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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

JORDAN PETERSON: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; A Catholic Analysis

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 On January 25, 1897, Pope Leo XIII released the Apostolic Constitution, Officiorum ac Munerum, clarifying and simplifying the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. Contrary to the claims of some who depict the Holy Father as the first liberal or even first neoconservative pope, in Officiorum His Holiness, while providing a streamlined condemnation of banned books, did not loosen the restrictions of material Catholics might read.

In fact, Pope Leo, well aware of the rising tide of degenerate and evil books that was beginning to overwhelm the reading public in the late nineteenth century, writes of the importance of Catholics, both laymen and clerics, to denounce the ever growing flood of wicked books, stating that “all Catholics, especially the more learned, ought to denounce pernicious books either to the Bishops or to the Holy See…” Calling out to Catholic scholars and journalists for succor, Leo further states that it “is expedient, in denouncing bad books, that not only the title of the Book be expressed, but also, as far as possible, the reasons be explained why the book is considered worthy of censure.”

Thus, rather than giving the green light for Catholics to consume any and every book as long as it can be considered a “classic” or worthy of aesthetic merit, Pope Leo, upon the cusp the 20th century—a century in which Christian civilization was, in effect, destroyed by people acting on the advice of bad books—is arguing for increased vigilance in regard to Catholic cultural consumption.

Nearly a century and a quarter after Officiorum ac Munerum, the type of media consumed by people today has radically shifted. The reading of books—one of the great pleasures of life—is at an all-time low among Americans as page turning, it should be no surprise, has been supplanted by screen time. In fact, most Americans spend more than eleven hours a day consuming electronic media.

While the majority of internet consumption is of fake news, pornography, and “sportsball,” not everyone on the internet is dumb and spiritually corrosive.

There is an ever-growing abundance of personalities on the internet—many of whom just regular Joes and Jills without a specific academic pedigree—who publish high quality intellectual content that can be of benefit to faithful Catholics.

Among the most popular conservative intellectual “e-celebs” is Dr. Jordan B. Peterson.

The Good

A master of digital self-promotion and marketing, Jordan Peterson is among the most popular and influential public intellectuals in the conservative world. A psychologist and professor at the University of Toronto, Dr. Peterson initially gained popularity almost two years ago for his resistance to Canada’s Bill C-16, which added “gender identity or expression” to the list of qualities against which one could not be discriminated in Canada’s Bill of Human Rights.

Believing the bill to be draconian and unjust, on September 26, 2017, Peterson published a video called “Professor against political correctness” on YouTube. Having stirred a hornet’s nest of political correctness, Peterson was given a national stage in Canada with an October 3, 2016 interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation titled, “'I'm not a bigot' Meet the U of T prof who refuses to use genderless pronouns”.

Following this watershed interview, Peterson released a series of YouTube videos waging war on leftwing “Cultural Marxism” and thus rocketed to fame as an intellectual guru providing commentary on everything from emotional eating to the Book of Genesis.

In the past three years, Peterson has been established as an outspoken advocate for traditional Western Christian civilization, penning a bestselling book, 12 Rules for Life, which advocates for personal transformation and rehabilitation of one’s life through discipline, focus, and generosity.

There’s little question that Peterson’s writings have improved the lives of many, including many Christians drowning in the malaise of post-millennial existence, and there are many bits of advice as well as philosophical concepts that Peterson pedals, which can—if properly pruned—be serviceable to Catholics.

However, there is more to Dr. Jordan Peterson than meets the eye—much more, in fact.

The Bad

While he has a number of trenchant critics of the insane “Clown World” of Globohomo in which we live, Peterson has a number of very odd ideas—many of which are antithetical to Christianity.

First and foremost, Jordan Peterson, while identifying as a Christian, does not hold any orthodox Christian beliefs at all. In an interview of British journalist, Timothy Lott, posted on Peterson’s own YouTube channel (which, despite all the controversy Peterson has courted, for some strange reason, has never been taken down), Peterson gives an extremely convoluted answer to the question posed to him: Are you a Christian?

The answer to this query from 2000 years of Christian martyrs has been a simple “yes.” Peterson, however, begins with a more convoluted, “I supposed the most straight forward answer to that is ‘yes’…[stuttering]…let’s leave it at ‘yes.’”

Why the hesitation, Dr. Peterson?

Further prodded by Timothy Lott, Peterson gives a subtle and evasive explanation of his approach to Christianity that reveals what the good Canadian psychologist really believes: “There are truths other than the literal that are perhaps even more truthful than literal truths.”

Lott, seeking clarification, asks Peterson if he believes that Jesus rose from the dead.

After a weirdly pensive pause in which Dr. Peterson tries the find the right answer that will placate his largely Christian followers, he responds, “I cannot answer that question.” And then after more evasion and mumbling, even more curiously, “It depends by what you mean by Jesus.”

Lott, himself seemingly ignorant of the basic tenets of Christology, prods Peterson further, asking him if he believes that Jesus, a real “human being,” rose from the dead.

Peterson, perhaps with his Patreon donations and book sales in mind, responds, “At the moment, I am agnostic about the issue.”

Jordan Peterson’s responses here are ridiculous not simply because he denies the central tenets of Christianity, but rather because he claims to be a Christian while at the same time denying the fundamental teachings of Christianity.

At heart, Peterson is a sort of Gnostic Jungian “Christian” who believes that the symbols and archetypes of Christianity, although literally “false,” have tremendous power to influence experience and behavior.

Elsewhere, Peterson gives a clearer explanation of why he LARPs as a Christian on his Reddit AMA account. When asked why he does not “explicitly endorse” Christianity, Peterson responds with “Because it's more powerful to endorse it implicitly.”

What Peterson means by this answer is anyone’s guess but, clearly, Dr. Peterson is all the more empowered (and richer) because of his courting of Christian support and Christian money.

It is not that Jordan Peterson is an atheist who is roleplaying as a Christian; rather, his views of God seem largely drawn from Karl Jung, German Idealism, and even the occult.

Peterson’s view of God is dangerously and stupidly Gnostic, as revealed in a public conversation with fedora-tipping, atheist grifter Sam Harris in Vancouver last year.

When asked by Harris if he believes in God, Peterson offers a weirdly gnostic-Hegelian response: For Peterson, God is “how we imaginatively and collectively represent the existence and action of consciousness across time.”

Peterson’s thought is also replete with language and images drawn from occultism and the New Age. Among his 32 (or 40) maxims for men, are a number of curious bits of advice, including the following “Keep the sacred fire burning,” “Offer your sons up as a sacrifice to God,” “Consult the ancestral spirits,” “Make a worthy temple for the Lord,” “Bring heaven to earth,” and “Take on the sins of the world.”

The immediate response to this weird list—which includes phrases that are verbatim descriptions of magical practices as well as weird homages to philosophies of self-actualization and even perhaps the Satanic idea of “Christ consciousness”—by the followers of Jordan Peterson is that he means these expressions to be understood figuratively or metaphorically.

His followers would perhaps be correct, but Peterson utilizes concepts from Christianity in a similar fashion, thus reducing the New Age and Christianity to merely metaphorical mythic descriptions of reality.

However, the primary point here is that Peterson is being deliberately ambiguous and enigmatic and thus can easily confuse many of his more gullible Christian followers who hang on his every word.

The Ugly

In addition to Jordan Peterson’s weird quasi-Gnostic version of Jungian pseudo-Christianity, Peterson has a long list of curious associates as well as a very strange employment history. In fact, Peterson’s positions are strange enough to raise questions about the motivations behind his meteoric rise to fame and the constant and continuous media attention he is given. One would do well to keep in mind that if a figure is being promoted by the media—even (and perhaps especially) as a villain—then it often means the media want people to pay attention to this figure.

Although fashioning himself as a rebel against the totalitarian globalist post-millennial left, Peterson has actually worked for the United Nations and attended a meeting of the globalist Trilateral Commission.

While working for the UN, Peterson was involved with creating the white papers, “A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development,” as well as “Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing”. (For those curious, Peterson’s name appears on page 92 of the document).

It seems very strange that someone who is positioned as a defender of Western Christian civilization and traditional values would work for the anti-Christian and anti-Western organization known as the United Nations.

Indeed, it is especially strange that Peterson would work on climate change hoax documents that advocate the destruction the West through deindustrialization and genocide-level migration. Both of these white papers advocate for wealth distribution from the wealthier to poorer nations and warn against discrimination by gender and sexual orientation. They even argue for “equity” between illegal immigrants and native-born citizens.

Preparing a legal veneer for the conquest of the Christian West, “Resilient People, Resilient Planet” states, “The universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of migrants must be respected. These migrants make a positive economic contribution to their host countries, by building up their labour force.”

Both of these statements are, of course, delusional lies. Contrary to Peterson’s “Resilient People, Resilient Planet,” migrants, according to traditional Catholic teaching, do not have a right and freedom to enter a country if it damages the common good of that country. Moreover, there is abundant evidence that the majority of migrants dip into social welfare programs of their host countries and are affecting catastrophic economic costs throughout the West.

Why would the “clean up your room,” Gnostic crusader Jordan Peterson contribute to such duplicitous and destructive UN documents?

Well, we have the answer right from the horse’s mouth.

When asked about his contributions to these globalist white papers, Peterson explained, “I worked on the UN Secretary-General’s High Panel for Sustainability Report that was delivered, I believe, in 2013, and rewrote the underlying narrative to strip out most of the ideological claptrap…”

This comment, like much of Peterson’s other statements, is especially interesting and revealing, for he is, in effect, admitting that his job was to clean up the language of the document to make its presentation of socialism, radical environmentalism, and enforced diversity more subtle.

Is it possible that Peterson is selling weird occult ideas and an ultimately leftwing ideology through his books and endless internet chatter?

He may or may not be doing so; however, at the very least, Catholics should be very cautious when approaching Jordan Peterson’s material and take everything he says with a grain of salt.

Oh, and one more thing, Jordan Peterson, also has worked for one of George Soros’s collaborators and friends. As the “About” section on his website boasts, Jordan Peterson performed his work at the UN with Jim Balsillie.

Who is Jim Balsillie?

Well, just someone who founded the Institute for New Economic Thinking globalist think tank with none other than George Soros.

Conclusion

Acknowledging Jordan Peterson’s pseudo-Christianity as well as his service to the global Deep State is not to engage in the all-too-popular conspiracy theorizing that dominates and defines the Digital Age.

Moreover, criticism is not to argue that Jordan Peterson’s material should be rejected in toto. Rather, just as Catholics today look to figures such as the Anglican apologist C.S. Lewis, who one might note, repeatedly and expressly rejected Roman Catholicism, for some philosophical truths, so too might Catholics find, after careful sifting, some intellectual nuggets in Jordan Peterson’s work.

However, for Catholics there is only one true teacher to whom we turn for solace and guidance, Our Lord Jesus Christ, whose teachings—ever ancient, ever new—have been proclaimed by the saints of the Church for almost two thousand years.

 

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