The Moral of Jephthah

In the darkest chapter of the darkest book of the Old Testament, there is a tale about a barbarous man named Jephthah. Born as the bastard son of a harlot, Jephthah was shunned by his brethren. He and his brothers were of the Gileadite clan, under the Israelite tribe of Manasseh. 

Ostracized by his people, “Jephthah fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob” in the untamed countryside. Savage and vain men rallied around Jephthah and formed a band under him.

Meanwhile, trouble brewed in the nearby lands of the heathens. The Ammonites were honouring their god, Moloch, through the sacrifice of their own children by hurling them into the fiery pit of his wicked altar. These practices were despised by the children of Israel. After all, God had sent an angel to stop Abraham from sacrificing his only son, Isaac, who later begot Jacob, the father of the Israelites. 

The day came when the Ammonites made war against the people of Israel, releasing chaos across the land. Since in those days there was no king of Israel, the Gileadites sought a שׁוֹפֵט‎‎ šōp̄ḗṭ (judge / deliverer / chief) to save them. The elders of Gilead called upon Jephthah to be their captain. 

And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, “Did not ye hate me, and expel me out of my father’s house? and why are ye come unto me now when ye are in distress?”

And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, “Therefore we turn again to thee now, that thou mayest go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.”

 “If ye bring me home again to fight against the children of Ammon, and the LORD deliver them before me, shall I be your chief?” asked Jephthah.

The elders of Gilead made a vow to Jephthah before God that if he rescued the people from the heathens, then he would be made chief. Jephthah accepted. 

From out of the wilderness, Jephthah unleashed his savage bands and rallied the Israelites against the children of Ammon. Although the tides turned against the foreign foe, the Ammonites held out in the land of Aroer; where the stage for a decisive battle was set. 

On that day Jephthah vowed unto the LORD God of Israel. He promised that if God granted him victory, then upon his homecoming, he would sacrifice whatever came out from the doors of his house to God and / or as a burnt offering. 

God heard the champion and answered his prayers. And so Jephthah smote the jaws of the wicked and snatched the spoils from their teeth, bestowing the stolen lands back to the people. 

But as the chief approached the gates of his homeland in triumph, his daughter rushed out the double doors to greet her victorious father. And so, the splendid homecoming gave way to misfortune because Jephthah had vowed that he would sacrifice whatever came first from the doors of his house. 

Bound by his word to the LORD God, Jephthah sacrificed his gentle daughter unto the LORD. 

In doing so, Jephthah had become what he had sought to destroy. In his attempt to banish the practices of child sacrifice from the land, he fell prey to the very same practice. Jephthah’s story is the darkest chapter of the Book of Judges because Israel has fallen so low that even in “victory” they have found themselves in defeat. 

Are we not now in the time of Judges? Have we not forsaken Truth to do what “is right in our own eyes?” In the wasteland of popular opinion, we find Moloch’s maxim chiseled in stone, to “seek only the convenience of self-preservation in the present; all else is expendable.” As means of our own survival, we sacrifice the future of our children to the altar of our idols.

As we idolize the present above a righteous future, do not our children pay the price? And what shall we trade for their inheritance? Our inflated wealth for the yoke of debt around their necks? Our plastic conveniences for their polluted seas? The presentism of our lives in exchange for the livelihoods of their future? Is their slavery worth the cost of our freedom?

And who will be our champion–our Jephthah–against the presentism of our generation? Who will judge us? Who will deliver us from the tribes of men who sacrifice their children? 

Beware we do not sacrifice our own children in the attempt to return to the ways of our fathers; or else all will be lost. For this reason, it is the counter-reformation that we must fear most of all. When our defenders speak of “reconstruction,” we must beware the word’s inherent double entendre. On the one hand, they may mean to rebuild the traditions we once had. On the other hand, they may try to construct a new city, with our old ways left in ruins and our children forgotten by the wayside. 

The photo shows, “Jephthah’s Daughter,” by Walter Duncan.

The Hermit’s Power

“Despising, for you, the city, I turn my back: There is a world elsewhere.” (Coriolanus, Act III Scene II)…”My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36).

After the middle of the 4th century AD, Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire. The era of radical martyrs was setting and the age of the hermits began to dawn.

Hermit after hermit fled into the wilderness of dessert in the effort to escape from the world. But a great irony began to emerge, as people fled from the world, the more the world followed them.

Believing that these holy men attained a special wisdom and spiritual nature from their isolation, many wandered into the desert to seek their guidance.

One of these seekers was wise enough to write down the messages the hermits shared and amalgamate them into a single book known as The Sayings of the Desert Fathers.

The book is full of lessons, but there is a meta-lesson to be learned here.

When you pull away from the world, the world tries to pull back, but if you stay steady then you can pull in the world.

The hermit resists being swept away by the flooding world through his mountainside retreat. There, he meditates on the nature of the world below and the future to come.

There is only one world, but it is riddled with tensions. There is a tension between yourself and the people around you. Just like there are tensions within yourself, but still you remain one.

I use the word “tension” and not “division” because nothing is truly divided. Rather, all things are sown together through their interactions which unify them into a single being.

The hermit pulls on these tensions. By running off into the wilderness, he drags society with him. The wilderness is a dangerous place to be, but is only there where transformation can occur.

Surely the world will send a messenger to knock on his monastic gates, but whom shall it be?

Will the serene solace of the acetic be torn asunder by trumpeting fiends, the very devils he once sought to surpass? Or will the cold despair of his heart be warmed with the fulfillment of his greatest hope?

What is the hope of the man on the mountain? Is it not the arrival of another who has fled as he himself had one fled, a champion who has come to fulfill the prophecy set by his own dreams?

This is the story of the first Christian hermit, St. Paul of Thebes, who fled to the desert in the face of his persecution as boy.

For almost a hundred years, Paul found refuge in a cave with God and a raven to keep him company. After making a robe from palm leaves he trained the raven to delver him bread.

The aching solitude of the hermit was interrupted by St. Anthony, who saw the hermit in dream. Driven on by his vision, he walked the earth till he came across the lonesome soul.

In joy, the two broke bread and conversed night away. But on his second visit, Anthony found the cloistered saint dead. In homage to St. Paul, Anthony took on his palm-leaf-woven robe.

St. Anthony would go forth to spread the ways of monasticism and later be known as the Father of All Monks, foremost of the desert fathers.

The monastic tradition became the backbone of Christianity. The escape of the world’s clutches, and the journey inward, became a milestone in Christian thought.

When you stop playing societies game, you give yourself the chance to start anew and play your own game. God only hopes that you will find others who will come forth play with you.

The point is not to go live in the woods, or start making a robe out of palm leaves. Rather, withdraw into the mountain of your own mind, carve away at your own space, and bear the weight of your retreat even if at first you find yourself alone.

It has nothing to do with  getting out of the city. After all, can you think of anything more lonely than being around millions of people you don’t know?

Is not the martyr, like the hermit, unshackled from society? Is not the tension between themselves and the world as tight as the noose around their neck? They have withdrawn from society’s mire in pursuit of the pure and incorruptible.

They both share the vision and likeness of the prophet. The role of the prophet is to carve out a mental and linguistic space where the shadows of idle fantasies are torn apart by the light.

If the prophet is skilled at his art, then he will be hated because the surgery of Man’s mind is done without anesthetics.

But when the hermit, the marytr, and the prophet pull into themselves and away from the world, they drag the collapsing world behind them.

This is the strength of the hermit. He is the oasis in the land of devastation. His virtue lies in his resisting of himself, which lays waste to the world.


The photo shows, “Landscape with the Temptations of St. Anthony,” by Claude Lorrain, painted, ca. 1635-1638.

A Defense of Free Speech

Into blind darkness enter they that worship ignorance; into darkness greater than that, as it were, they that delight in knowledge (Isa Upanishad).

On March 20th, 2018, Faith Goldy was going to give a presentation at Wilfrid Laurier Universities’ Paul Martin Center.

LSOI (Laurier’s Society for Open Inquiry), the group hosting the event, claims that they invited five professors to challenge her views, but that none of them accepted. Thus, the debate was turned into a presentation.

Yet, before Goldy could give her controversial presentation the fire alarm was pulled. With the sound of alarms, Goldy left the campus and adjourned to the adjacent Veteran’s Green Park with her audience.

LSOI promised that they would invite Goldy back for a second appearance. 

This promise underscores the need to make a definitive judgement as to whether the WLU should allow Faith Goldy, and others like her, to be able to speak on campus.

I argue that it is in the interest of the school to rule in favor of allowing the speaker to return and give her presentation uninterrupted.

The university should allow the presentation because otherwise they may fall prey to dogmatism, the regulation of speech may lead to inequities, and free speech is in the interest of the marginalized groups they seek to protect.

Before diving into the ethics, I wish to discuss Faith Goldy’s position. She describes Euro-Canadians as the “native people” of Canada. She proposes a solution to stop the “ethnocide of the White race” and save European Canadian Identity.

One of her claims is that “High IQ Chinese are taking over the class rooms,” and that universities should do the opposite of affirmative action to Asian applicants, i.e. select against them in the admission process.

Commonly accused of being a “white supremacist” she counters that the reason for her measures are the opposite of white supremacy. She does not think that White people are the smarter superior race, on the contrary, it is because Asians, Jews and Indians are smarter “races” she takes her discriminatory stance.

This discriminatory stance is to “save” White people from becoming subservient to new “masters.” Also, she adopts what many would call an anti-Semitic stance.

Goldy says, “the first time we got an immigrant over-class was in 1881 with the great wave of Ashkenazi Jews” (who are “literally the smartest race on the planet”) came to Canada.

But wait, there’s more.

I want to make it clear that these are Faith Goldy’s views and not my own. It would be deceitful and unjust to omit these views to reader when discussing this controversy, especially when I seek to defend her presence here at WLU. For my own part, I abhor this line reasoning.

But, this article is not about what I think of Faith Goldy, it is about the effects that come with regulation of free speech.

The first reason why the university should allow freedom of speech is because it negates a slippery slope into dogmatism.

Universities are meant to be the anvil of new ideas, paradigm shifts, and revolutionary ways of thinking. When institutions regulate the speech of their constituencies, they tend to build their own echo chamber.

The fallout of this policy is that it creates a continuous cycle of reinforcing the status quo. As John Stuart Mill points out, dogmatism presupposes one’s own righteous stance on an issue.

Historically, it is hard for intellectuals to claim any level of infallibility in regard to evaluating “Nazi” points of view. In fact, people forget that the original Nazis were part the university intellectuals of their day.

The Einsatzgruppen were swarmed with highly educated members. Dr. Ohlendorf, one of the leaders of the Einsatzgruppen even had two PHD’s.

Intellectuals may be wise, but they’re not infallible. As long as that is the case they can never justify dogmatic policies for what are often grey areas.

Even if they are correct about Faith Goldy, who is to say they will continue to give correct evaluations of the speakers after her? Dogmatism is avoided completely when one ceases to regulate speech.

The second reason why universities should allow controversial speakers to discuss is because they may have a few good points to make, even if they are racist bigots.

There is always the possibility of a “diamond in the rough” when it comes to notorious orators regardless as to whether they are racists.

For example, many of the pro-slavery arguments that came from South of the United States were despicable. But even these Southerners made some good points that the US Northerners were afraid to confront.

The pro-Slavers contrasted the well-being of their slaves with the wretched lives of black factory workers in of the North.

Pro-Slavers might have been dead wrong about everything else, but they made great point when they showed that the horrors of industrial capitalism for blacks were not that far off from the conditions of a Southern slave.

If the North seriously confronted that statement, they might not have waited till the 1960’s (over 100 years later) to initiate social programs against poverty.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day. That saying might be true for Goldy and other controversial speakers after her.

The third reason why controversial speakers like Goldy should be allowed to speak is because the violation of rights such as free speech endanger the public good in the long run.

Politics can be unpredictable.

You might have a party in power who “justly” silences the “unjust.” But what happens when power changes hands?

After initial censorship, that the silencing of others has been normalized, so now who is going to stop the misusing of that power?

The forth reason why free speech should be allowed is because it dissolves hate speech in the long run.

Dialogue is the crucible of changing thought. The best way to destroy hate speech is by argument, reason, and public discourse.

John Stuart Mill points out how if we do not fearlessly discuss truth then it loses its lively quality and becomes a dead dogma.

Speech is more then just fact and fiction, communication is the fabric that holds our societal consensus together. If we cease to be engaged in grappling with what we believe in as a society, then we might forget why we believe in the values we profess.

As time passes and truths become unquestioned, we forget over the generations why we believe them.

Members of our community begin to stray ideologically from the truths we have established in the past. Free speech is how we recover those members who have been lead astray.

For example, take Harvey Milk’s famous Hope Speech in 1977. Harvey Milk was the first openly gay congressman in the USA. He was a civil rights leader for the gay community.

After years of toil, abuse, and violence the gay community questioned the continued protest as opposed to going back in the closet.

In his Hope Speech, Harvey encouraged them to hang on to hope. Here, he extended his sympathy to the hardships of the gay community.

But at the same time, he utilized the power of free speech when he told them “unless you have dialogue, unless you open the walls of dialogue, you can never reach to change people’s opinion.” 

Far from telling the LGTBQ+ community to remain silent, he told them to speak out.

He advised them all to come out of the closet, so that they could show the world that they were not pedophiles or a sexual menace, but that they were people like anybody else.

Free speech may seem like it is against the wishes of the marginalized, but, it is their most powerful weapon. Can we really afford to take that away because some members of the population feel offended and unsafe?

The whole point of a PRIDE parade was to offend the sensitive conservative onlooker. The flamboyant display was meant to be an act of provocation to the members of society who preferred that gays remain behind closed doors.

The idea was to be proud instead of being ashamed.

Once upon a time, it was the LGBTQ+ community who were seen as the dangerous misfits who made the world unsafe for society.

John Stuart Mill and Milk were right. They knew that free speech led to ideological cohesion, not fragmented hate. Truth brings people together more than it drives them apart.

Free speech allows for the hateful to be confronted.

When it is illegal to express ones hate in public then one keeps it a secret. When this happens, hate is preserved behind closed doors and whispered behind the backs of future victims.

The hateful do not change their minds just because we make it illegal for them to hold a hateful stance. Instead they simply go on unopposed.

For example, if I was a racist and the school made it illegal for me to express my racist views, then I would never bring it up in public.

My hateful opinion would go unchallenged and I would simply become a secret racist who went around committing quiet acts of racism.

If I am allowed to express myself, then I increase the chance that others will confront my views. This increases the possibility of swaying hatful people through dialogue to reasonable positions.

The worse thing we could do is let hate to speak out unchallenged. When society failed to mobilize an ideological counter to Faith Goldy, we missed our chance to shed light on the darkness of her thoughts.

I’m not saying we would change her mind, but we might have changed the minds of audience members grappling with these demons.

I concede that there are times when one should break the law to do what’s right. I sympathize with the person who pulled the fire alarm on that day. But was this person really doing what was best for society by pulling the fire alarm?

I do not think so.

I argue that allowing free speech was the right thing to do, not shutting down dialogue. Because a true conscientious objector breaks the law for the good of society, and this person did more harm than good, thus I deny labeling them as a true conscientious objector.

I would not be surprised if they thought that they were doing the right thing, but they were misled.

These are the reasons why I think Wilfrid Laurier University should allow Faith Goldy to speak again upon her return.

It’s not because I agree with her views. On the contrary, I think they are horrible. But if we regulate free speech we fall into the greater darkness of dogmatism. Intellectuals are smart, but they are far from infallible.

Free speech may take a while to prove its worth, but in the long run it becomes the safe guard of the marginalized. It is the arguably the most powerful tool for keeping society engaged and on the same page.

Furthermore, it is our obligation as citizens to take on these speakers. We should not support these horrible views, rather we owe it to the marginalized to stand up on their behalf by debating these orators.

More importantly, we owe it to members of the community who are struggling with these ideas and those who have been blinded by them. Since Socrates, our task has been to take people out of the cave of illusory shadows and show them the light (even if they make us drink hemlock for doing so).


The photo shows, “What Freedom!” by Ilya Repin, painted in 1903.

True Westerners Aren’t Racists

The soul of the West is Christianity – an ideology that is incompatible with racism.

The term racism is like a coin that is so worn down by “the Left” that it has lost its face and become shear metal. But what does it mean?

A racist is someone who believes that a human being’s ideology and behavior is derived primarily from the genetic code of that human being. This idea isn’t that bad, but the racist adds a dangerous corollary.

The racist believes that the natures of human beings are or so radically diverse that they are irreconcilable – i.e. “They, and their children, are so fundamentally different from us that they will never be reconciled with the blood of ‘our’ people.”

This is the true racist.

From this Pandora’s box, we get Nazism, KKK, and every other form of extended tribalism.

Then the question is raised “Who among us is the superior race?” – suddenly everyone raises their hand, and pride goeth before the fall.

Racism, like all ideologies of hate, requires the participation of the oppressed as well as their oppressors.

Enslavement ensues, and chained limbs lead to shackled minds as the subjugated dance to the tune of their oppressors.

They too begin to adopt the devilish maxim “They, and their children, are so fundamentally different from us that they will never be reconciled with the blood of ‘our’ people.”

The only sight worse than a soul haunted by hatred is a soul who has hopes in hatred.

The same stones that laid the foundations of suppression are cast back by the ruins of former slaves.

These practices are incompatible with the belief that love conquers all.

There has been increasing talk about “Western civilization” and what it means to be a “European,” but does anybody even know what that means?

What is it that differentiates the Western world? What is so unique about European civilization?

Here’s a hint – it wasn’t racism. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

What is the West? Christianity is the hallmark of Western civilization, the ultimate climax of Hellenic and Judaic thought, and it is inherently anti-racist.

Racism isn’t new, and we have dealt with it before. The ancient world was fluid with movements. We have known for sometime that the people a few a villages over act quite differently then we do.

Racism goes hand in hand with Tribalism. A group of families makes a clan, and a group of clans make a tribe.

Tribalism is based on blood-rights, Nepotism, blood-feuds, and other racist practices.

The Hebrews moved away from this foolishness.

The Christians were reared in a tradition of honoring the blood of the Covenant over the water of the womb. They treated strangers kindly because Jews saw themselves as former strangers.

When Christ was with his disciples, he was told that his mother and brother were waiting for him outside. He responds with the claim that those who follow God are his mother and brothers.

Ever wonder why Christian call each other familial titles? Why do they say things like Brother John, Mother Teresa, Sister Margret, and Father Christopher?

There was a debate in the early Church whether Jews should allow Gentiles to become Christians.

At first Peter said “No” and Paul said “Yes.” Spoiler alert! Paul won.

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male or female, for you are all one in Christ, Jesus.”

To the true Westerner, racism is heresy of the highest order.

But, this is not to say that we should all adopt a” multiculturalist” society where we all believe that no set of ideas is better or worse than any other set of ideas.

On the contrary, Westerners should reject bad cultural practices (like racism), but they shouldn’t fear others based on genetics (or else they become racists).

Nobody should care if the stranger changes the colour “your people’s” skin, but they should care if the stranger changes the colour of “your people’s” hearts.

So, when these morons “thinkers” preach that the only way to save European civilization is to spare its genome, they’ve already forsaken the European identity they sought to protect.

The genes that determine the color of our skin are a plastic aspect of our evolution. The genes that allow us to love (i.e. allow us to know God) are conserved, written in our hearts.

The photo shows, “In the Sunlight,” by Konstantin Makovsky, painted in the 1880s.

On The Nature Of Spirit: A New View

“Blessed are the dead…“Yes.” saithe the spirit, so, they may rest from their labours and their works live on after them” (Revelation 14:13) “Dust thou art, and onto dust thou shall return” (Genesis 3:19)…  “You are a soul, burdened with a corpse” (Epictetus)


Biologically, You Are More Than Your Flesh.

Think of yourself. Think of the flesh that clings to your bones. But you’re more than that, aren’t you?

Biologically speaking, you are more than just your immediate flesh. Bones continuously crack and are replaced through time. The meal you had for lunch soon becomes your flesh. Oxygen cycles through you with every breath you take.

Your atoms mingle in the great cosmic dance of nutrient cycles. All men die. They are eaten by microbes. Soon they enter plants and animals, and are then consumed by us.

“A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.”

To the biologist, you are more than just your immediate flesh. To the evolutionary thinker, the body is merely a conduit for the genome.

Your children, brothers, sisters, kinsmen, and all the members of your species carry your genes. They bear your likeness!

Charles Darwin shows how populations evolve, not individual organisms.

Co-evolution is critical to understanding life on this planet. We co-evolve with the organisms around us. A flower doesn’t make any sense without the bee that pollinates it.

We are walking chimeras. Most of the human genome came from bacteria who transferred their genes into our cells.  We are a mutated fusion of organisms!

If a human being is just an amalgamation of proteins made solely by human genes, then most of a human being isn’t even human.

It makes more sense to think of an “individual” as a community of bacteria than a single organism. We are the forest, not the tree. You are more than just your flesh.

If selection, the Logos of nature, favors you, then your likeness will go on. These traits, these forms of likeness, are your spirit. In this way, your spirit echoes through time, generation after generation, through the ages of ages.


Existentially, You Are More Than Just Your Immediate Flesh

The Existentialist claims that an individual’s dynamic existence goes beyond the existence of a mere static object. We do not exist in the same way coffee-mugs do. We dream, fear, hate, hope, and love.

We are the sum of our actions and deeds! The mason is more than his flesh, there is a piece of himself in every stone he lays down. His stone-works stand long after his flesh is laid to ruin.

Attempt to fathom the entirety of your own works. Think of dreams you possessed made flesh by your toil. They are your children, they are you insomuch as they bear your likeness.

Dreams beget dreams, and works beget works. The earth blooms with the seeds we’ve planted, and we reap what we have sown.

Each of us has our own personal butterfly effect which ripples through time. Try to fathom the depths of the one that cascades from you. These are the forces that stem from your incarnation.

Look back at the all the forces that led to your incarnation. The labours of your ancestors not only gave birth to you, but the city we take for granted. Even the breakfast you ate in the morning had a history. Did you ever wonder why Americans drank coffee and the English drank tea?

Our past goes beyond our birth. We are rooted in our history, our lineage, and our traditions. They give us shape.

We ARE they sum of our butterfly effect and our past. This is the spirit of our incarnation, the flesh that clings to our bones.


On The Nature Of Spirit

The spirit is greater than the flesh! It has a greater timespan, occupies a greater space, and presses on with a greater force.

The fleshly lives of human-beings last only for a moment, but how long does their spirit prevail?

Which traits unceasingly continue through the ages? What is the nature of that which is eternal?

Ultimately, that which is eternal is that which is good, self-sustaining, just, harmonic, and loving. These are the parts of our spirit that continue.

Evil consumes itself, it is unsustainable. You can’t build a city where everyone is always lying, discordant, and entangled in a stasis of self-conflicts. The ancients knew this, hence why Plato professed it.

Disharmony consumes precious energy, whereas harmonic systems are far more competitive because of their greater efficiency.

The dis-harmonic works we spawn disintegrate in their conflicts.  The holocausts of violence, chaos of political treachery, and the pollution of the Earth are not sustainable. These works are the weakness of humanity, not its strength.

But goodness begets goodness! The righteous ally with the righteous, but the wicked are alone.

Our good works are sustainable. The city founded on virtue continues in as much as it adheres to virtue. The worthy city shines like a city on hill.

Inasmuch as we are righteous, our spirit is righteous. Inasmuch as our spirit is righteous, it will pass on though the ages of ages.

You are more than just your flesh. Our spirit is the incarnation of all the forces that led to our existence and all the forces that proceed from it. These forces hail from the dawn of all existence and proceed to the end of time, they are our immortal soul.

In this way, the spirit is greater than the flesh. Try to understand that you are a spirit burdened with a corpse.



The photo shows, “All Souls’ Day,” by Jakub Schikaneder, painted in 1888.

The Holocaust Pope?

The controversy surrounding Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust is so extensive that the controversy has gained its own name, “The Pius Wars.”

After the Eichmann Trial, historians began to expand their understanding of what it meant to be a perpetrator in the Holocaust.

The burden of guilt fell on the shoulders of those who failed to act. To be a bystander was considered a form of passive collaboration.

As the world contemplated this new paradigm, more individuals were considered to be guilty in their relationship to the Holocaust, and before long the ghost of Pius XII was dragged into the fray.

After his death in 1958, debate stirred in post-war Germany about the Pope’s diplomatic agreements with the fascist governments, and his relationship to Hitler.

In the mist of these debates, in 1963, Rolf Hochhuth released his controversial German play, The Deputy: A Christian Tragedy.

The play depicted Pius XII as a greedy, power-hungry, and anti-Semitic goon, who callously turned away from the suffering of the Jews.

In addition, books like Gitta Sereny’s Into That Darkness claimed to have linked the Pontiff to dubious activities, such as helping the escape of mass murders like Franz Stangl.

In contrast, the deceased Pope had high approval from both Catholic and Jewish communities. In fact, consideration for Pius XII’s canonization were set in place in 1965.

As new Vatican archival material became available, the controversy was reignited, with John Cornwell controversial history, Hitler’s Pope.

Examining the Pope’s early career, Cornwell argued that Pius XII was a hypocritical anti-Semitic, and an authoritarian Pontiff who sought to expand Church power, from his earliest days at the Vatican. According to Cornwell, Pius XII was the Pope that Hitler needed in order to carry out the Holocaust.

Cornwell didn’t just get 15 minutes of fame, he got 60 minute on CBS. And so the myth began.

The controversy gathered steam, as scholars scrambled to either criticize or defend the Pope. All of this took place in the shadow of John Paul II’s decision, in 1990, to declare Pius XII a Servant of God, and in 2009, he was made  Venerable, a major path to sainthood.

From this accusatory storm, Rabbi David G. Dalin released his cogent work, The Myth of Hitler’s Pope: Pope Pius XII And His Secret War Against Nazi Germany. This book was written as a direct response to Cornwell’s initial attack.

Building on the works of other Pius XII’s defenders, like Ronald J. Rychlak, Dalin disputed nearly everything that Cornwell contends, especially the alleged papal anti-Semitism and the “silence” of the Pontiff.

Although Dalin’s work seemed like the final nail in the coffin of Cornwell’s false narrative, the myth of the “Nazi Pope” has yet to die.

Let us take a look at the DNA of the myth, item-by-item, so we can finally kill it off.

ITEM 1: Was Pope Pius XII A Nazi Collaborator?

Myth I: Yes, because the Pope was power-hungry!

Reasons given to support this myth…

  • The Pope wanted to centralize the Catholic Church in order to increase his own power.
  • He had already passed the Code of Canon Law by 1917, which required Catholics to be more observant of the dictates of the Vatican, and which gave the Church more control over schools, the appointment of Bishops, and regional legislation.
  • This authoritarian pope seized his chance to increase his power by making a deal with Hitler in the Reich Concordat of 1933. This agreement would disband the Catholic Center Party, Hitler’s main opposition to power, but give the Pope greater control over Catholics in Germany.
  • The Pope willingly became Hitler’s “pawn,” against the will of the German Bishops.

Myth II: Yes, because the Pope did not speak out against Hitler or the Nazis!

Reasons given to support this myth…

  • As Hitler would came to wreak havoc on the Jews of Eastern Europe, the Pope remained silent.
  • After the invasion of Poland, Pius issued an encyclical, Summi Pontificatus (1939), which emphasized “the unity of the human race,” as “neither Jew nor Greek,” but the Pope never mentioned Poland by name.
  • He never explicitly condemned the atrocities of the Nazis.
  • Worst of all, the Pope’s Christmas Eve Address of 1942, further continued his silence about the Holocaust.
  • This address mentioned only the sufferings of “hundreds of thousands”, not millions.
  • This address did not even mention the words “Jew” or “Nazi” because the Pope was Hitler’s pawn, a tool of the Nazi regime.

Myth III: Yes, because the Pope did not try to stop Hitler and the Nazis!

Reasons given to support this myth…

  • The Pope did nothing to stop the Nazis. He simply watched countless Jews taken by Einsatzgruppen from “his very windows.”
  • There is no evidence that the Pope spoke out against the Nazis, let alone mobilize against them.
  • He didn’t do enough because he was most likely a Nazi stooge.

Myth IV: Yes, because the Pope was a Nazi ideologue who hated Communists!

Reasons given to support this myth…

  • In his younger days, Pacelli (the future Pius XII) was a diplomat for the Vatican to the German Kaiser Reich. He had even negotiated with the Kaiser himself, making him no stranger to dealing with egotistical autocrats.
  • But as the Kaiser Reich fell in the sunset of WWI, the future pope found himself in Munich. It was there that a group of violent communists proclaimed the city as their own. Proper Marxists, they despised religion as an obstacle to human progress.
  • A Jew by the name of Levien was among their number. Wanting to put the Catholic Church in its place, he entered Pacelli’s workplace. Howling blasphemy and profanities in the entrance hall, he found Pacelli. Levien demanded the papal limousine, but Pacelli refused to give it to him. Levien pressed his gun to Pacelli’s chest and asked once more of the papal limousine. Pacelli kept a cool head and explained to the shooter that he did not fear death. The Marxist took flight after being called back by his superior.
  • This experience must have traumatized Pacelli, and thus created a hatred for both Communists and Jews. This is why he would always seek neutral diplomatic solutions later in his life.
  • Hitler and Pacelli were anti-Semitic, and both opposed Communism; their alliance was only natural.

Myth V: Yes, because the Pope was anti-Semitic!

Reasons given to explain this myth…

  • What else but anti-Semitism can explain the Pope’s silence in the face of the Holocaust?
  • Why did he not act to save the Jews as they were dragged through the streets of Rome?
  • Pius XII was an Anti-Semitic authoritarian who was against the Jews, or at the very least indifferent to their extermination.
  • For these reasons he was happy to cooperate with Hitler.

Rebuttal To Item 1 And To The Myths.

In the words of Rabbi David G. Dalin, what John Cornwell and others concocted in regard to the character of Pope Pius XII is nothing but “an abominable slander.”

Pope Pius XII was not “Hitler’s Pope.” He sought to save the German Catholics, not forsake them. Nor was he truly silent about the Nazis, since his words were, in fact, clearly understood by all Catholics across the world as specific instructions to resist the Nazi oppressors.

Acting in love, against the will of the Nazis, Pius XII saved thousands of Jews across the Third Reich. In fact, he mobilized the Catholic Church as a spy network which reported to British Intelligence. In many ways, Pius XII out-maneuvered Hitler.

But let us look more clearly at the myths themselves.

MYTH I Dismantled… The Pope was not power-hungry.

  • The Pope did not betray the Catholics of Germany, he tried to save them.
  • Contrary to what the accusers say, the German Bishops were in favor of the Reich Concordat, not against it.
  • The Pope sought to centralize power so that he could protect his Catholic subjects. He agonized over reports of Hitler youth groups violently fighting Catholic youth groups in Bavaria.
  • The persecution of Catholics did not happen because of the Reich Concordat – rather the Concordat happened because of the persecutions.

MYTH II Dismantled… The Pope was not silent about Hitler and the Nazis.

  • Summi Pontificatus (1939), was understood by Catholics as a denouncement of the invasion of Poland.
  • The 1942 Christmas Eve Address was understood as a denunciation of the Nazi atrocities towards the Jews of Eastern Europe
  • It was understood as such by the Nazi’s German Foreign Office as an assault against them. They were outraged.
  • Fellow Catholics, and even Jews, understood the message as a denouncement against the Nazi war crimes despite of its vagueness.

Thus, the Pope’s message was heard, understood, and acted upon. But, his message was not an explicit denouncement of the Nazi regime – but maybe this was for a very good reason.

Rabbi Dalin, argues that if Pius XII had more explicitly denounced the Nazis, then the Nazis would have retaliated and simply “invaded” the Vatican (which they actually had plans to do!)

The Pope had no army of his own. The retaliation would have destroyed the papacy and the Church, and completed the circle of persecution. The Pope’s implicit rather than explicit condemnation was far more effective.

But why did the Pope act this way? Because he was using the Church to bring down Hitler and save the Jews.

MYTH III Dismantled… The Pope did try to stop Hitler and the Nazis.

  • The Pope created a major spy network known as The Orders Committee, headed by Josef Muller, codename “Joey Ox.”
  • Muller gathered information from the Abwehr with the help of fellow Nazi-resistors.
  • Muller would then fly his sports plane over the Alps and inform Ludwig Kass (the former high-ranking member of the Catholic Center Party) about what was going on in Germany. Kass would then report to Pius XII.
  • But it didn’t stop there; the Pope then conveyed the highly classified data to British intelligence at the Vatican.
  • The Pope was behind many of the conspiracies against Hitler.
  • He was the main link in a connecting agreement between German and Italian conspirators to act in a coordinated fashion.
  • Plans to assassinate Hitler were aided by the Pope’s participation, including talks to kill Hitler shortly after the invasion of Poland, an attempt to slip a bomb into Hitler’s plane, and finally the famous Operation Valkyrie.
  • This is why the Pope wasn’t the loudest critic of Hitler – he had to protect the many people who relied on him in their opposition to the Nazis.
  • Historians like Hurbert Wolf rightly argue that some in the German Catholic Church liked Hitler, and if the Pope loudly criticized the Nazis, there would have been a full-blown revolt among such German Catholics. This which would have started an undesired crisis and could only end in the Nazis gaining more power over the German Roman Catholics.

But didn’t the libellers of Pius XII know that the Pope was spy master? They did! Although Cornwell briefly concedes a large degree of bravery to Pius XII for his participation in intelligence gathering, Cornwell uses it to claim that Pius XII was silent not because of cowardice, but because of his indifference to the plight of the Jews.

The fact remains, the Pope was hardly indifferent to Nazi Power. He actively aided the conspiracies against Hitler.

MYTH IV Dismantled…The Pope was not a Nazi ideologue who hated Communists.

The Pope was well aware of the many atrocities being committed by the Communists in the Soviet Union. The Russian Civil War, the Red Terror, and Stalin’s Gulags of the 1930s were common knowledge. So, certainly, the Pope opposed the Communists – because they were avowed atheists, who were intent on destroying Christianity.

Did this opposition make him a Nazi? Of course not.

The Pope was also aware that the only thing keeping the Soviets at bay were the Nazis.

The best the Pope could do was aid the allies (which he did by channelling highly classified information to them).

To say that the Pope was Nazi ideologue is just calumny. Why did Pius XII conspire against Hitler, if he were a Nazi? The Pope regarded Nazism as “perhaps the most dangerous heresy of our times.

MYTH V Dismantled… The Pope was not anti-Semitic.

  • Perhaps the greatest injustice against the Pope is the false accusation of anti-Semitism.
  • Pius XII did so much to help the Jewish people in their time of need that the first major historical work against John Cornwell’s libels was written by a Rabbi named David G. Dalin, to set the record straight.

But the dismantling of Myth V requires fuller elaboration, as follows…

ITEM 2: Did Pope Pius XII care about the Jews?

MYTH I: No, because the Pope did not speak up for the Jews.

  • In the face of Jewish annihilation, the “Vicar of Christ” was silent. Where was the voice of moral truth when the world needed it most?
  • After the invasion of Poland, his encyclical, Summi Pontificatus (1939), never mentions Poland by name let alone the Nazi atrocities committed there.
  • In his Christmas Eve Address in 1942, he never even uses the word Jew. Hence, the Pope did not speak up for the Jews.

MYTH II: No, because the Pope did not act to save the Jews.

  • The Pope did not try to save the Jews because he was indifferent to their suffering.
  • Susan Zuccotti brings up a case where the Pope remained silent as the Jews of Rome were being rounded up the Einsatzgruppen “under the Pope’s own windows.

MYTH III: No, because the Pope smuggled Nazi’s out of Europe.

  • The Catholic Church smuggled high ranking Nazi officials like Klaus Barbie, Josef Mengele, Adolf Eichmann, and Franz Stangl using the Vatican “Ratlines” after the war.
  • The “Ratlines” were escape routes that were originally designed for the Catholic clergy to escape from Fascist or Communist persecution. But, the Catholic Church used them to smuggle out Nazis after the war.
  • Why would the Catholic Church aid Nazis? Simple – because Pius XII was an anti-Semitic Nazi collaborator.

Rebuttal To Item 2 And To The Myths.

Pope Pius XII was a pontiff who loved the Jews. He loved them enough to risk his life to save theirs. His words inspired hundreds of Catholics across Europe to risk their lives to save the Jews as well. Furthermore, he gave them sanctuary when they needed it most. As for the “Ratlines,” they can hardly be said to be connected with the Pope. And even if they were, there is more reason to believe that they were an act of human love, not anti-Semitic hatred.

MYTH I Dismantled… The Pope was not silent about the Nazis.

  • In Summi Pontificatus (1939), the Pope emphasized “the unity of the human race” as “neither Jew nor Greek.”
  • Furthermore, in his Christmas Eve Address of 1942, the Pope explicitly talks about the suffering of “hundreds of thousands” of innocent people.
  • Everybody seemed to understand the message, even the Nazis. In fact, the Nazi German Foreign Office saw it as an assault against them.
  • One must realize that the Pope was working behind enemy lines. Very simply, if the Pope became a loud critic of the Nazis, then they would retaliate against the Church and the many Jews that the Church was hiding. In Holland, for example, when the Pope told the bishops to speak out, the number of Nazi atrocities against the Jews increased.
  • When Clements von Galen, the Bishop of Munster, sought to speak out against the Nazi’s, the Jewish leaders told him not too.
  • The Pope received many letters telling him that denouncing the Nazis would only make things worse, not better. Even Susan Zuccotti (an early accuser) admitted that the Pope may have been silent for the Jews’ sake.
  • Rabbi Dalin argues that if the Church had more explicitly denounced the Nazis, then the Nazis would have retaliated. The retaliation would have destroyed the power of the papacy and inflamed the persecutions.
  • Michael Phayer, a very reputable Holocaust historian, who had originally criticized the silence of Pope Pius XII, reversed his position saying that the Pope was understood as speaking out against the Nazis throughout the war.

MYTH II Dismantled… The Pope did act to save the Jews.

  • Pius XII risked his life to save the Jews. For example, in the capture of Jews from Rome, Pope Pius XII told his clergy to hide Jews from the Nazis. He not only hid Jews in the Vatican, he also hid 3,000 in his summer home, Castel Gandalfo.
  • The Pope was not indifferent. Rather, he was a hero of the Jewish people. He risked the safety of the Church, his flock, and himself for the sake of the Jews.
  • Endless testimonies speak of the clergy saving Jews in Italy from the Einsatgruppen. This evidence was ignored by authors, such as, like Susan Zuccotti. Such actions are not those of an anti-Semite.
  • What kind of anti-Semite would tell his priests to split their wartime rations with Jews? One could argue that he wasn’t as vocal as he could have been, but there are no grounds whatsoever to claim that Pius XII was an anti-Semite.

MYTH III Dismantled… The Pope did not smuggle Nazis out of Europe after the war.

There is no evidence to claim that Pius XII knew about the Ratlines.

Michael Phayer (the historian who first spoke about “Ratlines”) cannot even manage to the Austrian Bishop, Alois Hudal, to the Nazi “Ratlines”, let alone the Pope.

Phayer argues that because Hudal was responsible for the Austrian refugees, he could be linked to the “Ratlines.” But he cannot prove his assertion by any definitive evidence.

Then, Phayer is forced to admit that his “source” is “incomplete.” All he say is that he “thinks” the Catholic Church helped fleeing Nazis.

We must be careful in the judgement of the dead. The truths of their character come with time.

Here are the words of Joey-Ox, which aptly summarize German Roman Catholic resistance and defiance of Nazism…

““I am philosophically opposed to you. I am a practising Catholic, and my brother is a Catholic priest. Where could I find the possibility of a compromise here?”

These words were spoken to Heinrich Himmler, the head of the dreaded SS.

Where, indeed, is the “possibility of a compromise here?”




The Logos: A Brief History

There has been a surge in the use of the word, Logos, in recent years as enlightened circles of Western scholars are rediscovering their roots. Thankfully, thinkers like Jordan B. Peterson are popularizing the term once more.

Now more than ever, scholars must understand the meaning of this earth shattering word. Analyzing its history is the key to unlocking the indispensable philosophical tradition that accompanies it.

The Christian conception of the Logos is the climax resulting from the synthesis of Greco-Roman philosophy and Judaic belief. Hence, we must understand both to comprehend the Logos’ two-fold history.

The Greco-Roman Logos

To understand The Logos (logic, account, or language) of the Greek tradition we must start at the beginning with magic.

The ancient Greeks believed in magic. Among them, the Goēs (γόης) was a magician that would wander from town to town interpreting dreams, telling fortunes, practicing necromancy, pyromancy, hydromancy, and other acts of divination.  The suffix “-mancy” means “divination by specified means.”

To continue on this etymological dig, divination means, “the practice of seeking knowledge of the future or the unknown by supernatural means.” While magic was ultimately the practice of gathering information, not raising armies of the dead, summoning the titans, or any other Hollywood nonsense.

One of these practices of divination by the Goēs was speaking in tongues, that is, glossolalia. In this ritual, the Goēs would babble a series of syllables that poured out of the mouth as pure gibberish.

So, what? Why are we concerned about some ancient man babbling gibberish? Well, because the ritual reveals three revolutionary ancient concepts.

  1. The spirit world had a language, logic, or structure behind it as opposed to being pure chaos.
  2. Human beings have the ability to communicate and engage with the spirit world through language.
  3. Communicating with the world of the divine can be used to reveal truth.

To the ancient Greek Goēs, the world of the divine was not just shear chaos. The forces of the universe had a logic behind them that gave them shape. Their form could be accessed and interacted with using a special language. Hence, the reason for glossolalia.

Language needs a structure in order to exist. If the spirit-world had a language, it meant that it had a structure. The idea that the world of the divine had an order behind it was a revolutionary paradigm.

So, to understand and practice the magic of life, one had to speak the language of life, i.e. biology. The ancient Greeks did not know biology, rather they knew the language of life. This is what biology means: bios (Greek for “life”), and logos (-logy) , which is language or logic. To know biology was, and is, to know the words that relate to life and what those words mean, so that one can “converse” with life.

It’s like “talking car” with auto-mechanics today. When we say someone knows how to “talk car,” we don’t mean that they spend hours physically talking to their car about how the day went. What we mean is that they understand the words and concepts that facilitates their interactions with automobiles.

Every word in a language represents a concept or piece of knowledge. Thus, a science, as a “systematically organized body of knowledge on a particular subject,” is logos, is language.

Therefore, when the Goēs ascribes language to the spirit world, he starts to engage in building the science of the divine. The more magic words he creates, the more concepts he use to describe the divine.

Divination by the Goēs would start the association with language, with the divine, and with knowledge. These associations would eventually evolve into the Logos.

In addition, the Goēs would profess truths about the cosmos by speaking in tongues. This act assumes that one could draw useful knowledge from the unknowability of the divine.

Iambilichus (245 AD – 325 AD), a Neoplatonist philosopher, connected speaking in tongues with the act of prophecy. He believed that prophecy was the possession of a divine spirit which “emits words which are not understood by those that utter them; for they pronounce them, as it is said, with an insane mouth (mainomenό stomati) and are wholly subservient, and entirely yield themselves to the energy of the predominating God.”

But weren’t the Greeks a bunch of rationalists? Didn’t they move away from that mystical mumbo-jumbo? For a time, the pendulum of philosophy swung from the mystical Goēs to the rationalist Pre-Socratics.

Certainly, the Pre-Socratics (Sophists) were less concerned with the immaterial and more concerned with the material world around them. In their camp are the “physikoi,” a word that can be translated as the naturalists or physicists. To the Sophists, man was the measure of all things and that justice, truth, and love were simply meaningless social constructs. (This is why the postmodernists are simply “Neo-Pre-Socratics”).

But who was talking about the Logos? Heraclitus. Later known as, “the weeping philosopher,” he believed that the world was in a constant state of flux and that nothing truly lasted. In other words, everything was just dust in the wind. But he also believed that different forms of change had their own logos (logic, word, cause, or account) behind them.

It wasn’t long till the pendulum of philosophy swung away from the rationalists to a war veteran named, Socrates. He argued that the Greeks had to go back to looking within themselves for truth, not artificially constructing it.

He pointed to the inscription at the oracle of Delphi that read “Know thyself.” Socrates instructs his followers to see the world with their mind’s eye. A world perceived with the senses was a world of distorted and fickle shadows. This is the meaning of the allegory of the cave.

In the internal world of the forms was truth itself. In this way, we can understand the Socratics as going back to the ways of the Goēs.

Justice, virtue, and truth were immaterial forms existing in a separate reality from our perceptions. Humanity could access this realm using the mind’s eye and engaging in philosophic discourse. Divination from the inner realm of the incorporeal hearkens back to the magic of the Goēs.

Another key idea Socratic idea was that that there a was a form of forms called “The Good” which was the ultimate culmination of virtue. In texts like the Euthyphro he places “The Good” above kings and the gods themselves. He argues that Man worshipped the gods because they were Good, as opposed to worshiping Goodness because it came from the gods. To Socrates the Good transcended Zeus.

But what connects Athens to Jerusalem? In a word, Rome.

The Stoics took on the mantle of Greek thought and particularly Platonist ideas. The Stoics would also grapple with the Logos, sometimes translated as. “the Master-Reason.” They believed that the universe was ordered by this Master-Reason, so that human beings, as rational animals, had a mental connection to the Logos.

The Stoic praise of rationality and logic caused them to argue for the control of one’s emotions, employing reason over passion. With this self discipline, one could live in harmony with the Logos.

It is critical to note that they did not believe that the Logos was God! For example, Cicero claims that Chrysippus thought “the world itself” was “a god, and also the all-pervading world-soul.

This is closer to a rationalist pantheism than the mystic all-loving God of Christendom.

It is not until the synthesis of Judaic thought with Greco-Roman rationality that we arrive at the Western idea of a Christian God.

The God of Abraham and Moses

The God of the Jewish tradition, and the believers of that God, create the culture which allows for the emergence of Christian thought. Their scriptural stories would provide rich ideas that would be mobilized into the philosophy behind the Christ, the Logos made flesh.

The first idea that is central to understanding Judaism and Christianity is the association between language and structure.

In Genesis, the lord of all creation creates in a very specific way. He does not mold matter with his hands, rather he speaks. God said, “Let there be light” and then there was light (Genesis 1:3). From God’s spoken words, all creation comes about.

The connection between language and structure is reaffirmed in the story of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11).

As many may know, humanity attempts to build a great structure, a tower that will rival even God. After disapproving the pointless venture, God halts mankind’s best-laid plans in very strange way. He does not crush the strcuture, or toss a lightning bolt at it to blow it to smithereens.

Rather, he causes all the people constructing it to speak a different language. In their scattered frustrations, they abandon the project in confusion.

The message is clear. With language comes structure. The two are cosmically connected. From God’s words comes forth creation. Interestingly, this connection between language and structure parallels the knowledge of the Goēs.

The most revolutionary idea contributed by the Jews is that of monotheism. Monotheism is more than the belief that there is one God (Exodus 20), for it caries with it the implications of that belief.

The polytheist sees a world of separate and chaotic forces. Each of these forces is represented by a god or goddess. For example, wisdom is manifest by Athena, and erotic love is represented by Aphrodite. These goddesses don’t always get along and their rivalry can lead to chaos. In fact, it is the quarrel between Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite that leads to the Trojan War.

But to the Monotheist, there is only one cosmic force or God that reigns supreme above all things. All other forces are idols, false gods, that are ultimately powerless and yielding to the supreme authority of the one true God (Exodus 32).

In this way, all forces are really one thing. Any true dichotomy would destroy the monist nature of the one true God.

For example, one might believe that the world was divided into the combating spirits of pure good and pure evil. If so, one would believe in the duality of two ultimately irreconcilable “logics” behind the universe. This would prevent one from concluding that there is a single logic behind the universe, or Logos.

This monotheistic God is so ultimate that he transcends even the kings of the nations that believe in him. When King Obadiah calls the Prophet Elijah an enemy of Israel for critiquing the corruption of the nation, Elijah retorts that he serves a power that is higher than mortal kings (I Kings 18).

The transcendence of the Hebrew God bears a resemblance with The Good, for the authority of both go beyond the power of kings and other gods. Thus both God and the Good are the highest of all things – and therefore God is good (Psalm 100:5).

Another critical aspect here is the dialogue between God and his people. God is an active force who can converse with his people, such as, Abraham who is specifically called by God (Genesis 12). And God also sends messages though his angels (Genesis 18, and Daniel 9:21).

This dialogue between God and mankind reveals three things:

  1. People derive moral truths and righteous action by God alone.
  2. God and humanity are locked in an covenant, a sort of cosmic contract.
  3. If the contract is not followed, humanity risks downfall and possible annihilation.

God and his messengers reveal to his people the righteous course of action (Exodus 14), and moral truth (Exodus 21:12-14).

This process of divination once again parallels the Goēs who can communicate with the divine and reveal truths.

God becomes the logic behind the universe from which humanity can derive its morality. For example, Moses receives God’s Commandments from God himself. Only then does he share these laws to the people (Exodus 20).

What this shows is that God, the ultimate force behind the universe, demands something from us. If humans comply to the will of God, they will fulfil his covenant.

If humanity breaks his covenant, they risk annihilation, so that ). God reigns down fire and brimstone on the cites of the faithless (Genesis 19). Therefore, those who are in accordance with the logic of the universe shall continue their lineage or existence, while those who are not face death and destruction (Genesis 15).

Christ: The Incarnation of the Logos

Israel is where the hammer meets the anvil. The Christian idea of Logos is forged by the synthesis of Greco-Roman and Judaic thought.

The ancient thinkers like Philo had already started to merge these two great traditions. To Philo, the thoughts of the Creator were equated with Plato’s forms. The culmination of these two were the Logos in Philo’s philosophy.

Before jumping to conclusions, one must realize that this does not mean that Christ studied under Philo or anything like that. But, it does show that ideas from both traditions were circulating among Jewish scholars. More importantly, it shows that there were efforts to link these traditions.

The ultimate synthesis would come with Jesus who is the messiah, the Christ, and the logos (sometimes translated as the Word) incarnate (John 1:14).

Christ and his followers equated the Logos with love (I John 4:8). It is the claim that Love is the ultimate truth behind existence.

To the Christian, the chaos of this world is an illusion. Chaos is just undeciphered order. Because beyond the incalculable madness is the one singular force, ultimately one logic which is God (John 1).

The logos is the ultimate account behind a world of Heraclitan change. It is the single force, logic, explanation, cause, and goal behind veil of our perception. It is God

Nothing is exempt from the Logos, thus it knows all things. Nothing stands apart from the logic of the universe. It is the Master-Reason. Nothing is free from cause, from account, from being. On the contrary, all things are connected, trapped in a single dialectic, one cosmic dialogue (Ephesians 4:6).

The Logos is the ultimate language of languages, the structure of structures. Love is the harmony of being, the universal tongue from which all systems flow as mere dialects of it.

When we stray from love, we are mistranslated (I Corinthians 13). Though never cut off completely (Romans 14:7), we suffer from our inability to be understood. We are thwarted in our frustration from reaching our potential. Thus, we abandon the Tower of Babel.

The Logos is the logic behind Creation. That is to say Love is the Logic behind Creation: “In the beginning God Created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). In parallel, the apostle John begins his gospel with “In the beginning there was the Logos” (John 1).

Thus, the Logos is the force and logic of creation and of being. The apostle Paul writes “If I speak in the tongue of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing” (I Corinthians 13).

Thus, language and being are tied together. What is new is the addition of love in this formula of existence.

From this passage we once again see how language and being are tied together. What is new is the addition of Love in this formula of existence.

The Logos is characterized by the attributes that Socrates gave to Truth (AKA the Good). The logos is eternal, it is constant, everlasting, all-powerful, and knows all things. It is Truth.

This is mirrored by Paul when he states that “Love is patient, Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hope, always preserves” (I Corinthians 13).

Paul’s description of love mirrors Socrates understanding of The Good. Early Christians were very aware of this affinity. Thus, St. Justin Martyr calls the ancient Greek philosopher, “Saint Socrates.” and he also considered both him and Heraclitus as Christians!

Yet the Logos is much more active than The Good. Like the Master-Reason of the Stoics it possesses a demanding quality which engages the rational minds it reveals itself to.

To the Stoics, there wasn’t just a Master-Reason that minded its own business and could more or less go unaccounted for. Rather, the logic behind the universe seemed to demand something from the mankind. Through rationality, mankind could come to know its will.

The Hebrew God mirrors this. God demands something from his people. He is an active force in their lives. The Lord tests them, bears witness, and reveals himself through their history.

But what does the Mater-Reason and the Hebrew-Christian God want from us!? The same thing as the Logos – virtue, the highest of which is love (Colossians 3:14).

To believe in the Logos is to believe in love, to believe in truth, that the light conquers the darkness. Love is a power that transcends kings, nations and even other gods.

The Logos is not some bearded fellow throwing lighting bolts or physically reaching out for David. It is warmth of our hearts, the faith held in our fellow human beings, and the light of the mind. Though it is always testing us, we are ever vigilant. That is what it is to believe in God, the Logos.


The photo shows, “The Sermon on the Mount,” by Carl Bloch, painted in 1877.

A Radically New Economy: The Dawn of the Caritas State

Caritas is the Christian love of humankind, whence our word, “charity.” This is rooted in that great treatise on love by St. Paul, in I Corinthians 13:4, which in Latin reads: “caritas patiens est benigna est caritas non aemulatur non agit perperam non inflatur.”

These words are further reflected in that great and ancient Christian hymn – “Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est: – “Where there is charity and love, there is God.”

Here are some political and social consequences of caritas – in other words, a radically new economy.

We truly need a new economic system that doesn’t end in government stagnation, but still encourages the dispersal of wealth to the poor. The answer is a Charity Tax Credit Incentive System (CTCIS) or a Caritas economic system.

For those who don’t know, Charity Tax Credits are payments that you can deduct from your taxes after donating to registered charities. In English, when you give money to charities, you get a receipt. Give that receipt to the government and they will charge you less on your taxes.

For example, let us pretend the government charges you $100 in taxes. Because you show the government you gave $20 to charity, they will deduct $10 from your taxes so that you only pay $90.

Notice how its not dollar for dollar (i.e. even though you donated $20, they only deducted $10 from your taxes).

You might be thinking “Wait a minute, don’t we already have an economy that utilizes charity tax credits?” Yes, but not as an incentive system (It’s also poisoned with charity deductions, but that’s another story).

Charity tax Credits were started as a tax offset, not an incentive system. Before the government implemented the welfare state, many of the institutions affiliated with welfare were run by charities (hospitals, orphanages, schools).

When the government raised taxes to pay for welfare, people complained. Many argued that they wouldn’t be able to give as much to charities if they were paying more taxes. A compromise was reached.

What was the compromise? That you could show the government a receipt and they would lessen (or offset) your taxes. But it wasn’t dollar for dollar. That is to say, if you gave $100 to a charity, you wouldn’t get $100 off your taxes.

Why wasn’t it dollar for dollar?  Because the government believed that charities were more inefficient then the government at distributing capital and helping the poor.

Of course, as it turned out, the government was wrong. Charities are more efficient at redistributing – because they are more competitive, specialized, and tactile at solving economic problems relating to the poor. They demonstrate a vast arsenal of different techniques, as opposed to the one-size-fits-all approach of the government.

In the current political landscape, the two main approaches towards solving the problem of how to disperse wealth to the poor are that of socialist liberals and laissez faire conservatives.

The liberal-socialists argue for the redistribution of capital by the state, believing the state to be the most efficient and democratic mechanism for facilitating the dispersal of capital. Most importantly, they ague that their system is the best way to ensure the redistribution of capital, overcoming capitalist elites’ tendency to horde wealth.

There are insurmountable problems with neo-liberal socialism, because the government is not efficient at redistributing capital, since it engages in corruption, fails to adapt to new problems in a timely manner, and can poorly handle individual cases which deviate from the needs of the multitude.

The laissez faire conservatives are quick to point out these problems. Instead, they advocate for a completely “hands off” approach to the economy. They reason that individuals can be trusted to redistribute in a rational and efficient manner (if they argue for any redistribution at all, some reserving the cold-hearted position of forsaking the poor entirely).

Like their liberal adversaries, the economic system of laissez faire conservatives is lacking. They fail to recognize the tendencies of competing capitalist elites to horde their wealth. The reason for this is not necessarily from greed. Many company owners do care deeply about the workers who serve them but are caught in a prisoner’s dilemma.

Why should McDonald’s donate profits to charity if Burger King doesn’t? Companies are often locked into a fierce competition with one another. In this struggle they’re continuously reinvesting profits into innovation, research, educating their workforce, and anything else that might give them a competitive edge.

If two companies are competing for their very survival, why would one sacrifice its competitive edge for the poor in the face of its extinction? Of course, McDonald’s might truly wish to give money to the poor, but can it risk helping them at the coast of Burger King gaining an edge?

So, is there a system (other than liberal socialism) that evens the playing field?


The New Economic Solution

I propose that we adopt a system of charity tax credit incentives, or the Caritas State. The government should issue a tax to raise money for a social program. BUT if the tax payer donates to a registered charity that deals with that issue, then they should have a dollar per dollar tax exemption from the government.

Let me use an analogy. A liberal socialist says that we need to tax everyone $100 (or whatever amount we democratically decide) for a government program that helps orphans. The laissez faire conservative says that we should give the government $0 to deal with orphans and that private citizens would look after the orphans.

A Caritas economist (a believer in the Charity Tax Credit Incentive System) would say that we need to tax everyone $100 (or whatever amount we democratically decide) for a government program that helps orphans. BUT if you donate $100 to registered charities that deal with orphans, then you don’t owe the government a dime. You simply show them your charity receipt(s) and you are exempt from paying the tax.

The individual tax payer can choose how they would like to spend their money, embracing the idea of consumer sovereignty. If you prefer to pay the money to the government then, you simply pay the $100 tax. Whatever variance you choose also works – you can give $25 dollars to charity and $75 to the government, or vice versa as long as you end up giving $100.

There are six reasons why charity tax credits are preferable to either liberal socialism or laissez faire conservative economics.

FIRST, the Caritas economic system gives liberties to individuals by allowing the freedom of choice. Individuals would be able to chose where their tax dollars go. One of the hallmarks of Western society has been the trust we place in our citizenry to choose for themselves.

The freedom of the public to express their will as an instrument of shaping our society stands at the foundations of our democracy and economy.

In the Caritas state, the economy answers to the will of the people, not the other way around.  Charities answer to donors as well as those they give to. Donors vote with their dollars, determining which charity they feel helps the most.

SECOND, the government’s role shifts to regulating charities instead of being the sole charity. In the Caritas State, the role of the government would be to aid consumer sovereignty (or rather donor sovereignty).

If socialists got their wish, the government must micromanage every aspect of welfare – an exhausting task. It must not only watch over orphanages but run them. But who watches the watchmen? As you’d imagine, this leads to a lack of regulation of the government itself and a massive upkeep cost.

In a system based on charity tax credits, the government would direct funds to charities, but allow people to chose which charities they wanted to donate to.

These charities do the work and the governments job is to regulate them. The state would be responsible for regulating which charities would be able to issue receipts for tax deductions. In addition, the state would audit charities, release the data on those audits to the public, and regulate how much money people are required to donate.

The government is already responsible for determining which charities are legitimate and which are not. There’s nothing new here, but the initiation of the Caritas economy puts a central focus on legislation regarding charities. Luckily, we already have a legal framework that we can build on.

The state can regulate charities by auditing. Governments have armies of accountants which can be mobilized to regulate charities. The government can find out if charities are misusing their funds, falsely advertising their services, or breaking the law.

In an act of transparency, the state can publish its audits, just like the health department publishes its inspections of local restaurants and grocery stores. They’re not picking winners and losers, but they are allowing the consumers to make informed decisions as to where they should spend their money, thus ensuring consumer (or rather donor) sovereignty.

Because the government wouldn’t have to worry about doing all the work, it could focus on stamping out corruption from charities or developing mechanisms to show their efficiency.

If the government releases the information, say, that with Charity X only $10 out of $100 donated goes to help the poor, as opposed to Charity Y which gives $90 out of $100 to the poor; then donors would be inclined to give to Charity Y over Charity X.

The public could vote how much they would give to charities. The people could democratically choose how much the public donates to the Caritas state – whether it should be a gradual or fixed tax, or whether some charities should be admitted over others.

People have far more freedom in the Caritas state than in the welfare state as to how funds should be dispersed to the poor.

THIRD, because charities compete with one another, the Caritas state would avoid stagnation – unlike welfare.

In the welfare state, the government has a monopoly on the distribution of capital. Because monopolies don’t have to compete, they become inefficient, suffocating under the weight of their stagnation. On the other hand, because individual charities do not have a monopoly, they would be forced to compete with one another.

People are more inclined to donate to the charities that they feel are doing the most good. Therefore, if a charity is deemed inefficient by donors, then they will stop giving to it and fund a more efficient charity.

This will prevent charities from pocketing money for themselves, or taking up a banner of useless causes. Like any system that revolves around the will and freedom of the people, it is critical that the public has easy access to information so they can make educated decisions.

The Caritas state would utilize competition, allowing it to be more dynamic and innovated then the welfare state. After all, government is the problem, not the solution.

FOURTH, the Caritas state solves the capitalist prisoner’s dilemma – unlike laissez faire economics.

Conservatives generally champion charity and the free-market to solve problems related to poverty. Yet, many are not satisfied by it all. They argue that the laissez faire approach fails to coordinate distribution, tolerates greed, and casts the poor aside.

When it comes to giving to the poor, people are trapped in a prisoner’s dilemma. In free-market capitalism, we are all in a state of competition. Why should you give to the poor when your competitors don’t? It is an ancient question – Why should you be good when those around you aren’t?

Even if you wanted to be charitable, there is a fear that doing so might risk your own livelihood. The Caritas state can work through this conundrum.

People can give to the poor because they know that their competitors are giving, too. The minimum amount the public should give can be determined democratically and people can always give more if they please.

The beauty of the Caritas state is that it allows for the coordination of distribution when it is most needed. One of the problems of total laissez faire economics is that when a depression hits, and charity is most needed, people are the least willing to give.

During bad times, the state can coordinate giving by increasing taxes that can be reduced by charity tax credits. Thus, the state could coordinate a charity stimulus. In good times, they could reduce taxes, allowing the market to flourish. The only problem left to tackle is greed itself.

If you believe people are naturally greedy, then it is unrealistic to think that they will simply give without a system that encourages distribution. If you believe people are not naturally greedy and are already giving to charities, then we just need their receipts.

FIFTH, the Caritas state is the radical compromise between liberals and conservatives – in fact it transcends the right and the left.

The Caritas state not only solves many of the problems between the right and the left, but it fuses together many of their greatest strengths.

For the right, it allows individuals to chose how they want to spend their money. Donor sovereignty runs parallel with consumer sovereignty, valuing transparency and the government’s role as a stabilizing force instead of a player in the game.

The rise of the Caritas state will destroy the welfare state. It carries with it an emphasis on liberality as opposed to a forced obedience to government monopoly (the ultimate Neo-Con nightmare).

As we know, taxation can often be theft. This system allows individuals to hand over receipts to the government instead of money for the government to waste.

For the left, the Caritas state appeals to their mission to help the unfortunate and the marginalized. These concerns have been central to socialism, the New Left, and Neo-Liberals.

Although the government would no longer run everything, it still would play a role in guiding the efforts to help the poor, and in regulating charities by performing audits and demonstrating transparency.

Lastly, liberals can still choose to give their money to the government if they please. They are not required to give to charities, they’re just encouraged to do so. They can always just pay the tax and not use charity tax credits to opt out.

We need a bi-partisan system in the era of polar politics. The deadlock we have can’t be allowed to continue. We are already on the brink of collapse. The poor are struggling, and the middle class is being squeezed out by the minute.

SIXTH, most importantly, the Caritas state is the key to establishing a true Libertarian society.

The biggest obstacle to achieving a libertarian economy, a system where government is absent in the regulation and distribution of capital, is that our moral excellence is now at an all time low, as indicated in the sharp drop in  charitable donations.

How can we expect to get rid of the government with such rampant greed in our society? The stronger our culture of giving is, the more independence we gain from the tyranny of the economic authoritarians.

The Caritas state can be our ticket out of the government’s economic authority through its ability to raise society’s culture of giving!

There is an ideological shift that happens when someone gives their money directly to an organization, instead of having it be taken away by one. It is a gratifying feeling to help those around us, a sweetness that comforts the hearts of men when they help their fellow man.

Through the Caritas state we can expand that culture of brotherly love, casting away greed from our hearts. This system could be the tool we need to wean society from welfare.

The initial effect of the Caritas state would be a massive stimulus in the construction of charities, giving us the tools and logistics to be charitable. A culture of giving would follow, solidifying the practice of giving. The stronger a giving-culture we create, the more we can start lowering the number of citizens who need our help.

For example, let’s say we legislate that all citizens must give $100 to charities that help orphans. Because of the stimulus, a massive surge of non-government institutions emerges aimed to aid orphans. After a time, an ideological culture of giving to orphans follows.

As the will and the means to help orphans solidifies, we can begin to lower the amount of money citizens are encouraged to donate to, say, $75. If people continue to be charitable and help solve the societal ills that accompany orphans, then we can lower it to $50, then $25, and so on, until charity itself many no longer be needed.

Eventually, welfare would be dissolved, and the government’s drastic involvement minimalized. The Caritas state is the most effective and sensible way libertarians can bring about their desired state.

The push to bring about a Charity Tax Credit Incentive System is not unheard of. A caucus of 30 congressmen called the Renewal Alliance, has already adopted the Coats-Kasich tax plan (a bill drawn up by Dan Coats and John Kasich advocating for Charity Tax Credit increases.

I’m not trying to support these politicians – I don’t trust politicians any further than I can throw them. But what the Renewal Alliance shows is that the idea has found its way into Congress.

It is also floating around in various think-tanks as well. For example, Cardus has been pushing for Charity Tax Credits Incentives for some time now. They argue that it may be a tool to re-establish Christian values in society.

The fight for charity tax credits and the establishment of the Caritas state has begun.

Its time to decide where we stand.

Organic Farming As Alchemy

The father of all perfection in the whole world is here.
Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth.
~Newton’s translation of the Emerald Tablet


In 1924, the philosopher and mystic, Rudolf Steiner gave a series of lectures that advocated a radical method of farming, which he called, Biodynamic Agriculture, whereby the “cosmic forces” of the land would be harmonized for the best outcome in food production.

The alchemical processes that he advocates to enable this harmony of the farm with the cosmos are indeed very similar to the methods followed now by the entire organic farming industry.

Steiner sought to combine occultist, mystical, and scientific reasoning, which he hoped would formulate a system of practical knowledge, in which the farmer’s work on his fields would be the equivalent of a sixteenth-century alchemist’s investigation into the transmutation of lower substances into higher ones.

Thus, Steiner suggested that farmers view their land as a living organism, and thereby work to strengthen the cosmic forces in the earth and focus on nourishing the spiritual energies of the farm.

One such suggestion involved stuffing a bull’s horn with manure, herbs, and minerals depending on the time of the year. The horn was then to be buried in the field, where it would become a sort of “Horn of Plenty” and imbue the soil with energy, or nourishment for growing things.

Once the mystical frill is trimmed off, Steiner’s suggestion are not all that crazy. In fact, most of his suggestions easily transmute into principles of organic farming. How?

Very simply, because the root concern of organic farming is the care and husbanding of the soil. In fact, organic farming is all about caring for the soil.

This is because soil is more than just dirt. Soil is a vast organic complex, an intricately linked ecosystem, very much like a forest, which is full of life, namely, microbes, most of which are extremely beneficial to crops.

These microbes in the soil help keep plants healthy by preventing disease, and they further aid the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients.

Thus, as Steiner advocated, organic farmers focus on soil health. They earn their “organic” label because they maintain (and ideally raise) the health of their soil.

In fact, Steiner conceptualized the necessity of natural practices in the 1920s, years before Lord Northbourne outlined organic farming in his book, Look to the Land.

Steiner was ahead of the scientists of their day. (Paull, John. “Biodynamic agriculture: The journey from Koberwitz to the world, 1924-1938.” Journal of Organic Systems 6, no. 1 (2011): 27-41.)

The reason for this was that scientist made the classic rationalist mistake – they focused on the little things and forgot the big picture. Scientists saw large crops that they could quantify and measure by using artificial fertilizer. Thus they really had little conception of the harm they were doing to the soil. They focused on the rewards, which allowed them to ignore the risks.

On the other hand, Steiner was a mystic. Mystics and alchemists focus on the big picture. Steiner knew that the practices he advocated would strengthen the growing cycles of the soil. He didn’t know how, and he didn’t really know why. But in the end his method of agriculture proved to be more sustainable than the system created by the rationalists of his day. This is another example of how the narrow focus of scientific is ultimately harmful.

When Steiner says that the farm is an organism, a living thing, he is using another label to describe the same reality – that the soil is an interconnected ecosystem.

In order not disturb the soil, because it was a living thing, Steiner advised farmers to avoid tilling. By not tilling their fields, he said, farmers would preserve the microbes that were beneficial to plant growth. This practice of minimizing tillage and focusing on soil health is a cornerstone of organic farmers. The whole purpose of organic farming is to preserve the microbiome of the soil.

Steiner also recommended harmonizing the “cosmic” forces and cycles of the farm. For this reason, he advised farmers to feed their cows with crops grown on their own land, and then to use the manure of their own cows back on the land.

Cows eat plants, then plants eat up cow manure. This is one of the many cycles that occurs on the farm.

Steiner argued that the crops, cows, and farmers would benefit by strengthening this cycle. He wasn’t wrong. This tactic strengthens the microbes in the soil and is used by organic farmers today.

Ideas about cosmic forces in the soil sounds a bit loopy, but Steiner wasn’t far off. Microbes, such as, mycorrhizal fungi and node bacteria, engage in a mutualistic cycle within the plants that host them.

The microbes give the plant nutrients, and the plant gives the microbes food. This microscopic process parallels the cycle between the cows and the plants above the ground.

The ecological laws that govern the macro-ecological world above are the same that govern the micro-ecological world below.

This is equal to the alchemical principle of like-to-like, or what is above, so below – in that all creation is intricately linked, and that we have to understand and manipulate these linkages. The macrocosm is governed by the same laws as the microcosm.

The belief in such linkages is central to organic farmers, who seek to strengthen the organic forces of the soil.

Steiner also believed in sympathetic magic, or magic governed by the two laws of similarity. First, that like produces like, so that effects resemble their cause. Second, that things which have acted on one another continue to do so after they have been separated.

Of course, these principles aren’t true in a proper mechanistic view of science. But microbiology does embody these principles to an extent. Microbes do reproduce, species for species, like for like. Moreover, microbes are contagious. If soil infected with a blight is put in a new field, it will contaminate that field with the blight.

Contemporary organic farmers will go out of their way to buy probiotics for their fields. This would make perfect sense to an alchemist like Steiner. He advocated the avoidance of artificial fertilizers.

It turns out that dumping artificial fertilizer on crops obliterates the soil microbiome. Many of the farmers who buy probiotics are trying to recover their land’s microbiome because it has been destroyed by artificial fertilizer.

Steiner’s theory that artificial fertilizer destroyed harmonic cycles in the soil wasn’t completely incorrect. One may find fault with his occult mysticism, but in many ways, he was ahead of his time.

Most importantly, Steiner saw farming in terms of the big picture. Human society was part of the agricultural equation. Quality mattered over quantity. This meant a focus on healthy crops, healthy cattle, and healthy people. After all, like produces like.

Many organic farming movements see organic farming as a way of fighting the greed of larger mechanized farms (regardless of the fact that contemporary organic farms are not too different from the farms they claim to oppose).

In similar fashion, Biodynamic agriculturalists saw their farms as an alternative to greedy big business. Both organic farming and biodynamic agriculture sought to counter big business and reckless mechanization of farmland.

Today more than ever, science is seen as a separate and better alternative than the arts. Steiner’s ideas undermine the misunderstanding that science is greater than the arts, or that science is independent of the arts. Thus, Steiner’s “pseudo-science” was, in fact, ahead of the “proper scientific” methods of his time.

Indeed, biodynamic agriculture can hardly be said to be “behind” the pollution, ecological devastation, and agricultural imbalance that is the result of dumping artificial fertilizers on the land.

More importantly, Steiner’s focus on the soil turned the farmer’s attention to the natural forces and rhythms of the earth, which is the larger goal of organic farming today.

Thus, the idea that modern scientific agriculture (now dominated by organic farming practices which had an earlier advocate in Steiner) was developed independently of the arts is baseless. Science and the arts have always worked closely with each other for centuries. Remember that it wasn’t all long ago that scientists preferred to be called natural philosophers.


The photo shows, “The Field,” by Joseph Evstafievich Krachkovsky, painted ca. 1880s.