Lear. O, ho, are you there with me? No eyes in your head, nor no money in your purse? Your eyes are in a heavy case, your purse in a light; yet you see how this world goes.
Glou. I see it feelingly.
My best friend in junior high school and high school shared my hatred of school, and we also shared, as we advanced into our late teens, the existential angst of the modern age. We felt lost, just as those characters in the modern novels and movies, such as The Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner and Cool Hand Luke, felt lost. Let me dwell on Cool Hand Luke for a moment, because my friend Michael saw the movie a dozen times.
The movie is based on the true story of a man who escaped from a prison in Georgia, was captured again, escaped again, and then lived the rest of his life in freedom. Yet the people who made Cool Hand Luke chose to have the main character die at the end after making a plea for help to an unknown God who has forsaken him. The Man with No Eyes, the fearsome sharpshooter working as a guard, brings Cool Hand Luke down in an old abandoned church. Of course Luke had to die, forsaken by God and man, because that is the modern, Thomas Hardy vision of reality: “As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods – they kill us for their sport.”
My friend went one way after high school and I went another way. He progressed from existential angst to radical Jacobinism, living the Henry-Miller life in Paris, and embraced every radical cause he could find in order to anesthetize himself against the spiritual void of modernity. I went another way – I returned, not to the liberal, blended Christ of school and church, but to the Christ of old Europe. In that old Europe, I see a different ending for Cool Hand Luke. As the Man with No Eyes raises his rifle and has Luke in his sights, he suddenly sees before him someone other than Luke. He sees an image of Christ on the cross. He lowers his rifle, wipes his eyes, and takes aim again. But again, that image of Christ blurs his vision, and he puts down the rifle for good. As Luke is returned to prison, we hear the words from the hymn that a convict had been singing earlier in the film:
Through this world of toil and snares,
If I falter, Lord, who cares?
Who with me my burden shares?
None but thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.
When Luke leaves prison a few years later he leaves with the knowledge that Christ will indeed his burden share. “None but thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.”
The liberals are still proceeding according to the internal dynamic of liberalism — they are ‘progressing.’ But toward what are they progressing? They are progressing to the kingdom of their god on earth. It is a man-made progression, inspired by the devil, independent of and hostile to Christ. The white Europeans will never be welcome in the kingdom of god on earth, because the new god, the god of the liberals, is a savage, man-god spawned by the forces of progress, which were and are reason and science. That new man-forged god, the noble savage, is a jealous god who will not share his throne with Christ; hence, the people whose ancestors championed Christ must be destroyed. All the liberals’ talk about inclusion and diversity is a lie, framed and inspired by the father of lies. The new world will not be racially diverse, it will be a savage, barbaric world of colored heathens. A few whites might be kept around as computerized beasts of burden, but that is doubtful. The colored heathens have not shown any inclination in South Africa or Rhodesia to keep whites alive in order to maintain their kingdoms of hell on earth.
The 20th century was the first century in the Christian European people’s history when the belief in Christ’s resurrection from the dead entered the realm of the nursery school — it became a pleasant story like “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” but it no longer was seen as a reality. As a result the modern age gave birth to paintings in which the human personality was unrecognizable and to literature — “Rage, rage against the dying of the light” — in which modern man voiced his despair. That type of art and literature was seen as a progression from the ‘unrealistic’ art and literature of old Europe. Is that true? Is Picasso’s art more realistic than Rembrandt’s art, and is Joyce’s Ulysses more realistic than Scott’s Ivanhoe? It all depends on Christ’s resurrection from the dead. If He be not risen, then modern art and literature depicts reality. But what if Christ did rise from the dead on the third day? Then the antique Europeans’ art and literature is the ‘realistic’ art and literature, and modern art and literature is trash. And we should stop trying to turn the trash we call democracy into a civilization. Instead we must turn to the people who believed in Christ’s resurrection from the dead and build a realm based on their faith.
I once read a music critic’s commentary on the back of an album of Bach’s music in which he stated we need not share Bach’s faith in order to enjoy Bach’s music. Au contraire, we must share Bach’s faith in order to truly enjoy Bach’s music. If we do not believe that Christ rose from the dead, then Bach’s music only heightens our existential angst. We either weep because such a celestial vision is not true, or we ridicule Bach for his naiveté. That music critic represents the older conservative liberals who still want the fruits of a Christian civilization without the faith that built that civilization. Men cannot live with the existential angst of the avant-garde artists and the modern literati. They must either cling to the fruits of the older, Christ-centered Europe, like the music critic, or they must develop a new faith to replace the faith of the antique Europeans. Enter, stage left — the far left — the noble savage. He is the “rough beast” born in the liberals’ new Jerusalem, but he was not born in a stable in Bethlehem, he was born in the abstract minds of a people who left Christ for Satan. In the late sixties we saw the transition from the existential angst of “Christ be not risen, we are alone in the universe,” to “Christ was a fraud, we are now free to worship the trinity of reason, the noble savage, and science.”
In the aforementioned movie Cool Hand Luke, we can see the beginnings of the new 21st century religion of the modern Europeans. In one of Luke’s escapes he enlists the aid of two negro children. By this act he shows us that he is a really “cool hand.” How else can a white man be cool? In and of himself he is nothing, he must graft his soul onto the black man. By the 21st century the white Cool Hand Lukes disappear and the noble black savages replace them, just as Christ was replaced by the colored heathen when Christian missionaries stopped trying to convert the colored heathens and worshipped them instead.
Liberalism is built on man’s desire to avoid the cross of Christ. But the cross of Christ leads, according to the antique Europeans, to Christ’s resurrection from the dead. If we avoid the cross of Christ, we will not share in His resurrection. That is the obstacle Satan, the first liberal, had to overcome. He had to make us see Christianity as a crucifixion without the resurrection. And he has done it. The resurrection, according to Satan, is irrational and unscientific, so who would willingly embrace a religion that places the shadow of the cross over our ‘pleasures’ here on earth and cannot deliver the goods at the hour of our death? At least science, the new Holy Ghost, can anesthetize us as we pass into non-existence. It’s a horrible, nightmarish vision of reality, but Satan has managed to make that nightmare the new faith of the European people.
J. J. Pollitt, in his book Art and Experience in Classical Greece, points out that when the Greeks lost their faith in the gods, they had a period of existential angst, the golden era of Greek drama. However, that era metamorphosed into the era of vase painting, in which the Greeks showed an obsession with the trivial and superficial details of life. This is how it must be once a people has lost their faith. They cannot live with the “better not to have been born” vision of Sophocles’ Oedipus or the “rage, rage against the dying of the light” vision of Dylan Thomas. They will move on to a religion of triviality.
We have moved on to a religion of triviality. Karl Barth’s comment on the new religion as articulated by Feuerbach is on the mark: “We have heard Feuerbach speak, and we have heard something nauseatingly, disgustingly trivial.” To be content with the banality, the perversity, and the triviality of modernity is the greatest tragedy that can befall a people. Is there any remedy for such a tragedy? Yes, there is — the remedy that King Lear finds. His religion of triviality disappears when he sees life “feelingly.” Hearts that love will find Christ, they will embrace His cross, because they will know, through their love, that His cross leads to the resurrection.
In the early days of my marriage when I was struggling to keep my growing family financially solvent, I had a string of part-time and temporary jobs, one of which was teaching English literature. I had a student in one of my classes, of whom I became quite fond. He was a great reader, but his reading was of all modern authors. When he brought up his favorite authors in class, he was always frustrated when I spoke disparagingly of them. “Mr. _____, how can you say that?” he would indignantly ask, when I was dismissive of Stephen King and other such authors. In class and outside of class I took the trouble to show him the triviality of the modern authors, by exposing their lack of depth and by pointing out the inexhaustible depths of the antique European authors. A transformation took place. That young man saw, to paraphrase Hank Williams, “the light.” It so seldom happens, but it can happen. A man can leave the culture of Satan, the culture of triviality and perversity, and return to the culture of Christ crucified, Christ risen. But he must have a heart of flesh.
The vase painting culture of the Greeks in their declining years could not sustain them. They fell to the Romans who absorbed their culture of perversity and triviality and syncretized that culture, along with the Jewish culture, the mystery religions, and every other culture on the face of the earth, save one. The Roman system could not absorb the Christian faith, because Christ was and is the God above the syncretic religion of perversity and triviality. When Rome sought to absorb Christ, the European tribesmen resisted Rome in the name of Christ. We now have come full circle: The United States of America, with all Europe following in her train, has become the new Rome. All religions are welcome in the united republic of perversity and triviality, save that one religion: The religion of Christ crucified, Christ risen, as believed in and championed by the antique Europeans.
Can perversity and triviality sustain the European people? The Romans maintained their empire for centuries upon centuries. So who can say that the liberals’ modern Roman Empire cannot be sustained for many, many centuries to come? It certainly appears that the men and women of modern Europe are determined to go off the cliff with the swine. However, there is one crucial difference between the old Rome and the new Rome. The rulers of the old Roman Empire had to crush the new faith, the emerging Christian faith, while the rulers of the new Roman Empire must crush the old faith, the Christian faith of the European people. Will that make a difference? Will the European people claim their “rights of memory,” will they insist on bringing the Christ of old Europe into the new Europe? It doesn’t seem likely they will; they seem content to wallow in the pig slime of perversity and triviality. But Satan will not take any chances. He would rather destroy the entire white race than take a chance that even one European might invoke the memory of Christian Europe and sound a charge that will encourage other Europeans to strike back at the liberals’ kingdom of hell on earth. The European people will never be welcome in the liberals’ Rome. I claim my “rights of memory” in Old Europe. The European people who still have hearts of flesh will do likewise. As for the rest? They are no longer Europeans, they are the un-men, the servants of Satan. +