~ OH DEAR.. A ‘Back In My Day’ post from a 1/2 centarian.
Ah, the olden days! Our songs, our dreams and goals, our minds were pondering life & jobs, but usually with dating, fabulously-haired boyfriend-girlfriend, and marriage as the goal. How different from the West in 2017.
The sexual revolution, broken homes, & feminism & biased divorce law & constant texting– all have made it clear to many younger men that hook-ups are barely worth it; relationships very risky, and marriage a non-starter. Many of these kids come from what we used to call broken homes, now.. uh ‘blended families’ or some such euphemistic lie.
Of my younger son and his immediate circle of 10 friends (18-24), only 1 has a current (short term) girlfriend. Others haven’t even been dating for AGES.. all their female friends or co-workers are just that, minus a hook-up here and there. Not with a bang or a whimper– just a “Meh?”
And their wider generation is very much the same… don’t dismiss this, for the family/ marriage/ kids Titanic is long past the iceberg moment.And babies? You’ll have to import people to have them…. you know, like the Khadrs. Or the welfare-people born in another land.
For a post-feminist Christian take on all this, try Dalrock.
IT STILL SITS as the second highest grossing movie ever: James Cameron’s 1997 Titanic, by James Cameron. $2,186,772,302.00 and change. Not a great flick, but a good one. Personally, I’m just as impressed by the fact of James Cameron’s one-man submarine trip down 7 miles to the bottom of the Marianas Trench…
Our world is the Titanic: and what you think is going on in life or the life of the world depends very much on what part of the voyage you focus on. I explain.
For some, we’re on a journey in a mighty vessel to the new world, just over the horizon. Full speed ahead! What could possibly go wrong? Look.. all the best people are here, and agree with us! Moar caviar!
Not long after, the speeding unsinkable shears off countless cold-brittle rivets on an iceberg. The designers had not imagined such a thing, nor prepared for it. As the bow settles, water will keep moving backwards over the watertight bulkheads, until.. doom.
Me, I’m a “life is bow-settling” guy. Death– the water– is creeping up surely and unavoidably. Order is breaking down, people are scrambling for lifeboats, and while some are going full-panic or full-denial, others are trying to abide by their duty, and to help as much as possible, as the Great Ship Utopia begins to founder in earnest into the icy North Atlantic.
Utopia, Right Ahead!
For many modern day Utopians– this-worldly salvation true-believers– it is in human reach and wisdom to make heaven on earth. Human beings are basically good, and just need enough browbeating, herd-mentality, and extra rules, and we will make a perfect world out of our super-duper selves.
Bizarrely, the very hubris of the modernist movement that built the Titanic and infected politics, and has also infected the Catholic Church. The clueless notion that the 1960s Church would “Listen to the World”, that we needed no redemption just a little buffing, and all would progress together in a la-la-land journey of common purpose and happy thoughts.. the Denial-As-Faith it took place in an actual sinking-Titanic world.
Consider– at the same time as sin and sacrifice and salvation were being thrown overboard, and a mind-boggling naiveté about human goodness and perfectibility was put on the altar, let us remember that the 20th century was the century of blood; of genocides; of industrial slaughter, of two catastrophic world wars with hundreds of millions dead, injured, made refugee.. plus, with technology abroad to have a third and very final War.
Even as the faux-clever theologians and happy-thinking bishops were trying to remake the faith into something unChristian and unrecognizable, the ovens of Auschwitz were not 20 years cold; Soviet Gulags and Chinese death-camps were brimming over; that World War Three had nearly begun a couple years before over Cuba; that despite the rush of technology and Western prosperity, that fallen human nature had not actually changed, and that we needed the Cross of Christ and His risen life more than ever.
Even the ancient pagans knew better: “Those whom the gods would destroy” they warned “they first drive mad.” Denial is a sweet addiction: but reality is always best.
Living In Dreams
As if it were 1905, and a perfect world was just ahead, out went the old religion, the Latin, the rosaries, the relics, the art and architecture: come now the felt banners and camping songs, the puppets & clowns, the moralistic therapeutic deist sermons (with a dash of revolution), of a new and sinless humanity feeling its oats in experiment and innovation and… “Iceberg, right ahead!!”
Mortality? Still with us. Human failing, cruelty, blindness, and evil? Check. Our limitations, blindness, and failed good intentions? Yup. Hurting one another, deliberately and just because? Pretty much. Violence, false belief, unspeakable deeds, a foolish naivete? Mass murder? Warfare? Always & everywhere.
Only, for all these abiding and tragic realities of our bent human nature, progressive religion has no answers, having treated as flotsam and jetsam the faith of our fathers, the wisdom of 20 Christians centuries and 15 Hebrew centuries before that; the riches of Roman Law and Greek philosophy and theatre; and all the good things of Western Civilization. Yard sale.. we have shiny new plastic things!
So the next time some smirking collar tells you all is well, celebrate yourself, God is (only) love, and love is probably God, hug a warm puppy and be happy– realize he’s trying to sell you a berth on the sinking Titanic, has no answers, no salvation to pass on to you, and is not in touch with the Real, or Jesus, or God– nor the reality of life and death and sin.
There’s more wisdom and human feeling and recognition of sin in the following Scouting campfire song than in a modernist post-Christian hymn or sermon.
The Titanic (Husbands And Wives) Camp Song
Oh they built the ship Titanic
To sail the ocean blue
And they thought they had a ship
That the water would never go through;
But the Lord’s Almighty hand
Said that ship would never land,
It was sad when that great ship went down.
Chorus: It was sad. It was sad. It was sad when the great ship went down. (to the bottom of the…) Husbands and wives, Little children lost their lives It was sad when the great ship went down.)
They were off from England
And not very far from shore
When the rich refused
To associate with the poor
So they sent them down below
Where they’d be the first to go
It was sad when that great ship went down.
The boat was about to sink,
And the sides about to burst,
When the captain shouted, “All
Women and children first!”
Oh, the captain tried to wire,
But the wires was on fire,
It was sad when the great ship went down.
Oh, they swung the lifeboats out
O’er the deep and ragin’ sea,
When the band struck up with,
“Nearer My God to Thee.”
Little children wept and cried,
As the waves swept o’er the side,
It was sad when the great ship went down.
~ OK, SO I HAVE seen the web-commercials for #Canada150, (official website) but apparently I’m mostly not invited. I saw every skin-colour/ race/ gender identity under the radar, 90% women, and a few white guys tagged on here and there. SMH.
I’ve had pre-Loyalist relatives here in Canada since the 1760s on one side, and as post-war newcomers (1955) from Scotland on the other. But.. just not Canadian enough. The men and women who built and suffered and sweat and spent to built this land into what it is all deserve our gratitude: and some of them were mine.
A Wee Bragging
All of my great uncles on one side served in WW2; another great uncle died serving his country in WW2 my Dad did 4 years airforce reserve, my brother 6 years artillery reserves, I helped organize part of the Legion VE 50 Day celebration for the Nova Scotia, and got to know & help many vets during my work… but, not Canadian enough?
This smug neo-Canada, this blood-soaked lying killing canting minoritarian crap-festival of political correctness and deception is not what I want to celebrate. Take your bullshyte Muslim socks and ghey parade pandering & stuff them, Mr. sub-Prime Minister. #NotMyCanada, this post-’68 zombie of newfangledness, Christian-baiting, Muslim violence & no-go zones, and identitarian politics up the wazoo.
All Canadians. All glad for God’s blessings on us. Together. One nation under heaven, from Sea To Sea To Sea, see? ~
O GOD, who providest for thy people by thy power, and rulest over them in love: Vouchsafe so to bless thy servant our Queen, and her Government in this Dominion of Canada, that thy people may dwell in peace and safety, and thy Church serve thee in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.”
WHICH IS WORSE? Rebellion, or Blind Obedience? Or, is there another way?
In Tolkien’s story, times are dark and dire– Éomer son of Éomund, Third Marshal of the Riddermark– one of the great Captains of Rohan and nephew to the King– has seemingly gone rogue, to fight the enemies of Rohan as he sees fit. That’s the merest start of the woes.
To the North-West, the dark pinnacle of Isengard stands, surrounded by armies of huge mutant orcs, evil men, giant wolves, and the darkened powers of the fallen wizard Saruman. Rohan’s neioghbour is preparing for war on that kingdom.
To the East and South, mighty land of Mordor broods under Sauron’s cruel domination, his countless forces massing for an assault on Gondor– last bastion of the West and of all free peoples– then to fill all the lands with a second darkness. Doom will soon fall.
Worst of all, the king himself, Théoden King son of Thengel, a seeming lesser son of greater rulers, sits bowed and cowed, listening to the poisoned words of Isengard and Mordor via his usurping advisor, Grima Wormtongue. All faithful folk of the Rohirrim wait, and suffer, and hope for they know not what.
What then shall we say of Captain Éomer? Faithless traitor? #NotMyKing perhaps? Seeking his uncle’s crown? Enemy of Rohan and the King and the official direction of officialdom? So says Master Wormtongue into the King’s ear.
So the U.S. is currently embroiled in what amounts to an attempted coup d’etat– the Left-wing establishment & media are seeking to effectively un-elect the new president, because he’s not one of them. He’s a bad, bad, evil man, a traitor, an icky, and anything is more “truly” loyal than observing the rule of law, or respecting results of a democratic vote by the American public. Heaven knows, those who oppose you must be enemies of all things decent and right or are you an enemy, too?
The current U.S. crisis– as driven by radicals– gives a bad name to bullshit & nonsense. Yet all this is very serious, and not to be dismissed as some kind of insane joke.
We moderns love the advice of Jim Morrison & The Doors to “break on through to the other side“, and spent centuries now– since the European Protestant Deformation and the French Devolution– imagining ourselves as virtuous and innocent rebels against The Evil Them. All are shaped and entangled in this revolution, whether we are herd-minded, or cheering the revolt directly.
What is less common is a noble political, religious, and principled position of Loyal Opposition, if the times demand it: to have a sense of abiding right and wrong, of the good and true, beyond the momentary tug of war of the present, the misrule of rulers, and to abide faithful even in difficult circumstances. How to be good when the times are evil? How do we stay faithful if the government is bad, or the king is mad, or traitorous to his people?
The weakness of Rohan has had a cost. Éomer is caught between two obediences: his loyalty and his duty. For war marches on Rohan, but no orders come from the indecisive throne; orcs raid and plunder and kill the helpless farm-folk in Rohan, yet “Indeed in this riding north I went without the king’s leave”.*
How shall duty and loyalty and truth and love and hope serve in the seeming chaos? How shall we judge and be sure of anything? Tolkien writes—
‘As he ever has judged,’ said Aragorn. ‘Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man’s part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house.’
As in pre-Norman England, the battle is not between blind obedience to authority, or a chaotic popular revolution. The English sought one obedience, but defined in two ways– (a) Liberty Under Law, and (b) Freedom Under Faith. Without both parts of each, neither will be enough.
Lawless liberty cannot make a lasting society; Law without freedom is slavery. Likewise, faithless freedom tends towards chaos, for God is the greatest lawgiver, and saviour of mens souls and bodies; faith without freedom is cultish and demeans the faithful, and is not Christ’s way.
See Ya, Yahweh!
Each society, each soul, each age will fight the same battle, in different forms and garb. What is new since the Revolting Age is the attempt to live, legislate, and rule under freedom from faith, where man– or at least the ruling class and its guns & thugs and bankers– seeks to take the place of God, and dominate all things, and call it good, and true, and right in itself.*
That modern hubris and madness has also infected the Church, via the poisons of various kinds of utopianism. Man is now innately good, needing only guidance, freedom, and liberation to attain perfection. Jesus is a helper and example, and God is our ever-variable and surprising cheerleader. The Holy Spirit is constantly giving us novelties in thought, truth, worship, and everything else, leading and blessing the revolution.
Shall we submit to evil by blindly obeying power gone wrong, or become crazy rebels– or, the third way: suffering and even Martyrdom? Accused on all sides, and rejected by the spirit of the age, and the herd, and the power-mongers, and even the worldly rebels, too? St. Thomas More is an example to us all in this age of conflicting loyalties & duties.
Dissent is not automatically disloyalty, or destruction. Not all watchdogs are rabid. ~
~ Teh Binks
* As the story unfolds, faithful Éomer son of Éomund becomes a war hero for Rohan, and when Théoden King (having come to his senses) is slain in the Battle of Minas Tirith– having bravely led his armies to the rescue of Gondor against Sauron– loyal Éomer becomes king of Rohan. ~