Homesick

Gainsborough Cottage Door Last night, I finally got around to watching Gone with the Wind.

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.

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(1):  I’ve decided to bold all Scripture references from now on to set apart Holy writ from mundane citations.

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4 Responses to Homesick

  1. rogerunited says:

    Agreed about Gone With The Wind.

    All denominations lean on tradition when interpreting scripture: Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian, etc; Theonomy, Dispensationalism, Calvinism, Sedevacantism; millennialism, premillennialism, post meillennialism; ad infinitum! In fact, denominations are really nothing more than traditions of scriptural interpretation. I don’t think there’s an entrance exam to heaven, St Peter doesn’t meet you at the Pearly Gates with a #2 pencil and an answer sheet, or else VERY few if any would gain salvation. ‘[T]hen He cares more about how much I love Him than how well I can describe the inner-connections of His liver and spleen.’ I think you’re correct.

  2. Alan J. Perrick says:

    No, “Shotgun”, to me the Vatican-Roman Church is wholly wrong and history stands as its witness that one ecclesial administration should not have so much dominion. There are perfectly good traditions found in other places, and the while the Eastern Church is good, something about the Byzantine Rite is too alien and the communicant’s combination of body and blood in one spoonful is too degraded. But, I won’t too harshly critique my Eastern Church cousins as they mostly keep to themselves without the political and, probably inadvertantly but still profoundly, genocidal ambition of the Vatican-Romanists.

    I would recommend the branch of the Church, which is the orthodox remains of the English Church, the Continuing Anglican Movement ( http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuing_Anglican_movement ) It’s part of what I call America 2.0 meaning it’s broken away from the “main-stream” body, the Episcopalians. In the 1960s and 70s, many congregations of different church bodies broke away during the refusal of the travesty of women’s ordination. But the idea of America 2.0 holds to other mediums as well, for example Disney is part of America 1.0 and could very well (hopefully) be passed up by a more traditional, and European competitor. Also, the smartest, clearest seeing, educations seem to be found in newer, Christian colleges, not the Ivy Leagues which have long departed any of their Christian, America 1.0 roots.

    But the Anglican tradition, with its emphasis on congregations rather than various tiers of bishops, and also itsnprayer books is really valuable. There is a certain flexibility in its breadth of liturgially acceptable practices, from a very “Catholic” and well ornamented side, to a more ascetic and probably more aggressive yet simultaneously fragile and plainer side. Also, the way the Church adjusted during the colonial revolution was good and such fighting between similar nations like Britain and the colonies is probably natural. Especially, if there is to be a big conflict in upcoming decades between white and anti-white. At least, that’s my theory. The Vatican-Roman Church, in contrast seems to be really cliquish and it would be hard imagining them ever allowing racial separation. Rather they do seem set on setting up a colour-based caste system that has always, inevitably, “browned out” the upper class throughout history.

    Yet, to see a Presbyterian, yourself “Shotgun”, painfully twisting in the wind as he tries to get some purchase with his footing is not an unwelcome sight as I do understand the Reform style of church to be less weighty, and oftentimes plainer, which would lead to more aggressiveness and quickness, should it be done right. I am reminded of the President Andew Jackson who kept safe the settlers from attacks by the tribal indigenous while a more heavily liturgical or ornamental (ie. not Calvinist) leader would have grotesquely urged “assimilation”… A similar situation happened in New Zealand and eventually a Anglican Christian diocese was formed there locally. This had the effect of practically halting European settlement and cordoning off areas for alien populations (19th century). If a Presbyterian wants to stick to his tradition, he can probably move a lot faster in the right direction, though I’d guess it goes both ways.

    So, for my own, I’m considering eventually moving somewhere whiter but then also to a place where they practice the plainer form of Anglican Christianity…Something about encouraging so much tradition, to the point of drawing up rules for monastic communities, just seems off to me and a big step back.

    Best regards and good luck!,

    A.J.P.

  3. Alan J. Perrick says:

    Gone with the Wind might be best seen as an opera without the music. ;)

  4. Swiss Kinist says:

    I was beginning to think I was the only one who thought “Gone with the Wind” was horrible. It was up there among the worst I’ve ever seen, along with “1984”. The heroes of the story are immoral sinners (in the Biblical sense of the word– one who practices a life of unrepentant sin). It was many years ago I watched it, so I do not recall all the details, but I can remember how I felt about the way plots ended and so forth.

    Great post overall, brother. Blessings to you.

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