New Warhorn Media post by Nathan Alberson:
When I was in high school, I went to see it and walked out in middle. Something about bodies writhing as bullets hit them.
I was struck enough by that story to remember it and repeat it briefly on the podcast.
I’ll listen dear brother. Love
For what it’s worth, Sam Francis’ review of The Godfather.
It’s superb criticism, but not much helpful, theologically or spiritually. As I read, I wondered why Francis bothered with it at all if he had no intention of serving as a critic on the essential matter of whether it’s Christian or moral or wise to put oneself under such entertainment? He punted on that entirely. Then, as I arrived at the end and still hungered for the voice of God and eternity over the whole mess, I thought back to the years I subscribed and it hit me how firmly attached to Roman Catholicism deep conservatism has been the past fifty years. Then I read and found out Francis himself wasn’t any believer. To him the movie wasn’t a moral, but political and sociological parable, and to Chronicles the religion of the mafia is almost normal. Love,
I heard Thomas Fleming, former Chronicles editor, deliver a good criticism of The Godfather and American mafia sentimentalism. He regarded the portrayal of the mafia as faithful Roman Catholics as mostly a lie and gave a history of bombings of churches and murders of priests for speaking out against evil in Italy and Sicily. The films misled by telling lies about the nature of life devoted to crime and by attacking hope by showing the Church as captured by money and wicked oaths.
At the same time, Fleming wrote many articles arguing family vendetta as being a more just judicial system and doctrine of warfare than those of the modern state, which in the context of the whole magazine would animate Sam Francis’ otherwise lifeless framework of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft in a syncretic way.
(For the record, the TRI board was significantly if not majorly Protestant, at least in its last couple decades, and it employed and published contributions from many Protestants. It also briefly employed my wife: Protestant. However, its loudest writers and, at in-person gatherings, loudest talkers, were Catholic.)
It was these Roman Catholics I read across my lifetime, and some I loved, including Buchanan and Sobran. I was a subscriber to Neuhaus’s Rockford Center newsletter when they locked his NYC office and fired him. For decades I subscribed to Family in America and my friend Bob Patterson ended up working with them editorially, from DC. But truthfully, the whole crowd of old-cons, Lutheran or Roman Catholic, were almost entirely silent about regeneration, the work of the Holy Spirit, the power of preaching, etc. Their aspirations and focus were sociological and legislative and judicial. Circumcised foreskins without speaking of circumcised hearts. They are right in their critiques of culture and laws we suffer under today, but the church and the Gospel and the new birth were never spoken of or even hinted at. Except once or twice a year by Joe Sobran, bless his curmudgeonly heart! Travelled from IN to DC to attend his wake.
Another example is E. Michael Jones. Lifelong subscriber to Fidelity/Culture Wars. Very perceptive and helpful concerning vampires/horror flicks, sodomy, urban housing patterns, architecture, pornography, Notre Dame liturgy profs, Lourdes and Fatima, etc. But never is there any single mention or even slightest reference to the foundational declaration of our Lord that unless a man is born again, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. No slightest helpful explanation—and this despite his ten or twenty-year fixation on the Jews, now—that all Israel is not Israel; and how it pertains to Roman Catholicism today.
So tragic, that those who seem to see sin with the greatest clarity have no perception of the work of the Holy Spirit in applying the work of our Lord to the soul of sinners in regeneration. I love them, but few I would have confidence in calling “brothers.”
Anyhow, good report on Fleming. Glad he did it and glad you reported it. Love,