Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Kinsman-Redeemer of the South

‘And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger's family: After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him: Either his uncle, or his uncle's son, may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him . . .’ (Leviticus 25:47-49, King James Version (KJV) of The Holy Bible).

‘And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the Lord, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen’ (Ruth 2:20, KJV of The Holy Bible).

‘And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.  And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age . . .’ (Ruth 4:14, 15, KJV of The Holy Bible).

I. The Family and the Nation

A nation is more than an outward union of individuals, tied together superficially by a political or economic system or ideal.  A nation is a family - an extended family, but a family na’theless:  The family is older than the State. Man, husband, wife, father, son, mother, daughter and the obligations and virtues inherent in these names existed before the family grew into the nation and the State was formed. That is why family life in relation to State life can be figuratively depicted as the root of the tree’ (Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow, Sochinenia (Works), 1848 ed., vol. 2, p. 169; quoted in Vladimir Moss, Autocracy, Despotism and Democracy: Part I, 2012, p. 12).

From the divinely established duties and hierarchies of family life come not democracies and republics resting on mythical Lockean contracts but monarchies, i.e., patriarchal societies.  Metropolitan Philaret continues, ‘ . . . from the pure elements of family there should arise similarly pure principles of State life, so that with veneration for one’s father veneration for the tsar [king - W.G.] should be born and grow, and that the love of children for their mother should be a preparation of love for the fatherland, and the simple-hearted obedience of domestics [children - W.G.] should prepare and direct the way to self-sacrifice and self-forgetfulness in obedience to the laws and sacred authority of the autocrat…’ (Sochinenia (Works), 1848 ed., vol. 2, p. 169; quoted in Moss, p.12).

‘Again, Bishop Ignaty Brianchaninov wrote: “In blessed Russia, in accordance with the spirit of the pious people, the Tsar and the fatherland constitute one whole, just as in a family the parents and their children constitute one whole’ (Sobranie Pisem (Collected Letters), Moscow, 2000, p. 781; quoted in Moss, p.13).

Louis de Bonald, summing up Bishop Bossuet’s views, goes into more detail of this development of family into kingdom:  ‘Mankind descended from a first family.  Families multiply themselves, are held together by descent and by community of locale and needs, and form tribes in which an elder, under the modest title of judge, settles differences, unites the wills, and directs the powers.  Tribes, eventually joined together through alliances, treaties, and sometimes by conquest, become nations.  In this final stage of society, monarchical government arises as the only government that can preserve the tribes and that retains in this last development of the social body all the independence of the paternal power that existed at the beginning’ (‘On Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, Bishop of Meaux’, Critics of the Enlightenment, 2004, p. 54).

Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn adds, ‘Now we have to look at political institutions from the point of view of cultural harmony.  Since the patriarchal relationship dominates in the theological, ecclesiastic and biological sphere, it is psychologically not easy to organize political life along egalitarian and “numeralistic” lines.  . . . there is in our psyche the active and passive desire for “fatherhood”’ (Liberty or Equality, 1993, pgs. 139-40).  Hence, the importance of a king to a nation.

Such thoughts were deeply embedded in the South from her beginnings, being founded by Royalists (king-friends) and admirers of Sir Robert Filmer’s thoughts on the hierarchical family and patriarchy (David Hackett Fischer, Albion’s Seed, 1989, pgs. 212, 274, 279-80).  We will see the importance of recognizing the paternal order of the family and the nation momentarily. 

II. ‘What Is a Nation?’

Though some, perhaps many, will try to deny it, the South is a distinct nation, a separate member in the body of humanity.  Following the definition of the Slavophile Vladimir Osipov, we see that this is undoubtedly true:  ‘What is a nation?  Faith, blood, language and the land’ (Quote from P. Walters, ‘A New Creed for Russians?’, Religion in Communist Lands, vol. 3, no. 4, 1976; quoted in Vladimir Moss, Twelve Lectures on the Theology of Politics, 2009, p. 102).

Her bent towards traditional Christianity; her descent mainly from the people of Wessex, Mercia, and other parts of the old Anglo-Saxon English realm; her Old English speechways; and the influence of the weather and land of the southeastern area of North America on the Southern people - all these mark the South as a true nation.

The United States Empire, by contrast, has been merely a mechanical assemblage of such authentic nation-regions (the South, the Rocky Mountains, the Great Plains, Hawai’i, Alaska, etc.) held together by force, their true cultures suppressed by Washington, D.C. - or, rather, those who control its institutions.

The South being truly a nation, then, the great Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s words apply to her just as much as to Greece or New Zealand or Honduras:  ‘Recently it has become fashionable to speak of the levelling of nations, and the disappearance of peoples in the melting-pot of contemporary civilization . . . the disappearance of nations would impoverish us no less than if all individual people were assimilated into one character, one person. Nations are the wealth of humanity, its social personalities; the smallest of them bears its own special traits, and hides within itself a special facet of the Divine plan...

‘It is precisely he who gives the highest value to the existence of nations, who sees in them not a temporary fruit of social formations, but a complex, vivid, unrepeatable organism that cannot be invented by men - he it is who recognizes that nations have a fullness of spiritual life, a fullness of ascents and falls, a range extending from holiness to villainy (though the extreme points are achieved only by individual personalities).

‘ . . .

‘Between a person and a nation there is the deepest similarity - in the mystical nature of the uncreatedness of both the one and the other’ (Quote from D. Shturman, Gorodu i Miru (To the City and the World), New York: Tretia Vol'na, 1988, pgs. 327, 333-4; quoted in Moss, Twelve Lectures on the Theology of Politics, p. 100).

Solzhenitsyn’s words must be emphasized in this day of utilitarianism and world-without-borders ideology:  A nation is not just a temporary construct established for the sake of usefulness, which can be deconstructed and reshaped or even discarded if the need arises.  It is not a garment to be worn for a time and then cast away in some utopian future when all differences among people shall disappear.  The nation is not temporary; it will not be abolished.  It is a permanent thing.  And it is permanent because it is good in the eyes of the Lord.  St John the Evangelist bears witness to its everlasting existence.  Speaking in the context of the new heavens and new earth that will come to be after Christ’s Second Coming, he writes, ‘And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it . . . And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it . . . and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations’ (Revelation 21:24, 26; 22:2, KJV of The Holy Bible). 

The nations are as eternal as the human soul itself; they last to the ages of ages with Our Lord in Heaven.  Each true nation therefore must be treated with the utmost dignity, for each is precious to the Holy Trinity in its own way.

III. The Kinsman-Redeemer

But this duty has often been spurned by fallen man.  Thus, nations have conquered other nations throughout the ages, and some have been destroyed completely, lost until history as we know it shall come to a close and all flesh resurrected.

The South, weak as she is, has not been so obliterated.  Yet neither has she been treated with the dignity due to her as a nation.  For she has been in thrall to another for almost 150 years - first, the civilization of the Northern States; now, a cartel of private bankers, national and international corporation owners, and the ‘creators of culture’ in New York City and Los Angeles.  She has been quite thoroughly dispossessed by these:  The banks own much of her land and homes; the corporations command the greater part of her labor; and the films, news, music, books, ways of speaking, and so on that bombard her are from the foreign societies of the Northeast and the West Coast.

Yet despite all this gloom, there is still great hope for our deliverance.  In ancient Israel when an Israelite fell into bondage to a fellow Israelite or to a foreigner, he could be rescued from it by a kinsman-redeemer, one from among his family who could pay the debts he owed and thus restore to him the land and freedom he had lost (see Leviticus chapter 25).

Undoubtedly the South has fallen into bondage to those mentioned just above.  But just as surely does she have a kinsman-redeemer:  The blessed and holy king of Wessex and all England, St Ælfred.

A king, as was alluded to above, is a father to his people.  Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn describes the relationship between a king and his nation this way:  ‘ . . . a father in a wider sense is a man with full responsibility over minors, and a position of respect, seniority and leadership in relation to mature persons.  This relation is intimate, emotional and affectionate.  . . . in a traditional monarchy the relationship between king and subject is that of a middle-aged father and his mature son, not that of a young father and an infant’ (Liberty or Equality, p. 138). 

The king loves his people deeply.  And just as an earthly father’s love would not be exhausted though he lived to see seven times seven generations of his children’s children, neither would the love of a king, being the father of his nation, wane toward his subjects, though age after age should pass.  With this kind of devotion and lovingkindness do departed Christian kings, from their abode in Heaven, look upon every generation born in their nations.

Recalling therefore that the main body of the Southern people comes directly from the kingdom that St Ælfred ruled in the 9th century A.D., it may be said in sooth that St Ælfred is the father of Southrons and Englishmen alike.  And so he continues his watchcare over the descendants of the Southern nation today and for all time to come - and with a love perfected by the Lord Christ:  However great a debt of sin his children in the South have amassed, he prays to the Lord that it be forgiven.  Though enemies oppress the Southland, he will help her overcome them.  Though she wander from the straight path of Orthodox Christianity, he, her shepherd, will guide her back to it.

See what torments Russia has withstood from the hands of Tartars, Communists, and more through the intercessions of the Mother of God, St Sergius of Radonezh, St Seraphim of Sarov, and her other holy saints.  Likewise Serbia by looking to St Lazar their great King-Martyr. 

So too will St Ælfred see the South through her troubles.  Because he was a zealous champion of the weak and downtrodden in his kingdom; because he abhorred injustice, and corrected it; because he rescued the Christian English nation from the pagan Vikings by his faith, his wisdom, and his sword; because St Ælfred did such things while in the flesh, and more besides (see for example Bishop Asser’s Life of King Alfred in Alfred the Great, 2004, pgs. 66-110), we know that he does such things for the South even now.  But how much more will he do if we but ask him!  Did Our Lord not say it was so?  ‘If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone?  or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?  Of if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?’  (The Gospel according to St Luke 11:11, 12, KJV of The Holy Bible)  Neither will the South’s kinsman, her father, her papa, St Ælfred, give her evil if she ask him for good.  (Yet she should by no means expect a magical escape from further suffering when she cries out to him, ‘for at times God grants blessed suffering, according to His mercy’ for the salvation of the soul (Archimandrite Irenei, The Beginnings of a Life of Prayer, 2012, p. 66).)

Thus the importance of recognizing the truth about nations, the nation as a family, differing ranks within the family, the authority of the father, and the legitimacy of the king and his love for the nation:  If the South were to deny them, she would quite literally deny herself a mighty deliverer in the person of St Ælfred and continue her descent into total slavery of body, mind, and soul to the modern pagans.

‘Truly, Holy Great-Martyr Tsar Lazar “travels” with his suffering people who need his intercessions due to their own sins as well as due to the trials and tribulations from those who persecute them.  He has never left them alone.  His commitment is eternal, just as the mention of his glorious name is synonomous [sic] with Kosovo and Serbian Orthodoxy . . . (Fr Daniel M. Rogich, Great-Martyr Tsar Lazar of Serbia: His Life and Service, 2001, p. 22).  So it is with the South and St Ælfred:  Like a devoted father, he will always be attentive to her and to her cries for help.  So it shall ever be.  Amen.

Work Cited

Alfred the Great: Asser’s Life of King Alfred and Other Contemporary Sources.  Trs. Keynes, Simon and Michael Lapidge.  New York, Ny.: Penguin Putnam, 2004.

Bonald, Louis de.  ‘On Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, Bishop of Meaux’.  Critics of the Enlightenment: Readings in the French Counter-Revolutionary Tradition.  Ed. & tr. Blum, Christopher Olaf.  Wilmington, De.: ISI Books, 2004.

Fischer, David Hackett.  Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America. New York, Ny.: Oxford UP, 1989.

The Holy Bible.  King James Version.  Nashville, Tn.: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1972.

Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Erik von. Liberty or Equality.  Front Royal, Va.: Christendom Press, 1993.

Moss, Vladimir.  Autocracy, Despotism and Democracy: An Historical Approach to the Relationship between Religion and Politics, Part I: The Age of Faith (to 1453).  2013.  <>.  Accessed 28 March 2013.

--.  Twelve Lectures on the Theology of Politics.  2009.  <>.  Accessed 28 March 2013.

Rogich, Father Daniel M.  Great-Martyr Tsar Lazar of Serbia: His Life and Service.  Platina, Ca.: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 2001.

Steenberg, Archimandrite Irenei.  The Beginnings of a Life of Prayer.  Platina, Ca.: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 2012.

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