Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Offsite Post: ‘The Western Assault on Innocent Life’

President Trump got a lot of cheers when he said the following during his State of the Union address:

There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our nation saw in recent days. Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth.

These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world. And then, we had the case of the governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth. To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb. Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life.

And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth — all children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.

But are the sentiments expressed here about protecting innocent life, about affirming the truth that man is made in the image of God, consistent with the aspirations and history of the American project, or with non-Orthodox Western civilization in general?  Unfortunately, they are not.

Charles in Charge of the West

No, not that Charles:

This one:

Since Western Europe first began to conceive of herself in the eighth century as an entity apart from the worldwide Orthodox Christian Empire, the innocent have suffered greatly.  This process began when Charlemagne (742-814) set up his heretical version of the Christian Empire in Aachen, heretical because he denied the validity of the Seventh Ecumenical Council’s teachings on the necessity to venerate the holy icons of the Lord Jesus Christ, His Most Pure Mother, and the other saints and angels; and because of his addition of the Filioque to the Nicene Creed.  Given this auspicious beginning, it is unsurprising to find in the history of his reign that he caused much blood to flow in the expansion of his ‘Holy Roman Empire’, including the 4,500 Saxons slaughtered at Verden:

Yet this is the same Charlemagne whom Pope Benedict XIV saw fit to beatify in the 18th century.  The Roman Catholic faithful are to address him as ‘Blessed Charlemagne’:

Roman Catholic West

That beatification by the Pope is quite fitting, however.  For with Charlemagne’s death in 814, his false empire collapsed, and the next attempt at Western self-exaltation, at setting up a false Christian Empire in opposition to the Orthodox Empire, came from the bishops of Rome themselves, beginning officially in 1054 and lasting to this very day.  Following this sundering came, predictably, more needless bloodshed.  The Roman Catholic Norman Invasion of the Orthodox kingdom of England took place in short order (1066) with the blessing of Pope Alexander II.  William the Conqueror’s own words tell how grisly this early attempt at papal conquest was:

I have persecuted the natives of England beyond all reason. Whether gentle or simple  I  have  cruelly  oppressed  them;  many  I  unjustly  disinherited; innumerable  multitudes  perished  through  me  by  famine  or  the  sword  ...  I fell on the English of the northern shires like a ravening lion. I commanded their  houses  and  corn,  with  all  their  implements  and  chattels,  to  be  burnt without  distinction,  and  great  herds  of  cattle  and beasts  of  burden  to  be butchered   wherever   they  are  found.  In  this  way   I  took  revenge   on multitudes  of  both  sexes  by  subjecting  them  to  the calamity  of  a  cruel famine,  and  so  became  the  barbarous  murderer  of  many  thousands,  both young and old, of that fine race of people.

William’s death-bed confession, according to Ordericus Vitalis, c. AD 1130

--Quoted in Fr Andrew Phillips, Orthodox Christianity and the Old English Church, p. 23 of PDF, http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/pdf/Orthodox_Christianity_and_the_Old_English_Church.pdf

Fr Andrew continues,

It has been estimated that during William I’s reign up to one in five of the English population died by the sword or in famineslxii. This does not include the deaths of the non-English population in Wales or Scotland, nor the civil war deaths in the reign of Stephen, nor the deaths resulting from the Papally-sponsored Norman invasion of Ireland, nor those of the One Hundred Years War which was provoked by the territorial claims to France of the Anglo-Norman kings. Even if the figure of one in five is exaggerated and it can be halved, one in ten is equivalent today to over five million deaths – fifteen times the number of British deaths resulting from the Second World War. The account of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is unambiguous: ‘And they built castles far and wide throughout the land, oppressing the unhappy people, and things went ever from bad to worse’. ‘Only amongst the monks, where they lived virtuously was righteousness to be found in the land.’ Of William ‘the Bastard’, the Chronicle says the following: ‘Assuredly in his time men suffered grievous oppression and manifold injuries ... he was sunk in greed and utterly given up to avarice. He was too relentless to care even though all might hate him ... Alas! That any man should bear himself so proudly and deem himself exalted above all other men.lxiii’ Of the tortures inflicted on captives and the gruesome account of William’s funeral, when his stomach burst open in stinking putrefaction, one can read elsewhere (pgs. 25-6).

Not too long after the Norman Invasion, the Crusades were launched by Pope Urban II in 1095.  Bernard of Clairvaux (d. 1153) justified the killing this way in his work In Praise of the New Knighthood:

To be sure, precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his holy ones, whether they die in battle or in bed, but death in battle is more precious as it is the more glorious (Ch. I, section 2).  . . .

BUT THE KNIGHTS OF CHRIST may safely fight the battles of their Lord, fearing neither sin if they smite the enemy, nor danger at their own death; since to inflict death or to die for Christ is no sin, but rather, an abundant claim to glory. In the first case one gains for Christ, and in the second one gains Christ himself. The Lord freely accepts the death of the foe who has offended him, and yet more freely gives himself for the consolation of his fallen knight.

The knight of Christ, I say, may strike with confidence and die yet more confidently, for he serves Christ when he strikes, and serves himself when he falls. Neither does he bear the sword in vain, for he is God's minister, for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of the good. If he kills an evildoer, he is not a mankiller, but, if I may so put it, a killer of evil. He is evidently the avenger of Christ towards evildoers and he is rightly considered a defender of Christians. Should he be killed himself, we know that he has not perished, but has come safely into port. When he inflicts death it is to Christ's profit, and when he suffers death, it is for his own gain. The Christian glories in the death of the pagan, because Christ is glorified; while the death of the Christian gives occasion for the King to show his liberality in the rewarding of his knight. In the one case the just shall rejoice when he sees justice done, and in the other man shall say, truly there is a reward for the just; truly it is God who judges the earth.

I do not mean to say that the pagans are to be slaughtered when there is any other way to prevent them from harassing and persecuting the faithful, but only that it now seems better to destroy them than that the rod of sinners be lifted over the lot of the just, and the righteous perhaps put forth their hands unto iniquity (Ch. 3).  . . .

Note the utter dehumanization by Bernard of the Muslims.  They are no longer men but simply ‘evil’ itself, confounding person and attribute.  No wonder that upwards of 1,000,000 are estimated to have died in the Crusades (https://www.reference.com/history/many-people-died-crusades-4483019b5f8684c5).  This sort of mindset has remained typical of the post-Schism West in her wars of righteousness against those she believes to be ‘evildoers’.  And let us also recall that Bernard has been not simply beatified like Charlemagne but fully canonized as a saint of the Roman Catholic congregation.

Protestant West

When the peoples of Western Europe democratized the papist principle (that one man, instead of a council of bishops guided by the Holy Ghost, can determine what is and is not the True Faith), applying it to themselves one and all, then the Protestant Reformation was born, and the shadow which lay across that part of the Eurasian land grew darker.  Delusional apocalyptic fervor grew, and along with it the flow of blood.  A couple of ensamples will suffice.

 . . .


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!

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