Category Archives: Christianity

Genocidal Mercy

Cane noticed some writing on the Israelite genocides in the Old Testament and gave a solid response (read it). I’m going to write on the topic as well. This post will also tie in with my earlier post, The Holocaust: God Loves the Jews.

First, we must remember that God is good and God is good. Good is defined in relation to God, He is the absolute measure of good apart from which good becomes meaningless, so whatever God does or orders is good.

To try and judge God or His works is arrogance, nothing more. To try to hold judgment over His commands is error. To try to explain away, minimize, or apologize for His works and His orders is to attack God’s righteousness. To think that God’s commands present a problem is not a problem of God, but rather a deficiency in your own understanding and own morality.

How dare Christians take their modern liberal morality and try to impute it on God, then wonder why God falls short in their judgment. This is moral pride, nothing more. Christians who do need to read more Job:

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:4-7 ESV)

The question is not ‘why did God command this evil?’ That question assumes that man has the right to judge God’s work as evil. The right question is ‘what can we learn about God’s goodness from this command?’

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Second, to think the genocide at the behest of God is murder is a grave misunderstanding of the law. Murder is unlawful killing and God’s law is the highest law. If God orders a killing, it is by definition lawful, and is therefore, by definition, not murder.

To even think it theoretically possible that God can order murder is to put human law above God’s law and to assume that humans have the right to judge God. That is sinful pride.

But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? (Romans 9:20-24 ESV)

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Finally, the good of the genocide of the Canaanites is easy to see if one looks to the eternal rather than the temporal.

The iniquity of the Canaanites had come to completion, they had given themselves fully to Moloch, the dark god of the Ammonites. As a race the Canaanites had damned themselves through their offerings of their children to the fire. The sons of the Canaanites, at least those who were not themselves sacrificed, would follow in the sins of their fathers and damn themselves. To kill them in the name of Yahweh, before they could reach the age of reason and damn themselves, saved them from both the fires of Moloch and the fires of hell.

Death was the greatest mercy those children could receive for it would keep them from eternal damnation.

On top, of this, leaving the Canaanites and Ammonites alive would have led to their bringing the rebellious Israelites into the worship of Moloch, damning the Israelites alongside them. Even as it was the Israelites occasionally fell to Moloch. How much worse would it have been had the Lord not ordered their destruction.

They built the high places of Baal in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did it enter into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. (Jeremiah 32:35 ESV)

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To conclude, to ask the question concerning the slaughter of the Canaanites in the manner the question is usually asked is both sinful pride and too focused on the temporal. It is putting one’s own morality, one’s own understanding, and one’s own law above God, His understanding, His morality, and His law. Instead of judging God by their limited, temporal standards, Christians should focus on learning of the eternal good from God and His commands.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones.
(Proverbs 3:5-8 ESV)

More on Courtship

A lot of people commented on my courtship experience. I can’t respond to everything, but here’s some things I’d like to point out.

First, I hold to the courtship model and believe it is the correct path. It is morally right and proper for civilization, and, if done properly, should be good for marriages. Chad wrote well on it in the comments:

Courtship is a tool from Christendom in which the families were involved so that emotional intimacy, physical intimacy, commitment, and logical “do these two people work together” proceeded along side each other in practical steps towards marriage and creation of a family. It openly acknowledged that emotional intimacy leads to physical intimacy, and that physical intimacy going too quickly can lead to a lack of commitment on either party’s part as well as delude those sexually lusting after each other that they’d work well when they become one flesh.

Even in it’s hayday, courtship was something that was a…. tenuous thing, at times. For humans have always been lustful, prideful, and rebellious; and unmarried youth are more so than any other. Hence where courtship was ignored, shotgun weddings were enforced.

That, also, is not to say that the system was abused by poor intentions of parents getting greedy or losing sight of the overall good of their child by focusing too much on any individual trait (beauty, lust, status, wealth, etc) rather than overall health of the child and, in particular, whether the person they were joining flesh with would help them achieve salvation and sainthood.

These days, courtship works where people acknowledge what it is – a system in place in which emotional intimacy and physical intimacy do not outpace commitment and logic. It does not, and SHOULD NOT, have the same form as old school courtship as our current societal failings have led to different expressions of individual failings. It should acknowledge that courtship is not engagement, nor is getting to know someone a little before asking to court them a bad thing. Most traditional families want to know the individuals before courtship is pursued, and when that is not possible, or they’re not as traditional, a few ‘casual dates’ for coffee or to a public activity is usually accepted. Meeting the father a first time is not unheard of, but I haven’t encountered a grilling such as FN as of yet.

The whole system is supposed to take two fallen human beings and place them together in a way to support each other through love; not topple into a fallen state of sin, nor make princesses/saints out of fallen women, nor kick a Brother in Christ out to the curb with nothing but his coat and tattered remains of dignity and respect.

Any courtship that doesn’t align with reality is not courtship, but a twisted perversion of delusional ‘love’ which is lacking in all that makes love beautiful.

As did Cail:

The main difference between courtship and dating is that when you ask to court a girl, you’re declaring up front that if things go well, you’ll be proposing in the near future, and if things get to a point where one of you decides marriage isn’t in the cards, you break it off. It’s dating for the stated purpose of discerning marriage. All this other stuff about questionnaires and hyper-chastity is just extra weirdness that people are trying to call courtship because it makes it sound traditional and churchy.

I wholeheartedly support the involvement of family in the creation and development of relationships and marriages and the right of parents to veto a daughter’s relationship choices. The lack of family involvement in marriage leads to the screwed up sexual and

That modern ills and individual flaws are a part of modern courtship does not invalidate the model. No system is perfect.

My story is not a criticism of courtship as a system, it is a criticism of the incorrect application of the system.

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Second, I submitted to the father because he had the right to my submission in regards to courting his daughter. A father has the right, the duty, to screen his daughter’s suitors. He also has the right to put whatever conditions he deems necessary on his daughter’s suitor and end the relationship if he desires. I believe in this case the father went about that screening in an incorrect way, but even if he was wrong it was fully within his rights to make the wrong decision.

If you do not accept a father’s right to do this, you are not a friend of patriarchy, you are the ally of the modern sexual marketplace and an enemy of civilization.

On the other hand, I know I should have been more forceful in my interactions with the parents. I was caught off guard: this was not a social situation for which I was prepared or had developed a system. I think prariepolyguy had the right idea:

Your goal with that kind of thing is to establish peerage, that’s why I say answer questions and pose counter-questions. He can’t simply banish you for being disrespectful because you aren’t being, but you don’t just sit and submit to his whim like a pussy and don’t lose face with the girl…

I also would have asked for it to be private, between me and the father. As Barnabas said:

It strikes me that the problem isn’t so much the grilling, its that the daughter is present. This should be a conversation between men with daughter and mom not present. Best approach if faced with such a situation would be to demand a private discussion.

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Third, as her husband I would have taken over the leadership role from her father, but that transfer of leadership does not occur until the wedding, or at the very least the engagement. It is simply wrong to think that I have any headship over a woman to whom I am not married.

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Fourth, for those of you saying I should have not have submitted to the father, but instead taken the girl against the father’s wishes, you are wrong. If she was the kind of girl who would disobey her father and abandon her family for a man she had known for only a month, she is not the kind of girl I would want to marry. The woman who will rebel against and abandon her father under the influence of passion is the same woman who will rebel against and leave her husband under the influence of passion. Once the father had denied the relationship, the only way we could have had a relationship is if she was the type of girl I would not want to have a relationship with.

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Fifth, I’ve had more reasonable experiences with asking the father’s permission for courtship. The other couple times I’ve done it the families were warm and inviting, we got to know each other casually over dinner, and they extended permission without much hassle. My courtship experiences as far as families go have generally positive experiences; this time was the exception.

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Sixth, I know I should stop it with the porn. Every now and again I try. When I do, I may abstain for anywhere from a week or two to three or four months, but I always come back to it. It is my besetting sin.

Courtship and Young Men

A commenter at Donal’s asks: if there are so many desperate tradcon young women, why aren’t the tradcon young men courting them?

As a young man who could accurately be called a tradcon, I am going to tell a personal story from this winter which might illuminate.

I was on a Christian dating site, and sent a short message to a girl, she responded. After a few messages back and forth I invited her for coffee, she accepted and we met. Over the next month we went for coffee a few more times and I had her over for dinner and cooked her some Yakisoba. She was a sweet girl with good values, feminine, and joyful; somewhat plain, but attractive enough. I was the first man she had ever gone out with and she was taken with me and I was growing rather fond of her.

One night, I visited her church for the Christmas play service where she was playing Mary. After we went for coffee, chaperoned by one of her friends. We talked for an hour or two, at one point the topic of why she was on a dating site came up. She said it was because there were no men at her church. This confused me (well, it would have had I not been a reader of the manosphere), because I was sure I saw at least 3 or 4 unattached men at the Christmas service (not to mention she had previously told me stories of her interactions with one of her male friends at the church, from which, even never having met him, I could tell he liked her). So, I told her, ‘what do you mean, I saw a bunch of single men at your church.’ Her and her friend both had the same reaction: ‘yeah, but ewww.’

I did not press the point further, although I was happy I was no longer in the ‘ewww’ category as I had been years before.

My family celebrates on Christmas Eve, so we went to my parent’s house to meet my family, have Christmas dinner, go to our Christmas Eve service, and such. We had an enjoyable time, the atmosphere was relaxed and festive, my parents went out of the way to make her feel welcome, and they all took a great liking to her. Things went well.

The next day we went to her parent’s for Christmas. It was not to be their Christmas celebration for that was a major family get-together that was to take place at a different time, so it was just a basic supper. We drove out to their farm together. We walked in and I was sort of ignored (her parents, three of her brothers, and two of their wives were there; the girl was the only daughter with 5 brothers). I didn’t really know what to do, I had expected them to at least say greet me at the door, or say hi, or something. So, I said ‘hi’, put my gift on the table and sat down on a couch. I was then ignored for about 20 minutes. As regular readers may know, I’m not that good in social situations; Only twice before had I asked permission of a girl’s father and I’ve never been in a situation where I was in someone else’s home and been ignored, so I was out of my depth and experience and didn’t start a conversation with anyone but the girl. After a while, the father got to opening my gift, made a few jokes, then went back to ignoring me. One of the brothers did show me and the girl a cattle pen he had made, but other than that nothing. After another while, we all ate; nobody really talked to me and I didn’t really say much.

After supper, the parents seemed to notice my existence, and asked about me and the girl. I told them that we had gotten to know each other a bit, I was fond of her, and I would like their permission to court her. They then presented me with a list of dozens of questions (I’m not sure if this is the exact list, but if it isn’t it’s close enough for government work), saying me and the girl should go over them. I said we would. The parents then proceeded to grill me with questions straight off the page for the next hour or two.

I answered fully honestly. I am a mostly responsible, decent young man, but I am not perfect and have my failings. So most of the questions on employment, finances, home life, responsibility, church life, etc. I answered fine. Out of the many questions asked though , the parents got stuck on three major questions: alcohol, physical contact, and Bible reading.

I drink responsibly on occasion, but they were absolutely against any imbibement at all and they hammered on that point over and over, even though I said, if it was necessary I stop drinking while courting her I would (leaving it unsaid but implied that we would decide the alcohol question in the long-term as a couple; the girl herself didn’t drink but didn’t have problems with moderate alcohol consumption).

They asked about physical contact, I told them her and I had already discussed and agreed upon limits for physical contact previously (and they were strict limits) and although her desired limits were stricter than mine I would respect hers. Despite this they still did not like that my limits were not as strict as hers (for one example of the differences, I thought the engagement would be a good time for a first kiss, she wanted to wait until marriage); they then spoke approvingly of a young couple they knew that had worn boxes (actual, literal cardboard boxes) whenever they were alone together so they would not be tempted by physical contact.

The last was Bible reading. I answered that I don’t read daily; I tend to read sporadically but in-depth when there’s a topic I want to look into, but that I would take my duties as a leader of the family seriously and lead both my wife and children in regular Biblical study. That was not good enough for them, so I said I would start reading daily (and I did read daily for the next four months or so, even after the relationship ended).

A fourth area of concern was when they asked me what my greatest struggles in the faith were (this was after the Bible question): I said, ‘well, I guess I should read my Bible more and like most young men I struggle with lust.’ They then asked me about pornography, so I admitted in front of a dozen strangers that I do struggle with watching porn, but hadn’t watched in the last few weeks and was trying to stop (I stopped watching after our second date and continued to abstain for a few months after all this). Oddly, this didn’t seem to be that big deal to the parents, it was barely mentioned after that except for a joke (the alcohol question was far and away the big one, followed by the Bible one), but I mention it as this was the one that seemed to matter most to the girl.

After the grilling, the parents conclude that while they have concerns but aren’t going to kick me away. They get my e-mail and say they’ll keep in contact with me.

After we’re done, I drove home with the girl (and her friend who chaperoned us there and back on the 2-hour drive); we spend the first half hour in silence, then we talk, she was disturbed by the porn thing, so we talked about that, and she concludes she wants time for us both to think and pray, so she wanted a break for two weeks (when we were never even officially dating). So we had no contact for two weeks.

The parents e-mail me a couple days later and we go back and forth a bit as we discuss my readings of Ecclesiastes and Proverbs; things seem fine. A week or so later, I get a 2-page, heartfelt handwritten letter where she says we can no longer court (from the letter it sounds like its her idea), so I assume we’re done. I don’t respond as I agreed to no contact for two weeks andI didn’t have time to write a letter back. Then on the exact day the two weeks are over she texts me. We meet for coffee and talk. She offers to be friends; I say no, it’s either a relationship or we part ways. She thinks, and decides on a relationship; we then spend a happy evening walking outside in the January chill. We’re back together; we make plans to meet on Sunday.

On Friday I get an e-mail from her parents saying we can’t see each other anymore. I get a text from her a little while later; we text a bit over it. She says she’s going to obey her parents, and I encourage her to do so. We say goodbye. I respond to the parents asking if there’s any way I can earn their trust; I do not get a response. Me and the girl have not contacted each other since.

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Maybe this is where the tradcon young men are: stuck between ‘ewww’ and and the impossibly high standards of parents. How many young men could possible be able to give the positive, hoped-for answers when surprised with a grilling on five dozen questions? (Oddly, had I simply lied or stretched the truth, we’d probably be courting).

Of those very few who could possibly meet those requirements, how many will not be ‘ewww’?

I would guess there is probably a huge positive correlation between being able to meet those dozens of parental standards and being an ‘ewww’ guy.

If parents and young women make it impossible for young men to live up to your courtship standards, how can they possibly complain about being unable to find young men.

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This brings us to the next part, Moose Norsemen finds someone (Thomas) arguing why courtship is fundamentally flawed. I agree with Moose and I agree with courtship, but Thomas does make some good points.

The courtship movement eliminated dating and replaced it with nothing.

Or, put another way, they replaced dating with engagement. The only tangible difference between an engagement and a courtship is the ring and the date.

The goal of courtship is not to prevent marriage, it is to promote marriage by helping find suitable mates for men and women. Right now, it seems from what I’ve read around the web, that it is often used to destroy relationships rather than to create marriages.

A father should find a good man for his daughter, but how can he expect to when the first thing that happens when a young man comes a-calling is to grill him about every aspect of his life and boot him away if he doesn’t answer all 50 questions correctly?

How can a young man possibly think the risk and unpleasantness of that kind of grilling and the huge expectations of courtship is worth it for a girl he barely knows?

If I hadn’t gone on a number of dates and already developed a fondness for her in the month before meeting her parents, I would not have thought it worth it to go through that. What kind of men would willingly deal with that kind of ritual humilation before even spending any alone time with a girl? (The answer: The kind of man women go ‘ewww’ over).

You rarely hear of fathers trying to find and introduce good young men to their daughters; from the impressions I get, fathers seem to act primarily as a negative filter in courtship rather than a positive one.

There is no perfect young man, so if any flawed young man is rejected, who could there possibly be available to date young tradcon women?

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So, if we want a better courtship, one that isn’t broken, what we need is one devoted to creating marriages, not siphoning out young men.

Parents should act as a positive force for marriage. Instead of simply screening out young men, they should be actively looking and screening in young men for their daughters. Introduce young men you approve of to your daughters (and vice versa). Meet with other families in shared family events to get young people together.

Courtship should be more relaxed. Courtship is not engagement and it should not be treated as such. It should, at first, be somewhat casual (with the long-term goal in mind) so the young couple can get to know each other. Young people in group activities, young men attending relaxed family events with the girl’s family, a few outings to public places, etc. Let them get to know each other before dumping all kinds of expectations on it. Expectations and seriousness should escalate over time.

Questions like those above should be gone over, but over time. Instead of playing bad cop on the first meeting, get to know him and learn these things over time by spending time with the young man.

It should be recognized that young men aren’t perfect. Instead of a father rejecting a generally good, but flawed young man his daughter fancies, he should work with the young man to help him better himself. (If the young man refuses to try to better himself, that is another story).

Courtship is not about keeping young men away from young women, it is about actively trying to create godly marriages.

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In my particular case, it’s possible that the problem is me, as a commenter at Moose’s stated:

If it were me getting shot down by a bunch of dads as viable husband material for their daughters, I’d be asking WHY. I wouldn’t assume it was a problem with them first: I’d assume it was a problem with me.

I know I could be a better man in many ways, but I’ve only ever been shot down by that one father before, and most of the older adult males in my church and life seem to respect me and think well of me, enough so that I at their behest I have led the young adult small group in the past and, again at their request, am entering a leadership residency in my church. But I thought I should mention this as it might seem an explanation.

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Because I’m sharing, here’s one more small story from university when I was just starting to work my way out of omega. I was part of a small group at my university Christian group. In this particular study there was me and one other guy and three young women. These young women were all in the 7-9 range. One I had asked out a year-and-half before and been rejected (she was the first girl I ever asked out), another I had asked out a few months before and been rejected, and the third had just broken up with her boyfriend a couple months before and we had been getting close to each other (we ended up dating later that year).

The topic of the sermon we were watching was dating, so we were talking about this. At one point, one of the young women said dating was hard because there were no good men. The other two agreed with her. I was shocked, so didn’t respond but I should have. I had personally asked out two of them and was very obvious in my intentions to the third.

All of these girls were very attractive, good girls and could have had any man they wanted. The one I knew the best had many male friends, I knew at least 3 or 4 guys (who were good men, if a bit socially awkward) who had either asked her out or were so obvious about liking her even someone as socially oblivious as I could tell. One had just gotten out of a year-long relationship, her third relationship in 3 or so years. The final one was one of the most beautiful women I had ever met and would occasionally tell stories of guys who had gone out of the way to compliment her.

I was an ‘ewww’ man at the time (but improving), so I didn’t count. I guess those other men didn’t count either.

These two stories are why I don’t believe women when they say they can’t find a good man or there are not good men. I have seen women who could have almost any man they want, who had numerous suitors (who were good men), , who had good male friends who obviously wanted them, who had been asked out by me specifically say there were no good men, when it was simply untrue. Unless a woman lives in a village of 50 people in the middle of nowhere, there probably are good men, the women’s probably just not counting them.

Oh, and just as a last little bit, two of those three women are married. The most attractive one is not; she’s 29 this year and, as far as I know, is still single.

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So, for tradcon young women and their families, maybe it’s not that there are not good men, maybe it’s that men are stuck between ‘ewww’ and impossible standards.

Instead of young women and their families holding out for a suitor who is both super-attractive and able to meet a parent-approved 50-point bullet list, and rejecting any suitor who is not perfect, maybe give them a chance.

Parents, instead of rejecting that young man your daughter fancies, work with him* to help him improve himself. If she doesn’t have a suitor, work to help introduce her to good men. Be a positive force for marriage rather than a negative force.

Young women, instead of rejecting or ignoring those men you don’t see, make yourself available and say yes when you are asked out even if he is kind of awkward.* The worst that can happen is a few hours of unpleasantness and maybe you’ll be able to work with him to improve those awkward things that aren’t quite attractive.

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* Obviously, I am not talking about unrepentant degenerates, those unwilling to try and better themselves, and the like here, just the normally flawed.

My Rock

I’m busy, so here’s a psalm:

Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
who trains my hands for war,
and my fingers for battle;
he is my steadfast love and my fortress,
my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield and he in whom I take refuge,
who subdues peoples under me.

O LORD, what is man that you regard him,
or the son of man that you think of him?
Man is like a breath;
his days are like a passing shadow.

Bow your heavens, O LORD, and come down!
Touch the mountains so that they smoke!
Flash forth the lightning and scatter them;
send out your arrows and rout them!
Stretch out your hand from on high;
rescue me and deliver me from the many waters,
from the hand of foreigners,
whose mouths speak lies
and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

I will sing a new song to you, O God;
upon a ten-stringed harp I will play to you,
who gives victory to kings,
who rescues David his servant from the cruel sword.
Rescue me and deliver me
from the hand of foreigners,
whose mouths speak lies
and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

May our sons in their youth
be like plants full grown,
our daughters like corner pillars
cut for the structure of a palace;
may our granaries be full,
providing all kinds of produce;
may our sheep bring forth thousands
and ten thousands in our fields;
may our cattle be heavy with young,
suffering no mishap or failure in bearing;
may there be no cry of distress in our streets!
Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall!
Blessed are the people whose God is the LORD!

Cyclical History

Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?
A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever…
All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun…
There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance
of later things yet to be among those who come after.
(Ecclesiastes 1 ESV, Selected)

History is cyclical. There is nothing new under the sun.

Civilization is in constant war with chaos. Chaos eventually, inevitably, triumphs. The civilizational cycle of growth and death never ends.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Everything man creates turns to ashes, there is no relief from the curse of Adam.

Man endures until he can’t; death his only relief. His children then endure until they can’t.

Moth and rust destroy; thieves break in and steal. All go to the grave.

Everything man builds collapses; every institution man creates falls.

Every institution but one:

The Catholic Church has yet to fall. It has been corrupted, it has been split, it has been broken, but it has always endured.

This is the light in the darkness man constantly wars against.

There is no hope, there is no relief, there is no victory, but one.

The cycle was broken once: a bloody body upon an instrument of torture, an empty pit of death.

A fire descended, a burning illumination among the horrifying darkness.

The cycle of death and entropy never ceases, but that small fire promises hope that it will.

There is a final escape from the entropic cycle for those who have the eyes to see.

For those that keep their eyes closed, the chaos will follow them beyond the grave.

***

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.
(Revelation 21:3-4,8 ESV)

Zippy on NRx

Zippy wrote:

There do appear to be a few at least partial dissenters, filling the role that good conservatives fill in all essentially modernist movements: adding respectability and preventing mistakes from being corrected.  But any movement that considers verbal games insinuating that Richard Dawkins is really a “non-theistic Christian” profound, as some kind of big “agree and amplify” of protestant heretics, is either a dead end or worse.

The claim that Dawkins is a “non-theistic Christian” is not a ‘verbal game’, but neither is it a claim that atheism is Christian in essence. It is cladistic in nature, modern, Western atheism is an evolution (in the neutral, non-progressive sense of the word) of Christianity and Christian culture.

Here’s (part of) the original writings on the topic:

So: Professor Dawkins is an atheist. But – as his writing makes plain – atheism is not the only theme in his personal kernel. Professor Dawkins believes in many other things. He labels the tradition to which he subscribes as Einsteinian religion. Since no one else has used this label, he is entitled to define Einsteinian religion – perhaps we can just call it Einsteinism – as whatever he wants. And he has.

My observation is that Einsteinism exhibits many synapomorphies with Christianity. For example, it appears that Professor Dawkins believes in the fair distribution of goods, the futility of violence, the universal brotherhood of man, and the reification of community. These might be labeled as the themes of Rawlsianism, pacifism, fraternism and communalism.

Following the first two links above will take you to UR discussions of these themes, in which I outline their evolutionary history in the Christian clade and make a case for their morbidity. I have not yet discussed fraternism and communalism, but I’ll say a little about them later. If nothing else, they are certainly very easy to find in the Bible.

If Professor Dawkins was not a Christian atheist, but rather a Confucian or Buddhist atheist, or even an Islamic atheist (some clades of Sufism come daringly close to this rara avis), we would not expect to see these obvious synapomorphies with Christianity. Instead, we would expect to see synapomorphies with Confucianism, Buddhism or Islam, and we would have to construct a historical explanation of how these faiths made it to Cambridge. Fortunately we are spared this onerous task.

Nontheistic Christianity, therefore, can describe any tradition in the Christian clade in which the ancestral God theme has been replaced by the derived theme of atheism or agnosticism.

This is no more surprising than the replacement of the ancestral Trinitarian theme, which was part of all significant Christian traditions for a thousand years, with the derived Unitarian theme. Every variant of Christianity, by definition, considers itself orthodox. And as such it must question the legitimacy of any other Christian tradition which contains conflicting themes. To a good Trinitarian circa 1807, a Unitarian was simply not a Christian. Today, while most Christian traditions still officially conform to Trinitarianism, few spend a huge amount of time worrying about the Holy Ghost. If more examples are needed, denying the divinity of Jesus is another obvious intermediate form between Christian theism and Christian atheism.

We can also ignore the fact that Professor Dawkins does not classify Einsteinism as a form of Christianity, and nor do any non-Einsteinian Christian traditions. Clearly, accepting a tradition’s classification of itself, or of its competitors, is foolish in the extreme. These minor thematic features are best explained adaptively.

For example, it would be maladaptive for Einsteinism to self-classify as Christian. One of the most adaptive features of M.42 is that nontheistic or secular Christianity can be propagated by American official institutions, which are constitutionally prohibited from endorsing its ancestor and competitor, M.41 or theistic Christianity. Considering as this set includes the most influential repeater network in the world, the US educational system, it’s hard to see what could justify abandoning such a replicative advantage.

It would also be maladaptive for theistic Christianity to classify nontheistic Christianity as Christian. M.41 deploys the unchristian nature of its enemy, the dreaded “secular humanism,” as a rallying point for its dwindling band of followers. If Einsteinian religion was Christian, M.41 would have to define its (increasingly ineffective) counterattack not as a defense of faith, but as a mere theological spat. Once this may have had some resonance, but in a world where God Himself is under fire, it’s hard to excite anyone over such sectarian minutiae.

Therefore, I conclude that claim 1 is satisfied: nontheistic Christianity is a sensible concept.

As for claim 2, I’ve already described some of the links between Einsteinism and Christianity. Let’s sharpen this claim, however, by proposing a hypothetical chain of events that outlines the exact historical connection.

My belief is that Professor Dawkins is not just a Christian atheist. He is a Protestant atheist. And he is not just a Protestant atheist. He is a Calvinist atheist. And he is not just a Calvinist atheist. He is an Anglo-Calvinist atheist. In other words, he can be also be described as a Puritan atheist, a Dissenter atheist, a Nonconformist atheist, an Evangelical atheist, etc, etc.

This cladistic taxonomy traces Professor Dawkins’ intellectual ancestry back about 400 years, to the era of the English Civil War. Except of course for the atheism theme, Professor Dawkins’ kernel is a remarkable match for the Ranter, Leveller, Digger, Quaker, Fifth Monarchist, or any of the more extreme English Dissenter traditions that flourished during the Cromwellian interregnum.

Elsewhere non-theistic Christianity is referred to as Crypto-Christian or ultracalvinist:

If you are not an ultracalvinist, you are probably some other kind of Christian, presumably one who still believes in God, the Bible as revelation, non-universal salvation, etc. Therefore you see ultracalvinism just as Catholics once saw Protestants, or Trinitarians saw Unitarians – as not Christians at all. So the result is the same. The ultracalvinist cloak of invisibility is only at risk from freethinking atheists, such as myself – a tiny and mostly irrelevant population.

We can see the argument is not that progressivism is Christian in essence. Rather, the argument is that progressivism is a non-theistic evolution of a particular sect of Christianity, puritanism, that has discarded the essence of Christianity but kept the accidents of it. (Although, it could be argued that universalism is the essence of puritanism, while Christianity was an accident of it).

Either way, accepting that ultracalvinism is an ideological adaptation of puritanism is not a verbal game and is definitely not “denying God”.

Zippy could argue that calling these heretical puritan progressives “non-theistic Christians” is mistaken. I personally think it captures nicely the self-contradicting nature of progressive thought, but theism is a part of the essence of Christianity, so I could buy the argument that calling post-Christian atheists ‘Christian’, even in the cladistic and cultural sense, is anti-essentialist and wrong.

But if that is the case, then instead of throwing around accusations of blasphemy, Zippy could have simply made the point that even if it is the cultural and intellectual descendent of Christianity calling a post-Christian ideology ‘Christian’ is wrong.

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Zippy also commented on the Mark Shea affair, remarking that Neoreaction was childish. I don’t know how much Zippy knows of the affair, so I’ll outline.

This whole thing started when Mark Shea slandered neoreactionaries on his blog. Some neoreactionaries tried to honestly engage him but he deleted their responses. I myself, pointed out a few Bible verses contradicting his position, which he deleted. While he deleted the rational and reasonable posts he purposely left up some of the worst ones (yes, neoreaction has crazies like every other grouping) to create an impression we were all insane haters.

So someone decided to illustrate his ignorance of neoreaction and his willingness to slander us by giving him an opportunity to show his own willingness to do so by sending him something incredibly and unbelievably absurd about neoreaction. Mark Shea then illustrated his willingness to slander by posting the absurdity.

Rather than apologizing for the slander and humbly admitting he was uninformed regarding neoreaction, Mark Shea used the incident to double-down on the slander.

What’s that saying, ‘you can’t con an honest man‘? If Shea had been willing to engage with intellectual honesty and hadn’t been looking for ways to slander neoreactionaries however he could, this would not have occurred. The letter was quite effective in making its point, that Mark Shea had no idea what he was talking about and was engaging in slander, and one can’t help but see the humour in it.

As for lying, would any honest, rational analysis lead to someone thinking that swearing upon Darwin and “inspect my phenotype” are anything but a joke. A practical joke is usually not considered a moral lie. Submitting something absurd for someone to publish to prove a point about their absurdity is usually not considered either childish or a lie.

Even so, almost every neoreactionary on Twitter not involved with crafting the letter almost immediately pointed out the absurdity of the letter on Twitter and numerous people pointed out on his blog that he had been punked.

Now, neoreaction does have its own in-jokes and memes and has adapted a fair bit from internet culture, some of which can be juvenile. But as CS Lewis wrote:

Critics who treat adult as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.

Inflation: An Abomination unto the Lord

A false balance is an abomination to the LORD,
but a just weight is his delight.(Proverbs 11:1 ESV)

In ancient times, exchange was done through precious metals. You’d have a standard weight against which you would measure these metals for trade purposes. Using a heavier than standard weight when purchasing or a lighter weight when selling would allow you to dishonestly cheat a man out of his wealth, making yourself an extra profit.

These days, we will occasionally discuss usury (student loan debt slavery is a common topic in our sphere), but honest weights and measures are talked of less. What’s there to talk about? We no longer use precious metals for exchange,* so what measures are there to be dishonest about?

Unlike our ancestors, where dishonest weights were the domain of dishonest merchants and criminals, our dishonest weights are a fundamental part of our economic system. We have far surpassed the sin of previous generations in this regards and have made it an ideological mission to rob honest men of wealth through dishonest weights, yet almost no one in the Church speaks against this sinful robbery, this abomination to the Lord.

You shall not have in your bag two kinds of weights, a large and a small. You shall not have in your house two kinds of measures, a large and a small. A full and fair weight you shall have, a full and fair measure you shall have, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. For all who do such things, all who act dishonestly, are an abomination to the LORD your God.(Deuteronomy 25:13-16 ESV)

To explain how our system uses dishonest weights and measures, I must first explain the banking system, as the system is designed to make this theft as hard to detect as possible.

Since the end of the Bretton Woods system, the US and most other nations have had a floating exchange rate** where the value of money is determined by foreign exchange markets (forex). Supply and demand on forex can be complex, but, for our purposes, what we need to know is that, generally, as the supply of a particular currency increases (relative to the goods and services the economy it backs produces) the value of the currency decreases. This causes the nominal prices of goods to rise and is called inflation. Likewise, as the supply of a particular currency decreases (relative to the goods and services the economy it backs produces), the value of the currency increases. This causes the nominal prices of goods to fall and is called deflation.

Most countries have a central bank which controls the money supply. In the US, this central bank is called the Federal Reserve. It is supposedly not “owned”, but the private banks which are members of the reserve system each own stock in the Federal Reserve and the Fed is required them to pay a 6% return annually, despite it being “non-profit”.

This is not relevant to my current point, but I I want To make sure you didn’t miss this, so I’ll highlight it again: the Federal Reserve, the quasi-public institution responible for the US’ money-supply, is “not-owned” by private banks and is required, by law, to pay these private banks a 6% (“non-profit”) return each year.

Continuing on, in fractional reserve banking systems, used by every country on earth, the banks get money in two ways: the first by borrowing from the central bank or from deposits. The banks make profit by loaning this money out to others and charging interest greater than the interest they pay the central bank or depositers.

Your normal individual or business deposits money into a bank, at which point the money become the bank’s property, while the depositer receives a deposit account. (Yes, this means you do not actually own the money you have deposited with the bank; the money is actually considered a loan to the bank; a loan which you pay fees to the bank to give them). The bank is only required to keep a fraction of the deposit (loan) in reserve; the majority of the deposit (loan) the bank lends to others at a higher interest rate than the depositer charges the bank.

Despite the deposit being more akin to a loan than a trust, the deposit is still considered money. So the bank’s loan to a customer becomes new money created out of nothing. So, this new loan adds new money to the money supply.

Also, the bank can borrow from the central bank. When it does so, the central bank simply creates new money to lend to the banks, increasing the money supply. The case of the US is unique, in that while the Fed makes the loans, the Treasury actually creates new currency. The bank then lends the money it borrowed from the central bank for a low interest rate to others for a higher interest rate (typically 3% points higher).

Just so you don’t miss this part, I’ll highlight it again: the banks borrow off the Fed and the Treasury (ie. off of you) and then charges you 3% extra interest to loan it back to you. Do you realize yet why banks have such ridiculously high profits? And we aren’t even to the outright thievery yet.

These two ways are how a fractional banking system creates new money.

Unequal weights and unequal measures
are both alike an abomination to the LORD. (Proverbs 20:10 ESV)

I need to point out one more fact: money that has been inflated is worth less than money that hasn’t. That is tautological, so I won’t go into it further, but it is essential to understanding.

The banks rob normal people through dishonest weights and measures in two ways, both lending and borrowing.

First, lending.

When the Treasury creates money and the Feds loan it out, the banks get it first. Individuals and businesses don’t borrow from the Fed, only banks and the government do. When the banks create money using fractional reserve banking, they obviously get the money first.

What this means is that the banks get the (less valuable) inflated currency to loan out into an economy with nominal prices based on (more valuable) non-inflated money. They are loaning out less valuable currency as if it were more valuable. They are loaning you a shaved gold coin as if it were a non-shaved coin.

Because the banks and the government always get the inflated money first and loan it as if it were non-inflated money, they always reap the value difference between inflation and non-inflation as pure profit.

Second, borrowing.

When the bank borrows money from depositers, (ie. when you make a bank deposit), the depositers are lending them non-inflated money. When the depositers withdraw their loan to the bank (ie. you use your debit card or an ATM), they are spending inflated money. The bank gets the difference between the non-inflated and inflated money as pure profit. They are taking gold coins from you and returning them to you shaved.

Given that the interest rates on even “high interest” savings accounts are usually less than inflation rates (0.87% < 2%) most depositers are literally paying the banks to hold their money (and that’s not even including account fees).

Every investment anybody makes is losing money this way. Investors invest in non-inflated money and receive returns in inflated money, and all the excess value siphoned off through inflation is pure, staight profit for the banks and the government.

You could accurately replace ‘inflation’ with ‘money the government and banks steal from me and everybody else’. A 2.5% inflation rate means the government and banks collectively and literally stole 2.5% of all the wealth in the country.

These dishonest weights and measures, this theft, this abomination is not only built into our economy, it is the very basis of our economic system.

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You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measures of length or weight or quantity. You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. (Leviticus 19:35-36 ESV)

In mainstream economics, slow, “stable” inflation (usually in the 1-4% range) is considered desirable, a necessary evil. Keynesians such as Krugman place particular emphasis on maintaining “moderate” levels of inflation (because 1% just isn’t enough).

Here Krugman argues that the average person saving money because it is profitable to do so is wrong, it is a “liquidity trap”. He purposefully and knowningly advocates increasing inflation so more of your wealth is stolen so you will go spend it instead of being robbed.

To the keynesian, this theft is is good, it is praiseworthy. Keynesians are decidedly and purposefully ideologically evil; they know these weights and measures are dishonest and are used to rob you and the average man so that the banks can make a greater profit. They know this, yet they advocate this dishonesty and even mild dishonesty is not enough, they want more.

Is it any wonder keynesians became dominant when their ideology just happens to enrich the banks and government at the expense of the common man.

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If he fathers a son who is violent, a shedder of blood, who does any of these things (though he himself did none of these things), who even eats upon the mountains, defiles his neighbor’s wife, oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore the pledge, lifts up his eyes to the idols, commits abomination, lends at interest, and takes profit; shall he then live? He shall not live. He has done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon himself. (Ezekiel 18:10-13 ESV)

Know this, the socialist fractional reserve, central bank economic system we have is evil. It is detestable, an abomination. It robs the poor to enrich the bankers and the government.

Those lackeys of the banks and government know this and yet they rob you anyway.

Every Christian, every man of any morality, should be fighting the banks, the Fed, the government, and the keynesians. They are evil, they are thieves, and they purposefully robbing and oppressing the average man.

Eventually, hopefully, there inequities will come to light and justice can be enacted.

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* I am not going to get into the problems of fiat currency here, it is related, but not what I am going to focus on.

** While I leans towards the gold standard, a floating exchange rate on a free market is not, in itself, a dishonest measure. I would support a free, open-market of currency, where any individual or organization could adopt or offer their own competitive form of exchange. Also, even though I would be against it, I do not think a reserve currency monopoly where currency levels are kept stable and new currency released at a set, predefined rate would be dishonest.