Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

The Global Faith

There’s not much room for controversy:

When the United States was many separate states with a common defense and a common foreign policy, back when people said “The United States are” rather than “The United States is” there was absolutely no separation of Church and State, for each state had its own state religion, and the seminary of the state religion of Massachusetts, charged with promoting and enforcing the state religion, was Harvard.

After two centuries of ascent to hegemony, this world religion has unmistakably peaked. The fact everyone is now noticing it, as a definite, peculiar system of belief, attests to that. Accelerating catabolic process now ensues. Fragmentation won’t be pretty, but it also won’t be stopped.

July 13, 2016admin 103 Comments »
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Quote note (#265)

Goldman on the Liberal Inquisition:

The fragility of medieval society required the elimination of heretics. […] Today’s Inquisition is energized by a similar sense of fragility. The liberal establishment lives in terror that the people will rise in revolt. Its program has failed. After eight years of the most liberal administration in American history, most Americans believe the economy still is in recession. Labor force participation is at the lowest level since the early 1930s, and real household median income remains almost a tenth below its peak. […] … Even the liberal elite has suffered from liberal hegemony. What has liberal intellectual life accomplished in the past fifty years? The universities train legions of students in deconstructionist literary criticism, ethnic studies, gender studies, postcolonial studies, and similar ideology-driven claptrap. It has created an incomprehensible language in which it can talk to itself but to no one else. And it cannot find jobs for its most committed cadre. […] Liberal intellectual life is a scam, a goof, a fraud, a hoax. There are no reasonable liberals to whom Christians might appeal in the name of fairness and free speech. There are only terrified, beleaguered, fanatical, and embittered liberals, painfully aware of the spreading discontent among the untutored masses. If they were not sure of it before 2016, Donald Trump has made it clear to them. …

July 2, 2016admin 15 Comments »
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Sentences (#58)

David Harsanyi asks a basic question clearly:

Why is it that so many of the same people who are skeptical about exporting liberalism (count me as one) are perfectly content with the idea of importing illiberalism?

(For future reference, the immediate background.)

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June 13, 2016admin 14 Comments »
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Quote note (#248)

At the risk of falling into a temporary ‘all-gone, all the time’ rut here, there’s this:

… Ishmael Bey, a former assistant Nation [of Islam] minister, told me that years ago he’d heard from a top official that headquarters was flirting with “a white church in L.A.” Initially, Farrakhan never mentioned Scientology in public. Instead, he cryptically alluded to the “study” of “a technology” that would help his people. His caution made sense: after all, the Nation was explicitly conceived as a black separatist organization and a repudiation of Christianity, which Nation leader and prophet Elijah Muhammad derided as “the slave master’s religion.” Farrakhan himself has called white people “a race of devils” and the Nation teaches that the apocalypse will involve a UFO, or “mother plane,” that will eradicate all Caucasians. […] However, there are some striking theological overlaps that might help explain how Farrakhan came to adopt a religion invented by a white man. There is, of course, the attachment to science fiction: Scientologists believe in an alien dictator, Xenu; the Nation holds that the white race was created by a mad scientist named Yakub. More significantly, though, at the core of both religions is a never-ending pursuit of a better self. In the case of Scientology, that best self is “clear” of residual traumas buried in the subconscious. In the Nation, that self is free of the hang-ups of white culture that black people have internalized to their detriment. Scientology, Farrakhan seems to believe, provides a new path toward black empowerment. “I’ve found something in the teaching of Dianetics, of Mr. L. Ron Hubbard, that I saw could bring up from the depth of our subconscious mind things that we would prefer to lie dormant,” he said to his Chicago congregation in early summer. “How could I see something that valuable and know the hurt and sickness of my people and not offer it to them?” …

(Via.)

May 12, 2016admin 5 Comments »
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Quote note (#245)

Nydwracu on Great Awakenings:

La Wik:

First Great Awakening: 1730-1755
Second Great Awakening: 1790-1840
Third Great Awakening: 1850-1900
Fourth Great Awakening: 1960-1980
From 1730 to 1790 is 60 years. From 1790 to 1850 is 60 years. From 1850 to 1960 is 110 years. 110 / 2 = 55. Close enough. 1960 + 60 = 2020.

As we all know, the Fourth Great Awakening had secular and folk-religious components. We should expect the fifth one to as well. The obvious candidates for the secular component are the already-existing revivals of Communism, Fascism, and flat-earthism, and the obvious candidates for the folk-religious component are Tumblrism, fad diets, and singularitarianism. There are probably more.

What will the religious component look like?

Well, things are getting weird. Really weird. …

As for that missing episode, it would be preposterous to advance this (1904) as the apex of a ‘Great Awakening’ in the sense at stake here, but perhaps not such a stretch to think it was picking up on some strange turbulence in the Aethyrs.

May 7, 2016admin 21 Comments »
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Quote note (#242)

Scott Alexander (who’s been reading Fischer) shares a glimpse at the lives of 18th century Massachusetts Puritans:

A typical Massachusetts week would begin in the church, which doubled as the town meeting hall. There were no decorations except a giant staring eye on the pulpit to remind churchgoers that God was watching them. Townspeople would stand up before their [fellows] and declare their shame and misdeeds, sometimes being forced to literally crawl before the other worshippers begging for forgiveness. T[h]en the minister would give two two-hour sermons back to back. The entire affair would take up to six hours, and the church was unheated (for some reason they stored all their gunpowder there, so no one was allowed to light a fire), and this was Massachusetts, and it was colder in those days than it is now, so that during winter some people would literally lose fingers to frostbite (Fischer: “It was a point of honor for the minister never to shorten a sermon merely because his audience was frozen”). Everyone would stand there with their guns (they were legally required to bring guns, in case Indians attacked during the sermon) and hear about how they were going to Hell, all while the giant staring eye looked at them.

(Unsoftened Calvinism was by far the best kind.)

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April 27, 2016admin 37 Comments »
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Sentences (#42)

Jim on a striking lesson from the history of ideology:

If all men are created equal then it logically follows that all white males must die …

(From there, it escalates.)

February 13, 2016admin 10 Comments »
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Quote note (#212)

John Gray on the supernaturalism of the New Atheists:

The belief that we live under some kind of supernatural guidance is not a relic of superstition that might some day be left behind but an evolutionary adaptation that goes with being human. […] It’s a conclusion that is anathema to the current generation of atheists – Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and others – for whom religion is a poisonous concoction of lies and delusion. These “new atheists” are simple souls. In their view, which derives from rationalist philosophy and not from evolutionary theory, the human mind is a faculty that seeks an accurate representation of the world. This leaves them with something of a problem. Why are most human beings, everywhere and at all times, so wedded to some version of religion? It can only be that their minds have been deformed by malignant priests and devilish power elites. Atheists have always been drawn to demonology of this kind; otherwise, they cannot account for the ­persistence of the beliefs they denounce as poisonously irrational. The inveterate human inclination to religion is, in effect, the atheist problem of evil.

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January 21, 2016admin 30 Comments »
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The Islamic Vortex (Note-9)

Fernandez:

One man who understood the power of “Salafi jihadism” was Saddam Hussein, who according to Kyle Orton, writing in the New York Times, understood long before Obama that secular socialism was no match for a full-bore jihadism which had endured the test of centuries. “The Arab nationalist Baath Party, which seized power in 1968 in a coup in which Mr. Hussein played a key role, had a firmly secular outlook. This held through the 1970s, even as religiosity rose among the Iraqi people. But soon after Mr. Hussein invaded Iran in 1980, it began to change.”

To compensate for his shortcomings in governance, Saddam covered himself with the Koran. He also tried what Obama later attempted, an alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood, with disastrous results. Rather than beating Islam, the Baath began to be absorbed by it. “In 1986, however, the Pan-Arab Command, the Baath Party’s top ideological institution, formally reoriented Iraq’s foreign policy toward an alliance with Islamists. This was the first clear deviation from secular Baathism.”

The causal pathways in this area are easily obscured by ideological preferences.

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December 26, 2015admin 38 Comments »
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Silent Night

Spare a thought for the numinous, the thing-in-itself, and the Great Filter tomorrow. If they all flow together, you can always have another drink.

(I’d say something nice, but that would trash the brand.)

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December 24, 2015admin 26 Comments »
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