Saturday, February 06, 2010

A Dwelling Place

“If that’s in your mind, let me tell you that both in law and in religion there is a debatable land not subject to the common rules.” – John Buchan in The Free Fishers

John Buchan, that marvelous Scottish writer of the 1930’s, seems all but forgotten now in post-Christian, post-human Europe, but he was immensely popular during his time and would be deservingly popular today if there were any genuine Europeans left alive. One of his favorite literary devices was to take a romantic fellow, who made his living at some type of scholarly profession, and plunge him into an adventure in which a hero was needed to save Britain from imminent danger. In The Free Fishers, for instance, the hero, a young Scottish clergyman named Anthony Lamas, must prevent a French attempt to assassinate the prime minister of Britain (the novel takes place during the Napoleonic Era). In order to save Britain, Mr. Lamas must overcome his donnishness; he must leave abstractions behind and live life in earnest. He is able to do just that because he loves a young innocent woman, always a wonderful antidote for donnishness.
From women’s eyes this doctrine I derive;
They are the ground, the books, the academes
From whence doth spring the true Promethean fire.
Buchan’s Europe is dead and gone, but we can still take something from his adventure tales. That precious something is the knowledge that we cannot live life in the abstract, because in the abstract there is no living God and no genuine love. Buchan’s heroes follow in Hamlet’s train. They must leave their Wittenbergs and become integral, Christian men. And they become such men by doing what Christ did: they suffer for and with other human beings.

Christianity still exists in the abstract, but now that Christian Europe is extinct it no longer has a local habitation and a name. The few individuals who still hold to the Christian faith in the abstract are incapable of transmitting it, because they cannot place Christ into a human dwelling. And human beings must see God in His humanity if they are ever going to know and love Him. Christian Europe provided the house in which the Savior could come and be known by His kinsmen and His subjects.

The great sin of the Christian churchmen is their apathetic attitude towards, and often hostility to, the horizontal plane of the cross. That horizontal plane of the cross is often described disparagingly as the cultural element in Christianity; it is the element wherein we poor mortals live and breathe. The Europeans spread the horizontal plane of the cross across the entire earth. And it seems to me that the modern churchmen, in the name of some new, rationalistic, scientific, hodge-podge, Christian-Buddhist, syncretistic faith, have removed the horizontal strip of wood from the cross to make it the new tower of Babel. In the new faith, you don’t conquer through the cross, you conquer by building a Tower of Babel over the ruins of Christian Europe.

Reading a Buchan novel is both exhilarating and depressing. It is exhilarating, because when the hero fights for his country he is fighting for something greater than himself, he is fighting for a Christian people. And when he loves, his love is sanctified, because the object of his love is not a modern Cybele, a she-goddess who must be obeyed, she is a Christian woman firmly ensconced at the foot of the cross.

And of course one is also depressed when reading a Buchan novel because of the fact that the world depicted no longer exists. We have returned to pagan Rome, which had room for Greek philosophers, pagan poets, Cybele, Mithra, and a whole pantheon of Greco-Roman gods, but no room for the Christ, the Son of the Living God. From a Christian standpoint we have not, as the liberals tell us, evolved to a higher state of humanity. We have de-evolved, we have sunk to a level below the beasts.

The descent of the white man has brought on the age of technological savagery. Men with the morality of beasts of the jungle are in charge of the world. And the young whites are trained to live life as an abstraction; they are told there is no such thing as a white European, so it follows logically that there are no European causes for which to fight. Nor is there such a thing as an individual created in the image of God, so individual members of the human species can be sacrificed in the womb in order to facilitate living conditions for generic humanity.

The greatest evil that can befall a man has fallen upon the white man. He no longer believes that “Life is real! Life is earnest!” He cannot love his God, his country, or other human beings, because he has become an abstraction to himself. One is left with a series of what-ifs. What if the white man could begin to hate again? What if he could begin to love again? He could save his soul and become a man again, but in order to do that he must break free of his mind-forged world of abstractions.

I can no more fathom why the white man prefers his abstracted existence to the life depicted by Buchan than I can fathom the concept of infinity. Ultimately I don’t want to fathom it. Even if there are no white men left in the present, there are still white men in the European past. They were true soldiers of the spiritual life that a man could love and revere. And if we love the heroes of old we are not that far away from emulating them.

By the latter half of the 20th century, most of the Christian churches had abandoned the “fairy tale” elements of the Old Testament and were in the process of reworking the New Testament story as well, to make it more compatible with the modern world. Such demythologizing of the Christian faith goes against the traditional faith of the European. It was the European who believed in fairy tales. His world was the world of evil magicians, malevolent dragons, black knights vs. white knights, and a personal savior who redeemed mankind from a personal hell presided over by a personal devil. The European’s art, his social structure, and his government all reflected his struggle to live out the fairy tale of the Hero God who defeated the devil. Now it’s as if the devil has cast a spell over the European people. They believe Christian Europe was a bad dream and modern Satania is the only reality. And there is a very real, clear and present danger that the few remaining faithful, those who believe in the fairy tale faith, will start to doubt the existence of Christian Europe and the God who once reigned in that land.

Is there any hope, or must we all become faithful followers of our satanic big brother? I come back to the late 19th century and early 20th century adventure tale, which was an instinctive attempt by great European authors, such as Buchan, to save the fairy tale faith in Jesus Christ. In Buchan’s Europe, men and women lived real lives, not abstracted zombie-like existences, because their people and their nation were connected to the living God. The Europeans perceived life as a fairy tale, because the spirit of God was in them. Let the liberals mock on. The faithful European will live life according to the code of Fairyland. In that world, which is the real world, the faithful heart always triumphs. Our King is calling us to clean out the vermin and restore Castle Europe. We cannot say no. +

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