Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Stealing Heaven: A Remembrance

Tomb of Abelard and Heloise
 Lachaise Cemetery, Paris

It is a challenge to review a movie one fell in love with years before, and only recently rediscovered on Amazon Video. The challenge is not to dwell on irrelevancies that occur in the film and which are not fact-based, and do not occur in any of the narratives of the history of the romance… I immediately bought the video and have watched it a dozen times. I have not yet read Marion Meade’s novel of the same title   it has not to date arrived in the mail – but I suspect that the film and Meade’s novel diverge at certain points. So I cannot pass judgment on the novel, though I doubt it will disappoint me.

Abelard was Heloise’s highest value, and she never let it go. In her letters to him, she reluctantly revealed that God was his only rival.
The emotional, intellectual arguments that comprise the contents of their letters, in the film are scant and brief, with no hint near the end that they had been in correspondence, no hint of the depth in which they were morally and psychologically immersed the  “self-isolation” in their monastic environments.. The introduction states that, ” The letters of Abelard and Heloise were written in Latin about the year 1128, and were first published in Paris in 1616.” Heloise was less concerned about her “repentance” than was Abelard about his (in fact, to judge by his letters, he was consumed by the “duty,”  that he had not repented enough to satisfy God);  his consciousness of his passion for Heloise grows dimmer and dimmer by the sentence, until, in his last letter to her, he asks her not to contact him again..

WRITE no more to me, Heloise, write no more to me; ’tis time to end communications which make our penances of nought avail. We retired from the world to purify ourselves, and, by a conduct directly contrary to Christian morality, we became odious to Jesus Christ. Let us no more deceive ourselves with remembrance of our past pleasures; we but make our lives troubled and spoil the sweets of solitude. Let us make good use of our austerities and no longer preserve the memories of our crimes amongst the severities of penance. Let a mortification of body and mind, a strict fasting, continual solitude, profound and holy meditations, and a sincere love of God succeed our former irregularities.

Abelard was the lesser of the pair. He was completely committed to God, whereas Heloise hated having to be a nun and living in the Paraclete abbey, and at night would have dreams about being close to Abelard. As I remarked before, Fulbert's castration of Abelard "knocked the wind" out of him, that is, erased all desire and capacity to have "earthly" values, not just loving Heloise, and he went on and on to her about his and Heloise's need to "repent" for having "offended" God. Heloise did not back off an inch, and ached to have a letter from him as a means of being with him again. 

Abelard's intent to "repent" wiped out all desire to even remember his passion for her. Heloise never forgot her passion for him, and kind of forgave him for losing his for her. The first scene of her tossing the crucifix against the wall underscores her hatred for the Church and substantiates what she said in her letters to Abelard.  She wrote at one point that he was no longer a "man," just a "person," a "man' being  her tactful, delicate reference to his castration.

While Heloise and Abelard are out walking in the country, she captures a feather from a startled dove. In the film, she tells him, “This will be my holy relic.” It foreshashadows her future, a lonely, isolated life in the Paraclete abbey, long after Abelard has died and was buried in the abbey’s grounds. The dove’s feather, which is the focus of the first scene in the movie, is removed from the pedestal of a crucifix by Heloise on her death bed. "This will be my own holy relic." She had had secreted it in the pedestal,  decades before she took her vows of chastity. Then she tosses the crucifix against the wall, in a violent rejection of Christianity and of the morality which separated her from Abelard, and whispers, rather mysteriously, “I understand.”

Abelard and Heloise Surprised 
by Abbot Fulbert,
by Jean Vignaud, [1819]
Towards the end of the film, Abelard seems to have reconciled his necessity to “repent” with remembering his joy with Heloise. That change of mind  is not in the record. The film’s denouement is so much better than the record. On a Christmas Eve in the new abbey Heloise says to him, “You owe me something.” He replies “It’s practically the law,”  he replies, remembering their days together in Paris. And he kisses her.

Inconsequently, my own tossing of a crucifix occurred when, at the age of 16, I told my adoptive parents that I was an atheist. The result was my being interviewed by the parish priest –  a useless “talking to” –  and then by the parents, who were Catholic, burning my small collection of books, which included science and history titles. I did not “repent” and did not entertain any thoughts of it. I was willing to face whatever would happen after I made my declaration.

But, that’s another story.

Monday, April 08, 2019

The Rush to Dhimmitude

Jacinda Ardern, being contrite

It is my pleasure to reprint another article from New Zealand, this one by Olivia Pierson, about the actions of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who went full-dhimmi on the occasion of the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch in March.  Fifty Muslims were killed and dozens were injured. The shooter was a white supremacist Brenton Tarrant, an Australian and “an ordinary white man,” who leaves behind a bizarre manifesto. He wrote, "The origins of my language is European, my culture is European, my political beliefs are European, my philosophical beliefs are European, my identity is European and, most importantly, my blood is European," he claims.


Clearly, his premise is that his European culture, ideas, and beliefs were innate and intrinsic, inherent with his “blood.” In order to “atone” for Tarrant’s actions, Ardern advocated internet censorship, the seizure of guns, and New Zealanders to observe a moment of “silence” for the victims, and for women to don the hijab, as she did. This is similar to Angela Merkle’s opening Germany’s doors to countless Third World savages for Germany to “atone” for WWII and the Holocaust. It is akin to the Islamic “holiday” of Ashura, when Shia Muslims flaggelate themselves and their children to wipe away their sins. Arden quoted Mohammad, just to prove that she was “sorry.”


Quoting the Prophet Mohammed from a Hadith, she said: "The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion, and sympathy are just like one body. When any part of the body suffers, the whole body feels pain."


Well, no.


Screwing Over NZ’s Future for Immediate Emotional Gains


By Olivia Pierson
[First published on
Incite 2/4/19]

Just as Angela Merkel wrecked Germany for future generations on her watch as Chancellor by flooding her country with ideological aliens, Jacinda Ardern and her government are embarking on the process of screwing over New Zealand’s future in an attempt to look merciful after the Christchurch shootings.

Our leaders should not be exploiting a one-off tragedy on our shores by clamping down on the natural rights of New Zealand citizens, like free speech. They should instead be promoting a long-term vision of keeping our liberties firmly intact and being careful that immigrants who come here hold views that are deeply consonant with those liberties.

One of the greatest virtues of excellent political leadership is the ability of a leader to have a long-range view into a country’s future and act for its improvement.  Individual liberty is the standard of value; the measuring stick. Sometimes the beginnings of improvement require short-term pain, but if a leader’s reasoning is sound and just, long-term gain is the result.  

Thomas Jefferson is a great example of such a leader, considering it was he who wrote the Declaration of Independence which severed the thirteen British Colonies of America from England, igniting the bloody War of Independence.  The result of winning that war was the beginning of the great experiment of self-governance.  This noble experiment was Jefferson’s far-seeing intention.

When Jefferson became America’s third president, his attitude toward freedom of expression was plainly stated in his inaugural speech:

"If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union, or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it.” [Thomas Jefferson 1801]

Abraham Lincoln was also another far-seeing leader.  Not wanting to break the Union which his Founding Fathers had created (Jefferson died when Lincoln was seventeen years of age), he presided over the outbreak of a terrible civil war in order to halt new territories extending slavery further into the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean.  Lincoln’s famous “House Divided Speech” which he made at the Republican Convention of 1858, two years before the Civil War broke out, shows just how complicated and divisive the whole issue had become for the nation:

"A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half-slave and half-free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other.” [Abraham Lincoln 1858]

The slave state of South Carolina was the first to withdraw from the Union and fired the first cannons of war upon Fort Sumter in 1860.  Three years later in January of 1863, Lincoln managed to enact the Emancipation Proclamation declaring all the black slaves of ‘the states in rebellion’ to be free.  Enormous war powers constitutionally given to the President enabled him to take his opportunity for this action.  But the congressional vote for the 13th Amendment hung on procuring just two more votes and Lincoln’s words to his cabinet to get those votes shows just how morally far-reaching his vision was:

"The abolition of slavery by constitutional provision settles the fate, for all coming time, not only of the millions now in bondage, but of unborn millions to come — a measure of such importance that those two votes must be procured. I leave it to you to determine how it shall be done; but remember I am President of the United States, clothed with immense power, and I expect you to procure those votes.” [Abraham Lincoln 1853]

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai was lit up with the
image of Ms Ardern in a black hijab
hugging a mourning woman on Friday

In stark contrast to these iconic leaders of yore, the Ardern administration here in New Zealand is using immediate emotional gains to ruin the future for millions of yet unborn Kiwis, who will not be able to speak their minds openly on any issue whatsoever, but instead will have to over-censor themselves lest they be slapped with a “hate speech” charge. 

This reduces citizens into nothing more than subjects; slaves who can be taxed, bossed around and fined, or imprisoned for expressing the “wrong” ideas.  Welcome to Jacinda’s Brave New World.

If Ardern cannot enact her policies of increasing the refugee quota and implementing the insidious UN Global Migration Compact without cracking down on her own citizens’ civil liberties – especially freedom of expression –  it is clear that she is on a political path which is deeply hostile to New Zealand’s way of life.

Ardern’s reasoning is far from sound and just, it is purely emotional, womanish, showy and despotic.

Our prime minister ought to take a leaf out of Jefferson’s book and let all dissenting New Zealanders “stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it.” But will she use reason and persuasion to combat verbal dissent among her citizens, or only repair to criminalising peaceful, outspoken Kiwis?

Whether she likes it or not, the answer to this question will be Jacinda Ardern’s legacy.

If you enjoyed this article, please buy my book "Western Values Defended: A Primer"