vendredi 18 novembre 2011

Observations on the Sin of Idolatry, when re-reading Joy Davidman Lewis

"Unlike Buddhists and Hindus, Christians have usually held that the good things of this life are good indeed, that all enjoyment is a foreshadowing of our ultimate enjoyment of God. Our earthly loves and joys are meant to lead us to Christ, and we may certainly ask the Christ in whom we believe to preserve them for us. Yet this is very different from using Christ without believing in Him-from making Christian doctrine into a propaganda weapon, a pep talk to hearten us to go out and fight for good old materialism. We must return to Christianity in order to preserve the things we value-but we cannot return to Christianity at all unless the thing we value above all else is Christ. If we are reviving religion only in order to defend our own works, from Parliamentary democracy to Yorkshire pudding, we are in effect asking Christ to save our idols for us."

Joy Davidman Lewis, Smoke on the Mountain, Chapter 2.

She made the case against Anders Behring Breivik pretty clear here. Her husband - whom I have been reading much more often than this one book of hers - might have thunk she made it against Franco too. Maybe, in the end, she did. Or maybe not. What is clear is that she did not make it against the men who died singing Cara al Sol - or not against all of them, not against what they did in common - while they fought off Azaña. That was as good a deed as fighting off Antiochus Epiphanes and Gorgias.

Either way, today is the date when Franco died in 1975, as well as the date when José Antonio died in 1936.

If I am not going to the Mass that is said for them (I still might) in St Nicolas du Chardonnet this evening, it is not because I do not care for them, or for their cause, which was, against Azaña, just. Nor is it because I share her views on the Eucharist: I believe what the Catholic Church believes and has believed about this, and that she was mistaken. It was not just Trent that condemned the error of Zwingli, but Iassy and Jerusalem too. It was not about the universal act of eating that God told his disciples "for this is my body". Rather, in St John's Gospel, Our Lord has put things straight: "for my flesh is real food".

It is because I have a hunch that they have idolatrously (in spirit, not in actual prescribed prayers but in the intentions) tried to manipulate God against me, against what I want, to be fair it is probably because they would consider or up to now have considered my use of the internet as an act of idolatry in precisely the sense sketched out by Joy Davidman in this essay. And so far God has not shown me He intends to defend my earthly happiness against this. He has, however, defended me from being a real heretic I think, and from going mad or thinking I have gone mad so as to make me a dependent on psychiatry with its evil works of idolatry.

Howso, in what sense?

"Nor does the idol's continued silence teach you better sense, if you're a natural-born idolater. For if Mumbo-Jumbo is so hard* to please, what a very great Mumbo-Jumbo he must be !"

That is about the psychiatric attitude to mental illness. If anyone will defend DSMH IV from the charge of being a Talmud losing connexion with the Torah, an idolatrous demonisation of states innocent in themselves or not as bad as psychiatrists paint them, let him do so. But not by making my life or those of my dear ones a misery, as has been the case. It is like Krafft Ebbing** in a way: he was right to say sodomy is wrong, but wrong to go on condemning this and that act of natural coitus as stemming from a mentality close to that leading to acceptance of - passive - sodomy. If you compare the thickness of "Psychopathologia Sexualis" to what the Bible or St Thomas Aquinas** have to say about "sins against nature" it is obvious how Krafft Ebbing makes as bad blunders as superstitious or prejudiced judgers of other men's mental and physical virility. "Oh, if he had balls he would be working his ass off!" or "If he had balls, and really had wanted that girl, he would not have let her treat him like that" and such idiocies. As if sodomitic preferences were due to lack of balls, rather than presence of idolatry! I mean, if a man has so little testosterone that he feels female in presence of that other man, he can do two quite non-sodomitic things about it: leave the company or fight. When hindered to do either, he can pray. If he is a Christian that is. Or again, as if a male sodomite doing the active part and dominating "his boyfriend" were a most charming and respectable person, considering he does not lack balls. Unfortunately, I am not quite sure St Nicolas du Chardonnet is quiet free from that attitude.*** they are too close to the French army and police - who are too close to a pedagogic virility cult, where "pédé" is an insult intended to provoke someone to increase his testosterone level. I think it might have come with Physical Education teachers of the Third Republic, at least in that great contact with public mentality over here.
Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bibl. Château d'Eau

* Mis-"printed" as bard on site. Restituting h- is pretty obvious.

** Thank Causette for bringing up Krafft Ebbing. Unfortunately that paper is writing as if his condemnation of Sodomy - and other acts separating intentionally rather than accidentally sex from procreation - was part of his heretic spirit. Confer St Thomas on accidental infertility of ejaculation:  and deliberate:  - all of the questio 154, most of which deals with unjust acts which Krafft Ebbing might still have considered "normal" is much shorter than Psychopathologia Sexualis, and should remain so.

*** I have not yet read what the bishop of Paris has to say on the subject, but I think his heresy on the matter might be even worse. When asked why "persons with homosexual attraction" could not marry, in "L'1visible" this year (April, I think), he answered about why same sexed "couples" could not. As if persons with same sex attraction were unable to make anything but partnerships in sodomy! I have not yet read his fuller treatment of same subject, though invited to do so. That is (unless I have judged him hastily) where Church men today bow down to psychological expertise, instead of bowing down to God, who, through St Paul, revealed that sodomy is a punishment for - hear, hear, Joy Davidman Lewis! - idolatry.

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