Defender of orthodoxy, or protector of status and authority?

Published: Mon, 02/21/22

Reinhold Niebuhr, whose book ‘Beyond Tragedy’ I read recently, was just one of several influential theologians of German nationality or extraction, who were very influential in the middle part of the last century. Four of the others were Karl Barth, Rudolph Bultmann, Paul Tilllich, and of course Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who is remembered as much for his martyrdom at the hands of the Nazis as for his writings. A lot of these writings are pretty heavy going, Bonhoeffer is pretty accessible, but most of his wirings that we have were originally composed as personal letters rather than as academic works. The names listed above were the theological Olympians of their time and their ideas, often on the theme of ‘demythologizing’ the New Testament trickled down into more accessible and popular works. An example of this process of distillation, and probably dilution too, if I am not mixing my metaphors too much, was the publication in 1963 of
‘Honest to God’ by the then Bishop of Woolwich, John Robinson. On publication Robinson’s book was both hailed as a radical call to get rid of outdated ideas of a mythological God and such notions as miracles, and criticized for a weak and vague understanding of what the theologians who inspired Robinson were actually saying. Either way there was a controversy which got a lot of attention in the media at the time. I only remembered the book myself because I have been thinking about the role of the Jarl as both a teacher and as a gatekeeper of orthodoxy.

I read somewhere of an incident in the mid 1960s where a vicar thought it necessary to address his flock on the subject of ‘Honest to God’ and what was being reported about it in the newspapers. Apparently the clergyman told his congregation that they should not take any notice of Robinson’s book, or let anything they were hearing or reading in the media, undermine their simple faith in God and in the traditional teachings of the church. The response that came back was that the vicar did not have to worry, an ordinary church member was quite capable of making up their own mind what was likely to be literally true and what probably just a story. I am sure many Christians of the time would have been more irritated by their priests insulting their intelligence, than any threat that this kind of book posed to their religious faith. Was this a case of the Jarl role defending the orthodoxy which gives them their status and authority in
the first place?

What is interesting today is the way that so many doctors, even retired ones who don’t need to tow the party line to keep their jobs, seem to have a total lack of curiosity about the so called ‘pandemic’ and the way that it is being responded to. Considering how much information now calls into question to efficacy and safety of the MNRA jabs you would think that those who have made medicine their life’s work would be interested in whether or not these ‘vaccinations’ actually work or not, and how much harm they might do. Not in my experience, the medics I know, both working and retired, just take their jabs and boosters and seem to be very surprised when anyone else might decline the opportunity. I am not suggesting that the vast majority of medical professionals and clergy do not do their work with diligence and compassion. However, it does seem that part of the role of a medical doctor is to be a priest of allopathic medicine whose
duty is to defend the orthodoxy of, and faith in, the science as approved by organisations such as the FDA and CDC in the USA or the GMC in the UK. Those who choose to question orthodoxy can quickly find themselves in a lot of trouble.

The funny part is that no one really needs this protection. Some people will either never notice that there is another perspective than theirs because they simply do not have the awareness to see it. Other people will have made up their own mind what they believe based on available information and experience, and will find it rather funny when their ‘leader’ is pretending that the orthodox faith is the only true one.

The real conflict is the internal one which come from knowing that you are just defending an orthodoxy, but have developed doubts that your orthodox belief is actually true. Perhaps this is why those in the Jarl role seem to have such little curiosity about discovering the truth, they really cannot afford to be seen to have doubts in case they endanger their status and authority. Do we even need defenders of orthodoxy and ‘leaders’ to tell us what is and is not true? I like this quote from St Augustine: “The truth is like a lion, you do not have to defend it, let it loose and it will defend itself.”



PS Obviously a great many medical professionals have put their careers and reputations on the line to question the Covid narrative. I certainly salute these people but they have been in the minority.

PPS I tend to view current events from the perspective of religion and how beliefs are created and maintained. This chap has a background in investment and finance so it is worth hearing what he has to say about the pandemic and how it has been handled by big corporations and insurance companies

PPPS For the past two years I have been working on a distance learning Foundation Training Programme for Stav. I am currently working on Module 21. The first four modules introduce Stav, the stances, mythological sources such as the Volspa and Havamal, and key concepts such as Orlog, Five principles, and ways that the runes can be used. Each of the next 16 modules covers one of the runes in detail with a detailed exploration of the mythological sources for the deity associated with each symbol, meanings and associations, the rune rhyme and more. The final four modules will cover the bind runes as well as more on mythology and making and using a rune set. This has been a big project but I intend to have the first version finished by Easter. I will update the website with more details this week.