This is a Catholic blog, but by one utterly unsuited to promoting the Faith. I make no pretense to personal holiness. I do not pray often. I do not fast often. I’ve never been to a Latin Mass (not that I’ve ever had the opportunity). I have little insight into the deep matters of the Faith. No one should take me as a guide on getting to heaven.
This blog does more preliminary work than that. While the great theologians have been thinking about how to raise people to the heights of charity and mystical illumination, they haven’t noticed that the masses have lost even the basic natural attitudes that make for a mediocre Catholic. I have in mind three preliminaries in particular. The first is a sense of the sacred, the spirit of reverence, coupled to a sense of God’s revelation in the given meanings of the world. The second is a horror of nihilism, so that a man fears meaninglessness more than he craves license. The last is basic tribal loyalty to the Church and her members throughout the ages. The theologians scorn these attitudes because they are after all natural; one finds analogous or even identical things in any vital religion. But without them, any spiritual quest is bound to begin in pride and end in apostasy. Time and again, I’ve seen men of much greater virtue and much greater love of Jesus fall into error for lack of a visceral repulsion to blasphemy and disloyalty.
I’ve just renamed my Catholicism essay Preliminaries to Catholicism to give a better idea of its real function. So, one point of this blog is to help people become mediocre Catholics like me. I encourage you not to be satisfied with this, but remember, you can’t be a good Catholic if you can’t first be a mediocre Catholic. Grace builds on nature, higher spiritual states on lower ones.
Mark Citadel has taken the idea of tribal Christianity to the next step and provided a model for us to follow. We must build parallel societies like the Muslims have done in Europe. I’ve often marveled that while Christian youths won’t suffer mild unpopularity or inconvenience, Islam seems to overflow with young men eager to die for their faith. We should not underestimate the power as well as the legitimacy of us versus them. The rest of the world really is our enemy.
Because I’m not anybody’s leader, I don’t have to write posts to rally the troops. I see those sorts of posts at places like First Things and Crisis, going on about how we’re going to win because we’ve got Nature or God on our side, that we just have to be “winsome” and “loving” and never angry. It’s almost enough to bring one to despair, seeing how awful the arguments against despair are. I’m not going to insult your intelligence with that sort of thing. Those who will only fight if they see some hope of victory have already given up.
This blog is also a dumping ground for matters insufficiently serious for the Orthosphere. When I feel the need to talk about princesses or Star Trek, this is where I go.
Lastly, this is a racist blog. Particularism is one of the three pillars of the Orthosphere, but its form varies from culture to culture. Some commenters here have made good arguments that race is not a particularly good nexus of loyalty, that country, city, or more restrictive kinship group are better. Ultimately, though, one’s identity is largely beyond one’s control; it is already formed by the time one is able to think about it. For better or worse, after being a Catholic, the next thing I am is “white”. “White” isn’t a very desirable identity; its essence is the ascription of guilt for the sins of European civilization. However, one thing I’ve learned from Juan Donoso Cortes is that collective guilt is at the heart of solidarity. I wouldn’t trade my implication with Europe; I’ve come to feel that they are my people, and I can’t discard them. As I’ve said before, it’s revealing to ask whether African-Americans should feel guilty for America’s history of slavery and Indian displacement. The answer, of course, is “no”, no one would imagine that blacks should feel guilty for stuff white Americans once did. But this is proof, is it not, that their identity is different from mine–since I of course should feel guilty, even though my ancestors came to America just in time to fight for the Union–and that what are called the crimes of America really mean the crimes of white people. Race is really a more salient category than citizenship.
Like anything, racism can be done poorly or it can be done well. I would say I’m no better than a mediocre racist, but I want to help fellow whites achieve this level as well. On the one hand, white Christendom was very particularist for a monotheistic society; on the other hand, no people has fallen into such total self-loathing as whites. And yet, if we can love our people, even in the face of Jewish and negro moral superiority, even knowing that we’re the one culture anthropologists can’t think of a single good thing to say about, what a beautiful and pure love it would be. Other peoples may seem tribal, but deep down they know the esteem they hold for their culture could be validated by objective merit. Only the white man has had the sense of his peoples’ worth completely destroyed, so only he can love without pride, and only he is interested in defending particularism as a universal principle.
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