vendredi 7 février 2014

... And Why Not Mormonism (*grinning*)?

I came across Pearl of Great Price, not meaning the thing so called by Our Lord, namely state of Grace and pleasing God and getting to Heaven, but the text which Joseph Smith called so.

Wikisource : Pearl of Great Price/Moses

Chapter 1[edit]*

1 The words of God, which he spake unto Moses at a time when Moses was caught up into an exceedingly high mountain,

2 And he saw God face to face, and he talked with him, and the glory of God was upon Moses; therefore Moses could endure his presence.

3 And God spake unto Moses, saying: Behold, I am the Lord God Almighty, and Endless is my name; for I am without beginning of days or end of years; and is not this endless?

No, that is not God speaking to Moses in those words. Book of Moses in Pearl of Great Price portrays God as a babbler.

I could have added something like "for ... and is not this ..." because I am a babbler, but I refuse to take God for one!

It is not that God would not reason. It is rather that God when talking to men reasons so well that he has no need to point out a lot of things to make the argument understandable.

That is of course the ONE reason why I refuse to believe in Mormonism, which I do on other grounds just as with Mahometanism, just as with Hesiod's Theogony and its Muses or with Odinism. Among these, Odin might even beat the "god of Joseph Smith" when it comes to literary style (see Hávamál).

But the main one is that I draw a very thick and straight line between revelations as in messages purporting to be from Heaven and Revelation as in Heaven showing itself in action, like Christ's Resurrection or things. A revelation is tested by its agreement with Revelation as in Salvation History. Not the other way round.***

There is no hint whatsoever that Joseph Smith got the "Pearl of Great Price" in any way that connects it with Moses. Unlike how Jesus and we get the Pentateuch, for instance.

We get the Pentateuch as firmly from Moses as we get the Lord of the Rings from Tolkien. Joseph Smith got The Pearl of Great Price as little from Moses as Tolkien got Lord of the Rings from The Red Book of Westmarch.

And not only is the "God" of Pearl of Great Price wrong, its "Moses" is wrong also:

9 And the presence of God withdrew from Moses, that his glory was not upon Moses; and Moses was left unto himself. And as he was left unto himself, he fell unto the earth.

10 And it came to pass that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man; and he said unto himself: Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed.

A phrase like "which thing I had never supposed" is basically Malory style or even Howard Pyle style for "who'd have thunk it?" And that in its turn is a very American turn of phrase. Of course it may well have had its precursors in the time of Malory or even Chaucer but to me it sounds like a sort or habitual introspection that became fashionable through Stoics Platonics and through the Christian habits of confession and examination of conscience but hardly entered into the daily habits of anyone at the court of Pharao whatever the Pharao was. It seems - according to recent attempts to harmonise the Exodus with Egyptian history that the Pharao in question was Amenamhet III (whom David Grohl has nicknamed "Mister Grumpy") and I suspect he was more surrounded by people who would remind us of old Arabs with white beards making comments that sound like lessons than by men expressing themselves like Chaucer. Besides, close by Amenamhet III the atmosphere may well have been a bit stifled, like living on a spy mission into enemy country or like living next to Stalin. Not really a school of spontaneity.

Someone I met over the internet reasoned "Moses can hardly have been humble if he called himself humble, considering that humility is a Christian vertue" ... but the thing is, whether he realised that God would accept his humility or not, he was from a place and an upbringing which did not habitually value humble people. It is not like a man these days calling himself "modest" (which would usually be self praise), it is like a man these days saying he has "a self-esteem issue" (which is generally speaking not self praise). When Moses said it he was basically telling God that if he was to speak to the Pharao he risked feeling very uncomfortable and even bungling it all by shutting up when he should not. Which is why God gave him his brother Aaron for help in that errand.**

And I would of course be as suspicious of a text purporting Moses used the roundabout modern phrase "self-esteem issue" rather than using the word humble for it as I am of a text where "Moses" in one breath speaks like a Sufi ("Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing,") and in the next ("which thing I never had supposed") like an English or French but certainly Christian gentleman with the curiosity of an explorer and the background of introspective expressions from centuries earlier - which were earlier than the English or French gentleman, but definitely later than Moses.

The fact that "Pearl of Great Price" includes visions and other supernatural stuff has really nothing to do with my disbelief.

And I suppose the guys who recognise Lord of the Rings as fantasy because they think Balrogs (i e demons taking physical shape and threatening with physical destruction) are impossible will miss Tolkien's real deliberate giveaway to make the very gullible think again. A thing like The Red Book of Westmarch (which Tolkien showed as little as Joseph Smith showed the gold plates he translated Book of Mormon from) is made to make the reader think about such a trivial matter as how did the text come from purported or implied observers to us. The guys who say "it is fantasy because it contains Balrogs" might miss that hint and therefore believe in the manuscript of one Adso from Melk.

I know one lady I was back then friends and sometimes in love with (she is now married to someone else) who actually thought it funny to realise that Adso from Melk is fiction and Name of the Rose is not a Medieval text, even if it is a text by a better Medieval Historian than most of its readers. She laughed at herself so heartily she cannot have been making a show to be ironic.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
St Adaucus and the Town dwellers
who had him for chief, martyrs
under Galerius Maximinian

* Wikisource, like wikipedia, is a wiki, ok, that means readers can edit it. Not meaning you should unless you see part of the text misrepresented, as in you know the text.

** In the real Pentateuch, of course, not in The Pearl of Great Price, Book of Moses.

*** I believed the Palmarian revelation until I found out a quote where Palmarian Catechism disagrees with the cosmology of ordinary Patristic understanding of Christianity (there are three dimensions, not eight!), I doubted about Christ's revelation to St Bridget as to crusade when I thought "heathens in Novgorod" referred to Russian Orthodox (even if schismatic, Christ would hardly call them heathen just for that) but have regained confidence in it since I noticed she lived a century after Alexander Nevski first defended Novgorod against Teutonic Order and then handed it over to very real Pagans - the Yellow Horde. Christ's words to St Bridget were of course a way of telling her and through her the Swedish King that Novgorod needed liberation from the Yellow Horde. He did not listen however. But notice that it is not my view of Catholic Orthodoxy that changes according to what I read in St Bridget's Extravagantes or in ... earlier ... a site by Palmar de Troya. It is my view of these revelations which changes according to as I notice a discrepancy with Catholic Orthodoxy either showing up (as with Palmar) or disappearing (as with St Bridget).

What's wrong with Wotanism

Apart from a very quick answer like "everything" or "it is Pagan", one can also mention it is being promoted by lies. Or even selfcontradictions.

However, unlike the practitioners of priestcraft in biblical religion, Wotanists did not and do not pretend to speak for God. The Gods speak to every man or woman directly through the evidence of Nature's Laws. The whole purpose of priestcraft is to allow the priest or the people he represents to control or have power over others. The power of the pulpit and of "Divine Right to Rule" rests on the words "God said," and a claim of superior access to God. Wotanists denounce the whole philosophy of one man having power of compulsion over others.

The quote is from the more or less openly Neo-Nazi site White Resister. Here is the link if you care to pursue it. Now, as a Swede and friend of an Icelander and as having studied Norse Mythology for pleasure since I was small, I can only categorise these words with the two letters BS.

Let us however not stay with such a summary categorisation but actually exercise ourselves in taking each proposition as seriously as if it had some connexion with fact. It has. Being opposed to fact is one connexion with it.

"However, unlike the practitioners of priestcraft in biblical religion, Wotanists did not and do not pretend to speak for God."
Except that old Odin pretended to BE "god", sort of, in a Marduk kind of way when he came to Uppsala and fooled the previous king, probably with hypnotic tricks. I have ugly fears about what he did to the previous king after getting the throne. That man's name was Gylfe.

Oden's rival about Fricca, Niord, and the latter's son, Odin's stepson, were also worshipped as gods, probably even during their lifetime. Only when Yngwe Frey left the throne to Fiolner, the latter visited Froda son of Hadding in Denmark (in the time of Caesar Augustus, though Saxo Grammaticus poses them maybe three or even five centuries earlier), got drunk, stumbled into a vat of hydromel, or mead as we also call it, and drowned. Fiolner has not come down to Norse tradition as a god, and I think you can see why.
"The Gods speak to every man or woman directly through the evidence of Nature's Laws."
Except of course to poor old Gylfe, to whom they spoke through some Samarian Magician or some Druid or some other magician who has come down to us through tradition as having been called Odin.
"The whole purpose of priestcraft is to allow the priest or the people he represents to control or have power over others."
No. That accusation was however levied against "priestcraft" by one Emperor, Frederick II the Stauffer, who was very eager to control people himself and saw the Catholic Church as represented by the Papacy as an obstacle. So much so that he did not always care to be even orthodox about Catholicism.
"The power of the pulpit and of "Divine Right to Rule" rests on the words "God said," and a claim of superior access to God."
The power of Odinid dynasties (like the Ynglings, whose early carreer I outlined) rested among other things on a claim of descent from Odin. On the other hand it seems a lucky ruler could very easily claim or get granted such. East Anglian Royalty descends from "Odin's" son "Casere" = Julius Caesar or maybe Caesar Augustus or some even later one. In other words, though even their claim to descend in any sense from Caesar is pretty tenuous, that claim by itself was to the Pagans proof of descending from Odin. If that man was a Druid fleeing from Gaul to implant Druidism in a gullible region like Sweden and far from Rome, he might have grinned very heartily of knowing the Caesar he was fleeing from would later count as his son ... if he lived long enough to learn thereof, of course.
"Wotanists denounce the whole philosophy of one man having power of compulsion over others."
Wait, Wilberforce was an Odinist, right? And Queen Saint Bathilda, spouse of Clodevech II was of course not of Catholic religion, was she? I mean, the Catholic Church is famous for canonising Pagan clergy and statesmen, right? Not.

Wilberforce who abolished slavery was himself an Anglican. One of his sons was the Anglican bishop who opposed Huxley about Evolution. The other was a convert to Roman Catholicism. And Queen Saint Bathilda, who had abolished what was left of the Roman slavery of Antiquity, was a Roman Catholic all her life, since the baptismal font up to making it to Heaven. Neither of them was Odinist.

And ask the people loyal to King Alfred or to Brian Borumha whether the Odinist invaders where not somewhat slave hunting as well. While you are at it.

There is one other quote I find interesting in the article. David's famous third reason for not being a Christian:

Third, a Folkish religion must teach fertility, not "sex is sin" and woman-hatred (as Paul in Corinthians 7:1, John in Revelation 14:4 and Jesus in Matthew 5:28). I could continue, but the purpose is to promote my religion, not attack others.

He meant 1 Corinthians 7:1.

Now concerning the thing whereof you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

A preference for the celibate state is in fact not hatred of the one sex and preference for the other. Elsewhere he says "a man who gives his daughter away in marriage does well, but if he does not give his daughter away in marriage he does better" (quoting from memory), meaning here that it is good for a woman not to touch a man. This other quote also clearly states that though marriage is second best, it is nevertheless good. So does first Corinthians 7 in the verses 2 - 5:

[2] But for fear of fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. [3] Let the husband render the debt to his wife, and the wife also in like manner to the husband. [4] The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband. And in like manner the husband also hath not power of his own body, but the wife. [5] Defraud not one another, except, perhaps, by consent, for a time, that you may give yourselves to prayer; and return together again, lest Satan tempt you for your incontinency.

Every man having his own wife refers not to every man without exception, but every man to whom "for fear of fornication" (or, possibly, similar reasons) applies.

Now, choosing celibacy for onself (as St Paul did) and stating that sex is a sin for someone having so chosen is very much not the same thing as stating simply that sex is a sin.

It is sex outside marriage or infertile sex within marriage which is a sin. Sex within marriage and without condoms or even worse things is tainted, it has a connexion to sin and is therefore a kind of impurity in its concrete exercise, but its basic act is considered by Christianity as JUST. Precisely as its purpose. It is thus also a just excuse of moments of what might otehrwise have been sinful lust.

So, yes, Revelation 14:4 exalts the privilege of celibacy and Matthew 5:28 forbids lusting after any woman not one's wife, but also lusting after one's own wife in such a way as to make lust rather then shared parenthood the purpose of the relation.

I cannot see how this attitude can possibly be considered incompatible with a religion that promotes the survival of a folk or a nation. Look at Ireland before recent apostasies (whether on part of clergy who would have been thrown out of orders and of monasteries pretty quickly before Vatican II or on part of laymen apostasising from the faith and promoting it by reference to those clergy), was the people with the monks and nuns really the one that had fewer children per family and higher percentage of bachelors and old maids than their neighbours in England and Wales? Were Italian families in Rome really smaller than German families in Berlin or Swedish families in ... Uppsala ! ... fifty years ago?

But there is an even funnier aspect to this charge.

Whenever "priestcraft" these days is accused of wanting to dominate people, it is usually precisely because "priestcraft" is telling people who are not opting for celibacy to be fruitful and multiply. The standard Pagan reply (perhaps outside Odinism or Wotanism) against Catholicism is requiring priests to stay out of the bedroom. We Catholics actually invite priests to the bedroom of newly wed couples, he has to bless the bed before they go on to use it.

Let us now work backwards a bit:

Second, a Folk preserving religion must follow a God of the whole Folk, not a personal God of personal advantage.

It seems that German Odinists and Modernist Protestants, both with a more Patriotic bent than a bent for Personal Salvation, were eighty years ago or even earlier starting to tell a lot of courples NOT to be fruitful and multiply. And not just doing it with mere verbal advice. Nazi Germany, certain states in US and in Canada - who had started even before Hitler. And Per Albin Hansson, a Social Democratic, democratically elected Prime Minister of Sweden, nominally acting on behalf of a King who no longer exercised political power, did so too. Lapps and Gipsies were sterilised by force well into the 70:s, so no thanks, people who want no personal relation to God but only a national relation to gods are - as was recently proven - a menace to fertility.

The first reason of David is a bit odd as well:

First, prior to biblical religion, the Aryan race was secure in its nations and existence, as well as dominant throughout the known world. Today, after nearly 2,000 years of biblical religion, including inquisitions, the dark ages, the slaughter and murder of millions in the name of Jesus, the Aryan race faces near certain extinction. The effects must now outweigh the "could have been's" and "would have been's.

I am reminded of The City of God. Pagans were accusing Christianity of having caused the downfall of Rome. St Augustine of Hippo gave the appropraiet answers. Now, I do not agree that the Aryan race is a real entity with a real claim on loyalty. Nor did Odinists think of it as such, since the Anglo-Saxon Christians of Alfred were obviously as Aryan (or properly speaking: as little Aryan, as little Gipsy) as the Danes of Guthrum. I do not agree it is facing extinction. I do agree it is facing humiliations as when Aaron Dugmore died for being white and I agree "it" (as in they) should be defended against such. But while I do agree the West used to be more powerful than recent years, I simply observe two things:

  • 1) Christianity is what raised Spain to its power over an Empire without a setting sun. It is true that it crumbled from Napoleonic Wars down to the Spanish American war (but its agressors Napoleonic France and Massonic USA were as Aryan powers as itself), but it is the most powerful example of Western power, surpassing Rome.

    Now exactly as Rome had a past with defending the Hearth and the Capitolium against Brennus and Hannibal (a bit less successful with Brennus, though) before it became a world power across the Mediterranean, Spain has had a similar past defending Christianity against the Moors, from Covadonga to taking of Granada. And it never came anywhere West of the Azores without the attributes of Cross and Banner, Language and Sword.

    Its failure is due to agression from powers "wanting the Pope to dominate less" as they would have stated their purpose. Both Napoleon and McKinley were politically the opposite of say Dollfuss or Eamonn DeValera.

  • 2) Whether for good or for evil or - most likely - for both taking turns, the West did dominate the rest. It is the reversal of this which fills David with dismay.

    the Aryan race was secure in its nations and existence, as well as dominant throughout the known world. Today, after nearly 2,000 years of biblical religion

    Dominant throughout the known world? Actually it was not, unless you like to call both Romans and Persians Aryans, subsuming them under one "racial" loyalty despite widely diverse loyalties in nearly every other respect. But what about the moral imlications of such a supposed domination?

    Wotanists denounce the whole philosophy of one man having power of compulsion over others.

    So one race can dominate another race and no single man or clique of men in the dominating race have power of compulsion over any man in the dominated?

    Or is it supposed to mean that being under power of compulsion by one single man who is on top of that a stranger is not OK, but being under power of compulsion of a clique of strangers is totally OK?

Oh boy ... if the Wotanists are looking for the genial mind that they lack, I feel I might be competent but I am very certain I am not willing. Or rather, I am incompetent for the purpose of serving their cause by being competent in having a mind if not as genial as I like to think at least less disingenious than that expressed by David Lane.

I mean, his third reason very clearly proves that Albigensianism (which taught not only that the marriage was sinful, but that infertile sex was preferrable to those unable to stay perfact celibates) cannot be a Folkish religion. And yet his first reason includes cursing the Inquisition for wiping out Albigensianism from the religious map of Southern France.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Romwald Abbot

Updated the followin day./HGL