Category Archives: Christianity

Splitting Eros Leads To Disaster

One of Dalrock’s recent posts examines the consequences of the elevation of romantic love to a moral force:

The simple fact is the moment you attribute moral value to romantic love you are creating a rival to biblical sexual morality.  In biblical sexual morality it is marriage that creates a moral space for sex and romantic love (with romantic love not separated from sexual passion).  We have overturned God’s order here, and are now claiming that romantic love is the moral space for marriage and sex.  This is deceptively subtle, and at the same time demolishes the moral meaning of marriage.

Passionless duty sex was for marriage, and passion was for adultery.  Courtly love built upon this idea with a twist.  It added a new concept of romantic love, separating out the emotional aspect of sexual passion.  This newly separated concept of romantic love was worshiped and seen as sanctifying.  CS Lewis summed up the concept of courtly love as (emphasis mine):

“The sentiment, of course, is love, but love of a highly specialized sort, whose characteristics may be enumerated as Humility, Courtesy, Adultery, and the Religion of Love.”

What Dalrock is examining here is a situation where Eros has been split in two. As a reminder/refresher, the ancient Greeks believed in several different concepts of  “love.” The three principal loves were:

  • Eros- sensual love associated with the body
  • Philos- love in the form of friendship that is associated with the soul
  • Agapos- the self-sacrificing love that comes from God and is thus associated with the Spirit

Now, Eros is a bodily love. However, emotions are as much of the body as the actual “rubbing together of bodyparts.” Which is my way of saying that Eros properly contains both Romance as well as the actual physical acts of intercourse. Passion and Romance go hand in hand, if you will. Dalrock is making a mistake by calling it “Romantic love.” It is really just the emotional aspect of the love we know as Eros. It is not something separate.

What has unfortunately been going on for centuries now is an attempt to split Eros up into a “dirty” part, sex, and a “pure” part, “romance.” However, no matter how many games you play with this, it cannot be done. Eros encompasses both. Any attempt to separate the two is inherently insane. We should expect that craziness will follow from it. Thus, to me it is no surprise that efforts to separate Eros have helped “break” marriage in the west. We have gone against God’s plan for human beings- disaster is to be expected.

God created Man as a union of body, soul and spirit. Marriage, as an institution/sacrament coming from God, relies on a healthy state of that union. If they are unhealthy, or there is discord, then marriage will suffer accordingly. Marriage encompasses each of these loves, because marriage affects and is affected by all parts of that union. Trying to remove the physical component of Eros from marriage effectively breaks that unity and creates disorder in that man or woman- and thereby brings disorder into the marriage. It affects both husband and wife because in marriage the two become one.

Remember, Man was made for marriage. And by marriage I mean what God intends by marriage. Trying to fit man into anything other than what God intended is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It doesn’t work. Alas, we are seeing the proof of that all around us in the West right now.

Update: I should make it clear that the mistake that I think Dalrock was mistaking was calling it “Romantic Love.” I don’t think he failed to grasp the other parts of my post. One of his older posts in fact notes that courtly love is always sexual.

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Filed under Attraction, Blue Pill, Christianity, Churchianity, Desire, Marriage, Moral Agency, Pair Bonding, Red Pill, Sex, Sexual Strategies, Sin, State of Nature, Temptation, The Church

You Reap What You Don’t Sow

[Alternate title: Shaking Yourself Apart]

So I caught this in the news recently: One of the Shakers’ last three members died Monday. The storied sect is verging on extinction. An excerpt:

One of the last three remaining members of the dwindling Shaker sect died Monday.

Sister Frances Carr died at the Shaker community at Sabbathday Lake in New Gloucester, Maine, “after a brief battle with cancer,” according to a statement on the community’s website.

It continued, “The end came swiftly and with dignity surrounded by the community and her nieces.” Carr was 89.

Carr was a member of the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearance, a Christian group formed in 1747 in Manchester, England. They earned the name the Shakers when critics began calling them “Shaking Quakers” because of “their ecstatic and violent bodily agitation in worship,” according to Sabbathday Lake’s website. The Shakers eventually abandoned this particular dancing-style worship, but the congregation adopted the term, according to the Associated Press.

I remember reading about this particular sect years ago. I am not at all surprised the group is nearly extinct. Here are some of their core beliefs:

The Shakers practice celibacy, in addition to pacifism, equality of the sexes and communal ownership of property.

Their extinction is sort of a given considering their beliefs. Of course, the surviving members think otherwise, but hey, why wouldn’t they? Another point from the article:

Although it may sound like an old-fashioned religious sect by today’s standards, at one time the Shakers were considered progressive. As PBS noted, “Seventy-five years before the emancipation of the slaves and 150 years before women began voting in America, the Shakers were practicing social, sexual, economic, and spiritual equality for all members.”

We can see in the Shakers the end result of “Progressive Christianity” – extinction. This group just happened to (almost) get there a lot faster given their embrace of total celibacy. Other sects will come to the same fate as well, as sooner or later their deviancy will catch up with them.

 

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Filed under Christianity, Churchianity, Civilization, Marriage, Parenting, The Church, Tradition

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope all my American readers have a Happy Thanksgiving.

I give thee thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
    before the gods I sing thy praise;
I bow down toward thy holy temple
    and give thanks to thy name for thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness;
for thou hast exalted above everything
    thy name and thy word.
On the day I called, thou didst answer me,
    my strength of soul thou didst increase.

All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O Lord,
    for they have heard the words of thy mouth;
and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
    for great is the glory of the Lord.
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly;
    but the haughty he knows from afar.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
    thou dost preserve my life;
thou dost stretch out thy hand against the wrath of my enemies,
    and thy right hand delivers me.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
    thy steadfast love, O Lord, endures for ever.
    Do not forsake the work of thy hands.

(Psalm 138)

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the lands!
    Serve the Lord with gladness!
    Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the Lord is God!
    It is he that made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise!
    Give thanks to him, bless his name!

For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures for ever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.

(Psalm 100)

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Filed under Christianity, God

In Service Of The Truth

This post is not so much a continuation of my last post but rather a further exploration of the nexus of Truth and the differences between men and women. I want to start it with a small story:

Some time ago I was eating at a restaurant and overheard a couple of women speaking about their religious views. I wasn’t eavesdropping, they were just that loud (I am sure my readers know the type). One of them explained that she was Catholic, and had been for a number of years. When she was quizzed on that by the other woman, the first one explained that she was familiar with other Christian sects. In fact she had “tried” several out. And what she had found was that she enjoyed the Catholic liturgy (the new Roman one, anyways) the best.

As if anticipating something the second woman might say, she went on. She said that she “knew” that other people could find God their own way. It was just that, for her, the Catholic liturgy was the best way to “experience God.”

What fascinated me was that there was absolutely no mention during this conversation of the word “Truth.” It never came up, not even once. It was all about “the experience.” In other words, how a particular liturgical experience made either woman feel.

Thinking it over, I wondered if that was the primary motivator in a woman’s religious preference- the desire for something that felt good or right. Based on my own observations, I am inclined to think that many, if not most women, operate this way. Mind you, I know that not all do- I personally know women whose religious conviction was based on a quest for Truth, and not simply feels. Yet I am fairly certain they are the minority.

At the same time I wonder about men. I am sure that some men operate this way too. But I am not convinced that as many men do it as women. I think that men are more likely to base their religious preference based on what they view as True, and not merely something that will make them feel good.

[Incidentally, given the overall greater number of women in Church, I wonder if the percentage of overall truth seekers might be closer than it appears.]

All the same, I am curious what my reader’s thoughts are on the matter. So feel free to contribute your thoughts on the matter. Tell me where I am right… or wrong.

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Filed under Blue Pill, Christianity, Men, Red Pill, The Church, Women

Handling The Truth

In his most recent post, Deep Strength discusses the differences between Kindness and Niceness. I find no disagreement with his explanation of both:

Kindness, of course, is a fruit of the Spirit, whereas niceness is concerned meeting a need while placating feelings.

Where I disagree is his view on how Truth and Kindness interact, as least so far as where women are concerned. As he explains it:

Women, however, tend to need more flavoring with their food. Food is Truth. Is the essence and meat of the subject. However, Truth (or meat) by itself tends to be very unpalatable to women. Thus, they need flavoring with food to make it more palatable. This is where grace comes in.

An example he uses of this in practice is this:

If a woman/wife asks if something makes her look fat and she is then…

  • the Nice answer is no, but that is a lie.

  • the Truthful answer is yes, but it is generally not graceful.

  • a Kind answer may be to decline to answer or a sarcastic answer, as a Truthful answer may not be palatable to the ears.

To begin with, I don’t see how there is really any flavoring here. To flavor something is to add something extra to make it more palatable, right? Except there is none of that going on here. Instead, the Kind answer contains no Truth, and instead dances around it. Perhaps this is simply a bad analogy, or perhaps I am missing the point. But I don’t see where this supports the argument advanced by DS.

But setting that example aside, I question whether anything but the Truth is kind. One of the major analogies used in the ‘sphere is the Hamster- that invisible rodent ever spinning on a wheel of rationalization inside the brain. The Hamster churns out rationalization after rationalization to do just what DS is talking about here- making things more palatable.

It seems to me that what he proposes is dangerous. Mixing up the Truth with something else just feeds the female Hamster. It gives women more of an opportunity to rationalize things.  This makes it more likely for the Truth to be lost in whatever mental machinations are necessary to make the woman feel better about the situation.

Now, I can agree that how one tells the Truth to women should be different to men. Perhaps different words, perhaps a different tone is needed. But the Truth stands on its own, and should so stand. Mixing it up with anything else… well, let us keep in mind these words of Saint Paul:

For through the Spirit, by faith, we wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail, but faith working through love. You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who called you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

(Galatians 5:5-9)

The danger is that adding something to the Truth is like leaven- it causes the whole lump to rise. In this context, it means that a little leaven changes something that was True into something else entirely.

Also, part of me questions the entire premise that women can’t handle the unvarnished Truth. I am curious if there is any Scriptural support for this notion. Perhaps 1 Peter 3 and the “weaker vessel” analogy, but that seems like quite a stretch. Frankly, I think Deep Strength is giving women less credit than they deserve. I am curious what my readers, male and female alike, have to say on the matter….

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Filed under Christianity, Red Pill, Sin, Temptation, Women

The Blind Spot

My recent post Something Else led to some excellent comments by my readers. Two subjects were raised there that I think should be readdressed in a separate post- this one.

The first is the role of the Church in all of this. Deti left a comment on the subject, and here is part of it:

Zippy Catholic addressed this a while back, saying that “The Church is not your daddy”. The Church’s only job is to administer the Sacraments to the faithful and provide for education and training up in the faith. That’s it. It’s not to help socialize men, provide vocations for them, or help them find wives. So I think you’ll have to convince the Zippys of the world that the church should take up the banner of providing outlets to channel what is essentially untapped and unreleased sexual energy. You have to convince folks like Zippy that helping guys do things other than get laid is something the church should and must do.

He then linked to Zippy’s post on the subject. I would like to make a couple of points here.

First, when I speak of the Church I don’t mean only ordained clergy and the official hierarchy of the Church. I mean the whole body of Christ. Yes, I think the clergy has a role to play in all of this, but they shouldn’t have to shoulder the burden alone.

Second, the Church has historically done more than just administer sacraments and teach/train. From the beginning the Church was helping to take care of its members. The first deacons, Stephen the First Martyr among them, were ordained in order for them to help minister to the needs of the faithful. St. Paul was very active in helping ensure charitable relief. At the same time there is quite a difference between providing food to someone on one hand, and ensuring a vocation on the other.

This brings me to the second comment I want to cover, by feeriker:

This is a blind spot that the Body of Christ on Earth is never going to even acknowledge, let alone address. To do so would lead it to some very unpleasant places and demand some serious introspection, which in turn would lead to an obvious call to re-evaluate doctrine and practice in a variety of areas. Not gonna happen, or if it finally ever does when all [e]lse fails, it will be too little too late.

I disagree with feeriker here on a couple of points.

First, while the Church might not be acknowledging it now, it did in the past. Many of the Fathers of the Church argued against the criminalization of prostitution. While they called it out for the sin that it was, they recognized at the same time the problem of untapped male sexual energy. They knew the problems that would result if men didn’t have an outlet. Hence why prostitution was legal in so many Christian nations (until Progressivism had its way).

Second, the problem right now is not doctrine (at least for Catholic and Orthodox Christians). Rather, the problem is practice. What should be taught is not taught, and what should be encouraged is not encouraged, and what should be exhorted is not exhorted.

Now, I agree with feeriker that some serious introspection is required. And sadly, I agree with him that when it does happen, it will be mostly in the too little, too late scenario. Which I would argue is today.

Now, to try and put this all together…

It is not the responsibility of Church leadership to ensure that everyone is able to fulfill their vocation. Priests aren’t matchmakers (and neither are Deacons or Bishops). That is not only impossible to guarantee, but also outside its sphere of responsibility. Instead of being charged with ensuring “fair outcomes”, the Church hierarchy and clergy is charged with teaching and exhorting those things which are necessary to give everyone a fighting chance. Some examples:

  • Teach and exhort the importance of young marriage
  • Teach and exhort the importance of parents and family helping their children/relatives marry
  • Teach and exhort an anti-materialist/consumerist mindset
  • Teach and exhort parishioners that helping their brothers and sister in Christ to marry is charitable

The laity isn’t responsible for fair outcomes either. However, they are responsible for teaching their children these things as well. In addition, while not a duty to specifically help their fellow Christians marry, it is charitable to help them find their vocation, and thus the right thing to do. This can and should go beyond helping individual Christians to include group and community actions as well.

I should note that plenty of Churches have various ministries which help those in need. There is no reason why lay members of the Church cannot help minister in this area as well. Perhaps not directly as a matchmaker, but in other, more indirect ways. And of course, even if there are matchmakers, they will be limited by the pool of those seeking marriage. So other avenues need to be available. Reader MK mentioned lay orders, and I think that is one path that has a lot of merit.

In summary, there is a lot that can and should be done in this regard. Clergy and laity all have a role to play. Everyone can contribute. But such contributions aren’t taking place and that is a tragedy which will continue to harm many faithful men for a long time to come.

 

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Filed under Blue Pill, Christianity, Churchianity, Marriage, Marriage Market Place, Masculinity, Men, Red Pill, Sex, Sexual Market Place, The Church

Something Else

Today’s post is a Masculine Monday post. Male commenters only, please. Also, somewhat stream of consciousness as well.

Rollo has a new post up titled “The Something Else.”

If you want to sum up Rollo’s post, it would be in this simple phrase:

If it wasn’t X-Box it would be something else.

The reality of male/female relations these days is driving more and more men to seek out “something else” to occupy their life.

For some it is escapism- merely an attempt to drone out the overwhelming meaninglessness they feel marks their lives.Whether it is porn or video games or something else, they want to blur out reality. There is no drive for something more, something greater. Merely something to distract.

For others it is a genuine desire to find something of meaning and value. To obtain a purpose for life. Some Red Pill sites call this “your mission.” As a Catholic, I recognize that the word they are searching for is vocation. These men are looking for a calling that they can hold fast to and make their own.

Unfortunately, for many the vocation that most will be called to, marriage, seems mostly out of grasp. And for most probably will be (if they are smart, anyways). The problem, from the Church’s perspective, is that there is nothing in place to really help men who find themselves so frustrated. They will instinctively search of that “something” to replace their vocation, but how much is really there for them? Just among Catholics many will not be called to be priests, or monks (in the traditional sense).

It seems to me that the Church needs to adapt to the change in the Marriage Marketplace. There needs to be something for all the young men who will not be able to marry in the years ahead. And probably something as well for the men who find themselves divorced. I’m talking more than some support group. Rather, something more akin to a community, a brotherhood. Something that provides support and doesn’t leave all these men discrete individuals adrift in the modern world.

I suppose some sort of urban monastery might be in order. Not a place for contemplatives, but a communal home where everyone is a “roomie” and can uplift and support his fellow men. I invite my readers to offer their thoughts on the matter. All the same, I am sure that something is needed to help devout men find that something. Many men are drifting away from the faith, and given the cold shoulder the Church is basically giving them these days, it is hard to blame them. Furthermore, creating a place for men without a home might help secular men who are also adrift in the same ocean.

Men are looking for something else, and the Church needs to help them find it.

 

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Filed under Christianity, Churchianity, Courtship, Femininity, Feminism, Fitness Test, Hypergamy, Marriage, Marriage Market Place, Masculinity, Men, Red Pill, Serial Monogamy, Sex, Sexual Market Place, Sexual Strategies, The Church, Women