Against artificial religion
It reminds me of those HP Lovecraftian stories in which the practitioners seek to call forth a mysterious god. They end up regretting their outreach, to put it mildly. Or the great short story by Thomas Ligotti named “Nethescurial” in which a religious sect realizes only too late that they are worshiping an actual demonic force. I think we Christians already have access to the one true God and that a misunderstanding of The Holy Spirit is what is holding us back. I have remarked on Kruptos’s Substack how much the Holy Spirit in a biblical (rather than a charismatic) perspective is the means by which to prevail. It is the least understood part of the Trinity but He is the comforter and the force for good in all who believe. The Crusaders were moved by the Holy Spirit to do great violence but for a holy cause, which came to them from divine inspiration rather than reaching out for an excuse to do violence as warriors
Really enjoyed this review, thanks for sharing it. I had the same issues with his work (although Disciple, you are a good writer) although you've articulated it better than I could have here. A God can't be summoned via utilitarianism cost/benefit analysis; a God can only be summoned via intrinsic, core belief. The question is how that belief comes...
...it is clear that a rigorous understanding of absolute and coherent metaphysical truth is secondary in Disciple’s thought to the production of physical outcomes he identifies as desirable (the generation of warlike men).
I think there's something to this. Ultimately, virtuous actions are what matter, not virtuous thoughts. I once knew a Byzantine Catholic priest who repeatedly stressed that right thinking comes from right action, not the other way around.
I recently stumbled upon your Substack and felt immediately engaged. Though unfamiliar with Barbaric Disciple, your article touched on a personal quandary: "To what should I apply my strength?" Channeling effort and power toward arbitrary material goals or Hollywood-generated nostalgia of historic religions has felt devoid of purpose, as these don't offer a compelling cause to which I can commit my entire being.
I may delve into your backlog for clarity, but your penultimate paragraph caught my attention. It seems to advocate first connecting with ultimate reality, from which all subsequent actions should emanate. I wish you could expand on this point. Thanks.
Orthodox Christianity and Traditional Catholics are attracting the most meanly men today. They have inspiring history and warrior saints who really existed, better than any made-up legend. And they have the Truth worth dying for.
The Environmentalists have invented their own false religion and it's horrid. They cannot create a god where there is none. Man cannot be or create a god.
I like the point that any god invented by man must be weaker than man as anything created is less than its creator. Man invents gods so that he can rule them rather than be ruled.
I am a Christian warrior, and know many more. I'm certain that this advocate of a new religion does not understand the Christian ethos. It was Christian warriors that bested Hitler and Tojo. And it will be Christian warriors that step up to clean up the Biden mess.
"New" warrior religion? What's wrong with the old one?
Psalm 149:6 [Let] the high [praises] of God [be] in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand;
7 To execute vengeance upon the heathen, [and] punishments upon the people;
8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;
9 To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.
And then there's:
Psalm 18:34 He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.
37 I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed.
38 I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet.
39 For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.
40 Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.
41 They cried, but [there was] none to save [them: even] unto the LORD, but he answered them not.
42 Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.
Psalm 118:10 All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD will I destroy them.
11 They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
12 They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
13 Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall: but the LORD helped me.
14 The LORD [is] my strength and song, and is become my salvation.
15 The voice of rejoicing and salvation [is] in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.
And, that's just for warm-ups. There's a ton more.
The problem with Christianity today are the Christians in it. Church has become a social event, keen on pop culture and the new current trends. People go to church to socialize with other people. Violence and masculinity have no place in polite social scenes, hence the perpetuation of beta culture. Cuckolds near and far, and then they procreate a whole new generation of cuckolds.
If we 'make ourselves worthy' of a God, the only one we will find will be ourselves. He's right about the suffering though, Christianity is afflcted with affluenza and we no longer persevere, no longer hope (Romans 5)
I get a bit sick of the "we need to" and "what we need is" type journalism (of which this Barbaric Disciple is an example) - whatever it's floating because its always so vacuously light on "how exactly" are "we" going to do this whatever it is that's being exhorted. Its just words...and nothing but words. However I do think (like many others) that religion is the natural state of humanity.... and Enlightenment rationalism has been a three century aberration. One whose day is now done.
Barbaric Disciple's notions of warrior religions are more grounded in popular entertainment than actual history. Warrior cultures that value personal bravery and honor above all are great at getting into wars, but terrible at actually winning them. Christian Europe's professional soldiers, interested only in fulfulling their duty, ran roughshod over them for centuries. Ask yourself: In the time that we have been growing weaker, have we been moving closer to or farther from the ideals of Biblical Christianity?
The Environmentalists have their new religion, and it's horrid. They have merely constructed a false god where there isn't one. Man cannot be or create a god.
“… This conception is one of artificial religion adopted as political technology. It is thus a practical science rather than a divine mandate.“ This is nicely phrased. This describes a phenomenon which recurs again and again. People realize that you need religion, it is foundational to human existence, public order, any state. If you do not have an actual religion you need to make up something in its place, even if you don’t call it that. The example of the French revolutionaries trying to create a Cult of Reason, which ended up being a farce which convinced no one, should be a warning to others who attempt such projects.
You've correctly identified the fundamental problem with which BD's project wrestles: we are badly in need of Faith, yet know not where to direct it. This would not have been a problem a few centuries ago, when society was united in the worship of the Christian God.
The issue is that it is by no means clear that the West can return to the faith of our fathers. Some can, perhaps, although I strongly suspect that for many the Deus Vult, Christ is King thing is LARPing. Too much doubt has been opened in the past century, not so much in the existence of God per se, but rather in the veracity of biblical scripture. The modern mind can no more accept the literal truth of biblical history than it can the literal truth of Greek myth.
Then there is the question of Revelation, of direct experience of the divine. Is this even possible anymore? The world has become so desacralized, our imaginations rendered weary and skeptical. A prophet might convert a few, but the many will always suspect a trick.
I don't the way out of this conundrum. Neither does BD. I don't think anyone does. Certainly, inventing a faith from whole cloth is not likely to provide the answer ... although on the other hand, this has been done before (Sikhism, scientology), and there are those who say that this is precisely how Judaism and Christianity got their start. So perhaps it can be done, although such an attempt would be poisoned from the start if the principle of Truth is to be given a central place, as I believe it must be.