Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Offsite Post: ‘The Role of Relics in America’

Sacred relics have often been a unifying force in pre-Modern societies.  The Western historian Christopher Dawson relates one account of this phenomenon from Uganda:

‘Moreover in Ankole, at least, the state cult of Bagyendwana, the royal drums, which are the national fetish or palladium, transcends the distinction of classes and castes.  The serfs as well as the nobles can bring their offerings to Bagyendwana and appeal to it for justice.  For all the peoples of Ankole are “the children of Bagyendwana” “who is like the king only greater.  For the king is the servant of Bagyendwana” (Religion and Culture, Washington, D. C., Catholic U of America Press, 2013 [1948], p. 151)’.

Here in the States, an attempt was made at creating this sort of transcendent, unifying, sacred object.  The result has been a series of documents spelling out the revolutionary propositions the ‘American experiment’ is based upon:  the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of 1787 and its later amendments (the Bill of Rights, etc.), and the Gettysburg Address.

All of these have proven quite useless at attaining the desired end, but this should have been the expected result all along.  When one embraces the Gnostic notions of a divine individual whose own subjective experiences shape his beliefs about truth and reality, and whose personal sovereignty allows him to be in or out of the political order as his whim dictates (all principles which flow from these documents to one degree or another), then there will necessarily be a great variety of interpretations of the texts and the lessons we should draw from them regarding societal organization, morality, etc.

Said another way, when an object is sacred because of a deifying force outside of itself and outside of the will of man acting alone, that is, because it is united with the Divine, then it will have the power to overcome the divisions that beset the men and women of a tribe, country, etc.  But when sinful men who believe they are holy try to impart that imaginary holiness to an object, as the ‘demi-gods’ (Thomas Jefferson’s word) did, for example, when meeting in Philadelphia to craft the 1787 governing charter, it will be an utter failure at encouraging the oneness of the people.

What will result is what we are seeing come to pass in the States year after year, i.e., more and more strands of individual or group identity:  conservative, liberal, libertarian, socialist, straight, gay, trans, and on and on.  The latest era of ‘divided government’ in Washington City and throughout the various States is part of this ongoing process; and so too is the tremendous divide in dozens of cities between the racist BLM/Antifa rioters and those seeking some semblance of a peaceful life.

This counterfeit Political Church of America has thus shown its uselessness and harmfulness once again.  The contrast with the experience of the Orthodox Church could not be greater.  But what does that look like, particularly as it regards holy relics and the unity of peoples?

First, we should note what makes the relics of the saints so important for Orthodox Christians.  St Justin Popovich of Serbia (+1979) writes,

‘Everyone and all are set on their mystical path toward God, toward the God-Man. Inasmuch as it was created by God, the Logos, matter possesses this same theocentricity. Moreover, by His advent into our earthly world, by His all-embracing condescension as God and Man for the redemption of the world, the Lord Christ clearly demonstrated that not only the soul, but matter also was created by God and for God, and that He is God and Man; and for it, matter, He is all and everything in the same manner as for the soul. Being created by God, the Logos, matter is, in its innermost core, God-longing and Christ-longing.

 . . .

The rest is at https://www.geopolitica.ru/en/article/role-relics-america .


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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