Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Giving Thanks for the Puritans

16 Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven: the cankerworm spoileth, and fleeth away.
17 Thy crowned are as the locusts, and thy captains as the great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges in the cold day, but when the sun ariseth they flee away, and their place is not known where they are.
18 Thy shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell in the dust: thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them.
19 There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?--Nahum ch. 3, KJV, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Nahum+3&version=KJV, opened 29 Nov. 2016

Thanksgiving Day in the [u]nited States is not just a day to give thanks to God for one’s blessings, but a celebration of the Puritans who settled New England.  For those areas of the Union that have ties to Yankeedom, the Northeastern States and those westward that were settled by their kin, that makes some sense.  But for those who have no ties to the Puritans, especially those in the South who have a Thanksgiving Day tradition that precedes the Puritans’, they should look for other days and use other customs to celebrate an annual day of thanksgiving to God (preferably a Divine Liturgy in an Orthodox church), which does not include the soft brainwashing of Puritan and Indian figurines, cornucopias, and so on that are meant to make them forget their own traditions and identify with the Puritans’ instead.

Thanksgiving services were routine in what became the Commonwealth of Virginia as early as 1607,[11] with the first permanent settlement of Jamestown, Virginia holding a thanksgiving in 1610.[8] In 1619, 38 English settlers arrived at Berkeley Hundred in Charles City County, Virginia. The group's London Company charter specifically required "that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned... in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God."[12]  . . .

But why grumble about the Puritans?  Because their delusional ideology about being God’s chosen people has wrought, and continues to work, great evils in the world.

Were they really deluded, though?  Let us see.

St Theophan the Recluse (+1894) said of delusion (called here by the Russian word ‘prelest’),

 . . .

     It is evident from these words of Isaac the Syrian that what we call prelest proper exists when a man starts trying to live above his capabilities. Without having cleansed himself of passions, he strives for a life of contemplation and dreams of the delights of spiritual grace. Thus the wrath of God befalls a man; because he thinks too highly of himself, God's grace is withdrawn from him and he falls under the influence of the evil one who actively begins to tickle his vainglory with lofty contemplation and [spiritual] delights...

    Briefly, the difference between "general prelest" and prelest in the particular sense of the word can, on the basis of the above. be expressed thus. General prelest is forgetting and not noticing one's sinfulness. That which we call prelest proper is attributing to oneself righteousness when it does not actually exist. If a man thinks he is righteous, then his righteousness is not divine, but diabolical, foreign to the grace of God and to humility. One should recall the famous saying of Abba Poemen the Great: "I prefer a man who sins and repents to one who does not sin and does not repent. The first has good thoughts, for he admits that he is sinful. But the second has false, soul-destroying thoughts, for he imagines himself to be righteous" (Bp. Ignatius, Patericon, 75).

Source:  http://www.roca.org/OA/66-68/66n.htm, opened 29 Nov. 2016 (thanks to Cristian for this link)

So, then, did the Puritans exhibit a vainglory with regard to their righteousness?  Looking at the diary of an outstanding ensample of a Puritan, Cotton Mather, we would have to say Yes.

 . . . Mather appears consumed with the idea of his own personal importance to God.

The idea appears in the frequently expressed wish that he be allowed to perform some outstanding service for the Lord (Richard Weaver, ‘Two Diarists’, In Defense of Tradition, Ted Smith III, ed., Liberty Fund, 2000, p. 723).

Prof Weaver provided some outtakes from Mr Mather’s diary that show this all too well (p. 724):

 . . .

On this day I received an Assurance from the Lord, that I should yett live to do some great Service for him.

 . . .

On this Day, prostrate in the Dust, on my Study-floor and melted into Tears of Joy, I received fresh Assurances, that the Spirit, of the Lord Jesus Christ, would fill mee marvellously, and gloriously, and that Hee would quickly employ mee in eminent Services for His Interests.

In the entry for March 4, 1698, he reported that “the Spirit and the Angel of the Lord” appeared and gave to him, in a way that he could not utter, the following assurance:

That I shall serve my Lord Jesus Christ, yett exceedingly; and, more particularly, that I am quickly to do a special Service of great Consequence for the Name of my Lord Jesus Christ, which, as yett I know not what it is.

Sadly, the marks of ghostly (spiritual) delusion are very evident in these diary entries.  May God forgive Mr Cotton and grant rest to his soul where the saints repose.

But even more unfortunate is that this exalted view of his specialness was not limited to himself but typified the greater part of the Puritan leod (people) in New England, who considered it their destiny as the New Israel (as they saw themselves) to build the New Jerusalem, the ‘shining city on a hill’, which would usher in Christ’s millennial reign on earth.

Because of their exceptional purity, they are to be counted as justified in shedding oceans of blood in wars of righteousness against the Southern people, Native Americans, Philippines, Japanese, Germans, Afghans, Syrians, etc., etc. 

One of their latest battlefields is the Donbass region of the Ukraine: 

It is good that the culprit is correctly identified - ‘the Yankees’.  All eight videos may be viewed here:

It is here that Southerners must be very careful.  Their own experiences with slavery have made them susceptible to a kind of meddling of their own, desiring a world where those who are fit to govern rule over those they consider unfit.

 . . . With the collapse of the Confederacy and the subsequent collapse of slavery in Cuba and Brazil, the South’s half-subdued imperialist tendency ripened into an ideology that sought to justify European world conquest.  . . .

 . . . Later in the century the antebellum stirrings, previously stronger in the North than in the South, became a loud all-American shout:  The white race had a historic responsibility to rule the world, civilize the heathens of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and rightfully put them to work for the master race.  When the Confederacy and slavery went down, this new racism, already popular in the North, directly served late nineteenth-century imperialist ideology (Fox-Genovese and Genovese, The Mind of the Master Class, Cambridge UP, 2005, pgs. 223-4).

But the South does not need yet another shameful and unnecessary Northern inbringing (i.e., racist worldwide imperialism) to go along with Jim Crow and Fundamentalism.  We understand the need to guard against the globalists’ desire to merge all ethnic groups into some spineless mongrel race that would have no will to resist their machinations.  But it does not follow from that need that Western Europeans must rule over all the world, especially considering that much of what they have given it since the Great Schism of 1054 (when the Bishop of Rome left the Orthodox Church to start his own, the Roman Catholic) has been heresy, plundering of nations’ wealth, political revolution, and so on.  Deep repentance and mourning, rather than bossing others around, ought to be the West’s focus for a very long time.

What she needs therefore is a return to the contented, non-imperial, hearth-loving, Christ-loving mindset of her fore-Schism Orthodox fathers and mothers in England and elsewhere, in particular, that of her Patron Saint, King Ælfred the Great, from whose Wessex and surrounding lands in rural southern England comes much of the foundation of Southern culture.  Father Andrew Phillips, in his sermon given on the day of the commemoration of the dead who fell defending England from the Normans at Hastings 950 years ago (27 Oct. 2016), beworded what should be the South’s task very well:

 . . .

950 years ago, on this very spot, King Harold son of Godwin, the last English King of England, prayed before giving battle to the invader. The latter had a Papal blessing to invade, conquer and forcibly introduce feudal enslavement through castles and knights. This was all in order to bring the Church in England into line with his revolutionary, newly-invented Western European religion, which had already been enforced elsewhere.

The new religion had replaced Christ, making Him unnecessary as Head of the Church, and claimed that the absolute authority of the Holy Spirit now proceeded from its Papal head. For island England was a latecomer to this new religion and the Norman invasion was merely part of a far broader process of subjugation throughout Western Europe that was later to lead to invasion of the Holy Land, called the First Crusade, and determine the pattern of future Western history.

 . . .

Today we have gathered to commemorate the some 7,000 men who died in the Battle. They died defending their and our homeland and their and our English Orthodox Christian culture that was in communion with the rest of the Orthodox Christian world. These were real people, they had wives, children and grandchildren, they were flesh and blood, mind and soul, they had names – some of them we know. They died fighting for the culture that had been resurrected in the ninth century by King Alfred from the ruins of the Viking attacks. Let us not forget that Alfred, also called ‘the Lawgiver’ and ‘England’s Darling’, is the only figure in English history to be called ‘the Great’.

Alfredian culture restored Old English Church Civilization, which had been so faithfully recorded by St Bede the Venerable in England’s seventh and eighth century Golden Age. Alfredian culture meant first defeating and then Christianizing pagans, defending towns, rebuilding churches and monasteries, establishing laws, sending alms to the Patriarch of Jerusalem and translating the works of the Church Fathers. King Alfred restored this culture so well that as a result, after his repose, the tenth century became through his descendants the age of the national unity of England and the Silver Age of Church culture, unmatched in its splendour in Western Europe.

However, in the eleventh century the Vikings attacked England again and again and the last Vikings, the Normans, or Northmen, finally destroyed England as it had been, leaving us today with only vestiges of a once great Civilization, as we can see in the remaining books and manuscripts of the School of Winchester, the English capital. These are the rags of a once magnificent and precious raiment of gold and jewels, part of the Old Christian Europe. Today we who are conscious of all this have as our task to tell others these truths which are either hidden from or else indifferent to most.

Today, Orthodox Christian Civilization has its spiritual centres not Canterbury or Winchester, Lindisfarne or Iona, but elsewhere in the east. It is therefore our task to refound spiritual centres here, however modest they may be, for we belong in spirit to this Civilization and keep faith with its values. We live in our spiritual oases here with our heritage of Augustine, Audrey, Cuthbert, Hilda, Theodore, Bede, Edmund, Alfred, Edward, Dunstan, Alphege and all who are present here in their icons. Now we can at the very least pray for the souls who gave up their lives for the Faith, for the King and for England, as well as for the Universal Church, and take inspiration from them.

In the sleep of the blessed grant, O Lord, eternal repose, to the souls of those who fell for the Faith on Senlac Field, King Harold, Princes Leofwyn and Gyrth, Alfwig, Abbot of Winchester, Leofric, Abbot of Peterborough, Deacon Eadric, Aelfric of Huntingdon, Thurkill of Kingston, Godric of Fyfield, Esegar of Middlesex, Hakon, Breme, and all the King’s men, and grant them Eternal Memory!

Not to Yankee culture, nor to after-Schism Western European culture, then, but to Orthodox culture ought the South to conform herself.


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

Anathema to the Union!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Remembrance of Death

The Christian soul that lives with a profound hope of life beyond the grave and the sweet anticipation of the most desirable Paradise, attempts to maintain a vivid memory of death. The Wisdom of Sirach says: "In all you do, remember the end of your life, and then you will never sin" (7,36). The Christian knows that he will live after death and, therefore, should constantly be aware of his present mortality, keeping before him his exodus from the present world, the Second Coming, the future judgment and his entry into endless eternity. For this reason St. Gregory the Theologian often repeats the saying of Plato which suggests that the present life ought to be "a meditation upon death." He advised his friend Philagrios to live "instead of the present the future and to make this life a meditation and practice of death." [1] To the priest Photios he wrote: "Our cares and our attention are concentrated on one thing only our departure from this world. And for this departure we prepare ourselves and gather our baggage as prudent travelers would do." [2] Also, St. Athanasios advises in his treatise On Virginity: "Recall your exodus every hour; keep death before your eyes on a daily basis. Remember before whom you must appear." [3] St. John of Sinai advises: "Let the memory of death sleep and awake with you." [4]

 . . .

Source:  Nikolaos Vassiliadis, http://orthodoxinfo.com/death/memory_death.aspx, opened 25 Nov. 2016

Since it is doubtful that many in the [u]nited States have spent much time at all thinking about the day of their death or any other Christian virtue during this week of gluttony of all sorts, we offer a piece of music to help call everyone back to reality:  a composition inspired by the Southern writer Edgar Allen Poe’s short story The Masque of the Red Death.  Our thanks to the folks at The Imaginative Conservative for posting it in one of their Top Ten music lists:


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

Anathema to the Union!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Who Is Mike Pence?

Many who consider themselves conservative-minded Christians have put a lot of hope in Gov Pence, that he will be able to steer the Donald Trump administration in a direction that is agreeable with their worldview.  But is that hope warranted?  Probably not.

 . . .

Indeed, Pence's record, first as a member of Congress from Indiana for six terms, and later as governor of the state, is a mixed bag at best. In Congress, as measured on The New American magazine's Freedom Index, which scores lawmakers based on their fidelity to the U.S. Constitution they swear to uphold, Pence scored 62 percent. While better than most Democrats and some establishment neocons and liberal "Republicans in Name Only" (RINOs), the score is hardly impressive — especially considering the fact that Pence, like all members of Congress, took an oath to defend the Constitution. While it certainly could be worse, there are more than a few votes Pence cast that should concern Trump supporters and all Americans.   

During his 12 years in the House of Representatives, Pence often voted to fund globalist and neocon programs that are not authorized in the Constitution — including supporting spending bills squandering ultimately trillions of taxpayer dollars and running up massive trillion-dollar deficits for largely unconstitutional purposes. Pence also voted reliably to fund the panoply of globalist organizations, including the United Nations, the Export-Import Bank, and more, that undermine U.S. sovereignty and prosperity. The unconstitutional PATRIOT Act purporting to allow unconstitutional spying on Americans received his support, too. Incredibly, Pence even voted against an amendment that would have blocked the purported authorization of indefinite military detention of American citizens without trial. Why Pence thought Obama should be able to use the military to detain Americans without trial was not explained.   

On matters of war, Pence has also sided with establishment globalists and neocons rather than the Constitution. For instance, the then-congressman voted to unconstitutionally surrender the power of Congress to declare war on more than one occasion. First, he supported giving then-President George W. Bush authority to wage an undeclared war against Iraq if and when the president decided to do so — a war that Trump has opposed. Pence even voted against an amendment to defund Obama's devastating and flatly illegal war against Libya, in which Obama relied on a UN resolution instead of a congressional declaration of war. As congressmen in both parties explained at the time, Obama should have been impeached for that criminal and potentially treasonous act alone. The fruits of those illegal wars are now clear, too, yet Pence has not apologized for supporting them while in Congress.  

Beyond war, Pence has taken positions at odds with those of Trump and his supporters on crucial issues animating his campaign. Even on illegal immigration and amnesty, Pence has come under fire from key Trump supporters and boosters over his positions. A decade ago, when the Bush-backed amnesty schemes were being considered in Congress to legalize illegal immigrants, Pence responded with a proposal that would have allegedly led to increased border enforcement and no amnesty. Key opponents of amnesty, though, including Trump supporter and conservative leader Phyllis Schlafly, criticized the plan. Pat Buchanan lambasted Pence's proposal as “stealth amnesty.”

More recently, Pence slammed Trump's popular proposal to temporarily ban Islamic immigration as “offensive and unconstitutional” — a proposal that polls show is supported by most Americans and the overwhelming majority of Republicans. It was not immediately clear how many more Muslims Pence would like to see immigrating to America, whether he thinks taxpayers should foot the bill for the immigration, nor how (or if) he thought they should be vetted by authorities for security and health concerns. However, Pence did attempt, albeit half-heartedly, to block the joint UN-Obama administration importation of “Syrian refugees” to be resettled in Indiana at taxpayer expense.    

On national sovereignty-destroying “free trade” schemes such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Pence has been a major cheerleader of globalism. “The time has come for all of us to urge the swift adoption of the Trans Pacific Partnership,” Pence declared on Twitter two years ago. By contrast, Trump has strongly opposed the globalist deals, both due to the economic havoc they have produced, and due to the surrender of national independence to transnational bureaucracies they bring about. Indeed, opposition to the pseudo-“free trade” regimes is a central plank of Trump's campaign and has earned him massive support from conservatives and liberals.

In supporting the globalist deals, Pence revealed that he does not appear to even understand what form of government America has, urging fellow lawmakers in 2005 to support Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) to promote “a dream of democracy.” The founders of America, of course, established a republic based on the rule of law, rather than a “democracy” based on the rule of men, which they thought was a poor form of government. Infowars, which has featured Trump as a guest on its popular and influential Alex Jones Show, compiled a massive list of pro-globalist “free trade” schemes Pence voted to support while in Congress — and it is not pretty, at least to those who value national sovereignty and support Trump's stated position on the issue.

Perhaps most controversial among recent actions by Pence has been his shameful surrender on religious liberty — a crucial American value — during his tenure as Indiana governor. Last year, as homosexual and LGBT extremists were working to bulldoze the First Amendment and force Americans to affirm homosexual “marriage” at government gunpoint, Republicans in Indiana passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The purpose was to protect Christians and others from being coerced into participating in sinful celebrations of faux “marriage” by, for example, having to bake homosexual-themed cakes or produce flower arrangements that affirm homosexual “weddings.”

At first, Pence was supportive of the effort to protect religious liberty in the face of an unconstitutional and fanatical assault against marriage and its supporters by extremists on the Supreme Court, who defied their oath to the Constitution and the truth by inventing a non-existent “constitutional right” to homosexual “marriage.” “We are not going to change this law,” Pence declared about the effort. However, as homosexual extremists and their allied bullies among Big Business started shrieking and threatening, Pence quickly caved.

On April 2, just one week after the bill was signed into law, Pence signed another bill essentially reversing the religious freedom protections in the act and purporting to force business owners to participate in the celebration of homosexuality at government gunpoint. Religious freedom in Indiana was worse off afterward than when the effort to protect it began — and Pence is largely to blame for surrendering. That is bad news for Trump and for conservatives — especially considering that Pence's primary claim to fame is his alleged “social conservatism.”

Before that, Pence helped oversee and facilitate a major deception against the people of Indiana that will do long-lasting damage to Hoosier children. As The New American reported in March of 2014, Pence and Indiana were among the first states to try to dupe citizens by replacing Common Core with a re-named and re-branded version of the Obama administration-backed, dumbed-down national “education” standards. Despite the deceptive celebrations and statements by Pence, the “new” Indiana standards are almost indistinguishable from the globalist-designed Common Core. According to experts, some 90 percent of Common Core was retained, allowing Indiana to continue receiving bribes from the Obama administration dispensed to states that surrendered control over education.  

 . . .

Another sign of trouble with Gov Pence is his confrontational stance towards Russia (which is usually a sign that someone has ties to the New World Order).  If Gov Pence were the strong Christian he says he is, he would try to foster good relations with the Russians, who are actually taking steps within their own borders and elsewhere in the world to strengthen the Church, the family, and brotherhood among nations.  But what do we see instead?  Insults, lies, and warsome talk:

 . . .

Hillary Clinton’s top priority when she became secretary of state was the Russian reset. After the Russian reset, the Russians invaded Ukraine and took over Crimea. The small and bullying the leader of Russia is now dictating terms to the United States to the point where all the United States of America, the greatest nation on Earth, just withdraws from talk about a cease-fire while that a mere Putin puts a missile defense in Syria while he marshaled the forces and begins — look, we have got to lean into this with strong, broad-shouldered American leadership that begins by rebuilding our military…

 . . .

About Aleppo and Syria, I truly do believe that what America ought to do is immediately establish Safe Zones so that families with children can move out of those areas, work with our Arab partners real-time, right now to make that happen. The provocations by Russia need to be met by American strength. If Russia continues to be involved in this barbaric attack on civilians in Aleppo, the US needs to be prepared to strike military targets of the Assad regime, to prevent them from this humanitarian crisis taking place in Aleppo.

There is a broad range of other things we ought to do as well. We should deploy a missile defense shield to the Czech Republic and Poland, which had Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama pulled back on…

I understand why you want to change the subject and let me be clear on this Russians thing. What we are dealing with is — there is an old proverb that says the Russian bear never dies, but hibernates. This foreign policy from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama has awakened a Russian aggression that first appeared a few years ago with their move into Georgia and Crimea and into the wider Middle East. All we do now is full of our arms and say, “We are not having talks anymore.” We need to marshal the resources of our allies in the region and end the immediate — we need to act and act now to get people out of harm’s way…

The safe zones would have to be, as the senator said, there is a framework that has been recognized by the international community, but the United States needs to be prepared to work with others in the region to create a route for safe passage, and to protect people in those areas, including with a no-fly zone.

 . . .

Stop playing the Washington City game, Southron.  It won’t get you anywhere good.


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

Anathema to the Union!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Re-writing the Apostles’ Creed for Patriotic, Right Wing Americans

I believe in God, a legalistic, rationalistic deity,
Who made heaven and earth
For America and Israel, His two chosen nations:

America was conceived aboard the Mayflower,
Born at Philadelphia,
Suffered during the Civil War,
Was crucified, dead, and buried;

She descended into hell.

The fifth year she arose again from the dead.

She ascended to the heights,
And sitteth on the right hand of God with Israel;
From whence they judge the nations.

I believe in the Holy Will of the People;
The church of professional sports;
The sacred communion of war veterans;
The hatred of Russia;
The shedding of the body;
And the transhumanist life everlasting.


Based on the version of the Apostles’ Creed found here:


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

Anathema to the Union!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Meaning of America in World History for u. S. Evangelicals

It is very telling that evangelicals in the [u]nited States will strenuously refuse to accept the presence of God in the holy relics of saints, the Holy Mysteries, holy water, and so on, but they will readily accept the presence of God in anything that has to do with American political life:

Evangelist Franklin Graham said that prayer — and God’s answer to it — helped Donald Trump and Mike Pence pull off “the biggest political upset of our lifetime.”

Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, said he has traveled across the United States this year, holding prayer meetings at each state capitol. “I could sense going across the country that God was going to do something this year,” Graham told The Washington Post. “And I believe that at this election, God showed up.”

On Thursday, a day after Trump was elected to become the nation’s 45th president, Graham said God had answered their prayers.

 “Did God show up?” he wrote on Facebook. “In watching the news after the election, the secular media kept asking ‘How did this happen?’ ‘What went wrong?’ ‘How did we miss this?’ Some are in shock. Political pundits are stunned. Many thought the Trump/Pence ticket didn’t have a chance. None of them understand the God-factor.”

 . . .

Since this idea of America being especially favored by God is so deeply ingrained in American evangelicals, it needs to be explored more thoroughly.  To do so, we will examine the text of an address (‘The Continental Divide’) delivered by Pastor Tommy Nelson of Denton Bible Church (in Texas) on 23 Oct. 2016.  It was aired at least twice by American Family Radio prior to election day and has received more than 300,000 views on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwTAQpYhkug) as of 14 Nov. 2016, so it may safely be taken as something most evangelicals would agree with.  All quotes from this talk come from http://dentonbible.org/wp-content/uploads/The-Continental-Divide.pdf, opened 14 and 15 Nov. 2016.

In some of his opening remarks, he says,

We are historically rare. We can be directly involved. We can “vote.” We have a say. We have what virtually none have had throughout history. Until 1776, no one had a say in their rule.

This is an absurd statement.  Voting has been present in many places and in many ages of world history:  the ancient Greeks and Romans, Russian villages, Old English folkmoots, the election of an abbot by a monastery’s monks, etc. 

He goes on:

But . . . From 1776 to 1848, in just 70 years, most monarchies were gone. America had started something! France will follow. We were an idea whose time had come, as throughout the world men had had a gutful of the irresponsible authority of kings. Of authority bestowed through birth not merited through character.

It is good to have an ideal of good character in rulers, but his declaration that the revolutions that swept away the monarchies from Europe are somehow a blessing is entirely wrong.  In the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars that followed, in these alone upwards of 2 million people suffered and died.  And in the other revolutions that shook Europe up till 1848 many more thousands would do likewise.

Is the ‘right to vote’ really worth such a great loss of human life, not to mention the destruction of cities, death of animals, and so on?

But this is not the worst of it.  Vladimir Moss in his An Essay in Universal History, Part 3 (http://www.orthodoxchristianbooks.com/downloads/595_AN_ESSAY_IN_UNIVERSAL_HISTORY_PART_3.pdf, 2016, opened 12 Nov. 2016), pgs. 12-3 and 21, points out

The spirit of the Revolution was “inexplicable” to Tocqueville precisely because it was not human, because it was a spirit from hell. It was from hell, because it was against God. For the essential conflict between the revolutionaries and the ancien regime was a conflict between two ideas of the origin of authority: between the idea that it comes from above - ultimately, from God, and the idea that it comes from below - ultimately from what the Masons called "Nature", but which more religious called Satan, the original revolutionary.

King Louis XVI stated the Christian principle: "I have taken the firm and sincere decision to remain loftily, publicly and generously faithful to Him Who holds in His hand kings and kingdoms. I can only be great through Him, because in Him alone is greatness, glory, majesty and power; and because I am destined one day to be his living image on earth."9 This firm, but humble statement of the doctrine, not so much of the Divine right of kings, as of their Divine dependence on the King of kings, was opposed by the satanic pride of the revolutionary faith. "The Revolution is neither an act nor a fact," said De Mounier. "It is a political doctrine which claims to found society on the will of man instead of founding it on the will of God, which puts the sovereignty of human reason in the place of the Divine law."

This anti-theistic character of the French Revolution was confirmed by the great Anglo-Irish parliamentarian, Edmund Burke: "We cannot, if we would, delude ourselves about the true state of this dreadful contest. It is a religious war. It includes in its object undoubtedly every other interest of society as well as this; but this is the principal and leading feature. It is through this destruction of religion that our enemies propose the accomplishment of all their other views. The French Revolution, impious at once and fanatical, had no other plan for domestick power and foreign empire. Look at all the proceedings of the National Assembly from the first day of declaring itself such in the year 1789, to this very hour, and you will find full half of their business to be directly on this subject. In fact it is the spirit of the whole. The religious system, called the Constitutional Church, was on the face of the whole proceeding set up only as a mere temporary amusement to the people, and so constantly stated in all their conversations, till the time should come, when they might with safety cast off the very appearance of all religion whatsoever, and persecute Christianity throughout Europe with fire and sword. This religious war is not a controversy between sect and sect as formerly, but a war against all sects and all religions."

 . . .

Burke agreed with the Catholic monarchist Joseph de Maistre in calling the revolution “satanic”. And, as we have seen, he called the war that broke out between revolutionary France and Britain in 1793 “a religious war”. For truly, the war between the revolution and its opponents was a religious war, a war between two opposed ideas of who rules human society: God or the people. Moreover, it was war against monarchy in all its forms: “No Monarchy, limited or unlimited, nor any of the old Republics, can possibly be safe as long as this strange, nameless, wild, enthusiastic thing is established in the Centre of Europe.”

Likewise, with the later revolutions, he draws our attention to some noteworthy things (pgs. 346-7):

L.A. Tikhomirov writes: “Revolutionary agitation between the years 1830 and 1848 was carried out mainly by the Carbonari and various ‘Young Germanies’, ‘Young Italies’, etc. In the Masonic world before 1848 something powerful, similar to 1789, was being planned, and preparations for the revolution went ahead strongly in all countries. In 1847 a big Masonic convention was convened in Strasbourg from deputies elected at several small conventions convened earlier… At the convention it was decided to ‘masonize’ the Swiss cantons and then produce a revolutionary explosion at the same time throughout Europe. As we know, movement did in fact follow, with a difference of several months, in a whole series of countries: Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Milan, Parma, Venice, etc. Reformist ‘banquets’ laying the beginning of the revolution in Paris were organized by the directors of the Masonic lodges…”

What is a Christian pastor doing praising these unChristian revolutions?

But there is more to consider. 

And in the place of monarchies there arose constitutions. Official obligations and restraints set forth in writing through theologically informed reason, an absolute law, outside of man, by which he must be ruled, and to which rulers were accountable. A constitution - the incarnation of just rule in paper and ink
−administered through representative leaders
−placed there through an informed majority
−who voted for those they believed the wisest and best of men, whose job was to follow this law.
−Or as Mr. Lincoln said, “A government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
−A leadership bestowed through character not conception.

There is much that could be said about all that, but we will only comment on a few things. 

First, it is fine to desire rulers who respect the law, but trusting in ‘paper and ink’ to make them rule justly is doomed to failure.  It shows the Enlightenment optimism of the constitution’s framers in the ability of man’s reason to solve man’s problems: 

And Revolutionary leaders had an immense confidence in their ability to define exactly how personal actions caused the effects seen in political conflict and public conditions.  This confidence was part and parcel of the Enlightenment’s belief that human nature and human relationships were open books which the enlightened could read as clearly as Sir Isaac Newton had read the secrets of physical nature (Noll, Hatch, Marsden, The Search for Christian America, Expanded Edition, Helmers & Howard, 1989, p. 84).

Reading through The Federalist Papers one will see those statements by the three authors justified many times over.

Second, about Mr Lincoln’s formula ‘a government of the people, by the people, and for the people’ is a rejection of God’s sovereignty over man.  Where in that formula is there any room for God at all?  It mightily breaks the ‘chain of being’ (one of Wendell Berry’s favorite images), or the hierarchy, that God has established in creation:  from God, to angels, to monks, to men in the world.  One cannot praise both Mr Lincoln’s statement and the ‘theologically informed reason’ that supposedly birthed the constitution.  They are contradictions.

As for ‘the people’ choosing leaders by elections, one may see the fallacy of this dogma of democracies and republics in something Ron Paul said shortly after Donald Trump’s election:

“We look at the president, we look at what he said, we look at what he might do when you look at his advisors,” Paul said.

“But quite frankly there is an outside source which we refer to as the ‘deep state’ or the ‘shadow government’.” Paul warned.

“There is a lot of influence by people which are actually more powerful than our government itself, our president,” the congressman said.

“Yes, Trump is his own guy, more so than most of those who have ever been in before. We hope he can maintain an independence and go in the right direction. But I fear the fact that there is so much that can be done secretly, out of control of our apparent government and out of the view of so many citizens,” Paul urged.

Back to Pastor Nelson:

The system has problems, but I prefer it to monarchies because we don’t have bloodlettings.

Again, he betrays a lack of historical knowledge.  It was not until the era of modern democracies and republics (which the u. S. helped usher in), with their powerful, centralized governments, driven by demonic ideologies like ‘the rights of the people’, that massive wartime casualties became a reality.  Under monarchs, even so-called ‘absolute monarchs’, there were too many independent centers of power and loyalty to allow such large armies to gather and slaughter one another (Donald Livingston, ‘The Founding and the Enlightenment’, Vital Remnants, Gary Gregg II, ed., ISI Books, 1999, pgs. 266-7). 

Furthermore, the u. S. government has been one of the most war-hungry in history, being involved in some battle or another for 222 out of 239 years of her existence:

Pastor Nelson:

With the exception of our Civil War where half our country killed the other half over a breach of the Constitution concerning inalienable rights.

The breach of the constitution was the North not letting the South deal with the slavery question in her own way, in her own time.  There was no clause in that document which demanded an immediate end to slavery in the States, only the shrill cries of radical abolitionists.  To say that the constitution, implicitly or explicitly, allowed the North to act on its ideological belief that slavery anywhere, at any time, is an evil that must be eradicated, is to grant radicals of all stripes the ability to force their beliefs on others through federal action, including those Pastor Nelson would probably find objectionable, like LGBT and abortion activists.  One must be careful when throwing around words like ‘inalienable rights’.  That is a game that those outside the evangelical camp can play as well.

Pastor Nelson:

And I am amazed at our constitution’s invention in Philadelphia in 1787. A group of 55 men replaced millennia of kings with a constitution in just 112 days and it has lasted for 229 years. And it had never been done before.

This completely overlooks the Articles of Confederation, the first constitution of the u. S., which, considering the outcome of the Philadelphia ‘experiment’, deserve a much-needed second look.

And there is far too much pride here, so much so that it borders on idolatry:

15 The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.
16 They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not;
17 They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths.
18 They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them.

Source:  Psalm 135, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+135, opened 15 Nov. 2016, emphasis mine

Back to Pastor Nelson:

But another problem, just as dangerous, is that proper elected leaders demand an informed and wise voting public.

A proper standard must be present throughout the culture.

If not, an ignorant population will get what they deserve. 51% can be as terrible as a tyrant when they are misinformed.

So potentially, “universal suffrage” is dangerous. That is why public mandatory education and universal suffrage emerged at the same time in our country. The Horace Mann Common School movement began just after the Constitution. Every young person – future voters – had to be educated in basic reading and writing, in morals, citizenship and yes, the Bible as only a morally responsible people could select proper leaders. A people and a culture are reflected in their elected leaders.

Universal adult suffrage was not what the framers envisaged for the American republic.  Many were heartily in favor of property qualifications on voters.  One wonders if this is another ‘inalienable right’ that would have been worth another Civil War-like ‘bloodletting’ in the Pastor’s mind had property qualifications not been abolished by the States quite to his liking (which would probably have happened with Southern slavery, peacefully and gradually, if the North had been patient enough).

At any rate, Horace Mann’s common schools are nothing to brag about.  Neither he nor they are Christian:

 . . . Homeschooling now qualifies as a movement. It is certainly radical, in that it has taken a public stand, with money on the line, against the public schools.

It stands against the only American institution that can legitimately claim for itself this unique position: it is the only established church in the nation. It has a self-accredited, self-screened priesthood, as every church must. It has a theology. Its theology is messianic: salvation through knowledge. But this knowledge must be screened and shaped in order to bring forth its socially healing power.

Massachusetts was the last state to abolish tax funding of churches. That was in 1832. In 1837, the state created the nation’s first state board of education. It was run by one of the crucial figures in American history, the Unitarian lawyer Horace Mann. He believed that the public schools should perform much the same function that the established Congregational churches had performed for two centuries in Massachusetts. The schools would produce what the churches had failed to produce, a new humanity. They would transform sin-bound man by means of education.

This outlook is what R. J. Rushdoony called the messianic character of American education, which is the title of his 1963 book.  . . .

We appreciate Pastor Nelson’s attempt and that of evangelicals as a whole in the u. S. to defend the tradition that has come down to them, but, as is hopefully clear, there are serious defects in that tradition (it is in fact an anti-tradition, something that destroys rather than strengthens true tradition, which Southerners can attest to, who actually do have something of a pre-Modern tradition).  Unless they want things to decay even further than they have, they must look beyond the Rush Limbaugh view of history and reassess just where they are in light of the whole of the history of the Church and of the world.


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

Anathema to the Union!