Faith and Hearth
“I told you I should retake my fireside. It’s done.”
-The Kentuckian by John Fox Jr.
In Marlis Steinert’s biography of Hitler he lists all of Hitler’s hates and then poses the question, “What did he love?” Steinert concludes that Hitler loved the folk, the German Everyman. I disagree. Does a man who procures an abortion for the woman he professes to love truly love her? I say no, the man in question is seeking to destroy that which makes the female uniquely female, her God-given power to bring forth new life.
And so it was with Hitler. He tried to extract from the German people, for his own sinister purposes, that which made them a folk and not a herd of cattle, their Christian faith. What image does the word ‘folk’ conjure up? Do we think of jackbooted storm troopers saluting their Führer? I certainly don’t. I think of Hansel and Gretel, the Elves and the Shoemaker, Sleeping Beauty, and all the folk tales that came from the heart of the Germanic, Christian people. Hitler, like Nietzsche, hated the traditional faith of the European people; he envisioned a future that was a negation of everything European.
Of course Hitler’s Christ-less vision of the future was not unique. The 20th century was a century overloaded with utopian visions of a future devoid of Christianity. And in every instance – Communism, Nazism, Americanism – the utopians all cite “the people,” as their authority for steering their nation, or the nations, away from the Christian faith and toward a glorious, Christ-free future. But in reality the people were not consulted when the utopians launched their assaults on the traditional faith of the Europeans. There were no Russian peasants clamoring for a new, Godless state. There were no American farmers or workers that demanded a Jeffersonian democracy in which the Christian God was reduced to a meaningless irrelevancy. Nor did the German folk yearn to goose-step into Hitler’s dark night rather than sing Hosannas to the risen Lord. In every revolution in Christendom it is always the people who are most definitely not consulted.
The National Socialists, the Communists, and the Americanists were only following the tactics that the churchmen had been using for years. Can you name one major heresy that has ever come from the ranks of the people? There seems to be a direct correlation between the desire to systematize God, (often with the stated reason that systematizing makes it easier for “the people” to understand) and heresy. All the Christian clergyman through the centuries have claimed to respect tradition, which always turns out to mean the traditional documents of their own denomination, but they have never respected the traditional faith of the Christian folk. The assault of the philosophers and the intellectual something-or-others, over the Christian centuries, has been relentless. It was always the Christian, European people who resisted the intellectuals. The folk stood with Athanasius against Liberius and with Christ against Mohamet. It was only in the 20th century when the folk became intellectualized that all resistance to satanic, godless universalism ceased.
Nathaniel Hawthorne once wrote that he only became fully alive when he married. Likewise, the Europeans only became fully alive when they became wedded to Christ. Everything else in their history was only significant because it prepared them for their union with Christ. The European people and Christ combined their “hearts in one” and their realms in one.
We must cast aside St. Augustine’s characterization of the City of God (the Church) and the City of Man (the folk) as two opposing forces, the Church representing the good and the people representing evil, because we know that the marriage between Christ and the European people was genuine. We see the evidence in the history of the European people. What we need to know is the reason for the divorce. What came between the European and his God?
The obvious answer and the correct answer to the question is that Satan came between the European and God. But what was his methodology? He used the same method to come between God and the European as he used to come between God and Adam and Eve; he pointed to a systematic scheme of the universe that was greater than God. Adam and Eve had only to heed Satan, who claimed he knew the system better than God -- “Ye shall not surely die” -- in order to obtain equality with God. For the European it was always the Roman system that Satan dangled before his eyes. And only the church men who felt themselves to be connected, even though they were clergymen, to the lifeblood of their people, were able to resist Roman universalism. When St. Augustine (not the ‘City of God’ Augustine, but the other one) in 597 demanded that the British bishops conform to the Roman system, they resisted, saying:
"Be it known unto you beyond a doubt, that we are all and each one of us obedient and subject to the Church of God, and the Pope of Rome, and to every other true and pious Christian to the extent of loving each of them in word and deed, as the sons of God; but other obedience than this I do not know to be justly claimed and proved to be due to him whom you call the 'Father of Fathers,' and this obedience we are willing to give and perform to him and to every other Christian continually. But for anything further, we are under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Caerleon upon the Uske, who is, under God, to take the oversight of us and make us pursue a spiritual life."
And what was the rift between the British Catholics and the Roman Catholics all about? It was about the fight for the heroic Christ instead of a satanic system, in which God’s will is subordinate to man’s satanic desire to prove himself the equal of God. The system makers don’t deny God, they simply make Him a servant of the system. In that respect, the American experiment in democracy is the most seductive and demonic system of them all.
The British revolt against Roman universalism was not the last of its kind. Luther revolted against it only to witness his own people create their own Roman systems in which Christ was a subsidiary of the systems. Communism, Nazism, and Americanism are all religiously based systems that stem from the initial conflict between Satan and God.
In the first half of the 20th century, there was a clash of the satanic systems. And by the end of the 20th century, the warring systems merged into one unholy democratic system. The American Republic and the Roman Catholic Church of Assisi I and II, etc., represented the triumph of Satanism. The deification of the Negro and the sainted status of the unrepentant Jew are manifestations of the absence of any link between the European and the Christian God. In the absence of a connection to Christ the Europeans have become a people without honor, without love, and without charity.
The system makers always put up a wall between God and man. It has always been the task of the hero, who comes from the folk, to destroy the wall and restore the link between his people and God. It seems as though this time no heroes of the blood have come forth. But the hero knows not seems, and in God’s time, not ours, he will emerge. And it will always be His Sacred Heart that sustains him against the foe.
When the hero emerges who refuses to be part of the system he will turn everyone’s eyes toward the source of his strength, the Son of Man. The hero’s vision will be Pauline because he will be focused on the humanity of God, and it will be Shakespearean because he will be focused on the divinity within man. Like the good thief, the hero will see that the love of Christ trumps all systems and their makers. Divine Charity is not a system, it is a person whose name is Jesus.
I once infuriated a Roman Catholic Traditionalist priest by stating that I would much rather see a student truly understand Shakespeare’s plays than learn his catechism. From the priest’s standpoint, I was a blasphemer because I was placing Shakespeare above God. And of course the priest was right if, as he asserted, the catechism was an accurate portrait of God. But to me the catechism represented the system of one particular branch of Roman universalism that had no connection whatsoever with the living god. Whereas Shakespeare’s plays laid bare the heart of man which pointed the way to His Sacred Heart.
The good news for the European who feels helpless and hopeless in the face of the cold, heartless rule of the system makers is that he doesn’t need to find or invent a system of his own before his soul can be reclaimed. The European clan, the folk, and the heroes of the folk have shown us the way. They heard and believed, rejecting all systems and relying on the divine charity of Christ, the Son of God.
I’m certainly aware that there is virtually nothing left of the European people who once believed in the true Fairy Tale of the Son of Man. But the modern man’s unbelief in the communion of saints does not change the reality of the communion of saints. Our people once believed in the Midsummer’s Night’s dream called the Christian Faith. When the church men abandoned the hearth fire, when they saw the faith as something to be found only on church scrolls, they lost the folk, who need to see the faith as part of their home. It is never too late to reclaim our home; we need only listen to our blood. +