If a tree falls and an expert doesn’t hear it, is there a sound?

One of my main points here at Turnabout has been that if government sells itself as neutral administration and adjudication, then ultimate power belongs to whoever gets to say what knowledge is. Another has been that officially-recognized knowledge today is a matter of “expertise”: the views of self-contained bureaucracies of knowledge arrived at in accordance with procedures inaccessible to other people. Those views can be counted on to reflect the outlook and interests of experts as a class. In addition, by their nature as “expert” they can’t draw on things that aren’t neutral and can’t be formalized, like common sense, the lessons of tradition, and the day-to-day experience of ordinary people. Such things therefore become by definition “ignorant” and if persisted in “bigoted.”

All that’s very abstract, so it’s worthwhile keeping examples in mind. Here are a few I’ve noticed in the past couple of days:

  • A case unrelated to institutional or ideological concerns: scientists are finally getting around to admitting the existence of “rogue waves,” hundred-foot walls of water that suddenly appear and destroy ships on the high seas. Those waves hit freighters, tankers, passenger ships and oil platforms, they’ve been seen by thousands of capable and credible observers, they’ve been photographed, and every year they destroy a number of lives and hundreds of millions of dollars in property. Satellite scans now confirm how common they are. Nonetheless, for years scientists refused to believe they existed because they preferred to stand by theories of wave formation that told them that such a wave could only be a once-in-10,000 years event. (I touched on this issue briefly some time ago.)
  • If even physical scientists ignore the obvious, you can imagine how things are in softer fields of study that touch on moral, ideological and religious issues. This piece on modern psychology and priestly sex abuse suggests what can happen. Modern psychology, as a matter of fundamental principle, rejects the classical and Christian view of the soul as hierarchical and oriented toward higher principles. It views the soul as a collection of natural drives, habits and whatnot, all pretty much on the same level, and its health as the harmonious development of those constituents. As a result it is simply unable to make sense of asceticism, priestly celibacy for example, and is likely to recommend developing and acting on sexual impulses as necessary to human maturing. Hence—as such views spread through the Church during the postwar period—the changes in the operative attitudes of Church authorities toward sexual misconduct, and ultimately the gross failures of leadership and discipline that led to a rogue wave of pederasty they were simply unable to recognize and treat as a serious problem.
  • And here’s a rather wordy and pugnacious, but illuminating, account of how clergy conferences look to an Orthodox clergyman. Talking to the other priests and the bishop about personal and practical experiences is helpful, but it’s not accredited knowledge and therefore—even, apparently, within the Orthodox Church—can’t be taken altogether seriously. So they have to trot out the experts. As usual in these things, the experts know absolutely nothing that’s relevant to the situation, so they want to become rogue waves themselves, tearing through the Church and destroying everything while trying to make it over in whatever image they’re taken with.

35 thoughts on “If a tree falls and an expert doesn’t hear it, is there a sound?”

  1. Middle-management revolutionaries
    Speaking as an Orthodox convert, I was distressed to discover that such individuals as this Orthodox liturgist were beavering away at destroying Orthodoxy’s rich legacy. Just as their counterparts have already done in Protestantism and in the Roman Catholic Church that most American worshippers encounter (outside of a few traditionalist foxholes). I can truthfully say that they have made far less headway in Orthodoxy than elsewhere. I don’t know what the future holds for American Orthodoxy in this regard, although the percentage of converts is so high in many jurisdictions that they tend to get a frosty reception. The newbies are a respository of Convert Zeal ™, and that, combined with cradle-Orthodox inertia and general lassitude, has protected American Orthodoxy thus far.

    Anne Roche Muggeridge provided an acute analysis of this phenomenon in “The Desolate City.” The trouble always seems to come from church “middle management” functionaries who, in Orthodoxy as elsewhere, exist on a plane far removed from that of ordinary worshippers. The centralization of authority in Roman Catholicism makes it easier for them to spread their toxins, because they only have to win over their coevals in the “expert” class. Orthodoxy’s bewildering and seemingly irrational decentralization presents a far higher mountain for them to climb.

    • Future of Orthodoxy
      Orthodoxy is not, and will not be, immune from modernity. Mr. Williamson talks of Orthodoxy’s “bewildering and seemingly irrational decentralization,” and, yes, it’s easy to see why we call some things “Byzantine.” But the structure is less irrational and bewildering once you get a closer look.

      Here’s the picture. I fear you have liberal professors at the seminaries who would love to run the show the way their Catholic and mainline Protestant friends do, but they can’t. One simple reason: The bishops stand in their way. Beneath all the Byzantine structures, you must remember one thing: the bishops rule. The bishops rule, however, slowly and in many times a convoluted way, but the hammer can fall. And that’s what has kept Orthodoxy from joining the ranks of Catholicism and liberal Protestantism. So far.

      All it will take is for a crack in the ranks of bishops and I fear the water will come rushing in. As the article should make clear, the modernist experts are out there, waiting for their time.

      • “All it will take is for a cr
        “All it will take is for a crack in the ranks of bishops and I fear the water will come rushing in. As the article should make clear, the modernist experts are out there, waiting for their time.”

        This of course is possible. Indeed some jurisdictions seem to be at more risk at this moment than others. There is no guarantee that a given jurisdiction is immune to the poisons that have ruined other Christian churches.

        On the other hand, it seems to me that Orthodoxy can make a strong case for being the Church in its fullness. If this is true—I, at any rate, believe that is it—then it will in the last analysis stand against the gates of hell. But in the here and now, in ordinary time, as the RC’s call it (or used to call it), I wouldn’t hazard a guarantee about the safety of any given jurisdiction. I merely make the observation that the modernists have made less headway in Orthodoxy than in Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.

        • comments and questions on orthodoxy
          Mr. Williamson,

          There are movements afoot within the Orthodox Church to have married bishops, let priests marry, and add female deacons. There’s a great deal swirling out there. Also, you have to remember there are only four Orthodox seminaries in America (and two of those are minor seminaries). In other words, if the rank of bishops would break somewhere and the seminaries could be more of what they want to be, there are only four power points, four creation points for priests. It wouldn’t be too hard for the modernists to control the pipeline of priests reaching the parishes. Ask the Episcopalians. Once that happens, game over. Fifteen years ago, there were two conservative Episcopal seminaries, Nashotah and Trinity. Nashotah was pushed to the side. Bishops wouldn’t send candidates there, so it’s a mere shadow of itself, and Trinity keeps going but it doesn’t fit anymore with where the church is going. Today it is hard for a parish to find evanglical or catholic candidates.

          If Orthodoxy is the true church, the gates of hell will not prevail against it, but, as you note, that doesn’t mean the Church will maintain every jurisdiction, especially in a church structure that is very top-down in its management style but still decentralized among the jurisdictions and national churches. It could get very messy.

          I have one question, and this isn’t meant to offend in the least. How much of a fight would or could the average non-convert Orthodox put up against the modernists, if they enacted their theological and liturgical agenda piece by piece?

          • Orthodoxy
            M.S.: I think Orthodox priests have always been allowed to marry. A Russian Orthodox church I visited had a married priest – with a lot kids, too. As I understand it, marriage is allowed for parish priests while the bishops and higher officials all come from the monasteries and are thus celibate. (Please correct me if I’m in error, Mr. Williamson.)

            There seems to have been a wave of converts to Orthodoxy in the past decade or so – chiefly from the ranks of Protestant Evangelicals who could no longer stand the constant march of liberalism, even within conservative churches. (One example of what I’m talking about would be leaders like James Dobson holding up the Apostate-Marxist-Adulterer Martin Luther King as an example of Christian courage and leadership.) I am seriously considering Orthodoxy as well. I sometimes wonder if Protestantism has a fatal flaw that causes it to drift ever leftward into liberalism. All of the mainline Protestant churches in the US were conservative and evangelical a mere century ago. Look at them now – sham churches whose theology is nothing but apostasy with a pseudo-intellectual mask.

          • Orthodoxy – Protestantism
            Thank you very much, MS. A long read but cartainly interesting. There are theological concepts described here that are nearly impossible for the western mind to grasp. I have to wonder whether Gilchrist and the other converts – westerners that they are – could ever be truly Orthodox.

            Let’s go back to what may be the root of the problem – the tension whithin Christianity between universality and particularism. Why are we witnessing the utter destruction of the Christian west – entire nations – both Protestant and Catholic, before our very eyes? The scriptural passage, Galatians 3:28 (We are no longer Jew ot Greek, slaves or free men , male or female,,,) has been used as a battering ram by leftists operating within the church to destroy the church. (Why can’t women be priests, as an example? After all, we are neither male or female…etc.) Of course, St. Paul’s letter refers to the standing of believers before God in the church, it is not a manifesto for the abolition of Jews or Greeks as distinct peoples, nor is it an early example of the liberal ideal of total literal equality and interchangeability. Because of its misinterpretation of this scripture, the western church invites its own destruction. The reductio ad absurdam is Unitarianism. ‘There are no Jews or Greeks, men or women, children or adults, animals or humans, Chrstians or Muslims, or Hindus, or Wiccans, just everyone getting along in our smiley-face multicultural utopia of spaceship Earth.’

          • Orthodoxy’s incessant anti-Westernism
            Some observations . . .

            Carolus wrote, “There are theological concepts described here that are nearly impossible for the western mind to grasp. I have to wonder whether Gilchrist and the other converts – westerners that they are – could ever be truly Orthodox.”

            This is the number one problem within Orthodoxy today—its excessive emphasis on being different for the sake of being different. There is an incessant anti-Westernism within Orthodox circles, and it’s a trend that makes a number of Orthodox themselves uncomfortable and embarrassed. By anti-Western, I don’t mean simply against the French Enlightenment. Or the secularists. No, it’s against the whole Rome-Jerusalem-Athens West. It’s the West of Augustine and Jerome. It’s Christianity in the West.

            For a very recent manifestation, check out the debate within Orthodox circles about Mel Gibson’s The Passion. To some Orthodox, it was bad simply because Gibson isn’t Orthodox. He’s, God forbid, a Catholic and one of those traditionalist Catholics at that. While there’s a great deal of emphasis in the Orthodox Lenten services on Christ’s blood, you’d never know it from Gibson’s Orthodox critics. The movie was too graphic, too much on Christ’s suffering, too much blood. The critics sound like they’d never read St. Paul and had taken up some kind of Gnosticism. Thankfully, there were also Orthodox who appreciated the film and bishops who recommended it to the faithful.

            If Western minds, even traditional Christian minds in the West can’t appreciate Orthodox theology, why, if that were true, that would be Exhibit A in an argument as to why Orthodoxy couldn’t be the true church, but rather simply a national church fixated on involved speculations about deification. If the Orthodox Church is indeed the one, holy, apostolic and catholic church, it should be able to be understood universally and expressed in different cultural forms.

            Earlier, you say Evangelicals have sold out politically. I ask you to look into what Orthodox bishops and thinkers say politically. They don’t, thankfully, open their mouths as much as their Catholic brethren, but when they do it’s often to mouth globalist platitudes, colored very, very green. If modern Orthodoxy has a political color, it’s the green of the environmental movement.

            And before attacking the Evangelicals, I’d ask this: Who is at the forefront of the fight to preserve what’s left of traditional Christian morality in this country? It’s the Evangelicals. The Defense of Marriage Amendment wouldn’t have gotten as far as it did, and as far as it might in the future, if it weren’t for the Evangelical groups on the frontlines day in and day out fighting the good fight.

          • Anti-Westernism
            MS make very good points. We shouldn’t be that surprised that we’ve not seen much involvement from Orthodox living in the West is respect to the culture war if they take the view that even the traditional west, the west of Augustine and Jerome as you put it so nicely, is fatally flawed and on its way to hell.

            MS states: “If the Orthodox Church is indeed the one, holy, apostolic and catholic church, it should be able to be understood universally and expressed in different cultural forms.” Excellent point. To be fair, it does appear to allow for different cultural forms within the narrow framework of its own native territories. Hence the different Greek, Serbian, Russian, Bulgarian, Romanian, etc. churches. In contrast, we have the outright globalism of Evangelical churches, who basically have joined on to the corporatist/multicultiralist agenda to abolish all national identities (actually only certain national identities are to be liquidated. Few Evangelicals have discovered multiculturalism’s real agenda) and reduce every single person wordlwide to interchangeable units. The scripture descibes the church as a body with different (particluar), interconnected parts – not as a tower made up of uniform interchangeable bricks.

            The remedy for the west’s fatal disease will most likely not be found in the east, but within the west itself.

          • evangelical-orthodox dialogue
            an evangelical approach to theologial dialogue with eastern and oriental churches.

          • Orthodox Concept of Love
            That’s a cheap shot. MS. Shame on you. Ignorant as I am about Orthodoxy, I know very well that such behavior is considered sinful, and that the Ethiopian priests and mob described were clearly out of line with church teaching. One could just as easily put up Torquemada as the poster boy for Catholicism, or Henry VIII for Protestantism. Orthodox are fallen sinners just like everyone else. Seth Williamson, Will S., and the always gracious Mr. Scrooby are all making intelligent contributions to the dicussion here. It would of course help, MS, if you would at least take the trouble to make up a name for yourself here, as there seem to be several MS’s floating about.

            We’re trying to have an intelligent conversation about the relationship of race and ethnicity to the inherent universalism of Christianity. It’s my position that leftists have managed to hijack the entire western church, whether Catholic or Protestant – even the theologically conservative ones – to carry out their agenda of destroying the European peoples who form the nucleus of our civilization. I stand by my earlier anaolgy of the church as a living body made of of disparate but interconnected parts instead of an inanimate tower made up of identical interchageable bricks, the latter being the true “church of Bush” – to borrow a phrase from a leftist hit piece in the great propaganda organ of the American left, the NY Times.

          • Indeed, the evangelicals are multiculturalists…
            … by contrast, traditionalist Protestantism, such as the Reformed and Lutheran traditions, seem more rooted in ethnic identities – Dutch in the case of Reformed (and, to a lesser extent in the New World, Scottish in the case of Presbyterianism), and German or various Scandinavian/Nordic, in the case of Lutheran. I believe this is a huge factor in why some segments within traditionalist Protestantism have been able to resist morphing into evangelicalism.

            Will S.

          • Different for the sake of being different
            “This is the number one problem within Orthodoxy today—its excessive emphasis on being different for the sake of being different.”

            Speaking as an Orthodox, I have to say that I don’t recognize the Church you speak of here. In my experience, there is NOTHING in Orthodoxy that is “different for the sake of being different.” I can’t claim to have acquired a totally Orthodox phronema, but I can tell you that there is a reason for just about everything you can see in Orthodoxy. One may not agree with those reasons, but they don’t reveal a Church that is “different for the sake of being different.”

          • Yes, different for the sake of different
            I suggest, then, that you go to Mere Comments, the blog site Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity. Go back in the archives for the time when Mel Gibson’s film was being cussed and discussed.

            Here’s a Greek Orthodox priest. His comments can be found here.

            “I am not surprised by the reaction in the Greek Orthodox critique of “The Passion” by Fr. Demetri Kantsavelos. After nearly 44 years as an Orthodox priest it is my observation that usually Orthodox clergy and spokespersons seem compelled to negatively respond to almost anything that doesn’t originate from the Orthodox Church, in an attempt to always emphasize their difference from Catholicism and Protestantism. Whatever the circumstances, whatever the presentation, however true to the Gospels, they will always find something wrong with anything that they haven’t originated.

            “While the “sacred Passion” in Orthodoxy stresses the triumphal voluntary passion of Christ, Who is the Lord of Glory, even in His extreme humility, there is also in the Orthodox Fathers, albeit in later centuries, a devotion centered on the Passion. To insist that there is this one and only understanding of the “atonement” is to betray an ignorance of the entire Orthodox Theological corpus through the centuries. Since the 1950’s the trend, especially in the Greek Church, is to attempt to rid contemporary Orthodox Theology from “Latinizing” influences.”

            A similar comment from David Mills, the editor, can be found here.

            If, in your parish, you haven’t heard constant badgering of “Western” Christianity and how different Orthodoxy is from Protestantism and Catholicism on any subject under the sun, and those differences—not the common tradition is typically stressed—you ought to be very thankful.

          • “If, in your parish, you have
            “If, in your parish, you haven’t heard constant badgering of “Western” Christianity and how different Orthodoxy is from Protestantism and Catholicism on any subject under the sun, and those differences—not the common tradition is typically stressed—you ought to be very thankful.”

            I am, of course. But then, I am familiar with six or eight different parishes in this part of the world, and I haven’t heard such things in any of them. There are Orthodox cranks and triumphalists. But then, the same types exist in Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. Extrapolating from a few flakes to the whole of the Church is not a trustworthy method of getting a feel for what’s going on, as it seems to me.

          • A 44-year veteran Greek priest is a crank?
            So a Greek priest with 44 years of service is an isolated crank? A flake? Hmmm. Very interesting.

            I suspect you’re still a zealous convert. That’s OK. I’m not here to insult you.

            Still, take a look at what the Orthodox critics said about Gibson’s film. They aren’t traditionalist cranks. They are mainstream Orthodox. Look around. Read the major Russians of this century and their ramblings and rantings against “Latinizers.” Read the more popular Carlton. You’ll find their animus against (particularly) Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas and the rest of the Christian West.

          • Crazy charge against Orthodox bishops
            I am not only aware of the Touchstone material but a deal more that is unmentioned there. Yes, there are a few flaky priests and bishops out there. In fact, the stuff on the Touchstone site is mild compared to what you can hear from a few individuals in the various Greek and Russian old calendrist churchs, ROCOR, etc.

            What is this supposed to prove? Yeah, there are some nuts out there. They are not representative of Orthodoxy as a whole.

            And yes, we know that Orthodoxy is different from Western Christianity in many respects and we are by and large grateful for those differences and are not shy about explaining why they exist. So? Orthodoxy believes itself to be the only manifestation of the Church in its fullness today. And it is unapologetic about that fact. Why should it be otherwise?

          • Trouble with Orthodoxy
            Orthodoxy is right about so much, but it’s trouble is too much emphasis on deification, not enough on atonement.

          • Greece also undergoing nation-destroying forced race-replacement
            “Why are we witnessing the utter destruction of the Christian west – entire nations – both Protestant and Catholic, before our very eyes?”—Carolus, 12:05 AM above

            Here’s an article by a Greek patriot named Voridis (link below) which I’ve had in “My Favorites” a couple of years. It very clearly shows Greece undergoing precisely the same forced transformations via excessive immigration as we are here and the larger countries in Europe are (transformations strongly disliked, as here, by huge majorities but insisted on by deracinated totalitarian élites, as here), and it very clearly shows individual Greeks who are skeptical of the “benefits” of forced race-replacement encountering exactly the same nonsensical “arguments” and exactly the same slanderous personal attacks from Greek race-replacers as we encounter here from U.S. race-replacers, Brits encounter from U.K. race-replacers, French encounter from French race-replacers, and so on.


            By the way I agree of course with Carolus’ characterization of Unitarianism. Not long ago in these pages Jim Kalb posted a log entry which mentioned how the Unitarian “Church” was exploring the granting of official approval to something called polyamory, apparently an arrangement whereby a group of men and women live together and have sex indiscriminantly with one another. Of course we all know that’s coming anyway, as part of the vastly-improved future which liberalism promises—we’ll have legalized polyamory arrangements, legalized and normalized polygamy, every form of incest legalized and mainstreamed, marriage between adults and mere children, marriage between mere children among themselves, “marriage” between humans and animals, and so forth. We all know that stuff is coming anyway. But any organization which advocates it instantly loses thereby its status as a religion. That the Unitarian “Church” is no longer either a Church or a religion cannot be disputed. In that they’ve joined the asinine Mainline Episcopalians. (Notice that in regard to Christianity, black Africans have now surpassed first-world whites in intelligence, morality, dignity, and wisdom: the black African Episcopalian leadership aren’t buying the mainstreaming of homosexuality which the leadership here are trying to foist off. They’ve flatly refused to fall for it and are standing their ground! May God bless them and keep them!)

          • So Greece is no different from America, Canada, England, France,
            etc. The whole western world is committing mass suicide, whether realized or not.

            Given the huge growth of Christianity in Asia (esp. in China and South Korea), and in my experience, here in Canada – many Asian churches are thriving, and gaining numerous converts), and also in Africa – and given, as Fred Scrooby pointed out, how Anglicanism is staying orthodox amongst African believers there, in contrast to the West, where it has been highly heretical for some time – I sometimes wonder whether God is finished with the West, and is drawing His people now largely from non-Westerners… (But even if so, I’ll still mourn the death of my civilization.)

            Will S.

          • See the actual final death-throes of a religion before your eyes
            Regarding the move within the Unitarian “Church” to endorse “polyamory,” the incredulous are invited to go to this Turnabout log entry, http://antitechnocrat.net:8000/node/view/1050 , click on the link that says, “Salt Lake Tribune,” and read the following, amounting to the death certificate of what was once a religion—the Unitarian Church:


            “Compiled by Peggy Fletcher Stack
            “The Salt Lake Tribune

            “Some 4,700 people attended this year’s Unitarian Universalist Association’s annual convention in Long Beach, Calif. Gay marriage was strongly endorsed by representatives of the 225,000-member, Boston-based religious organization. Delegates also flocked to two workshops on polyamory, the controversial notion it is morally acceptable to have multiple love partners. ‘Say yes to the transforming power of love,’ said Doug Walters of Portland, Ore., one of four polyamorists leading the workshops. ‘Is it safe to be openly supportive of polyamory in your congregation?’

            “— Religion News Service”

          • Protestantism and traditionalism / rootedness, groundedness
            “I sometimes wonder if Protestantism has a fatal flaw that causes it to drift ever leftward into liberalism. All of the mainline Protestant churches in the US were conservative and evangelical a mere century ago. Look at them now – sham churches whose theology is nothing but apostasy with a pseudo-intellectual mask.”

            All true, though I don’t believe the problem is with Protestantism per se. Within the more traditionalist Protestant churches, esp. Lutheran and Reformed / Presbyterian (Calvinist), ones which confess the ecumenical creeds (Apostle’s, Nicene, Athanasian), and teach their covenant children from their own particular confessions (all of which go at least back to the 16th or 17th century or so) – in which regards they have much in common with Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, at least as practiced in the past – there are many denominations/associations/federations which have remained traditionalist, conservative, and very much rooted and grounded in history. The ones which haven’t emphasized the creeds and confessions, and those which don’t even have creeds (“No creed but Christ”, they say – more of an Anabaptist tendency than a truly Protestant one, though, alas, it has made great headway in Protestantism, particularly in evangelical churches, esp. “non-denominational” ones), have tended to drift, swayed by the culture, and end up either as the liberal, mainline Protestant churches – completely given over to the left – or as the “conservative” evangelicals, headed in the same direction as the liberal, mainline Protestants; just taking a bit longer to get there… (If anyone is wondering, I’m an ex-evangelical Protestant, now a traditionalist Reformed Protestant Christian.)

            At the same time, while I am much less knowledgable about the current situation within Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, I do know that here in Canada, much of the Roman Catholic clergy have been infected with political and theological liberalism, and seem to think that Roman Catholicism is all about pacifism, pro-Third-World politicking, solidarity with Latin American Marxist movements (“liberation theology”), etc. I’ve heard some rightists refer to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops as the “Canadian Conference of Communist Bishops”… I know that one of Canada’s few Liberal, pro-life M.P.s, Tom Wappel (not sure if he’s Roman Catholic, but I think so), expresses his pro-life views in terms of “standing up for the little guy” (which he says is the Liberal legacy), rather than in terms of opposing murder simply because murder is wrong, even murder of the unborn… Thus, even pro-life arguments can get couched in egalitarian rhetoric rather than affirming the immorality of murder… But I digress…

            Will S.

          • You’re right. I meant remarri
            You’re right. I meant remarried, not married clergy. Sorry about the typo. If a married priest gets divorced, then he has to quit. There is a movement to change this.

          • What might happen
            Well, you suggest a hypothetical scenario. It’s hard to have an argument about something that MIGHT happen. I will agree, mainly for the purpose of argument, that all sorts of things MIGHT happen. Individual jurisdictions might crash and burn.

            In this respect, I am mainly concerned with what I can see with my own eyes. Protestantism and to a barely lesser extent Roman Catholicism have been ravaged by modernism and heresy. By and large this is untrue of Orthodoxy. I think there’s a reason for this. Namely, that Orthodoxy is the full and complete manifestation of the New Testament Church in our own day. And as such is consequently protected from error on matters of faith and morals and salvation.

            To believe such a proposition is not to say that all jurisdictions will be similarly protected, or even that most will. I simply am impressed by the congruence of Orthodoxy’s claims and what we can all see in this regard: Orthodoxy is comparatively untouched by the disease that has raced through Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. (Which are merely two sides of the same coin from the point of view of the Orthodox Catholic Church.)

  2. The Webbs on experts
    This is apropos merely the topic of “experts” itself. I was reminded of something Gertrude Himmelfarb wrote about the loathesome Webbs:

    “Another feature of their ideal republic was the dominance of
    the ‘expert’ over the common man. Beatrice conceded that in this
    respect she and Sidney were not very good democrats, ‘for we have
    little faith in the “average sensual man,” we do not believe that
    he can do much more than describe his grievances, we do not think
    that that he can prescribe the remedies.’ Nor did they have much
    more faith in the average Member of Parliament, who, like the
    constituents, might understand the problems that came his way but
    was unable to prescribe the solutions. The Webbs sought not only
    to permeate the institutions of power but also to alter those
    institutions, ‘to introduce into politics the professional expert—
    to extend the sphere of government by adding to its enormous
    advantages of wholesale and compulsory management, the advantage of
    the most skilled entrepreneur….’I do not believe that the
    ordinary man is capable of prescribing for the diseases of the soul
    any more than they are for the diseases of the body. We need the
    expert here as elsewhere. Religion, to my mind, should consist in
    the highest metaphysic, music and ritual and mental hygeine.'”

    —Gertrude Himmelfarb, “The Webbs: The Religion of Socialism” in
    “Marriage and Morals Among the Victorians,” p. 205-206. “Our
    Partnership” by the Webbs, p. 120; Diary, II, p. 250.

    • I recently read something similar, but even more disturbing…
      There are some occasions where the spitting is not just at the cross, but at Christians, cross-bearing or otherwise.

      • How should a tradcon look at these spitting incidents?
        What should a Christian or Jewish tradcon’s reaction be to the “spitting” stories linked by Myst. Str. (10/15, 7:54pm) and Will S. (today, 3:17am)? I believe it should not include any sort of endorsement of the liberal tactic of calling for a “hate-crime”-style governmental crack-down that would in effect turn Orthodox Christianity or Christianity in general into an Israeli governmental sacred cow. This spitting behavior should be prosecuted, yes: under ordinary ethnicity-neutral, culture-neutral laws already on the books—disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, assault, and so on, not become the pretext for a thought-control crack-down via hate-crimes statutes. (By the way, ever notice how the only genuine, honest-to-goodness hate crime, where “hate-crimes” laws are concerned, is the hate-crime laws themselves and nothing else?) I also believe the Christian or Jewish tradcon reaction should not include any sort of endorsement of the liberal position that this behavior shows tribalism and nationalism are undesirable and therefore should be eliminated from the world stage. A tradcon should not endorse that because unlike the liberals he is equipped with the brain cells, the brain circuits, to enable him to recognize that the postive aspects of tribalism and nationalism vastly outweigh unfortunate aberrant manifestations such as this.

        Everyone agrees this kind of behavior is not only unacceptable but shocking and disgusting no matter who does it or where, be it Jewish Yeshiva students doing it to the Greek Orthodox in Jerusalem, German skinhead teenagers doing it to Jews in Berlin, or Moslem Arab immigrants doing it to Jews in Antwerp and Paris. That said, I don’t believe these Yeshiva students are just calmly going around spitting on people: individuals don’t act like that unless they’re very angry and frustrated, and the Palestinians aren’t the only ones capable of becoming angry and frustrated in that part of the world. My guess would be they’re quite frustrated about something they feel extremely strongly about which isn’t being addressed by the reigning liberal government establishment in that country—perhaps something to do with the way that liberal establishment keeps refusing to take the steps needed to make Israel finally into an actual country instead of what it’s been since 1948, sort of a baby that’s stuck in the birth canal unable to get all the way born.

        Whatever their reason for spitting, I as a tradcon feel that:

        1) The government should crack down on it while treating it no differently from simple assault and so on: no hate-crimes-type statutes please. I refer to actually spitting into faces or directly onto religious objects carried by priests, etc., not to spitting on the ground. Spitting on the ground from whatever motivation is no business of the government’s (apart from neutral public-health ordinances against spitting on the ground, obviously), and if Christians don’t like Jews spitting on the ground as they pass, let them leave Jerusalem, because nothing can be done about it: their departure and what amounts to governmental thought-control are the only alternatives to their just ignoring it, and thought-control is one-hundred-percent unacceptable.

        2) The existence of tribalism and nationalism, which I believe tradcons ought to view as great goods in life, is not called into question by this story whatsoever, contrary to how the liberal mind would tend to view this.

        3) The left-liberals running Israel should stop frustrating Jewish nationalists, patriots, and Zionists by their policies that promise ultimately to be suicide for that country.


        “If a tree falls and an expert doesn’t hear it, is there a sound?” Yes, the sweetest, most melodious sound in all creation: the sound of entropy being brought clanking, screeching, grinding to a halt.

        • re:spitting incidents
          orthodoxs(kabbalists-talmudics,pharisees)jews as that young people involved in attacks against evangelicals and liturgical churches are no zionists,anger and frustration related to israeli-palestinian conflict is no relevant in this issue,knows more about jews sects and cults here:israelshamir.net

          • I’d say we’ve seen the last of the spitting-on-clergy incidents
            The Israeli Interior Ministry is telling the police in Jerusalem to put an end to the spitting:

            “[Israeli] Interior Minister Avraham Poraz issued a strongly worded statement Tuesday against incidents of Jews spitting at Christian clergy in Jerusalem, saying he was ‘repulsed’ by the repeated attacks. […] Poraz called such behavior by ultra-Orthodox Jewish students ‘intolerable,’ and asked Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra to ‘take all the necessary steps to prevent these incidents in the future.’ “

            Incidentally, while this repulsive spitting on clergy is needless to say very bad and gives an extremely bad impression of the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish students apparently doing it, how common can it be, in view of the following from the same article?:

            “Police spokesman Gil Kleiman said that the last such case handled by police was more than two years ago […].”

            My strong expectation is the Israeli government and the Jerusalem police will bring this spitting-on-clergy business to a halt immediately. These are probably the last news reports of it we’ll see for the rest of our lives.

            “If a tree falls and an expert doesn’t hear it, is there a sound?” Yes, the sweetest, most melodious sound in all creation: the sound of entropy being brought clanking, screeching, grinding to a halt.

          • no,you are wrong
            majority from cases,happening in recurring ways in a daily basis (here),are unnoticed to authorities,this is no the last reports you can reads about it,this is no the only and no the more violent attack suffered by evangelicals and liturgical churches,considers famous supporters from israel has denounced these atrocities:vandalization from christian tombs,assasinations from jews converted to gospel,menaces and attacks against christians missionaries(here),destruction from a bible store,destruction from an evangelical church with jews members in galilee,arson attacks against a baptist church in jerusalem,forced deportation from christians,including christians daughters from a jewish family,illegal expelling from a public school from a christian jew librarian,clapdown against churches from guest workers,enactment from a law forbidding evangelism,while jewish proselitism is funded by state,agressions against archaelogists working in old places(here).

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