Even though this scene is from the fictional HBO show, Game of Thrones, it is based on real historical precedence. Watch first before reading what follows. In this scene the mother of the king, Cersie Lannister was stripped away of all her “material possessions” to be purified by the house of religion. In all reality it was a power play by the church to take over the throne of power using her as a symbol of a conquered ruler.
I was having a very nice time at the Canterbury Cathedral book store. Just hours earlier my family and I had a wonderful meal at Gordon Ramsey’s three Michelin Star restaurant in Chelsea and I was enjoying a life well lived from the opulence of that dining experience to the rugged, and bitter cold of a harsh London rain dumping enormous amounts of moisture from the Jet Stream above as it scooped up water out of the Atlantic in February and dumped it on my head as my wife and I strolled the streets of that ancient town and all its history. We had toured the old cathedral which witnessed so much history over the last thousand years that I was a little bit in heaven walking through that book store with a mountain of books in my hands standing at the cashier as water droplets from the heavy rain outside still dripped off the brim of my leather cowboy hat.
I love life in the United States, but the bookstores are much better in Europe, especially England because people still read there as part of their daily life. Television isn’t very good in England and most of the good movies are made in America, so England still has people who look at reading as a valuable trait, and I share with them that sentiment. The cashier joked that she had not witnessed anybody yet in the year who bought as many books as I did which was more truth than customer pandering. And to reward me for the large bill she rang up on the register she offered me a free book which she had stacked up on the table behind her. It was called The Red Dean of Canterbury by John Butler and was a respectful biography of the communist advocate Hewlett Johnson who spread his message of a collective based Utopia from the very ground I was standing on and that message reached the ears of all the big communist leaders around the world from 1831 to 1963. Johnson used essentially his high position within the Church of England to espouse the merits of communism as he paralleled the teaching of Christian belief with that of communism—as one in the same. He used the church to advocate and strengthen the communist idea around the globe as he viewed God’s Kingdom of God on earth as the ultimate Marxist Utopia. To him, and to many that he convinced over his life span, they were indistinguishable.
I knew much of the story of Hewlett Johnson before the cashier handed me that very good book. I don’t mean that the content within the book was something I agreed with, I almost turned it away because of the content. But the quality of the book was very good, the binding was excellent. It had great weight which meant great paper quality and a lot of love had gone into its publication which I thought was odd for it to be offered for free to anyone who spent over $100 in their store. Because of my large order I joked with the lady as I held it instantly recognizing its fine quality if I could have six of them since my total was large enough to ask the question. She of course took me too literally and seemed pained to tell me that there was a limit to one per customer. I brushed it off realizing that my American humor was out of context here in the heart of the literary world, so I took the book and looked for the first opportunity to read it.
We met up with my daughter and her family at The Old Weavers restaurant for a bite before calling it a day. That particular place was over 500 years old and had a very picturesque view of the River Stour which flows by directly outside the window. To get into the place I had to duck my head as people were obviously much shorter in 1500 AD when The Old Weavers was built. Across the street literally was the Franciscan friary of Canterbury where to this very day the Anglican Franciscan’s are still functioning much the way they had since 1200 AD. So it was a good place to start reading John Butler’s fine book and I did so here and there the rest of the day. Our diner turned into shopping in town so as I waited for the girls to do their collection of “bits” I sat on benches around town reading the first couple chapters of The Red Dean of Canterbury. I was a little surprised that the under Hewlett Johnson’s watch the old friary was sold to the Dean in 1959 and it has functioned in that original capacity since. As I read my book and watched the modern monks helping the poor around town my first thoughts were that everything was good in the world. Thank goodness for the good work and ministry that the monks performed, I thought it was quite a service.
But that was only on the surface. Underneath all that good intention, which is something I have always felt about churches in general, is a collectivism that I rejected personally a long time ago. Another book that I bought in Canterbury was a fabulous book about Martin Luther the rebellious protestant who challenged the Catholic Church and its vast European empire with a new decentralized version of religion. I grew up Lutheran and was actually very close to my church’s pastor. Most every Sunday I worked directly with the pastor from the front of the church pouring wine and feeding bread to members of the congregation as he went behind me blessing everyone. I was heavily involved in church scholarship from say 13 years old to about 16 so I’ve been a part of that life heavily before, but I was always skeptical of it. Skeptical because the concepts never seemed right to me, all the notions of sacrifice and altruistic behavior seemed foreign to the concept of American capitalism. And the church (my church) put itself often in perpetual peril with the bank that held their mortgage—much like the monks did in England. They made a choice not to worship materialism and the money which represented value in capitalist societies—because to them the only value worth anything was the values of the church. My dad was part of the church leadership and tried for over 30 years to keep the business end of the church flowing since none of the pastors or the members of the Lutheran leadership in Cincinnati had any love for money—they ultimately were destroyed over time to the notion that God would provide—when God didn’t. Not all churches are short-sighted, some actually make a lot of money—which is good. But my experience was very similar to what I witnessed in England with the modern monks and the history of the church at the center of all politics around the world starting essentially in those very places where I was reading The Red Dean of Canterbury.
Reading that book three decades after my own experiences with the Lutheran Church in America and having the ability to walk through so many historical sites in Canterbury as I considered them was very revealing to me. I am, and continue to be, very weary of religion because most of them around the world originate in the east, including Christianity. If Jesus Christ were born today he’d be a communist—or at least a socialist which is why all those damn hippies from the 60s were wearing their hair long and always talking about Jesus Christ being a superstar. The tenets of global Christianity reject American capitalism and the money our “material” culture represents. I can’t help but notice that the communist and socialist movements are undeniably an unspoken organization of Christian Marxists which have penetrated our societies in a very confusing ways.
The vast evils that the Democratic Party have been able to inflict on American society are that they exploit this duality for which most of the conservative right Bible thumping voting base functions. For instance, most conservatives believe in personal property and the merit of making money. But they also tend to believe in the messages spoken by the church which can be essentially termed Christian Marxism, shedding away personal property, the merit of community over individuality, sacrifice (like abortion which is mass murder on a grand scale), and a pandering to the poor. Modern American Christian people find themselves in a paradox for which they are locked in indecision and Democrats exploit that indecision for their own desires to expand the influence of Marxism, even into the church so that congregations will take those values into their communities and attack the foundations of capitalism.
I purposely started off this article talking about my personal enjoyment of buying books, which are material items, eating at Gordon Ramsey’s very expensive restaurant in London, and shopping in Canterbury where my girls were able to indulge a bit while traveling—because those are all elements of capitalism which are good and far superior to Marxism. Being able to pay $1500 for a meal at a 3 Michelin Star restaurant doesn’t mean I should be flogged in the streets by the poor because they want some of what I have. There are few people in the world who work as hard as I do, so if I want to take my family to an expensive restaurant, or buy $600 worth of books in a Canterbury bookstore, I can. Money is a tool to use in my life to live life and experience the many miracles of existence. Being poor is largely a decision and if young people don’t learn to work hard and make money early in their lives, they will always be victims to the message of Marxism, all their lives. That problem is compounded by the paradox that it is essentially Marxism that is taught in churches, even today. Most of what goes on in Bible school can be found on the pages of Karl Marx’s works.
Church lost its appeal to me long ago when after many years of telling me that I was born into sin and that I needed an institution of an official religion to be saved from that nature. I called bullshit. I am not an atheist by any measure, but no church on earth goes to the extent that I do to satisfy my personal spiritual sanctity. I am no sinner and just by being born I’m not condemned to such an insane policy. I literally think that in America a new religion based on the Christian premise of decency should evolve as a kind of Power of Positive Thinking type of evolution, instead of the crimes of the rich against the poor and the transitory nature of all life with an ever-increasing eye on the afterlife. Marxists have latched onto Christian concepts to help sell their European collectivism to a greater audience and one of the biggest advocates of that effort, Hewlett Johnson was not shy about it. Most people in his position, like the current Pope of the Catholic Church won’t talk about how similar their religion is to Marxism. They don’t figure that the comparison is applicable because Christianity has been around for a much longer period of time. Marxism is relatively young by comparison, but they are alike. They are born out of the same notion of sacrifice being the value of existence. Sacrifice is not; productivity is—doing things, thinking things, and always inventing things. Morality emerges best in productivity, not in sacrifice which is quite an extraordinary thing to say because for 300,000 years, likely longer, mankind has never accepted the basics of that statement—except in the United States for about 100 years—from 1790 to 1890. Like the monks in Canterbury, feeding the poor is equivalent to feeding the problem, yet we do it because we think Jesus will love us more for it. But in actuality we are making the poor worse because we don’t encourage their individuality to excel, we teach them to retreat and turn toward the church for guidance—or the great congregation of society to rectify the situation.
It’s a complicated problem if we try to merge the values of politics with those of religion. But that is essentially how the Democrats attack the conservative right, by exploiting this duality of values to the point where we all just blank out. We love money in America; we love expensive vacations, nice cars, and our big televisions, cell phones and the commercialization of Christmas. But we feel guilty because institutional churches still rooted in the philosophies that gave birth to Marxism in the first place tell us that the way to an afterlife is through Jesus, because we were all born into sin and he is the only way to eternal life. The Jesus of the institutions was a hippie loser who was basically one of the first communists in the world—according to our history books written by modern scholars—who are mostly all Marxists themselves. Just as John Butler loves Hewlett Johnson and reveres him as a hero of the modern communist movement. I doubt there is a bookstore in America who would give out copies of such a nicely made book like, The Red Dean of Canterbury. The production values of the book alone would be cost prohibitive for American audiences. But in England where those people have been conquered 1000s of times over the centuries, they looked toward the Dean of Canterbury for guidance and his advice which many listened to was to become nice Christian Marxists and get ready for the afterworld. But I think they all miss the point, because American capitalism has evolved into the real answer. If Jesus were alive today I think he would have voted for Donald Trump and would have liked the church the modern president attended as a child by Norman Vincent Peale. There is a lot more good that comes from wealth and hard work than ever came from monks handing out donations to the poor. Flowing altruism through institutions is the point of emphasis for the church and would ultimately become the focus of communist and socialist governments. But in America we rejected that notion and it’s about time that we declare our independence not just from governments, but even Marxist philosophies no matter how they are presented to us. I think it’s time that we make Jesus a capitalist and take away the values of the church from the Marxists who have set up camp in the houses of religion for the perpetuation of global domination of communism—and I think it’s time that we do that now.
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