Mercury (Hermes) and Dionysus (Bacchus): Beyond Good and Evil

Were Mercury and Dionysus good friends? I’m scanning my memory for stories that involved both of them because, looking at the age, it seems evident to me that Mercury is the god of this age and that Dionysus is riding his wagon. Are they friends or rivals?

Mercury was the messenger god. He was the god of rhetoric, the lord of the clever. He was the god of merchants (derived from his name through the medieval “ch”ing of the Latin c), and traders, and thieves. He was a merry god, impish in all his doings. The kind of trouble maker you couldn’t help loving. Obviously a marketer.

Dionysus was a late-coming god. He was the god of the vine, but he had a dark side to him. He didn’t do well with unbelievers. He was worshipped in revelry, in Baccanalia. His followers didn’t thrive much better than his despisers. Something about him touched on madness.

Mercury has ruled western society for a couple centuries now, having been the unmentioned God of the British empire and then of the Hamiltonian American vision. Mercury appeals to the universally superficial, where he can make lots and lots of money.

Dionysus stepped forward in 19th century Germany and hovered around our windows for the first half or so of the 20th century. Then we invited him in, tired of the waste land the dead souls that ruled the west had created. In he came, with all his genius.

Since then, madness has spread like a vine. He brought his gifts with him and led us to abuse them, especially unrestrained use of alcohol and sex. He drove our judgment to the brutish beasts and is making a laughing stock of us even as I write. He has weakened us, unnerved us, unstrung the sinews of our soul. He has cut out our chests and laughed at our honors. And we have laughed with him.

The bill is coming due, but we won’t stop the orgy. His plan is destruction and we delight in every step of the torture.

More than anything, the sexual revolution is a part of our life that we can neither escape nor survive. What was once unspeakable has been so passionately embraced that teenagers listening to an adult champion it literally screamed their approval (on one account) and offered a standing ovation to the story teller who had the courage to out the character who embodied the spiritual center of her story. These kids knew, their souls were formed to intuit, that something eventful had just happened.

Dionysus’s vines had just pulled down another wall.

But if we draw back, what is really happening? The most obvious thing is that homosexuality is an inescapable part of the lives of virtually every one of us. Some would argue that it always was, but for now I’ll set that point aside. It’s important and also loaded with implications, but not what I’m writing about right now.

I, like virtually everyone, have and have had friends, work associates, and relatives who are openly homosexual. I feel affection for all of them and deep affection for some of them. I also have at least one friend who used to be homosexual and was delivered from what he or she (no clues) now profoundly regrets. In what I am writing, I do not “judge” my homosexual friends and acquaintances in the sense that I think of them as innately or unusally evil people. Some of them are decent enough, some of them are jerks. They’re just like the rest of us in that way. I’ll have more on this core issue of judging below.

But I’m not going to argue that therefore being homosexual is a matter of indifference. It is not. Everybody knows it is not. That’s why the kids screamed at the outing of Dumbledore.

In what follows, I am reflecting primarily on the social implications of homosexuality, but society is made up of individuals in the pursuit of a shared life that can help each of them find security and meaning, which combine to make what most of us call happiness. This is not an attack on individuals who are homosexual, though if you are I hope you’ll hear in this an appeal to find healing. It’s not written in anger or judgment. My goodness, Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am first. I’ve never met a person more sinful than I am. Never.

So here’s my thesis: widespread homosexuality is both cause and effect of social and personal disintegration. More precisely, the gay agenda has already and will continue to wreak moral havoc. It does so by implementing a logic of permission that is untenable, but having been implemented becomes the habitual language of moral thought by which the great mass of men go about making moral decisions.

Let me explain what I mean.  

The gay agenda is part of the wider sexual revolution, which is part of the wider moral revolution that has always been an undercurrent of civilization but which became “revolutionary” in the 18th century. It’s principles were not admitted explicitly until, probably Nietzsche, though De Sade was a bit brazen about some of them. The basic premise would have to be that I am the source of my own morality.

How do we go about determining what is permissible behavior? In Christian ethics, we recognize that none of us are smart enough or pure enough to figure out the philosophy of ethics before we destroy ourselves and none of us have the right to impose our values on the Christian community by expressing them just because we have them. In short, we recognize the common sense need to be taught right and wrong. Correllary to the need to be taught is the need to learn so that we can then teach.

In short, we believe in two principles that contemporary thinkers live by to an extent but cannot accept intellectually, so they spend their entire adult lives in confusion, hoisted on their own petard: authority and submission.

But the Christian tradition has always argued that authority must be rooted in actual knowledge, not personal preference. In the end, the only pure and reliable source of that actual knowledge is God Himself. He alone has a long and complete enough view to see all the implications of human behavior. He alone has enough self-control and disinterestedness to see things accurately. Therefore, He alone can provide us with sound counsel on how to live our lives.

Of course, the modern and post-modern mind scoffs at the whole notion of a god who has revealed what is good for us. For the sake of argument, let us grant that such a god cannot exist or if it does it cannot be known. I will only point out here that if that is the case, we cannot possibly solve the moral question, because nobody has any idea what he is talking about. Nobody has a long enough view or a pure enough heart.

Two possible exceptions arise: one, tradition, and two, individuals who attain a level of moral purity that gives them something like a Platonic vision of the moral law in all its glory. Someone, for example, like Jesus.

Then we have three options: God revealing the moral law to us, tradition, and a pure individual.

Combine those three and you have the Judeo-Christian tradition. I find that rather compelling.

I’m going to stop now because this is turning into a long blog and nobody likes to read long blogs, but I’ll be posting more on this in following blogs, particularly on my “accusation” that the gay agenda wreaks moral havoc. I truly consider this issue to be the issue with which civilization must deal in the coming decades or even what is left of civilization will be lost. Islamofascism finds its life source in our moral breakdown. Those are our Scylla (the monster of Islam0fascism) and Charybdis (the moral maelstrom).

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3 Responses

  1. The law that you cite in this essay, and in your subsequent additions to it, is not the Law of which Christ spoke. That Law is not written in a book, and cannot be understood by vainly interpreting words. The law of which you speak also gives men permission to sell their daughters into slavery and a number of other decidedly un-godly and un-Christ-like behaviors (all of which seemed perfectly logical to the Israelites of Moses’ time). My critique is your assumption that you can know what God’s law is. Faith in the Bible is not faith in God, and too many Christians confuse the two– with disastrous results. God has ensured man’s Free Will by his own omnipotent power– their free will to re-write the bible, to pick and choose which sacred texts to keep and which to throw out (the long lost Gnostic Gospels make for great reading. . . ) and the power to interpret God’s word. How do you, or anybody else, know that your interpretation of it is sound (I mean, we need a Supreme Court just to interpret a document that is far shorter, and less complex, than the Bible).

    In principle, your argument is sound for both homosexuals and straights alike– that the only path is submission to God’s Law. Where we disagree is in what that means.

    You seem to be a nice man, and you seem earnest. So I will share with you a prayer that may speak to this:

    God who is the Father, the Creator of All, I ask that you teach me your true Teachings, and teach me your Will, and that you give me correct understanding of these things, and absolute faith in those correct understandings of these things. I swear to you, oh God, that I submit myself willingly to whatever is necessary for this to come to pass, no matter how painful or difficult the path might be. I ask of you to grant me the fulfillment of this request now, in this lifetime, while I am yet living, that I might live the rest of my human life in accordance with your true Teachings and your Will. Amen.

    • Adam,

      Thanks for your feedback. Only one problem: I don’t get it. I’m not sure what you are saying is wrong with my argument other than that I made it. The flow of thought in your propositions escapes me, so I need your help on this. I think I might be able to respond, but I would not know if I was responding to what you said.

      In particular, beginning with “my critique,” there seem to be logical leaps that I’m not quick enough to follow between the next three sentences. Then your conclusion, put in the form of a question, doesn’t seem to follow.

      Please help.

  2. […] Good and Evil II Posted on October 29, 2007 by Lost and Found In this post, I wrote these words: Widespread homosexuality is both cause and effect of social and personal […]

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