Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Observing globally, rooting locally

In sketching a future religion for the West --aka the Europeans, both in their ancient homelands and in their farflung dominions overseas-- I am not restricting my visions simply to the West. I have been a student of world religions my whole life, so I know too much to do anything like that. Whether I know too much to do anything with it all, well that is the question. I do get distracted easily.

I have divided the religions of the human race into three basic categories --ancestral, prophetic and sapiential--and have found much to admire in all three of them as well as, of course, problematic features. This is the sublunary condition.

One of the strengths of ancestral religion is also its weakness: the virtual inseparability of blood-kinship, soil and divinity. Even in its tribal form, religion performs a crucial social function; it binds together in familial-like bonds people whose genetic relationships are looser than actual kin bonds.
But if the tribe or culture loses its land, its religion is wounded as well. Ancestral religion is highly adapted to its particular ecological niche but faces real challenges in adapting to change.

Jews had an ancestral religion which then developed a strongly prophetic cast, and later a sapiential one. But it centered in a particular territory, a Holy Land. And once Jerusalem was named as the national and cultic center and the temple built, they were stuck with it. But, being the clever and adaptive fellows that they are, when they lost the Temple, the city and the land in the 1st century, they converted this blood and soil religion into a portable book-based faith. It transformed the land into a symbol, used the already-existing institution of the synagogue to replace the single Temple, but, crucially, kept the blood-kin foundation intact.* And lo, after 2000 years of exile, the Jews still exist. The Norse and the AmerIndians have not been so lucky.

While the Jewish race still flourishes (pace the National Socialists), Jewish religion is a minority occupation.  Very few Jews actually believe in, much less practice, any kind of actual Jewish religion anymore, having taken advantage of their secular emancipation to go a-whoring after the strange gods of utopia, just as their ancestors did in their scriptures. And that, we read, never turns out well for them.

Outside of Israel, what Jewishness now mostly means is an unstable combination of anxious identification with and anxious alienation from their environment, repeatedly shown in organized Jewish hostility toward their host nations' identity as an expanded kinship group and a deep resentment of Christianity.

I once attended a "Kung Pao Kosher Kristmas" in SF, where Jews gathered on Dec 24th for Chinese food and Jewish comedy, taking refuge from the barage of Christmas surrounding them. Underneath the laughter I detected a sense that the antics of the sea of goyim around them were on some level deeply offensive to them, an insult to their chosenness...even though the great majority were clearly un-religious. And a famous Canadian Jewish columnist once described her father's attitude toward waking up in a white-covered world on December 25th as, "Ugh. So they've got snow for their Christmas." 

So, one strategy for the new faith is to link it, like Judaism, with blood, European blood. Blood and culture are part of the spectrum. To make it portable but biological, genetic and hematological. Because if demographic and political trends continue, we are in for some very hard times indeed. The people who are invading and increasingly dominating us pretty well all resent the hell out of us, even if they say they only want to "participate". The Goths who destroyed Rome said the same thing.

Another irony here is that anyone who is even mildly familiar with those White men --and they are virtually all men-- who feel the catastrophe, one thing you learn quick is that often they don't like Jews very much at all. So to adopt a Jewish strategy to serve the Euros is pretty amusing. At least to me.

And the prophetic universalism of Christianity has show itself to be defenseless against the rising tide of color. Like its alliance with the royal state (Throne and Altar), the faith of Christ's identification with Europe appears to have been an accidental and contingent one. First, separation of Church and State, then separation of Church and Race. After all, what was Paul's project but the complete un-linking of his Gospel with Jewish blood?

For the time being, and given their separate history, the Eastern faithful remain stubbornly attached to a nationalist version of the Gospel. But in the West, there is now a positive celebration of the dis-identification of Christianity and Euroness. On the contrary, with the blessing of the Clown Pope in Rome, weeping over the drowned invaders at Lampedusa, it welcomes our demise with open arms, just as Jesus would.**

And that is one of the primary reasons ---along with its apparently imminent shrinking unto virtual death in its homelands-- I am driven to imagine an alternative.

*The seeds for this were sown in the first exile, hundreds of years earlier, but the definitive break with the land only came with Rome's loss of patience with Jewish resistance.

**Gosh, this is getting long. Jesus is now entirely submerged, even for conservative Christians, under the liberal narrative of radical inclusion. I merely note two things. First, for all his table fellowship with sinners and outcasts, these were Jewish sinners and outcasts. He cured and exorcised Gentiles but never sought them out as disciples. So there was a racial limit to his mission, "the lost sheep of the House of Israel." Second, race mixing was problematic in the earliest Christian groups. Peter was ambivalent about mixing with Gentiles and the office of deacon was created precisely as a Greek institution to address the neglect of Gentiles in the distribution of charity.

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