Essential American Wisdom

“Papismus Lucifugus” and the Advent of Tribalism in American Conservatism

Papismus Lucifugus

I have this book, one of only a few surviving. Dated 1668, it’s a record of a disputation between John Menzies of the (Church of Scotland) Divinity School at Marischal College in Aberdeen and an English Jesuit named Francis Demspter. All leather, just leaf through it and carry yourself back…1668 was during the reign of Charles II, who had only recently returned to the English throne after the death of Oliver Cromwell. There would be only one more Catholic king, his brother James II, who would abdicate in 1688 in favor of the Glorious Revolution that would end the House of Stuart and place William & Mary on the English throne. The Scottish Reformation, started by John Knox was only 100 years old, as was the Church of England, founded by Henry VIII.

And the first settlements in America, Jamestown and Massachusetts Bay, were only 60 and 45 years old, respectively.


And as shown on the label above, the owner of this particular copy was a Sir William Baird, a well-known witch trial magistrate in NewKirk.

So, when this was written Catholicism was still the religion of the nobility while the Presbyterian kirk was the religion of the common people in Scotland. And they didn’t like one another one bit.

On the title page Menzies states what he intended to prove, as a prosecutor might in a pre-trial argument to a jury::

“Sundry of the chief points of the Papish religion are demonstrated to be repugnant to both Scripture and Antiquity, yea, to the Ancient Romish church.”

This book oozes sectarian hatred, the language not directed at persuasion and conciliation or anything we consider to be Christian. It is an in-yer-face incitement, as if to say that this churchman wouldn’t have to go through all these flowery arguments if only he could lure this Jesuit down a dark alley… and there wasn’t a magistrate within shouting distance. Classic tribalism, one set of rules when the light is shining, another set in the dark.


Since Menzies equated Evil with the Papacy, and the Jesuits reciprocated with fallen Protestants, who, on the continent, they were still burning, I wonder if the #OnlyIMatter crowd in America could recognize this sort of tribalism if it appeared in America? Would they see it as Good, or Bad, or simply Neutral, as they might the collateral damage in a “Twilight” film, or voting for Hillary the suddenly gasping-for-air conservatives seem to imply they will do? Even P J O’Rourke no longers trembles for his country but only any status quo that will protect his investments.

Does “tribalism” conjure up images of only primitive people like the Comanche in a John Wayne film, or Boko Haram in Nigeria? Would GenY #NeverTrumpsters know to throw in Orthodox Serbia and Catholic Croatia, or Catholic and Episcopal Belfast? Could they find it in Detroit, Cleveland, and Baltimore?

And considering the main thrust of #NeverTrumpism, how about conservatism in general…inasmuch that some use similar rhetoric as Menzies threw around in 1668 against fellow Christians, abusing that word, “evil”, yet unable to define it with clarity, or unwilling to link it with its biblical Author?

Vine Deloria Jr, the Sioux Indian activist, is a name most people under fifty wouldn’t know. He wrote a best seller “Custer Died for Your Sins” in 1969 then in 1970 followed with “We Talk, You Listen, New Tribes, New Turf” which I thought was a good anthropological inquiry into tribalism, while still in my amateur-anthropologist phase. Deloria argued for a return to tribalism, which, at 25 made sense to me. But by 45 I could see it was just plain old left-wing psycho-babble wrapped up in Native American symbolism to seduce smart kids like me, who would buy into any pop-science fad at 25, then let vanity and pride forbid us from ever admitting we could ever be that gullible. (Yeah, the Left’s been working that same street corner for over 60 years, and the best and brightest of MyGen were some of their earlier customers. Great business model, too.)

In those intervening 20 years it wasn’t that I learned all that much more about anthropology or history. What I did learn was the exceptional nature of America and that tribalism is a thing America was created to defeat…since, under the guiding hand of Evil, tribalism has been the most destructive force on earth. Tribalism is the unifying force of kings in that it insured men of different tribes could never learn to live together and “reciprocate with their neighbors as they would have their neighbor reciprocate with them”, which is America’s Golden Rule of nation building.  We invented it.

This reciprocity has always been a Good Thing, generally accepted by conservatives at one intellectual level, the ordinary American citizen at another, but generally unifying them from the very beginning, long before the term “conservatism” ever became a part of the political vocabulary.

For the past century, and a rising Left by several names, our Golden Rule has been seen as a Bad Thing, splitting us into groups (tribes) made to appear much more cool. Just know Evil, who I call by various names, had seen it as a Bad Thing from the very beginning and had laid plans to recapture his territories before the ink dried at the Constitutional convention. You see, he knew right away that his political control, top-down government, could fail if this reciprocity theme ever took hold. He relied on men living, and fighting and killing tribally, in order to keep that system alive. It was one of Satan’s greatest creations, and is why, until America, he was the political head of the entire world for over 5000 years. In 1787 Evil lost just one small spot in North America, but knew the magnitude of it.

About Papismus Lucifugus, what most Americans no longer know, and too many conservatives of good conscience don’t seem to know to inquire anymore is that this has been the state of the rest of the world right up to yesterday. Europe is on the edge of barbarism (again), just like they were in 1668, hanging on by a thread. They were killing people in the northern counties of Ireland until only recently. Catholic children there are still taught about the evils of John Bull and his Church in England as part of their catechism, in the same sort of screed-language found in Lucifugus, while Northern Irish Episcopalians, in better economic surroundings, still teach their children to steer clear of those dirty, grimy Catholics.

And it was much worse on the Continent. The Jesuit Counter Reformation killed hundreds of thousands in the decades before Papismus. The French were especially adept. Into modern times, in the Balkans it didn’t matter if Nazis and Nationalists were faced off against one another, battle lines were also drawn by religion, Orthodox and Catholics refusing to fight alongside one another, regardless of national cause. Tribalism ruled. And in every melee men took the opportunity of the chaos to settle old tribal scores and take a few scalps, proven in WWII, the break-up of Yugoslavia, and the Kosovo War. It’s still 1668 there. That beat goes on.

The greatest condemnation one can make of the two great Christian churches of Europe is that for over 1000 years they only played these “tribes” off against one another, rather than try to marry them off to one another, which had been rather ordinary in America over the span of our history. So of course those churches’ authority collapsed, replaced largely by the religion of Marx who promised it could heal this internecine warfare with the heavy hand of dictatorship. When Tito died, this experiment came to an expected abrupt failure, an ignominious failure. Now the Caliphatists have the same idea in mind, unifying people with a scimitar hovering over their necks. Today all Europe is lost because it had become hopelessly tribal even before the invasion of Islam. They have been sitting ducks for years.

But tribalism was never part of America’s design.

The American Exception, Part II to “Good and Evil”

One of the great ironies of America is that the “idea of religious freedom” in America was begun by refugees from genunine religious persecution (Puritans) yet were the most insufferable religious exclusivists to ever choke a turkey and make a sandwich out of it. In terms of the hateful arrogance and down-the-nose disdain we have grown to associate with New England leftists, it first abided in the Puritans. Cultural leftists in America all behave like 17th Century puritans but who had found profit in dropping God from their political liturgies, a process which became really easy after 1950.

But unlike the Europeans, what our real Puritans didn’t do was kill or enslave those not like themselves, and there’s the tribal rub. They just said that if you can’t live with our religious rules, move somewhere else, which Roger Williams did (he asked too many questions, offered to many changes) thus founding the neighboring colony of Rhode Island, which in a fair world, would be the real home of religious freedom in American history.

And so it began that America became a  free market-place of religion.

Near the time of Papismus Lucifigus being written, the Dutch had come to New York, Catholics to Maryland (1635), Anglicans to the Virginias (1607) even French refugees from the Jesuits, Huguenots, had come ashore in the Carolinas, and Friends (Quakers) to Pennsylvania (1681). The Quakers seemed to capture the whole idea of religious freedom best, since, after being shown the back door in New England by the Puritans, “Move along, you’re not welcome here”, the waves of Scotch-Irish Presbyterians who would enter America would opt to come ashore through more welcoming Pennsylvania ports and work their way west into the Shenandoah Valley and the Carolinas…eventually making up the bulk of the military rank-and-file that would win the War of Independence.

By the time the teeming masses began pouring ashore from Ireland, Italia, Sicily, Slovakia, and Russia in the 19th-early 20th century, the process “to be American” had been carved into stone. No matter where you might go to settle, there would likely be a community and a church for you to join. Or even none at all if you chose. Even “don’t give a damn’s” could find a niche in America. Many trekked westward, to live with the closest neighbor a few miles away, and one town within a twenty mile radius. You could cut out your territory and no one would invade it, even churchmen…a rule largely respected in America, and one that has defined us versus the rest of the world, until only lately.

In America, churches and religious animosity both lived by one hard-and-fast rule, their territory ended at the citizen’s front gate. You could damn those papists to hell around the kitchen table, but on the public square you all shared common ground and a common purpose, all built on reciprocity, which most of us learned through generations of assimilation, at work, in school, and in all the public places. So when we suddenly catch the eye of that black-eyed Greek beauty and decide to marry, despite the protests of family and church, a big fat Greek wedding takes place anyway, and they even make a movie celebrating it. You’ll never see anything like that in a theater in Athens. In 1967’s “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” with white liberals not-of-the-Left modern conservatives would not understand marrying off their daughter to black man, it proved that race, like religion, was no bar…only class.

Even #OnlyIMatter millennials never know if the customer at the Este Lauder counter in J C Penny’s is a Trumpster or not. There is no special dress that identifies them, by which Bulgarians say they can spot a Kosovar at a hundred yards, or by odor, as Russians insist they can smell a Jew from twenty feet. Despite what the Left says, even color doesn’t matter. Most people don’t wear signage to Penny’s which is usually worn only in the anonymity of the internet, which proves we have not gone altogether tribal.

Still we are being turned tribal, generation by generation, by teaching us to ignore the common ground we all share. In my lifetime I have seen most American blacks turned tribal involuntarily, while Milllenials never knew they were anything else. America’s greatest sin is not slavery, Bernie, it is that African Americans have been denied the one thing they always wanted, to be admitted into the corpus of the American community freely, while we almost forcefed the American Indian to become like us, but who wanted nothing to do with us, and to be left alone with their own land and their own gods. Hispanics are not far behind, “to be American” has now been replaced by “to only be in America”. These are the result of Lucifer trying to reclaim his lost territory. For the same reasons gays and those poor trannies, just looking for a place to show off their finery, and not so much a place to pee, are being culled from the American herd and told they will be better off as a tribe under the protection of a new king, only where, so says the fine print, tribal warfare is a constant. Most of them are being dragged by the nose, just like me at 25, by a political elite who could give a bigger damn about the fate of their rank and file, into a world very few of them want, and instinctively know will not be very good. But vanity is a strong elixir. Hillary’s lesbian sisterhood is the essence of tribalism. Even the obsessive pursuit of celebrity is a tribal activity.

Science is now being tribalized along the same lines, as is the academy, and all under the arching umbrella of the Bureaucracy, Satan’s founding tribe, always sitting on his right hand (lawyers sit on the left). Even as it is imploding (VA, IRS, TSA, ICE) even faster that it can grow new arms to better swaddle us with, just like Europe and the EU, the Bureaucracy is indifferent, even almost other-worldly, about the chaos it creates, concerned only about its own survival and propagation. For their poster boy, I don’t know who to nominate, John Koskinen, Jeh Johnson, or the Bureaucrat-in-Chief?

My generation, the Boomers, were the Left’s first attempt to tribalize a generation. Only a few signed up, but a war for a spoiled generation enlarged their numbers. The best went one way, the brightest another, as the saying goes, and in the end the Left won, I suppose, since leftists who tried to kill people are now lionized and given cush university gigs, witness Bill Ayers, just one of hundreds. This was a good launching pad for GenX, where hunting was better, in part because the Left had a tighter grip in public schools, graduating swill such a as Jonathan Gruber, and the bulk of the climate science academicians, all with the personal traits of the craven and cowardly self-serving Edmund Pevensie in “Tales of Narnia”, only (so far) resisting any and all signs of repentence and coming back to the light as kings for the Right.

America was created to be the fly in Satan’s buttermilk, to establish a model that could overthrow the his political preeminence worldwide, only I don’t know how many GenX and GenY conservatives know this. Ironically, those who’ve purchased by the Left certainly do.

GenX-GenY Conservatives and Donald Trump

As I stated in Part I, of our inquiry into Good and Evil, I really don’t care about most peoples’ opinions about Donald Trump. Or Ted Cruz for that matter….unless you can first define what you think about Evil. Real Evil. And spare me that “Donald Trump is evil” garbage.  All you are saying is that you haven’t a clue about the nature of Evil and its war on God in this country and therefore disqualified to call yourself conservative. Tribalism has been at the center of Satan’s Evil, that voodoo that he do so well, for over 5000 years and the language that many of you use in describing your hatred for Donald Trump, and  a few also for Ted Cruz, proves to me that you have been smitten by the tribal bug. Or, as is the case with some I know, just a common ordinary whore, a mercenary, spewing invective for money.

My position on Trump has been unchanging…he will do fine… IF he means what he says. Despite the clairvoyance many of you claim, there is no logical reason to believe he is lying. If you have a unified theory, as noted in Part I, walk yourself through that analysis, step by step. Scientists have to do this all time, it’s part of their craft. It’s called the Method, their creed, it’s the thing that allows them to look themselves in the mirror each day, It’s not like “sincerity”, which, once you can fake that you’ve got it made. You have to make several assumptions based on facts about Trump, many of them psychological in nature, not in evidence and absolutely unprovable without that special gift of second sight you see to claim, just mentioned.

Additionally, #NeverTrump, coming from a lawyer, it seems, also invokes the “Lawyer’s Prayer”-

Lord, we beseech thee to stir up strife among these thy children so that this thy servant shall not perish

Now that the Washington Post has chimed in, invoking this same prayer, I’d say the tribal nature of this campaign is set.

These are the germinated seeds of tribalism, broadcast over a large swath of two generations, almost consuming the best and brightest of one, on both sides of the political spectrum. If you are looking for Evil in this campaign, this is where you find it…not in whether Donald Trump will keep his promises, or even can keep his promise. The people have decided he gets a chance to prove it, and last I checked that is not evil.

Tribalism is the default property of the Left, and the Left is the standing army of Satan. These are only two dots, so connect them. By going tribal as many self-described conservatives have done, they, not Donald Trump, are serving Evil’s purpose here.


Vassar Bushmills

Add comment


The Edge

Buy me a Coffee :)