Christian Morality in the “Terrestrial Hell”

tehran-conference
“The Big Three” leaders of the Allied Powers at Tehran Conference, 1943. From Left to Right: Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill.

Joseph Stalin mocked Winston Churchill during the Tehran Conference in 1943 when asking “God is on your side? Is He a Conservative? The Devil’s on my side, he’s a good Communist.” The hypocrisy was not in, of course, Stalin favoring Satan over God, but rather that “God’s not unjust, he doesn’t actually exist,” for He would otherwise “have made the world more just.” Of course, if God’s moral order is unjustly hierarchical, the Devil, then, is the perfect antagonist, always proudly defiant. Why then would Stalin haphazardly exalt Satan, given “the son of the morning star” in the Book of Isaiah could never have existed had he not been God’s creation (the same God Stalin insisted did not exist)?

This of course is the left-wing political consensus, whereby most Democrat lawmakers deceive their ilk into believing their devotion to the god(s) of their faiths are legitimate. In the process, the likes of Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama call on Christians to violate their faith, accepting, even embracing, abortion rights to the point of their direct compulsory participation as taxpayers. While social scientists often separate by definition the symbiosis of morality to a society’s (or individual) code of ethics, the evidence supporting this is quite contrary. There is a key difference between morality and amorality based on the adherence, or lack thereof, to a code of absolution. For instance, the major Abrahamic traditions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) differentiate right from wrong by the laws set forth in their respective scriptures, in how they are interpreted by denomination, and how religious leaders and theologians implement them. Yet pantheism, and most certainly atheism, extol entirely malleable approaches relative to general morality.

The earliest empires adopted legal codes whereby monarchs reigned by divine right. Egypt, Carthage, Hellenic and Hellenistic Greece, Rome and Persia were among the ancient examples in the Near East and Mediterranean coastlines conquering territories in the name of their gods. Upon subduing the people of the conquered territories, the victorious army normally resorted to forcing the subjugated citizens to prostrate before their god or face execution, a practice often attributed as early examples of political correctness reflecting what Mao Zedong contended that “Not to have a correct political point of view is like having no soul.” To successfully subjugate any people requires injecting a common cultural identity in order to revise its historic moral fabric.

crucifixion-of-st-peter
The Crucifixion of Peter by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, 1600.

Both the Judeo-Christian culture and secular Left’s rejection of their moral principles are historical byproducts of Western civilization. Judeo-Christian ethics have evolved organically for over 5,000 years. Tasked by Jesus nearly 2,000 years ago to spread the Gospel, his Apostles traveled far and wide to evangelize. The early Christians were persecuted by the Roman Empire, which perceived them as threats to their established order over Europe, northern Africa and Asia Minor. Peter, credited as the first pope, for instance, was crucified at the order of the emperor Nero, his cross inverted as he viewed himself unworthy to die in the same manner as Jesus. Legend has it his crucifixion was set at the site of the Clementine Chapel, with his remains interred below St. Peter’s Basilica. 

battle-of-the-milvian-bridge
The Battle of the Milvian Bridge, 28 October 312, by Louis De Caullery.
milvian-bridge
The Milvian Bridge in Rome.
constantine-the-great-bust
Colossal marble statue of Constantine the Great.

The conversion of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great to Christianity at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 313 AD is perhaps the most pivotal moment in the history of Western civilization. Christianity, in transitioning the Roman Empire into the age of papal supremacy, became the world’s most powerful religion. It is here where most secular left-wing polemics fallaciously personify political Christianity under the papacy to that of Christ in accordance to the Gospels, even blaming the bloody wars waged by the Church to somehow be decrees of Christ himself.

Christianity‘s first reformation arose following the Norman conquest of Southern Italy (then under East Roman rule, or the Byzantine Empire) during the 1040’s, resulting in the replacement of Greek bishops with Latin clergy and passionate debates over liturgical customs of clerical marriage, the bread consumed during the Eucharist, fasting and other practices. Upon Cardinal Humbert issuing the papal bull of excommunication to Eastern church leader Michael Cerularius, negotiations intensified between Rome and Constantinople throughout the final two decades of the 11th Century, whereupon Pope Urban II launched the Crusades in 1095. 

By the 13th Century, violent anti-Latin revolts accelerated the inevitable demise of the East Roman Empire beginning with the papal siege of Constantinople in 1204. Within 30 years, tensions reached critical mass, resulting in irreconcilable differences finalizing the Great Schism which remains in effect. The organic simmering of hostilities beginning with the excommunications of 1054, theological and liturgical differences in the discipline of divination combined with prejudice, misunderstanding, arrogance and foolishness over the resurgence of Arianism climaxed upon the near addition of “Son” to the Nicene Creed, with the Greeks protesting that this would marginalize the individual properties of God as three individual Persons. Further debates before the Council of Florence in 1439 and the sack of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks fifteen years later killed any pledged compromises as the new caliphate expanded well into the Balkan Peninsula.

martin-luther
Portrait of Martin Luther by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1528.

The most consequential of Christianity’s two reformations was triggered upon Martin Luther condemning the Holy See’s sale of indulgences in exchange for the promise of Heaven in his Ninety-Five Theses in 1515. Excommunicated for heresy before the Diet of Worms, the Lutheran revolution raged for over a century before concluding with the bloody Thirty Years War triggered upon the Austrian Habsburgs attempted imposition of Roman Catholicism on Bohemia’s Protestant population in 1618. The rise of the Westphalian order in 1648 through the Treaty of Münster was based on national and cultural identities designed to cripple the Holy See’s corruption and exploitation of the largely-illiterate peasants through biblical revisionism. Most importantly, the new order opened the door for the eventual settlement of North America with the establishment of Jamestown in 1607 as the English empire’s depot for the harvest and packaging of tobacco; and the 1620 settlement of Plymouth by the Pilgrims who, in seeking religious liberty, imprinted the most enduring cultural narrative in America.

persecution-of-the-church-during-french-revolution
Cartoon depicting the persecution of Catholic clergy in Revolutionary France.

Jean Jacques Rousseau’s assertion that “the key to the working of the political machine” is to legitimize the state’s “civil undertakings” under a binding social contract between a sovereign and its citizens that tacitly includes,… that whoever refuses to obey the general will shall be compelled to do so by the whole body… he will be forced to be free….” The founding father of left-wing politics applies the collectivist touch when describing how “this is the condition which, by giving each citizen to his country, secures him against all personal dependence.” In the process, the greatest threat to the left-wing Sovereign, according to Rousseau, is Christianity, specifically “the religion of man or Christianity — not the Christianity of to-day, but that of the Gospel, which is entirely different.” While crediting the Catholic Church and Europe’s monarchies to a point for applying the name of Jesus Christ to politically legitimize their rule, Rousseau genuinely feared “this holy, sublime, and real religion all men, being children of one God, recognise one another as brothers,” given “the society that unites them is not dissolved even at death,”  and thus the effect of taking them away from all earthly things… is contrary to the social spirit.” Rejecting the notion that “true Christians would form the most perfect society imaginable,” it cannot materialize as “a society of men,” but one “not of this world.” The world which Rousseau paints with a bleak brush would mean that each Christian “does his duty… with profound indifference to the good or ill success of his cares” as if “it matters little to him whether things go well or ill here on earth.” Whenever “the State is prosperous,” the true Christian avoids demonstrating pride for his country’s glory, fearing it might surpass God’s supremacy; or, “if the State is languishing,” he will bless the same hand of God “that is hard upon His people.” 

jean-jacques-rousseau
Portrait of Jean-Jacques Rousseau by Allan Ramsay

Denying “that Christian troops are excellent,” Rousseau cites “the Crusades,” which, in saluting their valor, noted “that, so far from being Christians, they were the priests’ soldiery, citizens of the Church… [who] fought for their spiritual country, which the Church had, somehow or other, made temporal.” It is here Rousseau suggests Roman Catholicism to be a continuity of its Roman pagan predecessor given the Christianity under the Gospel “offers up no national religion,” making “a holy war… impossible among [true] Christians.” The permeation of the Christianity of the Gospels into Roman culture, politics and military led to “the Cross” driving out “the eagle,” and thereafter, “Roman valour wholly disappeared.”

Rousseau’s most frightening point is in describing that while civil religion matters greatly to the Sovereign insofar as “to make [the individual] love his duty,” this tolerance only lasts so long as “the dogmas of that religion concern the State and its members,” in that “they have reference to morality and to the duties which he who professes….” Such a religion can only exist in this world, for, as the Sovereign has no authority in the other world,…  There is therefore a purely civil profession of faith of which the Sovereign should fix the articles, not exactly as religious dogmas, but as social sentiments without which a man cannot be a good citizen or a faithful subject.” Thus the Sovereign, or the State, “can banish from the State whoever does not believe them — it can banish him, not for impiety, but as an anti-social being, incapable of truly loving the laws and justice, and of sacrificing, at need, his life to his duty.” Hence, Rousseau’s most tyrannical prescription for “any one, after publicly recognising these dogmas, behaves as if he does not believe them” should “be punished by death” for having “committed the worst of all crimes, that of lying before the law.” The “intolerance” of the Christianity of the Gospels is “a part of the cults we have rejected.” “All dogmas,” he wrote, must be approved by the state, to be few, simple, and exactly worded, without explanation or commentary,” and must place at its forefront “the sanctity of the social contract and the laws” to be “its positive dogmas.” 

Amid differences and seeming moral divergences, the earliest settlers of British America sought a more perfect union with the understanding that “Human nature suffers irremediably from certain grave faults.” The thirteen colonies (minus Georgia) united to drive from the continent their British masters, resulting in the formation of the American miracle behind an unprecedented level of freedom which Russell Kirk asserts meant that “Man being imperfect, no perfect social order ever can be created.” As John Randolph of Roanoke, son-in-law of Thomas Jefferson, put it, “Providence moves slowly, but the devil always hurries.” The arrogance of left-wing ideologues and revolutionaries promising their partisans a boundless utopia free of religious morality time and again succeed in creating “a terrestrial hell” by killing Christians who subscribe to the “intolerance” of a “negative dogma”. As the amoral Left mobilizes for a final purge of the Christianity of the Gospels under a new form of totalitarianism, globalism, new alliances have formed similar to the animals and humans of George Orwell’s allegory, Animal Farm“The creatures outside,” horrified at Napoleon’s poker game with the once-slandered owner of Manor Farm, Mr. Jones, looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” With the global rise of Islamic jihad morally complementing the wounded Left’s persecution of Christians, Jews and political dissidents, evil today thrives “as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer — except, of course, for the pigs and the dogs.” 

 

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