March or Die
“Shadow,” said he,
“Where can it be
This land called El Dorado?”
“Where can it be
This land called El Dorado?”
Dostoevsky stated in his novel, The Devils, that the problem of faith was “whether a man, as a civilized being, as a European, can believe at all, believe that is, in the divinity of the son of god, Jesus Christ, for therein rests, strictly speaking, the whole faith.” Dostoevsky was half right. It was necessary for Karl Adam, in his book The Son of God, to point out that modern man had also lost faith in Christ’s humanity as well as faith in His divinity. (1)
Karl Adam thought as a Roman Catholic priest that Catholicism, if rightly interpreted and practiced, would provide a faith in Christ as true God and true man. Dostoevsky thought a renewal of Russian Orthodoxy and Russian mysticism would restore Christ to His proper place as true God and true man. Both men, although correct in their belief in Christ as true God and true man, were incorrect about the source of an incorporate renewal of that Faith. Neither Roman Catholicism nor Russian Orthodoxy proved to be the answer.
It was no shock to me that Russian Orthodoxy did not incorporate the whole vision of Christ, since Russian Orthodoxy had no claim to universality. However, it was a shock to me, and remains a shock, that the Roman Catholic Church in its Novus Ordo guise denies the divinity of Christ, and in its Traditionalist guise denies the humanity of Christ. But a man can only remain staring at a dry oasis, where he expected to get life-sustaining water, for so long. Eventually he realizes that it is time to “march or die.”
And it is certainly no time for lies. I’ll have none of that nonsense: “Look, it says right here in the new catechism: ‘Christ is true God and true man,’” or: “The traditionalists say Christ is true God and true man.” The Novus Ordo liberals and the humanity-hating trads are Greeks. They will talk endlessly about God and invoke him for their pet policies, but in the end one is left with the depressing conclusion that “Here there is no faith.”
So finally one marches on. To the fundamentalists? No, they are not fundamental enough. They have forsaken the European cultural inheritance. And by doing so they have substituted a mode of thought for a blood faith. Perhaps then there is no oasis, no El Dorado. But if there is no El Dorado, why do I have such a longing for it?
If El Dorado exists, it is not to be found in the narrow confines of one particular Christian denomination. European Christianity as a whole – Protestant and Catholic – is Christianity, and all other cultures are Christian to the extent that they have Europeanized their own cultures. Latin and Central America Europeanized more than China, and China Europeanized more than Africa, but none have approached the deep levels of Christianity that the Europeans achieved. But it’s all gone. Why did it disappear?
If we distill the reason for the disappearance of the Faith, we see before us, in blazing technicolor, a film called "The Triumph of the Greeks". In the film, we see Athena, the goddess of wisdom, springing newborn from the head of Zeus. We see poets, such as Sophocles, rejecting the wisdom of the isolated mind and following the way of the Cross. But the Greek mind prevails. Then we see the coming of the God-Man that Sophocles yearned for. The God-Man’s birth from the womb of a mortal woman reveals to us that wisdom resides not in the head but in the blood. Wisdom is not something that springs from pure mind but is instead something born through suffering and travail.
Then the assault begins: Satan tries to get Christ to abandon the way of the Cross, first on the mountaintop and then through St. Peter, but to no avail. Christ, the hero, is not to be deterred. No hero – and Christ is the hero – sits on the sidelines and plays mind-games while other poor saps fight the dragons and face the three challenges. It would be like Zorro delegating the final dueling scene to his servant while he, Zorro, gives directions from behind a bullet-proof and sword-proof screen. Likewise, picture the Scarlet Pimpernel sitting in a tailor shop in London directing rescue operations in France through the use of his cell phone: “Chauvelin got another agent. Oh well, I’ll have to come up with a better plan next time.” No, the way of the hero is not the way of the abstracted mind. But let us move on and keep viewing "The Triumph of the Greeks".
We next see a large, rotund Dominican monk (with all the good intentions that the road to hell is paved with) devise a system which separates reason from revelation and elevates reason above the wisdom of the blood. Henceforth, in his system, God will be known only as a derivative product of reason, not as the personal God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and St. Paul.
We fast-forward the picture and see rivers of blood being shed in the great Protestant revolt, and all for naught. The issue is never settled. It is not – or at least it should not be – a question of Protestant vs. Catholic. It is a battle between the blood Faith of the European and the Greek mind. For if we apprehend God by the Greek way, the way of the Scholastics, the way of the Bible exegetes, it simply doesn’t matter whether we go to Mass or go to Bible study; we will be Christian atheists either way.
Need we continue with the film? From the rotund monk, to the hard-eyed man of Geneva, to Ebenezer Scrooge as the embodiment of capitalism, it all ends with the white-coated scientist expertly dissecting and analyzing all of mankind and mankind’s God.
“Oh, for ten toes,” Long John Silver cried. At least he knew he needed five more toes, but the modern atheist Christian doesn’t even know he is without his faith. A man can smile and smile and be an errant knave, and man can go to Mass or go to church, and still be an ardent atheist. Indeed, the Catholic Church today is the leading purveyor of atheism, followed closely by the mainstream Protestant churches, which place second to the Catholic Church only because they lack Catholicism’s formidable organization.
What then? “Where can it be, this land called El Dorado?” Perhaps it always existed and still exists for those who see "with blinding sight". Maybe the ordeal of fire is the inner struggle to strip away the external facade of a speculative faith in order to embrace a living faith. And it was the “racist” Europeans of the old stock who preserved a living faith for us to embrace. They did not leave Christ in the documents and the catechisms, they placed Him at the center of their culture. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
The techo-barbarians of church and state have set us down in a huge desert, the Sahara of Philosophical Speculation. They have told us this desert is the Faith; there is nothing else. But our European ancestors tell us something different. “Beyond that desert is life, a land called El Dorado.” In whom do we place our faith? I choose the Europeans of the old stock, because they and I are of the same blood. I do not speak the same language as the techno-barbarians, nor do I identify with their bloodless, soulless, impersonal vision of God.
The antique European has been tried and convicted at a trial he never attended. He has been convicted of racism, sexism, and obstructionism. The hunt is on in Liberaldom for unrepentant, unreformed Europeans. The techno-barbarians with their colored lackies are beating the bushes to find the last of them. They won’t succeed. The European’s heart was set on fire by His heart. Every time the techno-barbarian thinks he has killed the European fire, it flares up again in the heart of a European connected to white Europe. El Dorado is not a city of gold, it is something far more valuable. It is eternal Europe, a land where hearts of fire still keep their vows of fealty to their King and their God. And if our loyalty to eternal Europe makes us outlaws, then so be it. When Satan rules, the European must be an outlaw, the sign of contradiction to a world stewing in its own satanic juices. +
(1) "The Christian gospel announces primarily not an ascent of humanity to the heights of the divine in a transfiguration, an apotheosis, a deification of human nature, but a descent of the Godhead, of the divine Word, to the state of bondage of the purely human. This is the kernel of the primitive Christian message. 'The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us'; he 'emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of man, and in habit found as a man' (Phil. ii. 7) Hence it is just as important to establish that Christ is full and complete man, that for all the hypostatic union with the Godhead, he possessed not only a human body but also a purely human soul, a purely human will, a purely human consciousness, a purely human emotional life, that in the full and true sense he became as one of us, as it is to establish the other proposition, namely, that this man is God. Indeed, the doctrine of the divinity of Christ first acquires from the other doctrine—Christ is full and perfect man—its specifically Christian imprint and its specifically Christian form; its essential difference from all pagan apotheoses and savior gods." – Karl Adam in The Son of God