Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Afraid history is secular to.

The Wild Hunt blog looked at, what I assume is, an all too common assumption of Christians. That the world was holding it's breath awaiting their faith. That final layer on the social cake. (How bad was that analogy?)

Now, I understand, it's your religion. It's a precious gem everyone should want, the word of a god, yada yada yada. But that just isn't how it actually works out.

In the post, they look at a piece from Marc Barnes that laments the post-Christian culture he sees. Apparently, we aren't "Men", or "of Men." I guess we aren't manly enough for him...Anyway it is sad to know that without Christ I am... effete? Drone wars are boring, not viscerally enough for Barnes. Eh. I don't know. Don't care really, it is silly. Just an excuse to put down people not of faith in an intellectually lazy manner.

But as is pointed out, more interesting is how he views history pointing to Christandom. And, like I said above, sure you believe that. It's cute.
... The Pagan world awaited Christ as a virgin awaits her bridegroom. In her myth and legend she whispered of Christ. ...
Did I say cute? I meant creepy. It's creepy now. I guess if you know history, the world...sorry, just "the pagans" awaited the Christians to come save them from themselves. Imagine, paganism way have just become a spinster culture.

Sure, that's what it looks like to me in the stories of Charlemagne. That's why Constantine converted. That's why the old religions often had to be destroyed or banned...Wait. Oh, that's right. Christianity shaped itself to be a sellable product, but very slowly spread, often moving thanks to leaders seeing it as a useful political tool to crush opposition and control populations. And in spite of attacks on the pagan centers, older polytheistic religions still continue today.

People like Barnes love romanticizing the pre-Christians and their Christian history, as if it's some gentle natural progression. Even, I think, I tried to envision some progression from nature worship to many gods to one god, when I was young. It has some presumed sense. But it's bull. Societies don't work that way in reality.

It became popular for a time, Religious Evolution. Some notables, like C.S. Lewis, were proponents. But, Social Darwinism to had some favor once with people who should have known better. It is a poorly thought out idea. It's the kind of idea a missionary minded person embraces. It speaks to how your faith was the natural and inevitable end result of everything that came before. Like how the Greek pantheon feed into the Roman pantheon, which will stand and be widely worshiped for all of time. It's just so short sighted.

The other aspect of the post noted was that pagan's were all "Men," while we today are not. The All Man Old Timey People...Yeah, and that is true, if you find the idea of the Klingons to be realistic. No, they come off as solely focused, which would doom a culture, as often written. A real culture is more diverse, as ancient societies were. All societies have warriors, and also thinkers and dreamers.

What are the Spartans?

This, right?

But what about their politicians? Their thinkers?

Their poets?
And she is, she is our own, The splendid-ankled Hagesikhora! With Agido, by whose side she lingers,She honors the rites with her beauty.Accept her prayers O gods, For she is your handiwork, Perfect of her kind.And I, I, O Choirmaster, Am but an ordinary girl. I hoot like an owl in the roof.I long to worship the goddess of the dawn. Whose gift is peace. For HagesikhoraWe sing, for her we virgin girls. Make our lovely harmonies. 
The Spartans. They sang songs. They wrote poetry. They were artisans. And they could go to war with the best of them. Despite, what is left to history, they were not one note.

But societies, over time, get streamlined and simplified. Vikings, manly invaders. Spartans, manly warriors. Athenians, democratic thinkers. Scythians, ...who are they? Anyway, you know, the drill.

So we wimpy modern secularist get compared up against these tall tales, these legends, these myths.

But Barnes is not alone in this. That was what we saw in JRR Tolkien's stories, the grand old days that much of Middle Earth looks back at, long gone. When the men of Numenor strode powerful and confident. It is an old fantasy to have.

In the end, we can see a far to simplistic view of history, which we should all avoid accepting.

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