Today, I read a book review of a monograph entitled The English and their History by Robert Tombs that was written by Peter Hitchens, the Tory brother of the late Christopher:
I have no opinion on the book in question, which I have not read yet. What peaked my interest was Hitchens’ dismal impression of modern England, which he seems to believe is little better than the Soviet Union, circa 1990.
This is another unpublished essay that I thought needed to see the light of day, rather than be hidden away on my hard drive. It’s not about religion in the institutional sense, but about various aspects of Southern identity, which tends to function as a civic religion anyway. This essay goes with my previous posts on Southern Agrarianism and racism, but tackles the issue from a more personal perspective and includes a few suggestions for future action.
After I left St F, I drifted for a while. I would go to this parish or that parish, but my indoctrination about “liturgical abuses” and the dangers of going to “heterodox” parishes, filled me with anxiety as I tried to de-transition to “normal churches.” I finally just tried to break free with the whole Catholic thing by going to a Mennonite church for awhile. I don’t have anything negative to say about my time with the Mennonites, because they were honestly the nicest people I had (or have) ever met. The problem was me, because I was still obsessed with theology, liturgy, and all of the other things that led to a nasty case of religious OCD. Like most forms of OCD, I just couldn’t win; when I was at a church that seemed to fulfill all the aspects of my “spiritual checklist” like St. F, I felt inadequate and sinful for not doing this, that, or the other, or because I could never get behind the “women shouldn’t wear pants” thing or the MLK hate, but when I went to a more spiritually “normal” church, I felt like I was still failing at something or possibly everything.