Category Archives: Christianity

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.

****

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.

****

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.

****

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.

****

* 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.

Christian Sickness

I’ve discussed the issue of purity and abstinence recently, but I’m doing it again as I’ve just come across this piece that perfectly illustrates modern evangelical sickness, read it. I’m beginning to think ‘purity’ is one of, if not the most, destructive teaching in the modern church.

In this article, a 30-something women discusses how great purity is and how hard her struggles with sexual desire are.

As a single girl in my thirties who was committed, by God’s grace, to saving sex for marriage,

Notice, ‘committed to saving sex for marriage.’ This is entirely the wrong commitment. The commitment should be to marriage.

Paul was very clear on this: “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” (1 Corinthians 7:8-9 ESV)

For those women (and men) burning with passion, counseling abstinence is simply wrong; in fact, it might be borderline sinful. Instead, the church should council marriage.

“Purity culture” is destroying the church.

Or maybe the greater question is, Why do we even want to fight for sexual purity when our desires seem so natural and good—and often feel too powerful to control?

She shouldn’t. These desires feel good, natural, and powerful because they are good, natural, and powerful because God made them that way.

The problem is not the desire, the problem is looking for it in the wrong spot. People should not be waiting until their late-20s, or 30′s to get married and suffer under some perverse form of purity. They should be getting married young and having good, natural, enjoyable sex with their spouses while young.

God created sex, then told us to enjoy it only within the context of marriage between a man and a woman; so if He has us wait an excruciatingly long time for it, He is (mercifully) teaching us to meet our very deepest desires in Him alone.

Waiting is the problem, a Christian should not be waiting. They should be actively preparing and looking for marriage, men and women alike, each in their own way.

She gives some advice on combating lust, of which this is the most interesting:

9. Set hard-and-fast boundaries with men—for your sake and theirs. Hanging out alone with a man never helped me; it usually stirred up desires unnecessarily.

If a man and a woman are hanging out and want each other so much they are considering sin, they should be getting to the altar post-haste. ‘Boundaries’ are a broken product of a broken church culture. If a Christian man and woman are worrying about violating their ‘boundaries’ they should be be getting married.

****

To Colleen,

You seem like a decent woman, but you have been mislead by a sick church culture, so please don’t take offense to my criticisms, instead help me to fix church culture. Council your other women readers avoid sticking to some misguided quest for a perverse form of ‘purity’, instead council them to commit to marriage, to try their hardest to find a decent Christian man and start a life.

Stop waiting and ‘being pure’, and embrace the holy desires God has given you. Find a decent Christian man, marry him, and have as much sex as you possibly can; council your readers to do the same.

The false teachings you have received on this issue have obviously hurt you according to your own words, so please help prevent other young women from falling into the same trap.

Marital Consent

Marriage is a a contract between two people, in which love, of which sex is an implied and fundamental component, is promised to the other. This contract is vowed for life and is binding for life.

With sex being so vowed to the other, sexual consent is given for life by contract.

There can not be sexual non-consent in marriage for sexual consent has already been contractually agreed to.

Marital non-consent is an impossibility: if there is non-consent, there is no marriage; if there is marriage, there can not be non-consent.

****

But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Mark 10:6-9 ESV)

The basis of Christian marriage is laid out in Genesis and reiterated in the Gospels. The man and wife become one flesh.

Can a person commit a non-consensual act upon their own flesh?

The very idea is absurd.

Any statement that there can be non-consent in marriage is an attack on the fundamental basis of Christian marriage and the Christian family.

If you believe you can have non-consent in marriage, you do not have a Christian view of marriage.

If you believe non-consent can occur in your marriage, you do not have a Christian marriage.

****

The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (1 Corinthians 7:3-5 ESV)

The Bible is very clear that you should not deny your spouse sex. Someone who does is sinning.

Anybody who encourages or tolerates spouses denying each other is encouraging and tolerating sin.

****

Rape is sex without consent. There is a difference between rape and abuse.

Sex can be violent or abusive without being rape.

Words have meaning.

****

All that being said, this should not be taken as encouragement to take your spouse if the spouse is saying no. Your spouse may be sinning and consenting, but it would not be the loving thing to do and might be sinful in itself. As well, from a practical standpoint, the law does frown upon it.

****

Finally, I hypothesize the concept of marital rape hurts those who suffer from ‘marital rape’.

The trauma of rape does not primarily come from its physical aspects, but rather its psychological aspects. The trauma comes from the violation.

If this is so, it stands to reason if there is no sense of psychological violation, there is no trauma.

The creation of the concept of marital rape, creates the idea that a spouse can be violated in marriage where the idea didn’t exist previously. Undesired sex that would have been an unpleasant duty is made traumatic by removing the psychological aspect of duty from it and imputing a psychological aspect of violation to it.

I think it likely, the psychological trauma of marital rape only becomes a reality because of the belief that there can be such a concept as marital rape. Pushing the concept of marital rape increases the likelihood of trauma from marital rape; the very concept of marital rape creates the trauma of marital rape.

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Vox posted on the same topic the day after I wrote this. I guess great minds think alike.

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Edit: 2014/05/25 – To those coming from Patheos (or elsewhere if other pick it up form Patheos). I encourage reasonable comments, and may respond as time permits. Please don’t take a dump all over my blog though. Also, please criticize what I wrote, do not criticize what I didn’t, which invariably happens when this topic comes up.

I would also like to say, I’m not part of the Quiverfull movement and neither am I an MRA, although, I do have sympathies with some of the goals of both.

And yes, divorce is illegitimate and I probably rage against divorce in the Christian church as anyone coming from Patheos.

Christian Ethno-Nationalism

Earlier this week, Anissimov, Avenging Red Hand, and Anti-Democracy Blog got into a Twitter discussion around Christians and ethno-nationalism. At one point, Mike asked about a write up on Christianity and ethno-nationalism, so, it looks like this is turning to race week here, as I’ll give some thoughts.

First, Mike is right in that Christianity is universalist egalitarianism, but he uses it in the wrong sense. Christianity is universalist egalitarianism in a metaphysical sense, but not in a physical sense. It is universal in that the church is a universal brotherhood of all Christians; it is egalitarian in that all men will have to give an accounting before God and God will favour no nation.

But even metaphysically, the accounting is not equal. Each person is given a varying amount in life (in talents, wealth, ability, etc.) and will judged based on how he used those talents. “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.”

The Bible is clear that people are inherently unequal, and each will give an accounting before God, where his life and works will be tested based upon how he used what blessings he was given in life.

The story of the Tower of Babel indicates that God purposely made it so that all people were not of the same language and nation.

So, yes, it Christianity is universalist egalitarianism, but metaphysically so, not physically so.

****

Next we come to racism.

Hating someone because of their race is simply non-Christian. We are to love our neighbours as ourselves and a neighbour is anyone you come across in need regardless of race or ethnicity, as demonstrated in the parable of the Good Samaritan.

While hatred is disallowed, truthful stereotypes of racial groups are accepted in the Bible. As St. Paul himself wrote, “One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth.”

Non-truthful stereotypes, bearing false witness against your neighbour, is definitely unChristian, but “racism” consisting of truthful stereotypes and generalizations are acceptable to Christians (either that or you have to accept that the Word is sinful).

Having a love or preferring your own race and ethnicity is also acceptable. Again, we turn to Paul who writes, “For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.”

When it comes to close family, Paul is vehemently unmistakable, “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

Paul shows a strong natural affinity for his own people and demands a strong affinity for close family.

Jesus himself showed a natural affinity for his own people and was not concerned about racially insensitive remark.

He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.”(Matthew 15:24-28 ESV)

The Christian is allowed, but not commanded, to commit the “racist” actions of truthful generalization and loving their own kin preferentially, and is commanded to preferentially care for his own relatives. The Christian is not allowed to hate his neighbour or commit evil against him because of his race or ethnicity.

****

I will address Galatians 3, as someone always brings that up whenever race or ethnicity is mentioned.

Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. (Galatians 3:23-29, 4:1-2 ESV)

What Paul is obviously referring to, when “neither Jew nor Greek” is not ripped entirely out of context for ideological purposes, is that all Christians are heirs to the promise of salvation given through faith. It is a metaphysical claim concerning our salvation and equality in Christ’s covenant. It is not a physical claim that all ethnic differences are now entirely meaningless and everybody is equal in every earthly way.

With that objection taken care of, we continue on.

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The Israelite state of the Old Testament was very strongly ethno-religious. Inter-ethnic/religious marriage was forbidden, as was religious tolerance. Although, whether this was just religious or both religious and ethnic is debatable. Although later, it is confirmed that Jews marrying other races is a sin detestable before God. On the other hand, other inter-racial marriages such as Ruth and Boaz were viewed positively. People born of a forbidden union were forbidden from the Lord’s assembly.

As far as I know, there is no talk of inter-racial/inter-ethnic marriage in the New Testament.

So, as far as I can tell there is no real prohibition on miscegenation, but neither is there an encouragement of it.

****

The sojourner is mentioned many times in the Old Testament, usually positively. Sojourners, foreigners who lived among the Israelites, are not to be oppressed or wronged, are to be given fair justice, and they are sometimes lumped in with the poor. They are also to keep the same laws and be subject to the same punishments.

Sojourners were allowed to be treated differently in some ways. They could be charged interest and could be kept perpetually as slaves as well.

On the other hand, the state is to enforce the rule of law, people can not be allowed to violate the law and the law should not be violated.

So, any immigrants a nation does have should be treated well, judged fairly, and subject to the law, but a nation and its rulers has the right to create and enforce its own immigration laws.

****

Finally, we come to war. God is not a pacifist, as He often called for wars, quite often wars of extermination in the Old Testament. Jesus never condemned war as a concept either, He never really talked about the ethics of war at all but rather He seemed to like Roman soldiers. On the other hand, calls to peace in the general are common, so Christians can not just go declaring war for any reason. Most Christians accept some form of Just War theory derived from Biblical principles, but I’m not going too deep into that because it is tangential.

Mike specifically asked if Christians would kill their co-religious for their co-ethnics.

A Christian can righteously be a soldier and fight, even in a pagan or non-Christian army, as shown by the almost-always positive appearances of Roman soldiers in the New Testament or by David’s mercenary service for the Philistines. Assuming a just war, the Christian could easily fight for his co-ethnics, even if some on the other side may be Christian.  So Christians can fight for both Christian and non-Christian nations.

As for fighting for a non-Christian nation against a Christian nation, in David’s story Philistine leaders prevent him from having to choose between fighting for Philistine against Israel, or turning on Israel, and, as far as I remember, it is not dealt with elsewhere, so it is never made clear what the proper choice would be. I would say this would generally fall under just war theory. If the non-Christian nation has a just cause for war, there would be no problem.

Although, if the non-Christian nation did not have a just cause, I’m unsure. I doubt it would be held against the individual soldier as long as he fought honorably and justly, even if for an secular nation in an unjust war.

The question has less to do with who-whom and more is the cause just.

I’ll just say, that if NATO goes to war against Russia, I’ll probably fight only if I’m drafted.

****

Mike also mentioned meekness, I will simply direct him to Simon Grey who wrote on meekness recently. To summarize, meekness does not mean weakness, it means strength constrained and directed through discipline.

****

In sum, to the Christian, religion comes before ethnicity. Ethno-nationalism is not commanded, except possibly for the Israelites, but ethnicity and ethno-nationalism can still be part of a Christian worldview as long as they do not overtake religion. Any ethno-nationalism has to be out of love for your own, not hate of the other and even so, one can not be unjust to the other. Immigration is not commanded and a country has the right to make and enforce its own laws, but any immigrants allowed in have to be treated properly. As far as I know, miscegenation is generally not written of, except Israelites couldn’t marry non-Israelites. A Christian can fight for whomever they wish assuming the war is just. If it is not, then the question is less clear.

If I missed something, please tell me in the comments.

Sexual Principles

Here’s part of a letter to an advice columnist from a mother concerning her daughter:

Boy, did I get an eyeful! It appears my 16-year-old daughter and her 17-year-old boyfriend have been contemplating sex and have already gone to the heavy petting/foreplay stage. There must have been more than 1,000 e-mails of detailed touching and adult sexual language.

Both kids have had “the talk” with their parents, and we all thought abstinence was not an issue. I have had numerous talks with my daughter about sex, relationships and consequences.

Both kids want to go to college and have goals in life. They do feel they are “soul mates” — but what teenage couple don’t think that? The boyfriend is the nicest, most respectful boy you would want your daughter to date. Teenage hormones got the best of both of them. If any of the other parents find out, their relationship is over.

To make a long story short, I told them I read every single e-mail. When my daughter saw tears come to my eyes, she knew they had crossed the line, as I am a very open and understanding parent. They have been warned, talked to about consequences again, and strict rules have been put in place such as no “alone time” together.

Am I silly to think I can keep them in check, and should I keep their secret?

Here’s part of Amy’s, the advice columnist, response:

If you seriously believe this couple will abstain from sex because you say so, then you might want to get started decorating the baby’s nursery.

Keeping these two apart is completely unrealistic. In addition to your wise counsel about consequences, they should also be told that if they have sex, they must use contraception. You should urge your daughter to explore her options with her doctor, and/or the couple should visit a Planned Parenthood clinic together for realistic counseling and birth control

This letter here is the perfect macrocosm of what is screwed up in our sexual/marital marketplace.

It’s likely that the daughter, boyfriend, and their parents are probably all religious given their emphasis on abstinence, but their first principles are borderline satanic.

First, we’ll get “soul mates” out of the way. There are no soul mates, there is no ‘the one’, there is only “my one and only“. The concept of soul mates is a destroyer of marriage. Given the scare quotes its likely the mother has some reservations about reality of soul mates, but hasn’t imparted this wisdom properly to her daughter.

Next, Amy is correct in her first assertion, encouraging these teenagers to abstain from sex is stupid, but her advice beyond this is non-Christian and will lead to heartache for all. Her advice is the typical hedonism that infects society as a whole and is leading to our decline.

Now, all of this was just a preface, to examine the real point. Burdened, the letter writer, who’s one line shows how deep the rot has gone.

If any of the other parents find out, their relationship is over.”

There are two biological adults strongly attracted to each other. They have been blessed with strong mutual attraction at a young age, and their families’ response would be to destroy their relationship because of some desire for them to be “abstinent”?

That’s insanity. That’s cruel. That’s borderline satanic.

Here is Paul on the issue:

To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. (1 Corinthians 7:8-9 ESV)

The proper response, the Christian response, is to get these two young adults married and starting a family.

The modern drive for ‘abstinence’ uber alles is unholy. Some precious few are given the gift of singleness, they should abstain, but most are not given this gift and calling.

God blessed most with a sexual drive and a holy desire to become one flesh with another. To demand abstinence until some point in their 20′s or 30′s from those not given to singleness is cruel, destructive, unrealistic, unbiblical, and satanic. The focus on abstinence hands the devil a strong hold over young adults in which to subvert their holy desires into unholy ones.

One of the major problems with the modern church is the unbiblical emphasis on abstinence. Abstinence should never be an issue in the church. If two Christian young adults want sex with each other, their parents should rejoice and bring them before the altar post-haste.

Is it any wonder the unchurched are repulsed by such a hideous doctrine as abstinence?

I actually wrote into Amy, hopefully she’ll publish my letter. I would not wish to see these parent’s inflict this hideous cruelty on their offspring.

****

You might, in your modernity-addled mind, object that 16-17 year-olds aren’t adults, but you’d be wrong in any sense but the technially legal. These are adults, and would have been considered so by almost any society prior to the mid-19th century. A person that has hit puberty is an adult; our infantilization of them through non-existent ‘adolescence’ is destructive. Don’t let this kind of modern insanity poison your mind.

Children and Hopelessness

Thus says the LORD:
“A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children,
because they are no more.”

Thus says the LORD:
“Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears,
for there is a reward for your work, declares the LORD,
and they shall come back from the land of the enemy.
There is hope for your future, declares the LORD,
and your children shall come back to their own country.
(Jeremiah 31:15-17 ESV)

Children are a sign of blessing and hope for the future. It is through children that men leave their legacy and by bringing forth children one shows hope that there is a future for your children. A society with hope for the future will usher forth many children.

On the other hand, failing to reproduce is a sign of despair. A society not reproducing itself has given up on itself. A society failing to reproduce is a society lost in hopelessness.

Our society has given up on itself.

They might not say it outside of private conversations or obliquely in public opinion polls, but everyone knows the West is dying. They despair for they know there is no hope for our civilization; winter is coming.

This is why they don’t reproduce, why we don’t reproduce.

We are stuck in the polar twilight, knowing the polar night is descending, but we do not wish to our children to have to endure the harsh, cold winter night. Instead, we enjoy the revelry of twilight, eating and drinking, for tomorrow we die.

****

The saddest part of this twilight is the state of the church.

Christians have been given the first blessing and first command, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

We have been given a promise of a new life, yet we have given into the world’s despair.

This struck me recently at a church I occasionally visit. The priest was speaking on Psalm 137. During the sermon, he stated that ‘biblically, babies always mean hope‘.

This church is one of the few growing, young churches I know of. It’s congregation is composed of a couple hundred is mainly young adults. Despite the youth of the congregation, there are few young children. The church is perfectly poised to carry out the first command if only it would accept the first blessing. I still have some hope for it, but only some.

I talk with Christians. I asked my father if he had to do it over again, if he would get married or stay single.* He said he might marry but he wouldn’t have children in this age as our world is going to soon enter times of trouble.

I talk with other Christian men my age, some agree that children are a sign of hope, yet still are limiting the number of children they have. I talk with Christian women my age, children are a low priority for most. Their careers, teaching, music, writing, are more important to them at this point.

I talk with other Christians my age of the Kali Yuga, of our decline, none seem to actually reject the notion, some even embrace it. We talk of the dying church; everybody knows the church is dying, none dispute it. Yet, I talk of how the church could reinvigorate itself and retake our civilization if only Christians embraced the first blessing, yet there is always something more important.

I doubt any would say they despair, but the sinking nihilism of progressivism has taken hold.

The despair is not emotional, it is existential.

I despair for the church emotionally, yet there is existential hope.

The church has survived dark times before and can do so again.

Civilization has always re-arisen from the ashes.

****

Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
(Jeremiah 29:4-7, 10-14 ESV)

This then is the reactionary project: show hope, have children.

Traditional communities in Idaho are okay, recreating gangs and tribes is excellent, but these are sideshows.

Winter is coming, the darkness descends. The collapse is inevitable. We need to write of the reasons for the decline and illuminate it as it occurs, so that future generations can learn from our mistakes, rebuild, and hopefully stave off a future decline.

We also need to reproduce so there is a future and raise our children right so they can look forward to a brighter future.

We need to have hope, endure, and out-wait the night.

****

Finally, you don’t have anything more important to do than reproduce.

Only a fraction of a percent of the population has something more useful to impart to the future than children. Unless, in this hyperbolic world, your work is regularly described as “ground-breaking”, “world-changing”, and/or “revolutionary”, it’s probably not anywhere near as important as another well-raised child or two would be.

Are you Norman Borlaug?

All the jobs, all the economic activity, everything we build is made for people. Without people they are worthless. Are teachers of any value if there’s no one to teach? Is writing of any value if there’s no one to read? Is a bridge of any value if there’s no one to drive over it?

We build things, we create, we save, so that future generations can benefit from them. All worthwhile economic activity is for future generations. What isn’t for the future is empty consumerism.

The choice for the vast majority of people is reproduction or consumerism. For the exceptional, such as the aforementioned Borlaug, important improvements for future generations.

If demographics is destiny; children are the weapons of ideological war.

Evangelicals often complain of how the US is no longer a Christian country. Well, they make up a quarter of the country; if every evangelical followed the first command, had five children, and trained them up in the way they should go, the US would be a Christian country within two generations. If evangelicals in their 20s and 30s were fruitful, they could all live to see the re-Christianization of the US. They would win the culture war within my lifetime.

Will anything you do: your career, finding yourself, your hobbies, etc. have more impact than that? Probably not. If you are a Christian and you aren’t a missionary, evangelist, or priest, your children are the most important thing you can do for the furtherance of the Kingdom.

If you think something you do is more important than reproduction, in all likelihood your priorities are wrong. You are probably thinking in selfish, narcissistic terms, where “important” is defined as what you think feels good for now rather than what’s good for the future.

Also, even if you think it feels good now, it probably won’t in the long run.

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* I asked a number of my married friends this as well. The general response was; being married is different but not necessarily better, you gain some, but sacrifice some. Although none regretted it.

The Recent Dustup

By now you’ve probably heard about the fight between SSM and her supporters and Lena and LGR and their supporters. If you haven’t my two most recent Lightning Rounds have the just of it. Other than posting the links, I’ve stayed out of it, and I still plan to. This is a catfight, why would any man involve himself in unrelated women’s conflicts?

I won’t take a side, but I will point a few things out:

1) To those Christians fighting this, what kind of witness are you being?

There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. (Proverbs 6:16-19 ESV)

Christians should be unified and avoid division. Rivalries, dissensions, and divisions are the fruits of the flesh. If you have grievances, keep it in the church and follow the biblically-established procedure for settling intra-church conflict. Our dirty laundry shouldn’t be aired for every non-Christian to see and mock.

How is any non-Christian in the manosphere/DE reading of this supposed to take Christians seriously if we engage in petty bickering over, what exactly?

I still have no idea what the actual issue at hand is.

2) This, as with most internet drama, is generally pointless and fruitless.

Has anybody taking sides in this mess actually met any of these people?

I’ve been reading SSM since her first blog, we’ve e-mailed once or twice concerning stuff on my blog; she seems nice, and in what she writes I’d say she’s right enough about 90% of the time. I’ve been reading LGR since her Salt blog and she also seems mostly on point. I don’t know much of Lena, but I did read 7Man’s blog before it went out a couple years back and I think she had something to do with that. I’ve been reading Matt since his IMF days; often disagree, but he’s entertaining and has a unique take on things.

But I’ve never met any of them. They could all be liars; they could all be saints. I don’t know and you don’t know. Matt’s sum total of evidence is anonymous commentary from anti-Christian, feminist nutjobs and a random obituary. The only particularly damning piece of evidence is SSM’s comment threatening to contact CPS, which SSM says was not written by her.

So, essentially, the entire debacle boils down to the words of anonymous commenters I’ve never met versus the words of a semi-anonymous commenter I’ve never met.

I’m sure further debate of this would be fruitful.

3) This demonstrates why women must be quarantined out of the manosphere. There can be no manosphere women, only women adjacent to the manosphere. If you let women be apart of a male space drama happens.

4) I am staying out of the SSM/Lena/LGR fight, but I will ask of Matt Forney, what the hell?

Other than the CPS threat, your entire article is based on the unsourced claims of feminist crazies. I know you’re a self-described troll, but really? What’s the point? Why get involved in women’s bickering? Especially when the evidence is so pathetic?

This seems to be a low-point for your blog.

So, y’all should stop your bickering.