Life on Lavender Hill

lavenderhillmob

There’s an old saying, mostly heard in cartoons or radio dramas: “crime doesn’t pay.” Criminals always get caught, in the end. Justice always finds her man. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, especially if the crime is committed in a city where police are often over-worked and are forced to overlook certain crimes. Theft, for example, is often overlooked unless a significant amount of money – five-hundred or more dollars – is involved. Small break ins, even stolen cars, are often written off as losses, without much concern from law enforcement. The effort to find and prosecute the thieves costs far more money and man-power than the lost goods are worth.

But there is another way to look at crime. If you’ve ever struggled with suicidal thoughts, you may have wondered if it might not be better, instead of killing yourself, to try a desperate grab for a life-changing sum of money. This, certainly, would “pay”. Even if unsuccessful, it would temporarily stave off suicide at least long enough for the heist. And afterwards, either you’d be caught (in which case suicide can always be an option again) or you’d succeed, in which case…but, uh oh. Here we quickly run into another problem.

Supposing you’re successful and now have a substantial sum of money at your command. It was successfully laundered and re-inserted into your legitimate grasp. Even then, would the crime have “paid”?

Well. That’s the problem, isn’t it? Life, even in that scenario, would be just as meaningless. There are different ways to commit suicide after all. One man may prefer the rope or shotgun, another man may prefer a life-time of hedonistic, pointless, bliss. But both equally end a man’s life. In light of this, then, the crime – even if it’s successful – doesn’t “pay”. It only allows for a greater latitude of suicide options.

No…there’s only one context in which crime ever “pays”, and that’s if it’s done to hurt and weaken an enemy, while strengthening yourself. But this is a far cry from suicide. Even if it’s a deadly game and puts the criminal’s life in danger – it’s philosophically different from suicide. The suicidal criminal wants to end his life in a string of hedonistic pleasures, while the crusading criminal is acting on behalf of something (or someone) he loves.

There aren’t any of that type in the world, anymore though.

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The “Politically Correct” Test…

There’s an odd phenomenon among today’s work-a-day “conservative” masses – they consider themselves “politically incorrect”, while unconsciously holding the most radical left-wing social views. They are so badly educated they’ve become unable to critically analyze their own position and compare (or contrast) it to the “liberals” (who are the bad-guys in the pro-wrestling narrative that is American politics). These “white grazers” have the right emotional disposition towards liberals – a knee jerk hatred of them and their agenda to enforce social norms on the masses – but they don’t realize that their own acceptance of egalitarianism and multiculturalism, is the result of that same enforced enculturation. They’re “reconstructed” without realizing it.

I could rant about this, multiply anecdotes, or point to pop-cultural phenomena that exemplify my point (Gretchen Wilson’s country song “Politically Uncorrect”, with a video that is, well, very politically correct, for example)…but instead, I’d rather get to the business of aiding our bewitched brethren. I’ll offer a quick test – a quiz to help determine if the taker is politically correct or not.

So clear your desks, take out a clean sheet of paper, and get your #2 pencils ready, readers…it’s pop-quiz time here at Shotgun Barrel Straight:

============

True or False?

Question 1: It’s ok to swear, even around women and children, but we must never use racial slurs (like the “n-word”) or terms-of-bigotry towards those with lifestyle preferences we may disagree with.

Question 2: If your child picks up on your linguistic habits and repeats the “f-word” in front of your dinner guests, you’d laugh it off as cute. Kids will be kids, after all. But if your child calls one of your guests a “faggot”, you’d severely punish him. “Wrong F-Word, you little bigot!”

Question 3: Those pesky liberal historians are constantly trying to destroy the good image of our American founders. They clearly want to “re-write” history. But when it comes to the “Dark Ages”, or the American Civil War, or to WWII, we must trust everything these same historians teach.

Question 4: We must always use the preferred ethnic honorific when referring to our non-white brothers: African-American, Arab American, Latin-American, etc. Using any other terminology is not only impolite, but offensive.

Question 5: The old South was a multicultural utopia and the majority of the southern leaders were civil rights advocates; basically, the forerunners of Martin Luther King Jr. In light of this obvious historical fact, it is wrong for negros and other liberals to remove Confederate monuments and symbols.

Question 6: It is vitally important to use hip, upbeat, rock (or more preferably) hip-hop songs in Christian worship. Those old farts who protest, need to be relegated to the back pews, segregated into an earlier worship time, or simply die out. Some may need to be “educated” on the Biblical teaching of multiculturalism and racial harmony, because their objections to Christian Hip Hop may have sinister “racist” motivations.

For the following questions, answer with a number from 0 to 10, where 0 is outright disdain, dislike, or discomfort, and 10 is emphatic agreement or pleasure.

Question 7: How do you feel when Shotgun uses the word “negro” to describe black people?

Question 8: What about above, when Shotgun used the word “faggot”, even though it was in quotes and an obvious allusion to a hypothetical context?

Question 9: How relieved were you when Shotgun used the replacement phrase “n-word”, instead of the actual word?

Question 10: Let’s say, hypothetically, a small handful of those Muslims snuck into America and, without us realizing it, slowly took control of the banking industry, the news industry, all education facilities, and Hollywood. Then, they began working together to influence culture in such a way that we each began hating ourselves and our Christian religion. They begin selling our daughters into slavery and posting lewd pictures of them on the internet. In this hypothetical scenario, would you be willing to round them all up into, say, a political prison camp?


Hand in your papers when you’re done and I’ll grade them. Non-Whites get an automatic curve, of course.

 

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Traditionalist Conservatism Routed?

I’ve just read an article lamenting the “rout” of traditionalist conservatives. By that, the author means the ideological tradition of Russell Kirk, Robert Nisbet, Richard Weaver, and others, has been forcefully turned back by modernity. It needs to be regained, he says.

Turn off talk radio. Turn off the cable. Quit buying books from flashy Republican Party publicists. Take up the old traditionalist masters—Kirk, Nisbet, Weaver, and their philosophical school—and read. One day, their wisdom may revive American conservatism from the sterility and sloganeering of Conservatism, Inc.

Unlike the author I have a different opinion about why “paleo-conservatism” was routed. The Alt. Right, still in its fledgling stage, is making the same mistake.

The old paleos, with the possible exception of Weaver, erred by removing the heart of Conservatism. They naively thought heartless ideological trappings would carry on through time. Not surprisingly, they haven’t. What is this mysterious missing heart? It’s the poetic vision of old Europe. And you can’t have that poetic vision without loving the people who held it – white Europeans.

The paleos, to this day, believe they can ply the vision of Nisbet over any people and have it work just as well. As if blacks could adhere to Kirk’s 10 conservative principles and develop a glowing civilization in the heart of Africa. Modern acolytes want to abstract the actions and secularized attitudes of the old paleos and apply them in today’s “multicultural” Babylon. It doesn’t matter to them the “skin color” of those who apply these principles. It’s the principles themselves they’re infatuated with.

But the people? The poetic vision of Europe? They (and it) can rot. The sooner the better. They don’t care for the divine meteor that crashed into Europe, tossing the sand in all directions, crystalizing it as it fell – a catastrophe that resulted in the glass castle of Christendom. They see its shattered pieces and lament the missing architecture, but never once thought to pick up a piece and look through it. Never wondered what the world looks like through that prism. (This all sounds a little arcane, I know, but it’s a metaphor I hope to develop in the future).

They’ll try and build their own glass castle. But I don’t want just any glass castle. I want *that* one – the one that was lost!

The Alt. Right has erred similarly, but in the opposite direction. They’ve grown up generations removed from the paleos and only know defeat and derision from that camp. Dedicated to white Europeans, the Alt. Right has seen the paleos “sell out” time and time again, in the name of abstract ideals. They associate the treason with the ideals themselves – even the good ones. To return to our metaphor, the Alt. Right hates the architecture of the glass castle, as well as the original. They hate the architecture of it because of the wimpy cowardice of those who promote it – they hate the original because they’ve been taught to hate it all their lives, just like every government school kid. To state it plainly (if more plainly than most in the Alt. Right would be willing to state it), they hate Christendom as well as the best ideals spawned from Christendom.

Instead, they want to rescue a statistically significant DNA pattern, and they want to wrap it in neo-pagan, modernist, garb. Swastikas and the like. Some, despising Christendom, are nevertheless manly enough to maintain a quaint nostalgia for its past symbols. So they fly the confederate flag or speak fondly of white heroes. But they’re either entirely ignorant of the poetic vision that inspired those symbols and heroes, or they outright despise it.

The paleos abandoned Christendom but tried to keep the form and function of it – the Alt. Right tries to keep the denizens of Christendom, while abandoning its forms and functions. Neither love the old crystal castle of Europe. And neither love the God who created it.

The few of us who do love it find ourselves lonely in both camps.

For my part, I’ve tried to associate with the Alt. Right but found, quickly, that direct explanations and attempts at polemics do little good (and likely, cause more harm). These attempts are more likely to cause them to hate old Christendom even more, or worse, to think of it as quaint, overly-romantic, and not to be taken seriously. So, time and again I find myself back to the drawing board, wondering how it was that I was brought to love old Europe.

…and while a great deal of it has to do with my upbringing, and poetic outlook, it really has been the blog Cambria Will Not Yield and its being ever present in my thought and analysis. And he says it’s best to reach around the intellect and shoot for the heart when doing apologetics. It worked for me and the more I associate with the Alt. Right, the more I’m beginning to realize, it’s the only thing for them.

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A Sad Parable

This goes out to all the techno-pagans in the Alt. Right who are repulsed by the poetic vision of the men whose symbols, jargon, and memories they wrap themselves in on a daily basis:

Once upon a time, there was a young lad who was like all the other lads except his father was a police officer. He adored his father and wanted, more than anything, to follow in his footsteps.

And so it was, our lad devoted himself to training in all the various arts of police craft. Unfortunately, he was so devoted to his task, he was oblivious to goings ons in the rest of the world. There was a violent takeover in the Kingdom of Mayberry and the lad’s father disappeared along with all the other officers. The kingdom was re-named and the new owners drastically changed the every-day life of the citizens.

Nevertheless, our lad persevered and eventually, years later, became a police officer.

—–

He wrapped himself in the same uniform his father had worn. He proudly shined his shoes and badge. He kept his firearm well oiled and always ready. Yes! He had made it!

One day, an old friend of the family pulled our lad aside and told him he ought to be ashamed of himself. “Your father would cry if he saw what you’ve become! You’re nothing like him!”

“…but, but..” the lad stammered. “I’m dressed exactly like him!”

“Yes”…the old man said. “That’s as may be, but it was the Kingdom of Mayberry your father loved. It was for its sake he did what he did. You’re a servant of Babylon, no matter what clothes you’re wearing.”

The lad parted from the old man, letting him off with a warning and admonition never to run afoul of the police again else he’d face serious consequences. Then he drove off in his armored cruiser, sad that his heroic career wasn’t given the same respect as it had received in his father’s day.

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The Formula

The formula is as follows:

Faith —> Hope —> Love

…and in that order.

I have an argument against this. I don’t know if I came up with it on my own or if it’s something a swarm of demons put in my head. I’ll try to briefly lay it out for consideration:

I noted in my last post that without a vision a man becomes suicidal (at least, that was the case with me). And I also noted that it seems we’re supposed to have faith that God has a vision for our lives – a vision that is good and leads to untold fulfillment and happiness – but that we must trust it exists without knowing the details of it. We must step “into the hand of God” so to speak.

Some men, of course, do have a vision. Maybe they’ve taken the Nietzschian route and imposed it on themselves? Or maybe, as seems to be the case with most of the blue-collar guys I’m around everyday, life has ushered them into it without a moment’s self-reflection? If you’re lucky enough to be satisfied in either of those two ways, cherish what you have. That’s God’s way of giving you a free pass on the “faith” part of the above formula. You lucky few (or maybe the majority are in this situation?) get out of bed in the mornings knowing exactly who you are and where you’re meant to be. I repeat: cherish it.

For the unhappy few in my situation, we, apparently, must blindly trust that God has something planned for us and that, despite all evidence to the contrary, He’s working it out as planned. If a man is able to truly have this sort of trust in God, then he is also able to jump out of bed, excited for the new day and its possibilities. If a man is unable to have that sort of faith, then he’s miserable, melancholic, and unmotivated. What’s the point?

It ought to be simple then: just have faith, then the powerful motivating hope will seep in and happiness will follow. As a quick side note: happiness follows because even if a man hasn’t achieved his goal and purpose, just knowing that he’s working on it is all he needs for happiness. But not knowing if he’s working on it, not knowing if he’s going in the direction he ought to go…that’s debilitating.

Here’s the argument against the simple “just have faith.”

God, it seems, is perfectly willing to let His people rot. When they get to Heaven what will He say? Will He say that a lifetime of misery and poverty and unfulfilled potential was ultimately worth it in the end? Will it turn out to, secretly, be some grand blessing? Oh, it’s easy to tell a man that when you’re zipping along through life with a purpose. But it’s very difficult to simply trust God when all evidence seems to suggest He’ll let us die, He’ll let our families be destroyed, He’ll take everything from us and never replace it. God cares for a grand esoteric vision that’s unintelligible to mere mortals, and it’s entirely possible (in fact, even likely) that our unending misery is an intricate part of it. And He cares far more for that divine tapestry than for our happiness. Maybe (so the demons suggest) His way of loving us is to keep us humiliated, constantly under the boot of an evil circumstance? If that’s what we have to expect, then how can we hop out of bed in the morning with a spring in our step and whistling tunes?

Why the hell don’t angels ever put a response in my head?

Where are *they*?

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Suffer the Slings and Arrows?

My friend Adam Grey has written an article for Faith and Heritage, outlining a devastating rise of suicide among lower middle class whites. Whether it be an outright death or a slow death through drugs and alcohol, the epidemic (according to the source he cites) is comparable to the AIDS epidemic of a few decades ago. The death rate is so significant, it has skewed the entire data set of white deaths.

Maybe I was unwise to do it, but I’ve written freely about my struggle with suicidal thoughts here at Shotgun Barrel Straight. Unwise because, at least in my experience, it encourages a lack of respect, demeaning and condescending attitudes, and general nastiness from people who ought to know better. And for my part, I think I’ve finally gotten to the bottom of the issue – at least, for the time being. My insights here might shed light on the wider issue among whites:

You see, early on, a group of my high school friends and I debated which of the military special forces were the best. We each chose a different branch – one friend thought Marine Recon was tops while another was intent on becoming a Green Beret. I argued that Navy SEALs were the best; they seemed to offer a sophisticated finesse the others lacked. They weren’t grunts. They were intelligent and…well, I really shouldn’t have to explain to *this* audience why a young man would find them attractive. I grew up around the water anyway and loved the romance of it.

Long story short, we joined our respective services. None of us made it to special forces of course but out of the four of us, I came the closest. I had this vision of myself and the vision only grew the closer I came to my goal. At one point, I was at the top of my game: I was in the best shape of my life, I was great at my job (as a Naval photographer), I knew all about the CIA’s war in Afghanistan and was ready to do my part. I was just getting into Christian apologetics as well and was kicking butt and taking names in that area. Also, I met this girl – a beautiful, blonde, cheer-leader type who loved Rush Limbaugh and was passionate about Christianity and conservative politics. I wasn’t just in love with her, I was in love with this entire vision of who I was, my place in the world, and the wonderful life I was going to have.

But, well…I didn’t make it as a SEAL; and the girl, she married someone else. Also, due to my study in apologetics and a theological shift into Calvinism, I became guilty about my service to Molech and couldn’t continue my enlistment with a good conscience. My entire identity and sense of self collapsed. That vision – the one that sustained me my entire life to that point – was gone. Depression soon crept in and no matter what I did, it got worse and worse.

My life since leaving the military has been one long striving to fill that emptiness with new purpose but every new vision I’d erect for myself would collapse just as the first one had. None have been as sweet; none have managed to equal that first vision; and none have lasted near as long.

It’s that lack of vision that leads to suicidal thoughts. And believe me, drugging oneself, be it through prescription or by abuse of other types of substances, is simply not the answer. Suicidal people – at least, those in my situation – can’t be cured with a doctor’s note. Curing depression is easy, as far as that goes. A few aminos here, a St. John’s Wart there, and you’re done. But those things never fill the gaping hole in the chest that lead to the suicidal depression in the first place. There’s no pill that can cure a lack of vision.

I was thinking about this again after reading Adam’s article and I remembered a verse in Romans:

For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

No matter how many times I begged God to give me a new, lasting, vision for my life, He’s ignored me.

Maybe this is why?

Restore vision to the white working classes – give them their damned dignity – and the high rate of suicides will quickly drop. I’m convinced of that. But how can we have hope in a vision we can’t see?

Other people might be able to do it, but I can’t and that’s probably why I’m having a hard time with the Christian faith.

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President Trump

TrumpvsHillary

All over the white net, debates rage about the nature of Donald Trump’s presidency. Will he keep his flagrant promises or wont he? Is he a stooge of the mysterious elite, or is he a friend of the little guy?

I don’t care one way or the other. My brand of apathy may be the key to resolving conflict between the naive optimists and the annoying doom-sayers. Before I can show how, I’ll have to play matchmaker between the two sides:

Voting is a sin, certainly, but are there reasons to forgive (or at least sympathize with) our misguided brethren who voted for the Donald?

The answer, I think, lies in the two main reasons our ilk voted for him. 1: their pathological communitarian cohesion (that is: their healthy psychological attachment to being part of a community and participating in national rituals), and 2: their disbelief in a particular conspiracy theory that says a cabal of evil men control all political outcomes.

To the first: as the survivor of government education, I’m a little jealous of those who retain a healthy attachment to their community. Any such feelings I had were destroyed (through the art of negro-induced humiliation) and replaced with anger at a degenerate society that can’t get its fill of blasphemy and sacrilege.

Assuming everyone else escaped with their sense of community and a few marginally-conservative political views, we ought to forgive them for voting. It’s tempting to sing in beautiful choirs, after all, even if the lyrics are bad. Who hasn’t belted out a Garth Brooks tune in the shower? Who hasn’t done the “wave” at a baseball game? Who hasn’t gotten caught up in national fervor when the romance of the thing seems honorable? Who hasn’t voted for a politician? In a sane world, the joy we feel at joining a national cause is an expression of health.

To the second, I admit I’m skeptical. I disagree with strict theorists about the global conspiracy. Say I disagree in scope and flavor instead of substance. Battling the ruling clique is less like defeating the final boss in a video game and more like getting our parents to feed us lunch at 2pm instead of noon. It’s just too ingrained of a pattern to buck. And given the West’s transformation from Christendom to Dildolechia, ought we be surprised at the resulting political climate? The pro-Trumpers, even if they reject the all-sovereign conspirators paradigm, ought to at least recognize that by voting, they’re propping up the pillars of Dildolech. Nevertheless, an optimistic expectation of change is a hard feeling to ignore, especially when it’s coupled with the sense of community action mentioned above.

It’s here the pro-Trumpers reply with a list pragmatic calculations. I’d ask the cranky curmudgeons of the “I-told-you-he’d-let-you-down” camp to forgive their voting friends. Forgive them because they’re right. It is true that by all objective metrics, Donald Trump is better for us than a Hillary Clinton. Even if you don’t support voting as an institution, why not take advantage of what we’re offered by choosing the much lauded “lesser of two evils”? In this case, the vote (at the very least) shows the political world what we (oppressed white Christians) want from our leaders – they’re on notice and know who to pander to next time, and what to say.

————

I was literally kicked off the Trump train (by the Secret Service) – I’ve written about it elsewhere. But I still wish I had a foot in the mainstream illusion, enough to believe, along with the throngs of flag-waving socialites, that Trump was a ray of blonde light in Dildolechia.

Here’s where my own brand of pragmatism comes in, however:

Regardless of what the pagans do or don’t do, I’ve disassociated from them. I no longer think of myself as an American. I’m a North Carolinian (for example), by accident. I happen to have been born here, but I’m not *of* here. Not any more. Now I’m *of* a different world. A world I’ve read about in dusty old novels. That’s my home. No amount of voting will get me to it. And Donald Trump? I truly believe he is a gift from God. A reprieve from the reign of evil. A time of truce. A calm in the storm. And while I have more admiration for him than any other president in my lifetime, and while I love how he infuriates the liberals, I don’t put my hope of salvation in him. Not in him nor in any amount of lever-pulling and machine-building.

Once this is realized, the entire frame of discussion shifts. The debate disappears. I’m able to appreciate Trump’s presidency without thinking of him as a messiah figure or being too emotionally distraught when he makes decisions I strongly disagree with. Dis-associate thy-self! That’s the key. It’s a miserable key, but a necessary one.

Become free men! Citizens of a different world.

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Traveling Knight

questingknight

“Still the knight is young
 and traveling on with pleasure.
Grant him wishes well,
luck in the fullest measure.
Bid you all adieu,
stories to keep and treasure.
When he’s passing through,
ever and on he goes…”

I tweaked those lyrics; I hope the Willis Clan doesn’t mind. They suit me better now. And not just me, but all Christians. We’re all going ever and on. If you’ve stumbled across my blog and you’re not a Christian, you’re not exempt. Thinketh not ye are safe! The refining light of Heaven issues from a terrible being who spares not the wicked from celestial fire…at least I hope He doesn’t.

Don’t hate me! Don’t hate me! I don’t mean I’m wishing you were in Hell – that’d be unkind to my readers. Rather, I’m wishing your submission to the forge of Angels. Consider MacDonald:

TheVeryFire

That flashy intro out of the way, what’s the point of this evening’s post?

I’m traveling onward. Again. Ever and on.

My criticisms of Kinism – not new or capricious – have recently garnered attention. While not necessarily good attention, I consider it a small boon and will say a quick word while I’ve got an audience:

The trouble I have (had?) isn’t so much with the doctrines of Kinism, although I have always had small disagreements hither and yon with this or that talking-point. Rather, looking back, I think I was wrestling with the Reformed faith itself. I’ve noted here (and others have affirmed elsewhere) the importance of Calvinist dogma in laying the intellectual ground of Kinist polemics. There is no better or more thorough defense of racialism in the entire English speaking – perhaps in the entire white – world. No Alternative Rightist, no white nationalist philosopher, no Darwinian HBD guru, has as intimate a grasp of the underlying epistemological issues nor have any of them developed such an intricate, worldview-in-scope philosophical system to underlie their political philosophy. None. Of. Them.

I defy *anyone* to say otherwise – and even now, while I’m something of a pariah in official Kinist channels (and am in some doubt about the Reformed tradition), I could easily defeat such a challenge. Probably within a matter of minutes. They’d be reduced to profanity and sputtering about how useless philosophy is (I’ve seen it happen many times in my career as a Kinist). There are, of course, many who come close; there are some sharp guys in the pro-white community and I don’t want to disparage their work or discourage them. Nevertheless, the fact of the matter is, whenever a Kinist can be bothered to write the “Kinist Manifesto”, it’ll be the most thorough intellectual defense of the white race ever to have been written (assuming they do a good job in explicating the doctrines).

There’s a problem in the Reformed tradition however.

I’ve mentioned this elsewhere at Shotgun Barrel Straight (and in some of the podcasts I’ve participated in), but there was a split in American Calvinism, corresponding to the North / South divide in America. Refer to it as the “New School / Old School” debate if you’d like, but for those who aren’t interested in arcane Presbyterian history: the North (except Princeton) was radically “liberal” while the South, in whole, was Conservative. It’s difficult to lay out the theological issues specifically since there were so many of them. Nathan Strickland and I did a podcast on Southern Presbyterianism and Kinism which is still on Soundcloud if any of you are interested (the bad audio is completely my fault – I apologize). You can all guess: the Southern Calvinist tradition was lost along with the political South.

What happened afterwards was a spiritual tragedy. Northern religiosity spread throughout the entire country – this has been documented and analyzed elsewhere, especially by the Abbeville Institute (search their articles if you’re interested; also see “Strangers in Zion” by William Glass for a concise study of how “fundamentalism” in the South is an aspect of Northern religious tradition).

For better or worse, this “spirit” (if you will) dominated all of the Reformed tradition although, years later, the conservative wing of it spawned the Christian Reconstruction movement which later spawned Kinism. Kinism, however great, is, nevertheless, mired in the Northern Calvinist religiosity. To the extent most Kinist are Southerners however, they’ve managed to mitigate the negative effects and yet, the total devotion to a dogmatic system is, perhaps, in varying degrees, a disease in all modern religious expression.

And however mean and childish (fill-in-the-blank with whatever other criticism you prefer) you think I am, I’m simply not comfortable with this “Dogma-Uber-Alles” attitude. Hence my struggle with Kinism – a struggle perhaps more with a dogmatic religiosity than with the Kinists themselves (most of whom are still very dear friends – I even still like the ones who claim to be my friends while publicly psychoanalyzing me).

What am I now if not a Calvinist? What am I traveling on to? Onwards and upwards? (Or, downwards if you’re convinced strict adherence to a system is the path to Heaven)? Well that’s just it, isn’t it? What does it mean to be a Calvinist? Is it that I believe in some typically Calvinist doctrines? If so, then maybe I’m still a Calvinist. Or is it that I’m a formal member of an organized church? That, I’m certainly not. Or is it that I participate in and identify as a member of a certain culture, with certain jargon and social habits? If it’s that – and I suspect it is, even if a Calvinist says otherwise – then I’m not at all a Calvinist.

In fact, it’s only been recently that I’ve stopped caring about dogma at all. There are far greater and more important truths about our Father than how His liver might work in conjunction with His pancreas. He’s not on the theologian’s autopsy table.

Call me a “Christian Romantic” if you need a label. My mentors in the Faith are the likes of Lewis, MacDonald, and Owen Barfield…although, don’t suppose that’s an exclusive list. I value Spurgeon and Machen as well. Far more so than anything I’ve ever read in Calvin or Edwards.

At any rate, I still care for many who claim to be Kinists; I don’t suppose for a minute they believe in abstractions over flesh and blood, or dogma over bonds of honor. I’ll never forget the fellowship and in-the-trenches-type battling we’ve done together (many of my Kinist friends came to my defense when I was being slandered by the national media, some even risking exposure and doxxing on my behalf).

…but I’m sorry. I can’t continue traveling the Calvinist path. God is taking me (quite against my will, truth be told) onwards and upwards. To higher truths and a stronger Faith than I ever imagined.

I truly hope He does the same for you (although I pray the flames aren’t as hot for you as they are for me).

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Shotgun and the Leprechaun

Leprechaun

If you’re wondering what happened to my response to Ehud’s F&H slam article, I’ve unpublished it. I decided to take the high road; be the bigger man, as it were. So come, my minions. Critique me; psychoanalyze me; make judgements about me based on little more than a phone conversation we had years ago. I welcome it. Really. I’ll enter your criticisms in the footnotes of my ten-chapter-long memoir (which I’m sure F&H will publish).

…but if you’re new to my blog (visiting thanks to the publicity my friends decided, out of the blue, to offer me), then be mindful that I’ve been publishing my struggles with the Christian Faith. You’ll be interested to know that after a particularly dark bout of providence and a resulting spate of angry prayers, I challenged God to discipline me. He did, in at least two instances, both of which, oddly (though humorously) had an Irish twist. The first was a few weeks ago and is recorded in my last post (Luck of the Irate). Here’s how the second happened:


Suffice it to say, I was having a case of the Mondays. Two hours from home, my car had broken down in coon-town. My radiator was bone dry and I was in a vacant lot surrounded by be-bopping jacobins. Was this God punishing me again?! “Well…” I reminded myself, “…I asked for it.” Asked for it indeed, with a healthy side of profanity. In hindsight, I’m pretty sure God disciplines us whether we ask for it or not. Best not to ask for it.

Luckily (and the irony of that word doesn’t escape me), there was an auto parts store about half a mile away. Believe it or not, it was an Irish-themed establishment with, you guessed it, a large shamrock as part of their logo. I put my pistol in my back pocket and set out to a gas station to get water. I was able to fill the reservoir enough so the car would start, then managed to drive it out of the lot and down to the O’Reilly’s. I had a busted seal in my thermostat housing; the water blew out so fast the radiator was dry again by the time I arrived. I thought I could purchase sealant and plug it enough to get home.

…turned out, that was wishful thinking. There was no way the sealant could plug the entire leak. At that point, I called my dad, who had to stop what he was doing and drive two hours with tools so we could perform a minor operation right there in the parking lot; we’d have to replace the entire thermostat. In the mean time, I needed more water (to re-fill the radiator), and asked the clerk if I could get some. “In the back,” he said.

I’ve had radiator issues before and I knew about the large sinks in auto stores. They use them to fill mop buckets but they’re also ideal for milk jugs. Sad to say, when I got to the back, theirs had an “out of order” sign on it. I swore. All the frustration of my recent religious struggles hit me full force. “Why God!?!? Again?! You just can’t give me any good luck, can you?!”

If you’ve arrived at my blog from F&H you might be used to judging your fellows harshly. I implore you not to in my case. There are times we all lose our cool and the pressures of life, even the relatively small ones, act as proverbial “feathers” to break a peeved-off camel’s back; or my back, as the case may be. Broke down in coon town, surrounded by vagrants and thugs. Even the O’Reilly’s employees were shady looking. It just wasn’t my lucky day. Until…

“Hey man…maybe I can help?” a voice said.

I turned around and…you’ll never believe it… there was a midget. A friendly lil’ feller, who, despite his stature, had the trustworthy features of an honorable, normal sized white man. He was holding a water key.

“Yeah…” he explained, “…this one’s broke so we’ve been having to use the outside spigot. You have to have this key though. Come on, I’ll help you out.” And help he did.

A kind word and friendly hand at the right moment, dear readers, mean all the world to a Christian down on his luck.

…although, maybe I wasn’t down on luck after all?

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Luck of the Irate

irate

Here’s a pro tip guys: if you give a girl flowers and she’s disappointed because they’re not edible or otherwise useful around the farm, marry her.

Here’s another pro tip: no matter how angry you get at God, never challenge Him to discipline you. “Come on! Do it! We both know you wont! We both know I’m out of the covenant and praying to a God who doesn’t answer prayers! You only discipline those you love anyway; I’d prefer that to silence. So come on! Have at it!”

If, hypothetically, you ever pray such a prayer, consider the following two stories about what happened to me after doing so. Interestingly enough, both anecdotes have an Irish twist. The symbolism escapes me but in hindsight, adds an hilarious irony I can’t write off as coincidence. No, what I’m about to relate are real interactions between God and man. My awe (and frustration) aside, if I’ve learned nothing else, I’ve learned they might still be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Heaven…


The first happened a few weeks ago. I was angry because God seems capricious, “…you’re no better than a weathervain, Lord.” He blesses one minute, curses the next. This makes God more of an impersonal force than a divine person. We may as well be praying to the wind. Although that’s not quite true either (so I reasoned). No, the wind, at least, changes directions from time to time. With God it’s a never-ending stream of bad luck. “Why can’t you be more like the wind, God?! Change it up a little! Give me some good luck for a change!”

The next morning I got out ye olde power washer, put on my headphones, and began a long day of labor. Hours went by. I washed everything, high and low; destroyed wasps, spiders, pollen, and mold. I had to re-fill the gas tank five times. As the day was wearing down, the machine inexplicably shut off. I checked the gas – it had plenty. I checked the water – it was on full blast. The engine started but I wasn’t getting any pressure.

After messing with it and performing all the troubleshooting I could, I decided my water pump had gone bad. It’s a fairly common problem with pressure washers. Unfortunately, a new pump costs almost as much as the whole machine. I’d have to scrap it. “See, God?! This is exactly what I’m talking about! Where’s my luck?! Why can’t I have good luck for a change?!”

As I began coiling the hose and preparing for a disappointing end to the day, it occurred to me there was one thing left I might try. I hadn’t checked the water hose’s connection to the washer. Maybe, somehow or other, something had gotten lodged in there? So I squatted down, hunkered over the connector, and released it. As soon as I did, residual pressure exploded out of the nozzle, blowing… (and you’ll never believe this)…clovers all in my face. Shamrocks! Not just a few, ladies and gents; an entire face full of stereotypical good luck charms. They were clogging the hose and blocking the water. It took me awhile to clean them all out, there were so many.

Now you tell me, you science-minded denizens of modernity…you tell me how that many clovers got into my water hose. You tell me how they made it through miles of county pipe to arrive, at the most ironic of times, plastered all over my face.

Fun Fact: St. Patrick, it’s sometimes said, thought of the Shamrock as a symbol of the Holy Trinity.


In the interest of keeping these posts a manageable size, I’ll post the second story tomorrow. It may involve a leprechaun!

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