Monday, February 25, 2008

No Quarter!

"Breathe through the heats of our desire thy coolness and thy balm; Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire; speak through the earthquake wind and fire, O still small voice of calm." - John Greenleaf Whittier

One wouldn’t off hand think of a Quaker poet knowing about “the heats of our desire,” but why not? Our image of Quakers is obviously neither historical nor accurate. Where did we think the name “Quaker” came from if not from some similarity with even fleshly earthquakes.

In a letter to Dom Bede Griffiths, OSB, 23/4/51, C. S. Lewis says with apparent amazement “I’ve had enough of it on the opposite flank lately, having fallen among – a new type to me – bigoted and proselyting Quakers!” So much for the image of Quakers.

What Lewis says next is prophetic fifty-five years later, “I really think that in our days it is the ‘undogmatic’ & ‘liberal’ people who call themselves Christians that are most arrogant and intolerant. I expect justice & courtesy from many Atheists and, much more, from your people [Dom Bede was Roman Catholic]: From Modernists, I have come to take bitterness and rancour as a matter of course.”

Why should we have a sense of outrage at our modern liberals just because they continue the same behavior. Our faithless ‘progressives’ behave like they have no faith and we are surprised? One should remember that it was the liberal Sadducean priesthood that pursued the Christ until he was crucified. Merely beholding the man scourged was not enough. If they are true to type we should expect no less from them in the Episcopal Church today. Liberals are no strangers to blood lust, and that surfaces quickly if they are crossed or thwarted. Who, or what, drives such people? Our battle is not against flesh and blood, yet the roaring lion seeking someone to devour always seeks incarnation in those who can do the most damage.

Southern Civil War commanders understood the immediate challenges even if they misunderstood the larger issues. The enemies were “the violators of our hearths and homes” . Today they seek to destroy the very life and meaning of families. Stonewall Jackson was effective because he knew both that he had to fight, and he knew how to fight. “General Lee, if it please God, we will kill them all.” While you may not be comfortable with Jackson’s political conclusions at least recognize that you are in a battle with an enemy that will show you no quarter and act appropriately.