Aug 25, 2021Liked by Antonio García Martínez

Really appreciate you continuing to mine this vein. I thought about subscribing after "The Holy Church of Christ Without Christ", and decided to take the plunge after seeing your interview with Holland. Your thoughts on the deeply Christian nature of the secular West comport with my intuitions, but they're substantially deeper and better informed. I feel like I'm learning, reading you, which is always fun.

Anyway, thanks for being one of a relatively few authors to seriously engage with religion, both in societal as well as personal terms. (I missed the post asking for reader preferences, but if you're still taking requests, reflections on your conversion continue to be a source of interest.) You're doing great work in what feels like an underpopulated space; even just surfacing Holland as someone to read was a service. Thanks again!

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Aug 24, 2021Liked by Antonio García Martínez

Wow. What an essay. Blew my mind! Paid $50 just so I could write that.

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I’ve seen a number of people now coming at the current situation with this framework and it makes a lot of sense. You’ve got some really good bits in here that make it refreshing. Such a great topic to explore. For anybody reading this who likes this line of thinking, I suggest Joshua Mitchell’s American Awakening that he put out in 2020.

He frames the situation we all see up in a similar way, and expands on the idea of the Scapegoat. He’s a big Tocqueville guy at Georgetown and I have to say reading that book felt like somebody ran a grounding wire through me. Made loads of sense more than just about anything else I had read, at a root level. Like, really exciting shit (If you’re into that. If not, hey whatever).

I think you should continue to pull on these threads here as well, as your writing engages and entertains and you can expand on this dissertation in a way that will reach people in a cosmopolitan way (and therefore go further).

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Excellent essay, Antonio, keep this superlative writing coming

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The art of these essays.... wow. An interesting take, and can't deny the parallels. For me, it has been really something to see how the woke crowds in the past year (since George Floyd) have taken on all the emotional and almost liturgical trappings of Evangelical Christian churches, from the arm raising to the fainting to the choruses, etc. All without the benefit of the same Creator which drives the latter's worship. To me this says that our human nature has a need to connect with a higher power, and by connecting, lose oneself in it, and by so doing, worship it. We need to get outside ourselves, and the post-liberal woke crowds have now created for themselves a deity to serve.

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"For everyone privately (or not so privately) thinking I haven’t moved left, I’ve stood still and somehow I’m on the right now, you are correct."

Not a liberal, but I feel this, it's like the ground shifted under my feet and I'm categorized as something else. My views haven't changed much over the last ~10 years, but depending on who you ask today, I'm either a communist or a MAGA-wearing nationalist.

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I disagree that Christians and wokesters have the same interpretation but different casting. It's too vague of an interpretation to say that all Christians must elevate victims up in status.

Many Christians did not elevate people based on their victimhood. What of American fundamentalists that believe, like the Old Testament, it's their duty to kill sinners or to enslave? Or Charlemagne who converted people by the sword?

Christians after the reform can have a different interpretation of justice beyond victimhood. George Floyd was not a good person, having been arrested for pointing a gun at a pregnant woman's belly, and there should not be statues memorializing him. If there's anything symbolic to him, it's that he died saying "I can't breathe," and people were stressed by shutdowns and stupid masks enough to riot.

Beyond its martyr cult, what ought to survive Christianity was its preservation of Logos and a belief in a rational universe. If you can admit Plato's influence on the New Testament, on Thomas Aquinas, and so forth, you would amend to your definition of Christian morality the idea of an individual's pursuit of justice. Americans should refuse the cast system. In India, there are religious sects that wear masks when they walk around so that they do not accidentally breathe in bugs, killing the helpess lifeforms.

We have become a nation of sycophants, less principled and in its mediocrity more unsuspecting of real evil.

Still, that was a fascinating interview a few days ago. Keep up the good work and I hope to see works like these in the future.

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I quote something found on Takimag: “they remind me of some bright sparks who went out with the bloody French Revolution, who wanted to found a new religion. The very cynical and mocking Talleyrand knew how to stop them: ‘For my part I have only one observation to make. Jesus Christ, to found his religion, was crucified and resurrected. You should have tried something similar.'”

I'll await George Floyd's resurrection before bending the knee to him.

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Debes seguir con tus temas de la historia, la religion, y tambien la sociedad. Solo tecnologia cansa.

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Thanks, AGM. Great discussion. I've held this chat in my mind after listening to the interview via text-to-speech the day after The Pull Request notified me of its existence. Your questions were quite thoughtful and consistent with my curiosities.

Previously, your public discussion of conversion to Judaism resonated with me. Raised RC, I deviated from the faith while remaining confident of the necessity to understand its existence as a means to begin comprehending modernity.

Since reading Dominion shortly after its publication in '19 I think of it often; usually as a lense with which to view the virtual reality in which American Homo Sapiens experience occurs.

I view Christianity's likely Jewish Mystery Cult origin - and thus its link to Judaism's accumulated wisdom - as an essential truth. I'm rarely able to openly discuss this due to my perceived lack of fellow minds willing to consider the validity of this amateur theologian's opinion.

If they're noticed at all, the waves my ideas generate in the fishbowls of the incurious within the context of their attempt to lead a personally meaningful life are perceived as little more than ripples unable to breach their walls self-deception.

Self-deception, among man's most reliable strengths, is also among the greatest tools in any man's workbench and essential to man's greatest achievement, civilized cooperation.

With the leadership of self-deception we're able to convince ourselves and fellow Homo Sapiens of the ridiculous. Our capabilities not limited to deception, beyond those lucky few able to remain ignorant of anything outside themself, include an uncanny ability to hold the wool firmly over our own eyes as a means with which to avoid uncomfortable thoughts including:

>The human condition is terminal.

>If not entirely pointless, existence is, at most, utterly insignificant.

>Either nothing happens for any reason or, if you prefer, outside of a predetermined future over which we exert no *libertarian* control.

These are dangerous ideas. As potentially dangerous today as the words and actions attributed to, whether factually spoken or recorded as having been said mythically, the Christian Savior over two millennia ago.

I reached my understanding of Christianity while enduring mostly subconcious survivors' guilt daily following a near fatal event which made me question,

"Why me?

Why did I survive?

Was I spared?

If so, by whom or what; and why?

And how was no one else's physical well-being also immediately effected by this event?"

In my self-directed attempt to determine whether these questions are answerable, I've been attempting since '05 to holistically define the water in which we swim.

Ehrman's lectures and writing helped me begin understanding how the sea was filled.

Holland's framing of the "individual soul" - both as a Christian creation and the foundation upon which the Western world exists - allowed me to appreciate its depth.

And carrier's hypothesis of Judaism's separation following its collision with Zoroastrianism into Rabbinic Judaism, Christianity, and what eventually became Islam assists my appreciation for the variations in the sea's temperature.

The greatest gift this knowledge has bestowed upon me is a certain quiet confidence in my strategy to be kind, love, and ask "why" less, if at all.

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'“Men of Israel, take care what you are about to do with these men. For before these days Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. After him Judas the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and drew away some of the people after him. He too perished, and all who followed him were scattered. So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!”' - Acts 5:35-39

The casting is indeed of vital importance. Is Jesus like the other political rebellious leaders like the others identified in Acts or is his claim of being God and being raised from the dead credible? If Jesus claim to divinity is true, his timescale of producing lasting political regime change is on the Last Day when, as stated in the Nicene creed, "[Jesus] will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead. His kingdom will never end." I think those Christians on the right are exploring the implications of that eternal claim in the present have differing conclusions: some are resist the tide to preserve the republic (French, the integralists in First Things) while others aim for higher ground (Dreher). They are serious people who recognize that preservation of the faith still requires sacrifices in some fashion in the present even if the ultimate goal of having a lasting kingdom has been achieved by the work of Christ.

However where I think your post hits home is for the "unserious" Christians who have used the political freedom bought by previous generations has been to seek the same amusements and comforts offered by the American merchants instead of being a "living sacrifice" to bear the gospel to the nations like Paul. Why rest your hope on a future kingdom when you can have it now in the American empire which is redeemed by the new creeds on rainbow lawn signs or on red-white-and-blue bumper stickers? Only if you believe that Jesus the man wasn't truly God.

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