It’s an insane idea, but technically speaking, the penis is designed to only go into the vagina.
This “kid” is 16, and she’s had more depraved sex than probably all of her ancestors in the last several centuries. You know how people say “children are the future of our nation”? Teenagers shouldn’t count as children.
Okay, this is Australia, but it’s the same thing that happens in America. If someone my age makes gentle love to her and sincerely promises to be loyal forever, then he’s a pedophile and will have his teeth knocked out in prison and will then be banished from society. If a group of her peers tag-team her in the ass and cause permanent damage, then that’s all consensual and it’s okay because it’s only other children who are having sex with her.
That’s secular ethics right there. “Your daughter” is a reprobate whore who worships Taylor Swift, but we have to pretend she’s an innocent child because that’s what the rule book says “and that’s just the world we live in.” The only good thing about the gay rights movement is that they might reverse some of these insane age of consent laws, though I have a feeling they’ll still find a way to just make things worse for normal people as always.
When Trump first gave his comment about having giant hands, Karl Rove on Fox News was brimming with anger. “What if my someone’s 12 year old daughter was watching?” No one ever said the Bush administration was in touch with reality.
It’s frequently said that we need to import tens of millions of Aztecs because “they do the jobs Americans won’t do.” The elites kind of wink and nod that they won’t be allowed to vote, knowing they’ll have to wait a few more years before they can push that.
There is some truth to this claim, but not enough to diminish its status as a propaganda weapon divorced from reality. This statement has a second grade understanding of economics, as it doesn’t take into account how unrelated jobs are interconnected. However, let’s give it our full benefit of the doubt. There are two major ethical issues:
1) It’s encouraging laziness. We aren’t saying that (young white) Americans should decide to pick fruit or mow grass or clean hotel rooms. We’re saying that Americans should continue fucking off with video games and porn, waiting for that one perfect job that fulfill all your dreams and give meaning to your life. There’s a reason for the term “work ethic.”
2) We’re importing a slave class. It’s not that white people don’t want to clean hotel rooms — no one wants to clean hotel rooms. No one wants to work in a carpet mill or clean gutters or pick cotton. We used to have the blacks do it all for us, but then we gave them welfare in exchange for votes. So now we import the poor and desperate of Central America and tell them they can have a morsel of the American Dream if they do the worst work for the worst wages, and then we rationalize it with “they live and work in our communities just like you and me.”
In all the soap opera drama of the last few days, something small but hugely significant was manifested today. The Republican Party is fully, 100% behind Donald Trump. The troubles he had in the last two years getting his party to do what he asked are over. Trump is the carnival barker whipping the elephant into submission.
Lindsey Graham has said (correctly) that if the Republicans compromise on the wall, it will be the end of the party. He didn’t say this because he’s had an awakening and realized the Democrats are disingenuous. He said this because that’s the only way to secure his career. Make no mistake — he’s still the lonely old virgin cuck he always was. He’s just been beaten back into the kitchen by the firm hand of Papa Trump.
Keep in mind that compromise and allowing the political center to shift leftwards has been the core political strategy of the Republicans for decades. At least since Bush Sr, but probably longer.
Likewise, McConnell has been unequivocally siding with Trump on the shutdown, and Rubio tweeted old Hillary Rodham Clinton and B. Hussein Obama quotes about the need for a barrier on the border.
“We’re all behind the president. We think this border security issue is extremely important to the country,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters after the meeting.
Where are your NeverTrumpers now?
And this is what Trump promised. At the end of 2017 he said the spending bill he signed would be the last of its kind so they better not send one like it again. And then they did just exactly that and were shocked when he didn’t compromise and allow the political center to shift leftwards. This is his last chance to build the wall — it’s now or never.
After the 2016 election, there was a lot of speculation that Trump wouldn’t be able to control the Congress, and indeed they did a lot to hinder him. But that election he was too busy establishing his own legitimacy.
In 2018 he campaigned for a new Congress like no president before. He took credit for Flake’s retirement. Most of the congressmen who lost were the moderate traitors, and nearly all the candidates Father Trump campaigned for won.
I was optimistic that our beloved Caesar would move the Republican Party to the right and give them a measure of integrity, but I didn’t think it would flip so suddenly. Just three months ago Republicans were hesitant about his Supreme Court pick because the Democrats were screaming about abortion and rape, as though Republican voters care. The shutdown forced the moderates to pick a side, and they chose the side their voters are on.
After the meeting, the president said, “There was no discussion about anything other than solidarity.”
“The Republicans are totally unified,” he said, adding “there was no reason for me even to be there.”
Trump has said the shutdown could last for “months or even years” if he does not secure money for the wall.
Democrats use gestapo tactics, but the Don uses Godfather tactics. Every senate candidate he campaigned for ran a message of “I’ll do whatever Trump asks me to,” and they nearly all won. Romney tried to criticize Trump recently, and his own niece publically rebuked him for trying to subvert the GOP’s newfound momentum despite the House being in opposition.
We finally have a Republican Party united under a boorish paleoconservative who insists on winning. Recently the RNC released this ad in uncomfortably stark contrast to their position three years ago:
Maybe Trump isn’t the savior of America, but he’s certainly the savior of the Republican Party.
In a few days he’ll declare a national emergency and use some of the $100 billion in unallocated military funds to build the wall he actually wants instead of what the Democrats would have made him build (thereby putting them in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” position with their base). He will also end birthright citizenship and strip the anchor babies of their citizenship. The Democrats and activists will sue over both of these, where they will be upheld by the Supreme Court he just finished stacking. The birthright citizenship may have to wait until Ginsberg dies, because it’s just that important, but it’s as inevitable as a woman in labor giving birth.
Even if Trump doesn’t get the wall, it will eventually get built, because it’s too much a part of the political conversation now. The great irony is that if he does build it, he might not run for a second term. He will have fulfilled all his major promises, and I doubt he enjoys being president.
After the Augsburg Confession post, some people asked me to further explain Orthodox Christian monasticism. This is way off topic for this blog, and I’m not a monk, so I feel kind of uncomfortable writing this. I’ve been wanting to write something like this for a while, actually, but I don’t have a place to publish it, and I feel like it’s not my place to write it anyway.
So keep in mind that this isn’t authoritative or exhaustive. This is just my understanding. I’m writing this because the outsiders who read my blog asked for more of an explanation. In no way am I claiming to be an expert on monasticism. I am writing in a way that is easy for outsiders to understand, so it would be somewhat different than if I were writing to an Orthodox Christian audience. I am focusing more on the underlying worldview than on the practicalities. Some of the information might be slightly inaccurate. A lot of it will be redundant, since it is all closely interconnected. You guys asked for more about Orthodox Christianity, so here it is. Over 7,500 words.
A lot of this information is difficult to come by, and many monks and nuns never figure it out. Often the monastic Fathers will explain a principle but won’t explain why it exists. Perhaps this is because it was more obvious in a more spiritual-minded society, or maybe I just think out things further than most people do.
With any topic I’m always very careful about the language I use. Phrases like “We believe” or “The Church teaches” are heavier than a lot of people think who casually use them. Often you can make a good judgment against a modern issue based on the things the Church has taught in the past, but of course this doesn’t mean it’s official Church teaching.
For example, the science fiction genre (from Star Trek onward) really concerns me. Science fiction is generally about creating the perfect utopia on earth. It believes man can accomplish anything if he thinks hard enough. It is usually atheistic escapist fantasy for people who don’t want to deal with the real world, yet it also worships the world by seeking to create a perfect version of it. Sufferings are to be eliminated instead of used to build character.
One could make the argument that science fiction has a spirit of anti-Christ, and I think most Church Fathers would agree with me (Fr Seraphim Rose expressed concern over it in the 1970s), but of course I can’t say, “The Orthodox Church teaches that science fiction is demonic,” because there’s never been any kind of official statement.
It’s also worth noting that when “we” say the phrase “Church Fathers,” we don’t mean a certain time period. A Church Father can be from any century, though there’s an implication that the person has passed away and was probably some kind of monastic clergy. For example, one of the most relevant Church Fathers to us today is Metropolitan Avgoustinos Kantiotes of Phlorina. The way he described Greece in the 1960s as a withering fig tree sounds like America today. He died in 2010 at the age of 103. Few of his works have been translated into English, and probably none are widely circulated, but he gave permission that anyone can translate and distribute anything he wrote or said.
Keep in mind that the protestant notion of “getting saved” at a single defined moment of imputed righteousness isn’t found in Orthodox Christianity. Heaven and hell are existential realities that are an extension of how you live on earth. If you love God, you will go to heaven. If you don’t love God, you will go to hell. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” You cannot earn your way to heaven, but true faith is always expressed in consistently doing works, and the Bible says you will be judged by your works. So if you spend your life concerned primarily about your own feelings and desires, then you clearly don’t love God and would hate spending eternity basking in the Light of Christ.
I don’t have space to explain Orthodox Christian soteriology beyond that. If you disagree with it, that’s fine, but remember that everything I write below is in reference to it.
First we need to talk about some of the externals of Orthodox Christian monasticism. A lot of people have an image of a medieval castle with hundreds of monks in brown robes with a bald spot or nuns with the classic “penguin” dress and hijab. This is just television.
I don’t know much about Catholic monasticism. The more I find out, the more it confuses me. There is a variety of orders and genres, contemplative and active, professed nuns and simple nuns, etc. I’m not sure if “cloister” is a kind of column or a private space. “Religious” is used as a noun, and they “sing the office every day.” I don’t know what any of this means. Some of it I think I know what it means, but I’m probably wrong. As always, everything in Catholicism is confusing and complicated. So just forget it exists.
In Orthodox Christianity there are no orders or “rules” (as in, the rule of St Benedict, though the book is considered beneficial reading), and all monasticism follows the same guiding principles. How much community service they do depends on the geographic location, but monasteries are usually built somewhere rural where it’s quiet (whereas Catholic monasteries are often in cities). Male and female monasticism is essentially identical. Literature often refers to them all as “monks” or “monastics,” but there’s an implication that most of it is applicable to nuns. In Greek (and probably most languages), the same word is used for both monks and nuns (μονᾰχός — “monakhos”).
The only real difference between monks and nuns is that only men can be ordained, which can cause some logistical problems, since often women’s monasteries have trouble securing a full-time priest. Beyond that, often men and women have different temperaments, which will create a different rhythm between a men’s community and a women’s. Nuns also have an extra layer of clothing around their heads for modesty.
To my understanding there is no Orthodox Christian equivalent of the Western term “habit” for the total set of clothing, but most monastics wear the same design set, though as always there are minor regional variations. Greek Wikipedia calls the habit Τα μοναχικά ενδύματα (“endymata,” which is plural), so maybe that’s something. Each article of clothing has a special meaning to remind the wearer of his commitment.
There is the unique exception of St Elizabeth the New Martyr. She was the widow of a Russian grand duke. She established a monastic community in Moscow to tend to the needs of the poor, and her community was given a special blessing to wear a different habit. Even though she sacrificed all of her wealth to take care of society’s most marginalized, the atheist Jew socialists threw her down a mine shaft in 1918. You know, for equality and love and stuff.
Sometimes monasteries are very old or have hundreds of people, but it seems the target size for a community is about a dozen monks or nuns. Any larger than that and it’s difficult to have a sense of community. Monasteries can be in old castles, but often it’s just a collection of buildings. One monastery I visited was just a renovated house on a hill. Another had a double wide trailer for the nun, another double wide trailer for a guest house, and a small church. The idea of nuns being behind a special wall goes back to Renaissance Venice, so there’s no equivalent in Orthodox monasticism, though visitors aren’t allowed in monastics’ cells. Some monasteries don’t allow visitors in the library. Regional variations are abundant.
The head of a monastic community is called a “geronda,” “hegumen,” “igumen” or “archimandrite.” These have subtle differences between them, but they all follow the same mentoring role. Often in English-speaking countries the Catholic term “abbot” is used, which isn’t wrong but feels kind of hokey to me.
To become a monk, you undergo a sacrament called monastic tonsure, which can only be administered by a monastic priest or a bishop. How and when this is administered will vary by region and individual (and century), but generally you wait six years. There is usually a middle stage of tonsure (which isn’t fully binding) after three years before you undergo full tonsure, but I’m glossing over that because it was a later development and it’s often skipped. The word “tonsure” refers to cutting a little of the person’s hair in a cross form. At this time they receive a garment called the schema, which is tied to taking their vows. In some regions there is a second level of schema, but this seems like it’s just a formality.
You cannot merely choose to take tonsure. You must receive permission to take it. Monastic tonsure is granted to you.
In the Catholic Church, when you take your vows, you swear to the Church, and therefore the Church can release you from your vows. Therefore it’s not uncommon to meet someone in the Catholic Church who claims to be a former nun.
In the Orthodox Church, when you take your vows, you swear to God and are sealed in forever. The Church does not have the authority to release you from your vows. If you later decide this was a bad decision that isn’t right for you, then too bad. You made a commitment, and God will expect you to hold to it. Of course God will forgive anyone who repents of their sins, so do not despair if you fall, but you made the decision to accept this heavier morality and therefore will be expected to return to the monastic life. Ultimately it is only to God that you will have to answer for anything you failed to do, not the Church. If the monastic life is truly caustic to you and you can’t stay in it anymore, then at the least you have to remain celibate and be generous with your possessions.
Tonsure is generally done in the context of the monastery, but sometimes tonsure is performed on celibate clergy with the implication that they will lead a monastic-ish life outside the monastery. Sometimes this works very well, and sometimes it’s just a formality. The fourth canon of the Council of Chalcedon forbids monks from being active in parish life, but it seems somewhat unavoidable, so I think the real purpose of the canon is just telling people to take tonsure seriously and not use it as a credential.
As you probably know, most Orthodox priests are married with children. Bishops are celibate and often taken from the monastic rank. This puts a cap on priests’ ambition, since they can only rise so far.
Okay, to review, you become a monk or a nun by undergoing a special ceremony called “monastic tonsure.” This is sort of like an ordination, and it isn’t necessarily tied to any monastery. Most Orthodox Christian monasticism follows the same guidelines, and therefore there are no orders or special distinctions. There is no difference between male and female monasticism except that only men can be ordained. Once you become a monk or a nun, you are forever sealed into the special covenant you have made with God, but generally there is a long waiting period to make sure you know what you are entering into. A monastery is a collections of buildings with practical concerns, and therefore there are usually few or no superfluous ornamentations.
“I am a miserable protestant who wants to become a monk, but I could never believe in Catholicism. How do I become an Orthodox monk?”
Hang on, Sloopy. This isn’t career day. I’m just explaining the general patterns of how things work. Your first step is to talk to an actual Orthodox priest. You can find one here.
The Implications of Celibacy
The Protestant Reformation should have worked. You should be able to read the Bible at face value and come up with something very similar to Orthodox Christianity. All of Orthodox Christian doctrine and practice has at least a shadow in the Bible.
St Paul says several things about the single person being better able to serve God because his interests are not divided. The standard protestant explanation is that this means you should cherish the time before you get married so that you can better serve God, which usually translates into more time to watch television and spend money on useless trinkets. I even met someone with a PhD in Biblical Studies with a sub-specialty in Singles Ministry, which is insane, because the Bible has nothing to say for people who are single who want to get married except “get married soon.”
What St Paul is talking about is clearly a commitment. He particularly references himself, and of course he had no desire to get married (though some people think he was a widower).
Jesus said about celibacy, “Not all can accept this but to whom it is given.” Therefore celibacy is a spiritual gift. And so it is God who makes you a celibate.
But God doesn’t make you a celibate so that you can have more time to watch television and more money to spend on clothes. You are a celibate so that you can give God your undivided attention, and so the celibate life involves far more than just not having sex. Therefore I would make the argument that all celibate clergy are required to have some element of the monastic life beyond merely not having sex (something which many non-monastic celibate clergy would strongly disagree with).
After all, the correct purpose in having money is to provide for your family. This is basic red pill, yes? Women like high-earning men because their animal brain translates that into resources to protect and nourish their children. Women don’t have sex with hobos.
Well, if you aren’t going to have a family, what good is money? Do you really need to install beautiful hardwood floors if you decided to give God your undivided attention? No, of course not.
We see that St Paul was a wandering tentmaker without a fixed home. He didn’t collect church donations to build a nice house. He totally dedicated himself to teaching the gospel. All he ever cared about was other people. He even refused to take more money than he needed.
So the monastic vow of poverty is the natural implication and logical extension of what the Bible teaches about celibacy.
And if all you care about is giving God your undivided attention, that also means as little attention as possible goes to what you want. For now on all you care about is the word “should.” The word “want” is irrelevant to you. Your life is dedicated to conquering your will. It takes all your will to give up your will, so only by divorcing yourself from your desires are you able to follow without conflict what God asks of you.
Rick Warren said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.” It is when you are able to think of yourself less that you are able to think of others more, and so through this humility you learn patience, endurance and love.
Look at that, all your Christian virtues neatly tied together under the principle of giving up your will. It is for this reason that the Church generally encourages people to either be married or monastic but not to just be alone. In marriage, this is achieved from having to consider the needs of your spouse and children. The purpose of marriage is to make you holy, not happy.
Again, this is basic red pill. Single people (especially young women without children) spend money on iPhones, Starbucks and Ugg boots. People with children spend money on car seats and frozen lasagnas. Therefore the big corporations encourage birth control and delayed marriage, and even then marriage is just a means to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a single day.
In monasticism you live in a community and take a vow of obedience. Technically this means you promise to always do what your superior says (though he can’t command you to do anything immoral). But more broadly it is about giving up your will. You’re promising that for the rest of your life you will never take into consideration what you prefer but will always try to remain volitionless. And if you are a monk who doesn’t have a superior (like if you are a bishop or an abbot), you can still follow the general principle of this vow.
Celibacy is about much more than not having sex. Celibacy is about being detached from the world and from your own desires so that you can focus solely on God. Therefore the vow of obedience is indispensable from committed celibacy.
It is for this reason that monks aren’t supposed to have any preference as to what chore they do. If the head of the community tells you to go be a missionary in Zimbabwe, you pick up your cross and go. If there’s a near certain chance you’ll be stoned with rocks as soon as you get off the boat, then so be it.
There is also a fourth vow of stability, which means you promise to persevere and stay loyal to your community. It’s kind of vague and is open to loose interpretation, but I think its purpose is to tie everything together.
But don’t get hung up on vows. It’s not about vows. The early monks took no vows and had no tonsure. They just showed up and were expected to not look back. The vows are just an externalization of the principles, because humans need external symbols to lead them into the internal transformation. If you were truly monastic in spirit, you wouldn’t care how long it takes you to take monastic tonsure.
Don’t think of these as vows. It’s more like a commitment or a covenant you make with God. Like the Nazirites in the Old Testament. The text of the ceremony makes almost no mention of celibacy, because it’s not about sacrificing your rights. The focus is on entering into a deeper level of repentance.
“Are there other applications of celibacy that aren’t part of the four vows?”
It’s not a vow, but one core concept of monasticism is total apathy to pop culture. If you’ve decided to give God your undivided attention, then you shouldn’t be following the latest movie or music group. It doesn’t matter what enjoyable things the world offers, because all you care about is what the world doesn’t offer, and the only thing that the world doesn’t offer is the righteousness that only God can provide.
Another concept is not drawing attention to yourself. It is for this reason that monastics will often avoid joke-telling or laughter. It seems totally bizarre the first time you read that a monk shouldn’t laugh.
Every time you tell a joke, you’re trying to get people to like you based on entertaining them instead of your character traits. This isn’t necessarily bad, but if you’re going to totally devote your life to God, then you shouldn’t be seeking the affirmation of other people. You should be totally apathetic to whether or not other people like you.
This isn’t to say that laughter is a sin to monastics. Only that it should be done sparingly. Laughing causes you to lose self-control, and monasticism is all about sobriety. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober and vigilant, because your adversary the Devil walks around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.” So if you are constantly losing your sobriety due to laughter, then you are easy prey for the demons.
There is also a prohibition of sorts on having friends. This one took me a long time to figure out, and I’m still not totally sure. I think it’s about getting attached to people. When you are attached to people, you can’t be objective. This isn’t to say that you should be emotionless like Spock. What it’s saying is that you shouldn’t be seeking the affirmation of other people. In general monastics only talk about their personal history and inner thoughts on a need-to-know basis.
The monk will spend some five or six hours a day in church going through the cycle of liturgical services. Catholics and Anglicans call this “the daily office,” though I’m not sure how much it equivalates. When the monk is not in church, he generally tries to occupy his mind with saying short repetitive prayers. This is about taming the wildness of your thoughts and giving them a positive direction. It’s not “vain repetition,” because it’s not vain.
A monk isn’t supposed to daydream. When you daydream, you tell yourself a story that is usually very narcissistic. You are the hero in your story, and everyone loves you. Daydreaming is a horrible vice that I’ve worked very hard on in the last several years. To quote The Everly Brothers,
“I can make you mine, taste your lips of wine
Anytime night or day.
Only trouble is, gee whiz,
I’m dreaming my life away.”
But you can’t just empty your thoughts without filling them with something positive. Merely cast out one devil, and seven more will take its place. So the monk will replenish his thoughts with either Psalm verses, Church hymns, or a variation on the cry of the publican. Again, all this is about staying sober and vigilant.
Monks generally aren’t talkative, because the voice of God is only in the whisper. Ideally their only topic of conversation beyond mundane planning is Church things. Usually when you talk about an institution, you talk about what’s wrong with it. People complain about public schools more than talk about how lucky kids are to sit still for seven hours and eat prison food. Even when you say something good about schools (or a political party, etc.), it’s in reference to how much worse another situation or group is. That’s well and good for politics and social institutions, but it gets into gossip and slander when dealing with the Church, and it focuses on things wrong with the world, whereas a monk is only supposed to focus on how he himself can serve God.
“Yeah, but why bother with all that if you don’t have to? You can be saved without living this burdensome life.”
The rich young ruler comes to Jesus and asks what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus tells him to keep the commandments, and the young man says he already has. Jesus doesn’t disagree. The young man, realizing doing the minimum isn’t enough, asks what more he lacks. Jesus says, “If you want to be perfect, sell everything you own and follow me.” [Note: Different gospel books give a slightly different story.]
There is a stage of perfection beyond following the commandments. Keeping the rules is just the minimum, and God will accept that if it’s done with the right heart, but some people want to do more than the lowest common denominator anyway. Some people want to be perfect, and the only way to achieve that is to totally reject what the world offers for happiness. If you want to be perfect, then the only thing you are supposed to care about is serving Christ.
Again, in the tonsure ceremony there is very little mention of celibacy. It’s almost just an afterthought. The focus is on living out the gospel to the fullest. This is often compared to how the angels live. The purpose of monasticism isn’t to give up sex — the purpose is to give God your undivided energy. Most monks and nuns don’t think about all the sex they aren’t having (though some are tempted with lust for several years).
Your sex drive is like a rash. You think you need to scratch it because it itches, but that just agitates it more. If you resist scratching the rash, eventually it will go away. If you leave your penis alone, your penis will leave you alone. Once you accept the notion that you will never have sex, you move past it, and it’s like it never existed in the first place.
This question will be answered more fully in the next section.
To review, the only way to achieve Christian virtue is by learning to not focus on yourself. This is normally achieved in two ways: either marriage or monasticism. Both marriage and monasticism involve living in community and sacrificing your autonomy. God grants celibacy as a spiritual gift, so you shouldn’t waste it by spending more time and money entertaining yourself. The purpose of celibacy is to give God the totality of your energy. Therefore, the vows of poverty, obedience and stability are the natural implications of committed celibacy, which is a practice heartily encouraged by both Jesus Christ and St Paul.
Do you see how all of this is very Biblical?
“Are saying this from experience? Are you a virgin, Blair?”
Don’t get off topic. I’m just explaining how things work. None of this should be construed as either personal experience or lack of personal experience. I’ve written on and on about how the gay lifestyle is self-hating hedonism, but that doesn’t mean I’ve spent my weekends bugchasing. I try to know something about every topic.
The Two Main Protestant Objections
Some protestants are sympathetic to monasticism, but most seem to think it’s silly or a waste of life. I hear two primary criticisms.
1) “It’s sad that they think they have to live that way.”
Protestantism is a reaction to Catholicism, so this is somewhat understandable. In Catholicism celibacy is a bureaucratic requirement. In the old ordination ceremony (technically to the subdeaconate), there was a strong warning to turn back now or forever accept the heavy burden of sexlessness.
But as I said, celibacy should be about much more than not having sex. Celibacy is a total renunciation of your desires.
In Orthodox Christianity (at least in theory), you become a celibate because you love Jesus and want to totally devote your life to Him. You see the worthlessness of what the world offers, and you desire to skip ahead to the next life.
As the old protestant song goes,
“When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the King of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride.”
Not everyone wants to spend their life playing video games. Not everyone wants to care about politics. Not everyone can tolerate working a meaningless job for a mere paycheck just so they can pay bills.
In the monastery everything has a purpose. The most menial, boring task is about furthering the Kingdom of God. If a monk spends four weeks picking weeds, at least he is beautifying the space where he lives and prays. Is that really to be pitied? You pack boxes in a warehouse, yet you claim the monk is wasting his life just because he hasn’t played Red Dead Redemption 2?
A monastic vocation is kind of like a stamp that God puts on your soul. Whatever happens, you can’t get away from it. You will never be happy or satisfied until you join the monastery. It will be like a constant itch you can’t reach.
Sex isn’t a sin (if in the right context), but it is by nature animalistic. Sex involves giving up your control and giving into your animal nature. It is the opposite of being sober-minded. Monasticism is about taking full control of your will and making a careful judgment about everything you do.
Sex also involves gluing yourself to another person. Again, this is wonderful in the right context, but some people wish to only be glued to God. Is that a disorder?
Jesus lived His whole life without ever having sex. Do you pity Jesus? Did Jesus fail to live a full life? Did He waste His time on earth?
I think the protestant sympathy for the monk is rooted mostly in his (the protestant’s) inability to imagine life without sex. Protestants are obsessed with sex. The young man prays that the rapture won’t happen until he graduates college and gets married so that he can finally experience sex. The protestant wants to get married not so that he can share his life with someone who will encourage him to be a better Christian and create a family together but so that he can finally have sex.
And so he cannot possibly imagine why anyone would choose to give up sex, especially if the other person hasn’t experienced it yet. There must be something wrong with the monk. If you are allowed to have sex, why wouldn’t you take advantage of the opportunity?
Protestants have a minimum-threshold morality (much like their Catholic forebearers), and therefore they assume everyone else must as well. If the Orthodox Christian chooses the celibate life, it must be because the Orthodox Christian believes that it is part of doing the minimum.
Not helpful in this misunderstanding is how the Orthodox define words differently, so if you ask a monk why he chose to be a monk and he says, “So that I can be saved,” keep in mind that he means something broader than you probably think he means.
2) “Monasticism is wrong because it doesn’t evangelize people.”
This gets into a fundamental difference in what is the purpose of the Christian life. This is arguably the foundational difference between protestantism and Orthodox Christianity from which everything else flows.
In protestantism the primary purpose of life is to get other people saved. Once you are saved, you are locked in. The reason God doesn’t take you to heaven as soon as you get saved is so that you can get other people saved. Church on Sunday morning has become all about convincing people to get saved, so the sermon is simple and there’s always a gospel pitch at the end. Despite all the protestants say about “the precious blood,” they do almost nothing for Good Friday, because they know that people will only go to church on Sunday.
Yes, I realize that not all protestants believe this to the extreme a lot of us grew up in.
Sometimes people are baffled at how evangelicals will start arguing religion with the person behind the deli counter, but this is the natural extension of their beliefs. If you think people might go to hell if you don’t tell them about Jesus, wouldn’t you tell everyone you ever meet? Wouldn’t you err on the side of being kind of rude, just to make sure someone doesn’t accidentally go to hell?
Therefore, according to evangelical Christianity, the monk cannot be a righteous person, because he does not try to get other people saved. He selfishly hoards all his time to spend on vain contemplation.
However, in Orthodox Christianity the primary purpose of life is to become a righteous person. Sin isn’t merely doing bad things. Sin is the various bad motivations you still harbor within you (called “passions”). Even if you don’t act on these motivations, that you still have them shows that you are not yet a righteous person. So you can still be a sinful person even if you aren’t actively sinning. And of course the more righteous you become, the more you realize how thick your sinful motivations are.
The monastic life is about culling away these as much as possible, by the method of volitionlessness I explained above. The more righteous you are, the more light you shine. The more light you shine, the more the darkness of the world is exposed. The more the darkness of the world is exposed, the more people will choose to embrace the light. People who are thirsty for Christ are drawn to the light of Christ, and if you truly shine that light, then you will attract people no matter how much you want to be left alone. Truth-seekers are drawn to light like a fly.
Therefore, the best way to evangelize others is to become the most righteous person possible. But even then the primary purpose of Christianity is not evangelizing. The primary purpose is to do away with your sinful motivations, and monasticism gives you the opportunity to dig out more of the mud.
To review, the purpose of monasticism is to become a righteous person. Sanctification — and not evangelism — is the primary purpose of the Christian life, yet your evangelism will multiply exponentially the more sanctified you become, and therefore monasticism is the best way to fulfill both purposes. People become monks and nuns because they want to maximize their sanctification and spend their finite time wisely, not because they believe they have to earn salvation. Christianity is not about doing the bare minimum.
The Manifestation of Monasticism
When people encounter the man of integrity, they show themselves to be who they really are. Look at how the media and political class have reacted to Donald Trump. He merely came along and said some truths we were all thinking and that many of them have said before, and the media committed suicide in reaction. The activists, Democrats, and many Republicans have broken into never-ending hysterics. They have shown themselves to be the fragile, hateful, arrogant, dishonest, subversive creatures they always were, and the American people have responded by demanding a new class of leadership.
Likewise, when Jesus Christ encountered the Pharisees, He pointed out some double standards and shallow morality they had. Their response was to pitch a fit in public. At first they just tried to humiliate Him by asking difficult questions, but He always answered these like a champ and turned the question back onto them. Finally they quit arguing with Him and began plotting His murder. It culminated with the religious leaders of the Jewish nation claiming, “We have no king but Caesar” — that is to say, “We don’t want the covenant if it means this Man is the Messiah.” You can see the effects this has today on the Jewish people.
Monasticism will not make you the man of integrity. All it will do is give you the opportunity to become the man of integrity. But it also gives you a greater opportunity to go to hell. The more opportunity you have to become righteous, the more strictly God will judge you. Maybe the hypothetical “good man on the Ganges river” never had the opportunity to hear the gospel, and maybe your common working American was too tired from the workweek to wake up early on Sunday, but the Orthodox Christian monk or nun has no excuse. If you spend your life in the monastery and do not take advantage of the opportunity to become a righteous person, then you will go to hell.
The more inherently good something is, the more easily it is misused. Therefore monasticism is very easy to do wrong. You have a very intensive spiritual environment. The abbot bears a lot of responsibility and must be very careful how he manages things. While the abbot himself is not strictly under obedience to an elder, he must embody the trait of volitionlessness more than anyone else. If he is not totally selfless and totally committed to doing whatever is best for those under his care, he can cause a massive amount of destruction in a short amount of time before he even realizes it. This requires an advanced stage of emotional maturity that is very rare in our society.
For this reason you should absolutely not try monasticism at home. You cannot get a group of your friends together and create your own monastery. This requires years of preparation living under someone else who himself spent years living in a monastery. If you try to start a monastery from scratch based on all the books you have read, you will only hurt yourself and others. So no, protestants, I am absolutely not encouraging you to start a monastery.
But the good news is that even if you have a terrible abbot, you can use that suffering to learn patience, which in turn will teach you humility, which in turn will teach you love. “Count it all joy.”
Ultimately you get as much of God as you want. The only thing holding you back is yourself. Anyone can be a saint if they choose to be. Unfortunately, many (arguably most) monks get caught up in petty pride, obsessing over how special they are for all they’ve sacrificed. There is a sea change involved in putting away the American mindset, but most people think the Christian life is just refraining from certain bad things and being a little nicer to others. Refusing to examine your own corrupt heart will only dig you deeper into the mud. Many monks become resentful of anyone who isn’t impressed with them or who just seems like a kinder, more humble person. They have an entirely external morality about prayers and formalities, but they never cultivated the quiet person in the heart. They become the Pharisees they spend their lives studying to not become.
The voice of God only manifests in the whisper. It isn’t in the tornado or the fire. Only in the quietness does God work. Even if it’s not a literal voice. So it’s very important that a monastery is a relatively quiet place. This is another reason monks usually aren’t talkative. If you visit a monastery and it’s a loud place, even by necessity, you should be cautious.
People often think that if you become a monk, you must have been a loser who can’t deal with women. This is probably occasionally true, but mostly it says more about the person’s own carnality.
If you are a loser with women, you are probably a loser in other aspects of life too. When the time comes for difficult introspection and painful attitude changes, you run away to the endless buffet of distractions our society offers: television, video games, porn, drugs, alcohol, shopping, sex, etc.
Monasticism is all about difficult introspection and painful attitude changes. So if you suck at women, you probably would run away from the monastery after a few months. If you have a good abbot, he will try to discern if you want to become a monk for a bad reason instead of just accepting whatever able-bodied young man comes along. There are maybe a few exceptions, but generally speaking, not being able to find a wife is a very bad reason to join a monastery.
Some monasteries in this country function like Disneyworld. You go there to have a good time (particularly as a layperson who will leave a nice donation). The monks are friendly. The food is delicious. The choir is perfect. Perhaps the abbot has a blog he constantly writes, and he has all kinds of deep insights you are impressed with. People leave and say they really like the place. They tell their friends.
This is all wrong. You aren’t supposed to like the monastery. It’s not supposed to be painful or dreary, but neither are you supposed to leave thinking about all the fun you had and all the friends you made. Be very suspicious of any monastery that seems fun.
Any monk or nun who spends time on the internet trying to get attention from strangers — particularly through podcasts, blogs, and social media — is a whore. As I keep saying, celibacy is about more than not having sex, and a monk should only be trying to get affirmation from God. I especially find the concept of a comments section disturbing, as you can filter it so that only people who heap praise on you are allowed to comment. [On this blog, I only delete comments that seem like they are trolling, insulting or are from hysterical leftists, but otherwise I let people disagree with me all they want. And of course I’m not a monk.]
So don’t trust any monastery where the abbot spends a lot of time on the internet. It’s not wrong for a monk to occasionally visit the Facebook or update a blog (if the comments section is turned off), but a constant attention to creating an internet brand is a red flag. If nothing else, it distracts him from the monastic community he is supposed to be taking care of.
Remember, just because someone is a monk does not mean he is a righteous person. It does not mean he spent his life wisely. It does not mean he has a lot of valuable information to pass on. It only means he was given the opportunity.
The great irony in people seeking the admiration of others is that people are especially drawn to those who are actually not seeking others’ admiration. [Again, there are certain red pill parallels.] If you build it, they will come. You can only successfully manage other people’s spiritual lives when you are totally apathetic to their approval. The great saints of the Church were somewhat annoyed with all the people seeking their wisdom, but they bore the burden patiently and attended to others’ needs.
Likewise, you are only granted the ability to work miracles when you would be totally unimpressed and unsurprised by it, as though it’s boring and predictable and maybe just a little annoying. If working a miracle would make you think, “That’s cool,” then God will not grant you the ability to work miracles. You should not desire the ability to work miracles, and a miracle-worker would never casually tell others about his gift. This is a major difference with the Pentecostals, who brag about their supposed abilities.
The monastic life is not about mentoring others. It is about being focused on your own flaws. Other people in the Church have the vocation of preaching. Occasionally a monk may have this vocation, especially if he is a bishop or a missionary, but generally your job in life is to focus on culling away your own sins and not judging others.
“What does the Bible mean by ‘judging’ anyway?”
I haven’t figured that one out yet. I’m pretty sure it’s not the same thing as discerning.
To review, don’t be a whore.
No, I’m kidding. The real summary is that just because something can be used for a great good doesn’t mean that it is only used for a great good. Ultimately, monasticism is something that should be taken seriously. It’s not summer camp. It’s not a fraternity. It’s not a retirement home. It is hard work. It is the narrowest of all narrow ways, and the only reward you might receive is unquantifiable righteousness. Generally speaking, the more virtuous of a person you are, the more you will be disliked, so if most people think you are a good person, then you’ve probably done something horribly wrong.
This is the great divide between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Man. Those in the Kingdom of God only care about Truth at any cost. They totally submit to whatever they believe is right, no matter how inconvenient. Those in the Kingdom of Man rationalize Truth to fit what they want. Truth is only good so long as it doesn’t cost you too much. A church in the Kingdom of God tells you that television is the household idol. A church in the Kingdom of Man tells you that God wants you to have good self-esteem.
David Koechner, in the bonus features of the Thank You For Smoking DVD, said, “From the time you wake up in the morning, everyone is spinning. I think it’s part of what’s happened in this country, is ‘Where’s the truth?’ And now people are willing to accept no truth or a substitute for truth.”
While most of us do not have a monastic vocation, all of us have an obligation to choose the Kingdom of God. The Christian life is exactly about culling away your sinful desires and becoming a selfless, humble, patient, emotionally mature person. Most of us are to achieve that through marriage and children, some of us are to achieve it through communal monasticism, and perhaps a few of us are to find a third way. Ultimately you are on this planet to make a decision every day which Kingdom you are going to live in, and whatever you decide now will echo into eternity. So take it seriously.
At this insistence of a friend, I have read the Augsburg Confession, which is the primary statement of principles for the Lutheran tradition.
Note: I don’t speak for the Orthodox Church. This is just my thoughts.
Lutheranism is often a kind of unintentional stepping stone to Orthodox Christianity. A lot of people like the idea of a liturgical, authoritative Church but can’t accept the Catholic and Orthodox teachings on saints and can’t take the Anglicans seriously. They try Lutheranism, but after a few years they understand that it cannot have the authority it claims.
For all I heard growing up Baptist about how amazing Luther is and that we can totally do soft rock worship because Luther used bar songs, I really don’t know much about the Lutheran tradition. It seems to have developed outside the normal Calvinism-Arminianism spectrum. I know Luther was very much not a Southern Baptist.
Anyway, my thoughts on the Augsburg Confession. What I’m going to say is boring, rote apologetics, so it isn’t going to be one of my favorite essays. This isn’t intended to be a thorough treatment on the topic, and I really don’t expect you to read this.
I’ll also say that the Reformation was inevitable. Catholicism was at a breaking point. Most of the Reformers’ complaints were legitimate. All Luther did was give people a little push, but by no means was he the mastermind. Catholics think that if they can prove Luther was some kind of sex pervert, then they can undo the whole Reformation and everyone will confession one Lord our Pope.
In some sense, the Orthodox Church accepts all five “sola”s of the Reformation.
Article 1: Of God
Our Churches, with common consent, do teach that the decree of the Council of Nicaea concerning the Unity of the Divine Essence and concerning the Three Persons, is true and to be believed without any doubting; 2] that is to say, there is one Divine Essence which is called and which is God: eternal, without body, without parts, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness, the Maker and Preserver of all things, visible and invisible; and 3] yet there are three Persons, of the same essence and power, who also are coeternal, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. And the term “person” 4] they use as the Fathers have used it, to signify, not a part or quality in another, but that which subsists of itself.
So they give full weight to Nicea, which standardized the the doctrine of the Trinity. All well and good, but those bishops at Nicea believed and practiced things that the reformers considered demonic. Namely, most of them were probably monks, and they prayed to saints and venerated icons.
St Basil wrote,
According to the blameless faith of the Christians which we have obtained from God, I confess and agree that I believe in one God the Father Almighty; God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost; I adore and worship one God, the Three. I confess to the oeconomy of the Son in the flesh, and that the holy Mary, who gave birth to Him according to the flesh, was Mother of God. I acknowledge also the holy apostles, prophets, and martyrs; and I invoke them to supplication to God, that through them, that is, through their mediation, the merciful God may be propitious to me, and that a ransom may be made and given me for my sins. Wherefore also I honour and kiss the features of their images, inasmuch as they have been handed down from the holy apostles, and are not forbidden, but are in all our churches.
Clearly this was not a new practice.
Basil wasn’t at Nicea, but he was influential in its aftermath and was commended by Athanasius, who was at Nicea. More quotes can be found at this link. And of course, he was a monk, like most bishops at the time.
So the Lutherans not only accept what the Church Fathers say on some issues but reference them as authoritative, but then they condemn them as heretics, idolaters and Pharisees on other issues. Makes sense.
And for all they claim about “rejecting man’s traditions”, the protestants were the first Christians to ever not venerate saints and the first who didn’t celebrate and encourage committed celibacy. They just made it up and used some cheap exegesis to justify their own, brand new traditions.
Maybe I missed it, but nowhere in the Confession did I see an explanation of from where they got their Canon of Scripture.
Article II: Of Original Sin
1] Also they teach that since the fall of Adam all men begotten in the natural way are born with sin, that is, without the fear of God, without trust in God, and with 2] concupiscence; and that this disease, or vice of origin, is truly sin, even now condemning and bringing eternal death upon those not born again through Baptism and the Holy Ghost.
Okay, very good, but how do you receive the Holy Ghost? The book of Acts talks about how some people had been baptized but had not received the Spirit, so clearly you don’t receive the Spirit from merely being saved. The people only received the Spirit from the laying on of hands.
Therefore, according to the Bible, the Holy Spirit is only received through apostolic succession. If you break away and start your own church like the reformers did, you will not have the Holy Spirit.
If you abandon apostolic teaching like the Catholics did, you forfeit your apostolic succession and therefore also will not have the Holy Spirit.
Article VII: Of The Church
Also they teach that one holy Church is to continue forever. The Church is the congregation of saints, in which the Gospel is rightly taught and the Sacraments are rightly administered.
Devoid of its context, I actually agree with this statement.
However, from a protestant perspective, this is a contradiction. If the church is defined by correct teaching, then for a long time the church disappeared, as the Catholics and Orthodox taught very not correct things. However, the text also says the church will continue forever. So how can the church continue forever if there was a period of several centuries in which no Christian body taught correctly?
And this also means that the Council of Nicea was not part of the Church, because the people there taught things like celibacy and prayer to the saints.
Where in the Bible does it say anyone can start a Church if they teach correctly? I don’t see that anywhere. It looks like a man-made tradition.
And who gives the Lutheran pastor the authority to consecrate the bread and wine? Why can’t I do the same with the bread I have for lunch? If it’s the synod that gives the pastor the authority, then who gives the synod authority?
This is, of course, the implication within Zwinglian theology (which is most American protestantism, that the sacraments are just symbols with no supernatural effect). If there is no capital-A Authority from a capital-C Church as a specific institution, then the sacraments can’t have any supernatural element to them. If starting a Church is just trial and error, then you can’t expect the Holy Spirit to actually guide the Church or bestow power on specific people hired by a committee of lay people following by-laws.
Article XX: Of Good Works
12] And lest any one should craftily say that a new interpretation of Paul has been devised by us, this entire matter is supported by the testimonies of the Fathers. For 13] Augustine, in many volumes, defends grace and the righteousness of faith, over against the merits of works. 14] And Ambrose, in his De Vocatione Gentium, and elsewhere, teaches to like effect. For in his De Vocatione Gentium he says as follows: Redemption by the blood of Christ would become of little value, neither would the preeminence of man’s works be superseded by the mercy of God, if justification, which is wrought through grace, were due to the merits going before, so as to be, not the free gift of a donor, but the reward due to the laborer.
19] Heretofore consciences were plagued with the doctrine of works, they did not hear the consolation from the Gospel. 20] Some persons were driven by conscience into the desert, into monasteries hoping there to merit grace by a monastic life.
Okay, here we get to some of the most profound retardation of Western Christianity.
First the Confession references Augustine and Ambrose (and again later on). And then it condemns monasticism. Which, again, Augustine was a communal monk and Ambrose was at least a celibate. Augustine was partially inspired to become a Christian by reading about Anthony, who fled to the desert to escape the evils of the city, whose biography was written by the above Athanasius, who was at the Nicean Council (as a celibate deacon) and was the first bishop to put the 27 books of the New Testament into one list. So did Augustine, the great defender of faith-only salvation, become a monk because he trusted in works?
The problem is that protestantism misunderstands monasticism, because the Catholics distorted it. So you have a misunderstanding of a misunderstanding of something that is very Biblical. To explain actual Biblical monasticism would be a really long blog post, and obviously I’m not a monk, and none of you probably want to be one, so I don’t plan on writing it unless you really want me to.
However, to put it simply, in the Catholic Church, you don’t become a celibate because you love Jesus and want to devote your life to him. You become a celibate because it’s a bureaucratic requirement.
The purpose of Biblical monasticism isn’t to earn merit with God. It’s to spend all of your finite life trying to cull away your sinful desires instead of wasting it watching TV.
Protestants don’t understand this, because they have a very shallow spirituality, because they are the spiritual offspring of the Catholic Church, and I think we can all agree the Catholic Church isn’t bearing the fruit of the Spirit (admittedly with a few definite exceptions).
The disciples asked Jesus who can accept the unmarried life, and He responded, “Not everyone can accept this except to whom it is given.” Therefore, celibacy is a spiritual gift, or at least should be. So if your vein of Christianity has celibacy as a mere bureaucratic checklist, or if it has no committed celibacy at all, then you are deficient in the Holy Spirit.
Elsewhere in the Confession, the Lutherans condemn fasting. Again, they misunderstand.
The point of fasting isn’t to merit God’s favor. The point of fasting is to tame your body and to get used to not having your way whenever you want something. Righteousness is achieved through taming your will. Only when you give up your will will you understand humility and patience.
Jesus said “When you fast,” not “If you fast.”
Then there’s a section of detailing the abuses of the Catholic Church, which is extremely long and probably says not much. I didn’t get very far into it, since it’s not the exposition of core beliefs.
Famously, the reformers were all priests who broke their vows of celibacy. In total fairness, in the Catholic Church, you don’t give your vow to God. The vow goes to the Church, and the Church can release you from your vow. And, again, the vow isn’t about becoming a more righteous person — it’s just for freeing up your schedule.
So if you don’t believe the Catholic Church has real authority (and it doesn’t), then you can’t be held accountable to your vow.
In theory at least. One would think it would be better to err on the side of keeping the vow out of fear of the Last Judgment, but Western theology is just word games and legal arguments.
If you make a commitment, you should keep it, regardless of what the Church says or why you made it or how uncomfortable it is. The same applies to marriage. You shouldn’t get divorced just because it was a mistake to marry this person.
The problem with Western Christianity is that they don’t fear God. They don’t even know what the term means. How can you fear God if God is love?
And this is because there’s not a strong teaching on the Day of Judgment. Salvation is a legal transaction. For Catholics, it’s about sacraments and burning off what’s left in purgatory. For protestants, it’s about getting saved and having righteousness imputed.
So if salvation is already settled and is given out according to a rule book, then Judgment Day is just a formality. If you don’t fear Judgment Day, then you don’t fear God.
If you don’t fear God, you get modern Western Civilization.
This should be a bigger story. Major transgressions in criminal law start by the civil law courts laying down precedent.
In Maryland, a black woman was elected student body president of a university. A young man in Oregon made fun of her Twitter and was successfully sued for harassment.
An internet troll who harassed a black college student with racist messages on social media has agreed to a court settlement requiring him to get “anti-hate training,” apologize in writing and on video and publicly renounce white supremacy.
How Soviet is that? It’s not enough to merely sue someone for what they say — you must force them to convert. They must publically renounce Satan and all his works.
I’d rather go to jail.
Dumpson, now a 22-year-old law school student, said she wants her lawsuit to “hold people accountable for their bigoted actions.” She believes the partial settlement “could raise awareness of issues of racial justice, while also providing for educational benefits.”
“I guess I was open to the idea that even the perpetrator of a racially motivated act of bias could still be more or less reformed,” she told The Associated Press
That’s what they’re teaching in law school. Law isn’t about justice anymore — it’s about punishing people for making you feel bad.
It gets worse. Even the kid’s family has dog-piled on him.
Deb and James McCarty, Evan’s parents, said their family has “sincere empathy” for Dumpson and is “profoundly sorry for the harm caused her.” They said their son “is a different person than he was when he hid behind an alias and was persuaded into hateful activity on the internet.”
“Evan, our son, feels deep regret about his actions and is committed to making changes and moving forward in a positive way,” they said in a statement. “At this time, he is focused on continuing to make progress, pursuing his degree, contributing to his community and committed to making amends.”
In George Orwell’s 1984, there was a bit that always stuck with me that seems profoundly relevant to today. Kind of a long quote. I think this is the correct one.
He would have liked to continue talking about his mother. He did not suppose, from what he could remember of her, that she had been an unusual woman, still less an intelligent one; and yet she had possessed a kind of nobility, a kind of purity, simply because the standards that she obeyed were private ones. Her feelings were her own, and could not be altered from outside. It would not have occurred to her that an action which is ineffectual thereby becomes meaningless. If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love. When the last of the chocolate was gone, his mother had clasped the child in her arms. It was no use, it changed nothing, it did not produce more chocolate, it did not avert the child’s death or her own; but it seemed natural to her to do it. The refugee woman in the boat had also covered the little boy with her arm, which was no more use against the bullets than a sheet of paper. The terrible thing that the Party had done was to persuade you that mere impulses, mere feelings, were of no account, while at the same time robbing you of all power over the material world. When once you were in the grip of the Party, what you felt or did not feel, what you did or refrained from doing, made literally no difference. Whatever happened you vanished, and neither you nor your actions were ever heard of again. You were lifted clean out of the stream of history. And yet to the people of only two generations ago this would not have seemed all-important, because they were not attempting to alter history. They were governed by private loyalties which they did not question. What mattered were individual relationships, and a completely helpless gesture, an embrace, a tear, a word spoken to a dying man, could have value in itself.
The point being, once upon a time, you were loyal to family, and it didn’t really matter how much they were in the right or wrong. You didn’t have to do the moral calculation to figure out what percentage of blame he has and whether you should have to deal with the consequences yourself.
Most parents do not love their children. They view their children as a status symbol. Evan has robbed them of some of that status, and they are trying to reclaim their pride by publically distancing themselves from their own son.
When the media comes to your door and asks what you think about your child who made an ass of himself, the only correct response is, “He’s my son. I love him. Get the fuck off my property.”
Anyway, here’s his sentence:
Dumpson’s lawyers hope the settlement agreement could become a model for encouraging others to abandon white supremacy. McCarty agreed to apologize directly to Dumpson in a video conference that she can record for advocacy and educational purposes.
He also agreed to attend at least one year of anti-hate training sessions with a licensed therapist or a qualified counselor, and to complete at least four academic courses on race and gender issues. In addition, McCarty must complete at least 200 hours of community service promoting “racial justice and civil rights” and publicly advocate against hate.
“This advocacy could take many forms, such as direct outreach to other white supremacists to attempt de-radicalization,” the agreement says.
Keep in mind that he settled for this. He could have stuck to his guns, but he cowarded out. Now the activists know they have a winning strategy. Better to lose with honor than settle for a mitigated loss without integrity.
Notice the legitimizing of academia and psychotherapy with the pathologizing of ideology. The other day someone on Reddit told me to see a therapist for my gay-hatred. Bill Nye famously claimed climate change denier should go to jail. Many atheists suggest Christians who talk to God are schizophrenics or that it should be illegal to teach kids religion.
This has to stop, and the stopping starts with people like you and me saying “no more”. People like Evan McCarty only make it worse.
Nothing in the world is more important than integrity. It’s the only thing they can’t take away from you. No matter how much they beat and rob you, even if you die in a ditch, only you can forfeit your integrity. “For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his own soul?”
And this is why there can be no reaching across the aisle as one American people bound by our love of freedom. We aren’t one tribe. The left-wing wants you dead, and your response is “Well they just don’t understand race statistics.”? There can be no friendship with the left-wing.
Dumpson is represented by attorneys from the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Kristen Clarke, the Washington-based group’s president and executive director, said the agreement should have a “chilling effect” on those who anonymously spew hate online.
“At the end of the day, our settlement should send a strong message to white supremacists and neo-Nazis all across the country that they will be held accountable for their conduct,” she said.
Mission accomplished. Come and get me.
My name is Austin Martin. I live in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia near Cloud Springs Road. If you wait at the library or Food City enough, you will see me walk in maybe twice a week. I would give out my address, but I rent.
I think Tim Wise is an evil Jew who needs to leave my country. I think the standard narrative of the Holocaust is a massive exaggeration. I think homosexuals shouldn’t be allowed to teach school, adopt children, or hold parades sponsored by the government. I think some Jim Crow laws were necessary for social order, and I don’t think slavery is that big of a deal. Birth control should be illegal. We need a constitutional amendment outlawing Islam, and it shouldn’t be considered a religion (much like early Mormonism).
Marry Christmas motherfuckers. Buy me some shit. Do an act of goodwill. Be a little kinder this day. Show some extra patience. Make a black friend.
“Christmas isn’t until tomorrow.”
Yeah but it’s over at noon. The real holiday is on Christmas Eve. That’s when anyone goes to Church, and it’s the party that night that has the most excitement. Christmas day is just a dried out turkey and the sinking realization that your presents are lame.
“We do a ham.”
Aren’t you a lucky bastard?
Personally I feel like the fried turkey sandwich at Arby’s is the real reason for the season. And much like your mom, it has the meats.
Really, the best bird by far is a goose, but no one has any balls anymore, so we settle for the humble, simple, bland turkey. Something we only eat twice a year but pretend to love.
You could at least try a duck. And don’t bother with a capon. It’s just an expensive chicken.
Get some Crown Royal and sleep with a stranger. It’s what Jesus would do. C’est merde. Seasons greetings. Which seasons? I don’t know. But they send their greetings. Give a present to a Jew to see if he gets offended. Surprise. It’s a stupid top, just like you wanted. Snatch the milk of human kindness from someone’s hands and drink it yourself. Delay that divorce for just one more day.