In this age of secular thought, it can be all too easy to divorce one’s political and cultural consciousness from the role that religion in general and The Church specifically has played in the development of the world and more especially the western world. Running parallel with this train of thought, it can all too often be forgotten what it is that makes National Reformationism such a unique school of thought and philosophy of life in a world where all other thought and indeed the world itself seems to stand banded and arrayed together against it. The casual on-looker has still a more difficult time understanding National Reformationismascism and its unique nature. This fact coupled with the political and sociological thought processes prevalent in this inglorious post-modern world of ours makes it very difficult indeed for us to gain traction and recruit new adherents to our cause, nay, the cause of mankind. The struggle National Reformationismfaces in this world is not unlike the one that the church faces. In this sense, Christianity and National Reformationism stand to grow an ever-closer bond as they are both persecuted endlessly by a single force (this will be expounded upon in greater depth later in this work). As with all things, understanding who we are as a western world and culture is not as simple as our majestic administrators of democracy would have us believe. Indeed, it is unlikely that they themselves have any inkling as to the forces that have shaped and currently shape our very existence on this earth. Nor, I doubt, do they care, for to them the only force that shapes the world worth taking into account has become money. With this matter of fact ever before me, it is in this work that I will undertake the weighty and difficult task of attempting to condense into one article an overarching historical timeline illustrating causation and effect that has put us in the current dire reality we as a country and a culture now face and at the same time shed light on the unique role that The Church and Christianity has played in the development and perpetuity of this epoch which in turn will give us occasion to bring into focus the characteristics of National Reformationism that make it so incredibly unique a system of thought in this, a world running so counter to its ideas and development.
It is at this junction that I must preface the remainder of this work with a disclaimer. In this article, I will discuss a great many things that rely on personal viewpoint and therefore are not wholly concrete facts but are very much subject to debate. As a Catholic and as a party member that represents our efforts to better develop the thought and role religion plays in National Reformationism and the future state, I am acutely aware of my shortcomings as a completely unbiased debater in these matters and in the positions set forth in this article. However, I also am well aware of the necessity of objectivism in any scholarly work and its value to the as of yet unbiased and open-minded reader. I would not have my work and time-consuming efforts robbed of all validity with the general rancor associated with charges of totally biased subjectivity. With this in mind, I pledge to the reader my unfailing commitment to objectivity and intellectual integrity insofar as it is possible with a work concerning such matters. Bias however is not completely without merit. It is my hope that while I wish for the work to be objective and therefore persuasive, it is also my hope that my Christian bent will add a sort of flavor to the work and in turn present a side to the argument that would otherwise be invisible to the mind’s eye, which I hope adds to the reader’s entertainment. With the help of God, I will do this and the reader will have gained a better experience for it.
Most stories start at the beginning. Our story starts near the end. To understand what I mean we must look back to a great progenitor of our culture. If we are to understand our current world and culture and all things related to it (politics, government, philosophies, systems of thought, etc.) then we can choose to look no further than one of the greatest influences on western civilization, Saint Augustine. An early doctor and theologian of the Church, Augustine stands as a giant among all great western thinkers. His brilliance and genius to this day is not dared to be trampled underfoot by even the most irreverent secularists among us who hold any respect in the community of scholars. His magnum opus, City of God, has had the single greatest influence on the currents of thought in western culture save the Bible itself. In it, he touches on myriad and far-reaching subjects and brings it all under one roof. He does this rather successfully, which alone is a feat to marvel at. The subject matter within, both scientific and theological, philosophical and theosophical as well as historical, straddles such a great expanse of ideas that one may think (and possibly rightfully so) that Augustine successfully synthesizes all of western thought of the time into one great coherent tour de force, making it the definitive statement of western thought and culture certainly up to that time and indeed for quite a time to come. As one might expect from a Bishop of the Church his great work was not completely academic. Its original purpose was the refutation of the Roman pagans who charged that the cause of the fall of Rome was due to the fact that it had adopted the religion of Christianity and that the jealous gods had punished Rome accordingly by allowing her to be sacked by the barbarian hordes. This he does directly and succinctly in the first book of the work. He properly disposes of the charges straightway and then leaves the subject behind almost immediately as though it had been child’s play for him and uses the occasion to expand into a work all his own; at least it seems so to this reader. What ensues is, overall, an attempt to explain man’s progress and wanderings in this world. Furthermore, Augustine attempts to illuminate for the reader what our collective destiny is as sojourners on this plane and what mankind’s fate will be in the ultimate consummation of God’s work. The number of ways Augustine does this and all of the caveats visited in between are impossible to recount here and actually for our purpose is not relevant. Nearing the end of this monumental work, of which admittedly I am a great admirer, Augustine shows his ability at eschatology and understanding of the old testament and its relation to the modern Christian by expounding on the parallel between the creation story of this act of creation having been accomplished by God in seven ‘days’ and the epochs that have divided man’s existence upon the earth. Augustine argues (in an eerily convincing manner at that) that the seven days mentioned in the creation story of Genesis is in fact a sort of ‘shade’, a type of the ages of man upon the earth. The first age or day he tells us “is from Adam to the flood; the second, from the flood to Abraham (These two ‘days’ were not identical in length of time, but in each there were ten generations.) Then follow the three ages, each consisting of fourteen generations, as recorded in the Gospel of St. Matthew: the first, from Abraham to David; the second, from David to the transmigration to Babylon; the third, from then to Christ’s nativity in the flesh. Thus, we have five ages. The sixth is the one in which we now are. It is an age not to be measured by any precise number of generations, since we are told: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates which the father has fixed by his own authority.’ After this ‘day’, God will rest on the ‘seventh day,’ in the sense that God will make us, who are to be this seventh day, rest in Him.” Now we can understand my meaning when I said our story starts near the end. From a Christian’s point of view, we are currently in the sixth and final day of labor. I point this out and ruminated on it at length because I want to stress the idea that man is in an age separate from all other ages and that this age or ‘day’ has its own purpose and route of development. Even the non-Christian must admit that the Common Era began after the advent of Christ as indicated by the calendar. Indeed for the west and much of the east, the incarnation was a world altering event and thus culturally and historically significant. This age, separate and distinct from all the others, is the only one we need to inspect in order to understand our modern world. Understanding this age and the forces acting within it, will at length show us a proper schematic of our current western world and the map that has the roads on it we followed to get here. Ultimately we will know how the west was won or perhaps how it was lost.
The enlightenment is generally pointed to as the foundation of the ills we suffer through daily in both social and civic life. While this is certainly not untrue, it is simplistic. There is much more below the surface of this argument and it runs deep. In scrutinizing these depths, we will learn the origin and nature of our current condition in the western world. We will see that the west’s culture, for all its humanist and secular glory, is actually indelibly linked to the church and Christendom. Though this fact is largely shunned by even America’s founding documents, it cannot be denied, and I do not intend to let it be. Once this tenet has been firmly established we will see what folly, it is for any state to ignore the church as not only a religious entity but also a culture bearer and creator, which makes it indispensable in the orbit of any western state. In order to discern what forces subdued the west and why, we must first look back past the enlightenment, to the movement that immediately preceded it and was the enabler of it.
I came to the Catholic Church much later in life than most Catholics. I was not born into Catholicism but rather gravitated toward it and eventually converted to it for many of the same reasoning’s and rationales that led me to National Reformationism. I had always been a Christian but found protestant churches to be eroding morally and hence necessarily doctrinally due to liberal influences. This I chalked up more or less to a lack of tradition and lack of an authoritative central figurehead as the reason for the inevitability of this tragedy. It was along these general lines that I also found myself in agreement with National Reformationism on a political level. Before I converted to Catholicism, I wandered for a time in what Dante refers to in The Inferno as “The dark wood of error.” I knew I believed in the incarnation of the Christ but found the human institutions and conventions to be wayward and also in a dark wood of error of their own. It would be a long long time, even after my conversion, that I would come to identify the forces that had eroded both the churches and western polity. At this time, my concern was my faith and not my politics although learning to question the one would lead to questioning the other and I would come to find a single snake bedeviling both. This aside, when I did come to Catholicism I did so with great help from the first great Christian theologian, Saint Irenaeus of Lyon. In fact, when I was confirmed I chose Irenaeus as my confirmation name as no other writer had shown so bright a light that led me out of that dark wood. A bishop of the church in Gaul (modern day France), Irenaeus was a disciple of Saint Polycarp who had learned from Saint John himself, author of Revelation and Apostle of Jesus Christ. Needless to say, I felt that anything Irenaeus had to say held some weight and the first chance I got I obtained a copy of the only work left to us by the ages from Irenaeus “ Against the Heresies: The Scandal of the Incarnation”. Unfortunately fragments of it has been lost to time but it stands out to me today as the first sentinel call to battle against the force that would shape this age that Augustine tells us is the sixth day of creation. While Paul and Peter both dealt with this force in their New Testament writings, it was only in its infancy. By the time, Irenaeus writes Against the Heresies in the mid to late second century A.D. this force had bloomed into all its forms and threatened to utterly destroy the church. Although Irenaeus is successful for the time being in beating back this vicious attack, this threat has never left us. It has plagued us since the beginning of this age when the Church was established. What Irenaeus railed against in Against Heresies was Gnosticism.
In order to be brief, it is enough to know that Gnosticism can be condensed to the definition of a system of beliefs (and there were many forms) that owed its origin to eastern thought and religions. These religions were esoteric in nature and while the gnostic myths that were spawned by heretics such as Marcion and Valentinius are fantastic to say the least, it is enough to know here that they commingled with the Christ story and worked to deprive Christ of having suffered the passion and resurrection and therefore denied resurrection of the body. They claimed that everything material such as the flesh was evil and came into being by an accidental tragedy concerning one of the many emanations from the groundless one, which is the primordial unknowable God. The word Gnostic in fact comes from the Greek word gnosis, which means ‘to know’ and indeed these teachers claimed that the elect or the pneumatic had a secret knowledge that regular believers did not possess. They believed that Jesus did not give salvation because the divine fled the man Jesus before he suffered the passion. They believed rather that salvation was only by special knowledge and that was to be found within. In a word, they believed that through their secret knowledge they could save themselves. In the current age of the Church, this, I would submit, is an early albeit primitive form of humanism. For, puffed up by pride, they sought salvation within themselves. The individual had all the power necessary to save. While Gnosticism commingled with Christianity, its roots go back to older cults both in Egypt and in the Far East. In fact, Buddhism teaches much the same, looking to self for enlightenment through rigorous spiritual regimentation. Irenaeus identifies it as radically anti-Christian and while the battle lines were drawn, the war would rage on. As an interesting side note before continuing, it was Saint John of Syria who was the first Christian to write about coming into contact with Muslims known then as Saracens or Ishmaelite’s. Saint John was taken captive and lived among them and he was able to save his life by gaining their respect through his intellect. He wrote that the message of Mohammed’s revelation had come about simply because Mohammed had encountered an Arian monk in the desert. This heretic, Saint John tells us, was the ‘angel’ that Mohammed met and learned his doctrine from. It is true that Mohammed made it his own but it cannot be denied that Islam bears many resemblances to Arianism, which, as a matter of course, denied the divinity of Jesus. Arianism was one prominent form of heresy in the early church that rivaled Gnosticism in terms of danger posed to the traditional faith.
It has been necessary up until now to discuss at length about the Gnostics as they and their nature played a central part in the struggle against the church, which I have theorized plays a most central part in our western culture. Understanding Gnosticism is key to taking the next step which will be of more immediate concern to National Reformationism and understanding our western world; the renaissance.
The renaissance in this author’s opinion is a great curiosity. After the fall of Rome, which up until that time had been the cultural and civilizing as well as intellectual light of the world there descended upon the world the dark ages. This descent into the cultural abyss and general lawlessness caused the churches to be thrown into the important albeit precarious position of guardian and conservator of all culture and knowledge produced by the western world up until that time due to the monks being the few with any degree of education. During this time, there were wars and disease and little if any culture was created. The culture previously produced sat sucked up in holding cells across Europe and parts of Africa and the Middle East known as monasteries. Odds would tell us that the renaissance was just as likely not to happen as happen and yet oddly enough it came about precisely for a reason that nearly wiped western civilization off the map forever. This was the Black Death and it killed nearly two-thirds of Europe’s population. I would submit that this more than any other event allowed the renaissance to happen. Once the Black Death had passed, the population that was left was able to spread wealth amongst fewer inhabitants. This gave rise to a middle class. All of a sudden, there was a new class of people who began to have enough leisure to think and to afford what only their rulers could afford before, knowledge. Of course, with the advent of the printing press knowledge could and did spread as it had never spread before. The old Greco-Roman poets, philosophers, and scientists were again read. Thus, western civilization rebooted itself. This new startup however, led to an opportunity for society take a different tack than it had before. Indeed, it was almost a necessity that it must. The most ambitious and forward thinkers of the time were undoubtedly keen to be freed from the restraints that had been imposed on society in former times by all authorities such as monarchies and especially the Church. This attitude toward the Catholic Church would lead to the protestant reformation being taken to extremes and indeed being usurped by certain governments for greater autonomy in political matters. This has led to a fracture in Christendom that has never healed. The central lesson to be taken from all this is that with the renaissance there was a radical moving away from ‘authority’ and a movement at the same time toward ‘self’. This would take many different forms in both theological and worldly matters and thought. One key way this occurred that begs pointing out is the rejection of classic Aristotelian Scholasticism as a method of critical thinking and argument. This was the method employed by the Church up until this time and it placed great emphasis on a sort of authoritative and traditional way of viewing things. As a perfect example of Christian scholasticism one need look no further than the great Summa Theologica by Saint Thomas Aquinas. The move toward the self as an authority in theology was not perpetuated by the Church. From whence did it come then? As noted by many scholars, the Renaissance was in fact in its genesis a synthesis of Christian, Hebrew, Greek, and occult doctrines. There are others who outright charge that the Renaissance was essentially of gnostic origin. If the idea of the all transcending ‘self’ was not taught by the Church then it came from Gnosticism. As an example of how these ideas have stuck with us to this day, we can look no further than Protestantism. Having been a former protestant myself and my entire family and majority of my friends being so, I mean no ill will when I say that the protestant idea of every individual being a priest of Christ is rooted in Gnosticism, which promulgated this radical idea of the individual both in religion and in civic life. This notion of radical individualism that first rose against the Church as early as the first century A.D. was the impetus for the Renaissance and thus the Enlightenment. Indeed, the Renaissance was the time when all esoteric doctrines first presented themselves to western man in the daylight of open speculation. The enlightenment era and the thought that accompanied it would be the more precise formulation of these disparate and yet unorganized ideas. Nevertheless, let there be no mistake, at the time of the Renaissance a genie had been released from its lamp. An evil spirit that would roam back and forth throughout the western world looking to devour everything. This spirit if you will could be given two names, humanism and individualism. One could be forgiven for thinking that this article is critical of the Renaissance. To be more precise, I am critical of the prideful humanist individualism that took the renaissance in the direction that we know it eventually went. I would love to have seen and experienced this reawakening of western culture and thought. Indeed, I would love nothing more than to see it now in our own time. However, I would have it imbued with a different spirit if you will. The new man was the Renaissance man and the next stage in its natural evolution would be the enlightenment man; which we are told we have a perfect example of.
The Enlightenment as an age I feel deserves less meditating on as we have already established and identified the forces that breathed life into to it to begin with. There are a few key points about the enlightenment however, that deserves stressing to better illuminate our line of reasoning. I have already referenced what is widely considered the most influential work on western civilization aside from the Bible, City of God, by Augustine. At this time, another work can be pointed to as a touchstone of the enlightenment. Most of us have probably heard of the work known as Leviathan by a one Thomas Hobbes. This monumental work was considered an encapsulation of enlightenment thinking. In it, Hobbes describes the enlightenment as the divorce of political thought from theology. This was another radical step away from the Church or any thought about God in the public sphere. Another striking feature of the Enlightenment would be the moving away from the Greco-Roman philosophers and in fact was predicated on ‘rationalism’ and ‘empiricism’. If, the reader could here recall if he or she has ever wondered why it is that in modern society philosophy is given no real credit as something that has use or worth, and only numbers or ‘science’ seems to be the deciding factor, this would be why. That and the fact that numbers and science is easily manipulated to perpetuate a point of view no matter how false. If we could step back for a moment and look at this political and social dynamic that had crystallized we can now see clearly for the first time that while the ordinary people of any given nation may have been pious and observant of religion and traditional morality, even at this early period in history (relevant to our present time of course) the elite of society and the architects of government in which these more or less ‘conservative’ minded citizens may have lived were completely indifferent to the general population. The systems of government these elites would come to put in place were not in any way be traditional or socially conservative. They would not be religious but secular. With time, the nature of these systems would have to be carried to their logical conclusions. It would be their very natures. In addition, nothing can behave in a way other than its nature ultimately. It is for this reason that the west’s system of governments are not national. It is for this reason they have never been organic and therefore in reality far away from the people.
If the Renaissance were the first time that esoteric thoughts and doctrines could bravely stand in the sunlight, then it would be in the enlightenment that these forces would find expression in diverse groups that would take the reins of power and government. Perhaps the most glaring example of this would be the freemasons. The freemasons came to embody enlightenment thinking and indeed are unabashed proponents and users of esoteric teachings that ultimately have their roots in Gnosticism. Freemasonry played a key role in both the American and French Revolutions. One need look no further than Benjamin Franklin to furnish a perfect example as the type of man I speak of. I believe it was Eugene Weber who wrote of Franklin as the epitome of the enlightenment man. Franklin was also an ardent freemason as was many of the founding fathers including George Washington (though some may beg to differ on the technicality of Washington being a “founding father”). It should also be no secret by now that many of the founding fathers were not in any way what one could call a traditional Christian. Many were deists contrary to what leading conservatives such as Glenn Beck would have you believe. This is a false argument that the Glen Beck’s of the world would tell you in order for you to believe that the founding documents of this nation i.e. The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution are literally divinely inspired, putting it on the level of holy writ itself, meaning that you are unpatriotic if you even so much as question how great a governing documents they are. I would like to bring it to the attention of these sorts of Christian conservatives now that not only is this idiotic but also outright blasphemy. Deism however was a defining trait of freemasonry, the enlightenment, and Gnosticism. Thus, we have a clear picture as to the minds who were the architects of our modern American government. In addition, the force behind all of these things was and is individualism and humanism, rationalism and empiricism. Any notion of spirit whether national or for the individual stands in direct contrast to these notions. Any idea of the collective stands in direct contrast to these notions. Any notion of civic peace stemming from submission to governmental or spiritual authority in humility (as commanded by Saint Paul by the way) stands in direct opposition to these things. This places National Reformationism squarely on the opposite side of this two thousand year old and running prideful invention man has devised for himself. A device that has only caused chaos. In addition, here again we must realize that a creature can only act as its nature dictates which is its spirit. The spirit is bestowed upon by the force, which breathed life into it. In the case of our system, it was the founding fathers. It is likely that the founding fathers lacked convictions of their own aside from a few immediate reactionary ones. The system that they produced and its nature could only reflect its parent’s nature and the muddled way it was given birth through uninspiring and bastardized compromise.
This brings us to where we are today and we can now see the road map we took to get here. The Renaissance and the Reformation begat the Enlightenment. The enlightenment begat its modern day form in governmental affairs which is collectively referred to as Western Liberalism. Western Liberalism as a system took its different forms in polity and economics or at least were imbued by them that seemed to fit the model the best namely Democracy and Capitalism. Both stress the superiority of the individual over anything else including but not limited to the Church, the Nation, and even God himself. As everything must find its logical conclusion due to the law of inertia, the enlightenment and humanism found its ultimate expression in Marxism. While Marxism stresses a collective, it is a Godless, faceless, monolithic collective where any notion of the spirit or the nation is violently purged. It is also material in its final sense. This is why communism and capitalism are bedfellows and why both love nothing more than to claim ‘democracy’ as its own. From this, it is plain to see that ‘democracy’ is a feel good word that means nothing. It is an opiate for the people. The fact that our own democracy has resulted in decay of literally everything should come as no surprise. Moreover, I believe that even the founding fathers were astute and sage enough to realize how precarious a system Democracy truly is. After all, was it not our man of the enlightenment himself, Benjamin Franklin, who replied when asked what he had given us “A democracy if you can keep it.” It would come as no surprise to me if, even though the enlightenment had given up such great minds as that of Plato as any deciding influence on the world’s affairs, Mr. Franklin had saw fit to acquaint himself with such works as The Republic in which Plato denounces democracy as one of the most unstable forms of government and indeed one of the lowest. In fact, Plato goes so far as to admit that democracy is only one rung above tyranny, which he says, is the worst disorder of a state. I view Franklin’s retort as an acknowledgement and admission of the same.
At the end of it all, the snake I came to see as bedeviling both religion and government was and is the raising of the individual above all else. Individualism as an ideology. In religion, it has led to schism. In the world, it has led to chaos, disorder, abandonment of spirit and nation. It is co-equal with humanism, which has bred secularism, which has led to all sorts of evils in the government and in society. From the beginning of this, the sixth age or ‘day’ the Church has been part and parcel to the struggles that produced the modern western order. Taking many forms it was individualism and humanism that the Church has had to grapple with and that has led to the development of western culture and civilization throughout the centuries of the Common Era. This is why the Church cannot be done away with in the orbit of the state. If the state is to become the enabler and protector of culture then how can the Church be dispensed with? Individualism and Humanism in all its many forms throughout all the many years is how the west was won. For National Refomrationists it is how it was lost. National Reformationism is a radical reaction to these forces. National Reformationism is the rare glimpse of sobriety in a society and culture that has become utterly drunk from wine funneled down their throats in ever-greater quantities by the leaders of this western order. As mentioned before, National Reformationism stands in direct contrast to individualism, democracy, and all its other emanations. Just as in, the cosmology of the Gnostics where there were countless ‘emanations’ of the groundless one called aeons, there has been just as many ‘emanations’ of individualism forces that first found impetus in this current age with Gnosticism. From there to the Renaissance to the Enlightenment up until the present day, the overarching theme has brought us to where we are. In addition, this is what makes National Reformationism so different from anything else out there and what makes it simpatico with Christianity and the Church. The forces that have won the west are the greatest forces that threaten the church today. This same threat from an old enemy is also seen and despised by National Reformationism. Therefore, National Reformationism and the church (while separate entities) nevertheless stand to grow a great bond in their shared struggles against the drunkenness of the world that individualism, humanism, democracy, capitalism, Marxism has all brought to us. As a Christian, one cannot be a friend to the world and to God at the same time. To be a true Christian who stands on traditional moral precepts in the current age is difficult and it makes you unpopular. It is because these moral precepts are under attack from the system, which is liberalism, tainted with Marxism and enshrined by democracy. Society marching ever away from God and back toward the animal kingdom and happy as a lark to do so in all of their infinite ignorance they stupidly believe is wisdom. Likewise, National Reformationism faces these same struggles. This is why it takes conviction, a sense of duty, and courage to be a National Reformationist. The same as it takes courage to be Christian. The Christian does not face so different a shame from the National Reformationist as heaped upon them with vile insults from the liberal world. Behind all of the forces discussed in this work is the sin of pride. It takes pride to raise the individual above God, above the nation. It takes pride to raise ones fist against the state that has done one no harm but only strived for the people’s edification. The ideology of individualism and hence all of the other heads of the hydro, to use that old gnostic terminology, ‘emanated’ from the groundless one, the primordial one; pride. After all, was it not pride that caused the devil and the rebellious angels to rise up against God, the first stain of individualism, and cause them all to be flung from heaven to earth like a clap of thunder? Was it not pride and its progeny individualism that led to the original sin that saw Adam and thus all the sons of man expelled from the garden? It is pride and arrogance that has destroyed the family, which is the foundation of society not the individual. Pride in self despises all authority whether it be God or the State for the only authority that now matters is whatever the individual deems as “good” dispersing national morality in as many different directions as there are individuals in it. The Church must fight for God while National Reformationism must be the political philosophy to fight for the State. Together they fight collectively for civilization. As for me, it has become my determination to fight for both. Paradise may have been lost but let us hope that it can still be regained.