Our History Is A Fairy Tale
“Will you wear the armour that I bring you, for unless you do you will never succeed in the enterprise, nor kill the horrible monster of Evil? The armour is not new, it is scratched and dinted with many a hard-fought battle, but if you wear it rightly no armour that ever was made will serve you so well.”
-Lady Una’s appeal to the Red Cross Knight, from The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser
I do not think, although I could not swear to it, that a week has ever gone by in the United States, and quite possibly in Europe as well, in which there has not been some sort of televised documentary on the life of Adolph Hitler. And in addition to the television documentaries there are enough biographies of Adolph Hitler to fill a huge wing of a vast library. We grant that Hitler was a significant historical figure during the 1930s and 1940s; however, this still doesn’t explain the extraordinary amount of attention he continues to receive from the liberals. So we must ask the question – why are the liberals, after all these years since his death, still so obsessed with Hitler? Let us first dismiss the oft-stated liberal assertion that Hitler was some sort of supernaturally evil being, the likes of which the world had never seen before. Certainly, he was a vicious tyrant and a mass murderer, but the world had seen mass murderers and vicious tyrants before the advent of Adolph Hitler. And Hitler was not the worst of the mass murderers and vicious tyrants of the 20th century. He did not come anywhere close to Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, or the abortion doctors of the European nations. So the question remains: Why has Hitler been demonized by the liberals? The liberals have shunned and demonized Hitler for the same reason that Ivan Karamazov shunned and demonized Smerdyakov. Smerdyakov was the intellectual demon child of Ivan, who was acting on the intellectual premise of Ivan Karamazov’s atheism: Everything is lawful if there be no God. And Hitler was the demon child of the liberals. He believed, as all liberals believe, that man is part of nature, nature as defined by science.
The meaning of the word ‘natural’ changed as the European people became more and more enamored and enslaved by the scientific view of life. In Walter Scott’s Europe, what was natural to man were his spiritual connections to his fellow men and his God. Man’s biological nature was merely the outer garment of his true spiritual substance underneath. But in modern Europe the outer biological garment became all in all. And if mere biological nature is all in all, then whatever is natural, as defined by science, is justifiable and meritorious. Hitler justified his cruelties by referring to the cruelty of nature, just as our modern liberals justify their ‘family planning’ by way of abortion by referencing nature as defined by science. Isn’t motherhood more natural than the violent termination of the natural process? No, not if nature is devoid of the spirit of God, who created the natural world. Motherhood is of the spirit – that is what the Christian asserts. If there is no animating spirit in nature, then what is natural is what is cruel and merciless: We are all laboratory rats subject to the whims of the men and women in the white laboratory coats. That child must die, that child can live. That race, the white race, must die out, and that other race, the black race, must be perpetuated. Why? Because science, the abstract science of the liberals, must be all in all. So it is written, so it shall be.
Internecine wars between liberals are the most deadly wars of all, because neither side sees human beings as anything more than biological collectives. And biological collectives have no real value. It is only the Christian who sees God in history rather than God in nature, who values individual human beings. We have gotten so far away from the God who entered human history that we cannot even imagine a time when the European people saw themselves as God’s people, separate from the world of the natural sciences.
When Hamlet rebuked Rosencrantz and Guildenstern for trying to play upon him like a pipe, and when Dostoyevsky’s Underground Man said that, “A man lives his whole life to prove he is not a piano key,” they were asserting the European vision of existence, asserting their place in the Christ story. Our Lord took great pains to establish that His world was not the natural, mathematical world of 2 + 2 = 4. Do you recall what He said in Mark chapter eight? After He warns His disciples to “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the leaven of Herod,” and they think that He is talking about eating bread, He asks them why they still do not understand Him.
And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven. And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?
There is something in existence that is more than math. Christ was and is that something.
If I could paint like Gustave Dore I would paint a picture of liberalism as the kingdom of hell. And within that kingdom, the worshippers of Baal, the men and women of science, would be fighting eternally for supremacy in hell. The most depressing thing about the alternative news sites on the internet is that they offer us no Christian alternative to the hell of liberalism. The followers of Mithra, the neo-pagans, are forever attacking the followers of Cybele, who most certainly have the upper hand at present, but within that internecine warfare, there is no Christian presence. Mussolini, who started out as a communist and then shifted to fascism because, “Communism has no virility,” embodied the two different sides, feminine and masculine, of the same pagan coin.
Time flies even when you’re not having fun. It seems like yesterday, but when I count the years it was about thirty years ago that I had a series of conversations with a “hard science” conservative. “The whole problem in modern America,” the hard science man maintained, “Is that there is too much emphasis on liberal arts and not enough emphasis on the hard sciences.” The hard science man then went on an anti-liberal arts tirade, reminiscent of Thomas Gradgrind’s apologia for “facts” in Charles Dickens’ Hard Times.
Since the hard science man was my elder, I was respectful to him, but I made it clear that I was not in agreement with him. “The problem is not that we have too much of liberal arts and not enough of hard science, the problem is that science has encroached upon the liberal arts to the extent that we no longer have liberal arts in any of our universities. Our liberal arts, especially our literature, has become part of the science departments. Our poets are only read, when they are read at all, through the prism of the ‘sciences’ of psychology, sociology, and anthropology.”
“What subject do you teach?”
“Ah ha, no wonder you hate the hard sciences.”
“I don’t hate the hard sciences, I just think they should stay where they belong. If we take science with us when we commune with God or with our fellow men, then we will destroy our God and our fellow men.”
It was all to no avail; the hard science man went off into the night railing against the humanities and extolling the beauty and wonder of the “hard sciences.” AS he wandered off, I thought not only of Thomas Gradgrind, I also remembered that Russell Kirk had written a letter during World War II to a hard science man who had recommended we dispense with the humanities for the duration of the war. Kirk wrote that if we did that we might as well join the enemy rather than fight them. I think Kirk was a little too late with his warning; the major reason for World War II was that science had already absorbed the humanities.
The pride of science, which is the original sin, was and is part of our fallen nature. But that sin, that original sin, gained an institutionalized position in the European world when Scholasticism, the scientific study of God, became the truth and the way in the Catholic and Protestant churches. Our modern European hell on earth is the final outcome of the internecine quarrels between the Platonists and the Aristotelians, the Thomists and the Calvinists, and the Jungians and the Freudians. The devil smiles and bids us choose one of the combatants over the other. But all scientized theologies lead to hell, because studies of God always become studies of the God-in-nature rather than God in our history. Our God is the fairy tale God, who came to us in the flesh in order to assure us that we are “more than nature,” we belong in the fairy tale of God, which is the fairy tale of Christ’s birth, crucifixion and resurrection from the dead.
In Shakespeare’s The Tempest, an assortment of sinners are set upon a seemingly deserted island. Unbeknownst to them, they have been placed there by Prospero, a man who possesses, through the power of prayer “which pierces so that it assaults Mercy itself and frees all faults,” the ability to bend the natural world to the spiritual realities of charity and mercy. In the face of one miracle after another, one of the sinners proclaims, “And there is in this business more than nature was ever conduct of.” Yes, that is what the historical drama of the European people is all about. Our people, as distinct from all other peoples and cultures, once saw that there was something in our lives here on earth more than nature. Through the gradual scientizing of God, we have lost that connection to Christ and substituted a vague, universalist pantheism for our historical consciousness of the living God.
During the era of the medieval scholastics, who were the architects of modern liberalism, the great thinkers first lined up behind Plato because his philosophy allowed for some unknown spiritual force, whereas Aristotle, the realist, was an atheist. After Aquinas, Aristotle rather than Plato became the Christian philosophers’ light bearer, and Plato was deemed, by scholars such as Ronald Knox, to be the source of all heresies. In subsequent years, the Plato vs. Aristotle debate was continued by Jung and Freud. Jung saw a cosmic force in existence while Freud adhered to the strict atheistic line. But such controversies were all within the confines of scientific naturalism, which has no room for the God above nature. Once our minds, abstracted from the heart that loves, are focused on nature and nature’s God, the true God and true Man becomes lost in the cosmic mists. When our moral imaginations are centered on Christianity as a cosmic melting pot of religions, we come up with a superficial God unable to sustain hearts of flesh, much like the God depicted by so many of the Renaissance painters. Rembrandt was one of those superficial painters in his early years, but he became something quite different in his later years. He became a man with a deep consciousness of the Christ who entered human history, the God that can only be seen by men and women who have given Him their hearts.
The sickness unto death of the European people has come upon them because they no longer see with their hearts. Like the dwarves in C. S. Lewis’s book The Last Battle, the modern Europeans are not going to be taken in by a fairy story. But what if that fairy story is true? It is truly astonishing that the European people no longer care to know about the Christ of old Europe. They have moved on to a new Christianity more compatible with the natural world. Dickens’ Haunted Man was desolate when he lost his connection to his fellow men and his God through his desire to remove all sorrow and trouble from his life. That is not the case with the modern Europeans. They do not feel the loss of their humanity when they embrace the liberals and their promise of an earthly utopia, devoid of all sorrow and trouble and all humanity, because they have left the Christ of history, our human history, and replaced Him with the gods of inhumanity, the gods of science. Everything cruel and unnatural, unnatural from a Christian viewpoint, has the divine sanction of science in our modern un-civilization of desolation.
The devil can create a tempest — he has done just that – but he doesn’t know what the extent of its damage will be, because he doesn’t know if there are any Europeans left on earth who will be willing to stand in the face of the tempest. When we take His love personally, when our hearts comprehend His sacrifice, we will take the attack on His Europe personally, and we will stand firm and resist the fierce tempestuous storms of liberalism, set in motion by the devil. We shall not return to paganism in any of its modern forms, not by way of Hitler, Stalin, or cosmic Christianity. We must dwell in His world, the world of the Word made flesh, and defend that world with our whole heart, mind, and soul. +