White Evangelicalism as a political movement is as much about white nativism, nationalism and traditionalism as it is about religion. Donald Trump stokes the fire of the evangelicals with lies and his own brand of fraud.
the great achievement of Pope Francis’ five years on the papal throne. He leads a church that spent the prior decade embroiled in a grisly sex abuse scandal, occupies an office often regarded as a medieval relic, and operates in a media environment in which traditional religion generally, and Roman Catholicism especially, are often covered with a mix of cluelessness and malice.
And yet in a remarkably short amount of time — from the first days after his election, really — the former Jorge Bergoglio has made his pontificate a vessel for religious hopes that many of his admirers didn’t realize or remember that they had.
.. the theological risks he’s taken in pushing for changes that liberal Westerners tend to assume Catholicism must eventually accept — shifts on sexual morality above all, plus a general liberalization in the hierarchy and the church.
.. But when people say, “He makes me want to believe again,” as a lapsed-Catholic journalist said to me
.. What my friends and acquaintances respond to from this pope, rather, is the iconography of his papacy — the vivid images of humility and Christian love he has created, from the foot-washing of prisoners to the embrace of the disfigured to the children toddling up to him in public events.
.. Like his namesake of Assisi, the present pope has a great gift for gestures that offer a public imitatio Christi, an imitation of Christ.
.. And the response from so many otherwise jaded observers is a sign of how much appeal there might yet be in Catholic Christianity, if it found a way to slip the knots that the modern world has tied around its message.
.. we — are always at risk of finding in the mirror the self-righteous elder brother in Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son, who resents his father’s liberality, the welcome given to the younger brother coming home at last.
.. The cardinals who chose Jorge Bergoglio envisioned him as the austere outsider.
.. Vatican life is more unsettled than under Benedict XVI, the threat of firings or purges ever present, the power of certain offices reduced, the likelihood of a papal tongue-lashing increased.
.. the blueprints for reorganization have been put off; many ecclesial princes have found more power under Francis; and even the pope’s admirers joke about the “next year, next year …” attitude that informs discussions of reform.
.. Francis just spent a recent visit to Chile vehemently defending a bishop accused of turning a blind eye to sex abuse, while one of his chief advisers, the Honduran Cardinal Óscar Maradiaga, is accused of protecting a bishop charged with abusing seminarians even as the cardinal himself faces accusations of financial chicanery.
.. the idea of this pope as a “great reformer,” to borrow the title of the English journalist Austen Ivereigh’s fine 2014 biography, can’t really be justified by any kind of Roman housekeeping.
.. Instead Francis’ reforming energies have been directed elsewhere, toward two dramatic truces that would radically reshape the church’s relationship with the great powers of the modern world.
.. The first truce this pope seeks is in the culture war
.. the conflict between the church’s moral teachings and the way that we live now, the struggle over whether the sexual ethics of the New Testament need to be revised or abandoned in the face of post-sexual revolution realities.
.. Instead of formally changing the church’s teaching on divorce and remarriage, same-sex marriage, euthanasia — changes that are officially impossible, beyond the powers of his office — the Vatican under Francis is making a twofold move.
.. First, a distinction is being drawn between doctrine and pastoral practice that claims that merely pastoral change can leave doctrinal truth untouched. So a remarried Catholic might take communion without having his first union declared null, a Catholic planning assisted suicide might still receive last rites beforehand, and perhaps eventually a gay Catholic can have her same-sex union blessed — and yet supposedly none of this changes the church’s teaching that marriage is indissoluble and suicide a mortal sin and same-sex wedlock an impossibility, so long as it’s always treated as an exception rather than a rule.
.. At the same time, Francis has allowed a tacit decentralization of doctrinal authority, in which different countries and dioceses can take different approaches
.. In effect he is experimenting with a much more Anglican model for how the Catholic Church might operate — in which the church’s traditional teachings are available for use but not required
.. different countries may gradually develop away from each other theologically and otherwise.
.. seeking a truce not with a culture but with a regime: the Communist government in China
.. Such a reconciliation, if accomplished, would require the church to explicitly cede a share of its authority to appoint bishops to the Politburo — a concession familiar from medieval church-state tangles, but something the modern church has tried to leave behind.
.. A truce with Beijing would differ from the truce with the sexual revolution in that no specific doctrinal issue is at stake, and no one doubts that the pope has authority to conclude a concordat with a heretofore hostile and persecuting regime.
.. the two truces are similar in that both would accelerate Catholicism’s transformation into a confederation of national churches — liberal and semi-Protestantized in northern Europe, conservative in sub-Saharan Africa, Communist-supervised in China.
.. both treat the concerns of many faithful Catholics — conservative believers in the West, underground churchgoers in China — as roadblocks to the pope’s grand strategy.
.. they both risk a great deal — in one case, the consistency of Catholic doctrine and its fidelity to Jesus; in another, the clarity of Catholic witness for human dignity — for the sake of reconciling the church with earthly powers.
.. they take this risk at a time when neither Chinese Communism nor Western liberalism seem exactly like confident, resilient models for the human future — the former sliding back toward totalitarianism, the latter anxious and decadent and beset by populist revolts.
.. the “Francis effect.”
.. If current trends continue, China could have one of the world’s largest Christian populations by this century’s end, and this population is already heavily evangelical
.. Francis will have ceded the moral authority earned by persecuted generations, and ceded the Chinese future to those Christian churches, evangelical especially, that are less eager to flatter and cajole their persecutors.
.. The gamble on an Anglican approach to faith and morals is even more high-risk — as Anglicanism’s own schisms well attest.
.. it will ensure that the church’s factions, already polarized and feuding, grow ever more apart.
.. it implies a rupture (or, if you favor it, a breakthrough) in the church’s understanding of how its teachings can and cannot change
.. Francis’ inner circle is convinced that such a revolution is what the Holy Spirit wants — that the attempts by John Paul II and Benedict to maintain continuity between the church before and after Vatican II ended up choking off renewal.
.. this pope has not just exposed tensions; he has heightened them, encouraging sweeping ambitions among his allies and pushing disillusioned conservatives toward traditionalism.
.. here is no sign as yet that Francis’s liberalization is bringing his lapsed-Catholic admirers back to the pews;
.. Whereas accelerating division when your office is charged with maintaining unity and continuity is a serious business
Many on the right, especially those who identify as “Alt-Right,” spend massive amounts of time rejoicing in the pain of those with whom they disagree. The fact that videos about “libtard meltdowns” and “Butt-Hurt Crying Hillary Voters Compilation” have far more views than videos about Shakespeare, Alexis de Tocqueville, and Dante’s Commedia, should tell us something. Young conservatives and reactionaries, much as they flail their hands at the death of Western civilization and the loss of wisdom, do very little in the way of actually preserving the beauty and truth underlying this great tradition. If joy is truly a result of love, man must be very careful to develop the right affections in his breast. Right now many on the right seem hellbent on cultivating affection for dank memes rather than for truth, goodness, and beauty.
.. Simply change your habits to help bring friends and family into rituals and ways of life that affirm reality. Host a formal dinner! Go to an art museum! Have a picnic in which you read classic poetry aloud! This is how we can create a sustainable traditionalism in the West.
What I am advocating here is not aestheticism, but communally gathering around all that is true, good, and beautiful. Politics is ordered toward promotion of the common good, thus in order to engage in politics we all must first have a love for the good. We cannot base the rejuvenation of our dying civilization upon a shared animosity, for as Chesterton reminds us, “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”
.. If I could write The Benedict Option over again, I would have a lot more of this in it.
.. “Nothing we make in this life will be eternal, but we have to build them as if they will be eternal,” Marco continued. “That’s what God wants. If you promise yourself to a woman for a lifetime, that is a way of making the eternal present here in time.”
.. “I know from the olive trees that some years we will have a big harvest, and other years we will take few,” he said. “The monks, when they brought agriculture to this place a thousand years ago, they taught our ancestors that there are times when we have to save seed. That’s why I think we have to walk on this road of Saint Benedict, in this Benedict Option. This is a season for saving the seed. If we don’t save the seed now, we won’t have a harvest in the years to come.”
The Republican Party, which under George W. Bush wrapped the Catholic-inflected language of “compassionate conservatism” around its pro-life commitments, has been pinballing between an Ayn Rand-ish libertarianism and the white identity politics of the Trump era.
.. old 20th century approaches to Catholic politics — both the ethnic-Catholic liberalism of a Mario Cuomo or a Ted Kennedy and the Catholic neoconservatism that shaped figures like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio or Paul Ryan — seem like they’re out of energy and influence.
.. Western liberalism writ large seems at once hostile to traditional religion and beset by internal contradictions, making the moment ripe for serious Catholic rethinking, a new and perhaps even post-liberal Catholic politics.
.. the religious votes for the cheerfully pagan Trump and the growing interest in traditionalism, radicalism and separatism, are not the culmination of the Catholic-evangelical alliance but rather a reaction to its political and cultural failures — and the failures of liberal religious politics as well.
.. leaders and thinkers have spent decades rallying to the republic, trying to bring about its moral and political renewal … only to see republican virtues decaying, liberalism turning hostile to religious faith, and democratic capitalism delivering disappointment and dislocation
.. in their evident paranoia about what the Americans are up to, you see a different spirit: a fear of novelty and disruption, and a desire for a church that’s primarily a steward of social peace, a mild and ecumenical presence, a moderate pillar of the establishment in a stable and permanently liberal age.
“Putin decides what he wants to do, and he does it in half a day,” Rudolph W. Giuliani
.. “A great leader,” “very reasoned,” and “extremely diplomatic,” was how Mr. Trump himself described Mr. Putin that same year.
.. Mr. Putin is no arch-villain in this understanding of America-Russian relations. Rather, he personifies many of the qualities and attitudes that conservatives have desired in a president: a respect for traditional Christian values, a swelling nationalist pride and an aggressive posture toward foreign adversaries.
In this view, the Russian president is a brilliant tactician, a slayer of murderous Islamic extremists — and not incidentally, a leader who outmaneuvered and emasculated President Barack Obama on the world stage. And because of that, almost any other transgression seems forgivable.
“There are conservatives here who maybe read into Russia things they wish were true in the United States,” .. “And they imagine Russia and Putin as the kind of strong, traditional conservative leader whom they wish they had in the United States.” To these conservatives, she added, “Russia is the true defender of Christian values. We are decadent.”
.. Mr. Trump’s opponents have tried repeatedly to make an issue of the mutual admiration between him and the Russian president, anticipating that Republicans would not tolerate any whiff of sympathy from one of their own toward the leader of what Ronald Reagan called the “evil empire.”
.. “My guess is that Trump voters would say: ‘Hey, you know what? I kind of like the fact that Putin’s endorsed Trump,’ ” Rush Limbaugh told his listeners in December 2015. “At least Putin’s killing terrorists. At least Putin’s made an enemy out of ISIS. We don’t seem to be able to do that.”
.. Kimberly Guilfoyle, a Fox News host who once said Mr. Trump had considered naming her as his press secretary, said that she wished Mr. Putin could be president of the United States for just 48 hours. That way, as she put it, “Americans don’t have to worry and wake up in the morning fearful of a group that’s murderous and horrific like ISIS.”
.. many conservatives now, ironically, echo Mr. Obama, who in 2012 brushed off the warnings of Mitt Romney, his Republican opponent, that Russia was the United States’ “No. 1 geopolitical foe.”
.. “It’s like being raised in a church and someone says, ‘Actually, no, you’re a Buddhist,’ ”
.. The unflattering comparisons with Mr. Obama became personal in 2014 after Mr. Putin invaded Crimea, an act of aggression that was widely condemned by the United States and its allies but praised as a display of brawn and guts by many on the right.
Sarah Palin, for one, questioned Mr. Obama’s “potency” and added that no one had any such doubts about Mr. Putin. “People are looking at Putin as one who wrestles bears and drills for oil,” she told Sean Hannity on Fox News.
.. “He’s looking like a real man,” Mr. Limbaugh declared approvingly in 2014.
.. Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters, which has tracked the conservative media’s depiction of the Russian president, described Mr. Putin as taking on “a Paul Bunyan-esque persona among this audience.”
.. Mr. Putin’s mystique for conservatives resembles in many ways the image that Mr. Trump has cultivated for himself.
.. Both are go-it-alone nationalists who value strength and decisiveness over thoughtful deliberation. Both have dedicated themselves to defending Christians and their faith
.. Both have taken a more forgiving view of human rights abuses.
.. “This is consistent with a nationalist, populist, authoritarian point of view,” said William Kristol, the editor at large of the conservative Weekly Standard. That view, he added, “would ridicule the promotion of human rights and democracy as globalism
.. Beyond foreign policy, some conservatives saw Mr. Putin as a committed warrior in the culture wars they were losing at home. In Russia Mr. Putin led a crackdown on gay rights by taking such steps as criminalizing behavior that could be seen as promoting anything other than heterosexual relationships. This has earned him praise from leaders of the Christian right like Franklin Graham, who said in 2014 that Russia was doing more than the United States to protect its children.
.. “He is seeking to redefine the ‘Us vs. Them’ world conflict of the future as one in which conservatives, traditionalists and nationalists of all continents and countries stand up against the cultural and ideological imperialism of what he sees as a decadent West.”
The Order desires to welcome into membership people who are natural leaders and who share an understanding of the threats we face today globally from radical Islam, liberalism, political corruption, cultural Marxism and anti-Christian bigotry. We welcome those who are prepared to make a stand to defend all they hold dear regardless of the cost. We also look for people who can provide mutual support to each other as members of the Order.
- As a Templar you will be expected to participate in the Templar work of defence, charity, meetings and social events. However, we fully appreciate that not everyone can go off to War zones across the world. Indeed, only a very few can, but as a Knight or Dame you have a duty to support the overall work of the order and the brothers who volunteer overseas. As Templars we are all brothers and sisters and you enter into a lifelong commitment supporting the work of the Order as far as your personal circumstances allow.
- Christian chivalric group of men and women who take their inspiration from the highest ideals of the medieval Order of the Knights Templar, founded circa 1118. The Order of Knights Templar International are deeply involved in projects all over the world and our reputation for swift ethical action rather than just talking has gained us international trust and respect.
- Not to us, O Lord, not to us; but to Your Name give the glory.
- all those who secretly despise their own will and desire with a pure heart to serve the Sovereign King as a knight and with studious care desire to wear, and wear permanently, the very noble armour of obedience.
- Be mindful that you are on the crusade of the King of Kings. “Unless you take up your cross and follow me, you have no part with me”, said our Master. (St Matthew’s Gospel: chapter 16; verse 24) Do not be afraid to confess the King who is like no other King.
- May the white cloak remind you that we fight a holy war in all truthfulness; and may the red cross remind you that sacrifices must be made; for “we do not fight against flesh and blood, but against potentates and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual wickedness in the cosmos.” (St Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians: chapter 6; verse 12)
- .. As a knight, stand up for the weak, above all for women and children, widows and orphans who need your help.
- .. Each brother of the Temple should know that he is not committed to anything so much as to serve God, and each one should apply all his study and understanding to this.
- .. “I do not know if it would be more appropriate to refer to them as monks or soldiers, unless it would be better to recognise them as being both. Indeed they lack neither monastic meekness nor military might. What can we say of this, except that “this has been done by the Lord and it is marvellous in our eyes.”
- .. The principles of Chivalry and traditional values been largely forgotten in decadent and subverted modern society. They need to be restored.
- .. The essence of Chivalry involved bravery, skilled training, and dedication in service to others.
The Ten Pillars of Modern Templar Chivalry:
- Believe in the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, and apply them in daily life
- Defend traditional Christianity, cleaving to your own confession but respecting that of others
- Respect and defend the weak against abuses by the strong
- Love the people and sovereignty of your country, for they are ordained by God
- Do not be a coward, face the enemy, and use direct force
- Fight the enemies of good relentlessly and without mercy
- Perform all secular duties under the higher Laws of God
- Never lie nor breach your word, be reliable for friend or foe
- Give generously and wholeheartedly, striving to make a difference for the better
- Always uphold right and good, against all evil and injustice
.. With the ‘modern’ West infected with various virulent strains of atomised and selfish individualism, cynical and ugly anti-idealism, and subverted by the worship of False Gods – from Allah to Money and on to Satan – there was never a time when a revival of the true Christian values of the original fighting Templars has been more urgently needed than today!
Taken this way, the phenomenon of chivalry represents a universal category, which is applicable in all circumstances, at all times and in all situations. Chivalry as a way of perceiving and affecting, both on the individual and social level, is more than necessary in the time we live in. In this sad time when all the civilization’s achievements are crumbling, in the time of great atomization of society and in the time of loss of meaning of any social or individual action.
.. The circumstance that had largely dealt the final blow to chivalry is the creation and development of the new socio-economic conditions, that have gradually replaced the feudal social structure, which was one of the main pillars of the chivalry caste. In economic terms, it was the development of capitalist economic relations and the strengthening of the bearers of these relations – the class of merchants. The principle of quality, as a social paradigm, was replaced by the principle of quantity. The concept of truth was replaced by the concept of wealth. All the aspects of society have become just a decor for the flow of capital.
.. The most significant and basic element of chivalry is the willingness to self-sacrifice. It is this element that is the fundamental demarcation line between the bourgeois, mercantilist view of the world and the chivalrous view of the world. The merchant always has, in the first place, on his mind an interest, a profit or a comfort. The knight always has, in the first place, on his mind the willingness to sacrifice. For the faith, for the crown, for an idea, for the state, for the master, for the weak… Never for any vulgar, profane or earthly goal. But instead, for an ideal, that to those with a mercantilist view seems very abstract and incomprehensible.
.. The willingness to sacrifice, places a knight in the realm of pure spirituality, as someone who has transcended the secular sphere of materialistic, cause and effect relationships. In addition, the willingness to sacrifice shows a knight’s willingness to overcome pride, which represents the greatest obstacle on the spiritual path. Also, what is especially important in our world, where materialism and hedonism are prevailing, is to overcome the temptation of material goods, which tend to hinder him. A knight always looks upon interest and benefit, the two sad achievements of the modern society, with contempt and indifference.
.. He could have accepted the vassal status of Serbia and avoided the war and defeat. Together with his nobles, Prince Lazar did not do this, but instead he chose self-sacrifice.
.. Lazar had not only the political or ethical dilemma, but rather a spiritual and metaphysical one, embodied in the choice between approaching God or Devil (synonyms: freedom or slavery, honor or dishonor, one’s own perception of truth or accepting the imposed). He had a choice between preserving integrity of the earthly existence, that is his own life, or preserving the spiritual integrity. He faced a temptation. His choice was the Lord.
.. Lazar’s sacrifice, in a sense, was similar to the sacrifice of the Christ himself.
.. “Death in the feat is better than the life with shame. It is better to die by the sword in the battle, than to kneel to the enemy. We lived enough for the people, so let us bear the feat of sacrifice, so that we may live forever in the heavens.
.. Spirituality is one ennobling factor that rises the knight above the ordinary soldier.
.. The organic model of civilization indicates something that was being created for some considerable period of time and is based on certain precise archetypes, that are constantly repeated throughout the ages. This may be a nation, a group of nations under the umbrella of a particular empire, or a group of nations under the umbrella of a common spiritual and cultural identity.
.. Traditionalism, as an ideological form, is contrary to the myth of progress that is typical of the society formed after the first bourgeois revolution in 1789. The myth of progress implies that things are constantly changing and improving from a less perfect state to a more perfect one.
.. From the Vedas to the Holy Scriptures, there is always a similar epilogue at the end of time – a gradual regression from a perfect to a less perfect form, until the final “endkampf” and the end of time.
.. The cult of ancestors, or respecting those who were here before us, is an element of traditionalism. The cult of ancestor veneration is an expression of our confrontation with our own egoism and pride, which are suggesting that everything before or after us does not matter.
.. Collectivism is a category opposite to the prevailing individualism of today. Individualism, as the legacy of bourgeois society, is nothing more than a hypertrophied egotism, which stems from pride.
.. Individualistic emphasis on ego and self-sufficiency has led to the fact that the individual in the contemporary social context is alienated – from others and from himself. Individualism, in addition to one’s alienation from the modern society, has led to a complete atomization of the society, in which it has lost all its meaning. All the paradigms of traditional society are reduced to the level of simulacrum, that is, to the level of a pale image of its original meaning.
.. An individual within the collective ceases to be proud, self-sufficient and exclusively occupied with his own gain and pleasure, but approaches the collective, with a desire to give something and not just take. He no longer takes himself first and foremost, but wants to sacrifice his own interests for the collective to which he belongs. He wants to obey the authority within the hierarchy as a natural state.
.. The starting point is that every individual is imperfect at the beginning, in the spiritual, intellectual and physical sense. The process of working on oneself, or self-discipline to which one willingly subjects oneself, leads to a better state of being.
.. Historically, it may be in the concept of chivalry, as an integral system of life and action, in which for the first time in European civilization, that we meet the synergy of simultaneous development of one’s own spirit, body and intellect.
.. Especially for those who need assistance or are under a threat.
A knight does not treat them with contempt, so typical for the relationship with the weak in the modern mercantilist society, but with love. The main expression of that love is compassion. The practical articulation of compassion is to protect and to serve. A knight always protects the one who is in danger, in distress or weak, and in this way, he serves them.
The increasingly illiberal European country offers shelter to a growing number of international nationalists.
.. Orbán’s “refugees” have been moving to Hungary, and Budapest in particular, for years. A small clique of Identitarians, or aggrieved nationalists from Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, France, and elsewhere, all motivated by their disdain for their home countries’ commitment to liberal values, have found an ideological match in his Hungary, where two extreme far-right parties, the governing Fidesz and Jobbik, the largest opposition party, make up most of the National Assembly.
Jobbik is the first European political party to champion a border wall. Its members frequently express open anti-Semitic and anti-Roma sentiments, and prioritize the preservation of “Hungary for the Hungarians.”
.. they have created a structured propaganda circuit, in the hopes of spreading their ideas far and wide.
.. At the center of the scene is a publishing house called Arktos Media. It is routinely referred to as the preeminent publisher of the alt-right
.. Dugin’s “ethnonationalism,” a belief in the creation of ethnically homogenous nation states, has been championed by white nationalists, who argue that Europe and America are innately white nations.
.. Arktos titles largely promote a viewpoint it characterizes as “alternatives to modernity” that are critical of liberalism, human rights, and modern democracy... he argues that multiculturalism and liberal human rights—what he calls “cultural Marxism”—have been the dominant culture since the fall of Nazism, and outlines how transforming this culture space is necessary for political and social change... In 2014, Jobbik’s popularity surged, thanks to a platform that pledged to preserve Hungarian ethnic purity... These are people with an almost medieval view on the world and they find a safe haven in Hungary,” Kréko told me... multiculturalism is the supreme enemy.. Both believe in draconian immigration laws based on ethnic and racial preservation... 20th-century intellectual fascist Julius Evola’s A Handbook For Right-Wing Youth.. Evola, who White House chief strategist Steve Bannon quoted in a 2014 speech at the Vatican, is considered by academics as “possibly the most important intellectual figure for the Radical Right in contemporary Europe.”.. Marton Gyöngyösi, another key politician in Jobbik credited with calling for all Jews in Hungary to be registered on a list... Jobbik’s resistance to immigration, he said, is limited to people from “Africa or the Middle East,” because they do not share the same “cultural values” as Hungarians, as opposed to the “Austrians or Polish or American people who come to our country and who share the same civilization, the same religion, or the same values or way of life.”.. Friberg has sought to obscure his violent transgressions under a cover of intellectual legitimacy... He has spent his far-right career repackaging eugenicist ideology by rebranding the same or similar material with words such as “identitarian,” “traditionalist,” or “archeofuturist.”.. Michael Polignano, co-founder of Counter-Currents, moved to Budapest in 2016, and joined the nationalist scene. After moving to Hungary in January 2017, men’s rights activist Matt Forney wrote:“Imagine there’s no leftists. It’s easy if you try. No protests in the streets, and in front of us, only cute white girls. That world exists, and it’s called Hungary.”.. YouTube and Twitter personality RamZPaul, who has lived in the Hungarian capital off and on since 2013, tweeted in February to nearly 35,000 followers: “Budapest is like Paris of the 1920s. #Hungary.”.. British Nationalist Party leader Nick Griffin .. has been deeply involved with a radical Christian organization called “The Knights Templar International,”.. a resettlement campaign called “Operation Ark” for “refugee” South African Boers to relocate to rural Hungary.. Breitbart is now rumored to be opening a Hungarian office in the near future.. these nationalist internationals are creating a sanctuary from which to broadcast anti-globalism across the globe.