Michael Gladius has been contributing articles here at ECW for quite awhile now, and during that time various individuals (including myself) have asked what his views on religion are, since he alludes to them quite a bit.
As a result Michael has started a new series on the question.
I’m sure he and I probably disagree on various components of it, but that’s quite natural, and I think debating this kind of religious/metaphysical stuff is extremely valuable.
Check it out and leave a comment with your own thoughts!
The Indispensable Christ: The central role Christianity will play in reconquest
Welcome back, gentle reader, to a new series on Christianity and reconquest. I have been asked by several excellent ECW commentators to write my thoughts on Christianity, and I am excited to finally answer their questions. This subject is broad and deep, so I have decided to split it into multiple columns, in the following order:
1. Roman Catholicism
2. Greek Orthodoxy
4. Modernism & Socialism
With this in mind, let us get started with the faith of Tolkien and Poland!
The Problem of Evil
Throughout history, men have asked the questions: ‘why does evil exist? And why do good men suffer?’ These questions are often referred to as ‘the problem of evil.’ We all know evil exists, and are baffled at how it always seems to be winning.
I will discuss other faith/philosophies’ answers to the problem of evil in the next columns, but Christianity is the only one that claims to have a solution. Most other systems have a response, but not an actual solution.
The Christian says that man was created good, without evil, and that evil entered into the world from the Fall.
Evil was never meant to be part of our nature.
The old Adam and the old Eve fell from Grace, yet God sent us a new Adam and a new Eve in Jesus and Mary. The new Adam and the New Eve did not succumb to sin, and were every bit as human as we are.
Rather than dictating from afar, God led by example, and experienced all forms of human suffering, including one of the most painful and humiliating forms of death.
Yet neither he, nor his mother, ever sinned. They are an example and a role model for us all, male and female.
Therefore, there is a solution to the problem of evil in the person of Jesus. Jesus established his Church in order to continue his ministry, and is truly present in every tabernacle of every Catholic Church around the world.
Christianity is the religion of the suffering, the persecuted. It spread across the Roman Empire, despite being illegal for 300 years, against all odds.
In China today, Christianity is growing faster than it ever did before Communism. Africa too, under Islamic and LGBT-globalist persecution, is becoming more Christian than Europe (and its Christian leaders are more opposed to mass immigration than the state-funded European Christian leaders: http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/10/24/vatican-cardinal-sarah-nations-have-the-right-to-distinguish-refugees-from-economic-migrants/ ).
Christianity turns evil’s seeming supremacy on its head, and grows best where there are trials and risks. It is not for the comfortable or faint of heart.
Monasticism and oligarchy
Roman Catholicism is not a monarchy, despite being mislabeled as such since the Avignon Crisis in 1309. The Church declares that Christ is the king, not the pope.
The pope is more akin to a Prime Minister, a head of a council.
Jesus took 12 disciples, which was customary for kings of the period, and had an inner circle of 3 who were his closest friends and brothers. Peter, the first pope, was one of the 3, and frequently acted as a leader and spokesman for the larger group.
This makes the Church an oligarchy, rather than a monarchy or a democracy. This enables it to fulfill the role of oligarchy in society: unity on a macro scale.
Oligarchy is the middle ground between centralizing all power at the top, which is prone to abuse, and between dispersing all power to the bottom, which frequently results in mob rule, anarchy, and disunion. Oligarchy acts as a stabilizing buffer, or like mid-level officers in an army whose focus is on operations rather than tactics, but may still override a subordinate’s decision if it is bad.
Roman Catholicism is ideally suited for unification of diverse groups of people under a single cultural banner. As history has shown, it is possible to do this without erasing borders or national differences.
Roman Catholics united the Occident to fight the Crusades, and the Holy Roman Empire ruled over dozens of nations without extinguishing them.
Even today, Poland has taken in thousands of refugees from Ukraine and the Middle East. The catch is, they have not accepted any of the Mohammedans, and this is why the EU is threatening to sue them.
Mohammedan refugees are the problem, Christian refugees are not.
Catholicism also has given us a model of communal life which is not stifling to individuals.
Rather than a balancing act, Catholicism reconciles many seeming contradictions by having both fully present simultaneously. A lesser-known joke is that the Church’s teaching is black-and-white because it knows that white is also a color (not an absence of color); therefore, its flag has a black stripe and a white stripe, not a single grey one. Rather than a one-dimensional worldview that sees contradictions (shades of grey), Catholicism seamlessly weaves the many colors into the same tapestry.
As mentioned in my Article on Rivendell, Monasticism was a critical part of Europe’s history for over a millennium. Monastic ideals were central to Europeans’ mindset and culture, and when the monasteries were removed, the mindset changed dramatically.
An Anti-bourgeois mindset
Today, our mindset is not of monks, but of merchants.
The monastic life involves voluntary submission to one’s superior, while also requiring superiors to pay heed to those under their care, since they will be held accountable for their actions.
The monks were hard workers, but saw labor as a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. Business and money were a tool, nothing more. The purpose of life was to become holy, and attain Heaven.
Rather than being plain and austere, the monasteries were beautiful and uplifting structures. The rules did not stifle happiness, but gave it structure.
Even today, monasteries are often places of great joy and cheerful disposition. On the secular side, this joy and desire for the happiness of Heaven led to the adornment of every aspect of living.
The spirit of living was one of great desire, of singing, and of passion. Even in Ireland, with its sober piety, there is an appeal in its music and culture that retains this spirit of joy, even amid hardship.
What we have today, instead, is a more disinterested attitude towards everything. Like the merchant, who sees no difference between cheap-made items and quality items, we see everything as a business exchange. Freedom is described as indifference to good and evil (Reference to ‘Victoriana’ essay), being freer suggesting an even more disinterested capacity to choose one or the other. It is so ingrained in our psyche, that the only morality left is ‘consent.’ It does not matter what the act is, so long as both sides consent to it. From this, all we can see is the breaking down of barriers. Beyond that, we see nothing.
Scholasticism and mysticism
Roman Catholicism led to the full flowering of the Occident’s many civilizations. Although the road was anything but straight and smooth, Catholicism united the Germans, Slavs, and Celts when Rome’s legions failed.
Irish monks preserved the knowledge of the Classical era through the barbarian invasions, and then brought them back into the mainstream of Europe. The barbarians wanted the benefits of Roman civilization, but not to the point of slavish copying. The Monasteries did exactly this.
Within Europe, two main branches of theology emerged: the scholastics and the mystics.
The scholastics were more popular in France, while the mystics were popular in Germany.
Scholasticism embraced logic and reason, frequently citing Aristotle. They hoped to develop the intellect as far as possible, and saw no contradiction between faith and reason. Unlike the 18th-century rationalists, they did not reduce man to his mind alone, but sought harmonious integration of mind, body, and soul.
Many scholastics were philosophers, but others were scientists and Renaissance Men. Men like St. Thomas Aquinas were hungry for depth and diversity in their studies, and sought to know the three things required for the salvation of men: what he ought to believe, desire, and do.
No less impressive were the mystics. The mystics emphasized prayer and personal connection to God.
The Christian God is unique because he can be known, despite our limited capacity to do so.
God is love, a positive force that does not rely on the existence of evil to be real.
Our God demands obedience, but desires the same loving obedience that a child gives to his parents. His justice and his mercy are signs of hope for all those who wish to attain Heaven.
The mystics sought to strengthen, and live lives based upon, this spiritual connection.
Many of them experienced ecstasies; that is, experiencing what Heaven is like while still on Earth.
Their written works primarily concern prayer and visions, and occasionally even prophecies. For Occidentals curious about spiritual renewal, St. Therese of Avila and St. John of the Cross are more significant than the Illiad and Odyssey.
Roman Catholicism has been part and parcel of Europe for 2000 years. Its mentality and way of thinking are deeply entwined with Europe’s, and its abandonment has only resulted in chaos, of which we are now in the final stage.
Both history and current events disprove the criticism that bad Church leaders render it irrelevant, as the Church has endured both monarchy and democracy, both popes and antipopes, and both individualism and collectivism.
No other system has survived intact as the Church has. It is the Church of All Ages.
As Our Lady of Fatima foretold in 1917, when our enemies feel they have triumphed, they will fall flat upon their faces, and only then will they realize that they had never won.
The enemy will fall, the Church of Christ will stand. And I will stand with my God.
If anybody wishes to look into this subject further, I recommend the following links and books:
https://www.churchmilitant.com/ – Orthodox Catholic News Service. Church Militant refers to the Church on Earth, who are still alive. The Church Suffering are the souls in Purgatory waiting to enter Heaven, and the Church Triumphant are those who have entered Heaven.
https://onepeterfive.com/ – Another Orthodox Catholic News Service
https://www.catholicgentleman.net/ – Think Art of Manliness for Catholics.
Anything by G. K. Chesterton. My favorites are ‘What’s Wong with the World’ (1910), ‘Orthodoxy’ (1908), and ‘The Flying Inn’ (1914- about an Islamic Britain, no less!)
Anything by Hilaire Belloc. A contemporary of Chesterton, he focuses on history and economics. His best-known work is ‘The Servile State’ (1912), which describes the fundamental differences between slave economies, distributist economies, capitalism, and communism.
Pocket Summa Theologia. A pocket version of Aquinas’ masterpiece, it is much easier to read and cheaper (the unabridged version is 4 volumes). These can be found at Tan Publishing Company: https://www.tanbooks.com/