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#religion
headspace-hotel · 8 hours ago
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Last night I finally found some poems that save my life a little bit
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They were written by the Brazilian catholic archbishop Hélder Câmara, and very religious and spiritual in a beautiful way.
I think some people's religion calls them to live in a state of compassion and wonder that I find to be very profound
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I don't know what I think about faith anymore but I think this guy understood something.
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"Do not condemn us to be alone when together. Allow us to be together when alone."
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"By all means let an observant Jewish adult have his raw-cut penis placed in the mouth of a rabbi. (That would be legal, at least in New York.)
By all means let grown women who distrust their clitoris or their labia have them sawn away by some other wretched adult female.
By all means let Abraham offer to commit suicide to prove his devotion to the Lord or his belief in the voices he was hearing in his head.
By all means let devout parents deny themselves the succor of medicine when in acute pain and distress.
By all means - for all I care - let a priest sworn to celibacy be a promiscuous homosexual.
By all means let a congregation that believes in whipping out the devil choose a new grown-up sinner each week and lash him until he or she bleeds.
By all means let anyone who believes in creationism instruct his fellows during lunch breaks.
But the conscription of the unprotected child for these purposes is something that even the most dedicated secularist can safely describe as a sin."
-- Christopher Hitchens
Religion is child abuse.
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northern-punk-lad · 6 hours ago
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I saw a video on tiktok and I agree 100% I can’t download it so I’ll put what they said
“Pushing your religion onto others is rude also applies to atheists”
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blackswaneuroparedux · 11 hours ago
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T.S. Eliot and G.K. Chesterton: the best of frenemies
One of the more interesting discoveries in appreciating conservative thinkers and literary figures who have contributed so much to the cultural history is how little regard they had for each other. Take the example of G.K. Chesterton and T.S. Eliot, two titans of faith and literature in the 20th Century.
Nothing gets an Oxbridge theologian don stoked, nestling his glass of port in the SCR after a High table dinner, than to raise the question of whether Chesterton and Eliot should be considered friends or enemies. To many observers question is not only interesting but evidently contentious.
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At first sight, G.K. Chesterton and T.S. Eliot seem to represent two polar opposites, regarding both their personalities and their literary work. This is probably why their names seldom come up together in discussions of cultural history. However, at a closer inspection one cannot fail to notice that what they had in common was almost as significant as the things that made them so different.
Both were Christian converts, both became major figures in British literature, and above all both were deeply concerned with the relationship between faith and culture and with the place of Christians in a secular society. It is on this ground that a dialogue between them seems very interesting and even necessary. In particular, both Chesterton and Eliot had a deep sense of how Christian tradition is a living process, not a dead doctrine but the collective memory of a living organism that traverses the vicissitudes of history "forever building, and always decaying, and always being restored." This verse comes from Eliot's "Choruses from 'The Rock’.
The same Cambridge theologian friend, lamenting to me after a kind invitation to dine on High Table, that we are children of modernity clinging to our new gods. We are men and women suddenly awake from a long sleep. We are citizens of a new kingdom where science answers most questions and dismisses as insignificant those to which it has no response.
Chesterton and Eliot speak to this world, too, because they once belonged to it themselves – Chesterton as a vague Unitarian who found his way to orthodox Christianity and, eventually, the Roman Catholic Church; Eliot as an extreme Unitarian who discovered, once he abandoned New England for Old England, the Book of Common Prayer and High Anglicanism and Tory politics and the mysterious pleasures of the monarchy. Their answer to modernity seemed simply to be anti-modernity: a kind of fustian traditionalism in Eliot’s case, a swaggering, slightly boozy Catholicism in Chesterton’s. In fact, the two men were deeper – much deeper – thinkers than that caricature allows. They knew the loneliness, the misery, the fear, of a world without belief. They knew, from the inside, the hollow answers of a hollow time. Here is Chesterton: “The modern habit of saying, “Everyman has a different philosophy; this is my philosophy and it suits me”: the habit of saying this is mere weak-mindedness. A cosmic philosophy is not constructed to fit a man; a cosmic philosophy is constructed to fit a cosmos.”
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Eliot agreed. “Man is man,” he said, “because he can recognise supernatural realities, not because he can invent them.” “Take away the supernatural,” Chesterton said, “and what remains is the unnatural... The man who cannot lift his eyes to the sky, or bend his knee to the earth, is crippled and caught in a network of negations.... It is the whole aim of religion, of imagination, of poetry and the arts, to awaken that sense of something saved from nothing.”
Eliot was moved by a similar sense, speaking as he did of “the vague jargon of our time, when we have a vocabulary for everything and exact ideas about nothing.” Here were two men with anything but vague answers to the intellectual challenges of their day.
And yet, in some ways, they make an unlikely pair. However critical of the modern age, however insistent on the claims of tradition – not because it was old but because it was true - one might almost think that these two men did not much like each other; certainly that the Anglophile American did not much care for the America-admiring Englishman. To the extent that the early Eliot spoke of Chesterton at all, it was condescendingly. “Mr. Chesterton and Mr. Belloc sing the same tune together,” he wrote in The Criterion in 1927. “I cannot admit that either of these writers writes well. The former’s Outline of Sanity is the work of a brilliant but sporadic essay writer, scoring points at the cost of lucidity and cumulative effect. Mr. Chesterton is an inheritor of the older generation of Victorian prophets, with a touch, in fact rather too many touches, of Arnold’s irony. In essays such as Orthodoxy, Heretics, or The Defendant, his style is admirable for his purpose; he often has unique perceptions; but his mind is not equipped for sustained argument.” This is, of course, the Eliot style: authoritative, apodictic, a little too declarative for its own good.
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Eliot was a brilliant maker of aphorisms and Chesterton was on the receiving end of some of them. “Mr. Chesterton’s brain swarms with ideas,” he said. “I see no evidence that it thinks.” It is a good line and indeed it’s the only one I knew when I had first thought of Chesterton and TS Eliot as unlikely bedfellows. That is until you realise that Eliot thought it so good that he used it of others, writing of Henry James, for example, that “he has a mind so fine no idea can violate it.” You see a phrase-maker at work, a man in love with the cleverness of the statement more than its truth. So, Chestertonians need not be too offended. Withholding or dispensing praise like a provincial schoolmaster, Eliot’s epigrams were a way of keeping genius at bay. Condemning Chesterton for being unsystematic is like criticising Saint Paul for not keeping his travel receipts.
Eliot’s evidently famous dismissive judgment that “Chesterton’s brain swarms with ideas [with] no evidence that it thinks.” was written in 1918, very early in Eliot’s literary career, and should not be seen as Eliot’s final and definitive judgment on Chesterton. There is no doubt, however, that Eliot was initially very antagonistic towards Chesterton, comparing him unfavourably with the new generation of modernist writers, such as Ezra Pound, James Joyce and Percy Wyndham Lewis: “I have seen the forces of death with Mr Chesterton at their head upon a white horse. Mr Pound, Mr Joyce, and Mr Lewis write living English; one does not realise the awfulness of death until one meets with the living language.” Considering the innovative approach of Pound, Joyce, Wyndham Lewis and of course Eliot himself, it is no surprise that the somewhat archaic literary form chosen by Chesterton for The Ballad of the White Horse should serve as an affront to Eliot’s modernist sensibilities.
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For his part, Chesterton held the modernists like T.S. Eliot in disdain. In 1923 he countered Eliot’s rejection of regular rhythm and rhyme with a spirited defence of traditional poetic form: “Song is not only a recurrence, it is a return…It is in this deeper significance of return that we must seek for the peculiar power in the recurrence we call rhyme.” It was, however, not only the modernists’ abandonment of traditional form which irritated Chesterton but also their apparent jaundiced cynicism and the evident absence of the spirited joie de vivre which Chesterton saw as the necessary mark of humanity’s humility in the presence of the goodness and wonder of Creation. He was also affronted by Eliot’s employment of unconventional imagery, such as the description of evening, in the opening lines of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” as being “spread out across the sky / Like a patient etherised upon a table.” In his poem, “To a Modern Poet,” Chesterton satirised these lines of Eliot and condemned what he perceived as the perversity of Eliot’s pessimism:
Now you mention it,            Of course, the sky                        is like a large mouth                                    shown to a dentist, and I never noticed            a little thing                        like that. But I can’t help wishing            You got more fun out of it;            you seem to have taken                        quite a dislike                                    to things They seem to make you jump And double up unexpectedly— And when you write            like other poets,                        on subjects not entirely novel,      such as, for instance,            the Sea, it is mostly about            Sea-sickness. As you say— It is the New Movement,            The Emetic Ecstasy.
Chesterton was also provoked by what he perceived as the pessimism of the concluding lines of Eliot’s poem, “The Hollow Men,” which had proclaimed that the world would end “not with a bang but a whimper.” In a riposte “to young pessimists,” written in 1927, the same year in which the scathing attack “To a Modern Poet” was published in his Collected Poetry, Chesterton clearly had Eliot’s poem in mind:
Some sneer; some snigger; some simper; In the youth where we laughed and sang. And they may end with a whimper But we will end with a bang.
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In the same year, Eliot was equally scathing of Chesterton in a review of the latter’s book on Robert Louis Stevenson, describing Chesterton’s style as “exasperating to the last point of endurance.” Eliot ended his review with the wry observation that Stevenson was an author well enough established to survive Chesterton’s approval. Yet one suspects that Eliot’s plaintive gibes had less to do with Chesterton’s approval of Stevenson as it had to do with his disapproval of Eliot and the new generation of young poets. “We are not all so completely immersed in ignorance, prejudice and heresy as Mr. Chesterton assumes,” Eliot complained. “He seems always to assume that what his reader previously believed is exactly the opposite of what Mr. Chesterton knows to be true.”
In truth, Eliot had a point. The pessimism of “The Hollow Men” was not that dissimilar to Chesterton’s own negative critique of modernity. Both men perceived the sickness in the waste land of modernity, their different approaches to prosody notwithstanding, and both came to understand that Catholic Christianity was the answer to modernity’s malaise. As the brilliance of “The Waste Land” illustrates, Eliot was not “so completely immersed in ignorance, prejudice and heresy” as Chesterton assumed, nor was Chesterton correct in his evident assumption that Eliot “believed…exactly the opposite” of what Chesterton knew to be true.
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In 1929, following his much-publicised conversion to Christianity, Eliot wrote to Chesterton in a spirit of reconciliation: “I should like extremely to come to see you one day…May I mention that I have much sympathy with your political and social views, as well as (with obvious reservations) your religious views?” The “obvious reservations” were a reference to the fact that Chesterton had converted to Roman Catholicism whereas Eliot had become an anglo-Catholic, i.e. a member of the “higher” regions of the Church of England. In the same letter, Eliot had added that Chesterton’s study of Charles Dickens “was always a delight to me.”
By 1935, Eliot’s tone, when mentioning Chesterton, was much more cordial. Referring to “such delightful fiction as Mr Chesterton’s Man Who was Thursday or Father Brown,” Eliot cautioned that the inclusion of religious apologetics or “Propaganda”, such as that introduced by Chesterton into his fiction, was not normally advisable. Insisting that nobody “admires and enjoys” Chesterton’s fiction “more than I do,” he added that few could succeed as Chesterton does: “I would only remark that when the same effect is aimed at by zealous persons of less talent than Mr. Chesterton the effect is negative.”
As a cordial friendship developed between the erstwhile enemies, Chesterton became a valued contributor to the Criterion, the quarterly review which Eliot edited, and shortly before his death Chesterton had “greatly wished” to see Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral when it was performed in Notting Hill. Thus it was that two of the most important figures in the Christian Cultural Revival had moved from enmity to friendship, united in a shared love for civilisation which Eliot would encapsulate in Notes towards the Definition of Culture in his “appeal…to the men of letters of Europe, who have a special responsibility for the preservation and transmission of our common culture:”
Eliot came to appreciate Chesterton more and more as he grew older, eventually writing a warm and sympathetic obituary of him in The Tablet which seems to atone for his earlier acerbities: To judge Chesterton on his contributions to literature...would be to apply the wrong standards of measurements. It is in other matters that he was importantly and consistently on the side of the angels. Even if Chesterton’s social and economic ideas appear to be totally without effect, even if they should be demonstrated to be wrong...they were the ideas for his time that were fundamentally Christian and Catholic. He did more, I think, than any man of his time...to maintain the existence of the important minority in the modern world.
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That does scant justice, I think, to Chesterton’s literary gifts but it acknowledges, at least, the sheer power and necessity of his orthodox Christianity in a world otherwise inhospitable to it. “What matters here,” Eliot wrote in his own journal, The Criterion, “is his lonely moral battle against his age, his courage, and his bold combination of genuine conservatism, genuine liberalism, and genuine radicalism.” That is not a bad description, at least as far as conservatism and radicalism go, of Eliot himself. In fact, in some ways, it is a rather better description of Eliot than Chesterton. It was Eliot who enjoyed being the lonely seer, the voice crying in the wilderness, the weary critic of an itself weary modernity. Chesterton, by contrast, was hardly lonely at all.
Still, it was good that Eliot modified his earlier criticism. And Chesterton, for his part, returned the compliment. In 1935, the year before his death, he dedicated The Well and The Shallows to Eliot, penning a graceful introduction in which he apologized for a minor confusion he made between Eliot and another critic. “It would be adding impudence to injury to dedicate a book to an author merely on the ground of having misquoted him; but I should be proud to dedicate this book to T.S. Eliot and the return of true logic and a luminous tradition to the world.” That is handsome and, I think, accurate.
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Eliot was the spokesman, in his time, of a luminous tradition. And so, in a different manner, was Chesterton. Russell Kirk put it well a few years ago. “They stood up manfully, if scarcely shoulder to shoulder, for revealed truth, old loyalties, and the moral imagination. Defying the spirit of their age, these two offer us that communication of the dead, tongued with fire, which exceeds the language of the living.” In that sense, they were the most important sacramental writers of their age, proposing that eternal realities are manifested in earthly settings and that (as Hopkins put it more poetically) “the world is charged with the grandeur of God.”
For all their differences of style and temperament, they shared much in common in the substance of preserving the traditions and heritage of western civilisation. They saw themselves and tried to convince their fellow men and women that we were all common trustees - the legacy of Athens and Jerusalem - of a 2000 year old European culture and society. In a world which has seen such material devastation as ours, these spiritual possessions are also in imminent peril. For Eliot, and for Chesterton, the inheritance of western civilisation, or Christendom, was not merely something old-fashioned that could be shrugged off and discarded in favour of new fads. It was a sacred tradition, the custodian of timeless verities that spoke with inexorable force and authority to each new and passing generation. To our generation.
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galiifreyrose · 20 hours ago
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1,231 days living here. 5 remain. On a particularly drab afternoon driving from one end of the city to the other, the traffic jam struck me in a way it never quite has, and this poured out.
We were not made to worship concrete gods.
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onyxheartbeat · 20 hours ago
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“Believers would say my suffering was a purification of heart; a way to be humbled. Even the faithless would say I shouldn’t worry; that love will find me again someday. I realized I put all my faith in one true love, and even in the pain it has brought me, I remain on my knees, praying for its mercy.”
— OnyxHeart
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gayarsonist · 11 days ago
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the silt verses + religious horror that really stuck with me
(Steve Shell, The Silt Verses End of Season Q&A // The Silt Verses Chapter VI: It Winds, It Worms, It Wends // End of Season Q&A // The Silt Verses Chapter III: Then I'll Speak of Champions)
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fearbehere · 27 days ago
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romantic devotion
take me to church, hozier / sappho / iris, the goo goo dolls / creation, michelangelo / church, fall out boy / love letter to fanny brawne, john keats / the pietà, michelangelo / a litany in which certain things are crossed out, richard siken
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prokopetz · 22 days ago
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A fun guessing game: is this post about the short-lived monotheistic heresy of Eighteenth Dynasty Egypt, or is it about Yu-Gi-Oh?
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hell-propaganda · 14 days ago
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God thinks he can defeat me with simply mental illness and the society I exist in alone. Proof of his hubris.
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homosandhomies · 21 days ago
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By the way everyone, Chanukah this year is from November 28 to December 6. Don’t assume it’s just on Christmas!
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