I was disappointed. I’ve never read Mitchell’s novel but the movie has been hyped so much, even by “conservatives” like those at the Abbeville Institute, I thought I was in for a masterpiece. But Rhett Butler turned out to be an anti-hero whose few noble sparks failed to balance his ignoble character, and Scarlett was a caricature from an Esther Vilar essay.
I thought hard labor would bring her to a healthy frame of mind which would have made a great story. It did the opposite, prompting her to take up Yankee vices to indulge her petulance. And this is a masterpiece?
I’m often told it’s one of the greatest love stories on the big screen. I’m sorry, but if it’s anything, it’s a tragedy. They got that much right. Southern civilization is gone with the wind. And not just the south, but all of old Europe.
What do we call that place swept away by the Jacobin winds?
That there has been a sea change is undeniable; that we’re living in an unprecedented age of Satan worship, which inverts all things holy is painfully undeniable.
But what to call that which was replaced?
I’m going to refer to it as the “Ancient Regime”; the ancient regime is gone with the wind. Knights, ladies, the great chain of propriety, tribal superiority, hard-bought prejudices, and most importantly, the deep-magic of Christ’s love – all gone.
I was born in 1982, well after the civil rights movement conquered the last bit of southern resistance. I don’t know what the world was like before then. I don’t know what it’s like to have an all-white baseball team or an all-white school. I can only imagine it based on what I read. And based on what I’ve read, I’ve become homesick for a world that no longer exists. “Homesick” because I immediately realized, upon venturing into the literature, that it was my home.
“Blessed are those who believe but have not seen.”(1)
This brings me to a theological point that’s guaranteed to anger all my friends – Catholic and Protestant alike: I think Protestants are right to hold Scripture as the highest authority for a Christian. But Catholics also seem right when they appeal to a tradition to guide our understanding of the text. Otherwise, postmodernism slips in and words, even Holy ones, end up meaning whatever the individual interpreter wants. Do we dunk the baby or don’t we? Who knows?
But what tradition should we hold to? Not Rome. I don’t buy the arguments that a human bureaucracy (in this case, the so-called “Church”) has authority to dictate theological truths on God’s behalf. Besides, if Catholics believe God can so-use a small body of Bishops, why can’t they say the same for an entire people?
Why can’t we appeal to the tradition of the Ancien’ Regime if we need to solve some debate or other? That’s what I end up doing on a practical level. I often think of Shane, the gunslinger. Had he been obliged to speculate over tomes of ethics before firing a shot, he’d not be the hero we read about. No, he appealed to the tradition of the Ancien’ Regime because it was ingrained in him – bred-in-the-bones.
Why put God on the autopsy table anyway? I don’t know how important correct doctrine is in the end, but if God is anything like my own father (my father’s best traits are pale reflections), then He cares more about how much I love Him than how well I can describe the inner-connections of His liver and spleen.
Many scoff at this sort Faith. It bypasses their pet ideological denomination and is an affront to the new regime’s Godhead: Abstract Reason. My Faith has bloomed into a fire because of it. Philosophical speculation left me discouraged and bowing at the trough of despair.
As it is, I’m homesick for a place I’ve never been but where, I truly believe, I can get to if I pray hard enough.
(1): I’ve decided to bold all Scripture references from now on to set apart Holy writ from mundane citations.