Satan’s—will some day be reconciled to God finds its modernrnanalogue in the theory (going back at least to Kant) that allrnmoral principles, to be valid, must be applied universally. LikernGod, we are to be no respecters of persons, and if we have a dutyrnto rear our children, that duty must be generalized as an obligationrnto all children; and if a man is supposed to help hisrnneighbor, this means that he must be taxed for the benefit ofrncomplete strangers.rnFrom a Christian perspective, this is all worse than nonsense.rnBoth Scripture and Tradition enjoin particular duties which,rnwhile they do not exclude universal obligations on principle,rnmake it impossible for Christians to adopt (much less to act on)rnsuch fantastic notions. When I say “Christian,” I mean ofrncourse trinitarians—Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants whornhave the courage to accept the full force of the Incarnation. OfrnUnitarians, Mormons, Witnesses, and so-called liberal Christians,rnI make no criticism of what they are or what they do: Theyrnare often good people who believe what they believe, but theyrnonly confuse matters in calling themselves Christian.rnThe Trinity is not simply an irrational article of faith whichrnwe believe because we are told to—like not drinking wine orrncoffee —or a traditional ritual like the blessing of a fleet: It isrncentral and definitive to a Christian understanding of thernworld. We are taught to say that Christianity is a monotheist religion,rnbut I do not like to hear our faith called a religion, muchrnless to have it included in a category. Islam is a “monotheist religion”;rnChristianity (so we believe) is adherence to the Way,rnthe Truth, and the Life. God, as we and the Jews believe, isrnone. But He is also three. Setting aside the mysteries of thernHoly Ghost, Christians have a view of life and politics profoundlyrndifferent from strict monotheists, if only because ourrnGod condescended to become man, to eat what we eat, to sufferrnas we suffer—and more. In this sense, we are more like thernGreek poet Pindar, who declared that the race of gods and thernrace of men were one, than we are like the Muslims.rn”The philosophical source from which the slavery of manrnderives is monism.” Berdyaev’s Slavery and Freedom is not, perhaps,rnthe most orthodox authority to invoke in an argumentrnabout the Trinity, but Chesterton made a similar point in opposingrnthe Christian understanding of the Incarnation to therndespotic Orient where the unbridgeable gap between God andrnman was only slightly greater than the distance between thernruler and his slaves. For Berdyaev, the mystery of Christ is “thernm’ster}’ of the paradoxical union of the one and the many,” becausernChrist represents all of humanity but is at the same timern”a concrete individual man in time and space.”rnIn Christ, the problem of the one and the many that obsessedrnthe Greeks—the unity of truth in a plurality of phenomena—isrnresolved, and resolved in a fashion that clarifies what Aristotiernwas striving to discover in his account of universals—the absoluternprinciples which (unlike Plato’s forms) do not exist on theirrnown but are inherent or immanent in the individuals of thisrnworld. Christ is both the universal God Who transcends all categoriesrn—in Whom there is no East and West—and at the samerntime the Word Who gives true meaning to the categories —rnwithout Whom there is no East and West, even in a literalrnsense.rnWhat in America we call federalism—the recognition ofrnsovereignt)’ at every social level —is the product of arnhabit of thinking that is both Christian and Aristotelian. Our Ernpluribus unum discloses a deeper insight into the nature of humanrnlife than most of the Founders grasped. They lived, however,rnwithin a smoking cinder of Christendom that still retainedrnsome of the bright light of its youth: The Anglican colonists, forrnexample, governed themselves in parishes under the jurisdictionrnof the bishop of London who was subject to the Englishrnprimate, the archbishop of Canterbur)’, whose relations withrnhis brothers were strained, to say the least, but an English episcopalrnchurch only made sense in the context of other apostolicrnchurches. In Religio Medici (1642), Thomas Browne called itrnboth “an unjust scandall of our adversaries” and a “grosse error”rnof his fellow Anglicans “to compute the Nativity of our Religionrnfrom Henry the eight, who though he rejected the Pope, refus’drnnot the faith of Rome.”rnMost Puritans rejected such logic, but in their own congregationalrnorganization they exemplified the lower-order federalismrnthat would typify the early years of the American republic.rnHowever, even the most authoritarian church, the RomanrnCatholic Church after the Council of Trent, is a model of devolutionrncompared with most European nation-states in thernsame period. Perhaps it is only accidental that the earlyrnChurch, in taking over the structure of the Roman world,rnevolved into a loose hierarchy of parishes, dioceses, patriarchalrnsees, presided over (not ruled) by the Roman patriarch, but it isrnthe same sort of accident that brought Christ into the world atrnthe point where the revelations of the Hebrew prophets couldrnbe expressed and defended in Greek philosophical terms andrnspread throughout a world governed by Roman law and Romanrnpolitical order.rnThe unity of the Church is the unity of free men in Christrnand in the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, not the monist andrnuniversalist empire of a divine pharaoh or of the caliph whornspeaks for Allah. In the Christian world, there is almost alwaysrna tension —an enduring conflict—between the claims of thernChurch and the claims of the empire and its successors. Tornmake good their claims, emperors arrested popes, popes humiliatedrnemperors, and while both spectacles are less than edifying,rnthey are evidence of a separation of powers that persists inrnspite of the worst efforts of secularist bishops and sacrilegiousrnrulers.rnThe schisms that have divided Christ’s body—as the soldiersrndivided His garments—are the worst scandals in Christendom,rnworse, by far than dissolute popes, heretical sects, and the laxifyrnof faith that is the chief characteristic of modern times. To obviaternthe usual arguments and exceptions, I am willing to believernmost of what is said by all sides against each other: thatrnRome was poaching on Orthodox territories and inserting innovationsrninto the creed, that the Byzantine Church had fallenrnunder the sway of the emperor, that the Renaissance Churchrnpracticed the foulest abuses, that Luther was an egoist and anrnoath-breaker. There is enough blame to go around, as there isrnin any marriage, and after the shame of a divorce it may be impossiblernto think clearly or speak honestly of the ex-spouse — until,rnperhaps, one or both of them is dying. With Christendomrnin its death throes, I wonder if there is any chance of patchingrnthings up.rnSo far as most Western Christians are concerned, the answerrnseems to be no. One Western attitude toward Orthodoxy isrnsummed up in a recent article in Archaeology, giving the detailsrnof several major cases of vandalism and theft perpetrated againstrnOrthodox churches on Cyprus. It was bad enough that we havernabandoned our Greek Orthodox brothers, once again, to thernbrutalify of the Turks, but we have even learned how to makernDECEMBER 1998/11rnrnrn