2018/05/25

Catholic Wonkery

Moleman

...Culture War Edition. Wherein Catholic Wonk Dr. Taylor Marshall attempts to advise Catholics how to win the culture war by writing exactly the kind of article that's been losing Catholics the culture war.

First up, there's no clearer mark of a commenter who has his finger on the pulse of today's fruit fly attention span, post-literate media culture than front loading a comparative analysis of Platonic and Hindu social hierarchies--complete with a (hopefully facetious) trigger warning.
  1. Brahmins (priestly scholar class)
  2. Kshatriyas (royal warrior class)
  3. Vaishyas (artisans, merchants, tradesmen and farmers)
  4. Shudras (laboring classes)
Marshall goes on to deliver a shocking revelation.
We like to think that human society is now finally enlightened and that there are no castes or classes. Whether you call it a “caste” or a “demographic,” you’re just moving around words. The concept may become more humanitarian over time, but the idea of “political layers” transcends cultures and transcends time. Human society has different parts.
The Platonic way of understanding political levels has little to do with wealth. Bill Gates is very rich, but he still belongs to level 3 as a merchant and producer. A modern example of how the the levels can be transcended is how both Barack Obama and Donald Trump ascended from level 3 to level 1. A person at level 3 could be poor, middle class, or a billionaire.
Partial credit to Dr. Marshall for acknowledging that human hierarchies are natural and inevitable while almost calling out egalitarianism as a vicious lie. But I call shenanigans on Obama ever having been level 3. He has always been part of the ruling class and was groomed for power from the start. Pro tip: Getting paid a big advance to not write a book doesn't make you an "artisan".

But I digress. Here's how Marshall categorizes contemporary Western demographics into the classical caste system:
  1. Head (priestly scholar class). This was the Catholic Church’s ecclesial hierarchy (from AD 600-1500). Now it is the University, the Professor, Politician, Judges, the “experts” and (since the 1960s) the TV Media and Social Media (Facebook). They are still almost impossible to circumvent. They seek to influence our daily thoughts and our children. And as always, they are usually very rich.
  2. Chest (royal warrior class). This is the military, but more and more so it is the IRS, FBI, CIA, police, ATF, TSA, game warden, et al. They have the power to imprison us and kill us. In a good political system, they are inspired by the Head to promote justice and protect the innocent. It was for fear of a corrupted “chest level” that the United States allowed its citizens to arm themselves with weapons and, notably, firearms.
  3. Stomach/Loins (artisans, merchants, tradesmen and farmers). This is your “middle class” white collar executives, and your corporate owners. They bear the load of society according to Plato, they must be controlled through “myths or noble lies” crafted by the philosophers. Civil religion is the best way to do this. It can be Roman imperial paganism with an Emperor cult (very powerful). In the same way it can be 16th century Church of England with civil obligations ordered to the king or queen who is “Head of the Church.” Or it can be a form of state-controlled Catholicism (Napoleonic Catholicism or Chinese Communistic Catholicism) or controlled Protestantism (state Protestantism/Lutheranism found in Northern European nations). In the last 30 years, the controlled state religions are being replaced with political correctness and class Socialism.
  4. Limbs (laboring class). We no longer call them “servants” but our society has people who are deeply in debt (in the Bible, debt is de facto slavery) and who work only to: pay off debt (to banks), have food, and have a roof over their heads.
Not a bad attempt. Still, Marshall appears to be too caught up in literalist thinking and old paradigms to get a fully accurate picture of where the class lines are currently drawn. Here's my revised list:
  1. Head Marshall gets this level mostly right. The Catholic hierarchy's prophetic/priestly role has long since been usurped by a rootless, cosmopolitan class of secular elites. They are an over-culture of experts, entertainers, and managers who live in the same few zip codes, send their kids to the same schools, and work in the same industries--usually government and finance, which makes Marshall's omission of bankers odd, especially in light of his level 4. Also, it's become undeniable that it's not so much the politicians who reside at level 1 than the permanent bureaucrats who control them.
  2. Chest Here's where Marshall's literalism blinds him to a key facet of the culture war. Yes, the cops and the military are the warrior caste in meatspace. The culture war is not (yet) a hot conflict fought with fists and guns. Marshall apparently understands that we're in a war of ideologies, but he fails to fully grasp the implications. The real level 2 players come into focus when you look at how the Head exercises authority. The managerial class relies less on the IRS and the cops to remove opposition and more on Big Tech to deplatform, disemploy, and unperson dissenters. Look at Google's firing of James Damore and Twitter's constant suspensions and shadowbans of its insufficiently Leftist users, including me. As the enforcers of the ruling class, the tech oligarchs' goal isn't to reduce dissenters to level 4. It's to make us untouchables.
  3. Stomach/Genitals Marshall is right in naming political correctness as the new religion of the ruling class. However, he makes the classic mistake of seeing socialism as their idol instead of globalism. Since the end of the Cold War, the primary conflict hasn't been between capitalism and socialism, but nationalism and globalism. The managerial elite are firmly in the globalist camp. In fact, they're running it, with the intent of doing away with level 3 altogether. Their dream world is a global version of Brazil, with a small elite class maintaining corporate enforcers as go-betweens who keep them from having to deal with the great unwashed masses.
  4. Limbs Creating a permanent underclass of debt slaves is our elites' ultimate goal. It all makes sense when you realize that our entire economy is based on an ocean of fake credit. This is the main motive for pushing open borders and immigration--to keep inflating the credit bubble by importing new debtors from the third world.
Black Pigeon explains.


What is Dr. Marshall's solution?
My belief is that Christians currently have possess all 4 levels in action whether or not we are recognized in society (we have intellectuals, warriors, artisans, laborers).
Therefore we should be pursuing both strategies at the same time:
We should be fighting to take back levels 1 and 2 (apologetics, academics, along with undermining the anti-Christian institutions).
AND
We should build parallel institutions (e.g., our own Universities, schools, Troops of Saint George, our own TV/radio stations, our own art, our own Social Media outlets, our own news stations).
Some of us can push forward and fight on the front lines of layers 1 and 2 now, while some of us can retreat and construct our own parallel society (of layers 1-4).
It's encouraging to see Marshall correctly point out that Dreher's Benedict Option is insufficient. The enemy won't leave us alone in our self-imposed ghettos, and you can't win a war without a) taking ground and b) taking back ground captured by the enemy.

However, Marshall makes another critical mistake in his prescription for how to fight back. Undermining converged institutions is indeed vital. Focusing on apologetics and academics, on the other hand, is what Catholics have been doing for decades while continually losing.

Marshall provides an excellent example of a pundit who is limited to dialectic. (My advice: Read less Plato and more Aristotle, especially his Rhetoric.) Neither the level 1 professors and entertainers nor the level 2 social media enforcers won control of the institutions through reasoned argument. They did it with Alinsky tactics, social proof, and propaganda that almost exclusively appeal to emotion.

For crying out loud, Marshall knows that the academy has been taken over by anti-Christians. What makes him think their pupils, who've been indoctrinated since kindergarten to hate Christians, will be moved in the slightest by Christian apologetics? He should read Catholic blogger Joseph Moore, who has thoroughly chronicled how American secondary--and even primary--education has been purpose-built to brainwash kids.

Marshall next points out the obvious: that Catholics are struggling to turn the tide in the culture war. In his view, we're too tied to converged institutions and outmoded means of communication.
Also, the Catholic hierarchy in the West still acts like it is operating at level 1 influence. Sadly, this is not the case. Secular nations have spent the last several decades figuring out ways to transform bishops from level 1 priestly spiritual leaders into level 3 producers of funds (taxation of church is the end game) and into level 3 producers of government service (grants to do government work which we saw occur in America under President Obama).
Again, mostly right. Except taxation of the Church isn't the endgame. The Church's destruction is.
The most brilliant minds in Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy are talking about the Benedict Option (Option 2: parallel institutions), but we need to engage both fronts. The intellectuals who are currently “fighting the culture war” while trying to win back levels 1 and 2 are either Jewish (Ben Shapiro, Mark Levin, Michael Savage) or secular in outlook (Milo Yiannopoulos, Gavin McInnis, Jordan Peterson). Some might see this “diversity” as a strength. I see it as as weakness. Here’s why:
As much as I like listening Jordan Peterson or even Ben Shapiro, I sometimes cringe when I think of how much better an equipped Christian could respond. We have a profound intellectual tradition (Thomism), but we are not using it. This is likely why God has allowed Christian influence to wane.
Pro tip 2: Don't opine about how Catholic intellectuals need to improve their familiarity with social media and then peg Milo and Gavin as secularists when five minutes of research would reveal that they're both self-identified Catholics. Milo in particular did more to move the needle culturally than all the Catholic professors in America combined. But he did it with rhetoric (though Milo does his homework and can bring the dialectic when needed), so he doesn't count as a Catholic culture warrior to wonks like Marshall.

The last two sentences in Marshall's second paragraph above are dead wrong. The problem isn't that Catholics haven't been using our profound intellectual tradition. The problem is that our thought leaders keep deploying tactics that lead with dialectic informed by that tradition when the public at large a) is not equipped to understand that tradition, b) has no desire to understand that tradition, and c) have been conditioned into both of those predispositions by the media and academia, including many Catholic schools.

As for why God has allowed Christian influence to wane, it's because we have free will, He lets us have the consequences of our bad decisions, and Christians have been making a fuck ton of bad decisions over the past several decades. (See divorce and contraception rates, degradation of the liturgy, and Democrat party voting rates among Christians.)

Marshall ends with this lament:
Where are the Christians? We need to spend the next decade prayerfully cultivating sharp and relevant Christian minds to engage the culture and social media.
To reiterate, Milo and Gavin are two Christians who've been extraordinarily successful on social media. John C. Wright is a prolific and gifted Catholic author and blogger. Vox Day is making inroads in publishing and tech. Even I'm making my own modest contribution. But Guys like Taylor Marshall won't support or acknowledge any of us because we're not engaging in Thomistic disputations on Facebook.

I do think he's spot-on about the Church's out of touch hierarchy. Here's my list of actions Catholic bishops must take now to stop the decline, get people to take them seriously, and start winning back ground.
  1. Begin offering at least one Latin Mass per week in every diocese. We're going on four generations raised with no connection to the Church's great liturgical tradition (which Marshall overlooks in favor of our intellectual tradition, but as Joseph Campbell pointed out, Liturgy is how theology is applied to daily life). Gen X, Gen Y, Millennials, and Gen Z crave solemnity and mystery, not guitar masses. The Catholic Church is uniquely disposed to provide the sense of  structure and tradition that our rulers have purposefully destroyed.
  2. De-feminize the liturgy. No more "altar girls", female lectors, extraordinary ministers, choir directors, or DREs. Female leadership is the canary in the coal mine that presages imminent descent into full-blown witchcraft as seen in the Anglican Communion, for instance. St. Paul was right.
  3. Immediately stop taking even one cent of government money. As the HHS Mandate debacle should have taught the US Catholic bishops, taking money from the government is like taking money from the mob. Do it even once, and they own you. It's baffling how Marshall misses this point since he correctly discerns that our elites have reduced the hierarchy to an NGO for their political ambitions. Shut down the hospitals, charities, and even the schools if you have to. This mess started when the Catholic schools started accepting federal money, anyway.
  4. Stop assisting the elite's plan to undermine national sovereignty by importing waves of immigrants to become generational debt slaves. No one is fooled by Catholic Charities' claims of wanting to welcome the stranger when it's clear that the US bishops are supporting unrestricted immigration in a cynical attempt to replace American Catholics (and their tuition and donations) by importing new Catholics from south of the border. Support for programs like DACA and opposition to President Trump's travel ban violate the spirit and the letter of the Catechism's teaching on the complementary rights to immigration and national sovereignty.
  5. Inform self-described Catholic politicians who publicly persist in grave sin that they have excommunicated themselves. Barring grave, unrepentant, public sinners from receiving Communion is an obligation and a mercy on the part of the hierarchy. It isn't "compassionate" or "open-minded" to let the likes of Nancy Pelosi and the Kennedys who endorse and vote for infanticide and the abolition of marriage to present themselves for Communion. It sends the message (there's that pesky rhetoric again!) that you aren't serious about your own teachings.
  6. Open the priesthood to married men. I'm not advocating the end of priestly celibacy for the usual reason, viz. to increase the quantity of priests. Rather, I propose admitting married men to the altar to address the priestly quality issue. Let's not dissemble. The sexual abuse crisis was caused by homosexuals in the priesthood. Men who suffer from same-sex attraction are already supposed to be banned from the priesthood. Requiring celibacy made sense when feudalism meant that a percentage of bright, educated sons of the nobility couldn't be married off and lay investiture was a pressing concern. Now, a lot of gay men go into the priesthood to hide their affliction (ask Milo). Letting married men become priests will drastically increase the pool of clergy who are not attracted to teenage boys and who possess the masculine leadership abilities that attract women.
  7. Call a holy crusade to liberate Christendom from the Saracen. At the rate Europe is going, Reconquista II will be necessary sooner or later. Best to get a head start.
Thankfully, some bishops, like Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, IL, get it.

I'm under no illusions that the steps I outlined are at all likely to happen anytime soon. The Boomers in the Church's hierarchy will have to retire and/or die before we can expect any effective leadership from the top.  

Fortunately, it is the laity, not the clergy, who are called to consecrate the world to God. Fire up your memes, your rhetoric, and your unpozzed art, and let's get to work!

"Star Wars on exotic mushrooms and psychedelic tree frog secretions snorted through a rolled up copy of Heavy Metal magazine."

Nethereal - Brian Niemeier

41 comments:

  1. You are dead on on your point 4 about unrestricted immigration from the south. It's a joke. A complete and utter joke.

    The recent RCIA class had to be done in both English and Spanish because all these new butts in pews aren't even Catholic. Nor do they want to learn English or assimilate. Send them all home, and their kids too. When asked what they wanted to change about the world (in Spanish, no less) most of them said, "hate".

    As in "Don't hate us because we suck up endless resources and demand more. Don't hate us when we call you racist. If you expect us to assimilate and speak English, you are Hating." Go home, squatters!

    Our parish sends money to Central America for education. And health care. And building infrastructure they're incapable of maintaining. The latest plea for money is diabetes medications. Yes, the biggest problem in Mexico isn't starvation, but stuffing yourself so fat you get the beetus.

    I chuck money in the offertory basket to keep the lights on, but never the "special" collections.

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    1. Even before Current Year, it was obvious that the USCCB was foolishly and lazily gambling that the New Catholics they brought in wouldn't be secularized just as quickly as the American parishioners they couldn't be bothered to keep. They gambled and lost.

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    2. Good to know it's not just me who's noticed that as a white American, I'm merely a damn ATM, and not a human being with a soul.

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    3. Gotta love how all that charity chases to brown and black countries half way across the world rather than cleaning up and evangelizing the 3rd world holes here in the USA, like places in Kentucky and West Virginia. And as for the Spanish, I was always annoyed by the hypocrisy of it after I learned that the precursor to the USCCB and the Vatican ordered German Catholics in the USA to stop celebrating Mass in German and to do it in English because “they live in America and America’s language is English.” This happened in the late 1950’s.

      Speaking of the American White Man ATM, in Sem they told us the USA is the financial basket of the Church. Our collections produce over 50% of the yearly revenue of Catholic Church.

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    4. "Our collections produce over 50% of the yearly revenue of Catholic Church."

      That's why the USCCB's obsession with dissolving the laity and establishing another is ridiculous, even in terms of pure self-interest. They're killing the golden goose.

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  2. An historical note: one thing lurking in much of the source materials I've looked at on Catholicism in America is the sense that America is better, and that American Catholicism is better, and that the way forward is for Catholicism in the rest of the world to become more American. Even someone with as gimlet an eye as Orestes Brownson though, at least toward the end of his life, that Americanism was by nature Catholic, so that America was fated to become Catholic and then absorb the rest of the nations in the hemisphere as they lined up to become States. He wrote about this in 1865. No attention seems to have been paid to the parts of Americanism that were and remain rabidly anti-Catholic.

    Later, you have American prelates and bishops talking disparagingly about Rome and Europe in general, how backwards and contemptible they were, with their aristocracy and craven peasants, not free and modern like Americans. Who can even talk with such people? These were some of the people to whom Pius X was directing his attacks on Modernism. Yet they were same people expected to lead the charge against Modernism, when they couldn't see it, blinded as they were by their Americanism - two different but easily confounded things.

    Example: I noted when reading about the formation of Catholic University of America and the founding of the National Catholic Education Association and the ongoing growth of Catholic schools that, on the one hand, you had bishops who were (correctly) jealous of their authority over the schools and the thousands of sisters they'd largely imported to staff them, and on the other the staff at CUA who seemed to want above all to be respected as university intellectuals and the National Catholic Education Association founders and members who wanted teaching in Catholic schools to be a professional career just like the secular 'educators' (as opposed to being an impoverishing vocation pursued by religious).

    You end up having a CUA professor as the publisher of virtually all the textbooks used in Catholic schools from the 1910s on through the 40s and 50s, effectively evading the oversight of the bishops, who probably didn't have time to review them anyway. Regardless of what was in the books - I suspect it wasn't too bad - the IDEA of a centrally managed and produced set of texts to be used in age-graded classrooms is apex Prussian Model schooling, and a gratifying victory for those who believed Catholicism should be more American! (Those textbooks are on my Amazon wish list, along with books by the various suspects - est. time to reading - 5 years?)

    Too much here for a comment. Some of these issues are 150+ years old, and perhaps best expressed as the difference between American Catholics and Catholic Americans.

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    1. You've done yeoman's work, sir. Thank you.

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  3. I'm just going to come right out and say as one who has been in the center of the other side and their unwilling slaves: ditch dialiectic altogether.

    If you want argue Plato and Aristotle among yourselves, or how outdated St. Thomas Aquinas might be, then do so among yourselves on your own time.

    Nobody on the other side cares. Nobody (truly) in the center cares. You're only going to convince them through shock and emotion.

    It is what it is. Accept it and put away the bow ties. They're useless in a barbaric society that uses civility as a club and little else.

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    1. Catholic Wonks: Four generations have been brainwashed to shun philosophy and theology like the clap!

      Also Catholic Wonks: The only way to reach these people is with more philosophy and theology!

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    2. How does one engage several generations in philosophy and logic when neither subject has been a part of the Western school curriculum for a good century or so? Does not help that Philosophy classes are mostly “history of philosophy” classes taught by nihilists who ramble about a non-philosopher, Nietsche, simply because Nietsches aphorisms are less academicese gobbly-gook as almost every philosopher post-Aquinas, and therefore their simple minds can BS their students to sound smart and enlightened.

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    3. Yep. Hearing someone squee over Nietzsche is one of my biggest red flags.

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  4. Not Catholic, but: " it's because we have free will, He lets us have the consequences of our bad decision"

    As far as I'm concerned that's how we ended up with the Clinton-v-Trump. God's not gonna pull our collective heads out of our asses for us, if the OT prophets are correct (and I think they are).

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    1. It's definitely how we got both Bushes and both Clintons. Thankfully, God is merciful and has given us a rare chance to save Western civilization with Trump.

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  5. Brian

    A really bracing post and one's that applicable to Canada and Europe.
    Fighting corruption is the first step in the counteroffensive. Not just economic but political, intellectual moral and so one. The nexus are the political parties. Yesterday the governing party in Spain was found guilty of illegal financing. Under the law the party must be dissolved.
    By going after corrupt political parties you also destroy the hubs between corporations, media and the deep state.
    As powerful as they are they.ll crack under withering pressure like O'Keefe type exposes, withdrawal of money and good old fashioned ridicule

    It's tough and very scary but the indignation of he righteous man is very salutary

    xavier

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  6. Milo is just another yahoo aggravating the world's political inflammation. His politics are better than the going rate, but it's still boiling down to an obsession with rallies and the identity of the next brahmin-elect. Peterson... now, he might be a gateway drug to philosophy and theology.

    But the real key of emotional appeals to Christ is beauty. It's true: you can't show the transcendent by argument, not to a populace so intellectually debased that they're liable to be argued into no more or less than what they want to hear, and decide that the transcendent must be some kind of cosmic wishing well that only wants to pamper them. But to show the transcendent by transcending... that's something anyone can accomplish.

    On another note, the thesis of The Benedict Option is that Christianity's problem is that it, itself, has scant idea of what it is, and that we must build fortifications before we are in any position to conquer ground. No one discussing it online appears to have read two chapters in.

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    1. As for Milo being a Catholic: by your own showing, Milo ought to be excommunicated.

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    2. Let me get this straight. Milo, who vocally champions the Church, is just another yahoo. Meanwhile, Jordan Peterson, who publicly denigrates and lies about the Church, may be a "gateway drug" to philosophy and theology. Right. Shill harder.

      "But the real key of emotional appeals to Christ is beauty."

      Correct.

      ".. the thesis of The Benedict Option is that Christianity's problem is that it, itself, has scant idea of what it is..."

      Then it's even more retarded than I thought.

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    3. "As for Milo being a Catholic: by your own showing, Milo ought to be excommunicated."

      You dislike Milo. We get it. No one cares.

      Look, if you're going to comment here, at least try to stay on topic. Milo came up because Taylor Marshall brought him up and completely glossed over the fact that he's Catholic.

      You're obviously throwing around words you don't understand in a clumsy attempt to accuse me of hypocrisy. To clarify:

      1. Milo is Catholic by virtue of his baptism. This is an ontological reality that his actions have not changed.

      2. Excommunication is medicinal, not vindictive. Its aim is to correct the guilty party so he repents and returns to full communion with the Church. Committing any mortal sin automatically places a Catholic under minor excommunication. Homosexual acts constitute grave matter. If Milo knowingly and willingly performs a homosexual act, he is guilty of mortal sin and under minor excommunication.

      All that's necessary to remove minor excommunication is valid sacramental confession.

      Even if Milo's bishop imposed the penalty of major excommunication, Milo would still be Catholic. Throwing the fact of Nancy Pelosi's minor excommunication back in my face doesn't remove Taylor Marshall's oversight.

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    4. Milo has done more effective work than anyone at any Christian organization in the culture war.

      We don't have room for purity tests. If you want to quibble that he's not perfect then step up and do what he does while being a better Catholic.

      But none of these pure Catholics can do that, can they? All they can do is straighten their bow-ties, lecture those who have legitimate grievances, and pretend barbarism can be beat off with words.

      The fact of the matter is that your enemy doesn't speak Christianese. They speak secular. That's why Gavin and Milo, despite how good Catholics they might or might not be, are far more effective warriors in the culture war than the respectable types who do nothing but whine and sneer at those who try to affix any real change.

      Just as a general example, Milo responded to public attacks by building an empire. Kevin Williamson cowered and cried while lashing our any who tried to create change. One is still relevant and fighting, the other is not.

      You want to fix Milo's problems, do it in private. In public he's far more effective than you or Brian, or I am.

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    5. Jordan Peterson is a gateway to philosophy? Oh dear, you are too short for this ride kid. Read Peterson’s 12 Rules or Maps of Meaning to see what a crazy charlatan he is, or if you are too lazy, go read the posts by Vox Day tagged with Jordanetics. Peterson is only a gateway to Globalism, Ethnic and cultural dissolution, and hell. The guy is insane - smart - but insane and has a Messiah complex that is more Jim Jones than Jesus Christ.

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    6. I hate bragging, so my pleasure in saying this is accordingly reduced. I'm on record pegging Kermit the Prog as a snake oil salesman before Vox did.

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  7. There is no such thing as an "American Catholic".
    There are "Catholics who happen to be Americans" or "Catholics in America".

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    1. Well said.

      I have no qualms about admitting that America is a Protestant nation.

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    2. America is still Anti-Catholic, they just don’t post signs at establishment doorways bluntly stating it anymore.

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  8. As someone who likes philosophy and theology, I wish you were wrong about their usefulness... but I fear you are not. As a convert to the faith, I can testify that they do work on some people, but those who are willing to accept that everything we knew and believed has been tainted by lies--especially about the Church--based solely on intellectual arguments are few and far between.

    I was a Deist at (what I now believe to one of the more liberal Catholic universities of the West Coast), and while I was drawn in by the Philosophy Club and most of their more orthodox philosophy (though the main professor of the club was still a globalist, wanting a single world government... I never understood how he could accept that, and yet not see that it contradicted so many other things he held to be true), there were not any other people not raised Catholic or already converted joining in...

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    1. "As someone who likes philosophy and theology, I wish you were wrong about their usefulness... but I fear you are not."

      I spent years of my life and tens of thousands of dollars studying theology and philosophy. You will not find someone who wishes more that they were effective, and you won't find anyone who is more sure they aren't.

      "I can testify that they do work on some people..."

      Roughly ten percent of the population can be convinced by dialectic. Our natural dispositions are similar. I have always based my positions on rational thought and evidence, and I strive to follow the truth wherever it leads. At first I found rhetoric crass and tawdry, but after forcing myself to learn it, I can't argue with the results.

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    2. Perhaps I misspoke, I like your choice of words better... they are "useful" in forming our weapons for war, even if they are not themselves effective weapons in the war.

      I can't say I have always been the most rational person; after all, I was born and raised a very libertarian Republican. Now I just identify as an orthodox Catholic.

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    3. "At first I found rhetoric crass and tawdry, but after forcing myself to learn it, I can't argue with the results"

      Where did you learn rhetoric from? Is there a book or something with a crash course in rhetoric? I find myself being really weak in this area and would like to read some books on the subject or something.

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    4. Good question. I must give due credit to Vox Day, whose recommendation of Aristotle's book Rhetoric started me on the path. It's available for free online.

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    5. I will echo Brian, Vox pointed me to Aristotle’s Rhetoric. Seems he did such a good job that no one really added to it (that or the works were lost).

      If you want to explore Rhetoric as it applies to modern media, you might want to look into the work of Edward Bernaise, nephew of Sigmund Freud. The guy committed a lot of civilizational ruin in exchange for coin and the thrill of manipulating people. Modern marketing still follows many of his principles and theories on how to do propaganda.

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    6. Spelled it wrong. Edward Bernays. I believe the title of his main book is Propaganda.

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    7. Thanks guys, I'm definitely gonna check out this stuff.

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  9. Also we should stop apologizing for the Crusades and the Inquisition. They were just and righteous.

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    1. I'm all in agreement with you as far as the Crusades and the Papal Inquisition are concerned. The Spanish Inquisition was not all that bad, but it was a usurpation of Church offices by the State, and I can't get behind that.

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    2. Boomer Christians and their acolytes do this because it is a weapon to keep their soldiers in line and complacent.

      If Christians learn that violence is not only necessary at times, but even required, then they can't be controlled and left under the thumb of those who hate and want to crush them.

      They can't get fat and lazy in their three story houses if they have to speak back against their betters and risk losing their precious pieces of silver in the process.

      Much easier to convince their followers to keep their heads down while sin runs rampant. Wouldn't want to dirty the golf shoes by getting in the mud.

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    3. Agreed Shepherd. I also agree with you Cowan. We need Catholics to understand that the Good has to be willing to use violence to keep Evil from winning. Pacifism has been promoted in order to get Christians to provide zero resistance to wickedness.

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  10. Matthew

    There some good reasons for state to have the Inquisition be politicized. It was very unfortunate but it was due to the large number of Moriscos;about 10% of the population. And don't forget the strategic location: you had the entire Magreb up to Iraq full of moslems and they continued to raid up until the next 1830s.

    The Jews caused less problems because the 1492 explusion had removed a lot of them. A mistake in my view.
    JF Mira wrote a book on the end of the Moriscos in Valencia. He refutes all the pieties on the subject. The king and Inquisition were justified in expelling them.

    xavier

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  11. So much good stuff here, Brian. I like Dr. TM and I used to read him when I converted/reverted. He reminds me of some of my friends who mean well but really can't grasp that much of the culture is made up of people not like them (i.e. they don't respond to dialectic).

    So I agree with much of what you say, these are just some of my comments on it.

    Regarding your solutions:
    1. It needs to be more than just 1 church in the diocese, it should be at least 1 church per deanery. My diocese has two parishes that offer an EF/Latin Mass every Sunday, but said parishes are 1.5 hrs or more away from where I live, and I have small children. It's simply not enough. Meanwhile I have access to 12+ folk garbage Masses and 3 contemporary narcissistic music fests between the 6 parishes in my area. I'm forced to spend most of my time in the back making fun of music choices such as "Lord of the Dance" or "Anthem".

    6. Interesting. I get your reasoning but I'm not sure the solution will come of it seeing as what has happened to Protestant churches and their married ministers. We just need masculine men to take up the priesthood again, be it mandatory celibacy or not. What would help that is to move away from all the "God is mercy and only mercy so all are welcome, you were born that way, do what thou wilt God will forgive you in the end for we have a reasonable hope that all men are saved" yada yada. That said, I too suggest ending the marriage requirement but more for extending a bridge to the Eastern lung, with the hopeful secondary result being what you described.

    The rest, I say "preach it, brother." Especially 7. North Africa, Turkey, Cyprus, and the Eastern Med coast belong to Christendom. Enough martyrs have bled for that land. Besides, we'll need room for all the babies after we abolish divorce and abortion.

    Off Topic: check out VD's Dawkins Syndrome post and the linked/quoted article.

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  12. Thanks. I like Dr. Marshall, too. Consider this post a tough love exhortation for guys in his shoes.

    Good point re: EF Masses.

    Others are better equipped to comment on how married clergy work out for our separated brethren. Getting masculine men back into the priesthood is indeed imperative. I jut don't see a better way to get the quality and quantity we need other than admitting married men. There's a wealth of married permanent deacons who in my experience are more doctrinally solid and better preachers than most priests. Go ahead and let those who wish it be admitted to the altar.

    I'd overlooked the implications for healing the East-West Schism. Good point.

    Saw the Dawkins Syndrome post. Dug it.

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