Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – What’s a cult? Back in the day, a couple thousand years ago, humans organized into cults. Almost all cults had their basis in religion. It doesn’t matter what religion it was, whether it was Buddhism or mysticism or Judaism or Islam before the advent of the prophet Mohammed. I guess there were Hellenic religions, worshiping or believing in Greek gods and then Roman gods and what have you. It didn’t matter because the cult organized itself around the religion. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: I try to cram reading into the busy schedule around here. I was reading an am reading Russell Kirk’s Redeeming the Time book. I didn’t bring it with me today. I had it sitting out on the table and I forgot to pick it up. I can paraphrase what I read in the first chapter. He was writing about culture and about culture comes from the word cult. What’s a cult? Back in the day, a couple thousand years ago, humans organized into cults. Almost all cults had their basis in religion. It doesn’t matter what religion it was, whether it was Buddhism or mysticism or Judaism or Islam before the advent of the prophet Mohammed. I guess there were Hellenic religions, worshiping or believing in Greek gods and then Roman gods and what have you. It didn’t matter because the cult organized itself around the religion. That is what ensured their harmony and, for the most part, their peace. It was religion that bound them together. It was a common thing that they all did. This was a belief in a transcendent being and in an afterlife. We’ve talked about this on the program before, I just never read the history of it as Russell Kirk writes of it in Redeeming the Time.
He gets to a point in the book where he looks into the future. He updated this essay right before he died in the late 1990s. He had recalled from an essay predicting the moral decline and downfall of humanity back in the 1920s that that indeed had come to pass, that we didn’t need to wait because the prediction was humanity would fail in the year 3000, the third millennia. It was Kirk’s belief that we didn’t have to wait until 3000, that we could look at 2000, the dawning of the second millennia and go: I think we’re already at cultural sewage point. It struck me because I instinctively have been talking about this for the last half-year or so on these airwaves and in other conversations, about how we have a transcendent in our lives. You may not realize it but we absolutely do. The transcendent, again, is government. It is the institution or the entity known as the State.
Think about it for just a moment here. Our lives are ordered and organized around what the State does. It is that simple. Our lives are controlled by how they tax us, how they regulate us, how they commit us to wars, how they order us about, how they alter our system of justice, how they alter with their actions the culture yet again. The State is the transcendent. Just to put a point on this that is easily relatable, back in the day there used to be what were called or someone would work at a major newspaper or a newspaper in a medium-sized city. At newspapers you would have someone that would be the religious reporter. He or she would report on religion. They would follow the activities of this church or that church, ceremonies and what have you. They would report on religious life. Religious life, before we replaced God with the State, it what we organized our cult around. Our culture was organized around religion; it was organized around the transcendent being of God.
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When was the last time any of you read the religion section or the religion reporters writing at your local newspaper, if your paper still exists, that is? Do you even know who the religion reporter is? I read the Times-Picayune, which is our local fish wrap here, pretty regular. I guess you could say almost every day. I could not tell you who the religion reporter is. Rod Dreher, at American Conservative, had asked this question and was writing about this. As I’m reading Russell Kirk and then reading about the short-shorts dad, it all clicks together.
Folks, this is the major problem and challenge of our day. It’s not government. I continue to insist beyond insisting that the challenge is not government. Our government has evolved and become as powerful as it has because we have allowed it to and maybe even instinctively allow it to so that we can have something to organize our lives and cult around. Our cult today is not a cult that is organized around the transcendent being or He who was formerly known as God. Our lives today are organized, our cult — and we do still have a cult — our cult is organized around government, around the State. It’s dangerous, extraordinarily dangerous.
The Soviet Union’s cult was organized around government. Cuba’s cult was organized around government. Mao Tse-Tung and communism in China organized around government. I don’t want to play the Hitler card, but I will. The Nazi regime replaced God. The State replaced God. That burgeoning empire was organized around government as God, the transcendent being the State. When you lose the moral anchor that is the religious life, when your cult and culture fails or ceases to be organized under that religion and under that cult, then you don’t have a culture. You do not have one any longer.
Perhaps this explains the Miley Cyruses and Lady Gagas and what have you of the world. Perhaps this explains what many of us instinctively believe is going wrong all around us. We know, we sense that there is something that is missing. Something is not there that is supposed to be there and we can’t quite put our fingers on it. That might be because it is part of our nature and part of our instinct, part of the brains and soul we were blessed with at birth to know or to think: Wait a minute, there should be something larger than me. There should be something larger and more prominent and more controlling than just what I want to do today.
This is what I think makes the difference and is making the difference in the way we conduct our affairs of State today. Our only consideration is whether or not it’s good for you, whether or not it’s good for me in this instance or that instance or whatever the instance may be, not whether or not it is good for your cult or culture, or good for, if you’re bold enough to say this, good for humanity. When you lose the capacity to even identify — or the will, it’s the will. No one is going to be the first one that’s going to be taken seriously and say: I don’t think we should have public displays of twerking on broadcast television. We’re not going to ban them. That’s the first kneejerk reaction, too, [mocking] “Wait a minute, we got a First Amendment. We can’t ban these things.” You don’t have to ban them. If your culture makes these things distasteful, then they won’t be profitable any longer. It’s not a ban per se, but it is a ban. It becomes a de facto ban, not de jure. I thought I’d bring that up and give you something to chew on on a Monday morning.
End Mike Church Show Transcript