Posts Tagged ‘jesus christ’

Christianity And Paganism

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

You can tell that humanity is a scared and disorganized herd of monkeys because there is never a single convincing explanation for any event, even the most important ones to our present day. Consider for example Christianity.

The official narrative used to be that Christianity unified Europe and moved it away from the pagans, who were prone to anal sex and other weird and promiscuous practices, and that Christianity formed the basis of our modern time, including The Renaissance™ and The Enlightenment.™

A counter-narrative arose which said that Christianity was an invader, that it oppressed the pagans and destroyed them in service to moneyed interests, and that it then erased evidence of the superior past and injected its mediocrity in place of the pagan wisdom. In this view, Christianity was the corruption of the West and gave rise to Leftism.

Maybe both have some truth to them. Let me retell the story:

  1. Wealth is death. Any society which becomes wealthy faces a trap: its old purpose is now gone, since it has conquered that which stood against it, and now it needs to find a new affirmative purpose or entropy takes over. But, this is difficult, since that purpose needs to be arbitrary and immutable, yet qualitative, which means most people simply do not understand it, and it is impossible to get a consensus together. Either it is imposed by force, or it does not happen. Without purpose, society turns inward, and focuses on human individuals and their desires instead of the ecosystem they form together that allows civilization to happen.
  2. The herd arises. When a civilization becomes wealthy and loses purpose, and then turns toward a facilitative society or one geared toward fulfilling the needs of its individuals, it quickly produces a herd of individualists, or those forming a collective of individuals dedicated toward the principle that every individual — and each thinks only of himself when saying this — should be forcibly included in society. They want to clear away restrictions against their personal participation, so they come up with the idea of “equality,” or that every individual should be equally included. This means that no objections against any one of them can stand, with a few exceptions that rapidly dwindle in number.
  3. The herd controls. The herd uses control, or the idea of regulating people equally by method in order to eliminate dissent, in order to force other people to accept the lie (that each person should be included regardless of abilities, genetics, class/caste, character or past behavior) so that they avoid the truth (that people are different and belong to a hierarchy in emulation of the order of nature). The goal of the herd is to diminish virtue, or the desire to do what is right/good independent of whether personal reward in the short-term arrives in response. The herd therefore likes anything that accomplishes its goal of breaking down organization, order, distinctions, hierarchy and virtue: pedosexuality, drugs, promiscuity, atheism, communism, anarchism, whatever.
  4. The herd seized Christianity. Naturally sane people, back when Europe was pagan, were pagan. Why were they pagan? Paganism is an outpouring of culture, not a third party known as “religion,” and so to be German (for example) was to have certain customs, practices, calendar, cuisine, beliefs and rituals… most of which we would now consider spiritual or religious, but for them were just part of being German. This is why paganism makes no sense as a religion; it is, like conservatism, a folkway and as such has no ideology or over-riding and underlying central theme, but instead is a collection of memories, experiences, stories, and other fragments of wisdom. For this reason, the sane people were pagan, and the herd saw this new foreign religion as a way to dominate these naturally sane people.
  5. The herd reprogrammed Christianity. The herd uses everything as a means-to-the-end of its own power; instead of using an ends-over-means analysis, where all things must serve a purpose, the herd short-circuits this decision and makes its own power the only end and regulates means/methods in order to do this. For the herd, Christianity was a property which could be renovated and made into a weapon. Contrasting this was the natural adoption of Christianity: as a written religion, and one of a single layer of interpretation instead of the many depths and obscurities of paganism or reality itself, Christianity had the power to unite people. And so, many switched over to it, and at the same time that the herd was infiltrating, the good people were pushing back and making something great of Christianity. Many inspired acts and works came of this process, but the herd won in the end because its message was simpler and thus, more popular.
  6. The herd hijacks everything. Once upon a time, there was a strong European tradition of being experimentalist, or willing to take on new thoughts and test them out. To the herd, this was a powerful symbol and signal of intelligence and self-confidence, so they promptly hijacked it, and turned it into liberalism — a bias for new ideas over working ones — and bohemianism, or a desire for behaviors which flaunt cultural norms and prioritize selfishness. They did the same thing to Christianity, turning a reverent religion (a Judaic interpretation of Greek and Hindu ideas) into a personal religion, at which point it became another adornment for the individual, and its real message — that the ideal is measured in terms of consequences, not feelings — was forgotten.
  7. Christianity became a pretext. If you want to eliminate your enemies, set up an Official Truth™ and then use that as a backward justification for crushing all who do not obey it; in this case, it was simple to categorize any dissidents from the herd thinking as “pagans” and then have the mob of well-meaning but thoughtless people without accountability crush those “pagans.” Since many of the sanest saw religion as a type of ideology, and preferred to stick to their folkways, many were “pagan,” but did not see it as a type of competing ideology as the new Christians did. For the pagans, their beliefs were simply a description of the world, and the possible causes, effects and consequences which confronted human decision-makers. But those ideas — realism — opposed what the herd wanted, and so it used Christianity as a pretext to crush the dissenters.
  8. The struggle continued. Most people who got involved with Christianity were normal people who thought that religious guidance might be a good thing. Some became true believers in the religion itself. This explains why Christianity was such a mixed bag: some good, and some evil. But this makes sense, given that a religion is comprised of humans, and they approach it with different motivations. Just because they join a faith does not automatically render them uniform with the same goals and principles. Instead, like civilization itself, it provides an aegis under which individual accountability takes a back seat to membership in the group, and often by distributing negative effects among the group, protects the aberrant individual from responsibility, and so increases the presence of deviancy over time. Paganism did not have this sense of group unity because it was not ideological.

And so, we are left with the usual moral ambiguity of human life. Saying “Christianity is bad” is as nonsense as saying “Christianity is good,” because Christianity is composed of individuals, and the quality of interpretation varies with them. In fact, the people who have something sensible to say would most likely be saying the same thing under Christianity, German paganism, Greco-Roman paganism or Hinduism.

If the past hundred years have done anything, it is to integrate some of those old pagan folkways into Christianity, both subverting its fringes and strengthening its core idea of the impossibility of separation from God. From Old World Witchcraft by Raven Grimassi:

Old World witchcraft is glimpsed in shadow because the shadow’s edge is the threshold of the portal to the inside. Stepping across the threshold and coming back again are what brings about realization. They reveal the difference between witchcraft as something to do on the weekend and witchcraft as something much larger and greater than the witch. Old World witchcraft is empowering and transformative. It is more than a philosophy and a self-image; it is how we interact with our connection to, and relationship with, all things.

There is a reason why witchcraft is traditionally linked to the night and intimately connected to the moon. In a mystical sense the moon is a form and is formless at the same time. From earth’s perspective the moon appears to change shape in the night sky and even disappears entirely for three nights each lunar cycle. Its shape is not constant like that of the sun and stars. Therefore, it becomes a metaphor for altered states of consciousness. To stand beneath the moon in a state of receptivity is to invite the “otherworld” into our mind, body, and spirit.

Witchcraft, paganism and the occult group together because they are informal religions based on the idea of natural balance instead of human order. That is to say that humans fit within a natural order, instead of asserting an order of their own over nature. This concept is also found in Christianity, but under-emphasized because of the need to promote a personal morality.

This shows us the distinctions between modern Christianity and pagan faiths:

  1. Exoteric. Christianity is written, like the law or theory, with the idea that it has only a single level of interpretation. If people read the text, they may argue over the finer points, but the basics have been communicated to them and they can follow the religion as if an ideology or symbol. This means however, that since no depth is expected, anyone who masters the basics can then twist the religion in any direction they want, and selectively cite it because the meanings of each passage are clear and therefore can be addressed in isolation, instead of as part of a tapestry of obscure ideas designed for those with the natural capacity and long-term dedication to pursue them.
  2. Personal. If Christianity has a fatal flaw, it is its individualism. Many people (idiots) confuse the core of the West with individualism, when really it is a contrary principle, which is “reflection” or contemplating the world and self to figure out how they work, instead of taking the self at face value and assuming that it is more important than the world. Christian morality is concerned with the rightness of actions in the context of the rules of a god, instead of effects in reality, for the most part, and this is a weakness because people then focus on avoiding “bad” behaviors but do not dedicate themselves toward good ones on a level above that of the individual.
  3. Foreign. To my mind, this is what will doom Christianity in the next hundred years: we cannot hide the fact that it was invented by people speaking a very different language in the very different area of the world known as the middle east. Maybe the Jews were European, but evidence suggests they were at least hybrids shortly after the events of the Bible, so they are not a fit with those of us who are European in descent.

It is for this reason that many are tending toward exploration of Christianity at its more logically-consistent extremes, much like the orthodox Catholics or Bruce Charlton pursuing Mormonism. They recognize that the core doctrines of Christianity are under assault and thus deviating from their Greek/Hindu origins into more Asiatic ideas which were originally at the fringe but become the core.

In my view, it makes the most sense to simply sit out this war. There is a lot to like in Christianity, and most of that comes from the Greeks, Nords, Germans, Hindus, Hittites, and others who contributed to its core. At the same time, it is committing suicide because, having achieved supremacy, it had no second act and so has passed into irrelevance as distrust of organized systems has risen.

Within a century, Christianity will not exist, having been replaced by an informal faith more like our pagan origins simply because people do not trust formalized faiths. The Bible however will live on as a resource used by those people, and it is likely that the churches will again become sacred places. European greatness existed before Christ, but will carry him forward into a new era.

Jesus, Democracy and Easter

Sunday, April 16th, 2017

Ahh, spring — a time to relish the joys of Direct Democracy in action. Witness the word of The Lord from Matthew 27: 15-17. Read the entirety of Matthew 26 and Matthew 27 from an Alt-Right perspective and you will almost reach the conclusion that Democracy is blasphemy before the eyes of The Lord.

15 Now on the occasion of the feast the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd one prisoner whom they wished.
16 And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called [Jesus] Barabbas.
17 So when they had assembled, Pilate said to them, “Which one do you want me to release to you, [Jesus] Barabbas, or Jesus called Messiah?”

Democracy by its essential functions must tear down and destroy all individual greatness that crosses its path. Nothing bars the way to “Liberté, Eqalité, Fraternité” like the individual who does things the right way and who has their stuff together. Democracy was therefore the ideal tool of corruption by which The Evil One could smite Jesus down and then wash his hands of the deed. Satan, himself only gets one vote. The plausible deniability of a democratic process is the friend of all malefactors from Marius and Sulla to Aaron Burr. The People chose it.

The Gospel of Matthew begins telling us the bad news of Democracy in Chapter 26:47-52.

47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a large crowd, with swords and clubs, who had come from the chief priests and the elders of the people.
48 His betrayer had arranged a sign with them, saying, “The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him.”
49 Immediately he went over to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and he kissed him.
50 Jesus answered him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then stepping forward they laid hands on Jesus and arrested him.
51 And behold, one of those who accompanied Jesus put his hand to his sword, drew it, and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his ear.
52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.”

The key verse of this passage is verse 52. All who live by the sword die by it, but those not bound by the law get their way first before death. Jesus, the one who actually asserts that the law should be followed, is led away by the guards under false and unrighteous arrest. Judas, at least for the nonce, has profited immensely from violating laws that his success in his dastardly endeavor required his victim to follow.

A hallmark of Democracy is the restraint of the law upon the just and righteous, while most mendacious, greedy and mendacious amongst us live the maxim of Aleister Crawley and “Do what thou wilt” with short-term tactical dominance as the law ties the hands of condign and righteous anger.

Matthew’s description of what I call “The Paradox of St. Peter” is at the heart of why mob rule and Demotism are disastrous for not just its targets but for those cursed with moral decency. These people realize the fundamental virus sickening the human species when power is actually given to the foolish and unworthy people. In Matthew 26: 69-75, we witness the temporary demolition of St. Peter as a moral human being.

His dilemma and paradox can be stated thus: If he does what is morally decent, he is arrested and nailed to the cross right next to the savior. If he lies to survive, he betrays the man who made him everything that he is. When Demotism destroys greatness, it does not just destroy the great individual. It unleashes a cancer that kills. Read the verses below and see how the mob does not even have to lay a finger on Peter to utterly destroy him as a human being.

69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. One of the maids came over to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.”
70 But he denied it in front of everyone, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about!”
71 As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazorean.”
72 Again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man!”
73 A little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; even your speech gives you away.”
74 At that he began to curse and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately a cock crowed.
75 Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken: “Before the cock crows you will deny me three times.” He went out and began to weep bitterly.

And does the official power of the state work athwart the vile intentions of the unwashed mob? Not when the cowardly, swaddled officialdom learns of what the mob would unleash. The officialdom then tries to duck and evade. The officialdom, like the “military leadership” in the movie A Few Good Men, can’t handle the truth. St. Matthew is enough of a gracious Christian to understate the reaction of Pontius Pilate to Jesus’ refusal to offer him an out on making the hard decision.

11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and he questioned him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”* Jesus said, “You say so.”
12 And when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he made no answer.
13 Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they are testifying against you?”
14 But he did not answer him one word, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

If you imagine an angry, hateful mob giving Pilate the deathstare of a pissed off Middle East the entire time he interviews Jesus of Nazareth, you get the context of the interview. Pilate was not amazed. He wanted Jesus to apologize to the nice old men in their Rabbinical robes. Jesus was not having it. The true believers are scary like that. They care about their perceived truths a whole lot more than any of your delusions of adequacy. Imagine Pilate squeezing his cheeks to avoid evacuating his bowels, and you conjure up the situation as I imagine it playing out.

In Matthew 27: 21-26 we get the true measure of both the leadership of Pontius Pilate and the society at large through the gathered mob. The mob howls for the blood of whoever the demagogues tell them to hate. They are entertained. Maybe some enterprising soul sells them goat kabobs as they howl for the carnage.

And Pilate? Wow, does Pilate hate Jesus. He doesn’t hate the evil mob as much. The idiots will always be with us. He hates the man who forces him to look in the mirror and see a pathetic, pseudo-sapient coward of a laughable public official. All leaders in Democracy hate the great man.

It’s not just the religious visionary. They would hold no brief for Richard Feynman if they had to sit next to him in a Real Analysis course. When greatness reveals them to be weasels, they lash out. Jesus was not whipped just to appease the mob. Pilate was smoking with Lucifer’s cheap and sadistic wrath over having to truly learn about the type of guy he sincerely was.

21 The governor said to them in reply, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They answered, “Barabbas!”
22 Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus called Messiah?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!”
23 But he said, “Why? What evil has he done?” They only shouted the louder, “Let him be crucified!”
24 When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all, but that a riot was breaking out instead, he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. Look to it yourselves.”
25 And the whole people said in reply, “His blood be upon us and upon our children.”
26 Then he released Barabbas to them, but after he had Jesus scourged, he handed him over to be crucified.

They tell us in our civics class Democracy is the best form of government. The best form of government for whom. The Last Men of Nietzsche? The weakest link in the human chain? The vassals of putrid corruption that not only have to take the Gubbermint Handouts but who would genuinely rather?

This is not what Aristotle, Socrates, St Paul, St Thomas Aquinas or even Jean Paul Sartre ultimately told us to aspire towards. Democracy is the best form of government for those who condignly deserve to live under it. Yes, a case can be made that an exercise in Democracy gave us Easter Sunday. But only because the great man being torn down just happened to be Jesus Christ. When it destroys the rest of us, nobody rises again on the third day.

Reading The Bible As Literature

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016


Throughout human history, religion and spirituality have been great dividers and greater unifiers. While the Left wants to do away with religion, it remains important in the lives of most people on the globe, with only the self-referential first world dissenting.

Bruce Charlton cited a recent Amerika post as a means of continuing his ongoing discussion into future Christianity as a pivot point on which the West can turn should it decide to fight the pervasive evil currently crippling it. His point:

I can certainly see how he would make this interpretation. There is a common, misleading and unfortunate habit – both from real Christians and anti-Christians – of supposing that the Bible (or the New Testament, or Gospels. at least) must be 100 percent true, when taken literally (i.e as statements of facts and universal laws) one sentence at a time.

I can see how this situation has arisen, given the tendency of Men (and nowadays especially ‘liberal Christians’) to distort Christianity to be compatible with those secular and political ideologies which are that person’s primary motivation.

Amerika is thankful for this mention on a blog that many if not most of us read regularly. This allows the introduction of an important topic, which is how to understand a book like the Bible.

The sensible approach to religion comes to us from the Perennialists and Traditionalists, who are the opposite of fundamentalists. Any philosophy which bases the origin of thought in material is materialist, including atheism, but also including fundamentalism, which respects the granular Word more than the spirit it is designed to convey.

In the Perennialist view, every religion is an interpretation of reality including its metaphysical level. The best of these see the physical and metaphysical as parallel, or sharing the same pattern organization. From this perspective, it is the patterns of Reality — not the words describing them — that forms the basis of the religion.

Turning to Christianity, we see a book that compiles the best of European, Hindu and Mediterranean thought into a simpler form, like a novel with interspersed poetry and aphorisms on philosophical and metaphysical topics. Much of the book is told through the history of an ancient people, and the rest, as the life of one of their prophets.

To interpret this book, then, it makes sense not to read it for details — as Charlton argues — but to look at it as a story. In stories, people are confronted with challenges, and make choices as to what to do, and those choices in turn change those people, much as in life. For that reason, what matters is more the end results of each action than any particular detail of its explanation, because those may show where the character is within the arc of his action.

Meaning reveals itself not in the instant but over the course of many instants, with the final notion making sense only in the context of the whole story. This conflicts with the categorical thinking of the modern time by which we can classify an action as good or bad based on type, or look at a detail and understand the principle behind it.

Charlton makes a good point. Perhaps it is borne out in the original text, so it makes sense to inspect it. The paragraph quoted from the Bible reads this way in its full form:

But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.

Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.

And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.

And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

Reading this as literature, the bolded portion is the point: if your love is based on self-interest alone, it is simply self-serving. Kant makes this point beautifully as well, which is that those who act for personal gain are not acting morally, but selfishly, even if their acts appear altruistic.

In other words, this is an anti-altruism rant that appears to be a pro-altruism screed. The point being made is to detach benevolence from personal gain. This in turn means the opposite of how most interpret the few lines quoted in the original post:

“Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.”

Which on a surface view appear to be specific advice, not part of a parable or metaphor. The same confusion applies when those who read Plato’s Republic believe his ideal republic is a prescription, when in fact it is a thought-experiment used to demonstrate the failure of systems, since in order to improve upon the natural best state of humankind, we must enact a bizarre set of rules and balances which would make life inhuman and miserable, a lot like modern society.

Charlton takes another avenue to arrive at the same realization:

But really it is nonsense! Nonsense in general, and in this specific instance; because Jesus obviously did not intend this this statement to be taken as a universal law – for two reasons, one because he did not himself behave this way, and two because it is impossible to behave this way.

We could add that any specific virtue, pursued exclusively, leads to sin – and that therefore no statement or rule is universally applicable – but ought to be taken as part (typically a small part, given the large number of specific virtues) of that larger whole of ‘Good’. Jesus was crystal clear that the Good human life is not one of passively obeying a list of rules (i.e. Phariseeism); it was the inner motivation that mattered supremely – plus of course a willingness to repent our many and frequent inevitable moral failures.

A future Christianity will take this into account as older Christianity did. Read as literature, the Bible tells a story of a population which survives through militancy, but then faces a new challenge as it succeeds and becomes a larger civilization: how to keep its population morally disciplined so that social order stays intact by people individually doing the right thing, instead of relying upon the law (personified by the Romans) which frequently is wrong or stupid.

In fact, a broader message emerges, which is that most people are doing wrong as part of the everyday behavior of people in an advanced civilization. The mechanism of civilization itself starts to work against us at a certain point, like how a rocket to space encounters entirely different pressures upon itself once it leaves the lower atmosphere. If both pre-civilization and civilization are not accounted for, the rocket explodes; the Christian method is to eschew enforcement — symbolized by the crucifixion — in favor of constant personal moral alertness that evil lurks in personal gain that is detached from the principle of doing what is right, even when brutally inconvenient.

At the end of the day, this is what “love your enemies” actually means, once we set aside reading the Bible as propaganda and start to read it as literature, much as we should read Plato, the Bhagavad-Gita or any of the other influences incorporated in the Bible.

High Noon (1952)

Saturday, June 20th, 2015


Taking up the same underlying material that propelled the tales of Jesus Christ and Socrates, High Noon involves the sheriff of a small town who has just retired to get married. Most agree that he has reformed this small town and made it safe, and they want him to just sign off and ride away. Then comes news: the brother and allies of a man he put away for murder, but has been exonerated, await the arrival of this radical killer on the noon train, at which point they plan to do in the sheriff. The film takes place on one morning in the time leading up to that event.

High Noon makes for difficult watching because it transports us to another time and then metaphorically shows us the eternal human struggle: do we acknowledge reality and act on it, or retreat into the comfort of denial, narcissism, compensation, apologist and solipsism? This film ultimately takes the form of a psychological drama with most of it focused on the efforts of the sheriff to prepare for the confrontation and perhaps to find someone, anyone, who will take his side. He faces four gunslingers and any knocking down of the odds would radically increase his chance for survival. Instead, the townspeople invent a creative series of excuses: it is easier and cheaper to work with the bad guys, the job is thankless, the town is not worth it, and the odds are too bad. Somewhat shocked that the people who have benefited from his transformation of the town from an unsavory place to a successful one have nonetheless forgotten this and effectively betrayed him, the sheriff makes his will, and prepares himself to go it alone.

Expert cinematography and editing use techniques ahead of their time to increase tension in a steady upward path interrupted by many strange detours into the human mind. Gary Cooper makes the lead character complement that with his laconic, forthright and masculine character. He makes the sheriff into a character both robotic and expressive, a nervous constant searching gaze complementing his ready hands. This portrayal seems more accurate for a smart man facing multiple enemies and near certain death than the usual flippant cowboy stereotype. As critics noted at the time, nearly everyone in this movie is seating, a psychological device that enhances the tension within. This builds up to a series of combat scenes that, as far as a movie can be, are intensely realistic. Unlike most cowboy movies, the bullets here feel real, and the gunplay is not showmanship but lethal intent. Each character works systematically to act as programmed, drawing the movie toward is deadly conclusion.

Characters in this film — and it is ultimately a cinematic book, where story drives visuals and not the other way around — struggle with the tensions of human life in a way that shows how frustratingly simple and broken we are. The new wife who turned Quaker to be pacifistic after her brother and father were killed must decided whether having a good outcome is worth an evil method, and whether evil can be banished by method (non-violence) at all. The townspeople who acknowledge that the sheriff has saved the town from being a criminal wasteland, but want to believe that nothing needs to be done except absorbing a few costs created by these criminals. The deputy enraged by his own cowardice, lashing out at the sheriff for making all of them look bad by not knuckling down to be a good cuck chicken-man. Finally, the sheriff himself, aware that he is not wired in a way that allows him to ignore imminent evil, and giving himself to his fate with grim determination even as there is little chance he will survive.

Published at the height of the Korean War, High Noon served as a reminder that people would rather sacrifice truth for convenience, and it takes rare and uncivilized men to reverse that — and that these men are our only hope. While the useful idiots, armchair critics and chattering neurotics of the suburbs will always prefer inaction and making deals with the devil to confronting evil head-on, the path to destruction begins with those steps, and no matter how it is justified as prudent, moral, pragmatic, pacifistic or compassionate, such behavior is always the same thing: cowardice. Resonant with truth of human behavior as told in a setting that is both comfortably removed and yet wove into our DNA in the West, High Noon teaches the point of Socrates and Jesus that reality is not optional and cowardice is death.

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