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Nov 5, 2023Liked by Johann Kurtz

Sir, thank you for this stirring and timely essay. Ending with the poignant letter from a Civil War soldier was genius and really drove home your point. I enjoyed reading this immensely.

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I have a pet theory that people, particularly young men, are becoming more interested in Islam precisely *because* it makes demands of them (fasting, fixed daily prayers, pilgrimages, etc.). Christianity used to do this, but then it stopped. By trying to appease the masses, it actually drove them away. People *want* to sacrifice. It's deep in the DNA.

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Nov 12, 2023Liked by Johann Kurtz

Former fundamentalist, now Catholic. Agree 100% that we thrive when demands are made on us and die metaphorically when they are not. Used to attend church 3 days a week and participate in multiple bible studies. As a Catholic, the bar is too low, little is demanded of me. I joined a group of men to be held accountable. I want the mission, the challenge. Father Ripperger has been a Godsend.

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The Things That Make A Soldier Great

by Edgar A. Guest

The things that make a soldier great and send him out to die,

To face the flaming cannon's mouth, nor ever question why,

Are lilacs by a little porch, the row of tulips red,

The peonies and pansies, too, the old petunia bed,

The grass plot where his children play, the roses on the wall:

'Tis these that make a soldier great. He's fighting for them all.

'Tis not the pomp and pride of kings that make a soldier brave;

'Tis not allegiance to the flag that over him may wave;

For soldiers never fight so well on land or on the foam

As when behind the cause they see the little place called home.

Endanger but that humble street whereon his children run—

You make a soldier of the man who never bore a gun.

What is it through the battle smoke the valiant soldier sees?

The little garden far away, the budding apple trees,

The little patch of ground back there, the children at their play,

Perhaps a tiny mound behind the simple church of gray.

The golden thread of courage isn't linked to castle dome

But to the spot, where'er it be—the humble spot called home.

And now the lilacs bud again and all is lovely there,

And homesick soldiers far away know spring is in the air;

The tulips come to bloom again, the grass once more is green,

And every man can see the spot where all his joys have been.

He sees his children smile at him, he hears the bugle call,

And only death can stop him now—he's fighting for them all.

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Johann, this essay speaks very dearly to me, and strikes a chord that I have been hearing since I returned to the dissident sphere.

We have plenty of intellectuals, writers, speakers, so on and so forth. These are all good, and all have their place. What we need more of are leaders. The problem with leadership is that its supply is far outstripped by its demand, universally.

I had a mentor in my youth tell me: "I know a lot of people say leaders can be made, but that's not true - it's a lie. Leaders are born, not made, and I can tell you were born to be a leader."

I near completely wrote off what he told me until years later (believing, out of some false humility, that everyone had equal potential), when, in a personal crucible the likes of which only the military could possibly create, I realized what he said was partly correct. Leaders aren't born, but rather, a tiny minority of people are born with the /potential/ for leadership. Some more than others, and still only a very small proportion of the population, but that potential has to be drawn out from men's souls, and they have to be deliberately forged into leaders. Otherwise, that innate potential will be squandered.

Importantly, we don't need dilettantes; not the selfish and self centered, ladder-climbing types, but rather those kinds of men who so fully love those that they lead and the cause that they fight for that they will give every drop of themselves to them, and to it. I think it is the role of those among us with platforms and reach to do everything they can to try and reach out to these kinds of people, because oftentimes they just aren't in the "know," even if they are desperately needed and would accept this sphere as a breath of fresh air and new life.

Thank you for this!

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Nov 11, 2023Liked by Johann Kurtz

A few nights ago I finally watched Tarkovsky's "Stalker." A similar scenario to the Hesse story.

In my part of the globe, the attraction of asceticism and struggle is why young men are coming to the Orthodox Church in droves. The problem is that the young women have yet to follow them. Our presiding bishop has said this problem must be dealt with.

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Beautifully stated.

The political Right has depended far too much on wealthy special interests -- and left trillions of dollars in bills for future generations to pay. And now the wealthiest of special interests have gone woke. America's big corporations aren't American any more.

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