12th-century wall mural, Chaldon Church, Surrey, England
Dropped into a church
I passed along the way.
The Mamas and the Papas, California Dreamin’
Scented cathedrals and curved minarets.
Some can’t remember and some can’t forget.
Me, Dancehall Seduction
I have taken to going to church. I haven’t found God, although he is probably right where I left him, but I enjoy the experience. Not in the William James Varieties of Religious Experience sense, you understand, but I like the cool interior of the building, the quietly spoken people who shake your hand, the sense of a shared and gentle spirituality prevalent among the religious here in Costa Rica. Taxi drivers cross themselves as they pass the Catholic church, the Immaculada, and there are religious festivals throughout the year which are a pleasure to see. The church is well attended and, on occasional Thursdays and Fridays, as I wait for a driver to take me and others to do voluntary work at the local animal shelter, you will find me there. And, naturally, one’s thoughts tend to turn toward religion.
Religion, for the elites and the media, as well as the SJW contingent, is neatly divided in two, and polar responses are required for orthodoxy to reign, as it always must for the Left. Islam is the religion of peace, and terrorism is not connected with it. Terrorists are not Muslims, no matter how often their expert scholars say they are or what they shout while butchering Europeans or their fellow citizens who happen to be Christian. Christianity, in bold contradistinction, must be suspected, banned, harassed and blamed for all the supposed ills of the West. The use of language and its control are paramount here. Thus, when the ridiculous show-pony Justin Trudeau says that ‘honour killings should not be called barbaric’, he is not saying that they are not barbaric. He is saying that you, little people, are not permitted to call them by that haram appellation.
There is a playbook of Liberal responses to criticism of their beloved Islam. One of them is that all religion is tainted by exhortations to violence. I don’t think this is true of all religious creeds, but the debate is only ever intended to defend Islam and defame Christianity, so you will forgive me if I forego a detailed examination of the Vedanta or the Upanishads.
As I sit in the church here, however, I spend some time looking at the central image of violence and two things occur to me. The first is that the violence visited against Christ – who I believe existed – is not a rallying cry for violence against anyone else. The Bible may have violent sections, but the iconic image connected with Christianity is the cross seen as the reminder of Christ’s agony, not a thumbnail blueprint for a training manual for the Ku Klux Klan.
Now, quite apart from the fact that parts of the Koran make American Psycho read like The House at Pooh Corner, it seems to be the case that the book is an ideological and social instruction manual for much of the Muslim world. And that world is changing its geographic distribution, like a very high-stakes game of Risk. The Koran has over 100 graphic commands on the killing and maiming of the kufr. One of the weakest bits of Liberal jugglery is that the Koran is always misinterpreted, and can only be read in the original Arabic. This is bollocks on stilts. While Kant and Heidegger, say, may be problematic in translation, this is because they contain complicated and metaphysical abstractions. The Koran – or the holy Koran, to use BBC-speak – is a series of simple commands. You could translate it into any language and it would still be telling madmen in comedy beards to chop up Jews between prayers. It says what it means and means what it says.
The next piece of Liberal humbug is that it is only a very small percentage of Muslims who pose any threat to the West. Again, this is pathetic and willfully misleading. It is only a small percentage of an army that will kill the enemy. The rest are radio operators, paramedics, sappers, logistics officers and so on. Although they will not kill you themselves, they are on the side of the guys in the front line with the rocket-launchers and assault rifles. So it is with Islam.
The Islamic army of occupation – for that is what it is de facto – currently turning parts of Sweden and France into literal war-zones poses an added threat. As the police continue to exercise the bare minimum of authority towards criminal migrants, there is a second level to the anarcho-tyrannic strategies of which they form a part. The goading of the indigenous population is an integral part of anarcho-tyranny and, when the inevitable vigilante pushback begins in earnest, then we will see the police clamping down hard on what they will see as dissident action. And so the Sovietisation of the West proceeds through the form. That Muslim immigration is beneficial to anyone but the elites and their catastrophic plans is a miserable lie.
And miserable lies are now the currency of the West, and these lies will kill the innocent again and again. Except, of course, for our mortal enemies on the Left, white Christians are never innocent but guilty, as guilty as Pilate found the man hanging in front of me on the cross. One thing I know to a certainty concerning the Catholic church here – and there are two other denominational churches in the small town, plus a Jehovah’s Witness meeting hall - which no one in Europe could ever say about their church. It will never be a mosque.
A note in passing. The church I have described has fourteen windows on either side, arched and unglazed and unbarred. They sit about seven feet from the ground and it would be the work of seconds to scramble up to a ledge and drop down into the silence of the church. Once inside, as is usual with Catholic churches, there is enough gold to make such an incursion worth your while. It is inside glass cases, but that will not stop the determined. As anyone who has ever broken into a building via a closed window will know, one simply takes honey, a newspaper, and some leather gloves with one. Smear the honey on the glass, apply the newspaper, and put your gloved hand through it.
Now, I think that in this rather light-fingered land, there are two possible reasons why the treasure of the Immaculada remains in the clutches of the church. Firstly, there is a local code among the criminals on this particular run of the Pacific Coast. There have been dark mutterings even a straniero like me has picked up on the radar. Petty criminals who go too far, who rob the wrong relative or generally exceed an unwritten and Mafioso-style set of protocols, often evade the clutches of the local police, a fairly lackadaisical, affable bunch. But sometimes they fall foul of their co-workers, and can end up being tossed off the Crocodile Bridge, a structure whose nick-name needs, I feel, no explanation. The police are, understandably, reluctant to investigate these events, although apparently one or two bleached skulls have washed up on the river banks. It could be that. But I prefer my second explanation. The local bad guys don’t steal the church gold because they are scared God will see them.
One last church, which it may well one day be. When I was a small boy, I went to Primary School in a village called Chaldon, in Surrey. It makes me sound posh, and we weren’t, but the village had a famous church dating from the 11th century and mentioned in the Doomsday Book. In the 1950s, workmen discovered a large mural across one wall. Dating from the 12th century, it is supposedly one of the first English wall paintings. The area was apparently owned by a knight, and I suspect he was a Templar, which would explain the crois epaté at the bottom of the tableau. There is a passable reproduction – post-restoration – at the head of this piece. It is a familiar judgement tableau.
The mural rather frightened me as a little boy, as it was intended to do when it was created all those centuries ago. It also puzzled me that there were two devils in Heaven, along with the hippies in nighties. They were being tortured and made to perform tasks, all right. But they must have used Jacob’s Ladder to get there. Devils in heaven are all very well, as long as they integrate. What if the angels lose control of them? Worse, what if their fellow demons become bored with torturing the damned and decide to make use of Jacob’s Ladder themselves…