“O, this life is nobler than attending for a cheque
Richer than doing nothing for a bauble,
Prouder than rustling in unpaid-for silk:
Such gain the cap of him that makes ’em fine,
Yet keeps his book uncross’d: no life to ours.” ~ Cymbeline
“There is a direct connection between a belief in Christ as the Son of God and a hostility to the scientific method as applied to human beings. Because we have stomachs that need food and bodies that need sleep does not mean we are mere products of the natural world that can be played upon by the scientistic, ‘liberty, equality, and fraternity’ crowd. Our greatest need is God, the God who revealed to us that our white skins are part of our spiritual essence, without which we are wanderers in the desert of modernity. Our church men have no faith, because they have attempted to blend scientistic thinking, which is really a type of non-thinking, with the Christian faith.” ~ CWNY
This is hard to admit, but neither is it something I’m ashamed of: for most of this ill-fated year, I’ve been homeless. Not quite the typical homeless vet, mine is more self-imposed, with an eye towards the Dave Ramsey philosophy of “living like no one else today so we might live like no one else tomorrow”. The Ramsey acolyte must be willing to forego the, frankly, unnecessary things in life (like a house, in my case) in hopes of a more stable financial future. One without debt. But this leads directly to a vicious criticism from those I considered friends. Criticism on account of me being in my thirties and unmarried:
“How can a Christian man who haunts the hallowed circles of pious traditionalists be your age without at least an even-dozen children?! What a pathetic specimen you are!”
Recall Jane Austen’s famous opening: a single man with a fortune must be in want of a wife. The converse – at least for Christian men these days – seems also true: a man without a fortune can’t afford a wife. So there’s one powerful motivation for wealth, always supposing what lies behind a certain gal’s halo proves worth the effort. But more than women stoke this particular fire: there’s the natural and ever present desire for comforts and the avoidance of heavy, meaningless, labor.
I raise these, probably obvious, truths to highlight one of the ways the Devil and his minions control the Dissident Right. I’ll refer to the Devil and his minions as “they”. They have all the power and money right now; and, when they have the money, they set the agenda of conservative conferences. They hire the interns. They pay the bonuses. They turn their knobs, twist their dials, punch their keys, and with scientific precision, create a culture in which a man, to be upwardly-mobile, must reject Christ and bow to the Devil.
I’ve seen this in action many times when I used to attend the largest conservative conferences. Everyone is attempting disingenuous “networking”, hoping to move up the latter. They’ll leave you behind the minute you’re no longer useful to them. A creature made in the divine image of the creator? No! You’re a mere object to be either stepped on or stepped over…and all in the desperate pursuit to be upwardly-mobile in the world created by “they”.
But this puts Christian men in a terrible situation. To make it in the world there must be some way to compromise with the Devil. Some way to soften our position or only promote those of our views which are harmless. In this way, we can have friends, wives, children, and so on. Isn’t that what we’re called to do, as Christian men?
God forbid it.
So, to you, my misguided friends who’ve criticized me on this account, know that whatever your complaints as to my personal life, my one virtue thus far, be it willingly or unwillingly imposed, has been a rejection of the world with all its goods, in favor of a life of poverty. That’s my answer to the terrible “they” situation.
I think a quiet, agrarian life, serves us well, here. I’ve never been happier than when I was working on the farm – shooting cormorants all morning, taking fish samples in the afternoons, using heavy machinery to play in the dirt all day. There’s a southern nobility in this, present to this day in the minds of most blue-collar southerners:
“We might have been better off, or owned a bigger house, if Daddy’d done more giving in, or a little more backing down. But we always had plenty, just a livin’ his advice: whatever you do today, you’ll have to sleep with tonight…”
Man does not live on bread alone. We’ve heard this so many times it’s in danger of becoming trivial, and yet, it’s that other stuff – the stuff we must live on – that’s more profound, and (pardon the pun), is provided by the agrarian life…in spades! That bread of life, that living water, that blood connection to a loving God who does not leave us in our troubles…it’s worth more than anything “they” could give us. It’s worth more than the perverted existence we’re forced to endure at present.
So, away with that which tempts; let us feast on the withering corpse of modernity instead, until nothing is left but fertile ground on which we might rebuild a society where *we* set the dials of upward mobility.