After Jesus, A Better World

Mark Judge, a Roman Catholic writer, has, just in time for Christmas, given us his version of why the coming of Jesus into the world was an improvement.  Judge quotes the former pope Benedict XVI as saying that the ancient Greeks “considered eros principally as a kind of intoxication, the overpowering of reason by a ‘divine madness’ which tears man away from his finite existence and enables him . . . to experience supreme happiness.”  [Just listen to almost any twentieth or twenty-first century song lyrics and you will hear precisely that message.]  But “the prostitutes in the [Greek] temple . . . far from being goddesses, they were human persons being exploited. . . . Evidently, eros needs to be disciplined and purified if it is to provide not just fleeting pleasure, but a certain foretaste of the pinnacle of our existence . . .”

Mark Judge declares that “the evil is ancient,” more ancient than Jesus, and that far from “hold[ing] back the modern world [i]t’s about trying to hold back a world that history has already lived through – a world of pederasty, prostitution, false gods, and the will to power.”

Christianity preached, according to Judge, “morality, a properly understood concept of love, and the primacy of loving a God who is not just love and mercy but ultimate justice [a concept often not understood today – HFA]” and gave us “great architecture, philosophy, books, music . . . universities, the dignity of women, stable families, the civil rights movement, and U2.  It destroyed the old temple, where it was the official law of the state that people could be used sexually, treated as objects, and discarded in the name of fleeting pleasure.”

Mark Judge has isolated an important part, though only a part, of why we should rejoice at Christmas, and sing with those strange songs they are now playing in the shopping malls –

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother,
And in His name all oppression shall cease

It is rather amazing what we get away with this one time of the year!  I swear one of these years someone is going to listen to the actual words of some of these carols and declare a campaign of outrage.

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