Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.– 1 Corinthians 15: 51-52
More often than not the movie version of a novel is not as good as the original novel. But there are exceptions. Walt Disney’s movie Mary Poppins (1964) is better than the books, Disney’s Swiss Family Robinson (1960) is better than the book, and Disney’s retelling of the Pinocchio story (1940) is infinitely superior to the book. Are there other movies, outside of the Walt Disney canon, that are superior to the novel on which they were based? Yes, there are. John Ford’s The Searchers is superior to the novel of the same name. And John Ford’s How Green Was My Valley is superior to the novel. It is on the latter movie-novel that I want to dwell.
I first saw the movie How Green Was My Valley in my late teens. Later in my mid-twenties, I read the novel it was based on. I loved the movie, and I hated the book. Why? I loved the movie because Ford placed the emphasis on the Christian father of the family and left out the atheistic, existential rants of the author-narrator that permeated the book. In one telling incident in the book, the narrator informs us that Christ’s crucifixion can only have significance if Christ was not God, because if He was God His suffering on the cross was not real. Isn’t that the overlooked heresy of our age, the denial of the humanity of God? If God was truly God and truly man, wasn’t His suffering on the cross infinitely greater than ours? He could have stopped His suffering at any time, but He didn’t. Why didn’t He stop it? The mockers told Him to come down off the cross and they would believe. And that is precisely what Christ did not want. He did not want the fear and respect of sycophants who only bow down to power and might. He wanted the freely given love of men who believed in a God of charity and mercy.
To deny the humanity of Christ is to deny His divinity as well, because Christ is the God-Man; His humanity is an inseparable part of His divinity. Intellectuals such as Einstein, who were legion in the 20th century, said there were three categories of religion. The first category was that of the primitive religions of totem and superstition, the second was of the more ethical religions of monotheism, which still retained some elements of the primitive religions, and the third was the cosmic religion of exceptional men such as Einstein himself. But Einstein and his liberal brethren were wrong. Einstein’s ‘higher cosmic religion’ was in reality a return to the primitive religions of totem, superstition, and magic. And the tragedy of 20th and 21st century Christianity was and is that the churchmen, under the scientistic influence of men like Einstein, Shaw, and Teilhard de Chardin, blended Christianity with cosmic nature worship. And that blending of cosmic naturalism and Christianity made modern Christianity more compatible with Islam, Judaism, Liberalism, and all the nature religions than it did with the Christian faith of the antique Europeans. How could it be otherwise? Adherents of rationalized nature religions cannot understand the religion of the God-Man, because God-Manhood can only be understood by the poetic heart, it cannot be understood by the science/magic-oriented mind.
The men of Europe must come to see that their science-based culture is not an advance, it is a regression to the primitive religions of nature. The African witch doctor and the white scientist are one in spirit just as the Russian communist and the American capitalist are one in spirit. The capitalist can deliver more of the economic goods than the communist, just as the white scientist can more efficiently deal with natural diseases, but the white scientists and the black witch doctor are of the same nature/magic-based faith. All faiths, save one, are nature/magic-based faiths. Islam and Judaism are no different in kind from the more primitive type of snake-charmer religions.
Now we come to the ‘save one’ faith. The God-Manhood of Christ defies nature. Christ’s magic is not derived from nature. His magic is of the spirit; it consists of His divine humanity. The love that surpasses the understanding of the natural mind has been discarded by the scientized men and women of the 21st century. If love cannot be put in a scientized golden bowl, then it does not exist: That is the conclusion of our science/magic-based culture.
After over a century of listening to the Christian theologians’ new version of the naturalized Christianity, the Europeans have lost their filial love for their Lord and kinsmen. Is it possible we have forgotten what He did and what His God-Manhood means? Ponder, just for a moment, the faith that Christ had in His people. He came to His people, not as a conquering God of power and might, but as the suffering servant who was destined to face an ignominious death on the cross. How could a rational God expect a rational-minded people to accept a God who acted thus as their Savior? It was the bold, audacious act of a madman, it could not be the act of a God. Or could it? The bulk of mankind has told us that it was not the act of a God. Only one people, as a people, said that the Man on the cross was the Son of God. They believed in His God-Manhood. And because of their belief in His God-Manhood, they believed in themselves as a people. If He comes to us through His divine humanity, then it must mean we come to Him through our humanity. In the cosmic nature religion of the liberals, our stubborn fidelity to our kith and kin marks us as heretics, because nature is one, holy, and universal; it does not recognize the individual person who loves a particular people and a particular God that are not derivatives of nature.
The socialist hard left in the United States is currently at odds with the socialist ‘soft’ left; they differ in degree, not in kind. The hard left in Jacobin France wanted to kill Louis XVI immediately, while the more pragmatic left wanted to keep him around as a puppet king in order to give the people time to get used to the idea of the execution of their king and the destruction of Christian France. So it is with the disputes among the left in this country today. The hard left wants the death of everything white and Christian immediately, while the soft left wants to go a little slower. And in America there is no right-wing that wants to destroy the left, there are only the Republicans who want to go a little slower still than the soft left. Is there any elected official in any European country that has even suggested, let alone actually tried to act on that suggestion, that we criminalize liberalism and return to the faith-based cultures that existed in Europe prior to the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and the democratic revolutions of the mid-1800s? No, there isn’t.
We must see ourselves as in a perpetual state of war against the culture of democracy, even if it is called a Christian democracy, because at the core of democracy is Satan’s kingdom of eternal night. At first his sneering face is camouflaged in patriotic platitudes about the people and their freedoms, but once the people have been separated from the ‘Dream of the Rood’-culture of old Europe for a long period of time, the camouflage can be dispensed with and Satan can walk the streets of Europe undisguised. The German councilwoman who flat out told her co-legislators that Germany would be a Moslem country in twenty years represents the moral essence of the new Europe, the Satanic Europe, that must be opposed with our whole heart, mind, and soul. It’s not a pleasant thing to be in a constant state of war, but it is certainly better than being in a constant state of peace with the people who have eradicated our culture, blasphemed against our God, and seek the life-blood of our kith and kin. Of course if you believe that the antique Europeans were evil racists, that their God was a false God, and that there is no such thing as white pietas, then you will not make war against the liberals. You will play politics with them and try to get them to see that you have been redeemed — you are not racist like those hideous creatures from long ago.
Dostoevsky’s Underground Man said that a man lives his whole life to prove he is not a piano key. Hamlet told Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that he was not a mere recorder on which they could play in order to pluck out his mystery. The liberals, who have rejected the God-Man and made the man-god, the natural savage, their god, believe that a man can be played upon as if he were a piano key or a recorder. They, the magic-nature men, tell us that they have solved the mystery of man. Man is a glorious ape subject to the laws of the natural world. The God-Manhood of Christ is a myth, but the deified ape is a reality. But a post-Christian people will always retain some elements of Christianity; that is why all apes are not equal. The white apes are not equal to the colored apes because they are from the devil; and that is the contradiction at the heart of liberalism. How can white racists be from the devil if there is no spiritual significance connected to skin color and no such thing as the devil?
The pagan Greek philosophers went as far as the human mind could go by the contemplation of nature. And what was their verdict? Sophocles rendered the verdict in his masterpiece, Oedipus Rex: “Better not to have been born.” If we are mere products of the natural world, if that is our mystery, then it is better not to have been born, and Christians who believe in the God-Man who rose from the dead, “are of all men most miserable.” The modern European has forsaken his mysterious human relationships with his kith and kin and his relationship with the God-Man in order to find comfort with the nature gods – with the negro, with the natural pagan religions of Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism or an ecumenical combination of all the ‘natural’ religions. There is no real mystery to any of those religions. Just go to any graveyard and stare at a human skull, as Hamlet did. But what if there is a greater mystery in death than the liberals can conceive of? What if Christ is “the grave where buried love doth live”? What the philosophers could not conceive of in their contemplation of the natural world, that the God-Man would deliver mankind from the bondage of death through His death on the Holy Rood, was and is the true mystery of existence that our people, the people who loved much, bore witness to. We will be forever in the thralldom of nature worship if we do not seek the God-Man in and through our kith and kin. Christ’s humanity does not diminish His divinity, just as our connection to our kith and kin does not diminish our humanity; it deepens it and allows us to understand, in our hearts, the mystery of Christ’s God-Manhood. +