PIETY, PATRIOTISM, AND VALOR
“When a man doesn’t see something, he cannot fear it.” ( from The Thirteenth Warrior)
“Fear precedes valor.” (me)
You have looked through binoculars. You know the little wheel that you turn (slowly) to bring things into focus.
Well, it happened to me today. I was watching my favorite movie (2nd favorite?) this morning, “The Thirteenth Warrior.”
I believe the western world needs a good dose of this movie – perhaps “thirteen” consecutive viewings . . . until you get it.
As I watched, I was thinking of the history of northern Europe, the timeline, and these Scandinavians in particular.
And it was like my “binoculars” clicked into full focus on this timeline.
What pushed the wheel was the juxtaposition of this movie with three recent news* articles concerning Sweden – the probable location of “The Thirteenth Warrior.”
1. One headline read: “Swedish Police Admit That There Are 56 No-Go zones” for them in Sweden. Swedish police are NOT ALLOWED to go into many places in Swedish cities and towns. (Oh, this goes on in other European countries too . . . )
2. Then I remembered this recent photo:
Yes, the pre-Vikings in the movie wore “skirts” – or more properly what we’d call kilts — allows for much greater freedom — uh, in battle, that is. These are NOT kilts. These are Swedish men (I think; other northern men have imitated them recently) – and they are showing their “solidarity” with women. They are marching down the street in women’s skirts and hose, in public, while their own women are being attacked and raped – and killed by . . . “foreigners.” (I will spare you some of the photos)
(Doesn’t take much valor to talk and make signs.)
These “foreigners” are the invaders who have publicly declared more than once “YOUR WOMEN ARE OURS!” And the northern European white men run for their . . . skirts.
3. Headlines yesterday: “Study shows that Swedish men will not come to the aid of a Swedish woman who is being raped.”
Now please take note: It is true that the foreign invaders of Sweden are from southern countries and are part of the barbaric Muslims which exist today. Therefore they feel superior to any other race or religion or society. (But it is not their religion, necessarily, which makes them barbaric. At the time portrayed in this movie, the Islamic world was advancing in culture and literature and visual arts and science . . . a little bit – until it was brought to a halt….) —
Now, by contrast, the hero-narrator of “The Thirteen Warrior” IS a Muslim, one who is cultured, refined, educated, civilized. His intelligence and valor saves the pre-Viking society from a barbaric enemy.
Presumably these (men in skirts) are the descendants of the Warriors in “The Thirteenth Warrior.” Although the movie takes place in a time of around or before 800 A.D., the roles and functions of people within their societies have not changed.
Any man is made greater by his piety, his patriotism, and his valor.
So what about that Scandinavian timeline?
The pre-Viking Warriors in the movie had patriotism, they fought for their patria – their families and lands. They had piety; they had a simple, unwavering faith in their gods, and knew their place before the gods. And they certainly were brave.
The movie takes place before St. Olaf came to them. Before St. Urhu came. Before St.Bridget and St. Catherine, and all the other Catholic saints were born, named and unnamed – but when the Faith came, Scandinavians were no longer the uncivilized, barbaric “Vikings” of our historic imagination.
Until another king came along — and by decree took the Catholic faith away from them — well, I know how it happened in Sweden. This king**, with no piety or patriotism, preferred the approval of Important Men of Northern Europe to the south, and the wealth and the status that their approval gave them. In order to be “in league” with them, literally, he had to give up his faith and the faith of his countrymen.
Might makes right, eh?
And so we have the devolution of society today. Patriotism is whatever your ruler says it is. Piety is — a troublesome idea from the past.
Why? Why bother?
This isn’t the end of our story, I don’t think.
It’s hard to put human nature down for long. And human nature is made for piety, patriotism, and Valor!
*Because the Rulers of America have given up our right to the Internet, it may soon be illegal according to international law to link to news stories. I will begin now, by refraining from giving you original sources. I will “paraphrase” from personal knowledge and memory. (56 places? 53 places?)
**Gustav Vasa You could look up how he and his kind did this.
The word “fear” of course is the healthy, necessary fear one must have for those determined to conquer you. But what you don’t know about the enemy, you cannot fear.
This movie is similar to the book by Michael Crichton called Eaters of the Dead – which in turn is inspired by Beowulf, which informed the character of Europeans for many, many centuries.
We have apparently forgotten . . . much.