Even at my most youthful, arrogant and anti-religious, I never really stopped believing this. Though the three Abrahamic faiths are too convoluted and implicated in mortal foibles for me to settle on any one of them, I’ve always been averse, not to paganism or magic per se, but to hubris, dark arts and left-hand ideologies. Particularly, in this connection, I’ve long felt that the reactionary argument (best summarized by Yeats, if I’m not mistaken) connecting Christianity directly to liberalism is quite shallow. And it is, except when it isn’t.
I often encounter liberal friends and colleagues, and I’ve come to realize that what they have in common is that they hate themselves. The milieu has its alphas and its omegas, to be sure, and everyone consoles him or herself with rectitude to a greater or lesser degree—but at bottom, for whites at least (there are no non-white liberals) liberalism is a form of self-abnegation.
Meanwhile, there seems to be a resurgence of interest nowadays in Eastern Orthodoxy among right-wingers. I used to follow a lot of alt-Orthodox accounts on Twitter and Facebook. About a year ago I saw a post that ran roughly as follows:
“Pray for me! My wife has apostatized and left with my step-daughter. I received a notification from a lawyer that she is filing for divorce. I miss my step-daughter terribly! I tried so hard to keep my wife in the fold, but she was not strong enough” etc., etc.
I felt bad for the guy, of course. But something about this marriage sounded strange. I mean, first off: why do you only have a step-daughter? The Bible says be fruitful and multiply, bro. I’m pretty sure you’re allowed to stop fellating God long enough to accomplish this. Perhaps God doesn’t even want this? Hymns, candles, liturgies, etc…. It’s all very nice, but perhaps there’s just an understanding God wants us to attain and try to imbue our actions with. That seems to me to be the whole message of Christ.
So I could see how the holy-rolling husband made himself a huge pain in the ass. But by itself, that’s probably not enough to repulse a wife. Rather, taking on a groveling aspect is not conducive to manhood. Like liberalism, it’s passive aggressive, a way of indulging self-loathing, of valorizing a weak chin. Obviously, hedonism wrecks people, and I’m not advocating it. I’m all for Christian continence, to a degree. But how TF are you allowing yourself social media (which is real poison) and not raw-dogging the wife? The only way that makes sense is if your religion is for show.
I know the Orthodox response to this is probably that homeboy was doing it wrong, that the Bible indeed commands us to be fruitful, that Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount says not to make a parade out of piety, etc. But Christianity is nothing if not utterly sexless. And what’s a sacral procession? It’s literally a parade.
Does the trinity make any sense at all? How about communion? You know, the blood wine and the flesh bread? Either that all makes zero fucking sense whatsoever, or you have to be way smarter than everyone to comprehend it, in which case you’re damn sure not receiving the kingdom like a little child. If God is logos, i.e., universal reason, then why am I being told that I must believe things that make no fucking sense?
I’ve been reading the Old Testament my entire life, and the New for the last five years or so. My wife is nominally Orthodox. We have young children, and I’ve been looking to inculcate them in a tradition that emphatically teaches (among other, related things) that faggotry is a sickness. So I tried getting into Orthodoxy over the past few months, and what I’ve found is just as much idolatry as there is in Judaism. In particular, converts to Orthodoxy in modern America (usually about half the congregation) are invariably obsessed with authenticity. It’s hipsterism grown old, with the insufferable knit-picking about 80s movies and musical subgenera re-canned and transferred over to theology and apologetics.
Jay Dyer is a perfect example of this. Don’t get me wrong: I appreciate and recommend his conspiracy lectures, and even some of his philosophy stuff. But he’s totally glib. Paul Krugman couldn’t be more smug. Dyer has found the thing, and can hold forth literally for hours about why he’s smarter than you. That’s what apologetics amounts to. And it has to be a facade, because (as with liberalism) the suggestion is always that downloading and then going through life insisting on some horribly circuitous reasoning is akin to having a woke third eye. In both cases, it’s purely performative.