrannical and still feared is not in a few armed men. Against a nuclear power with some of the world’s most sophisticated weapons, a few men with guns cannot win. There are some, I know, who seem to believe that with their Second Amendment guns they can take on a powerful army. But the only hope of victory is if the military and police forces, won over by the justice of the few men’s cause, refuse to impose the wicked will of the Deep State that pays their salaries. If these forces be evenly split in opinion, God knows with what bloodshed the people will win their freedom.

Here I have still præsumed that the men defending their families from tyrants will be armed – and so, it seems, has Free Northerner – but of course even this condition we cannot safely count on. Whether ’tis better to suffer the confiscations of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them – who knows which way gives life? It could be here that men of valour had the practical hope of defence, but here that the wicked and the fearful were too many and too strong. Yet later, disarmed, they would have no news to make, and the people might already have turned too docile.

And all the while, of course, traitors let hordes of invaders into Europe and seek, for votes, to do the same in Americas.

cologne_station_reuters

Cologne train station. ‘The sex mob scandal has a background.’ Reuters.

In the Church, we see the likes of Russell Moore, who as head of the Southern Baptist Church’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) plays a leading role in George Soros’s front group Evangelical Immigration Table. This state of affairs does not inspire confidence. I strongly suspect that most evangelicals, in any case, lack the biblical conviction, the habits of character, and the institutional strength to withstand the will of the powers that be. They lack both the will and the ability to fight in their hearts. It is true, of course, that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. But when the struggle touches flesh and blood, decadent Western Christians think they must contend for nothing but their own miserly freedom to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord – Lord, that is, of their hearts and little else. Such freedom, they do not see, means no more than the ‘freedom’ in Hong Kong to chose by, yes, universal suffrage a Chief Executive from among two or three candidates approved by the oligarchs; most the people of Hong Kong, despite their other idiocies, can see that such universal suffrage means nothing. The Church that we know is filled with those who do not see the costs. When you point out the costs of certain moral commitments, they may often move the goalposts by judging those commitments ungodly and, though they may not say it, judging you a blasphemer. In the end, all you have in common with them are some theological opinions about the gospel, and perhaps very little agreement about the law of nature.

Realistically, even when things are quiet on the whole, the quiet will be punctuated by dramatic incidents. These incidents even the passivist must expect. He must be ready both to suffer the consequences of such incidents – for he will not always pass unnoticed – and, sometimes, to strike before the general strike and the general collapse. It is not often in one battle, after all, that even a Sunzi wins a war. Even when the battles are few and carefully chosen, they are more than one. Nor even with excellent intelligence does a general avoid all surprises, and yet he is compelled to do his best to win a war with as few fights as he can and as many fights as he must.

The readiness to strike, moreover, generally depends on some habit of actually striking where the iron is hot. There is no martial virtue in a people that has never expected and trained to fight.

640px-leonidas_aux_thermopyles_jacques-louis_david

‘Leonidas at Thermopylæ’, Jacques-Louis David, 1814.

It remains to be seen what the Church will fight for when the American Deep State’s directives interfere with daily life around the world, and what the Church, urged on by accommodationists, will surrender by degrees to an aggressive power; it also remains to be seen, as the Deep State attacks the power of the Church as well as the freedom and dignity of the native peoples in the countries it holds, whether Christians around the world will build the institutions to strike when the time is ripe. In any case, the Church must equip its people for psychomachia (the war of the soul), the Inner Crusade, so that the people may have the virtue to take up arms and use them well for the good of the commonwealth when the will of God brings both need and opportunity.

There are many concerns that I must give to God. He alone can grant victory, and he alone holds the cosmos in the palm of his hand.

Family Service as Public Service

607px-kauffmann_cornelia_mater_gracchorum

‘Trahimur omnes laudis studio, et optimus quisque maxime gloria ducitur.’

Supporting your family is a public act, a service to the commonwealth, if you lead by example and teach your children to win dignitas by serving the people. The citizen who will not serve the people he belongs to is a mere ἰδιώτης, tending to his own affairs to the neglect of the whole, and the neglect of his own soul’s aspirations – for the individual man is incomplete in himself – but he who does serve is worthy of honour, and neither the Lord nor his reverent children will forget.

Even where the Way is not ascendant, even where his faithfulness and the liberality of his spirit go unnoticed, his spreading abroad God’s gifts is not something the Lord will allow to have been in vain. As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. Though our own work in itself is vanity of vanities, by the love of God it is the abundance of his abundance. By doing what is well pleasing to the Lord, and teaching our children to do the same, we perform the highest acts known to man: we pay honour to the commonwealth and, by faith in Christ, to God himself. And the Father who did not forget his Son in Hades will also not forget us who work by the same power, by the same humanity which the Son has taken on and redeemed.

Aside

Good short article looking at noble beauty in vestments. But I still cannot get over the fiddleback chasubles: not a fan.

Take Back the Arch of Constantine

salat-arch-colosseum

I need not tell you that this is a picture of Muslims claiming the public space to pray their salat. Observe, however, that this act of submission to Islam takes place right in front of two historic places:

  1. the Arch of Constantine, commemorating the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (‘in this sign thou wilt conquer’);
  2. the Colosseum, where St Ignatius of Antioch, student of St John the Apostle, was fed to the lions as a martyr of the faith.

This site the Muslims carefully chose for an act of aggressive protest on Friday, gathering in the thousands, after Italian authorities ‘shut down a number of so-called “garage mosques” to avoid young people becoming radicalized’. The Italian policy is sensible. Thomas D. Williams reports, ‘Until now, Italy has shown itself to be remarkably resilient to attacks from Islamic terrorists and has been proposed as a model for counterterrorism for the whole world, in part because of its willingness to deport radicalized individuals seen as a threat to national security.’ I fully support Italy’s sensible measures and believe that backing down in the face of protests would bring to Rome what has happened to Paris. Through both violence and public shows of Islam’s demographic strength, Christianity would be silenced in the public spaces of Italy.

But it is not the time to complain. It is the time for Italian Christians, seeing their country’s public spaces invaded, to act in the Name of the Lord. Let action begin in the places sacred to the faith of Jesus Christ. The main struggle is not against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities. It must begin with the true faith, with love for our Lord, not with resentment. So the Muslims pray; let the Church pray too.

640px-Arch-of-Constantine.jpg

CC-BY-SA-3.0 by Wikipedia user RClay.

As the sun is ready to set on Saturday, a procession – with litanies said and Psalm 16 (15 in the Roman reckoning) sung – goes up to the Arch of Constantine, which marks in stone the victory of Christ and the conversion of the Roman empire to the Christian faith. For why? thou shalt not leave my soul in hell; neither shalt thou suffer thy Holy One to see corruption. Reaching the Arch, the procession of believers moves anticlockwise thrice around it, and the office of Vespers begins.

Deus, in adiutorium meum intende.
Domine, ad adiuvandum me festina.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Alleluia.

Lumen hilare, known in Greek as Phos hilaron.

As dusk falls, candles are lit, for light but also to signify the light of Christ, while the hymn Lumen hilare is sung. Then follow the Psalms and the rest of the office, concluding with the Magnificat and the final prayers.

In this way the Muslims may be kept from driving the worship of the Lord out of the public squares, if Roman Christians faithfully and visibly gather at landmarks of the faith to give their praises to God in Christ. Let that be the beginning of a response to the land’s invasion by an aggressive Islam.

Virtue Unafraid of Losing Religious Freedom

img_0102.png

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

By and large, American Christians are on the one hand woefully unready to lose their legally recognized religious freedom, and mortally afraid of losing it, and on the other hand just as mortally afraid of fighting for it rather than saying quietly in a corner, or shouting in the Internet æther, that they have these political rights. O Christian, speak only for your religious liberty and you will lose it. Jesus said we would be persecuted for his Name, because if people hated him, then they would hate us too. Have we no confidence in his everlasting salvation, and in his temporal provision for us, that we must give this pusillanimous face to the powers that be? Shame, shame on the Church; glory be to God for any fortitude he gives us beyond our selves in the years to come, to endure to the point of shedding our blood. He has conquered death: what cause have we to fear? We have none, but our deeds insist that we do. To appropriate what Sarah said to Abraham, the words quoted by St Paul in Galatians, Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. For we cannot be justified by the unseemly cringing we see so often, but only by the merits of Christ, of infinite worth and of efficacious force for the elect of God. So delight yourself in the Lord, and speak, and say to kings and governors what is true. No punishment, no exile, not even death itself can kill me if I have a share in the Resurrection of the Son of God.

Almighty God, help me do what thy word hath taught me, and by thy Holy Spirit strengthen my heart and my hands for thy service, with the faith that Jesus Christ took to the Cross, that counting this perishing life to be nothing I may attain the blessedness of the world to come. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.