The Archangels are Hunting Him

A kind reader brought this to my attention. I found this conversation simply fascinating.

At about the 40 minute mark, Mr Molyneux makes and admission eerily similar to epiphanies  I was suffering during the days when I was losing my faith in atheism.

For one thing, reading history books written outside the school of thought dominated of Voltaire, Gibbon, Hegel, Marx gave credit where credit was due. And, thanks to a classical education, I knew full well that Aquinas was the most logical thinker I had ever encountered outside Euclid (I disagreed with his axioms, but saw no error in his logic once they were granted.)

So I knew beforehand that the Thirteenth Century was not the satanic incarnation of science hatred my high school education had falsely indoctrinated me into believing, and which most public school graduates believe to this day.

But picking up books describing the real Middle Ages, written by scholars I trusted, started pushing back on some of the wool that had been pulled over my eyes. It took me a long time to realize that, as an English speaker, I was getting the English (Protestant) view of history, the one where Bloody Marry was a devil and Elizabeth I was the Virgin

In real life, Queen Elizabeth was a despot who extended the laws against treason “to catch not just those who questioned Elizabeth’s right to rule, but all missionary priests and those who sheltered them. Torture was not permitted by the common law, but special powers were invoked to justify its regular use to extract information from Catholic suspects. The procedure in treason trials gave the accused no chance of offering an adequate defense, and unsafe convictions were common. The standard penalty for traitors was to be hanged, cut down when still alive, castrated, disemboweled and dismembered. Over 100 Catholic priests suffered this fate.”

Learning a wider view, and I hope a more accurate, of history was one of the several things that picked away at my hatred of Christianity.

The question kept bothering me: if Christianity is the utterly foolish superstition and enemy of progress, science, and reason I had always said it was, then why did the Christians spend so much time and effort erecting an international university system, something no other civilization ever contemplated?

If the Church was the enemy of science as much as she was the enemy of witchcraft, why was it that the Europeans, once they turned their back on witchcraft, developed science? Why were so many monks and priests openly doing science? None of them openly performed witchcraft.

If Christianity was just a fraud enacted to create and keep power for a priestly class to live at ease on the labor of peons, why did the priests forswear the things no secular rulers ever forswore, such as wealth, women, song and freedom from their superiors?

And why did the Christians insist, over and over again, on voluntary conversion? No other religion, and certainly no political philosophy, insists on nothing but volunteers.

Why was Christian morality in line with reality, if the Christian theology was superstition, nonsense, and cant?

Why did the Christians so fiercely object to suicide, when no other else did? The Romans were as much addicted to the romance of suicide for dishonor as the Japanese — if Christianity was a make believe, why was not this rule changed to adhere to the Roman standards, and therefore to make the make believe more easy for the gullible to swallow?

Why did the Christians study the ancient pagans, and decipher the hieroglyphs of Egypt? The Roman pagan scholar never bothered to ask their conquered people how their writing system worked. They were not curious. The Muslims take sadistic delight in destroying the past, equaled only by the French and Communist Revolutionaries, and their Political Correct epigones here. Why does no one respect the prior civilizations, save for Christendom?

Why does no one respect the Other, save for Christendom. Why did no missionaries from alien religions visit Europe, with the sole horrid exception of the bloodthirsty Muslim, red scimitar in hand? And they did not come to convert, but to rape, metaphorically as well as literally, and burn the books and shatter the cities of the West.

These questions are hard to answer if Christianity is false, but not hard if it is true.

My prediction is that Mr Molyneux, if his charted course is like mine was, will suffer an increasing strain between his carefully erected atheistic theology (atheology?) and the facts of human life as history and contemporary events portray, and the Church will have an odd lure to him.

At that point he will struggle against the whispers in his soul sent by the angels hunting ruthless for him, and he might seek some other escape route, such as a polite resignation to an incomplete model of reality, where he admits Christianity has many strange virtues missing in other religions and worldviews, but no explanation as to why. If the angels do their job, his sense of integrity will not let him rest with any halfway mark or lukewarm compromise.

Now, if the time comes when he realizes that G.K. Chesterton is a better writer and deeper thinker than Ayn Rand, and had more and deeper insights into human nature, the snare will close about it.

He can always escape by refusing to think, by blanking out what the evidence is implying, since he is a creature with free will. He will be tempted. But his whole life as a philosopher will be opposed to yielding to that temptation.

On the other side, the demands made by Christianity, things like chastity, no divorce, no contraception, strict discipline of one’s passions, throwing away all your porn, forswearing revenge against foes who have actually and deeply wounded you, all that jazz… the burden of receiving Christ and taking up you cross seems great indeed to one who has never erenow been helped by the Holy Spirit to shoulder the burdens.

Admitting one is wrong about the Steady State Theory, or changing one’s mind about Ricardo’s Law of Comparative Advantage does not require you to give up your paramours, or other vices we all love with the darkest parts of our corrupt hearts. But admitting one is wrong about the nonexistence of Christ has consequences.

Bowing to Christ is a blow to the pride.

But then again, there is that matter of intellectual integrity, and a philosopher’s almost erotic love of the truth.

If he is now as I was then, his false pride and his love of truth will clash. And then the struggle will be on.

Pray for him, my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ. All the angels will raise a shout to shake the heavens if a lone lost prodigal son returns to the fold.

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