Category Archives: Christianity

Southern Baptists At The Crossroads: Will They Resist Cultural Marxism?

BAB's A List, Christianity, Communism, Pop-Culture, Religion

By Dr. Boyd D. Cathey

“At the base of all political issues, there is a religious question.” There have been numerous writers credited with first writing or using those words. While studying in Spain, my dissertation director asserted that the great Spanish thinker, Juan Donoso Cortes, had said them in the 1840s; other sources indicate that Cardinal John Henry Newman wrote them at about the same time. And there are other accounts and other authors who apparently said more or less the same thing.

In the end, it really makes little difference who said or wrote that phrase: its truth and profound reality percolate throughout the history of Western Christianity, whether written down or not. And the observation is ever more significant in our turbulent contemporary times.

The history of Christianity over the past 150 years, if not longer, clearly illustrates the existence of an immense ongoing battle—a war—between those who defend the traditions and orthodoxy of their faith and those who believe that that faith must be continuously updated and open to the intellectual currents of the times. Witness the great struggles in the 19th century between theological “liberalism” and “higher criticism,” opposed to “traditionalism” and Biblical inerrancy. And in the 20th century this combat continued as “Modernism” threatened the very nature of the Catholic Church and social gospelism and assaults on Biblical fundamentals gnawed away at the various Protestant communions.

Early on traditionalists seemed to maintain their own in these debates. Whether by the conservatism of the Prussian Lutheran establishment in Germany, or with the staunch response by the Catholic Church under pontiffs like the Gregory XVI, Bl. Pius IX, Leo XIII, and St. Pius X, liberalism, socialism, and other challenges to orthodoxy were mostly held at bay. It was St. Pius X who definitively condemned theological Modernism in his powerful encyclical Pascendi gregis Dominandi in 1907.

In the United States, the theological debate perhaps reached its zenith with the great Calvinist Presbyterian theologian, Graham Machen, who had been a professor of theology at Princeton University, but finally left that school because of its embrace of theological liberalism. He then founded the Westminster Seminary in 1929, based on more orthodox and fundamental beliefs. Machen’s very public combat, in many ways, signaled a revival of fundamental orthodoxy within various Protestant denominations.

Yet, like a virulent infection—a cancer—that refuses chemotherapy, the attacks on Christian orthodoxy did not disappear or go away. Throughout the 1930s into our own times the conflicts continued, if sometimes just below the surface. Indeed, by the 1930 Lambeth Conference, the Anglican/Episcopal Church began to give way to more “modern” views on such issues as sexual morality. Methodists, divided one hundred years earlier between Methodist Episcopal Churches, North and South, re-united in 1938, in a union through which liberalism soon gained the upper hand. Northern and Southern Presbyterians formally re-united in 1983, once again submerging a more conservative (Southern) confession within a dominant, more liberal (northern) one.

The most significant, unrelenting, and universal opponent to theological liberalism and modernism throughout the 19th and 20th centuries had been the Catholic Church. Yet, it too, despite formal condemnations by St. Pius X and the continual opposition to various theological errors, witnessed internal subversion and, at the Second Vatican Council (1963-1965), the validation of what can be termed a kind of “pastoralism,” that is, the application in the apostolate, if not in official doctrine, of a practical liberalism. The case of the Catholic Church is unique in that its historic and doctrinal anathematization of liberalism, modernism, Biblical “higher criticism,” as well as its condemnations of socialism and communism, are irreformable. Thus, the attempts to subvert its mission and teaching involved a pro forma, perfunctory acknowledgment of settled doctrines, while at the same time implementing a practical “pastoralism” that in effect rejected those doctrines: ecclesiastical schizophrenia writ large.

At its origins, Marxism found itself in abrasive opposition to traditional Christianity. It was only in the early 20th century that Marxists developed a concerted approach—a philosophy—of forming cooperative “united fronts” with more liberal Christians on issues where they believed “collaboration” possible. But just what kind of “collaboration” was envisaged? Early on, Marxists understood that their political triumph would not be complete unless the traditional opposition of the Christian church was neutralized and Christian culture, itself, conquered. For international Communism that meant that cooperation and the “united front” efforts would be a means of weakening and eventually subverting not just theological orthodoxy, but also significantly politicizing the culture and its traditional basis in Christianity, pushing it to the political and cultural Left. In that way, formal Christianity, once the most steadfast opponent of Marxist ideology, would be neutralized and, in many cases, become its most notable collaborator.

In a very real sense, the subversion and fall of establishment Christianity was the last major conquest of a continuing anti-Western Marxism, even after of its collapse in Russia. Indeed, as Paul Gottfried has carefully explained in his fascinating volume, The Strange Death of Marxism, while the older, more establishment Soviet Communism disappeared in the late 1980s, a more virulent strain of Marxist belief—Cultural Marxism—continued even more aggressively and successfully in Western Europe and in the United States.

Among major Protestant denominations, the Southern Baptists have been, arguably, the most resistant to the leftward drift and theological deterioration that have characterized so many other communions. Yet, in more recent years, they, too, have been subject to assault, and most specifically on social and political questions. Indeed, increasingly the contagion of cultural Marxism, disguised generally as a renewed “concern” for “social justice,” has gained a foothold in the SBC.

The essential problem is that many otherwise orthodox Evangelicals are also subject to the Progressivist appeal and narrative on social issues and the dominant linguistic template that imposes a mode of communication and resulting pastoral action that carries with it an eventual decay in traditional theology as well.

Recently, the Southern Baptist Convention has adopted resolutions condemning: “racism,” the so-called “Alt-Right,” and, finally, the “Confederate flag.” Although Southern Baptist congregations enjoy a great deal of autonomy, such declarations indicate something deeper and more profound that is occurring within the denomination, and it should raise serious red flags among Baptist conservatives.

The success of cultural Marxism in “turning” much of Christianity, infiltrating its institutions of learning and its seminaries, altering its pastoral messaging, and weakening its theological resolve, confirms the aphorism of the historic “united front” approach: “pas d’ennemis a gauche” (first said by French socialist Rene Renoult in 1919)—“no enemies on the Left.” This ongoing process reflects the success of cultural Marxism in creating a template, an inexorably progressivist view of history, a standard where intellectual thought and language have been dogmatized, and even those who supposedly oppose its announced aims and objectives are forced into accepting its ideological parameters and grounds of debate. And in doing so, they fatally limit the effectiveness of their response, and insure the continued advance of the Revolution.

There is, however, hope for counter-revolution. And it is seen in the increasing—and untainted by the politically correct culturally Marxist straight jacket—reaction on the part of such organizations as the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X in the Catholic Church, the various continuing Anglican confessions that reject the heretical inanity so rampant in that denomination, the proliferation and incredible growth of conservative Presbyterian churches, and the refusal of millions of Baptists to accept the political dictates of the SBC. And, more fascinatingly, by the tremendous revival of traditional Orthodoxy in Russia and Slavic countries.

The battle—the War for Belief and for our civilization—continues. The tide of advancing Progressivism continues to wreak its havoc and destruction across the entire West. Yet, the assurance of traditional believing Christians is certain: even in the depths of the most unprecedented darkest times, the light of Faith will conquer. The Blessed Marco d’Aviano entreated the small Christian garrison at the siege of Vienna in 1683, facing, as they were, 300,000 fanatical Muslims: “If you believe, you will be victorious.”

And thus it was on September 11, 1683; and it can be so again.

*****

~ Dr. Boyd D. Cathey is an Unz Review columnist, as well as a Barely a Blog contributor, whose work is easily located on this site under the “BAB’s A List” search category. Dr. Cathey earned an MA in history at the University of Virginia (as a Thomas Jefferson Fellow), and as a Richard M Weaver Fellow earned his doctorate in history and political philosophy at the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. After additional studies in theology and philosophy in Switzerland, he taught in Argentina and Connecticut before returning to North Carolina. He was State Registrar of the North Carolina State Archives before retiring in 2011. In addition to writing for The Unz Review, Cathey writes for The Abbeville Institute, Confederate Veteran magazine, The Remnant, and other publications in the United States and Europe on a variety of topics, including politics, social and religious questions, film, and music.

Attack On Robert E. Lee Part Of Marxist Assault On Founding, Christian Civilization

BAB's A List, Christianity, Communism, History, States' Rights

“The Attack on Robert E. Lee is An Attack on Us All, on Our History and Culture; It is Part of the Marxist Assault on Western Christian Civilization,” inveighs Dr. Boyd D. Cathey. It is “a war of cultural extermination,” an “ideological blitzkrieg,” waged by “an advance Red Guard of vicious cultural barbarians.” We can’t be “lily white about this.” You don’t “convince a King Cobra that we are nice folks who only want to work with them!” Time to fight back, demands Dr, Boyd.

In the early hours of this morning—one might say in the darkness, but it would be the “darkness” of a society that wishes, it appears, to commit cultural suicide and revile its ancestors—in those early hours the culturally Progressivist leaders of New Orleans took down the statue of General Robert E. Lee in their city. In removing the Lee statue they not only impugn the life of that noble Christian and unselfish man whom President Dwight D. Eisenhower admired above all other American military heroes, but they attempt to exterminate and erase entire portions of our collective history, that is, to ban and remove from sight anything that in any way would remind us of our past and the heritage handed down to us. They are, then, an advance Red Guard of the vicious cultural barbarians, cultural vandals, whose burning hatred for anything that even meekly questions their ongoing ideological blitzkrieg to “cleanse us” of the history and traditions of Western Christian civilization, is seen as an impediment and a danger to their revolution. Any opposition to their designs must, therefore, be attacked and wiped from public view.

Their next target is the imposing statue to General Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Let me state here: I hold an honors Masters’ degree in history (Thomas Jefferson Fellow) from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. And I am a proud member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, having become a member well over thirty years ago (after I returned from grad school in Europe). I have been active on the North Carolina division level as well as on the national level. And, those who read these words (and read the Abbeville Institute and Confederate Veteran magazine) will know that I have written extensively in broad defense of not just Southern and Confederate heritage, but in defense of that heritage as an essential and pivotal part of American history. One cannot truly comprehend—one cannot hope to understand—our history as a nation or as a people without remembering who we are, and who we have been.

That does not mean that I—or any of us—have to worship at the statue of this historical figure, or of that historical personage. Just as I would not demand that Illinois take down its statues to Abraham Lincoln, I stoutly oppose removing statues to Lee, or to Jefferson Davis, or to Bedford Forrest. Whether one agrees with Robert E. Lee’s painful decision to leave the US Army and volunteer to fight for his home state of Virginia, or not, it is singularly important that we ALL be reminded that he not only existed larger than life, but that he had and continues to have an inordinate influence over us and our history. To attempt to efface his memory, to radically distort his beliefs and his actions, all to make him “fit” in a predetermined ideologically Marxist template, not only insults a great and decent man, but perverts and destroys history, itself.

This is what the cultural barbarians did in New Orleans and what they intend to do in Charlottesville.

The action in New Orleans followed a controversial and highly contentious period of debate, remonstrations, demonstrations, and legal maneuvers. Various pro-heritage and preservation organizations worked tirelessly to defend the monument. Sadly it seems, in too many of these defensive actions among heritage defenders there is division as to strategy and approach. And it was and is those divisions that have plagued far too often those who supposedly proclaim their opposition to the cultural genocide that gathers pace in our decadent contemporary society.

Up in the Old Dominion State, the Virginia Division of The Sons of Confederate Veterans have played an important role in defending the Lee statue now under attack. And they should be saluted for that. Yet, unfortunately, some of their public statements and actions betray a kind of pusillanimous response to this assault on not just Confederate heritage, but on the fabric of American history.

It has become increasingly clear that too many of the defenders of our heritage believe that opposition to the onrushing and take-no-prisoners revolutionary fanatics, those cultural barbarians, can continue as it was decades ago. In a real sense, they resemble those so-called “conservatives” and establishment Republicans who think that polite dissent is the only means to achieve success. They seem to say, “we must have none of those ‘flaggers’ and no demonstrations from those ‘unwashed deplorables’! And no outside ‘interference’ from more insistent and activist heritage groups!”

Unfortunately, we no longer live in those polite times. Our enemies are engaged in a war of extermination, and if we do not understand that, if we do not see that, then we shall surely become victims of it. The terms of battle have changed radically, and whether we wish it or not, we must respond using every legitimate weapon at our disposable.

Certainly, that does not mean joining hands with outright crazies, or Nazis. But it does mean that we should not turn away men and women of good will, even if they be not members of our organization or Sunday church-goers. Desperate times require desperate measures, always in keeping with integrity and faithfulness to the example of our ancestors.

My longtime friend and fellow compatriot Richard Hines, over the past thirty years, has contributed his time and fortune to the preservation and defense of the patrimony we have inherited from our ancestors. There is no stronger, no more unselfish and valiant defender of our heritage and the legacy of our Western Christian traditions then he. In the May/June issue of Confederate Veteran magazine his heritage defense organization ran a full page ad on the inside back cover, soliciting additional support (he had already made a substantial contribution) for a defense of the Lee statue in Charlottesville. You would think that the Virginia descendants of the noble veterans of that cruel war of 1861-1865 would have welcomed the support, but no, those near-sighted members of the Virginia SCV protested this “outside interference”!

Then, there was the press release “protest” by the official Virginia division, criticizing a torchlight march near the Lee statue, which included, it is said, members of the ”Alt-Right.” Obviously, the unending attacks by the cultural Marxists had had their effect, for the Virginia division scurried rapidly to the tall grass, forcefully declaring that it had nothing to do with possible “racists,” “white supremacists,” etc., etc.—all the “devil terms” of the cultural Left. One could almost hear the voices and the standard narrative of the leftist mainstream media echoed therein. And one could, justifiably, ask whether such aping of the dominant narrative will do anything, anything at all, to defend our heritage, or to ingratiate us in the eyes of the cultural barbarians who seek to destroy us?

Rather, is not such a polite attitude an admission that our older strategy, even if certainly the ideal in a civilized society, has failed? One does not get down on one’s knees and attempt to “reason” with a King Cobra, and, I dare say that operating by the old rules with our enemies these days—whether in Washington DC, or in New Orleans, or in Charlottesville, Virginia—will get us only that much quicker to the dust bin of history and the final end of our culture and our people. Seems like the cobras will strike us every time…but that too many of us have never learned, or may never learn, that lesson.

I send along, then, a rousing defense of “Marse Robert” by that superb columnist Ilana Mercer and the critical significance of Southern and Confederate heritage in the history of our nation.

****

~ Dr. Boyd D. Cathey is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Abbeville Institute. He contributes to the Confederate Veteran magazine, the Unz Review, as well as to Barely a Blog. His articles are on this site under the “BAB’s A List” search category.

Traitorous Media Make Trump Diplomacy Sound Like Treason

Christianity, Foreign Policy, Russia

He ran on a platform of diplomacy with Russia. President Trump echoed what to most sane Americans seems intuitive. Quibble you can about the merits of a close relations with Turkey (which we pursue and pacify to the detriment of true friends, the Kurds). But Russia? Diplomacy with Russia is a net good. Trading with or talking to Russia is good for the people of both countries.

But not to the filthy MSM. The meme circulated by MSM, to the effect Trump has untoward ties with Russia, now serves to cast every Trump attempt at diplomacy as high treason.

Putin is an ally against ISIS. More than that, Russia NOW is a civilizational ally. To wit, Putin vowed, in 2012, to actively assist the Christians of the Middle East. On the other hand, when our president attempted in his original travel ban, RIP, to privilege persecuted Christian; the lawyers in his own country refused to allow it. Justice a la America.

The USA claims to be “God’s Own Country.” But it is in Russia that is enjoying “a mighty revival of the Orthodox Christian faith while the West is abandoning its Christian identity.”

Eager to get on with an agenda he promised, “President Donald Trump hosted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak at the White House Wednesday.”

But all the Media Idiocracy can see is “the swirling investigation of Russian contacts with Trump campaign and transition officials in 2016 and Tuesday’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, who was handling the probe.” (CNN)

UPDATE II (5/11): You’re Fired, James Comey

America, Christianity, Democrats, Donald Trump, Left-Liberalism, Objectivism, Politics, Propaganda, Russia

James Comey is out. Donald Trump fired the FBI Director. (Read the ‘You’re Fired’ letter.) One wonders what took POTUS so long? Was he waiting for Congress and Comey to orchestrate another career-advancing hearing? Comey provided “four hours of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee,” on May 3. Boy, did he put on an act. This was Careerism 101 by Comey.

A Republican president fired someone. And OMG! The freaks are free associating. Russia. Putin. Shades of Nixon. Impeach. Tyranny. Is there any doubt Democrats control the received “narrative”?

It’s an alternate reality. Most of it is just not true. Russia, Putin; this that: you know it’s as manufactured as was the invasion of Iraq.  “The proof is not in the Putin“:

The same vague nomenclature deployed by CIA analysts to take Americans to war in Iraq is evident in the agency’s unsubstantiated claims against Russia. In trying to incriminate absent hard evidence, the CIA, as reported by the Washington Post, alludes to “a secret assessment,” nowhere apparent, identifying only “anonymous sources and individuals” in “closed-door briefing.”

During the Bush era, the mantra of Washington operatives like Karl Rove was, “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.” Not much has changed. Deep State creates reality as they go.

Ignored or rejected as rogue is a reality not of the making of America’s entrenched punditocracy, its self-anointed intelligentsia, slick Big Media, slimy politicians, Democrat and Republican, spooks and bureaucrats.

Back on earth, Hillary lost. Deplorables triumphed over Hillary’s “Antifa” by a smidgen. The degree of contempt for Americans among Democratic leadership and their candidate was revealed through the good works of WikiLeaks, which had exposed the Bush government before Hillary. Deep State doesn’t like to be exposed. Hence the convulsions.

UPDATE (5/10):

Putin channels Bart Simpson, “I didn’t do it.” Whatever IT is:

FBI is rotten:

UPDATE II (5/11):

Syrian Christians: