||"dawnbreak in the west"|
Friday, December 09, 2016
A sword in the city of man
I must preface this with a confessio, if you will: I have not (yet) read Augustine. Since he wrote in the western language Latin, he wasn't read in my area of focus, which is the Byzantine and Syriac area. So I only know Confessions from dim memories of freshman Humanities, and I only know City of God second-hand. I suspect Augustine should have been read in the East, especially in the Nestorian East. I should get around to him myself.
The Internet is directing me further to Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet's "discourse" on the history of the world, apparently Augustine's modern-era update. This one has been translated into a great Oriental language, Arabic. But I haven't read that either, in fact I've just today heard of it. Here it is in English.
Anyway, from what I've read second-hand of the Augustinian dogma, the City of God is independent of human politics. By this metaphor, Augustine proposed a Christian conquest of time where the City of Man is at best a conquest only of space, necessarily temporary. (I note here that, if this summary is accurate, then Katzenelson has - belatedly! - evangelised Augustine to the nation of Israel.)
Bossuet does have an opinion on the role of politics. He identifies the King's right to rule as Divine. For him, the king is an agent of God, and is made strong only to serve. Absolute government where it has devolved into arbitrary government, is odious in God's sight. But it is not for Bossuet to say whether arbitrary government is unlawful. That is reserved for God.
The Church's job, then, cannot be to promote a "social justice", nor any other form of justice, amongst princes. It must be to promote justice within the human heart. If the prince is just, the people will rejoice; and if the prince promotes Catholicism, the priests will be pleased: but all this is dust if the people and priests are not likewise just. Wicked people and errant priests deserve punishment, just like an unjust prince.
A few days ago I read a depressing account of what too many people think of God, which is as a sort of voodoo angel with material benefit to those who believe in Him (and leave it at that). This piece was published in an American Renaissance book, so it mainly applies to American black women. But I'm not here going full AmRen or (h/t) Vox Day; I am not concerned right now with the genes or chromosomes. I want to know who is teaching this nonsense.
As best I have been able to find out, the mosques who preach Martin Luther King are teaching this nonsense; the churches who preach civil-rights are teaching this nonsense. It's the reverends who run for political office, like the late Clementa Pinckney, who are the priests of the City of Man.
Where Roof went wrong is in thinking he, himself, had the standing to deliver this punishment. He, too, was a citizen of the City of Man. Of Sodom, even.
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