What this blog is for

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.

41 Responses

  1. […] What this blog is for […]

  2. I find it difficult to imagine “white” as an identity at all; what, other than pigmentation does a Swede have in common with a Kosovar or a Chechen, culturally or historically? What sense of fellow-feeling exists between Germans, Poles and Russians? Do Basques and Serbs really feel that they are, in any sense, one people?

    Identities tend to be defined against some “other” and so to be flexible; a friend of mine who has worked much abroad observed, rather sardonically that in Hong Kong, he identified as European, in New York as British and in London as Scottish..

  3. I think “white” is an American thing because most of us have no particular ethnicity due to European immigrants interbreeding with each other. Also our enemies have defined us as white and attacked us as a group in no uncertain terms. It’s a wrong term, but it’s all we’ve got.

    As for the first part of this post, when I was an atheist and reading this blog I began to consider the Faith due to the preliminaries Bonald listed and even based on some of the things I’d read in this very blog, especially about the permanence of marriage and evils of feminism. I’m now a mediocre Catholic, but I hope to improve as time goes on.

    The baby steps, the preliminaries, could help a lot of people who were in my place, who couldn’t go straight from liberal atheism to Catholicism. The Church needs to understand they can grasp the hearts and minds of the young generations by pointing out what’s wrong, why it’s wrong and how to fix it (and ultimately, that the world will never be fixed until kingdom come).

  4. Cool. There’s at least 2 racist Catholics in the world, you and Laura. If I ever get around to joining the Church there will be a third.

    Michael, that’s because you’re a Brit (Scot?). You have more or less an ethnostate so you don’t understand. My ancestry is English, Niedersachsen, Scottish, Austrian & Italian so I’m White.

    My black neighbor (a real nice guy)makes a very big deal about his blackness – it’s important to him – his identity excludes me so we’re definitely not of the same people.

  5. Hi MPS,

    If you don’t understand, you soon will. Immigration will Americanize Europe. What do Swedes, Germans, Poles, Russians, and Serbs have in common? If one of them moves into your neighborhood, he gets to share your “legacy of shame”. If a Nigerian, a Pakistani, or a Japanese moves in, he’s bringing vibrant diversity and is most certainly not guilty of Europe’s sins.

    The way it works is kind of funny. Don’t think about it historically, or linguistically, or genetically. Look at how “white” is actually used. That gives the only meaning that matters. (We’re talking about race “as a social construct”, after all.) A Chechen is not “white”; he’s an oppressed minority, even though he’s Caucasian. That’s because he’s Muslim. But “white” isn’t shorthand for “Christian” either. The Nigerian may well be a Christian, but he’s not “white” because he’s black, which makes him also an oppressed minority. “Whites” are Caucasians from historically Christian cultures.

  6. Regarding the first part of the essay the lack of a mediocre-Catholic culture among the laity is one of two things that has kept me from converting (realistically if I convert I convert, at best, to the conservative-N.O. culture). The latest example that has become my hobby horse is that conservative-orthodox Catholic girls don’t see motherhood as something they look towards with hope and excitement. Many of them are either indifferent or even repulsed by the idea even after they get married. I have seen numerous examples of this in real life (Catholic girls that get married and don’t expect or want babies and are hostile to the idea of children -can you get more broke than this!) and I’ve seen examples of this on EWTN’s conversion stories. Why would I want my sons to have to marry a girl who either is denying him sex or contracepting so that she can put her college degree to good use. I’m seriously thinking about saying to heck with all this and raising the kids in the local congregation of the Duggar-Fundie church.

  7. Don’t sell yourself short Bonald, you are quite a good racist. Simply being savvy about the Jewish Question automatically puts you at the 99th percentile of racism in modern day America. Also, you get bonus points for being a racist despite being Christian (which must be a real rarity these days).

  8. […] “Throne and Altar”, however, has nailed it: […]

  9. […] “Throne and Altar”, however, has nailed it: […]

  10. @ Bruce: About the orthodox Catholic girls, how old were they – the married ones and singles?

    Speaking as a guy, when I was 21, which wasn’t too long ago, I admitted to my academic adviser that pregnancy was “weird” to me – me being worried about her safety/health, as in what if she’d fall or something while carrying our child – and that I didn’t want to have kids till I was in my late twenties as well as being open to adoption if my wife didn’t want any kids via natural way. I was perfectly fine not having kids even. Now, after a handful of years outside the academic bubble my views have changed. I’ve rethought about my position and my feelings and now I can only hope & pray that I’d meet a girl, hopefully a Christian one – if not as least one that is open to life and that hasn’t bought into the whole ABC “my body, my choice” autonomy BS, that doesn’t see domesticity and motherhood as an inferior life and vocation.

  11. @ Bruce: Were the women on EWTN, the converted ones, newly converted or have they been in the faith for a few years? It could be they’re still holding onto more modern views about sex and motherhood.

  12. Note: In my first post “her” doesn’t refer to my academic adviser, but to whomever I will marry one day.

  13. Bruce wrote, “My ancestry is English, Niedersachsen, Scottish, Austrian & Italian so I’m White.”

    The Scottish Seymours came from Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, in the Ile-de-France (They were vidames to the abbey).

    One of my more colourful maternal ancestors was a soldier of fortune, Lt-Col William Linnaeus Gardner (b. 1770) who had served in the 74th Highlanders and, in 1809 raised, at Farrukhabad and Mainpuri, the famous cavalry corps known as “Gardner’s Horse.” In 1796, he married Nawab Mah Manzilunnissa Begum Dehlivi, a princess of Cambay, afterwards adopted as daughter by Padshah Akbar Shah, Emperor of Delhi. Such an inter-racial marriage was no new thing in the Gardner family; he was descended from Col Jonathan Gale of Fullerswood, Parish of St Elizabeth, Jamaica, who, in 1699, had married a West African slave, Eleanor.

    Gardner’s granddaughter, Susan Gardner [Sabia Begum], married Mirza Anjan Shikoh, son of Shahzada Mirza Suleiman Shikoh of the Delhi Imperial Family. He was the grandson of Padshah-e Hind (Emperor of India) Jalal ad-Din Abu´l Mozaffar Mohammad Ali Gauhar Shah Alam II (1759/1788). Such family connections were quite common in the days of the old East India Company, right up until the Indian Mutiny of 1857.

    As a direct descendant of Sabia Begum, I must have any number of Muslim ancestors of varying degrees of orthodoxy and observance from the first Mughal Emperor, Zahir ud-Din Mohammad (Babur) onwards. Of course, it also makes me a lineal descendant of Genghis Khan, with whom I share a love of horses, a simplicity of tastes and (according to my friends) a certain acerbity of manner.

    I am a Scottiah nationalist.

  14. Marissa – I am afraid a good deal of contemporary Catholicism that is, not so much heterodox, as simply worldly.

    It bears more than a passing resemblance to the “Public School Religion,” described by Mgr Ronald Knox – using “pubic school” in the British sense of independent, endowed boarding school for the English upper class:-

    “I think, then, it should be said at the outset that public schools are trying to teach the sons of gentlemen a religion in which their mothers believe, and their fathers would like to: a religion without ” enthusiasm ” in the old sense, reserved in its self-expression, calculated to reinforce morality, chivalry, and the sense of truth, providing comfort in times of distress and a glow of contentment in declining years; supernatural in its nominal doctrines, yet on the whole rationalistic in its mode of approaching God: tolerant of other people’s tenets, yet sincere about its own, regular in church-going, generous to charities, ready to put up with the defects of the local clergyman.”

    Elsewhere, he summed it up in a memorable couplet:
    “When suave Politeness, temp’ring bigot Zeal
    Corrected “I believe” to “One does feel””,

    Its highest expression of moral disapproval was, “It’s simply not done” and, when people (our sort of people) do start doing it, they are simply nonplussed.

  15. “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.”

    I see this attitude everywhere especially among Catholics. It’s infuriating. Its utter hollowness is proven by the success of the gay “marriage” movement. These people didn’t win because they’re exceptionally kind; they’re dangerous perverts who harass, bully, and intimidate other gays who oppose their agenda (including outing closeted ones, like they did to Breitbart and Cardinal O’Brien), indulge in the vilest slanders and unseemliest speculations about the secret hearts and desires of total strangers, shut down orphanages out of spite, marshal media forces of darkness to humiliate and hound hapless small business owners out of public life; on occasion their shills even try to kill people (e.g., the FRC headquarters shooting back in 2012). As Robert Oscar Lopez pointed out (http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2014/04/stop_crying_over_mozilla_and_start_fighting_back.html), their movement is an “engine of world-historical evil.” Nor did they win because of the unimpeachable logical integrity of their arguments, which are gaseous sentimentalisms advanced by tedious autistic pedants. They won because they seized the moral high ground early on and rained thunderous denunciations on their enemies without ever ceding an inch — just like the Church used to do in the bad old days when people were converting and baptizing infants by the millions and we couldn’t churches and seminaries and novice houses fast enough to accommodate them all. “You get more flies with honey!” Maybe so, but men are not flies.

    We SHOULD be angry toward these people, because their ideas are horrifying and righteous anger is the proper response. Setting aside that sodomy is a sin which cries out to Heaven for vengeance and that gay “marriage” is a gross injustice in itself (it is a lie about marriage, and lies debase everyone, both the tellers of the lie and the ones forced to abide by it), their arguments in other regards are appalling and we should call them out on it, aggressively. Just last week I publicly accused a U.S. military veteran of supporting cultural genocide against children because of his support for “gay adoption.” Sure, I included a brief explanation of why the accusation was appropriate, but only because most people don’t get beyond the level of seeing who is the more righteously outraged party. Currently I’m trying to maneuver a gay pro-SSM lawyer into admitting that the logic of SSM also demands toleration of bestiality, whereupon I will publicly name him (and his law firm) as supporting having the government take money from poor families and give it instead to goat rapists. Thereafter I will simply refer to his position as “pro-goat rape.” Because it is.

    Why we cede the moral high ground to these people is beyond me. They are perverts and scoundrels. Their men become ‘women’ and lay with other men; their wives rule over their husbands and butcher their own babies; their children must tolerate with patient endurance the selfishness of their parents; the ignorant lecture the wise, the Pharisees accuse the poor sinners of pride, the lascivious pervert mocks the chaste virgin. The wicked exploit their fellows’ bodies in unnatural ways for the gratification of their obscene lusts, and punish viciously any who turn away from the spectacle in disgust, and call this the victory of ‘love.’ They are on the wrong path in every respect.

  16. GRA, the EWTN converts that I saw were from Protestantism. The examples I see of in real life are cradle Catholic girls in their late 20’s and early 30’s. They don’t want babies they want careers and are verbally hostile to the idea of getting pregnant. They’re broke and Catholic culture is broke.

  17. Michael,
    That’s an interesting family history with a level of detail I can’t match.
    Since I’m a bit of a nordicist (the non-nazi variety) I was disappointed to learn that one of my great-grandfathers was Italian-Austrian (my great grandma had divorced him and remarried a WASP who I always thought was my greatgrandfather). The Italian side did have an interesting history though – they were supposedly members of the Pope’s Noble Guard and great-great-grandfather used to sit on Pius iX’s lap as a little boy – at least that’s the family story.

  18. “Mark Citadel has taken the idea of tribal Christianity to the next step and provided a model for us to follow.”

    Great, another “model”. Perhaps he, you, or other people serious about what they claim to be about can actually put it into practice.

  19. Proph, in what context are these arguments taking place. On Internet forums, or IRL? Because I don’t think most people are in a position to argue public ally about these issues IRL.

  20. I raise a glass to you, sir. You encapsulate my line of thinking well.

    How profane to use Christ as an excuse for cowardice, these Christians who claim that we ought to sit and do nothing! Christ of course did not need to strike at the enemies of God or to stir some cadre against their evil. He had ALREADY conquered them! Through His own death, He secured His victory for in the end, all are judged before the seat of God and those who are righteous before men and humble before God are saved through Him.
    We remain human. We remain with our concerns about our patrimony and grand traditions, and these are not the worthless trinkets and golden calves that our enemies purport them to be, but the invaluable gifts from God that truly do mean something in this world.
    Are we wrong to defend them? Are we wrong to steel our resolve?
    Was De Maistre wrong? Was Cortes wrong? Was Codreanu wrong? No! And time will show that we are not wrong either.

    I retain my conviction that the first step in a march to victory is the correcting of the Christian religious constitution. How can any faith find in its constituency traitors and heretics who are not hounded out? These Judas Iscariots in our midst who are celebrated by men of the cloth?! Tribal Christianity is necessarily socially exclusive, and it must begin this exclusion by taking the fight to those who dare claim the Holy Faith in God while out of the other side of their crooked mouths, whistling the tune of those who persecute and ridicule us, those who have robbed us of our Christian governance. So long as these people remain, the line between tribe and outsider will remain blurred and useless.

  21. Bonald,

    My advice is that you should try to attend a Latin mass, whether Indult, FSSP or SSPX, if not for you than for your family. You are sure to find a much more like-minded community there as opposed to the average Novus Ordo Mass.

    You will probably delete this comment given what I am about to say but I’d really hate to see this blog become a kind of “Rod Dreher-lite” blog. I can’t be the only one who finds that kind of whiny pessimism really grating.

    This blog is also a dumping ground for matters insufficiently serious for the Orthosphere.

    I know you are saying this tongue and cheek but you should not sell yourself so short, again it sounds “Dreheresque.” What’s truly not serious? Kristor quoting Martin Luther is not serious. Everything Bruce Charlton writes is not serious. The Mormon cult is not serious. Americanism is not serious. Yet the Orthosphere seems to accommodate this sort of silliness. It only seems to have a problem when you write on certain topics. Sad.

  22. Michael Paterson-Seymour,,
    You provide a much-needed rebuttal to the racist’s oft-repeated–“race is partly inbred extended family”. I myself have questioned the mutual relatedness of various whites compared with the fact that just one intermarriage between two groups creates a whole host of extended family relationships. Eg why is Obama called a black and not half-white?

    Race is foremost a social construct and only secondarily biological, But the racists have learnt nothing from 20C and are resolved to repeat the errors that reactionaries made then.

  23. ISE,
    Orthosphere is entirely non-serious. Kristor writes of brains having beliefs and that arriving at truth corresponds to an optimization of brain states–what he calls strange attraction to truth. By the way, the term “strange attractor” is lifted from chaos theory of mathematical physics and does not apply to anything Kristor talks about.

  24. @ vishmehr24: Why do you say that about Ortho? In defense of Kristor, he has some nice articles every now and then. I thought his “Breaking Sex” was thoughtful and had some really good points.

  25. Nah, vishmehr24 we want to make the same “mistakes” that 16th century racists made. Heck, I’d be ok with the same “mistakes” the 19th century racists made. Marxists are always focused on the 20th century and the Nazis.
    Obama would have been considered black (technically “colored”) by old America because of the one-drop rule. Old America considered Africans to be inferior. Obama is considered black by new America because blackness is worshipped and because it confers black privilege.
    John Derbyshire, King of the Racists, says the following about race and social construction:
    “Race most certainly is biological. It’s what you get when different populations of a species are separated and left to inbreed for many generations. They diverge. Ask a dog breeder. Race is also in part socially constructed. A half-black, half-white person might be considered black in Iceland but white in the Congo. Biology and social construction are not mutually exclusive.”

  26. I care about race because it’s a social construct. Just because something is a social construct doesn’t mean it’s illegitimate.

    Anyway, even for extended families, not all degrees of relatedness count the same. One belongs to the same family (as labeled by last name) as one’s paternal grandparents but not one’s maternal grandparents.

  27. Ita Scripta Est,

    I think you may be failing to distinguish what is unserious with what you disagree with.

  28. […] though they do seem to have electric wires attached to his testicles. Also from Jim, with an assist from Bonald, an back-of-the-napkin analysis of The death of […]

  29. http://orthosphere.org/2015/07/14/the-theological-foundations-of-the-mormon-religion/

    Oh good now we get to add to the silliness and waste even more time exploring the theological intricacies of the Mormon cult. The orthosphere should be re-branded the heterosphere. What an absolute disgrace.

  30. “Biology and social construction are not mutually exclusive.”
    They are when you define race as “a partly inbred extended family”.
    The racists used to be dead against any mention of social construction but it has finally penetrated their skulls that a degree of social construction is inevitable.

  31. That’s Steve Sailer’s line. Concise statements are useful (if incomplete) particularly when you are arguing against the reigning Marxist orthodoxy.
    Thomas Fleming (a racist) has been saying that race is partly rooted in genetics and partly socially constructed for many years. So has John Derbyshire. So the position that it’s both isn’t new to the “racists” and hasn’t just penetrated their skulls. When you present a counter-argument to orthodoxy you tend to emphasize the “counter” part.
    The social construction part is in where you draw the boundaries. People categorize things (colors, climates, dog breeds, geographic regions) because it’s useful (and human) to do so. All these things are “socially constructed” in that where you draw the boundaries has a subjective aspect.

  32. […] What Bonald’s blog is for. […]

  33. Is there a “white race” or are there “white races”?
    Do Europeans feel themselves to belong to a white race? Would a Brazilian white”?

    Is racism compatible with the Catholic religion? Surely there must be definite Papal pronouncements on this subject by now.

    And is the whole topic of wreck that racism made in Europe and elsewhere in 20C to be ignored altogether?

  34. 1.“White” was the term we used for “us” in the New World setting where there were Europeans, African slaves and American Indians. SInce it’s a social construct, we’ll define it however we damn well please and you’ll probably be outside of it. We’ll consider most Brazilians to be “mixed.”
    2.“Racism” is never defined in a consistent manner by you Leftists. The word itself seems to date from the 1920’s as a reference to the German nationalist far-right. In the 21st century it can mean anything from a Hitler fan to someone who doesn’t like Obamacare. I’m pretty sure volkische, proto-Nazism isn’t compatible with Catholicism. Traditional loyalties and identities are. There’s no dogma on “racism” that I know of.
    3.I’m not a historian but I’m pretty sure that WW2 was caused by more than “racism.”

    Any more questions vishmehr24?

  35. “no people has fallen into such total self-loathing as whites. ”

    Nice link to which I would reply “Pocahontas”, who abandoned her wonderful Native-American heritage for Western Civilization faster than if the tepees were on fire.

  36. Pocahontas probably assumed that she was being given as a peace offering at the end of the first Powhattan wars (and she probably assumed that the Powhattans had won).

  37. ISE,
    Amen. The more I hear “serious” Mormon theology defended, the sillier it seems. Do we really have to be so deferential to this sub pagan, modernist, silly cult, just because some of them are nice?

  38. Race was never any traditional loyalty for Christians and became important only in the decay of Christianity in 19C — see Chesterton in “Heretics.
    Racism is just ancestor-worship –pointless within Christian framework.

  39. What we refer to as “ethnicity” was. Ethnicity includes ancestral identity (i.e. race) but isn’t limited to it.

  40. In Europe and in someother parts of the world, ethnicity or nationality tends to be equated with language.

    Basques living in tow sifferent countries on both sides of the Pyranees, regard themselves as a single nation. Indeed, I once heard a man describe himself as an Austrian citizen, but part of the German nation.

    The money, time and effort spent on the revival of the Irish language by the nascent Irish Free State points in the same direction.

    Many nationalities, Basques, Catalans and Kurds and various minorities inn the Balkans and the Caucases are claiming the right to national self-determination and someof them have achieved autonomous regions.

  41. When I see a black African speaking the Queens English, I don’t think “that’s an Englishman” I think “that’s not an Englishman.”

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