Saturday, March 14, 2009

Shining Archetypal Example

What is it about the near-or-actual archetype of the stern, fierce Scimitar warrior (and his wife/servant counterpart, the prolifically fertile Scimitar mother with her many young offspring in tow) that seems the indomitable and inevitable master of the old, weary Christian West?

He hovers in the imagination of many Cassandras as surely as he marches with his fellows, the masters, on the streets of major cities of the dhimmis who provide an adequate breeding ground for demographic superiority and a blind eye to his hate speech and actions toward Jews and Christians, his elders.

It is the archetypal nature of this figure that I find upsetting. René Girard has exhibited sufficient evidence of the nature of the primitive sacred to show conclusively that those people not influenced by the Gospel are likely to have such unflappability. Whereas those who have heard the cock crow know their own culpability, question their innocence, and can be enervated by it.

Such is the dilemma of Ralph in Golding's Lord of the Flies and Shakespeare's Hamlet. Interestingly, veterans of the trenches in World War I, C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, saw both the necessity of questioning one's fragile and dubious innocence and the absolute necessity of occasional legitimate defense.

But what is the reason for the strength, the psychological superiority, of the Scimitar figure? Why is this shining example, to use Lee Harris's phrase, without a masculine counterpart in the West? Is not Christ OUR "shining example?"

If so, then why are we enervated, degenerate (or un-generate) demographically, and quaking before an inferior "shining example" which leans so heavily on might, subjugation, and sacred violence?

Of course, the Old Testament prophets - Amos, Hosea, Micah, Isaiah, Jeremiah - would talk to us about judgment: that our present lack of vision and coming exile are by-products of our breaking covenant, not keeping the Torah, being adulterous, murderous, idolatrous. If we cannot see our Shining Example, whose fault is it? God's or our's?

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