Happy Sunday! For many years, I’ve been familiar with the Papal Encyclicals that deal with the corrupt and anti-Christian ideas of the so called Enlightenment. The Popes of the 19th Century such as Gregory XVI, Pius IX and others condemned Enlightenment ideas such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and representative democracy.
Only recently have I been able to delve into the writings of the educated laity who fought against these dangerous ideas. They aren’t as popular because their ideas ultimately lost in the West but they’re vital because their ideas will be important to know for when the West collapses.
Those writers were part of a movement called the Counter-Enlightenment. The Counter-Enlightment thinker that is probably known to most people is Edmund Burke. He’s a great thinker to start out with when studying this movement. He wrote the well known book Reflections of the Revolution in France which is probably the best book to read for getting into Counter-Enlightenment literature. The book is not from a Catholic perspective but Catholics would agree with most of the arguments used. Also, It’s easily accessible. It’s available on Amazon and I even managed to find a copy in my local bookstore so it’s definitely an easy find.
After this book, any other Counter-Enlightenment thinkers can be read. The other big Counter-Enlightenment thinkers are Rene de Chateaubriand, Louis de Bonald, and Joseph de Maistre. Although others exist, those are the most common and are the ones to read after Burke. Recently, I’ve really been delving into the writings of Joseph de Maistre.
Maistre was a firm defender of traditional Christian teaching and opposed the Enlightenment. He was also against fake and shallow imposter religion that masqueraded as Christianity. In his letters on the Spanish Inquisition, he said the following about the Church of England:
Sensible of this and in order if possible, to stay the torrent, several writers and these too, members of the Established Church have proposed, by softening down certain Articles of its Creed to enlarge the pale of this Institution, so as to admit into it Christians of every denomination. This is, no doubt, an admirable expedient; and the persons who propose it reason, but consistently dogmas matter little. The Creed of the Anglican Church is reduced to a mere line; and that line is the first. Beyond this, everything is mere opinion and sentiment. Whence, it is my conviction that as a religious establishment or a spiritual power, the Church of England exists no longer. Two centuries have sufficed to reduce the trunk of the worm-eaten tree to dust. The bark alone remains because it is the interest of the civil power to preserve it.
In these letters, Maistre also exposes the lies of Church of England apologists who tell blatant falsehoods about the Spanish Inquisition while viciously oppressing Catholics in England and Ireland with Penal Laws which are far more brutal than the Inquisition ever was.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m only in the very early stages of studying this movement. I’ll need to study much more of it, but I must encourage others to research what I’m currently researching. Christians are beginning to find out the lies sold to us in High School about the enlightenment are just that, lies. A day will come when enlightenment values come to an end in the West. When this happens, many people will have to a choice. One of the options will be to restore Christendom. The more people who know the Counter-Enlightenment, the more people will choose Christendom and the Kingship of Christ.
This is one of the most important things when studying Christianity. After Church, prayer, Scripture study and Catechism study, this topic is the most important for a Christian to know. I would say that it’s even more important than studying hagiography or Marian apparitions. A lot of people will find that controversial but when they research this movement, they’ll know what I mean.