Why I Am a Western Chauvinist

 

I am a western chauvinist for many of the same reasons Ayaan Hirsi Ali recently declared herself a Christian. She writes:

Western civilisation is under threat from three different but related forces: the resurgence of great-power authoritarianism and expansionism in the forms of the Chinese Communist Party and Vladimir Putin’s Russia; the rise of global Islamism, which threatens to mobilise a vast population against the West; and the viral spread of woke ideology, which is eating into the moral fibre of the next generation.

I would simplify her three forces somewhat. I would say the West is threatened internally and externally by both the totalitarian Left, of which China, Russia, and the Woke are all members, and by Islamists.

I’ve explained before that my religious and political conversions happened concurrently for about ten years (and ongoing). The jihadist attacks of 9/11 certainly played a role. But, I developed an awareness that our Western civilization based on Judeo-Christian values can only be preserved by a people participating in religion — specifically the Judaism and Christianity that are its foundation and unifying worldview. Thus my admonition to “fake it ’til you make it” (thanks to Alcoholics Anonymous) and “get your butts back in the pews.” Yes, consider it a loyalty test.

There were two major media influences in my early journey. The first was a PBS series on Pope John Paul II: A Man for or Against the Millennium, in which Germaine Greer, noted feminist atheist, shared her emotional experience listening to the choir practicing at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and sensing that “God-hole” Hirsi Ali says “has merely been filled by a jumble of irrational quasi-religious dogma.” I related to Greer. I’ve always been moved by beauty and could no longer deny it spoke to something beyond mere evolutionary adaptation (Catholic apologist Joe Heschmeyer has a great podcast on beauty).

And the second was the “Frontline” series on economics, The Commanding Heights, in which von Hayek ate Keynes (no free) lunch, which even lefties like Jeffrey Sachs seemed to concede. This was a turning point for me politically. The question, “what good does it do?” became preeminent not just religiously (answer: a lot! both individually and societally) but politically. It wasn’t enough to feel good about my positions. I was ready to see results.

Although raised Catholic, I started attending a United Methodist church where my youngest was going to preschool. They seemed like genuinely good people and I don’t doubt they are. But, the services weren’t satisfying a deep need, and the intellectual and ancient tradition of Bill Buckley’s (for example) Catholic Church was calling to me. I was blessed to start back in a parish with a pastor who was known for bringing lots of people into the Church. He had a high-caliber mind and was open to discussion and challenges. He suggested I join a Bible study called Small Catholic Community and I credit those women — some of admirably simple faith and others of high intellect — for bringing me along into the faith.

I’ve mentioned before that I might have adopted the pseudonym Catholic Chauvinist, but I didn’t want to start another religious war. . .  I am convinced the Catholic Church is the fullness of the faith founded by Christ and that no Christian denomination would exist without it. I am further convinced that the West is in civilizational freefall because it has overthrown the Church’s moral (and religious) authority in favor of radical individualism described in the Jewish scriptures as “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). The moral division and societal chaos in the West is the fruit of this spirit of revolution of which Americans, in particular, are all too proud. A society cannot be sustained without some significant degree of agreement on what is true and good and beautiful, and it cannot unify around its principles without submission to an authority beyond the subjectivism of the individual.

My non-Catholic Christian brethren often say the Bible provides such authority. But authority belongs to persons, not texts. The Bible is authoritative and inerrant, but it requires interpretation, and our understanding of God’s revelation deepens over time. The question remains — on whose authority? The Catholic Church claims Magisterial authority through the successors of the apostles and protection from teaching error by the Holy Spirit. I am convinced.

You could write a treatise on each of the following teachings, which Catholics hold to be true and which, when followed, lead to human flourishing:

  1. Human life is worth protecting from conception to natural death, which Canada, for example, has rejected in its “enlightenment” and now volunteers people for free “assistance” to unnaturally end their lives.
  2. Contraception is forbidden because it defies God’s will and damages men, women, and children by pitting women, in particular, against their bodies, by encouraging sexual incontinence, and especially as its end result in the abortion mentality so prevalent in the West.
  3. Marriage is a sacrament between one man and one woman until death do they part (Speaker Mike Johnson and his wife believe it). The widespread acceptance of divorce has been devastating to the family, which is the bulwark against the totalitarian state (another Christian convert, Andrew Klavan, says when you divorce, you blow up your kids’ planet. Just so.). We could say the dissolution of the family started with no-fault divorce and ended in SSM denying the uniqueness and complementarity of the sexes in family formation, which then contributed to the trans-madness all around us. 
  4. Suffering can be redemptive both for the individual and, when united to Christ’s, for the whole world. I’ve conveyed to my suffering children, there is no meaning to it without Christ on the Cross, but when you endure it in grace and faith, you not only undergo the sanctifying fire, you encourage others to persevere. This is why the Church emphasizes the lives of the saints. Leftism and Satan (but, I repeat) offer the false promise of relief from suffering, almost always literally at someone else’s (taxpaying) expense. It’s never a question of whether you will suffer or not. The question is always, what will you do with it?

Hirsi Ali learned “the power of unifying story” at the feet of the Muslim Brotherhood. People who share values tend to act on them. And in communion, people find meaning for their lives and sufferings and will not only defend their way of life, but find the courage to die for it if need be. We’re watching Israelis act on their unified values right now. Will the rest of the West do the same? Looking at what Mark Hemingway calls the dystopian hellscape of our cities, it’s hard to imagine.

Hirsi Ali’s conversion is imperfect (isn’t that the case for us all?) and it’s also an indictment of secular humanism and a warning to the West. John Daniel Davidson writes about it in The Conversion of Ayaan Hirsi Ali to Christianity Is A Dire Warning To The West:

. . .Christianity itself had served its purpose in the West, bestowed all its gifts, and could safely be discarded. We could live forever, drawing on its capital, which we assumed would never run out.

We’re seeing how that’s working out.

In a similar warning, Fr. Sirico, founder of the Acton Institute, tells the story of moving into his rectory in Michigan where he called in an arborist to treat the damaged tree in his front yard (I’m relaying it from imperfect memory). The tree only had leaves and blooms on one side and when the arborist arrived, he told Fr. Sirico, “that tree is dead.” Father disputed the diagnosis, pointing to the leaves and blooms, to which the arborist responded, “It’s living on last year’s sap. It will be dead within the year.”

Let’s hope the West can be sustained longer than that, but it does appear to be living on last year’s sap — on its Judeo-Christian heritage rather than the moral and religious convictions of Jews and Christians. Sustaining the West will take more than the conversion of Ayaan Hirsi Ali. I encourage you to do your part, not only by adopting the Judeo-Christian values that made the West the best for humanity, but by putting them into religious practice.

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  1. Trink Coolidge
    Trink
    @Trink

    Western Chauvinist: that “God-hole” Hirsi Ali says “has merely been filled by a jumble of irrational quasi-religious dogma.”

    Amen WC.  Amen.

    • #1
  2. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    Im glad you didn’t pick “Catholic Chauvinist”. That would have lacked good Christian humility. I love however your Ricochet name!  I’m jealous. If I would have thought of it, I would have picked it myself!!  😁

    Bless you. We’re all on a journey. My journey is similar but with different details.

    • #2
  3. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    I discussed with my brother once why I still supported the Catholic Church as opposed to the non-denominational Christian churches that have become very popular.  I said it was simply because the Catholic Church was big enough and deep rooted enough to form a counter to political power.   It may sound cold, but I don’t think we can afford to give that up.  

    • #3
  4. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    I discussed with my brother once why I still supported the Catholic Church as opposed to the non-denominational Christian churches that have become very popular. I said it was simply because the Catholic Church was big enough and deep rooted enough to form a counter to political power. It may sound cold, but I don’t think we can afford to give that up.

    As I like to point out, if your church isn’t hated by the world and infiltrated by the FBI, you might want to ask yourself, “why not?” Christ didn’t say you’d be liked and your church would encourage you to live by your own lights. He said we’d be hated and to take up our crosses. The criticisms and hostility to the Catholic Church lets me know She’s over the target and gives me confidence I’m where Christ intends me to be.

    God doesn’t want you to be entertained or comfortable. He wants you to be holy. True religion should always make moral demands.

    • #4
  5. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    if your church isn’t hated by the world and infiltrated by the FBI, you might want to ask yourself, “why not?”

    Because President Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and lots of other Washington heavy hitters are Catholic. 

    • #5
  6. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    The left knows which church is its greatest threat. 

    • #6
  7. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    if your church isn’t hated by the world and infiltrated by the FBI, you might want to ask yourself, “why not?”

    Because President Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and lots of other Washington heavy hitters are Catholic.

    Because Biden, Pelosi and others are Catholic the FBI infiltrated parishes conducting traditional Latin Masses? That’s why the DOJ persecutes pro-life Catholics and sends swat teams in the early morning hours to arrest them? Because there are influential leftwingers who identify as Catholic, Canadian activists burned down nearly two dozen Catholic churches based on the lie that Catholic residential homes for native children committed genocide and hid the bodies in unmarked graves?

    Sorry, Doc. I think you misunderstood my point. My faulty phrasing probably. The Catholic Church is despised because she claims authority over faith and morals and holds firm on the teachings. Not even bad popes change that, although criticism of them invites anti-Catholics to chime in. . . 

    • #7
  8. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    The left knows which church is its greatest threat.

    Exactly.

    • #8
  9. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    Western Chauvinist: the totalitarian Left, of which China, Russia, and the Woke are all members

    This characterization betrays a fundamental and dangerous misunderstanding of the state of play. Portraying Russia as leftist is hopelessly outdated: autocratic but hardly totalitarian, a point to which I’ll return shortly. The Soviet Union fit the description of Left totalitarian but not contemporary Russia. The Russian regime does not worship the icons of Wokesim such as LGBTQIA+. On the contrary; it is hostile toward them. The regime is nationalist, which is the opposite of the internationalist, globalist ideology of the contemporary Left (as well as of the old-school communists). The regime strongly supports Christian religion, and I don’t mean the fallen version of the West. The Orthodox Church is experiencing a resurgence.

    As promised, I return to the claim of totalitarianism. An argument can be made that the GAE (Global American Empire) is already far down the road of Soviet-style totalitarianism. We already have show trials, a double standard of justice for the Left (i.e., the regime) and the Right, and the suspension of Fifth and Fourth Amendment rights for opponents of the regime (e.g., double jeopardy, speedy & public trial, venue). Some of these abuses are even more egregious in some of the outposts of the GAE in Europe. The rule of law is a dead letter.

    This interview by Tucker Carlson of the leader of Spain’s opposition VOX party should prove helpful in contextualizing the concept of totalitarianism. Who’s the bigger totalitarian now?

     

    • #9
  10. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    But does Ayan actually believe that Christ was born of  Virgin?

    • #10
  11. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    drlorentz (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist: the totalitarian Left, of which China, Russia, and the Woke are all members

    This characterization betrays a fundamental and dangerous misunderstanding of the state of play. Portraying Russia as leftist is hopelessly outdated: autocratic but hardly totalitarian, a point to which I’ll return shortly. The Soviet Union fit the description of Left totalitarian but not contemporary Russia. The Russian regime does not worship the icons of Wokesim such as LGBTQIA+. On the contrary; it is hostile toward them. The regime is nationalist, which is the opposite of the internationalist, globalist ideology of the contemporary Left (as well as of the old-school communists). The regime strongly supports Christian religion, and I don’t mean the fallen version of the West. The Orthodox Church is experiencing a resurgence.

    As promised, I return to the claim of totalitarianism. An argument can be made that the GAE (Global American Empire) is already far down the road of Soviet-style totalitarianism. We already have show trials, a double standard of justice for the Left (i.e., the regime) and the Right, and the suspension of Fifth and Fourth Amendment rights for opponents of the regime (e.g., double jeopardy, speedy & public trial, venue). Some of these abuses are even more egregious in some of the outposts of the GAE in Europe. The rule of law is a dead letter.

    This interview by Tucker Carlson of the leader of Spain’s opposition VOX party should prove helpful in contextualizing the concept of totalitarianism. Who’s the bigger totalitarian now?

    Right, I agree it’s an imperfect grouping, but I consider authoritarianism a branch of leftwing ideology. It does not pertain to American conservatism, even of the nationalist sort.

    • #11
  12. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    But does Ayan actually believe that Christ was born of Virgin?

    She would have had to have believed it when she was Muslim. Islam believes that. 

    • #12
  13. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Let us hope that the Catholic Church can survive Pope Francis, who seems determined to pull it up from its roots. 

    • #13
  14. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Manny (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    But does Ayan actually believe that Christ was born of Virgin?

    She would have had to have believed it when she was Muslim. Islam believes that.

    They do but she became an atheist. I suspect that she is a cultural Christian as am I. I see Christianity as necessary for Western Civilization but I don’t believe in any of the miracles. 

    • #14
  15. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    But does Ayan actually believe that Christ was born of Virgin?

    She would have had to have believed it when she was Muslim. Islam believes that.

    They do but she became an atheist. I suspect that she is a cultural Christian as am I. I see Christianity as necessary for Western Civilization but I don’t believe in any of the miracles.

    Oh Henry, you so limit yourself. 

    • #15
  16. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    But does Ayan actually believe that Christ was born of Virgin?

    She would have had to have believed it when she was Muslim. Islam believes that.

    They do but she became an atheist. I suspect that she is a cultural Christian as am I. I see Christianity as necessary for Western Civilization but I don’t believe in any of the miracles.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but your problem isn’t with Mary’s virginity, but with Christ’s divinity. With an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent triune God . . . with a Creator of the universe.

    I’m not going to convince you otherwise, but for people interested in answering atheism, my new favorite Catholic apologist, Joe Heschmeyer, has a podcast series on the subject at Shameless Popery. Here’s the one on “why is there something rather than nothing?”

    • #16
  17. Keith Lowery Coolidge
    Keith Lowery
    @keithlowery

    There’s a great deal of demand for the idea that we can have the cultural/social benefits of Christianity without all of its uncomfortable truth claims. Or, to put it another way, conservative materialists are hoping to have the social benefits of “love thy neighbor” without the inconvenience of “He is risen”.  (e.g. Louise Perry in First Things)  Jordan Peterson’s wife, Tammy, has been convinced that the supernatural is real. This is a beautiful story about her recent cancer and how practicing her faith – in her case praying the rosary – changed her life.

    I’ve been re-reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy over the last couple of weeks in preparation for a podcast I’m supposed to participate in.  And one of the striking themes is the decline of the West – the realm of men – that Tolkien drives home by describing the forlorn shabbiness and reduced occupancy of Mina Tirith. There are visible but decaying reminders of what was once a great culture. But the visible reminders seem like nothing so much as threadbare and worn upholstery adorning the furniture found in a once great, but now mostly vacant, house. The point Tolkien is making, of course, is that in essential ways the West is running on fumes.  Perhaps we will be like Gondor, though, and help will come “unexpected and unlooked for”.  Let us hope and pray toward that end.

    I find some encouragement in an awakening going on regarding your point about the toxic societal effects of contraception.  I don’t know if you had a chance to read Mary Harrington’s most recent piece, but it’s well worth your time.

    • #17
  18. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Keith Lowery (View Comment):

    There’s a great deal of demand for the idea that we can have the cultural/social benefits of Christianity without all of its uncomfortable truth claims. Or, to put it another way, conservative materialists are hoping to have the social benefits of “love thy neighbor” without the inconvenience of “He is risen”. (e.g. Louise Perry in First Things) Jordan Peterson’s wife, Tammy, has been convinced that the supernatural is real. This is a beautiful story about her recent cancer and how practicing her faith – in her case praying the rosary – changed her life.

    I’ve been re-reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy over the last couple of weeks in preparation for a podcast I’m supposed to participate in. And one of the striking themes is the decline of the West – the realm of men – that Tolkien drives home by describing the forlorn shabbiness and reduced occupancy of Mina Tirith. There are visible but decaying reminders of what was once a great culture. But the visible reminders seem like nothing so much as threadbare and worn upholstery adorning the furniture found in a once great, but now mostly vacant, house. The point Tolkien is making, of course, is that in essential ways the West is running on fumes. Perhaps we will be like Gondor, though, and help will come “unexpected and unlooked for”. Let us hope and pray toward that end.

    I find some encouragement in an awakening going on regarding your point about the toxic societal effects of contraception. I don’t know if you had a chance to read Mary Harrington’s most recent piece, but it’s well worth your time.

    I will, thanks for the link, Keith. 

    Just to be clear, Tammy Peterson is converting to Catholicism. She learned to pray the Rosary from a Catholic friend during her medical crisis. 

    I’m reading Tolkien’s Faith: A Spiritual Biography, as it happens. Your reflections on The Lord of the Rings reminds me — what we need right now is a eucatastrophe. 

    • #18
  19. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Keith Lowery (View Comment):
    I don’t know if you had a chance to read Mary Harrington’s most recent piece, but it’s well worth your time.

    Very interesting take. The dehumanizing effects of contraception are manifold. Babies aren’t human unless they’re wanted. Women are objectified rather than receiving what women really want from men — to be loved and cherished, protected and provided for in their reproductive vulnerability. Men become emasculated since they’re no longer needed as providers and protectors and their masculine impulses become seen as “toxic.” Nor do they receive what they really want from women, which is to be respected and admired for their provision and protection. 

    We live in an increasingly dehumanized civilization. This will not end well.

    • #19
  20. Trink Coolidge
    Trink
    @Trink

    Joe Heschmeyer, has a podcast series on the subject at Shameless Popery

    He’s good!

    • #20
  21. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Manny (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    But does Ayan actually believe that Christ was born of Virgin?

    She would have had to have believed it when she was Muslim. Islam believes that.

    They do but she became an atheist. I suspect that she is a cultural Christian as am I. I see Christianity as necessary for Western Civilization but I don’t believe in any of the miracles.

    Oh Henry, you so limit yourself.

    A demand for evidence does tend to limit your beliefs. 

    • #21
  22. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    But does Ayan actually believe that Christ was born of Virgin?

    She would have had to have believed it when she was Muslim. Islam believes that.

    They do but she became an atheist. I suspect that she is a cultural Christian as am I. I see Christianity as necessary for Western Civilization but I don’t believe in any of the miracles.

    Oh Henry, you so limit yourself.

    A demand for evidence does tend to limit your beliefs.

    Did Caesar cross the Rubicon?  What evidence do you have that he did?  What evidence do you have for anything in history?  

    • #22
  23. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Manny (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    But does Ayan actually believe that Christ was born of Virgin?

    She would have had to have believed it when she was Muslim. Islam believes that.

    They do but she became an atheist. I suspect that she is a cultural Christian as am I. I see Christianity as necessary for Western Civilization but I don’t believe in any of the miracles.

    Oh Henry, you so limit yourself.

    A demand for evidence does tend to limit your beliefs.

    Did Caesar cross the Rubicon? What evidence do you have that he did? What evidence do you have for anything in history?

    Henry may well have used Avogadro’s Number, without once calling it and seeing if Avogadro answered.

    • #23
  24. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Percival (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    But does Ayan actually believe that Christ was born of Virgin?

    She would have had to have believed it when she was Muslim. Islam believes that.

    They do but she became an atheist. I suspect that she is a cultural Christian as am I. I see Christianity as necessary for Western Civilization but I don’t believe in any of the miracles.

    Oh Henry, you so limit yourself.

    A demand for evidence does tend to limit your beliefs.

    Did Caesar cross the Rubicon? What evidence do you have that he did? What evidence do you have for anything in history?

    Henry may well have used Avogadro’s Number, without once calling it and seeing if Avogadro answered.

    It makes more sense to believe that Yeshua Christ was a high-functioning schizophrenic than it is to believe that he did all those miracles. Mohammad and Buddha both have various miracles ascribed to them. People just naturally believe in superstition.

     

    • #24
  25. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    But does Ayan actually believe that Christ was born of Virgin?

    She would have had to have believed it when she was Muslim. Islam believes that.

    They do but she became an atheist. I suspect that she is a cultural Christian as am I. I see Christianity as necessary for Western Civilization but I don’t believe in any of the miracles.

    Oh Henry, you so limit yourself.

    A demand for evidence does tend to limit your beliefs.

    Did Caesar cross the Rubicon? What evidence do you have that he did? What evidence do you have for anything in history?

    Henry may well have used Avogadro’s Number, without once calling it and seeing if Avogadro answered.

    It makes more sense to believe that Yeshua Christ was a high-functioning schizophrenic than it is to believe that he did all those miracles. Mohammad and Buddha both have various miracles ascribed to them. People just naturally believe in superstition.

     

    And people who knew him went to their deaths rather than renounce them. Were they schizophrenic too?

    • #25
  26. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Percival (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    But does Ayan actually believe that Christ was born of Virgin?

    She would have had to have believed it when she was Muslim. Islam believes that.

    They do but she became an atheist. I suspect that she is a cultural Christian as am I. I see Christianity as necessary for Western Civilization but I don’t believe in any of the miracles.

    Oh Henry, you so limit yourself.

    A demand for evidence does tend to limit your beliefs.

    Did Caesar cross the Rubicon? What evidence do you have that he did? What evidence do you have for anything in history?

    Henry may well have used Avogadro’s Number, without once calling it and seeing if Avogadro answered.

    It makes more sense to believe that Yeshua Christ was a high-functioning schizophrenic than it is to believe that he did all those miracles. Mohammad and Buddha both have various miracles ascribed to them. People just naturally believe in superstition.

    And people who knew him went to their deaths rather than renounce them. Were they schizophrenic too?

    Know they were like members of modern cults or those who follow Mohammed. People are easily convinced of magic today. There are multiple accounts of Caesar crossing the Rubicon and we have thousands of examples of ancient militaries crossing rivers. We can replicate the tools that we have recovered from that time with archaeology and mimic crossing a river. So we have multiple sources from all biases.

    Now there are many sources from people who already believed in Christ that he could heal people. Noticeably, they did not mention that he restored someone who lost a hand. A comparatively minor miracles than restoring someone who was dead. To my knowledge who don’t have pagan Roman sources saying something along the lines of, “This crazy Jew is healing people who said be dead.” At least I have never heard a source.

    Additionally, Christ healing people and expelling spirits are pretty much the same kind of miracles recounted in Buddhism, Native-American lore and modern day televangelist  shyster. All three of these traditions have people who will till their dying day proclaim their absolute belief that Buddha or a benevolent Manitou spirit healed them.

    So can you understand why I am skeptical of the Christian argument for the supernatural? Obviously, Christ was amazingly compelling. That’s why I think he was schizophrenic. I think he totally believed what he said and he was an intelligent and persuasive man.

    But I have never heard of any Christian argument for the supernatural that had significantly more evidence than any other religion. As the religions are contradictory and I can observe that people are superstitious in modern times, I conclude that it was most likely false.

    • #26
  27. Globalitarian Lower Order Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Lower Order Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    Percival (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    But does Ayan actually believe that Christ was born of Virgin?

    She would have had to have believed it when she was Muslim. Islam believes that.

    They do but she became an atheist. I suspect that she is a cultural Christian as am I. I see Christianity as necessary for Western Civilization but I don’t believe in any of the miracles.

    Oh Henry, you so limit yourself.

    A demand for evidence does tend to limit your beliefs.

    Did Caesar cross the Rubicon? What evidence do you have that he did? What evidence do you have for anything in history?

    Henry may well have used Avogadro’s Number, without once calling it and seeing if Avogadro answered.

    He answers at x 1023

    • #27
  28. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    But does Ayan actually believe that Christ was born of Virgin?

    She would have had to have believed it when she was Muslim. Islam believes that.

    They do but she became an atheist. I suspect that she is a cultural Christian as am I. I see Christianity as necessary for Western Civilization but I don’t believe in any of the miracles.

    Oh Henry, you so limit yourself.

    A demand for evidence does tend to limit your beliefs.

    Did Caesar cross the Rubicon? What evidence do you have that he did? What evidence do you have for anything in history?

    Henry may well have used Avogadro’s Number, without once calling it and seeing if Avogadro answered.

    It makes more sense to believe that Yeshua Christ was a high-functioning schizophrenic than it is to believe that he did all those miracles. Mohammad and Buddha both have various miracles ascribed to them. People just naturally believe in superstition.

    And people who knew him went to their deaths rather than renounce them. Were they schizophrenic too?

    Know they were like members of modern cults or those who follow Mohammed. People are easily convinced of magic today. There are multiple accounts of Caesar crossing the Rubicon and we have thousands of examples of ancient militaries crossing rivers. We can replicate the tools that we have recovered from that time with archaeology and mimic crossing a river. So we have multiple sources from all biases.

    Now there are many sources from people who already believed in Christ that he could heal people. Noticeably, they did not mention that he restored someone who lost a hand. A comparatively minor miracles than restoring someone who was dead. To my knowledge who don’t have pagan Roman sources saying something along the lines of, “This crazy Jew is healing people who said be dead.” At least I have never heard a source.

    Two, basically. Suetonius and Cassius Dio. There might be other stuff written, but they usually refer back to those two. Tacitus started his coverage of the Emperors with the death of Augustus. Livy and Sallust were actually contemporaries of Caesar, but none of their surviving writings mention crossing the Rubicon specifically. Note that since Caesar was north of the Rubicon when the war started, and Rome is south, and he ended up in Rome, he either crossed or went around it.

    Additionally, Christ healing people and expelling spirits are pretty much the same kind of miracles recounted in Buddhism, Native-American lore and modern day televangelist shyster. All three of these traditions have people who will till their dying day proclaim their absolute belief that Buddha or a benevolent Manitou spirit healed them.

    So can you understand why I am skeptical of the Christian argument for the supernatural? Obviously, Christ was amazingly compelling. That’s why I think he was schizophrenic. I think he totally believed what he said and he was an intelligent and persuasive man.

    But I have never heard of any Christian argument for the supernatural that had significantly more evidence than any other religion. As the religions are contradictory and I can observe that people are superstitious in modern times, I conclude that it was most likely false.

    You are asking for natural evidence of the supernatural. You want proof because it is easier than faith.

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  29. J Climacus Member
    J Climacus
    @JClimacus

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Additionally, Christ healing people and expelling spirits are pretty much the same kind of miracles recounted in Buddhism, Native-American lore and modern day televangelist shyster. All three of these traditions have people who will till their dying day proclaim their absolute belief that Buddha or a benevolent Manitou spirit healed them.

    So can you understand why I am skeptical of the Christian argument for the supernatural? Obviously, Christ was amazingly compelling. That’s why I think he was schizophrenic. I think he totally believed what he said and he was an intelligent and persuasive man.

    But I have never heard of any Christian argument for the supernatural that had significantly more evidence than any other religion. As the religions are contradictory and I can observe that people are superstitious in modern times, I conclude that it was most likely false.

    This is a respectable and sober opinion that we Christians should take seriously. After all, St. Paul told us that the Gospel is “foolishness to the Greeks”, i.e. appears absurd to natural reason. We believe a man died and 36 hours later came back to life and rose from the grave. That’s a hard thing to believe. Indeed, the significance we Christians put on the Resurrection has precisely to do with the fact that it was an entirely unprecedented and unique moment in history. If it was something that was open to standard analysis and verification like any other moment in history (Caesar crossing the Rubicon, for example), then it would have no more significance than standard historical events.

    My journey to faith began when it occurred to me that it might be more appropriate to interpret history through the Resurrection, not the Resurrection through history. If the Resurrection actually occurred, then it was a trans-historical event that is foundational to the meaning of not just history, but philosophy, science, politics and everything else.  Is there any reason to think that such a trans-historical event occurred with Christ? Any more than that one happened with Buddha, a Manitou spirit or televangelists?

    I think there is, but to see it we have to get over the post hoc fallacy, which is a tendency to think that because something happened, then it had to happen or was likely to happen.  The “thing” I’m talking about is Western Civilization itself since the time of Christ, which represents an unprecedented breaking out from ancient ways of living, thinking and being that was unimaginable before it happened.  There is no space to go into all this in this comment, but I will say that Buddha or Manitou spirits or any other religious figure had anything like such an historical effect. Chinese civilization was not a helluva lot different post-Buddha than before, or for thousands of years after. Televangelists are quickly seen and forgotten.  

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  30. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    “Faith” has a purpose, both as a test and as on acceptance tool.

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