Quote of the Day

28 Jan

I’m sick of the NRx obsession with their “Progressivism came from Christianity” hobbyhorse. It was dumb when Moldbug first wrote about it (probably consciously or unconsciously trying to distract attention away from the heavy influence of Jewish intellectuals in developing modern liberalism and neoconservatism), and it’s even dumber today now that so many good critiques of this stupid idea are readily available.

Christianity is a religion focused on salvation from sin and reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ. “Christianity without Christ” is complete nonsense, you might as well talk about “Islam without the Koran”. The fact that some old Time article describes globalism as “super-protestant” just shows that the author was confused about what exactly Protestant Christianity is. I hear critics saying “No True Scotsman” fallacy to that, but one of the oldest tenets of Protestantism is “Sola Scriptura”, so just show me where Christ talks about unified international command of armies and navies, or the necessity of a universal currency, and I’ll concede the point. Otherwise, admit that these ideas aren’t Protestant or Christian in the slightest, even if they may incidentally have been held by certain groups of Protestants at certain points in history.


(See also here, for an in-depth treatment of the subject, and here for some responses to detractors.)


Posted by on January 28, 2015 in religion, The Kulturkampf, The Tribe, Theology


23 responses to “Quote of the Day

  1. Will S.

    January 28, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    I had an old post on my now defunct blog Will S.’ Miscellany, which linked the Todd Lewis piece, and Aimless Gromar’s link to it, where I made the following observation:

    A point he (Todd Lewis) makes in a response:

    The other problem with the protestant-only model is the worst examples of modernism the French and Russian revolutions took place in Catholic and Orthodox countries. If protestantism was the root cause why did the US, UK and Holland escape totalitarianism? In Europe, with the notable exception of Germany, all the totalitarian regimes were formerly catholic or orthodox. Republican France, Communist Russia, Franco’s Spain, Mussolini’s Italy, Pilsudski’s Poland, and Antonescu’s Romania. It seems much more plausible that something withing Catholicism and Orthodoxy lead to totalitarian modernist ideology.

    Is one I’ve also made, in the discussion here:

    The biggest problem with modernity as far as I can see is its secularism. But the Reformation-era Protestants were not secularist, and the first big promoter of secularism in the last half-millennium was Revolutionary France – which was a Catholic nation, the Huguenots being long crushed. Can’t blame Protestants for the French Revolution – but I’ve seen people try to. Similarly, one can’t blame the Russian Revolution and subsequent Bolshevik Revolution on Protestantism, either, since Russians were not Protestant in the slightest. But some want to pin any and all revolutionary fervour on Protestantism. Fools, and anti-Protestant bigots, they are, who let their prejudice warp their ability to think rationally. Protestantism is not directly responsible for secularism, and in fact, we have seen that within European-descendent countries, secularism has first taken root most aggressively in non-Protestant countries.

  2. Will S.

    January 28, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Todd Lewis also commented (no link any more, unfortunately):

    I love how it is implied that Cromwell was a liberal or a tool for parliament, he closed down parliament, brothels, gambling dens, Christmas, ale hosues etc. How is that liberal?

    Indeed. It is not.

    Neo-reactionaries who blame Protestantism for modernity unwittingly buy into Whig history:

    The only difference being that unlike Whigs, they mourn rather than celebrate what happened. Everyone interested in understanding how the Whigs have misunderstood history (and similarly, how neo-reactionaries who unwittingly buy into the Whigs’ arguments have likewise done so) should read Herbert Butterfield.

  3. Mark citadel

    January 28, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    “The Kalki Avatara is the fierce incarnation that vanquishes the atheist class born in this Age of Kali.”

    Would the prophesy of the Kali Yuga really say atheist if it meant something else?

    Dawkins (the study of this assertion by Moldbug) is indeed ironically submersed in Christian ideas, those that undergird Western Culture and science itself! But so is Moldbug, so are all of us. However one cannot be called a Christian of any type when one attacks Christ, denounces Him , and disbelieves. Regardless of his inconsistency, Dawkins remains an atheist. A stupid atheist, but an atheist all the same.

  4. Will S.

    January 28, 2015 at 1:36 pm


  5. Lars Grobian

    January 28, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Not just held by some Protestants, but regarded as theology by the Protestants who invented ithe ideas. So. Yeah. “Sola scriptura” — with the caveat that scripture says whatever they want it to, and the opposite tomorrow. That IS Protestantism.

    When feminists tell you to listen to the dictionary definition of feminism instead of look at what they actually believe and do in practice, you laugh.

    He’s saying the same: “Ignore all these actual Protestants and everything they’ve done and said since Luther. That’s just an irrelevant abberation”.

  6. Jacob

    January 28, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    The writer is almost there but he misses the point of Moldbug’s idea, which is that Christianity in the hands of Christians must tend towards progressivism, presumably because he sees that Man is inherently corruptible. Becoming Christ-like is the biblical progressivism that I think Moldbug was implying that Man in his corruptible state gets wrong.

    All institutions led by Man, including the Church, carry within themselves the seeds of their own destruction, partially to protect themselves and their leadership, but also because the process or self-protection has the tendency to throw the baby out with the bath water (because Man’s judgement is not perfect). The mistakes it makes, and the reactive comforting of the unjustly treated, eventually gets misused by the disobedient who merely seek comfort for hurt feelings from godly rebuke. When the protection of feelings is a more powerful urge within its members than the urge to protect souls from the Devil, which it almost always will be when women dominate the church, it quickly becomes the exaltation of deviancy. Happiness becomes the sacred object and good feelings become the sacrament. Bad becomes good, and good becomes bad.

    All churches that permit all people to worship together without limitations, aka Equality, which modern Protestantism seems to want to baptise as a spiritual norm, will become corrupt eventually. I think Moldbug was suggesting that the Protestant church, by definition, was already trending in that direction from its inception. Christianity led by Christ, the religion above the church, is another matter entirely.

  7. Will S.

    January 28, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    @ Lars: No. You are clearly failing to distinguish between confessional Protestants like Lutherans and Reformed, who have fixed doctrinal standards, including catechisms just like RCs, and which have remained firm – these are the first and oldest, the truest of Protestants, the ones following most closely to the examples of Luther and Calvin – and on the other hand, evangelicals, who are less grounded, and more prone to change over time, and mainlines, who have jettisoned orthodoxy entirely.

    The evangelicals and mainlines of the 19th century onwards ARE aberrations, compared to the confessional Protestants of the Reformation, whose traditions are three centuries older, dating to the time of the Reformation itself.

    @ Jacob: Well, alas, yes, naturally, humans being imperfect, they make mistakes, they sin, and insofar as the church is made up of humans, it too will be imperfect, alas…

  8. Will S.

    January 28, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    @ Lars: In any case, it’s quite rich for any post-Vatican II R.C. whose own tradition has changed greatly in its teachings from what it used to be, to sneer down their noses at Protestants for being malleable. Pot, kettle, black…

  9. Will S.

    January 28, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    But go ahead, ignore liberation theology, liberal ‘Catholics For Choice’ pro-choice types, etc. Liberalism is all the fault of Protestantism, blah blah blah.

  10. Will S.

    January 28, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    You know what? I’m done with this debate.

    And so are you.

    No more comments from you, or any other twit who can’t see that there’s enough blame to go around on all sides, for the way the world is today.

    Screw debating with closed-minded, bigoted fools.

  11. Will S.

    January 28, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    We recently had on here a twit who holds the R.C.C. responsible for everything, trolling, trying to provoke a row on here.

    And now, someone wants to argue with me about Protestantism.

    Screw all of them.

    I’ve updated my part of the About / Rules page; I’m tired of dealing with hyperpartisan twits, and refuse to let any more post. Ditto anti-Christian bigots.

    If you’re one of them, read this before bothering to try and comment.

  12. John

    January 28, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    I suspect the whole “ultra-Protestant” thing comes from Martin Luther’s Preisthood of the believer, based on the idea that all believers are equal before God. The theory is that this led to an obsession with equality (even among those who reject Christ). I think it’s about time we think of something else to call it, because it rejects pretty much every other Protestant doctrine. There’s nothing Protestant about wanting to make homosexuality equal to marriage.

  13. Will S.

    January 28, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    Hmm, interesting conjecture! I have no doubt that’s partly responsible. But I suspect the Whig misinterpretation of history is a bigger factor. Nevertheless, no doubt many have misunderstood Luther’s point, and have abused it to further secular sociopolitical aims.

    (Radical egalitarianism, in the sense of feminism and homosexual activism, has nothing to do of course with Luther’s emphasis of the universal priesthood of all believers (which unsurprisingly was derived from Scripture; see here, and further explanation here).)

    Indeed, once you’ve left Christianity, as progs have, in what way can you still be a Christian, of any kind, whether Protestant or Catholic, or whatever? I’ve heard celebrities describe themselves as, say, ‘non-practising Catholic’, but that’s absurd; either you are a believing Roman Catholic or you are not; ditto Protestantism, Eastern Orthodoxy, etc. Just because you have some sentimental attachment to your upbringing doesn’t make you whatever you left behind. I left behind mainline Protestantism in my early adult years, but I still have some sentimental attachment to elements of it; does that mean I’m still a mainline Protestant? Perish the thought!

    Anyway, as regards the doctrine, I’m not sure there’s any need to rename it, nor do I think it ought to be jettisoned; I’m convinced Luther’s interpretation is correct, following what 1 Peter 2:9 says.

    We’ll always have people who abuse Scripture and doctrine for their own ends. The devil, after all, was the first to twist Scripture, to attempt to use it to further his own wicked ends. But Christ, during His temptation by Satan, countered Satan’s quotation of Scripture with other quotes from Scripture; surely we are in the right to follow His lead and do likewise, against the abusers.

  14. infowarrior1

    January 29, 2015 at 12:00 am

    @Will S.

    There is also the instance of extending the spiritual equality of believers before God under Christ(Galatians 3:28) into the rest of the characteristics of man. Ignoring the parable of the talents where the inherent inequalities of man is taken into account in judgment.

    • Will S.

      January 29, 2015 at 12:15 am

      Exactly, infowarrior1. BTW, I can’t believe I’d forgotten Galatians 3:28, or (now that I think of it) Colossians 3:11, as regards the spiritual equality of all believers.

      Abuse of Scripture is nothing new.

      So long as we abide in this existence, until Christ’s return and the coming of the New Heaven and New Earth after Judgment Day, we’ll have unbelievers among us, and like Satan, they’ll twist Scripture to their own ends. All we can do is demonstrate why they are wrong in their misinterpretations, and attempts to deceive / mislead others as well as themselves. We surely won’t be able to stop it, entirely.

  15. Eric

    January 29, 2015 at 2:37 am

    I’ve never understood why the Fathers of the Church aren’t more widely read. Those men studied under the Apostles and some of the later writers studied under them. ‘Sola Scriptura’ maybe one reason why they aren’t: but they also practiced that doctrine and gave interpretations of it that come directly from the earliest Christian times.

  16. infowarrior1

    January 29, 2015 at 8:00 am

    “Sola Scriptura” is not the repudiation of tradition but being in its proper place before the supremacy of scripture.

  17. Peter Blood

    January 29, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Back to the original quote: something rings hollow, heartless, and excessively rationalistic in much fringe right talk about Christianity. It’s like the androids on the show “Buster Friendly and his Friendly Friends” in Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” going on about Mercerism.

  18. Will S.

    January 29, 2015 at 10:39 am

    @ Eric: Funny thing is, Reformed like myself hold the early Fathers in fairly high regard, esp. Augustine, with whom we agree about much in interpretation of the Scriptures. 🙂

    @ infowarrior1: Exactly. Which is why Reformed can hold someone like Augustine in high regard. 🙂

    @ PB: Yeah, I’ve never understood the hostility of so many of those on the fringes to the Faith. You’d think they felt personally targeted by God!

  19. Peter Blood

    January 29, 2015 at 11:03 am

    The heavy load of sin-guilt erupts in various ways.

  20. Will S.

    January 29, 2015 at 11:09 am

    No doubt…


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