Sunday, August 23, 2015

“Where Do Nazis Come From:” Further Thoughts

     First, for all those correspondents who expressed incredulity at the central thesis of yesterday’s short story: Yes, I meant it. Every word, exactly as it appears below. I don’t care if you find it incredible; in fact, I think your reaction might point to a problem in you.

     Second, we have many examples of fascistic / censorious behavior afoot in America at this time. No, I’m not talking about government; I’m talking about persons who are so certain that they’re right about something that when they confront disagreement, their immediate reaction is vituperation, vilification, and condemnation. In my estimation, they’re trying to protect their own excessively tender egos, which they’ve identified with their politics, or their cultural preferences, or their sexual tastes. They can’t admit that they could be wrong because they feel it would invalidate them as persons. When they’re proved wrong by events, it crushes them so terribly that their only recourse is to deny that such a thing has happened.

     Third, the diagnosis that flows from the above isn’t narcissism or egotism but weakness. Every last one of us is fallible. Not one element of our knowledge is invulnerable to dispute and later correction or refinement. It takes a certain amount of strength of character to admit this, which suggests that strength of character is less observable in our public discourse than it should be. He who says “I know I’m right” because “science says so” has misunderstood science. Science will not shield him; it’s a method of inquiry, not a formula for producing infallible doctrines.

     Fourth, he who believes himself morally and intellectually superior but refuses to concede that he could be wrong demonstrates his moral and intellectual inferiority thereby. The persons named in this essay are perfect examples. No doubt they would scoff at a church or a preacher who claims to know the truth, which only compounds the irony. And as I have quoted Victor Marguerite many times, once more surely won’t hurt:

     “The Fascists cannot argue, so they kill.”

     Now on to the really good stuff.

     There’s probably nothing that offends an American Nazi (AN) more than the traditional Christian faith. There are good reasons for this:

  • Traditional Christianity offers no room for the kind of sweeping innovation that would raise the AN to prestige. Indeed, the same could be said for any conviction or belief system of venerable years, whether religious, political, economic, social, or what-have-you.
  • Among the many assertions of Christianity is that there is a moral order in the Universe, and therefore that there are things that are absolutely wrong. This chafes the AN, for though he seeks to impose a yoke upon the rest of us, he firmly believes that he should not be subject to anything of the sort.
  • Christianity not only proscribes certain deeds as absolutely wrong; it also offers absolution, conditional only on repentance and penance. That’s a twofold irritant to the AN: first because he will not suffer his actions to be judged by anyone; second because as he sees himself as the highest authority, he refuses to grant the power of absolution to any other person or institution.
  • Next-to-worst, Christian doctrine holds that “we are all sinners” – i.e., that every individual is fallible, capable of the gravest imaginable errors. The A.N. demands a dispensation from that declaration; He won’t get one.
  • Worst of all, Christian doctrine is a proclamation of hope:
    1. That though this life is temporary, the next life is eternal;
    2. That one can win admission to eternal bliss by cleaving to ten clear, simple, easily followed rules;
    3. That therefore, no matter how much one may suffer in this life, an infinitely better future remains available to him.

     He who believes that he has all the answers doesn’t like that “hope” jazz. If every one of us has hope of eternal bliss on such simple conditions, what good is his dispensation? Even if he were absolutely correct on all counts, it would only produce some temporal improvements -- at the cost of deeds that would imperil the souls of anyone who follows him.

     Therefore, the AN says, Christianity must go. At the very least it must be driven entirely out of our public life, buried so far underground that its adherents aren’t even aware of one another’s existence. Nothing so enervates a belief as the sense that you are its sole holder.

     The original Nazis were virulently opposed to Christianity as well.

     I could go on for pages on this subject. Indeed, I sometimes do. But the day’s chores beckon, and besides, my Gentle Readers are all bright enough to see the points in the above. So I’ll let Edmund Burke have the last word:

     “All that is required for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.”

     Consider this your exemption from “Godwin’s Law.”
     And of course, may God bless and keep you all.


Reg T said...

Just for the record, Fran, although I am a heathen, and find things accepted within Christianity to be difficult or (currently, at least) impossible for me - personally - to accept (like redemption for repentence of things such as serial child molestation, serial killing of innocents), I do accept the Judeo-Christian moral code as not only being valid, but as vitally necessary.

I do not wish my uncertainties and other failings upon anyone else. If there is a hereafter, as I was taught as a young "mackerel snapper", I know I will be spending a great deal of "quality time" in Purgatory.

JWMJR said...

There are many, if not nearly all who plead for redemption when they see the end approaching and they grasp at it as a last and only option. I believe our lord is wise enough to the sincerity of such a pleading.