An excellent post by Jonathon Frost.
If it’s traditionalism you seek, you won’t find it under any 21st-century basilica.
The actually existent Christian Church has capitulated to its heretical atheistic spawn, progressivism. And if a few fragments of resistance remain, they are going to go down soon enough.
Among the excellent links provided by Jonathon Frost is this one on Christian Marriage.
The original sin that led to modern Christianity/Progressivism was the Puritans lust for power. The Puritans believed, as their successors the modern progressives believe, that being holier than thou, they were entitled to exercise power over thou:
As I said earlier in the comments: in Cromwell’s England, and in the puritan colonies in the Americas, most of the crimes and punishments concerned not crimes against property and the person, but crimes against the puritan interpretation of scripture, the most infamous such enforcement being the war on Christmas.
The puritans objected to Christmas supposedly because it was impure, being a pagan festival thinly spray painted with Christianity, with the underlying paganism quite visible under the spray coat of Christianity.
But here is what Paul has to say on this topic: Romans 14:
 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.
 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
The puritans believed that being holier than the next person, they were entitled to exercise power over the next person – which attitude is the essential core of leftism, and as gross a violation of scripture as anything their successors did. Had they truly stuck to scripture, they would have known that Christmas can be 99% pagan, and still be 100% Christian if the person celebrating what once were pagan rituals, what would still be pagan rituals if a pagan celebrated them, celebrates Christmas to the Lord, and giveth God thanks.
In the restoration, General Monck reinstalled a King and reinstalled an official Church, in order to put an end to a frightening power struggle, the frightening struggle for political and religious authority within the army.
You were not required to be a member of the official Church, and lots of people were not, but if you were not officially a member of the official Church, you were not allowed anywhere near the levers of power.
The job of a king is to reign, which means that by simply existing and being King, he prevents the negative sum struggle for power from destroying the wealth of the Kingdom and possibly getting lots of people killed. His job is to deny political power to anyone and everyone that wants it.
The job of a king as head of the official Church is to prevent a negative sum theocratic struggle for power, to prevent people from advancing their political ambitions by being holier than thou. By preventing a theocratic struggle for religious authority, he prevents religion from being perverted into an instrument of power, and thus prevents morals from being corrupted by those who most loudly proclaim their greater holiness.
The King is not required to be personally holy, and Charles the Second certainly was not. He is required to go through the motions of believing in the official religion pro forma, but no more than that, and Charles the second just barely went through the motions pro forma. What the King does do is merely by being head of the Church, he quells people from using their real or purported religious beliefs to advance their ambitions.
Which did not stop the Whigs from trying, but it limited how far they got. To the great disgust of the Whigs, King Charles the Second firmly denied and ridiculed claims by the holy whigs that they should get to tell other people what to do in order to be as holy as the Whigs were.
This theocratic order gave you complete religious freedom to believe any nonsense you wanted, unless, of course, you wanted a position near the levers of state power, in which case you had to be Anglican. And, as an Anglican you could still believe almost anything you wanted, including that there was no God, except that you would not get far believing that your superior holiness justified exercising authority over English gentlemen.
The restoration reimposed overt and official theocracy, which lasted from the restoration in 1660 to various acts allowing unofficial religions access to state power in and around 1828-1856. The restoration, and the accompanying purge of puritans from every governmental institution, in particular academia and the church, immediately eradicated the overtly covert and officially unofficial theocracy of the puritans, and immediately and greatly expanded freedom, to just about everyone’s great relief.
People celebrated the introduction of official theocracy with anti theocratic pagan rituals such as the maypole dance, correctly perceiving the introduction of official theocracy as the end of theocracy.
As soon as overt and official theocracy abolished covert and officially unofficial theocracy, we got the greatest freedom seen in recent history – at least greatest for property owning males. If you owned your own home, even if it was a tarpaper shack with a dirt floor, you were more free than Englishmen had ever been before or since. For women, vagabonds, and for people who lived in their master’s household, not so much
And two centuries later, as soon as overt and official theocracy was abolished, everything started to go to hell:
Two centuries later, the dissenting/nonconformist churches, aka puritans, went into politics, from which they had been excluded, and started doing left wing stuff – anti slavery, female emancipation, education for the poor, and so forth, all of which had the convenient side effect of getting their hands on the levers of power. And once their hands were on the levers of power, dissent on an ever growing multitude of this worldly questions became dangerous, as it had never been dangerous under the overt and official theocracy. By 1890, unofficial and covert theocracy was already noticeable, and lot more repressive, a lot more politically correct, than official and overt theocracy had ever been.
The first big move of the new theocrats was imperialism and anti slavery. Imperialism was anti colonialist – a shift of power and wealth from the colonies to London, from the colonists to the theocrats.
The colonialists were a bunch of pirates and brigands, most of whom had become stationary brigands, who mostly produced better and less oppressive government than the native stationary brigands, but they were still more or less openly in the business of robbing people at gunpoint, and those of them that were not slavers had slaver connections.
So it would seem obvious that the well intentioned government in London would do a much better job, that transferring power and wealth from those selfish greedy colonialists to the pious dogooders in London would make everything much nicer for the oppressed natives.
I suppose anti slavery did make things better for the slaves, such of them as were capable of looking after themselves, but imperialism/anti colonialism did not make things better for the colonies, despite, or perhaps because of, the cheerfully piratical character of the colonialists. Rather, imperialism prefigured Zimbabwe. Anti colonialism was the imperialists doubling down on everything that was wrong with imperialism.
The aristocratic values of the well off class were exemplified by the restoration and the Cavalier Parliament and it is clear that the restoration was perceived and experienced as freedom for everyone, even though it was more freedom for the well off. The masses celebrated their freedom by making rude gestures at theocracy, for example by the maypole dances.
The restoration purged all state and quasi state institutions, among them, academia. One might expect that this restricted academic freedom, and in one important sense it did. Academics were prevented from pursuing power by being holier than thou. This led to the rise of science. Before the restoration, people discussed the circulation of the blood primarily in the context of more important questions such as the relationship between God the father and God the son.
The Puritans are responsible for the Petition of Right, and thus for the doctrine that freedoms of wealthy males apply to all men (except for slaves, servants, vagabonds, women and so on and so forth). The puritans are responsible for the doctrine that an Englishman’s home is his castle, yet strangely, somehow, when the Puritans were in power, puritan soldiers would kick down a man’s door to discover if he was roasting a goose to celebrate Christmas, and then destroy his Christmas feast, whereas after the restoration and the puritans were purged, an Englishman’s home actually was his castle.
Before the restoration, science was “the invisible college”. After the restoration, science was “the Royal Society”, whose slogan “Nullius in Verba” (“Don’t take anyone’s word for it”) epitomized the scientific method, and indeed the way that science was practiced from the restoration to the 1940s or so, when peer review was introduced, we started taking the word of secret cabals of peer reviewers, and instead of experimenters telling the scientific community what they observed, the scientific community would tell the experimenter what he observed.
Science lasted three centuries after the restoration, died one century after members of dissenter churches were allowed to get their hands on power.
Theocracy seems like a horrid system, and I suppose we would be better off with true separation of information and state, prohibiting the state from running schools or funding education, art, and science, all of which are apt to turn into religion in disguise if the state purports to be secular.
The restoration system had theocracy kept on a short leash by the King, and the King kept on a long leash by the gentlemen. For this to work, required a strong class of gentlemen, where a gentleman was expected to uphold his honor, and do his own policing, where gentlemen were capable of physical violence and expected to employ it when necessary. There were no police during this period. The puritan army peformed police like functions before the restoration. Police were introduced in England 1850, not long thereafter in the US, California in the early twentieth century being the last to become what Britons before 1850 called “a police state” – one where the power of the state is exercised through the police, rather than by giving expression to the general consensus among important people.
At about the same time that non conformist churches were allowed access to the levers of power, the power connected to those levers started to dramatically increase. It looks to me that the nonconformist churches were kicking down an open door – that the class of gentlemen ceased to be capable of exercising power, that if you had a King and a theocratic church today, there would be no one capable of keeping them in line, nor anyone other than the theocrats and the police to support the King’s power, so the King would become a puppet of police and political ideologues, which is pretty much the shape of modern dictatorships.
So though I agree with Mencius Moldbug that it has been downhill since the restoration, it does not follow that the restoration system can be restored. For it to be restored, we would need a live God, and we don’t have one.