The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Justin Trudeau Needs to Go

We Canadians are paying a heavy toll for having voted the Liberal Party into power so many times over the course of the last century. The Liberal Party has, from its inception, been the party of opposition to the Confederation project that established our country, the Dominion of Canada, in 1867. It has neither confidence in nor respect for the constitutional, political, legal and judicial traditions and institutions that, adapted by the Fathers of Confederation for our own country, we inherited from Great Britain. It has encouraged and fostered the widespread ignorance of and apathy towards those traditions and institutions that is so appalling in Canada today.

A consequence, sadly, of that apathy is that books like Eugene Forsey’s The Royal Power of Dissolution of Parliament in the British Commonwealth (1) and John Farthing’s Freedom Wears a Crown (2)have been out of print for many years. Forsey’s abridged doctoral dissertation and Farthing’s posthumously edited masterpiece are both brilliant defences of our constitution of parliamentary monarchy which spell out the continuing importance of the reserve powers of the Crown for maintaining our traditional rights and freedoms and protecting us from the tyranny of the governing party and Prime Minister. These truths are needed today like never before.

In their arguments for the reserve powers of the Crown it was the right to refuse a recommendation for the dissolution of Parliament that Forsey and Farthing focused upon. The reason for this was historical. In 1926, William Lyon Mackenzie King, the Liberal Prime Minister who had clung to power after the last Dominion election despite having failed to win even a plurality through the support of a third party, was facing a vote of censure in Parliament over his government’s involvement in a customs scandal, asked for a dissolution. The Governor General, Lord Byng, quite properly turned him down. In the next election, Mackenzie King deceived the electorate with his entirely false claim that Byng had acted inappropriately, that his refusal amounted to imperial interference in Canadian domestic politics, and that he, Mackenzie King, was championing Canada’s sovereignty over its own domestic affairs. All of this was hogwash, and the real issue was that if the Prime Minister can obtain a dissolution just by asking in order to avoid the just censure of Parliament then he is no longer responsible to that Parliament or to anybody else. The Liberal interpretation of these events, Forsey and Farthing rightly argued, laid the foundation for autocratic Prime Ministerial tyranny.

The Crown also has the right, in extraordinary circumstances in which the sitting government has become an active threat to the rights and freedoms of Canadians and the laws protecting them, to demand the resignation of the Prime Minister. Over the course of this past week, the Prime Minister and several of his Cabinet, including his Justice Minister, have behaved in such a way as to make the exercise of this Crown power appropriate.

I am referring to their response to the acquittal of Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley who had been charged with second-degree murder over the death of Colten Boushie. Justin Trudeau and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould both responded to the acquittal by extending their sympathy to Boushie’s family and treating the verdict as an act of racial injustice – Boushie was an aboriginal youth. “We have to do better” they both said. Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Affairs tweeted that her thoughts and prayers were with the Boushie family and that “we all have more to do to improve justice & fairness for Indigenous Canadians.”

If the Prime Minister or any other Cabinet Minister sincerely wished to offer their condolences to the grieving Boushie family the time and occasion to do so would have been a year and a half ago after the shooting. To extend sympathy at this time, however, not over the death of a family member but over a jury verdict of not-guilty, is out-of-line. To do so is to disagree with the verdict and to say that the jury either made a mistake or made a bad decision out of malice. We are all free to disagree with jury verdicts but to do so publicly in this way is not the place of a government Minister.

Even worse was the government’s announcement later in the week that it was going to act on the ill-chosen words of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet. Let us go over this again. A man was put on trial for murder and acquitted by a jury of his peers. The government says that it does not like the verdict. The government says that it is going to overhaul the legal system to correct what it does not like. There is no way that Trudeau and his Ministers can act on this that will not trample over some basic Canadian legal rights and undermine some of the most basic principles of our legal system.

One of those principles is that the burden of proof in a criminal case always rests upon the Crown prosecutor. This principle rests upon the foundation of the even more basic principle that it is better that many guilty people go unpunished than that a single innocent person be made to suffer unjustly. (3) Translated into the language of legal rights, this becomes the right of someone accused of a crime to be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Included within this are the rights to confront his accuser face to face, to cross-examine and discredit his accuser, and to have the case decided, not by politically motivated government ministers, but by a jury of his peers. That is to say, a jury of the defendant’s peers, not the peers of his alleged victim. If a member of race A is accused of murdering a member of race B, this ought not to ensure that race B is represented on the jury but may indeed, be grounds for excluding them because of the likelihood of prejudice against the defendant.

All of this is potentially endangered by the Trudeau government’s shameless exploitation of this case. It was not that long ago that the progressive left was accusing the neoconservative Stephen Harper of “fascism” because he wished to limit a judge’s ability to hand down slap-on-the-wrist sentences for serious crimes. Note, however, and note well, that sentencing by a judge only takes place after a guilty verdict has been reached. It is the Trudeau Liberals, not the Harper Conservatives, who want to interfere in the verdict-reaching process so as to get the verdicts they desire. This is where true fascism lies.

Through his complete disrespect for the principles of our justice system and his willingness to discard them in order to virtue signal to his mindless, politically correct, base of Generation Snowflake social justice warriors, Justin Trudeau has forfeited his right to lead Her Majesty’s government in Ottawa. It is time for him to go.

(1) Eugene A. Forsey, The Royal Power of Dissolution of Parliament in the British Commonwealth, (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1943)
(2) John Farthing, Judith Robinson ed., Freedom Wears a Crown, (Toronto: Kingswood House, 1957)
(3) This is an ancient principle, drawing upon both Scriptural (Abraham negotiating the fate of Sodom in the book of Genesis) and classical authority (Socrates, at least as represented by Plato in the Gorgias, said “it is better to suffer an injustice than to commit one”). Of course the same Liberals who have encouraged apathy and ignorance of our country's political and legal traditions have encouraged the same towards Scriptural and classical learning. If more people were familiar with Aeschylus’s Oresteia they would appreciate better that trial by jury was designed to liberate man from the tribal vengeance mode of “justice” that those upset over the Stanley verdict are calling for. For an excellent critique of how Canada’s educational system has gone to pot through progressive liberalism, written just as the rot was first setting in, see Hilda Neatby’s So Little For the Mind: An Indictment of Canadian Education, (Toronto: Clarke, Irwin and Company Ltd, 1953)

Saturday, February 10, 2018

“Me Too”, ---- You! - Or Perhaps Not.

Unprovoked and awful charges - even so the she-bear fights – Rudyard Kipling

In 411 BC, the war between the Athenian Delian League and the Spartan Peloponnesian League, which had resumed three years previously after the Peace of Nicias finally fell apart, reached its twentieth year. Things were not going well for the Athenians. During the break in the fighting with Sparta, Alcibiades, the leader of the Athenian war party, talked the Assembly into sending a fleet to Sicily, ostensibly to support their allies, but with the goal of conquering the island. The same Nicias who had negotiated the peace with Sparta, in an attempt to dissuade them from doing this told the Assembly that a much larger force would be needed than what they originally intended, but with the only result being that they enlarged the armada and put him in charge, along with Alcibiades and Lamachus. Once there, the generals decided to begin their campaign by establishing a base and launching an attack on the strongest Sicilian city-state, Syracuse. Before the siege began, Alcibiades, who had thought up this strategy, received a summons ordering him to return to Athens to stand trial on charges of the desecration of sacred statues. He opted to flee instead and defected to Sparta. In his absence, the siege of Syracuse did not go well, Lamachus was slain, and Nicias sent away for reinforcements. Athens sent the reinforcements, led by Demosthenes, but this made things worse as the fighting with Sparta, now backed by Syracuse, resumed shortly thereafter and the Sicilian Expedition ended in total disaster for Athens with the loss of most of their ships and the enslavement of their men.

Ultimately, this would cost them the Peloponnesian War, but in 411 the decisive loss to Lysander of Sparta at Aegospotami was still six years away. It was at this point that Aristophanes, the master of Attic Old Comedy, introduced a new play. The play is called the Lysistrata, after its main character, an Athenian woman who with the help of her Spartan counterpart Lampito, persuades the extremely reluctant women of Greece to go on a sex-strike and withhold sex from the men until they agree to stop the war. It is not easy for her to convince the women to either agree to this or to stick to the plan once they have agreed to it. Contrary to a popular misconception, it is women rather than men who are by far the most obsessed with sex, a fact of which Aristophanes was well aware, and which he exploited to its full comic potential.

What makes the Lysistrata so hilarious is that the title character succeeds in her plan to end the war despite her use of a strategy that would almost universally be perceived – it certainly was so seen by her creator – as utterly undoable. There is an old quip, that has been variously attributed to Ann Landers, Henry Kissinger, and a host of others although it appears to be older than all of them, that the battle of the sexes can never be won because there is too much fraternizing with the enemy. It is, however, the current year, and perhaps it is time that the idea of a sex strike be seriously considered – not by women, but by men. Indeed, it is starting to seem necessary not for the purpose of attaining any political end but for survival. This is due to the “Me Too” movement that insists that we treat every Potiphar’s wife as if she were Lucretia. Just be clear, the Lucretia in the last sentence is she of ancient Rome, who committed suicide to protect her honour after her rape by Sextus Tarquinus and not her considerably less virtuous fifteenth century namesake, the daughter of Pope Alexander VI, who was as ruthless, conniving and bloodthirsty as her brother Cesare Borgia, of whom Machiavelli’s Prince was a verbal portrait.

Indeed, there is evidence that just such a sex-strike is in its beginning stages. The ever fabulous veteran actress and author Dame Joan Collins, in her latest Diary for The Spectator remarks that “if these accusations towards men continue much longer, I fear a major decline in population growth in the near future.” She demonstrates that this fear is not unwarranted by concluding her column with the following illustration:

A 30-year-old single man informs me that he wouldn’t consider dating because he was too scared of being accused of inappropriate behaviour or of being ‘named and shamed’ by social media or the Twitterati. ‘I go out with the guys, drink beer and watch box sets,’ he said ruefully, ‘and friends are doing the same. We’re scared of the #MeToo movement and of being accused of sexual harassment and worse if we even tell a girl she’s pretty.’ ‘In my day we called it flirting,’ I told him.

Today, the line between “flirting” and “sexual harassment” is extremely blurry, making it potentially hazardous for any man to approach or otherwise show interest in a woman. American Vice President Mike Pence was mocked about a year ago for his policy of refusing to dine alone with women other than his wife. The Atlantic published a piece that claimed that this policy “hurt women” using the same tortured excuse for logic that the courts have been using since the 1970s to admit female reporters to men’s locker rooms – the reverse has now been accomplished on entirely different but even more absurd grounds – and to force private clubs to abandon “men only” policies. Vox posted an article claiming that this was “probably illegal.” The New Yorker ran a piece entitled “Mike Pence’s Marriage and the Beliefs That Keep Women From Power.” Each of these, incidentally or not, was written by a woman. Half a year later, l’affaire Weinstein broke, the “Me Too” movement was launched, and all of a sudden it was a lot more difficult to laugh at Mike Pence.

Rape, of course, is a serious crime – and it has been treated as such from time immemorial. Undoubtedly it is immoral and sleazy for an employer, whether he be a Hollywood producer, a corporate executive, or a Cabinet Minister, to offer to advance a woman’s career in exchange for sexual favours. It is just as immoral and sleazy, however, for a woman to accept the offer – and it is by no means the case, far from it, that it is always the man who initiates this sort of exchange. “Sexual harassment” is the preferred charge of the “Me Too” movement precisely because it is so vague and hazy. Virtually any attention that a man shows to a woman qua woman can be interpreted as sexual harassment if the woman so chooses.

Apart from their preference for the comparatively hazy charge of sexual harassment over those of long recognized sexual crimes and misdeeds with more concrete definitions, the “Me Too” wave of feminism insists that accusations be believed on the say so of the accuser, even in a dearth of supporting evidence and if the accusations pertain to events that took place decades previously. Potiphar’s wife would undoubtedly approve. This is a total assault on justice, that is to say true justice, at least as the term has traditionally been understood in the English-speaking world, and not the spurious contemporary substitute that is called “social” despite being utterly corrosive of society, its institutions, and, as we are seeing in feminism, ordinary social interaction between the sexes.

Eventually, the totally irrational and irresponsible “Me Too” movement is sure to self-destruct. Before this happens, however, there is no telling how many lives and careers it will ruin, to say nothing of the damage it will inflict on the fabric of society and relations between the sexes.

In the meantime, in the interests of self-preservation, men need to consider, at the very least following the example of Mike Pence. A reverse Lysistrata strategy would, however, be more effective in securing the downfall of the enemy. It is true that a strategy that eliminates the procreative act has the potential of resulting in a Pyrrhic victory, but women are far more likely to cave against such a move then men. So perhaps the answer to the “Me Too” movement is for men to tell the fairer sex, “futuete vos ipsos”, not as a crude expletive but practical advice, because they are for the time being no longer willing to do it for them.


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Thoughts on the Times

Smoking Stupidity

The solons who govern the city of Winnipeg in which I reside have, in their inscrutable wisdom, ruled, that as of April 1st, no one is to be allowed to smoke in outdoor patios where food and beverages are served. Although set to come into effect on April Fool’s Day, sadly, this fascist bylaw, is no joke. This latest and most absurd assault, in the neopuritan war on tobacco, is, like previous ones, based on the myth of harmful and deadly second-hand smoke. Undoubtedly, many if not most of the dingbats championing this ban are the same people applauding the federal Liberals’ decision, also coming into effect this year, to legalize the recreational smoking of the flowers and leaves of non-industrial hemp. Tobacco smoking can over time be damaging to the health of the body. The risk is much higher for cigarette smokers than for those who smoke tobacco the way God intended it in pipes and cigars, although this distinction and difference means nothing to the Mrs. Grundys of the Winnipeg City Council. Cannabis smoking damages the health of the mind. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

Heed my advice if you wish to stay sane;
If you smoke, smoke Old Toby and not Mary Jane
.

Remember S. Charles, King and Martyr

Yesterday was the Feast of King Charles the Martyr, murdered by the regicidal and heretical, Puritan sect 369 years ago. The December 2017 edition of the American Region Edition of SKCM News, the Magazine of the Society of King Charles the Martyr, contains this item:

BBC History magazine has published a seventeenth-century recipe for drinking chocolate. Charles I enjoyed the beverage, but Oliver Cromwell banned it, deeming it sinful. (p. 3)

Yet further evidence, as if more were needed, that Puritanism is evil. In addition to being Pharisees, the Puritans were also Philistines and in the Interregnum, they broke up King Charles’ impressive collection of art and sold most of it off. The Telegraph reports that with the help of the Royal Martyr’s namesake, the present Prince of Wales, the Royal Academy of Arts has reassembled the collection for the first time in almost four centuries, for a special show commemorating the Academy’s 250th anniversary.

Some Quotes from a Church Father

St. Irenaeus was a second century Church Father. He was born and raised in Smyrna, in what is now Turkey, when St. Polycarp, who had been the disciple of St. John the Apostle, was bishop there. Later he served, first as presbyter (priest) then as bishop, in what is now Lyon in France. He is most remembered as a defender of Apostolic orthodoxy against the various Gnostic sects that taught that the God of the Old Testament Who created the heavens and the earth was an inferior deity, the Demiurge, and not the Father of the New Testament. Eric Voegelin argued, in The New Science of Politics, that in Calvinist Puritanism, Gnosticism had been revived and had evolved into the spirit of the Modern Age.

St. Irenaeus wrote a five-book treatise against the Gnostics which in Latin is titled Adversus Haereses. The first book outlines the teachings of several varieties of Gnosticism, focusing primarily on the Valentinian sect. In the second paragraph of the twenty-fourth chapter of this book can be found this remark about a different Gnostic sect, the followers of Saturninus:

Many of those, too, who belong to his school, abstain from animal food, and draw away multitudes by a feigned temperance of this kind.

Later, of yet another Gnostic sect, the Encratites, he writes:

Some of those reckoned among them have also introduced abstinence from animal food, thus proving themselves ungrateful to God, who formed all things. (I.28.1)

Sadly, there has been a great deal of ignorance of and indifference to the Patristic writings among Western Protestants for the last century or so which perhaps explains the revival and popularity of the Gnostic heresy of vegan vegetarianism in our day and age.

A Quote From Our Friends Down Under

The Australian traditionalist and reactionary group Sydney Trads, in its “The Year in Review: 2017, Year of the Hate Hoax, the Heckler’s Veto and the Persecuted ‘Oppressor’”, included the following:

2017 was the year of Schrodinger’s ethnicity: Whites apparently exist as an identifiable category if they are being attacked, mocked, ridiculed or blamed for something, but also do not exist as a legitimate category of self-identification when a representative defends their interests as a group.

That is liberalism’s essential self-contradiction on race all summed up in a nutshell. Nicely done.

Justin Trudeau’s Nightmare

In the 1860s, the Fathers of Confederation formed a new country out of the provinces of British North America, giving it the title of Dominion and the name of Canada. The new country was to be a federation of provinces, with a parliamentary government modeled after the Westminster parliament, under the monarchy shared with Great Britain and the rest of the British Empire. The Fathers of Confederation looked to the federal system to overcome the difficulties of British Protestants and French Catholics living together in one country and to the monarchy as the source of continuity and unity, envisioned the evolution of the British Empire itself into a federation in which Canada would play a senior role, and tried to protect their country from the gravitational pull of the republic to their south with a national economic program of protective tariffs and internal trade facilitated by the construction of a transcontinental railroad. From that time to today, the Liberal Party of Canada has been the anti-Confederation party, the party that has sought to belittle the accomplishments of the Fathers of Confederation and Canada’s Loyalist heritage, to line the pockets of its financial backers through increased trade with the United States up to the point of continental economic integration, to weaken our parliamentary constitution and give autocratic power to the Prime Minister and Cabinet, to replace our traditional national symbols with ones of their own manufacture and to seriously undermine our traditional Common Law rights and freedoms. The Liberal Party found out in 1891 and again in 1911 that presenting their naked agenda to Canadians at election time was a losing strategy and evolved the strategy of pandering and grievance mongering that worked much better for them in the twentieth century. The strategy consists of telling identifiable groups that the Old Canada of Confederation had treated them unfairly but that if they would give their support to the Liberals, the Liberals would fix the situation and give them a bag of taxpayer-supplied goodies.

At first it was French Canadians that Liberals focused on, telling them that all the Britishness of the Canada of a Confederation was an unfair reminder of their defeat at the Plains of Abraham. This was nonsense – French Canadians knew full well that the protection of the British Crown had secured their language, religion, and culture for them when the Puritan Americans had wanted to take them away from them and their leaders were fully involved in the Confederation talks, helping shape the Dominion. The Liberal strategy had an unintended consequence – the emergence of the Quebec nationalist separatism that threatened to divide the country.

When this happened the Liberals adjusted their strategy. They now told a broad, “rainbow coalition” of different races, religions, and ethnic groups that they had been unfairly “excluded” from the Old Canada of Confederation, but would receive redress in the New Canada of the Liberal Party. To ensure that the coalition was as large as possible they revamped the immigration system, bringing in the race-neutral points system of 1965 as our “official” immigration policy, but this was merely a cover for their true policy of exploiting the loopholes to the points system (the largest of these being “family reunification”) to make Canada as ethnically diverse as possible as quickly as possible. They, of course, silenced anybody who pointed out the obvious drawbacks to this by calling him a “racist.”

This was done largely during the premiership of Pierre Trudeau. Now, in the premiership of Justin Trudeau, the Liberal coalition has been expanded to include minority sexual orientations and gender identities as well.

This strategy has always been a divisive one, first pitting French Canadians against English Canadians, then pitting a coalition of racial, religious, and ethnic minorities against European Christian Canadians, and maximizing diversity in total disregard to the fact that this is the way to generate ethnic and racial strife and conflict rather than harmony. It has been quite clear for some time now that the Liberal coalition cannot hold together for long. Earlier in the premiership of the second Trudeau it seemed likely that the breaking point would be between Muslims and the alphabet soupers, both of whose causes the Prime Minister was loudly, vehemently, and recklessly championing despite the obvious contradiction between the two. Now, however, a different fracture has become evident.

Earlier this month, the Prime Minister shamelessly turned the occasion of a young Muslim girl in Toronto, Khawlah Noman’s, claim that she had been attacked by a man who cut her hijab with scissors, into an opportunity to grandstand, get his name and picture in the press yet again, and lecture Canadians about how horribly “Islamophobic” we all are. It later turned out that, like the vast majority of highly publicized “hate crimes”, the incident was a hoax and had not occurred after all. Those who have been waiting for Trudeau to return to his taxpayer-funded soap box and eat crow have been listening to crickets chirp and watching the tumbleweeds drift by ever since.

This weekend, however, protests were held all across Canada by the Asian communities of cities such as Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, and Regina. It turns out that it was an Asian man whom the girl had falsely accused – a detail that was not widely reported by the press as it conflicts with their narrative in which bigotry and bigotry-inspired-violence are the exclusive domain of white, heterosexual, Christian males. The protests were aimed at Trudeau, insisting that the hoax, and his gullible swallowing it without waiting for a full investigation, constituted a “hate crime” against them. While I have little sympathy for the protestors, as their claim that they were being scapegoated and discriminated against is ludicrous seeing that the school division, the federal and provincial governments, the leaders of the opposition, and the news media all went out of their way to avoid drawing attention to the fact that the girl had accused one of their ethnicity, there is something deeply satisfying in seeing Trudeau’s coalition fall apart, and its members turn on him.

Monday, January 1, 2018

De Me Ipso

It is the Feast Day of the Circumcision of Christ otherwise known as New Year's Day. The year that begins today is the 2018th Anno Domini and never have I been happier at being completely out of sync with the times. This is, of course, the opposite attitude of that of the ignorant, mindless, nincompoop of a pretty boy who deceived my country into putting him into the office of Her Majesty's First Minister a little over two years ago and who has been using the calendar year as an excuse to justify his misdeeds ever since. To have little in common with that obnoxious twerp pleases me as well.

It is my custom, one picked up from the late Charley Reese of the Orlando Sentinel, to begin each year with a full disclosure essay, letting my readers know exactly where I stand. I am a patriot of the Dominion of Canada, which celebrated her 150th anniversary last year, loyal to the Old Canada, to the vision of Sir John A. MacDonald and the other Fathers of Confederation and to the heritage of the United Empire Loyalists who fled north after the rebellion of 1776 to build a country on the foundation of honour and loyalty rather than progress and commercialism. If little traces of this Canada remain in the Canada of 2018 it is because of the treachery, deception, and betrayal of the vile Liberal Party, of which I am a sworn, lifelong, foe.

I am a Christian. I had a United Church upbringing, "accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour," in evangelical lingo, when I was fifteen, was baptized by immersion in a Baptist church when I was in high school, studied theology for five years at Providence Bible College and Theological Seminary (now Providence University College) in Otterburne, Manitoba and was confirmed in the Anglican Church of Canada as an adult. I hold to the orthodox theology of the Apostles', Nicene-Constantinopolitan and Athanasian Creeds, and to the final authority and infallibility of the Holy Scriptures of which, like any fundamentalist, I prefer the Authorized translation of 1611 but, unlike fundamentalists, regard as incomplete without the portions of the Greek Old Testament that had been read as Scripture by the Christian Church since the first century but assigned deuterocanonical status due to their absence from the Hebrew Old Testament. I reject the so-called "higher critical" interpretations of the Scriptures as codified unbelief masquerading as scholarship, but neither do I accept that proper interpretation can be found through simplistic, formulaic rules such as those of literalism or by private believers guided only by inner illumination that they associate, rightly or wrongly, with the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures were given to the church as an organic community of faith and it is to that body, collectively indwelt by the Holy Spirit, that the enlightening ministry of the Spirit is promised, and individual believers must pay heed to how previous generations of believers from the Church Fathers on, understood the Scriptures, if they are to hear "what the Spirit saith unto the churches."

Politically, I am a Tory. That is a statement of political conviction rather than partisan allegiance. As much as I dislike the Liberal Party, and despise everything that the parties to the left of the Grits stand for, I have little use for politicians of any brand, including those of the Conservative Party. As a Tory I am first and foremost a royalist and a monarchist, who believes in our parliamentary form of government if not in the politicians who make up its composition or the bureaucrats who carry out its daily business, and who looks upon his country as an organic whole, in which past and future generations are united with those living in the present who have a duty, as trustees acting on behalf of previous and future generations, to preserve and pass on our constitution and institutions intact. I am neither a Red Tory nor a neoconservative. Red Tories try to associate Toryism with socialism, pacifism, feminism, and all sorts of other left-wing causes I despise. Neoconservatives want to further Americanize our country making them no different from the Liberals who did so much damage in previous generations.

I am right-wing in the original and true meaning of the term - an opponent of the vision, values, and ideals of the French Revolution of 1789 rather than a supporter of those of the German Revolution of 1933.

I am a social, moral, and cultural reactionary. By this I do not mean a Puritan who wants the state to dictate everyone's personal choices and control their private lives and who condemns art, theatre and the music on the basis of non-aesthetic judgements. The Puritans were the first liberals, progressives, and leftists. What I mean is this: societies are made up of communities, which in turn are made up of families, and it is families, supported by churches, schools, and the larger community, that are responsible for passing on the customs, ways, and manners that make up culture and the basic rules of right and wrong to the next generation and for trying to instil in them the habit of choosing the right over the wrong. If families, and the institutions that make up their social support network fail in this task, the state cannot step in and do it for them, although it may have to clean up the mess that ensues. When I say I am a reactionary I mean that I firmly believe that our social organization, our idea of what constitutes right and wrong, our manners, customs, and habits, and our aesthetic sense of the beautiful, which is the good of that highest of cultural expressions we call art, have all undergone severe decay and degradation since the beginning of the Modern Age and that this process has been accelerating in the last sixty years or so.

I agree with most of the basic components of capitalism such as the private ownership of property and the general superiority of market freedom over central economic planning but I am less than enthusiastic about the whole which they comprise. If I am a capitalist, in the sense of a believer in capitalism, then, like Sir Roger Scruton, I am a "reluctant capitalist." While I think that most if not all of the accusations socialists make against capitalism are silly, stupid and easily debunked nonsense, I would say that it is quite vulnerable to the charge that it is the engine of progress, a bulldozer which uproots communities, breaks down traditions, and otherwise destroys everything the worth of which cannot be measured in dollars and cents if it stands in the way of economic growth. I do not believe international free trade to be the path to global prosperity and universal peace that liberals have been touting it as for centuries and believe that it is important for countries to maintain strong borders and that often a country's national interests might require it to protect its domestic producers even if it is more economical to import on the cheap.

I am opposed to the Third World invasion of all Western countries, aided and abetted by treasonous politicians, bureaucrats, and cultural and academic elites, which amounts to a reverse colonialism and which if allowed to continue much longer will culminate in the genocide of all Western peoples, culturally, if not in the literal, physical sense of the term that the whites of Rhodesia and the Boers of South Africa have faced since the Communist takeovers brought about by the cowardice and treachery of Western governments determined to sacrifice these countries on the altar of anti-racism. I realize that it is extremely unpopular to express such sentiments but, to anyone who takes offence at this I refuse to apologize and say bluntly, that if you have a problem with what I have said, then it is you, not I, that has a problem, and I am not sorry in the least. Furthermore I scoff at the idea that there is anything at all "racist" in these sentiments. The word "racist" is a weapon rather than a unit of communication, it is designed to inspire anger, hatred and rage towards those against whom it is hurled, by imputing to them the motivation of an irrational desire to oppress and harm others because of their ethnic origin and/or skin colour. In reality, however, those who hold to the views expressed in this paragraph generally do so because we do not wish to see our countries torn apart by violent racial strife, and it is those who throw accusations of racism around liberally who wish to stir up ill will towards others. They are bullies and tyrants, who hide behind masks of "tolerance" and "compassion" and who deserve to be stripped of their guise of virtue and exposed for the thugs they really are.

My resolution for 2018, apart from seeing the publication of my finally completed book The High Tory: Essays On Classical Conservatism By a Patriotic Canadian, is the same as my resolution every other year, which is to grow even more out of sync with our increasingly corrupt times!

Happy New Year,
God Save the Queen!





Saturday, December 16, 2017

O Tempora, O Mores!

In this, which will be my last posting for 2017, I would like to begin on a positive note by announcing the publication of The Other North America: Traditions and Identities. Edited by D. H. Graham, and published by the American Anglican Press, this book is an anthology of essays by North American writers, some of the past, others of the present, but who are all Anglican Christians who dissent in their political thinking from the vision of the revolutionaries of 1776 and who draw upon traditions older than the liberalism that inspired that revolution. Some of these, such as Michael Cushman and V. Francis Knight, speak for the cultural tradition of the antebellum South, which the Yankees went to war to extirpate in 1861. Others, such as Professor Ron Dart, the Rev. Canon Kenneth W. Gunn-Walberg, and myself, speak for the monarchist, Tory tradition of Loyalist Canada. I am very grateful to Mr. Graham for the honour of being included in such distinguished company in this book.

Jerusalem

Imagine if Germany were to declare that it was offensive to her that France considers Paris to be her capital city and tried to blackmail the rest of the world into moving their embassies in France to Marseilles with threats that they would otherwise renew the armed hostilities of almost a century ago. Would any government anywhere in the world regard this demand as anything other than hubris taken to a degree that is both absurd and insane? Of course not. At the risk therefore, of sounding Zionist, might I suggest that everybody can their faux outrage over US President Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States would be recognizing Israel’s choice of its own capital and moving their embassy there from Tel Aviv. Spare me the nonsense about this derailing the peace process. There is no process that will ever lead to a lasting peace in this region unless someone finally persuades all of the Arab and Muslim countries to recognize Israel’s existence as an established fact which, they do not have to like, but which they are bloody well going to have to put up with and live with.

Hollywood


When l’affaire Weinstein broke a couple of months ago, I was initially skeptical. My skepticism was due to a case of mistaken identity. Having heard the name Harvey Weinstein, my mind for some reason processed it as Harvey Fierstein, and since the latter’s erotic proclivities are well-known to be directed elsewhere than towards the ladies, multiple charges of sexual harassment against him by the fairer sex seemed rather implausible. When I realized my mistake, and who the actual subject of the accusations was, my skepticism evaporated – at least, until the accusations were elevated from offering stardom in exchange for sex and generally being a sleazebag to include rape.

Rape, as the term was defined prior to 1975 (the year that saw the publication of Susan Brownmiller’s Against Our Wills), is, of course, a heinous crime, worthy of castration, or perhaps even capital punishment. It is precisely because of the heinous nature of the crime, and the severity of the punishment it deserves, that all accusations of such must be regarded with a healthy skepticism until such time as their truth is established by overwhelming evidence. This attitude is one upon which the “Me Too” crowd looks aghast and indeed, regards as worse than the crime itself. Their position is that victims of rape or sexual assault have a “right” to be both heard and believed and that to doubt or question their accounts is to “victimize” them a second time. They rationalize their position with the argument that victims of rape and sexual assault are reluctant to speak out and that those who question and doubt their testimony by so doing add to this reluctance.

This argument is a rationalization rather than sound reasoning. It ignores the distinction between a victim – someone against whom a crime has actually been perpetrated – and an accuser – someone who says that a crime has been perpetrated against her. An accuser is only a victim if her claim is true – if it is not, then she is not a victim but a victimizer. There is no way to give victims a right to be believed without giving this same right to all accusers, both the true and the false. To give accusers the right to be believed, is to throw away the long-established rights of the accused to a fair trial, to confront and cross-examine their accusers, and to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Those who claim a “right” to be believed for rape accusers are well aware of this for they do not make their arguments in bona fide. What the so-called “right to be believed” is really all about is giving one sex a weapon – the career-reputation-and-life-destroying false accusation – to use against the other, at the expense of sacrificing an ancient right that protects both sexes.

None of this is written in defence of Weinstein who, whether or not he is guilty of crimes like rape and sexual assault, certainly seems to be a major sleazebag. This goes with the territory, him being a major Hollywood producer at all. Hollywood has been full of enough sleaze to make Las Vegas look like the most virtuous city in North America by comparison since the day its first movie studio opened. Indeed, show business was a notoriously sleazy business long before the motion picture was invented. At the risk of further outraging those who would find my comments in the last two paragraphs offensive, might I follow Ilana Mercer in making the suggestion that blame for the resemblance between the inner workings of show business and that of a bordello, does not rest upon the shoulders of lecherous managers, agents, and producers alone, but has as much to do with the ambitious young actresses and divas who are more than willing to sleep their way to fame and fortune?

Hypocrisy Anyone?

It appears that for all those left-liberals, determined to crucify Weinstein and other big name Hollywood types – who are generally all long-time supporters of progressive causes, including feminism, the Democrat Party, and Hillary Clinton – there is an exception to a woman’s right to refuse. The other week the news broke that a young actress – to use the term extremely loosely – who went by the stage name of August Ames, had been driven to commit suicide, not by the extreme emptiness that accompanies the kind of ephemeral stardom achieved through allowing oneself to be filmed in the most private of acts for mass voyeuristic consumption, but because those exemplary models of letting other people be, the LGBTTQ et alia ad infinitum gang, launched a social media blitzkrieg against her after she withdrew from a shoot in which she was cast opposite a co-star who has primarily appeared in films of a same-sex nature. Apart from illustrating the well-known fact that it is those who talk the most about tolerance and letting others be who are the least likely to practice these things, this demonstrates the truth of a remark I made last summer about how “We are fast approaching the time where social and legal pressure to conform to the new culture of “tolerance” will be the instruments of a raptum omnium ab omnibus.”

Robert Charles Sproul, Requiescat in Pace

One of the first books of serious theology – or what passes for serious theology in contemporary evangelicalism - that I ever read was R. C. Sproul’s The Holiness of God, which my pastor lent me when I was still in high school. While I have not read all of the approximately 100 books that Sproul wrote during his ministry, of the several that I have read, I still consider this to be the best. I have not always agreed with everything he wrote – and indeed, have charged him with serious heresy – but, as Dame Joan Collins’ Alexis Carrington Colby had a habit of saying in Aaron Spelling’s Dynasty to those whom she had previously stabbed in the back, but wished to use in the present, “that’s all in the past” and the sacred and ancient principle of de mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est is now in play, as Dr. Sproul, who had suffered from chronic pulmonary obstructive disease for several years, passed away this week from respiratory complications brought on by the flu. I offer my condolences to his loved ones. May he rest in peace.

The Stalinism that is Strangling the Dominion of Canada to Death

On Friday December 8th, Mary Wagner was dragged out of something that euphemistically refers to itself as the “Women’s Care Clinic” in downtown Toronto and tossed in the clink. Her crime? Passing out red roses, to which models of unborn babies, and cards with contact information for the Sisters of Life and the message “You can choose life for your baby. Love will find a way” in an effort to dissuade young women from having their babies murdered. It used to be illegal, in the Dominion of Canada, for women to murder their babies. Trudeau pere changed that, by legalizing abortion in certain circumstances in 1969, and by corrupting our constitution with the addition of the diabolical Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982, which the Supreme Court of Canada then used as the basis for striking down all our remaining laws against abortion in 1988. Now, under Trudeau fils, it is attempting to prevent abortion, by gentle persuasion, that is treated as a crime.

Last month, at Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, 22 year old teaching assistant Lindsay Shepherd was censured by the University administration. Her offence? In a class entitled “Canadian Communication in Context”, she showed a brief clip of a televised debate between University of Toronto Professors Jordan Peterson and Nicholas Matte on the subject of gender-neutral pronouns, in which the former took the con side and the latter the pro. To those who censured her, the acknowledgement of the existence of any other than the pro side on this issue, constituted a hate crime, a promotion of “transphobia.” Shepherd had the foresight to record the interview in which she was censured in abusive terms by a professor who absurdly compared Peterson to Hitler. The university, faced with a backlash of negative public opinion after the recording was released, backed down and apologized to the TA. One wonders how many students, teacher’s assistants, and staff and faculty members, in universities across the Dominion – or across North America for that matter as universities in the United States are no better – have faced similar censure, from administrations that tolerate no dissent from the increasingly radical, Marxist agenda on cultural and social issues, that they have been ramming down everyone’s throats?

Around the same time that the Lindsay Shepherd story was breaking there was an incident here in Winnipeg that further demonstrates the chilling atmosphere of Stalinism that has fallen upon our Dominion now that a Trudeau is once again the Prime Minister’s Office. Paul Fromm, Director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression, had scheduled a talk in his hotel room at the Hilton Suites for November 15th, on the subject of “Charlottesville Changes Everything.” The day before the scheduled talk, the left-liberal Winnipeg Free Press ran a front-page editorial, about how a “white nationalist” had planned an “event” in Winnipeg. The mendacity of this wording cannot be understated. The word “event” was intended to obscure the nature of what was planned by implying that it might be a public rally or demonstration rather than a closed door meeting, in which Mr. Fromm in suit-and-tie, would give a non-incendiary, informative talk, to those interested in hearing him. The words “white nationalist”, to the writers and readership of the Winnipeg Free Press, have only one connotation, and that is neo-Nazi, which, to anyone who actually knows Paul Fromm, is an absurd description of a man who has been fighting against the kind of soft-totalitarian thought control that the Grits introduced to our country during the first Trudeau premiership for almost as long as I have been alive. To left-liberals, who applaud and lionize every other sort of racial and ethnic identity group, anyone who tries to speak for white people and their rights and interests is the equivalent of Hitler. By this ridiculously pathetic excuse for reasoning Sir Winston Churchill, portrayed by Gary Oldham in the upcoming war drama Darkest Hour, was the equivalent of the tyrant he defeated in war in 1945, because ten years later he tried, unsuccessfully, to introduce immigration restrictions, suggesting to his Cabinet that they adopt the slogan “Keep England White.”

The Winnipeg Free Press’s activism-disguised-as-journalism had its intended effect. The Hilton Suites cancelled Mr. Fromm’s reservation. When he relocated to the Main Stay Suites, black clad, masked “antifa”, whom the sympathetic media call “protestors” but in my opinion would be better described as “terrorists” descended upon the premises. Again Mr. Fromm’s reservation was cancelled and he soon discovered that he had been blacklisted – “whitelisted?” – by every hotel in town.

Now, if you have the courage and honesty to do so, think about this story and ask yourself who bears the closest resemblance to Adolf Hitler – Paul Fromm or those who went to such great lengths to prevent him from giving a talk to those who wanted to hear him?

The Trudeau Liberals have made known to MPs what they will publically announce next week – that to receive grant money from the government for summer jobs for students, employers will need attest that:

both the job and the organization’s core mandate respect individual human rights in Canada, including the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as other rights. These include reproductive rights and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.

In other words, anyone who disagrees with Trudeau’s Marxist agenda, need not apply.

One Last Thing

If there is anybody that I have not offended, with any of my preceding remarks, allow me to make up for this oversight by wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Pied Piper of Minneapolis

I would like to begin on a personal note since I owe my readers an explanation and an apology for the long hiatus since my last essay. I have been working for the past couple of months on my upcoming book, The High Tory: Essays on Classical Conservatism by a Patriotic Canadian. The book is a compilation of essays, some of which have been self-published here, others of which have appeared in the journal Anglican Tradition, and some of which will be making their first public appearance in the book itself. This project has been consuming most of my writing and researching time and is likely to continue to do so for several months yet to come.

The Pied Piper of Minneapolis

On June 26th, 1284, 130 children from the town of Hamelin in Germany, were led away into the hills near the town and never returned. We are all familiar with the version of this story that appears in the Brothers Grimm, in which the children were spirited away in revenge after the town reneged on their promised payment to the man who rid them of a rat plague with hypnotic music. Less embellished versions go back much further, almost to the very date of the incident. With or without the rats and magic music, all accounts attribute the loss of the children to a man who played a pipe and wore a coat of many colours as if he thought he were the Biblical Joseph – or Dolly Parton. Due to this description this figure is universally known as the Pied Piper.

Within the evangelical world another Pied Piper has arisen to lure the children of God away into the hills of heresy. His name is John and he was, until fairly recently, the pastor of the Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

This year, the eve of All Saints marked the five hundredth anniversary of the posting of Dr. Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses, the event that launched the Reformation. To celebrate this important anniversary, Piper, who is well-known as a “Reformed” or “Calvinist” theologian, posted an article in which he denied the Pauline truth that lay at the heart of the Reformation – that man, who is a sinner, can be justified in the eyes of God, whether in this life or at the final assize, only through the completed, atoning, sacrifice of Jesus Christ, given to the world by God in His grace, and received through faith and not by works. In an article published on his ministry’s website, dated September 25, 2017, and entitled “Does God Really Save Us By Faith Alone?” Piper answered the question in his title with a resounding “no.”

In the article Piper distinguished between justification in which “faith receives a finished work of Christ performed outside of us and counted as ours — imputed to us”, sanctification in which “faith receives an ongoing power of Christ that works inside us for practical holiness” and final salvation in which, according to him, “at the last judgment, faith is confirmed by the sanctifying fruit it has borne, and we are saved through that fruit and that faith.”

Piper disingenuously attempted to pretend that he had not handed the orthodox the stake upon which to burn him (figuratively speaking, of course) by saying that Sola Fide only ever applied to justification, not final salvation, as if, when St. Paul wrote “διότι ἐξ ἔργων νόμου οὐ δικαιωθήσεται πᾶσα σὰρξ ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ” (1) he had only the believer’s entrance into the Christian life and not his standing before God throughout that life and at the Final Judgement in mind. The plain truth of what the Apostle wrote simply cannot be explained away. Some have attempted to do so by pointing to the fact that ἔργων is qualified by the word νόμου, but the very distinction between “works of the law” and “works of love” is lost entirely if we make the latter into something upon which our final standing in the eyes of God depends. Piper turns, as all who wish to avoid the truth of Romans do, to the epistle of James which declares that justification is “οὐκ ἐκ πίστεως μόνον.” Note that the last word does not match the word which precedes it in case. This means that it is not modifying faith adjectively, but is rather the adverbial form of the word and applies back to justification itself. This means that what St. James has in mind when he says “ἐξ ἔργων δικαιοῦται ἄνθρωπος” (2) is not that at the final judgement we will be saved “through that fruit and that faith” together, as Piper suggests, but that two different sense of justification are in view. Contrast the first word in the verse, ὁρᾶτε (ye see), with ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ (in His sight) from the verse in Romans and the distinction between the two justifications becomes clear. In the sight of God, justification is never by works, but our faith can only be justified in the sight of men by our works.

For a fuller examination of Piper’s article and its errors I refer you to “John Piper on Final Justification by Works” by Timothy Kauffman and Tim Shaughnessy in the Trinity Review.

This is not the first time that Piper has expressed his view that final salvation depends upon works as well as faith. He said very much the same thing two years ago, ironically in his introduction to Thomas Schreiner’s Faith Alone---The Doctrine of Justification: What the Reformers Taught...and Why It Still Matters, part of the Five Solas Series edited by Matthew Barrett for Zondervan. Indeed, he has been associated with various forms of works-righteousness for the duration of his ministry.

I first encountered Piper’s name during my formal theological education at what is now Providence University College (at the time it was Providence Bible College) in the 1990s. He was one of several evangelical celebrities, mostly from the Reformed/Calvinist tradition, who had placed their imprimatur upon the book The Gospel According to Jesus, which had been published by Zondervan in 1988 with forewords from the late Presbyterian theologian and pastor James Montgomery Boice and from J. I. Packer, a Puritan who thinks he’s an Anglican. Its author, John F. MacArthur Jr., is the pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, as well as a seminary president and radio Bible teacher. This book, which recycles the ideas found in the The Cost of Discipleship, the most well-known book of German liberal God-is-dead theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, foolishly celebrated as a “martyr” by today’s evangelicals (he does not qualify as he was put to death for his political activities, however laudable they may or may not have been, rather than his faith), was an attempt to smuggle works into the Gospel by making them part of the definition of faith. MacArthur’s interpretive methodology was to take all of the demanding challenges that Jesus presented His followers with and treat these as if they were identical to His promises of everlasting life to those who believe in Him and explanations of what it means to “believe.” To get the meaning he required from his texts, he tortured them beyond recognition. To give but one example, of John 3:14-15 he wrote “In order to look at the bronze snake on the pole, they had to drag themselves to where they could see it. They were in no position to glance flippantly at the pole and then proceed with lives of rebellion.” (p. 46)

The paperback edition of this book, which was still being widely discussed and debated when I entered Providence, carried an endorsement by Piper. His review of the book for the February 1989 issue of the Baptist magazine The Standard could hardly have been more gushing. Piper wrote:

As for my own personal response to the book, I could scarcely put it down for joy. Its exegesis is almost always compelling. Its analysis of the contemporary scene is shockingly accurate. Its description of conversion is wonderfully radical. Its exposure of rampant nominalism is life saving. Its grief over the impurity of the church is moving. Its zeal for the glory of God’s holiness is contagious. Its vision of God’s sovereign grace is large and fully biblical. My prayer is that the BGC Commission on Evangelism will make it second to the Bible in their deliberations, and that our Conference will have about it the radical Christlike flavor of this book.

Quod onus stercoris!

Quite apart from the book’s own demerits, at the time it was published its author could not have affirmed the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed which was composed in the first two ecumenical councils of the church in the fourth century in response to Arianism, Sabellianism, and other Christological heresies and has remained the most important statement of basic Apostolic orthodoxy since. The Creed affirms of Christ that He is:

τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ, τὸν ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς γεννηθέντα πρὸ πάντων τῶν αἰώνων

which Thomas Cranmer rendered in English as “the only-begotten Son of God, Begotten of the Father before all worlds.” This is the doctrine of the Eternal Generation of the Son, also known as the Eternal Sonship of Christ, and it is an essential element of the doctrine of the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity is not just that God is One in Being and Three in Person – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – but also defines the eternal relationships between these Persons. The eternal relationship between the Father and the Son is defined by the word γεννηθέντα (begotten) which is distinguished from ποιηθέντα (made) to show that while the relationship between the Second Person of the Trinity and the First has eternally been that of a Son to His Father, this does not mean, as the Arians maintained, that He had a beginning. That the relationships within the Trinity are an essential part of the doctrine is not well understood by the average evangelical today – which is a good reason for conservative Protestants to reconsider the quite recent equation of the terms “evangelical” and “orthodox” – but Piper cannot hide behind this excuse. At the time that he endorsed MacArthur’s book, MacArthur taught Incarnational Sonship, that Jesus’s relationship to the Father did not become one of Sonship until the Incarnation, a doctrine that logically leads to Sabellianism the heresy of confusing the Persons as the agent in the Incarnation is clearly said in the Scriptures to be the Holy Spirit. MacArthur had begun teaching this heresy in 1972 and did not recant of it until the fall of 1999. It is still present in the doctrinal statement of his Seminary (sixth paragraph under the heading “God the Son”).

By giving MacArthur’s book his glowing endorsement, Piper demonstrated that he thought so highly of its teachings that he was willing to overlook the author’s defection from Nicene orthodoxy. Furthermore this is not a comparison of two unrelated matters. MacArthur, by reading every demanding challenge Jesus ever gave into His invitations to faith, produced a meaning for the word “believe” that has little to do with what that word means in ordinary usage. Nor does it bear any closer resemblance to the ordinary meaning of either the Latin credere or the Greek πιστεύειν. To get MacArthur’s Piper-endorsed meaning out of the word believe, and its Latin and Greek cognates, one would have to have some kind of special knowledge reserved for a select few. The kind of special knowledge that the oldest defectors from Apostolic orthodoxy, the sectarians described as “antiChrists” by St. John in the Scriptures, claimed for themselves under the term γνῶσις,

The early Reformers taught the Augustinian doctrine of predestination but by the time the Synod of Dort was convened in 1618-1619 by the Dutch Reformed Churches the doctrine of election had come to resemble the Gnostic doctrine of salvation reserved for the select few who possess the γνῶσις more than anything found in the teachings of the orthodox, fifth century, Bishop of Hippo. Theodore Beza had gone much further in subordinating the doctrine of justification to that of election than Calvin had and this produced a reaction, on the part of one of his own students, Jacob Arminius, whose followers produced the five-point statement known as the Remonstrance, to which the Synod of Dort was a response. Although Beza had died thirteen years before the Synod met, his influence can be found all over it. The canons it produced are known today as the “Five Points of Calvinism”, usually arranged in the order Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints in order to produce the mnemonic acronym TULIP. (3) The difference between this version of predestination and that taught by the early Reformers can be seen in the L.

Limited Atonement is the doctrine that Christ died only for the elect rather than for the entire world. Those who hold to this doctrine explain it as a limitation in design or intent, rather than in value. Christ’s death is sufficient, they say, for the entire world, but is limited in its efficiency, those it actually saves. To be fair anyone who is not a universalist believes this in some form or another. There is a world of difference, however, between saying that the Atonement was designed to save those who believe in Jesus and saying that it was designed to save only the elect, even though the two groups be coterminous. The former, preserves the sincerity of the Gospel as a message of universal “good news.” The latter does not. The Bezan-Dortian doctrine seriously distorts the nature of the Gospel message. The orthodox Gospel is Christianity’s message of good news to the world, that God has given to the world a Saviour in the Person of His Son Jesus Christ, Who made a full atonement for the sins of the world through His death on the cross and in Whom, having been raised from the dead, all are invited to believe and by believing receive pardon for sins, justification and everlasting life. Limited Atonement transforms this into a Gnostic message about what God has done, not for the world, but for His select few.

Reformed theologians refer to the doctrines of Dort as the “doctrines of grace” but in reality the Limited Atonement ensures that this view of predestination is actually a form of salvation by works hiding behind the mask of salvation by grace. If Christ died only for the elect then one cannot know that Christ died for him merely by believing the Gospel but can only know that Christ died for him by first knowing that he is one of the elect. The way to know this, in this theology, is by seeing the fruit of one’s election in one’s good works. Since, in this theology, only final perseverance in good works counts, one can never be fully sure of one’s election prior to the Judgement. This was stated explicitly in the Canons of Dort in which “a serious and holy pursuit of a clear conscience and of good works” is listed among the grounds of assurance in Article 10 under the heading “Final Perseverance of the Saints.” To say that “a serious and holy pursuit of a clear conscience and of good works” is part of the grounds of assurance, however, is the same thing as saying that we must trust partly in our own good works.

This is not what John Calvin himself taught, and undoubtedly if he had lived to hear this doctrine taught in his name, those so teaching would have faced a fate worse than Servetus. Calvin wrote:

Quodsi in eo sumus electi, non in nobis ipsis reperiemus electionis nostrae certitudinem: ac ne in Deo quidem Patre, si nudum illum absque Filio imaginamur. Christus ergo speculum est, in quo electionem nostram contemplari convenit, et sine fraude licet. (4)

Which means:

“But if we are elected in him, we shall not discover the certainty of our election in us ourselves, and not, indeed, in God the Father, if we picture Him to ourselves naked, apart from the Son. Christ therefore is the mirror, in which it is suitable and permitted, without delusion, to contemplate our election.” (5)

Calvin, in other words, was a Lutheran not a Calvinist. In Luther’s teachings, from which the Lutheran tradition never departed in the way the Calvinist tradition did from Calvin’s, our salvation was accomplished for us by Christ, is announced to us through the Gospel, and received by us through faith, which looks outward away from ourselves and rests in Christ, and our assurance of our salvation is found in the same place in exactly the same way. It is difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile this teaching with the idea that Christ died only for a select few, an idea that was completely absent from the teachings of the Lutheran John Calvin. (6)

“ἕκαστον γὰρ δένδρον ἐκ τοῦ ἰδίου καρποῦ γινώσκεται”, (7) the Lord said, and fruit of the Calvinism that bears the Reformer’s name but not his doctrine, shows the tree to be corrupt indeed. In England, the Calvinism of Dort developed Puritanism, a fanatical movement that sought to purify the established church and impose a rigid and Pharisaical code of morality upon the nation, bred sedition, revolution, and regicide, becoming the template and inspiration for the rebellion of the Yankee traitors and the bloody revolution of the French Jacobins in the eighteenth century, and of the Communist and Nazi movements in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. For a theology that proclaims itself to be about grace, it proved remarkably addicted to law. This is the theology that in England sought to ban Christmas, Easter, and any and all harmless amusements on Sundays and that in North America put people on trial for kissing their own spouses in public and spawned the notorious witchcraft trials of the late seventeenth century.

More relevant though, to our immediate subject, was the fruit it bore in the hearts and minds of those it first taught to ask the question “am I one of the elect?” and then taught to seek the answer through introspection. Ignoring Calvin’s “non in nobis ipsis”, the Puritans misapplied passages in which St. Paul told his Corinthian readers to examine the manner in which they partook of the Eucharist and to look to their own faith as evidence of the validity of his calling, Apostleship, and ministry, turning them into general commandments to look to their good works for evidence of the validity of their election and faith. This doctrine could produce but two possible results – arrogance, hubris, pride and self-deception among the spiritually dead and doubt, misery, and despair among those awake to their own sinfulness. The poet and hymnist William Cowper, driven mad by the thought of his own reprobation, is but one example of the casualties of this doctrine of which, John MacArthur’s efforts to revive, were loudly applauded by the same John Piper who now says openly that at the Last Judgement, our Final Salvation will depend on works as well as upon faith.

Against this new Pied Piper, seeking to lure the children of God away to their doom, let the words St. Paul first pronounced against those who taught that the salvation begun by grace and entered into by faith is to be completed by works, be the final word:
ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐὰν ἡμεῖς ἢ ἄγγελος ἐξ οὐρανοῦ εὐαγγελίζηται ὑμῖν παρ' ὃ εὐηγγελισάμεθα ὑμῖν, ἀνάθεμα ἔστω:
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed (8)



(1) Romans 3:20 (Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight - KJV)
(2) James 2:24 (by works a man is justified, and not by faith only - KJV)
(3) In the canons of Dort the order was ULTIP.
(4) Institutio Christianae Religionis, III, xxiv. 5.
(5) If you want a better English rendition than my own Henry Beveridge’s reads “But if we are elected in him, we cannot find the certainty of our election in ourselves; and not even in God the Father, if we look at him apart from the Son. Christ, then, is the mirror in which we ought, and in which, without deception, we may contemplate our election.”
(6) I came to this conclusion myself when I first read Calvin over twenty years ago. Not only is the concept that “Christ died only for the elect” not formulated as such in his writings it is impossible to reconcile with passages like this, from Calvin’s Commentary on John 3:16 “And he has employed the universal term whosoever, both to invite all indiscriminately to partake of life, and to cut off every excuse from unbelievers. Such is also the import of the term World, which he formerly used; for though nothing will be found in the world that is worthy of the favor of God, yet he shows himself to be reconciled to the whole world, when he invites all men without exception to the faith of Christ, which is nothing else than an entrance into life.” R. T. Kendall, who succeeded D. Martin Lloyd-Jones as pastor of Westminster Chapel in London, argued in his published doctoral dissertation that Calvin had taught an unlimited atonement and later Calvinists, especially the Puritans, had taken a step towards salvation by works by departing from his views of the Atonement and assurance. Calvin and English Calvinism to 1649, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979).
(7) Luke 6:44. (For every tree is known by his own fruit – KJV)
(8) Galatians 1:8

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Justin's Virtue-Signalling is Actually Vice-Signalling

So it appears there are things happening in the world other than Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un calling each other names and threatening to blow each other up. The American news has been dominated this week by a bizarre religious controversy that is dividing their country over whether it is ritually correct for people to kneel or stand while their national anthem is sung during a sacred Yankee ceremony that is called a "football game." Meanwhile, here in Canada, Justin Trudeau has been trying to divert our attention away from his vile speech to the United Nations last week expressing his hatred of the country whose government he leads and his scheme to bleed small business owners dry, by preening and grandstanding and virtue-signalling his supposed moral superiority to his political and ideological opponents on the matter of "women's rights."

There is a standing committee in the House of Commons that addresses the "Status of Women." This should not be confused with the Cabinet Ministry or the National Action Committee (a private lobby/activist group, albeit one that once was heavily funded by the government) of the same name although historically these all have their beginnings in the Pearson/Trudeau Liberal cultural revolution of the '60's and '70s and have been ideologically in sync with each other. The House committee is one whose chair, by established custom, is selected not by the governing party, but by Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, which at this time happens to be the Conservative Party of Canada. Accordingly, the new Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer nominated Rachael Harder, the MP representing Lethbridge to chair the committee. When this was announced on Tuesday, all the Liberal MPs on the committee walked out, along with the New Democrat members, and Trudeau immediately called a press conference in which he declared his support of those who walked out.

What was the reason for the walk out? Does Harder support the importing into Canada of cultures in which the genitals of young females are ritually mutilated or in which male relatives are encouraged to kill daughters and sisters that in their opinion have brought dishonour upon their family through promiscuity or dress that they see as being too provocative? No, it is the Liberals and NDP themselves who do that, who want to criminalize all criticism of such cultures, and who accuse anyone who disagrees with them of racism, xenophobia, and bigotry (and probably anti-Semitism and homophobia as well since in left-liberal usage these kind of words have a purely expletive function that has little to do with their literal meaning). The reason the progressives are having conniptions over Harder is because she is pro-life. She does not believe that women should have the right to murder their unborn babies.

The neoconservative press has subjected the MPs who walked out and the Prime Minister who supported them to much deserved criticism and ridicule. The Sun newspaper chain, for example, published an editorial entitled “Liberals Fail to Embrace Diversity of Opinion” which pointed out the hypocrisy of the Liberals who loudly proclaim their devotion and dedication to “diversity” but seem to have little regard for diversity of viewpoint in that they are notoriously intolerant of anyone who disagrees with them. The Grits deserve every word of this criticism which brings to mind the old quip of William F. Buckley Jr. about how liberals “claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.” On this particular issue you might recall that a year and a half before the 2015 Dominion election Trudeau had announced that new candidates seeking the nomination of the Liberal Party would be required to give their full support to women’s “right” to murder their unborn babies. Not to be outdone in his support for the right of baby murder, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair declared that all NDP candidates, new and old, were required to vote the party line on this issue.

Yes, the Grits and their socialist doppelgangers, with their idolatrous cult of diversity on the one hand and their neo-Stalinist, ideological, party line on the other, are every bit the hypocrites the Sun editorial makes them out to be. There is other, far more important, criticism that deserves to be heard, but which sadly, you will never read in the pages of a mainstream Canadian publication. Neoconservatives, which is to say people who call themselves conservative but by this term mean “American classical liberal”, such as those who set the editorial policy for the Sun chain, are the only dissenters from the left-liberal ideological monolith that are tolerated in the mainstream Canadian media.

What really needs to be said is that the pro-life position is the only sane position and that anyone who believes that women have some sort of natural right to terminate their pregnancies that ought to be protected as a legal right is bat-shit crazy and ought not to be allowed into any position of authority, power, and influence or entrusted with any responsibility higher than that of sweeping the floors in an institution in which they are humanely kept for their own safety and that of society. No, in case you are wondering, my saying this does not make me guilty of the mirror image of the hypocrisy displayed by the Liberals and NDP. I don’t worship at the altar of diversity.

When a human sperm fertilizes a human egg a zygote is formed that is a) living and b) human, ergo, a human life. To deliberately take a human life is murder except in the following circumstances: when you are acting out of necessity in self-defence, when you are the state official entrusted with executing a sentence of death determined by a lawfully constituted court on someone found guilty of a capital crime, or when you are a soldier fighting for your country. None of these exceptions can possibly apply here and so the termination of the life of the unborn is murder. It should not be thought of as a medical procedure since it is in complete violation of everything the medical practice has traditionally stood for. It is a particularly odious form of murder in that it is done at the request of those who have a particular responsibility to love and cherish that life.

Those who defend it, rely entirely upon spurious, easily-refutable, arguments such as the hard cases argument about pregnancies that ensue from rape or incest, or those which endanger the life of the mother. Even if it were not the case – and it is – that such cases represent only a tiny percentage of the total number of terminated pregnancies each year, it is a well-established legal maxim that hard cases make bad law.

Even the real motivation behind the demand for legal abortion is ultimately a lie. Giving one sex the unilateral power of life and death over the next generation does not create “sexual equality.” Feminists accuse the traditional, patriarchal, family, of dehumanizing women but if anything does that it is this insane insistence on their supposed right to murder their children.

There is one other thing that really needs to be said about all of this and that is that a standing House committee – or a Ministry for that matter – devoted to the “Status of Women” sounds like something out of George Orwell’s 1984. The status of women – and of men for that matter – in any society, arises out of the way the sexes interact and relate to each other, primarily within the family, and it is best to allow it to evolve within the living tradition of a culture rather than to try and artificially engineer it. If you reflect for a moment on the slogan of the 1960s revival of feminism, “the personal is the political”, you will see that this is a recipe for totalitarianism. Which is why this is the sort of thing that belongs in a regime like the former Soviet Union, Red China, or North Korea and not in a free, parliamentary country of the British Commonwealth that is heir to the Common Law under the Crown.