Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Dark Old Days of Europe Slowly Return…

I was reading of the substantial return of anti-semitism in France

…and the Welfare State hasn’t even really begun to die yet in Europe. Even in the PIIGS nations, there has been only limited cutbacks, even in Greece. Most of the hard pain is in the private sector, not the public. When the welfare cheques start shrinking fast…

And when modern European Socialism really begins to plummet?

And when most young men are unemployed?

And a good portion of those men are Arabs, who generally have no love for Jews?

And, with the failure of Socialism, everyone starts swinging to Fascism… or at least Authoritarian Democracy?

I see a bad moon rising. Neither an anti-Semitic/anti-capitalist/anti-Christian Europe, nor an anti-Semitic/anti-capitalist/anti-Christian Middle East, can truly threaten the world anymore… but I have no intention of living there.

Somewhere in the late 2100s or the 2200s, Americans – perhaps supported by the Chinese and Africans, and even Latin America – can start sending missionaries and small businessmen over. Folks there may be willing to listen to the voice of peace, prosperity, and liberty at that time.

But forget the worthless armies, the bankers, and the political promises. As any libertarian could tell you, any enduring recovery will have to be built up from the ground – ground covered in rubble in this case, stained with blood, and heavy with pain. Lying elites – including the politically-connected corporations – just hinder progress and recovery, and wastes everyone’s time and money – while enriching themselves, as always.

And I don’t think that any major effort should be made now – rather, it’s time to leave the area, before the grace period ends and the blood begins to flow.


Hugh of St. Victor

A biographical summary of Hugh of St. Victor, cut-n-pasted from Creation Evolution Headlines.

A remarkably clear thinker and learned man, Hugh of St. Victor advocated knowledge and investigation of the natural world. He had remarkable scientific insight for someone living six centuries before the rise of modern science, and he built his philosophy squarely on the foundation of the Bible, especially Genesis.


The pursuit of knowledge as encouraged in the Proverbs of Solomon had been replaced by mindless obedience, asceticism and reliance on authority. The influx of Greek manuscripts (especially Aristotle) via the Arabs, and their advances in mathematics and medicine, seemed to be a wake up call to medieval scholars. […] While impressed with Aristotle’s system, had they embraced it uncritically, it would have proved a dead end – and it nearly was, taking centuries to dethrone Aristotle as the default expert on everything. Those who knew the Bible, and trusted its authority, were the ones who saved science from this fate*. […]

Dan Graves in Scientists of Faith says, “His assumption was simple: because the Bible is God’s reliable word, Christians need not fear scientific inquiry. All truth, when fully understood, will support all other truth. But to make sense of the world’s obscurities, we must start from that which is plain” (Graves, p. 18, emphasis added). “All nature expresses God,” Hugh said, and “Nature is a book written by the hand of God.” Such statements would be common later, but they reveal a profound difference in world view from the animist or pantheist: nature is a thing, an object other than God. As a material system made by a transcendent Creator, it can and should be studied as a means to gain wisdom. They also reveal a profound difference from the Greeks and Arabs whose theologies diminished the role of God as Lawgiver and sustainer of the world. Greek gods were as mischievous as humans; why trust them? The Allah of the Muslims was sovereign to the point of capriciousness; his actions were unpredictable. Arabs had their Koran, but this collection of rambling, unclassified oracles of dubious origin (written down long after Mohammed had died), rarely intersected with verifiable natural phenomena or historical events. The Koran and the Bible are poles apart. The Bible was written by 40 authors over many centuries, and contains thousands of names of people and places and events that can be cross-checked against other sources. Only in the Bible is there the balance of law and grace, the consistent standard of righteousness, the appeal to think and reason, the frequent exaltation of creation as the work of an omniscient God, and the consistent linear timeline from creation to consummation. No other sacred book in the world compares with it. This was the rock on which Hugh of St. Victor and his successors started building their science. It worked. The storms came, and the winds blew, but the structure stands. It is not the structure alone, but the rock-solid foundation, that keeps it upright.


He believed in interpreting the Scriptures literally: not slavishly, but wherever the context permitted it. “Biblical literalism” is often a term of derision today, the assumed antithesis of scientific thinking, but Hugh’s hermeneutic (method of interpreting Scripture) was actually a stimulus for science. Dan Graves explains his reasoning:

In order to fully understand its literal meaning, one must study the sciences that shed light on such things. Whether one wishes to reconstruct the design of Noah’s ark, date Easter, calculate chronologies, or understand Biblical weights and measures, sciences are needed. Curiosity then is a natural expression of reason, revealing the image of God that the Creator breathed into humanity at its creation.

Investigating the natural world and making discoveries, therefore, are to be thought of as worthy – even essential – ambitions. Hugh also saw work and technology as virtuous, based on Paul’s admonitions (e.g., Ephesians 4:28), contrary to Greek scholars who considered manual labor beneath their dignity. He himself worked with mirrors, geometry, and classification of the sciences. One of his best-known works is the Didascalicon or teacher’s manual. It discusses what is to be taught, and why. In this “remarkably comprehensive early encyclopedia” (according to Encyclopedia Britannica), Hugh acknowledged Greek science but saw the Bible as superior. He specifically denounced the logical errors of Epicurus and other classical philosophers who relied on reason alone. Instead, Hugh advocated mathematics for logical validity and precision.

Hugh of St. Victor held to a literal six-day interpretation of the Creation account in Genesis and viewed it as an archetype of the divine wisdom to which man can aspire. […] [The] allegorical meaning extends from, but does not replace, the literal meaning and historical actuality of the Creation account.

Another original contribution by Hugh of St. Victor that fostered the development of science was the idea that learning has redemptive value. […]

In these concepts, we see liberation of the Christian life from asceticism and authoritarianism – two corruptions of New Testament teaching that distorted theology after Constantine.  Hugh of St. Victor encouraged his students to search for truth about the world.  He said, “the intention of all human actions is resolved in a common objective: either to restore in us the likeness of the divine image or to take thought for the necessity of this life, which, the more easily it can suffer harm from those things which work to its disadvantage, the more does it require to be cherished and conserved” (p. 54).  He went on to explain how science breeds both understanding and remedy for harms, that these are wise and just, and thereby noble outworkings of the divine image.  Hugh commended logic and disciplined thinking.  He repudiated magic (including fortunetelling, divination and astrology) as “the mistress of every form of iniquity and malice, lying about the truth…”  This does not sound like the Dark Ages, does it?  The Didascalicon is obsessed with classifying things and pursuing knowledge, wisdom and virtue.  Though antiquated in many respects, it contains core concepts that are like fertilizer and rain for deserts of authority and superstition.  It helped cultivate a soil in which the fruitful vine of science could grow.

One of his best-known quotations is: “Learn everything; you will see afterwards that nothing is superfluous.  A skimpy knowledge is not a pleasing thing” (p. 137).  It must be recognized that he was speaking here of Bible study; he was arguing that one should not skip over the historical narratives: “Some things are to be known for their own sakes,” he explained, like the ethical principles of the New Testament, but other passages, like the detailed genealogies of I Chronicles, “although for their own sakes they do not seem worthy of our labor, nevertheless, because without them the former class of things cannot be known with complete clarity, must by no means be carelessly skipped.”  Then he stated the “Learn everything” line.  While it would be invalid to lift his proverb out of context, we do see Hugh’s passion for knowledge and clarity of thinking, a passion that extended to all scholarly endeavor.  What a contrast to the surrounding civilizations!

I like the man. It is good for me – and other Christians – to remember Hugh of St. Victor, and use that memory to press on!

Return of the Plagues

I recently read about about a very unpleasant medical surprise, as bacteria and viruses continue their – increasingly victorious – war against our antibiotics and vaccines.

The more you use an antibiotic, the more you expose a bacteria to an antibiotic, the greater the likelihood that resistance to that antibiotic is going to develop. So the more antibiotics we put into people, we put into the environment, we put into livestock, the more opportunities we create for these bacteria to become resistant. …We also know that we’ve greatly overused antibiotics and in overusing these antibiotics, we have set ourselves up for the scenario that we find ourselves in now, where we’re running out of antibiotics.

We are quickly running out of therapies to treat some of these infections that previously had been eminently treatable. There are bacteria that we encounter, particularly in health-care settings, that are resistant to nearly all — or, in some cases, all — the antibiotics that we have available to us, and we are thus entering an era that people have talked about for a long time.

For a long time, there have been newspaper stories and covers of magazines that talked about “The end of antibiotics, question mark?” Well, now I would say you can change the title to “The end of antibiotics, period.”

We’re here. We’re in the post-antibiotic era. There are patients for whom we have no therapy, and we are literally in a position of having a patient in a bed who has an infection, something that five years ago even we could have treated, but now we can’t…

This is grim news.

Now, it’s not the end of the world: far from it. Worse case, we’ll be eventually driven back in the pre-antibiotic era of 1900, and there were certainly advances and progress back then. We’ll still get that 3D printing, that cheap energy, and greater and greater technological advances. And the advances in sanitation that really extended our lives in the 1700-1900 period are still good: perhaps, even more important than ever.

But THE gift of the modern era – children bury their parents, and NOT the other way around – is likely to slip a fair bit. We may well start to lose some of our great lifespan increases, as well: Russian men lost quite a bit of years to their lives in the post-Soviet era, and our lifespan increases may also stagnate, and fall.

On the other hand, those technological advances are going to keep on coming: and that includes biotech. And right now, antibiotics and vaccines are not very profitable: but that will certainly change, as demand for effective antibiotics increase.

I think that we’ll get past this: but maybe not in my lifetime. Maybe 2050 or so.

Why No One Actually Wants to Live Forever

Or at least, if “forever” is like retirement, or a passive heaven.

Gemma Malley argues in Slate that nobody really want to live forever, as it would be “really, really dull”:

My first assignment was to write an article on preretirement training. Training, as in a two-day course offered to people who were approaching retirement. I remember shaking my head in disbelief—people really needed to learn how to do nothing? How to hang out and chill? Retirement was just one long holiday, right? How hard could it be?

Well, actually, pretty hard, it turned out. Depression runs high among retirees, and not just because of reduced income—in fact, the baby boomers who have recently retired are living a life of relative luxury compared with those of us still a few decades away. No, the reason they get depressed is because when you’re retired, it is easy to feel like you have nothing to live for anymore, no purpose, nothing to get up for, no reason to even get dressed.

In a word, they are bored.

This retirement of enforced passivity, is one of the dreams of sinful men – “eternal freedom, no work, no law, no responsibilities, and eternal ease” – but has nothing to do with the eternal state of Christians. “Love and Work, Joy and Praise” is far closer to the New Heavens and the New Earth. Even this very website is a testimony that God has things for us to do in eternity – and I think this includes the stars.

Even on this Earth, if I get a 150+ year lifespan, I have no intention of spending 90 years in retirement. Like the solid majority of those who follow Christ, I expect to work until I die.

Furiko (Pendulum)

I wish Christians would make movies like this…

…and I wish that Christians would care more, to insure that old loving couples like this would enter the Kingdom.

Sadly, just “being good” or “living a good life” isn’t enough to please God. Christ is the key.

This has advantages: even distasteful people like me can enter Heaven, if I open my heart, life, and soul to Christ and His Holy Spirit. I don’t need to be perfect, but I can have the Perfect Man stand in for me, in the piercing eyes of God.

This also has a lesser, but fundamentally real, downside: we can’t make our own way to Heaven. We can’t make our own lives worthwhile. We can’t do it alone. And other sinners – our family, our nation, our race – can’t help us where it really, really matters.

Poor Black in American have it bad. Their families are busted up; their men don’t stand with their family; far too many are thugs; and so much black culture has turned to degrading filth. All of this displeases God, and they suffer under His wrath.

(Don’t waste my time talking about racism. Black Americans suffered far more racism in 1940 – even openly murderous racism – but they had far more hope then, and they were definitely on the way up. They had real families, and truly had each other when things were tough. Now, they fear each other far more than they fear whites (and rightly so); so many are illiterate, without any hope in a high-tech economy; so many chase a life of flash and failure, joining the gangs and obedient to the songs of death.)

Poor Black Americans have it tough… but they let their children live, and many still have some respect for God. A small blessing: but that is why they will most likely exist in 3000, when the Japanese people & culture are gone – a culture which is in many ways far more inspiring, successful, and self-disciplined than Black America.

God sees more deeply than I do, and catches what I miss.

He is a mysterious God.

Meditation: Deuteronomy 7:7-10; but also Deuteronomy 8:17-20. You can’t get the blessing without being subject to the curse, if you disobey: and indeed, this day we are cursed for our wilful disobedience…

…and having a Black President is no substitute for strong families, strong communities, honest and honourable work, and a solid future.

Dominionism, Secessionism, and Fascism

This article is just a set of thoughts sparked by three articles:

Decentralization has been going forward since at least the breakup of the European empires in the middle of the 20th century. The United Nations and the European Union are simply failures, while the ongoing bust-up of Empire continues relentlessly, from South Sudan to Afghanistan and Syria.

It is unlikely that the United States will disintegrate in violence, even after the Great Default. Instead of some blood-soaked revolution – leading directly to an even worse tyranny – the bankrupted State is likely to just wither away, much like the Post Office is doing right now.

And for much the same reasons: technology is increasingly passing it by, and it continues to exist only due to old habits and obsolete laws. When the funding dries up, it will simply blow away.

Now, some fools will say anything to hold on to power. In extremis, they will even spout words about how much they love God, in the style of the fascists described by Bojidar Marinov. Naturally, these losers will collapse like all the other tyrannies, being certain to leave a more anti-Christian culture behind. Marinov does a good job describing the failure of Roman Catholic fascism in Spain: I have a sneaking suspicion that much the same awaits the Arab world, even in this century, as more woman learn to read, Saudi wealth continues to dwindle, and technological power continues to seep away from the central authorities.

“But… but… we did it all for God!” sayth the cross-waving fascist.

“Don’t insult my intelligence”, responds the Christian who obeys God, and not some State which talks a lot about God. “Didn’t God spell out his hatred of standing armies? Didn’t He explicitly restrict taxes to below 10%, total? Didn’t He make us 613 laws – no more, no less – and 2/3rds of these laws were completely fufilled by 70 AD, and so are no longer a matter of human obedience today? Isn’t it blasphemous to claim that any man can make any additional laws, any additional extensions for taxation and regulation and controls?”

The Christian that obeys God continues,

“Only God shall determine how He should be worshiped: and the worship of fascists is as despised by Him as the strange fire that Nadab and Abihu offered, or the rejected wages of a prostitute. And we all know who power-hungry politicians resemble most, now don’t we?”

What we need are churches who stand for freedom, much like the Christian churches in South Korea did during the dictatorship years. The New Order is so weak and decrepit, that there is no reasonable likelihood that they will have to pay the ultimate price, like the church in North Korea….

(And yet see this: After 60+ years of vicious brutality and an unleashed State – “the only true source of law and justice”, as any modern legal expert would insist – the Church perseveres.)

Stupid and annoying harassment is the highest price for most Westerners who refuse to grovel to the State. And in many instances, not even that: unlike North Korea, the totalitarian bureaucrats here dread bad publicity. Moreover, outside of academia, who really believes in the State as the Source of Salvation? Anybody?

Nobody does. It exists only as a way to get goodies from people you don’t like, and when that fails (with the general failure of the economy), it will blow away, like the dead idol it is.

This blog is titled “Across the Stars”. One thing you can be sure of is that the stars do not belong to tyrannies, baptized with pretty religious words or otherwise. Instead, it belongs to the free, self-governed man, male and female alike.

That’s just the way God likes it.

Tom Woods iTunes Podcast

I’m of the Calvinist persuasion, but when it comes to freedom and liberty, I’m willing and able to give a platform to folks outside of the tribe. It’s just too important to keep bottled up – the God of the Future (and of the Stars!) demands that the truth shine to all!

So, I’ll give a little advert here for Tom Woods, libertarian Catholic. You can check out his articles here, but I’m mainly interested in plugging his iTunes station here!