The Prophet of the Old Dominion


Some are made obscure by the course of history and its keepers. The story of Robert Lewis Dabney is one few Americans have heard. He rests among the greatest Southern intellectuals, leaving the defense of his reputation to posterity. If the South is to move forward, Dabney must be reexamined. Our ambition, therefore, is the perpetuation of his legacy.

He was a giant of the 19th century, described by Princeton Seminary leader Archibald Hodge as the “best teacher of theology in the U.S. if not the world.”  A living example of Calvinism working itself out in the Southern context, he embodied the richness, depth and rigor of the Southern Presbyterian tradition. His religion had its foundation in sola scripture, the crying call of the Reformation. He gave supreme authority to the word of God, it colored how he viewed all of life. Ruthlessly logical, he followed things to their inevitable end. As a result, he is considered by admirers to be one of the most prescient men of the 19th century.

So much of what is lamentable about modern America was predicted by Dabney. He was a lover of his country and the American system as the Virginian founders envisioned it. He was a constitutionalist, but not a universalist. Dabney loved his people and as a proud Southerner believed in the superiority of Southern man and the Southern way of life. As passion demands, he was both a lover and a hater. He hated the enemies of Christ and Southern civilization intensely, but he loved his God and his country equally so. Hurt by the South’s loss more than most, its subjugation was unbearable for him. He saw pre-war Dixie for what it was, the last bastion of European Christendom. Virginia was a holy land blessed by God.

A believer in the constitution and state sovereignty, Dabney was a Jeffersonian of sorts. His idea of republicanism, he made clear though, could only work among a morally righteous and uniform people.  Other forms like monarchy were legitimate and appropriate in other contexts, but he believed in the greatness of the American system. He contrasted that system (as he understood it) with democracy, for which he had nothing but contempt. He referred to it as “mobocracy.” The flaws he pointed out are similar to those noticed by Plato and Aristotle. He wrote extensively on the evils of Jacobinism, making a clear distinction between the French and American revolutions. In his estimation, the two were worlds apart.

Contrary to certain libertarian notions of constitutionalism, agrarian society was for Dabney, fundamental to the American system. General equality (in the practical sense) was also necessary to that condition. Such an equality existed when the nation was made of free White yeoman. The founders vision could never be realized in an industrial society because of the lopsided power centralized capital wields and the inequality in wealth it creates. He touches upon this in, The New South, a commencement speech delivered at Hampden Sidney College in 1882:

“Conditions of social organization are again produced, fully parallel to the worst results of feudalism, in the incompatibility with republican institutions.  From these changes have resulted the extreme inequality of fortune, expenditures and luxury which now deform American society. When our late constitution was enacted, American citizens enjoyed a general equality of fortune and comfort, which made a real, republican equality of rights practicable. The only aristocracy recognized was that of intelligence and merit. The richest citizen was only a farmer, somewhat more abounding than his neighbor, in the breadth of his fields.”

And again, in another portion of the speech:

 “Such was the form of government instituted for themselves by our free forefathers; and well fitted to their genius and circumstances, as communities of farmers, inhabiting their own homes, approaching an equality of condition, and having upon the whole continent no one city of controlling magnitude or wealth. But this century has seen all this reversed and conditions of human society have grown up, which make the system o four free forefathers obviously impracticable in the future. And this is so, not because the old forms were not good enough for this day, but because they were too good for it.”

His interpretation of the clause from the Declaration of Independence “all men are created equal” differs from the modern one. Equality before the law does not imply an equality in ability, rights or station. Each class has its own respective set of rights that grow out of differences in sex, virtue, intelligence, and civilization. Liberty is the liberty to which God and nature has given an individual the moral right:

“Those wise men did indeed believe in a certain equality of all men; but it was that which the British constitution (whose principles they inherited) was not wont to express by the maxim: that every British citizen ‘was equal before the law . . .’ Our fathers valued liberty, but the liberty for which they contended was each person’s privilege to do those things and those only to which God’s law and Providence gave him a moral right. The liberty of nature which your modern asserts is absolute license; the privilege of doing whatever a corrupt will craves, except as this license is curbed by a voluntary ‘social contract’” [sic]

Dabney’s apparent crossover with Jeffersonianism has less to do with the Enlightenment and more to do with Calvinism. It has been said by some that Calvin was the spiritual father of the American project. They point to Rutherford’s Lex Rex as influencing the founders more than Enlightenment ideas. What drove Dabney to look to the reactionary elements of scripture more so than Northern Calvinists was the influence of Southern civilization and his insistence on keeping one foot firmly planted in reality. There was also a notion among Southern Presbyterians, notably James Henley Thornwell, that the Church had a uniquely spiritual function. That is one quite different than the State. It was no contradiction to marry the doctrines of grace in the context of the Church to the law of nature in statecraft. Southern Calvnism gave Dabney the freedom to apply his rational comprehension of natural order to his thinking in the political sphere.  He pointed to Old Testament Israel as a precedent to support his conclusions.

Dabney’s rejection of egalitarianism is shown starkly in his classification of the Negro, “the African has become, according to a well-known law of natural history, by the manifold influences of the ages, a different, fixed species of the race, separated; from the White man by traits bodily, mental and moral, almost as rigid and permanent as those of genus.” He saw miscegenation as a virtual abomination, “the offspring of amalgamation must be a hybrid race, stamped with all the feebleness of the hybrid, and incapable of the career of civilization and glory as an independent race.” Covenantal Theology teaches that God interacts with us not just as individuals but also as groups, that there is a particular and a corporate aspect to our relation with him. Dabney cites God’s separation of the Gibeonites, a people with lesser rights, from the Israelites to prove that God’s common wealth was not egalitarian.  Unlike Jacobinism, rights are not absolute in a Christian system.  In the Gibeonite example, the actions of one people affected the children of that people and relegated them to a different status, despite individual capability or moral integrity.Dabney did not consider the Black race capable of civilization. They had no claim to that which the White man had by right of birth.

Dabney’s defense of slavery is difficult for modern evangelicals to swallow. We must remember though the value system of the antebellum South was the complete reverse of our own. In A Defense of Virginia and the South, he cites countless passages from both the Old and New testaments. The work contains a rock-solid analysis of the Bible’s view of the issue. Departing from the Reformed tradition of rigorous Biblical analysis, Dabney’s modern critics assert that his positions are racist without refuting him. He also noted that Northern industrialism provided free Irish a much lower condition of life to that of the Negro in the South. He cited the healthy condition of the Negro both spiritual and physical as indicating the beneficence of the Southern institution. He argued against the belief that slave labor was economically less efficient than free Northern labor, “the neatest, most thorough and most profitable agriculture, and the highest priced land, the finest farm stock, and the most prosperous landholders, are to be found precisely where the slave labour is most prevalent.”

He was critical of the abuses of the slave trade and of abuses within the institution but it did not follow that it should be condemned in whole. He said that Negro suffrage would be, “extreme political madness.” An unnatural pairing of two races in the same society would lead to tyranny. The object of the state was the common welfare. Southern society and Africans themselves would both be harmed by Black emancipation, they had no right to it. He predicted two possible outcomes of such a development. A war where one of the groups was exterminated or amalgamation. The civilized South might well turn into a mongrelized nation similar to Mexico.

Post-emancipation Dabney opposed accepting Negro presbyters to rule over White churches. A step which he said, “would seal the moral and doctrinal corruption of our Church in the South, and be a direct step towards that final perdition of Southern society, domestic amalgamation.” Luckily the worst of Dabney’s concerns were not realized, though they remain relevant potentialities to this day. Whites were able to wrest back control of their institutions after reconstruction and Jim Crow helped prolong the life of the South as Dabney had known it. More importantly, a God-fearing, Church-going spiritual vigor maintained the South’s will to resist. Even today its people have yet to fully submit to the North’s anti-Christian weltanschauung.

Consistent with his agrarian outlook, Dabney was a critic of the so-called advancements of his day in economics and production. Excepting large ventures such as railroad construction, he favored small business to large conglomerate corporations. His insights wouldn’t sound out of place among modern critics of corporatism, both left and right. He advocated co-partnerships where the participants would be liable for their venture. Corporations were entities which removed liability from any single individual and therefore presented social problems. With personal liability removed, corporations could be misused. This included, for example, taking out loans for a risky venture and then afterward becoming insolvent, passing the cost of wasted capital off on society, while leaving those who took part in the venture no worse for the wear. With a large corporation efficiency is lost in a managerial web of overpaid administrators and the cost is passed on to the customer. Dabney admits that new techniques in production do lower the price of goods, but that cheapness comes in spite of the clunky corporate model, not because of it.

In addition, a corporation is a soulless legal entity that gets the same privileges as a person, a machine with legal rights that interacts with society in an impersonal way. People committing injustices on the ground are following orders from superiors and superiors never get to experience the injustices first hand, thus taking the human element out it. Where does moral culpability fall in such a situation? Is the duty to the welfare of the public or to the stockholders?

Dabney knew this entanglement would create moral dilemmas. These entities in practical effect would work for the pecuniary advantage of the few individuals who had the means to take full advantage of them. They could easily be used by anti-social types to gain an advantage over the rest of the public. What is to stop corporations from using the wealth they gain to bribe for legislation that favors them? The result is, Dabney argued, corporations that are more powerful than the governments of states in which they reside. He predicted a new form of despotism would arise from these conditions. The rich would get richer and the poor will get poorer. Large stock holders might well mislead the public while colluding behind the scenes to profit off of their ignorance. What’s to stop them from saying “bear” when they want to buy and “bull” when they want to sell? Dabney expresses his concerns in an essay entitled The Philosophy Regulating Private Corporations. He worried about the effect corporatism would have on the freedom and dignity of average Americans. In this particular passage he laments the destruction of independent production and small farming:

 “the forms of industry promoted by the powerful corporations tend to undermine the domestic and personal independence of the yeomanry. The associated means of production supplant the individual, the products of the older and more independent forms of industry retreat before those of the corporations . . . 

The wheel and the loom are no longer heard in the home. Vast factories, owned by corporations, for whose governors the cant of the age has already found their appropriate name as “kings of industry,” now undersell the home products everywhere. The axe and the hoe which the husbandman wields, once made at the country forge, the shoe upon his mule’s feet, the plough with which he turns the soil, the very helve of his implement, all come from the factory. The housewife’s industry in brewing her own yeast can hardly survive, but is supplanted by some “incorporated” “baking powder,” in which chemical adulteration may have full play. 

Thus, the centralization of capital leads at once to the centralization and degradation of population. The free-holding yeoman citizen is sunk into the multitudinous mass of the proletariat, dependent on the corporation for his work, his wages, his cottage, his kitchen garden, and privilege of buying the provisions for his family.”

Centralized capital also promotes political centralization. Conglomerate entities had supported Congress assuming the power to create the first banking corporation, the precursor to the Federal Reserve, a move that Dabney called “a perversion of the constitution,” a perversion of “that equitable model designed by the fathers.” Corporatism led to the protective system of tariffs which were also unconstitutional. Dabney believed if it weren’t for the influence of these corporations, Southern secession wouldn’t have been necessary and without their aid the North wouldn’t have been able to conquer the South.

Dabney had trouble seeing the possibility of restoration, but he has much to offer by way of moving forward. The South’s loss took a toll on him. For a period of time he thought of emigrating with like-minded Southerners to South America or Europe, “I fear the only way to save Virginia is to take her out of Virginia.” Many wrongly suppose as they do with reformer Martin Luther that Dabney’s mental and moral capacities declined in his waning years. It is true that the war had affected him, but according to biographer Thomas Carey Johnson, “At the close of this period, in May, 1869 there can be no question that Dr. Dabney was mentally greater than he had ever been before. Nor should there be question that he had improved morally.”

He understood as few did the meaning of the South’s defeat and its implications for the future of Western Civilization. He could never let rest the injustices committed against Virginia and the wounds inflicted upon her. Her ground had been soaked with the blood of her greatest citizens. To his credit, he saw the truth clearly when so few did and stood certain of the righteousness of his cause. While he apologized to Southern posterity for his generation’s failure to preserve their inheritance, he called us to remember those who had sacrificed everything in fighting for it:

“The heritage of freedom that our fathers left us we have not been able to bequeath to you. Our other apology is, that in the endeavor to save the liberties transmitted by our fathers, we did what we could. And in proof of this justifying plea, we can point to the forms prematurely bent, and the heads whitened by fatigue and camp diseases, to the empty sleeves, and wooden legs, and the Confederate graves so thickly strewn over the land. (The New South)

He likened his people to the Christian prophets and martyrs. The South was maligned while defending the interests of the entire civilized world. He believed the Confederacy would ultimately be vindicated, but that it could no longer exist as it once did. The new dispensation had made this an impossibility. His generation had done all they could and having done their duty, their consolation was that they had retained their honor:

Our apology is, again, that while we were contending for the rights and interests of the civilized world, nearly the whole world blindly and passionately arrayed itself against us. Such was the strange permission of Providence, that we, while defending the cause of all, should be slandered and misunderstood by all. But why should I say this fearful dispensation was strange? When we see that from the days of the Christian martyrs until now, mankind have usually resisted and sought to destroy its true benefactors. So it was; we had the world against us . . . subsequent events have shown we were attempting to defend and preserve a system of free government which had become impossible by reason of the change and degeneration of the age. We did not believe this at the time, for we had not omniscience . . . Thus the task which duty and Providence assigned us was, to demonstrate by our own defeat, after intensest struggle, the unfitness of the age for that blessing we would fain have preserved for them. Hard task, and hard destiny to attempt the impossible! But one which has often been exacted by a mysterious Providence from the votaries of duty. Yet it gives us this hard consolation, that inasmuch as the survival of our old system had become impracticable, failure in the effort to preserve it might be incurred without dishonor.”

Going forward, he exhorted that we not succumb to the temptations of the new era. He urged that the “pole-star” for the New South must be the unmoving principles of “scriptural politics.” He called us to remember “righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34) and that “wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation” (Isaiah 33:6).  He gives us some key applications of these principles. He warns against becoming like our conquerors. The temptation lies in the perceived wealth and productive capacity of the North. There existed at the time a desire among young Southerners to place an emphasis on industry in order to compete with the North. He concedes that in the modern era wealth is necessary for greatness, even a country with a great martial spirit will be overcome if he lacks it. He tells us to seek wealth as a means but not as an end. If, making mammon our god, we are overcome by it, that god will make us weak and sink us. If though, we retain a civic spirit of charity and sacrifice, retain our manhood and let it not make us effeminate, we can use it to bolster our section.

His second warning is that we not become so disgusted with the moral state of the world that we draw ourselves away from politics and public life. He warned that this temptation is greatest for those of an elevated nature, the best among us. Such a person cannot “wrap himself like a hermit in the folds of his own self-respect.” This robs the State of virtuous men at a time when it most needs them. The life of the State depends on these men. He said, “If this virtue, the foundation of all the civic, exists in you, it will, it must manifest itself most plainly in reverence and enthusiasm for the heroic and the self-sacrificing of your own people and State.” He counsels against despair and giving in to the notion that all is lost while recognizing the difficulty of his request, “how tiresome is it to such a man to hold up the standard of principle when it is unsustained by the breeze of popularity.”

Finally, and most importantly he urges us to remember the true history of past events. To “be sure that the former issues are really dead before you bury them! There are issues which cannot die without the death of the people, of their honor, their civilization and their greatness.” We must not allow the dominant party to teach a false narrative of history. He anticipated a deluge of anti-Southern propaganda would flood like “the frogs of Egypt, into our houses, our bed chambers, our very kneading troughs.” We must not succumb to false information but diligently learn and transmit the history of the past truly.

To retain our identity, we must have a genuine connection to an unfiltered past. If we are to make sound political calculations, they must be born out of a true discernment of our history, “Tomorrow’s configuration of the planets may be very dissimilar from that of today, but it will be rigidly consequential thereon.” Any political endeavor built on lies must fail. He forewarned that the prophets of the new age would seek to turn patriotism into treason, good into evil, and light into darkness. “If you wish to be buried deeper than thrice buried Troy beneath the final mountains of both defeat and shame, go with these architects of detraction.” Holding with that advice, he urged us to keep alive at all cost the memory of our deceased heroes. On them rests the foundation for our future:

 “As long as the hearts of the New South thrill with the generous though defeated endurance of the men of 1861; as long as they cherish these martyrs of constitutional liberty as the glory of their State and its history, you will be safe from any base decadence. If the generation that is to come ever learns to be ashamed of these men because they were overpowered by fate, that will be the moral death of Virginia, a death on which there will wait no resurrection. But I do not fear this. I recall what my own eyes witnessed at the last great civic pomp in which I was present. This was the installment of that statue of Jackson near our State capitol, which Virginia received as the tribute of British statesmanship and culture to her illustrious dead . . . Then came hobbling a company of two hundred and thirty grizzled men with empty sleeves, and wooden legs, and scarred faces, and hands twisted into every distortion which the fiery fancy of the rifle-ball could invent, clad in the rough garb of a laboring yeomanry, their faces bronzed with homely toil; this was the company for which every eye waited, and as it passed the mighty throng was moved as the trees of the forest are moved by the wind, the multitudinous white arms waved their superb welcome, and the thundering cheer rolled with the column from end to end of the great city. It was the remnant of the Stone-wall Brigade! That was the explanation. This was the tribute which the sons, the daughters, the mothers of Virginia paid to sturdy heroism in defeat.”

Dabney understood that as long as the spirit of Jackson burned in hearts of the Southerners, all was not lost. That flame is not yet extinguished and as long it burns, however diminished, there is still hope.

“And as I saw this my heart said with an exultant bound, ‘There is life in the old land yet!’”

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Third World Dystopia Hits Home

IMG_1526723686190.jpg(Francis Fortner left)

Originally published May 20, 2018 at

It sounds like a passage from an Ayn Rand novel. A day before high school graduation Frances Fortner was on her way to church for rehearsal. She was driving down the road in her red convertible when her tire hit an uncovered manhole. It flipped the car and killed her.

Earlier that day at 9:30 a.m. another lady’s tires had popped when she ran over the same manhole. The woman notified the authorities in hopes of preventing another accident. Nothing was done about it. In total, there were three complaints made to the police and still no cones, no barrels, and no tape to cordon it off. You can read about it here. I can’t help but be reminded of the disasters of corruption and ineptitude detailed in Atlas Shrugged. Without rehashing the faults in Rand’s philosophy, we can see the high-level dysfunction she described manifested before our eyes. As for the root of this dysfunction, I have a simpler take than Ayn Rand. This is what happens when third-world people are given authority in a first-world society. Welcome to any typical Southern city in 2018.

We ought to keep the Fortner family in our thoughts and prayers. She was on her way to Christ United Methodist in Jackson, Mississippi when the incident occurred. We assume she is in a better place and that God is looking out for her soul. Anger, however, is justified. This could have been prevented.

When Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown were killed by alleged police negligence their deaths became a national crisis. Obviously, in Frances Fortner’s case there is no room for racial motivation, but there is an inescapable sense that one of ours was killed because of their incompetence. Southerners have an aversion to publicizing and politicizing tragic events and rightly so. It is poor taste to use tragedy for political gain. Though, when a genuine problem in society exists it is unjust to allow the problem to persist. It’s like having a killer out on the loose, ready to strike again. We can honor Frances by doing everything in our power to make sure this doesn’t happen again. This is where the discussion ought to start. Those of us who long for a just society cannot sit idly by.

The primary blame goes to the City’s leadership, but we should also look to ourselves. How could we allow things to get this bad? We can’t control everything, but we can do something. I hope the family files a suit against the city immediately. Whoever is responsible needs to feel the heat for their ineptitude. We can raise awareness about the incident and put pressure on the city government. Let’s do what we can to make sure that happens.

Generally, we need to be more open and honest about the problem. I imagine very few of us harbor any serious antipathy toward black folks, but let’s be honest, this level of incompetence does not exist in white run cities. The stark truth is that the black population isn’t fit to run much of anything. I don’t blame them for voting for their own and engaging in tribalism, that’s the nature of politics. This fundamental reality is lost on most white people. We can be painfully naïve at times and that’s on us. It’s OK to put the interests of your own people first.

White Southerners need to be in charge of their own destiny. Once we have an awakening of mind, we can set about working toward an equitable solution. We can begin to lay the groundwork for taking charge of our cities again. That is the only way to fix the problem. Whether or not we get there is in God’s hands, but it’s our job to work toward it.

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Thoughts on Church and State


Confusion arises in public discourse because of the failure of Christians to understand the distinction between Church and State. The prevailing view throughout Christian history has been that the two should occupy distinct spheres. This view was maintained by leading Reformers such as John Calvin and Martin Luther. There are two separate realms—one dealing with the supernatural and the other with the natural. The way each goes about its mission is unique. The traditional view is that God ordained differing roles.  The role of the State is to enforce justice by natural law—through the power of the sword. The Church fulfills its mandate by mercy through the power of God’s grace. In Christianity grace and justice are in tension with one another. The State is a manifestation of God’s wrath (Romans 13:3-4).

Government is necessary because man is fallen. We are imperfect beings who need laws and earthly authority to enact them. When we formulate laws of the State we should employ rational thought to determine the best form of government. We need national borders because conflicts inevitably arise between different peoples. If sinful man experiences strife with members of his own family, how much more will it occur with those whom he has little in common? As for style of government, there is no one size fits all. We should adapt various forms to various peoples.

There are those who claim that a “true Christian” can never be a ethnic or racial nationalist. They argue that scripture prohibits division between two members of Christ’s body—be they “Jew or Gentile.” They err by conflating the function of the State with that of the Church. This confusion has seriously damaged the Church and has contributed to the destruction of Western nations. Any sensible philosophy of government must avoid mingling the two spheres.

If man were not fallen there would be no need for politics. Those who project the purpose of the Church onto the State—by advocating liberal social policies or open borders—implicitly deny the doctrine of man as innately sinful. Secular moralists and progressives explicitly make this denial. As a result, they have an apolitical—utopian view of what life on earth can and should be. Consider the following from Carl Schmitt’s Political Theology:

“The fundamental theological dogma of the evilness of the world and man leads, just as does the distinction of friend and enemy, to a categorization of men and makes impossible the undifferentiated optimism of a universal conception of man. In a good world among good people, only peace, security, and harmony prevail. Priests and theologians are here just as superfluous as politicians and statesmen. What the denial of original sin means socially and from the viewpoint of individual psychology has been shown by Ernst Troeltsch in his Soziallehren der christlichen Kirchen und Gruppen and Selliere in the examples of numerous sects, heretics, romantics and anarchists. The methodical connection of theological and political presuppositions is clear. But theological interference generally confuses political concepts because it shifts the distinction usually into moral theology. Political thinkers such as Machiavelli, Hobbes, and often Fichte presuppose with their pessimism only the reality or possibility of the distinction of friend and enemy. For Hobbes, truly a powerful and systematic political thinker, the pessimistic conception of man is the elementary presupposition of a specific system of political thought. He also recognizes correctly that the conviction of each side that it possesses the truth, the good, and the just bring about the worst enmities, finally the war of all against all. This fact is not the product of a frightful and disquieting fantasy nor of a philosophy based on free competition by a bourgeois society in its first stage (Toennies), but is the fundamental presupposition of a specific political philosophy.”

Schmitt argues that the friend-enemy distinction is the essence of the political. When a worldview is apolitical, the other becomes evil incarnate. Enmity becomes moral rather than tribal. Conflict is internalized within nations and at the same time externalized with fierce intensity. Anyone who stands in the way of the moralist’s vision and its realization—must be eliminated. This creates the sharpest and most vicious political distinctions. As Schmitt has noted, universal moral outlooks result in increasingly destructive wars. To live in a more harmonious world we must recognize that all men are flawed, no one has absolute truth or right on their side, and that organic divisions are drawn from ethnic distinction—not ideological.

Again, since man is fallen and will continue to be until kingdom come, government will necessarily exist. It’s the State’s job to make divisions. It suppresses wickedness so that good might flourish. It keeps hostile and foreign elements at bay. The Church on the other hand is a place of unity for all peoples and nations. The Presbyterians of the Antebellum South differed from their Northern brethren. They took the sacred unity of the Church seriously and wished to avoid bringing political tensions into their denomination. Just before the War between the States, Southern Presbyterian luminary—James Henley Thornwell wrote an Address to all Churches of Christ. In it he said:

“Two nations, under any circumstances except those of perfect homogeneousness, cannot be united in one Church, without the rigid exclusion of all civil and secular questions from its halls. Where the countries differ in their customs and institutions, and view each other with an eye of jealousy and rivalry, if national feelings are permitted to enter the church-courts, there must be an end of harmony and peace. The prejudices of the man and the citizen will prove stronger than the charity of the Christian. When they have allowed themselves to denounce each other for their national peculiarities, it will be hard to join in cordial fellowship as members of the same spiritual family. Much more must this be the case where the nations are not simply rivals but enemies; when they hate each other with a cruel hatred; when they are engaged in a ferocious and bloody war, and when the worst passions of human nature are stirred to their very depths. An Assembly composed of representatives from two such countries could have no security for peace except in a steady, uncompromising adherence to the scriptural principle, that it would know no man after the flesh; that it would abolish the distinctions of Barbarian, Scythian, bond and free, and recognize nothing but the new creature in Christ Jesus. The moment it permits itself to know the Confederate or the United States, the moment its members meet as citizens of these countries, our political differences will be transferred to the house of God, and the passions of the forum will expel the Spirit of holy love and Christian communion.”

Thornwell certainly had his own political and regional biases, but took great care not to carry them into the Church. He continues:

“The only conceivable condition, therefore, upon which the Church of the North and the South could remain together as one body, with any prospect of success, is the rigorous exclusion of the questions and passions of the forum from its halls of debate. This is what ought always to be done. The provinces of the Church and State are perfectly distinct, and the one has no right to usurp the jurisdiction of the other. The State is a natural institute, founded in the constitution of man as moral and social, and designed to realize the idea of justice. It is the society of rights. The Church is a supernatural institute, founded in the facts of redemption, and is designed to realize the idea of grace. It is the society of the redeemed. The State aims at social order; the Church at spiritual holiness. The State looks to the visible and outward; the Church is concerned for the invisible and inward. The badge of the State’s authority is the sword, by which it becomes a terror to evil doers, and a praise to them that do well. The badge of the Church’s authority is the keys, by which it opens and shuts the kingdom of Heaven, according as men are believing or impenitent. The power of the Church is exclusively spiritual; that of the State includes the exercise of force. The Constitution of the Church is a Divine revelation; the Constitution of the State must be determined by human reason and the course of providential events. The Church has no right to construct or modify a government for the State, and the State has no right to frame a creed or polity for the Church. They are as planets moving in different orbits, and unless each is confined to its own track, the consequences may be as disastrous in the moral world as the collision of different spheres in the world of matter.”

Despite his address, there was a North-South split in the Presbyterian Church. Thornwell was right to emphasize the Church-State distinction. There was a spiritual rift that ran between the sections before there was a political one. The formerly Puritan North was busy demonizing and otherizing Southern slaveholders as absolute evil in the manner Schmitt referenced. This same type of fanaticism lead John Brown to murder five slavery supporters in Kansas. His words and actions and those of other fanatical abolitionists put the nation on a razor’s edge. What resulted was one of the bloodiest wars in history. The moralist’s desire to “immanentize the eschaton” and realize utopia here and now is still with us today in the form of SJWs, “wars for democracy,” and the Social Gospel.

While Thornwell believed in separation of Church and State, he did not use the concept as secularists use it today. He understood that such a distinction could never be absolute. He believed that a Christian people create a Christian culture, and that culture and politics are intimately intertwined. He believed in the concept of a Christian nation and that a common religious-moral base is necessary to unite a people. Among Christians there is “little difference of opinion” as to right and wrong. Also, he highlighted the right of the Church to upbraid the State:

“When the State makes wicked laws, contradicting the eternal principles of rectitude, the Church is at liberty to testify against them and humbly to petition that they may be repealed. In like manner, if the Church becomes seditious and a disturber of the peace, the State has a right to abate the nuisance. In ordinary cases, however, there is not likely to be a collision. Among a Christian people, there is little difference of opinion as to the radical distinctions of right and wrong. The only serious danger is where mortal duty is conditioned upon a political question.”

Additionally, he urged the Confederate Congress to amend the Constitution to declare the Confederacy to be in submission to Christ, for “to Jesus Christ all power in heaven and earth is commit­ted.”

Echoing Thornwell, Dutch Calvinist Herman Bavinck was another theologian who had much to say on the subject:

“Just as the individual must seek the kingdom of God not beyond but within his earthly calling, so too the kingdom of God requires of the state not that it surrender its earthly calling or its unique national particularity, but simply that it allow the kingdom of God to penetrate and saturate its people and nation. In this way alone can the kingdom of God come into existence.”

The Church will enrich a people and bring the blessings of Christ to a nation, but the Church is not the nation. The Church works within and across national barriers.

Christians who blend the purposes of the Church with the State make a grave error. This is no light misstep. Their thoughtlessness has resulted in untold damage. Effectually they are the same as liberal humanists to whom the State acts as a religious institution. These people claim Christianity, but implicitly deny man’s imperfection—a fundamental doctrine. So-called conservative Christians who condemn ethnic nationalism—advocate open borders and multi-racialism—are confused at best and insincere at worst. Christians in the Alt Right should feel no shame in calling these people out. We can agree with Schmitt that universal moral ideologies do not mix well with politics. They should be opposed whether they take the form of Communism, Liberal Humanism, or Social Christianity.

We want a world of nations each working out their place in an imperfect world. We wish for each ethnicity to pursue its own destiny within its own borders. When we again draw political distinctions according to natural divisions, we can begin to approach the other with mutual understanding. There will always be conflict, but our aim should be to avoid the blood-letting of the 20th century. We want peace—realistic peace. We want diversity—true diversity.

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My Experience at Auburn


It was Tuesday, the day Richard Spencer was to speak in Auburn, and I was waiting in line at the department store checkout clasping a white Polo. This was a key piece of the Safety Squad uniform. Like a modern Sturmabteilung, we were to guard Spencer and Enoch, ensure things went smoothly, and exchange blows with Antifa if necessary. Auspicious as it was the lady at the counter asked me if I wanted to contribute to an autism charity. Smirking and pausing for a moment, I shifted a decimal, rounded down and said, “I’ll give them $1.48.”

After an hour or so of preparation, I was on my way. I hit the road with five hours to mull over all that might occur that evening. I didn’t know what to expect, there were internal reports that up to two-hundred Antifa might show and they were talking a big “gonna crush the Alt-Right” game on Twitter. I liked our chances but was preparing myself psychologically for an all-out brawl. I was ready to take licks for the cause. I was ready to be arrested for the cause. I was girding myself mentally for a doxing and having my career hopes rendered vain. I even fantasized about what it would feel like to get stabbed or shot.

There was talk of a federal injunction, but as a likelihood it never crossed my mind. I thought that, like Auburn University, the federal government would forgo its legitimacy in refusing Spencer. I saw the Alt Right as the new authority, it was up to us to re-establish our nation’s collective sanity. Things turned out different than I expected. When I read that we had gotten the injunction I felt both victorious and crestfallen. I was elated we had won the case but also defeated knowing we wouldn’t have that special opportunity to prove ourselves. I wouldn’t get a chance to fight and win a bit of glory for myself either in what would no longer be an epic throw down.

I arrived around 4:30 and met with some cohorts from Mississippi and Alabama.  All of us piled into one car, laughing and in good spirits we rolled into campus. We met with some friends of our driver who were a rowdy young crew of Trump supporters. They weren’t affiliated with the movement but were excited by the controversy, thought Spencer had the right to speak and were curious for a good time. We huddled around in a parking lot by a row of brick dormitories. I whipped out a glass pint of vodka and we each took a swig. Whether for good luck, nerves, or just an ole fashioned buzz, all had a share.

As we made our way up to the rabble four or five black clad Antifa trotted past. Initially we weren’t sure they weren’t geeky drama students dressed for some dark uninspiring play. Even I, who should have known better, was surprised at how unintimidating they were. I was amused with myself for having been so anxious.

Looking around while strolling up the police were everywhere, in the courtyard, along the guard rails, glaring from the roof, encircling our guys, encircling theirs. They had the big hand in the situation. There were hordes of students surrounding a hundred or so of our comrades in front of Foy Hall. Our group walked through the crowd and joined them unmolested. We stood together, some of us with uneasy looks on our faces. We were outnumbered, girdled about by gawkers staring at us like beasts in a cage.

We moved closer to Foy and filed in line for the event. The policeman perched on top of the hall sternly peered out of his sunglasses as the setting light shone past. I was thinking it was hot for April when a happening broke outside the fence line. For a moment, it looked like disorder might have its way. The crowd flocked and ran toward the action. The cops put an end to it and in a few moments stillness was restored. Apparently, a fight had broken out between an Antifa and one of our own.

Unsure whether alcohol was legal on campus a fellow Mississippian and I slugged down the remaining vodka before passing security. Stepping along with an intoxicated grin, I made my way to the show. As we found our seats inside the excitement carried with us. A third of the room set in front were friendlies, another third seemed to either be Alt Lite or neutral and the final third in the back were opposed. When Spencer spoke the tension in the room was appreciable. Hostiles were hunkered ready to pounce and rip to shreds any word of his at which they felt moral outrage.

There was a girl just in front of me who looked as if she were taking notes. I thought, possible journalism major. I handed her a quart of milk and said “Would you take this up to my friend in the front row please? He would really get a kick out it.” She looked puzzled and declined. I let her in on the joke and told her how most blacks are lactose intolerant. She wasn’t amused and held an accusing glance so I carted it up to him myself. I came back and sat down, turned to a friend next to me, and exchanged a few observations and jokes. Whenever I had something to say that was hermetic to our movement her ears perked up. I imaged she was trying to get “the inside scoop” back to her professor, maybe swap it for extra credit. Chaos swirled around but never took hold, a more subdued situation than the one at A & M for sure.

When it all ended, Spencer was escorted away. A few belligerents chased after him, the students followed their lead and darted along like boneheaded gazelles. It is a wonder to see a thousand-people running in pandemonium, sprinting like a bomb exploded, or some deranged pupil were behind them with a rifle. Spencer and Enoch were shuttled away safely and scurried off to Atlanta.

My pack leisured its way over to Avondale bar just outside of campus. Inside I overheard a couple of frat types discussing the spectacle. I interjected, told them I was with Spencer and invited one to sit our table. We talked about race, he had objections, but after a bit of posturing was open about his true opinions, “I know what Spencer was saying when he said, ‘We have a black cloud hanging over us.’ I know what they’re like I have to work with them.” I assured him that was not what Spencer meant and that he was referring to our collective White guilt. He insisted on his view and went on to talk how blacks had higher crime rates and lower intelligence. “It’s a fact,” he said triumphantly. Encouraged, I told him sure, but that the real take-away shouldn’t be differing stats, the central theme was identity.

He went on about the good blacks and black doctors. He argued, “We shouldn’t think in terms of race because there are smart ones.” Then he continued, “There are also sorry White people. Shouldn’t we be able to get along with the good ones?” I agreed on his first point but not his second, “Nationhood has been historically determined by identity and not social status.” I said, “Economy is a poor bond for the unity a nation requires. We need to reestablish peoplehood in the traditional sense.” It seemed he was unable to counter and moved on, “Look at where things are headed, there are too many of them. Whites used to dominate the planet but now brown people are out populatin’ us. We can’t win and shouldn’t try, it’s futil’.” I couldn’t believe my ears. The true reason he couldn’t take our side is that he was a “go along to get along” kind of guy. This scene from Alt Right favorite They Live came to mind:



“We all sell out every day, might as well be on the winning team.” I thought, what a slavish mentality. So many of our people think this way, indeed many Southerners like himself.

The evening was a success but I don’t know how it could have worked without the injunction. That said, there weren’t that many Antifa and we could have easily outmaneuvered them. Reports of their weak nature for me held true. The students of course had us on numbers. Some were antagonistic, others were neutral maybe even interested, but most haven’t read our blogs or listened to our arguments. Southerners mostly get their opinions from the person next to them, it can be a strength or a weakness. Had Spencer tried to speak without the help of the police, we would have almost certainly been shouted down or run off campus.

The cops that day held everyone one in awe. They were the strong man in town. As our adherents grow and gain experience, we will be more effective. Our forces must be able to thwart opposition when the authorities fail us. It will take more men willing to put themselves on the line, willing to risk getting hit, possibly worse. Once we’re battle hardened we will be the ones the nation looks to for security and leadership. When and where the current regime fails, we have to be ready to fill their place.

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Ethno-nationalism and the Christian Trinity: Follow Up Discussion


In my previous post one Christian commenter took a contrary position to the one I had taken in regards to ethno-nationalism. We had a discussion that further elucidates my views on the subject and also presents the opposing position taken by the majority of modern Christians. I have pasted the discussion here below:

Samuel O. Griffin: This is an interesting perspective, especially considering so many (e.g., Moltmann, Zizioulas, Volf, Fiddes) have used the trinity to argue for the exact opposite conclusion—desegregation / mutual embrace.

I have a few comments and I’d love to hear your feedback.

First, if we assume definitional clarity on racial identity and belonging (no small feat), we can agree different human “sub-types” display “varying abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.” If this is the case, it seems to me the church suffers loss if such sub-types segregate, since there are fewer opportunities for mutual edification. I see a similar, though not identical, parallel in Paul’s discourse on spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12). In that chapter, Paul acknowledges a diversity of gifts but credits them to one Spirit and for the whole body such that each member relies on one another for health (vv. 24-25). If I separate myself from believers, especially of different cultural, racial, political, etc. background, I have lost an opportunity to correct and be corrected, to encourage and be encouraged, to serve and be served. Ethno-nationalism, it seems to me, robs the church of such opportunities.

Second, theologians (e.g., John of Damascus, Aquinas, Calvin, Moltmann, Zizioulas, Swinburne) sometimes speak of perichoresis—mutual inherence between trinitarian persons in loving cooperation. While I share your concern to preserve distinction between trinitarian persons, perichoresis and procession, I think, works against your argument, since there is no closer relation than between Father, Son, and Spirit. They are, in other words, codependent and reciprocally implicating. The Father has no “space to [himself] in which [he] can express [himself] as such.” He has, instead, existed in essential, eternal, coequal subsistent relationship with persons different than himself. This suggests to me, then, it is precisely when differentiated sub-types enjoin themselves to / with one another within shared communities that we can see something of a reflection of triune relations. Ethno-nationalism, from my perspective, appears to promote a form of individualism (very charitably, one that can be maintained harmoniously) that serves as a denial triune relationality, not its affirmation.

Third, you ground ethno-nationalism in the creation mandate, in which “we deduce from the principle of stewardship a need to preserve species and sub-species of various plants and animals.” Stewardship, I think, includes both preservation and governance—to exercise dominion for creation’s welfare (e.g., infrastructure, irrigation, agriculture). What are your thoughts on interbreeding between plant species (“to produce new crop varieties with desirable properties”)? Do you believe this technique violates the principle of stewardship? If so, I wonder if your interpretation of stewardship in inconsistent with governance. If not, your argument for the preservation of human “sub-species” (and by extension, ethno-nationalism) appears undermined. This, of course, is reductio ad absurdum, and I wonder if the consistent application of what I take as your interpretation of Gen. 1:28-30 would prohibit things as innocuous as plant breeding.

Thanks for the interesting post. I look forward to your reply.

Manly Task: First of all, to clarify, politics is a necessary evil. In my view, I make a very sharp distinction between the kingdom of man (the state) and the kingdom of God (the church). Christians live in a world of sin and unbelief. Government is a necessary check on fallen man. If everyone were a member of the Church invisible and completely sanctified, we wouldn’t need governments or borders.

As long as we are involved in missions and allow foreign residents, students, and visitors into our homelands, I don’t see why we wouldn’t have plenty of opportunities for mutual edification. I heard an anecdote once from R.J. Rushdoony that under segregation black and white churches would come together on occasion, have a mixed service, and share dinner together. This allows both congregations to retain their identity while coming together a few times a year for united worship with Christian neighbors. Ethnically homogeneous homelands have been the assumed norm throughout human history. Were our Christian forefathers in previously all-white Europe or are our modern day brethren in all-Japanese Japan any less sanctified or edified than we are in multi-racial America? I would tend to think not.

The more sanctified a group of heterogeneous people become the more closely they resemble perichoresis as you describe it. That is the closer they can come to one another without dissolving into oneness (unitarianism) and retaining their distinctness without coming into conflict and then ultimately breaking apart (polytheism). The passage from Revelation I quoted in my article gives us a vivid image of exactly what this looks like. In this perfected vision we have the platonic African at the height of his African-ness and the platonic European at the height of his European-ness worshiping side by side. As I said though, we live in a world of sinful Christians and unbelievers. Ethno-nationalism as a philosophy and political tool is the perfect solution for our present age.

Are you saying that producing hybrid-plants with desirable properties is part of governance? Sorry, I’m a little confused. There were laws against hybridization in the old testament. “Keep my statutes. Do not let your cattle gender with a diverse kind. Do not sow your field with two kinds of seed. Neither shall there come upon you a garment of two kinds of stuff mingled together (Lev. 19:19). Do not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed; lest the fullness of the seed which you have sown be forfeited together with the increase of the vineyard. Do not plow with an ox and an ass together. Do not wear a mingled stuff, wool and linen together (Deut. 22:9-11).” While we live in the new testament dispensation and old testament statutes no longer apply, I do believe that hybridization does tend to run against the grain of nature. Hybrid animals can’t survive in the wild and I would assume (not an expert on the subject) letting hybrid plants into the wild would cause ecological imbalance. Hybridization practiced on a limited scale I wouldn’t have a problem with, but on a massive scale it is, I believe, irresponsible and unwise. That applies whether we’re talking about plants, animals, or humans.

Samuel O. Griffin: Thanks for the helpful response. I think this reveals some divergent underlying presuppositions, specifically concerning the nature of culture / race (and perhaps the historical formation of such cultures / races), its place within individual / corporate identity, and its relation to Christian identity.

I’ll try to keep my questions and comments concise.

First, granting that ethno-nationalism allows for “foreign residents, students, and visitors,” it’s unclear to me how ethno-nationalism succeeds in “creating protective environments” that shields “from the destructive effects of modern globalization,” since the very presence of such residents exerts influence on the indigenous culture.

Second, in answer to your question about the sanctification of homogeneous cultures, I’ll simply reaffirm, with you, that particular cultures have “varying abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.” My Japanese Christian friend, in fact, does believe Japanese churches fail, because of their homogeneity, to benefit from the perspective and presence of other believes. It’s precisely when, say, a Nigerian believer interacts with his Japanese counterpart that the former’s unique, God-given abilities and strengths can address and correct the latter’s unique weaknesses. Could this happen through occasional interactions? Of course. Yet, it seems to me, lasting mutual edification and encouragement happens within the daily lived experience of Christian communities.

Third, yes, I’m taking agricultural methods as an aspect of governance. I have a few questions here: (i) can you explain why such regulations as Lev. 19:19 apply not simply to cattle, seeds, and cloths but to human races as well, (ii) since you see no problem with “hybridization” on a limited scale, would you thereby see no problem with, for example, interracial marriage on a limited scale, and (iii) cultures / races, it seems to me, derive from “hybridization”—having singular origin in Adam, diverse cultures / races emerge in interaction with one another (e.g., Judeo-Christian heritage, Anglo-Saxon); as such, rather than cultural / racial dissolution, wouldn’t greater cultural / racial exchange promote greater varieties of human sub-types (cf. Gen. 1:28-30: “be fruitful and multiply”)?

Fourth, relatedly, can you explain (if space and energy permits) the nature of culture / race? For example, what exactly is the platonic form of African-ness? For example, what language is spoken by the ideal African? To what tribe does he (she?) belong? What is the ideal African’s skin tone? As I recall, Plato thought we could perceive the forms by reflection on their spatiotemporal instances. In perceiving the form of African-ness, on whom do we reflect? My point, of course, is that culture / race is far more dynamic and diverse than I think you admit. In my opinion, asserting such things as African-ness or European-ness as univocal categories diminishes cultural / racial diversity within those contexts by artificially selecting one grouping as representative, and thereby dissolves into oneness, something we can both agree should be avoided.

Let me know if you think I’ve overreached. Thanks!

Manly Task: The ethno-state exists to further the integrity, interests and wellbeing of its ethno-group. It doesn’t have to be 100% pure to do that, %90+ is a more realistic aim. As long as the state takes measures to protect the history, culture, and identity of the people it was created to preserve, I don’t see why you couldn’t allow for a limited foreign presence? This was sort of standard practice pre mass-migration.

Imagine you could flip a switch and shake up the world population so that there is an equal distribution of all races and kinds in every country in the world. In order that every Christian congregation could experience this edification you speak of, would you flip the switch? Before you answer, I’d ask you to seriously consider the ramifications of your decision.

Reading through numerous old testament passages I think you can safely extract from them that mingling of mixed kinds as a general principle was opposed by God. Inter-marriage between Jew and Gentile was also forbidden, “And Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, Ye have transgressed, and have taken strange wives, to increase the trespass of Israel. Now therefore make confession unto the Lord God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives.” No, I don’t have problem with intermarriage occurring on a limited scale. I thought that was clear from my last comment.

Yes, intermixing between tribes and peoples occurred throughout human history and yes this does at times create new people groups and sub-types. This sort of historical intermixing however happened slowly and organically. We are talking about an entirely different thing here in the modern era. This is a massively random and chaotic commingling created by our new world of mass-transit and globalization. Under normal circumstances the tendency is for mankind to develop in isolation. This gives time for a unique culture and people to develop and form.

As I envision it, we need to think of a hierarchy of categories and sub-categories. There is the platonic Man, the platonic European, the platonic Northern European, the platonic Scots-man, the platonic Highlander and on down to the most specific category. To give an example, the platonic Scots-man represents both what is common and unique to all Scots in an ideal and perfected form. Same with any other category in the hierarchy. I just arbitrarily picked African and European to make an illustration.

Bonus side factoid. Creationists posit that there were so called “kinds” which Noah saved in his Ark and that from these “kinds” were derived the wide diversity of animal life. In taxonomy, this so called “kind” would occur about at the family level. Dogs, wolves, foxes, and jackals all are members of the biological family Canidae. Did you know that a dog and a wolf have more in common genetically than an African and a European?

Samuel O. Griffin: Thanks for the reply. I think we’ll have to part ways here. (I admit defeat.) Once we start delineating necessary and sufficient conditions for participating in the platonic Scots-man the conversation has ventured beyond my pay grade.

If I may leave with a personal anecdote, I’ve lived most of my life in predominantly white, middle class, conservative environments. Since then, I have been privileged to worship, and live, with believers of various cultures, ethnicities, nationalities, church traditions, and political affinities. I believe it’s precisely because I have lived in close proximity to these believers that I have grown in my faith, better able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of my own cultural identity.

Honestly, I welcome the destruction of any cultural particularity that distracts or detracts from reception to the gospel, ultimately because my identity in Christ supersedes all others (e.g., white, middle class, conservative, American, reformed Baptist). (*Interesting factoid. Did you know I have more in common with a Nepalese believer than with any unbeliever in my biological family?) If God uses globalization to strengthen his people and extend the gospel to all peoples and my white cultural heritage (whatever that means) is destroyed in the process, I’ll gladly praise God in whatever language I use.

Would I shake up the world’s population to ensure an equal distribution of peoples in every country? Probably not, though I think eternity with look something like that. I can say whatever the ramifications, there would no longer be unreached people groups, and for that I’d be grateful.

Again, thanks for the post and the gracious responses. I expect we’ll both see eye to eye some day.

Manly Task: Your perspective and insights are a welcome contribution. Thank you for the civil discourse.

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Ethno-nationalism and the Christian Trinity


“The Church catholic, as thus divided, and yet spiritually one—divided, but not rent—is a beautiful illustration of the greatest philosophical principle which pervades all nature—the co-existence of the one with the many.” ~ J.H. Thornwell, Address to all Churches of Christ

“In orthodox Trinitarian Christianity, the problem of the one and the many is resolved. Unity and plurality are equally ultimate in the Godhead.” ~ R.J. Rushdoony, The One and The Many

The most effective way to argue the case for ethno-nationalism with Christians is not to cite scripture (though there are many verses), but to argue from the nature of the Christian Trinity. In the Trinity, what we see is a contradiction from the human perspective. We see a being that is simultaneously many and one, both together and separate, both the same and distinct. And yet, if we look throughout creation we find ubiquitous examples of opposites existing side by side, either in harmony or in tension. To quote the essay Nationality, Race, and Intermarriage, written by the late Presbyterian theologian Francis Nigel Lee:

“As there is a variety within the unity of the Triune God, it is only to be expected that He would also plan and approve of a variety within the unity of the universe which would similarly reveal Himself as He really is — a variety within a unity. So, when we see the God-created variety of stars, planets, elements, plants, fishes, birds and animals etc. within the unity of the universe — and when even within the unity of the human race we see the variety of sexes, personalities, nationalities and racial colors — we must remember that God Who is Himself both a unity and a variety, from all eternity foresaw and foreplaned it all the way it actually is. 1st Corinthians 15:39-41.”

To draw an analogy from biology—the cells of our body are diverse in their function, shape and appearance. Yet they work in harmony as part of one body and share a sameness in that they are derived from an identical DNA code and they have their origination in a single ancestral zygote.

In human society, we see the principles of order and anarchy existing simultaneously in tension with one another. That is the will of the individual in tension with the cohesion of the state. The two often come to violent blows and either the order of the state will win out or the anarchy of the individual will dissolve it. Unlike the Trinity, this is an example of contradiction leading to conflict. This is given expression by the philosophical concept of dialectic. In the animal and plant kingdom, we see the one and the many play itself out in taxonomy. There are many types of trees, Maple, Alder, Acacia, Oak, Poplar, Beech, and they all share a oneness, a sort of platonic essence common to them all. This is also true of the various types of animals as well as human beings. We have one human essence, one singular origin in our ancestor Adam and yet we are diverse and have distinct races and sub-types with varying abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Christians of different races should, in an ideal sense, live in harmony with one another. They should do so while retaining their separateness and distinctness, like the cells of a body, ultimately like the Godhead himself. The current pervasive policy of the Church is that of speaking out against all-white congregations and furthering anti-white narratives. For European derived peoples to retain their unique God-given qualities, they need spaces to themselves in which they can express themselves as such, whether in worship or in day to day society. This, of course, also applies to other people groups, but in our age, is uniquely denied to people of European descent. This is anti-biblical and runs counter to the nature and doctrine of the Trinity.

Ethno-nationalism is a political philosophy that serves the preservation of the diversity of the human species. It is a means to creating protective environments for the many sub-groups of mankind. These are environments that are shielded from destructive effects of modern globalization. The ethno-state is a tool by which the interests, integrity and particularity of any give racial and ethnic group is ensured and maintained. In the twenty-first century people, ideas, culture, and technology can be moved and exchanged on a massive scale. If this goes unchecked, we could see linguistic, cultural, and genetic sub-groups wiped out on a scale that history has yet to see. God commissioned us to exercise dominion over the earth and its creatures. In this, we deduce from the principle of stewardship a need to preserve species and sub-species of various plants and animals. How much more important, then, is it for us to protect our own species from the destructive consequences of our own radically changing human environment? Ethno-nationalism as a worldview and a philosophy, is needed now more than ever because of the unique historical dispensation in which we live. Christians should support the maintenance of ethnic and racial distinction, while promoting unity and harmony between nations and peoples. Ethno-nationalism is not only compatible with the Christian ethos, but flows naturally from it. A consideration of the Trinitarian Godhead, with his simultaneous unity and distinction, gives us a blue-print for how Christians of various ethnic stripes should go about relating to one another. That is as brothers in Christ and as distinct peoples. Scripture in describing the new heavens and the new earth hints at a vision, a utopian world of nations living in peaceful harmony and worshiping God in their own way. All of them come together in unity to rejoice and worship God at the throne of the Lamb. “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb...

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Ole Miss: An SEC Case Study


“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”
― George R.R. Martin

Southern man is born with a heritage, but everywhere fears his true identity. One Southerner thinks he can free himself from his past, but is more a slave to it than the one who embraces it. Many Americans find much of who they are in the college they attended and their beloved institution’s sports teams, this is especially true in South. Ole Miss, it’s students, and its alumni are a particularly interesting example of this. It’s unique history as a flashpoint for cultural conflict in the twentieth century and its present state in the twenty-first, make for an interesting insight into the current psyche of middle and upper class Southerners. We all long for a home, a place where we can go to be with people like ourselves and share in a common experience, a common culture, and common traditions. Our traditions, whatever they may be, are special because they are ours and no one else’s, because they are unique. We’re looking for an identity that will bind us to a people with which we can find friendship, community, and instant appreciation. This is an essential part of being human and the harmony we find in this context is a source from which we derive happiness. Having a team appeals to our tribal nature; victory, loss and the emotions they entail are experienced together and strengthen the connections we have with one another. When our culture and traditions are eroded this sense of togetherness is undermined. The modern Southerner puts more emphasis on the teams themselves and becomes more dependent on victory itself in order to have a positive identity and a sense of value. This further undermines the culture necessary for the tribe’s continued existence. SEC schools place far too much importance on having a winning team and not enough on cultivating their own tribal society. The main impediment to fostering this society is that we fear our identity; we’ve accepted defeat and assumed guilt for who we are. We’ve bought into the enemies’ narrative. This must change.

To understand Ole Miss you must understand its history and the town where it is situated, Oxford, MS. From the outset, its founders intended it to be the home of the state’s first university. That’s the reason they named it Oxford, after Oxford, England. The area in which this town resides was inhabited by the Chickasaw until the Chickasaw Indian Cession in 1836, which resulted in the removal of most of the Indians from North Mississippi. After this, settlers from Southern coastal states like Virginia and the Carolinas began to make their home in what would become the city of Oxford. The town is in the county of Lafayette, which was named after the French aristocrat Marquis de Lafayette who famously fought in the American Revolution. In 1848 the Mississippi Legislature voted to have Oxford become the home of Mississippi’s first university, the University of Mississippi was born. When Mississippi seceded from the Union in 1861 nearly the entire student body joined the 11th Mississippi regiment in the Army of Northern Virginia. They were company A, also known as the University Grays. Only four students showed up for classes in the Fall of 1861 and they had to close the university temporarily. The Grays were immortalized at Gettysburg when the company was cut down during Picket’s Charge, ultimately sustaining one-hundred percent casualties (including wounded) during the war. The fearless Grays made the furthest encroachment into Union territory during the charge, some even went so far as to penetrate the Union fortification wall. One man returned to the University of Mississippi to address the student body.

The popular nick name for the school “Ole Miss” comes from the name of the school yearbook that was published for the first time in 1896. In 1936 The MISSISSIPIAN held a contest to determine a new name for the Ole Miss athletic squad. The former name “The Mississippi Flood,” was found to be unsatisfactory. They selected a final few out of two-hundred entries to be voted on. The vote was cast overwhelmingly in favor of the name “Ole Miss Rebel,” but some of the other final entries were the “Stonewalls,” “Confederates,” and the “Raiders.” A year later “Colonel Rebel” was selected as the school mascot. “Colonel Rebel” first appeared on the cover of the 1937 yearbook, but it is uncertain who designed the character. In 1940 students began selecting from among the student body one to bear the title “Colonel Rebel,” which was meant to confer the highest honor among male students on campus.  The honorable title was previously known as “The King of Mardi Gras.” The female equivalent for “Colonel Rebel” was called “Miss Ole Miss” and had been given out for around a decade.


Ole Miss was a flash point during the Civil Rights era, a final stronghold where Southerners took a defiant stand against their own dissolution. In 1961 James Meredith, a Black man, under the guidance of Medgar Evers twice applied to the all-White university and was rejected. With the backing of the NAACP Meredith filed a suit against the university in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi claiming that he had been rejected due to his race. The case went through several hearings until the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled in Meredith’s favor. The state of Mississippi appealed to the Supreme Court, who also ruled in favor of Meredith. Governor Ross Barnett and the Mississippi Legislature did what they could to resist the integration of Ole Miss. State law inevitably gave way to federal law, which has the advantage of being backed by the U.S Military. Ross Barnett was said to be in civil contempt for enforcing two state court decrees barring Meredith’s registration. He was subject to arrest and a fine of $10,000 if he did not comply with federal law by October 2, 1962. Under pressure, Barnett had a series of phone conversations with President John F. Kennedy and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and agreed to allow Meredith to enroll in the university. They also discussed how the transition might be brought about with minimal injury and loss of life. Kennedy ordered 500 U.S. Marshalls to accompany Meredith to his arrival and registration. Students and other Whites opposed to integration gathered together to resist federal intrusion into their school. The Mississippi National Guard and federal troops were ordered to suppress this on-campus resistance. In the ensuing clashes two men were shot and killed. The next day after troops took control Meredith became the first Black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi. In the early 1970s three Black athletes were the first to play collegiate sports at Ole Miss. Among them was Ben Williams who had a successful career at Ole Miss and went on to play in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills. Gradually Black athletes became ubiquitous on the basketball-court as well as the gridiron.


In spite of the will of both students and alumni, symbols that stand as relics of Ole Miss past have been phased out in recent decades. The most significant of these are the use of the Confederate battle flag, Ole Miss’s formerly mentioned mascot, Colonel Reb, and playing Dixie during games. The Confederate flag, a symbol of the South’s history and people, was beloved by a school that was once proud of its heritage and traditions. In the 90s, though, the flag became increasingly portrayed as a “racist” symbol and the university was put in an inconvenient position. The athletic director at the time, Pete Boone, is quoted saying, “We’re tired of the attention, the negative publicity that we’re getting. I mean, we’ve got a great university here, a great academic program, and we’re being held back from a national perspective because of this Confederate flag.” Then Ole Miss Football coach Tommy Tuberville, tellingly, warned fans that they would lose Black recruits because of the flag. In October of 1997 chancellor Robert Khayat ordered a ban on all sticks at athletic events. This was merely an underhanded way of banning the hand held flags that fans used to iconically wave during games. Things certainly didn’t end there; it wasn’t too long afterward that the mascot came under fire. Its decriers claimed that Colonel Reb was a stereotypical caricature of an old-time plantation owner and racially insensitive. The student government held a vote on the issue and of the 1,687 votes cast 94% voted in favor of keeping Colonel Reb. Despite this, Colonel Reb was decommissioned in 2003. There were attempts to bring him back, but ultimately, he was replaced by a Black Bear mascot in 2010. In 2015, the university removed from campus the official flag of the State of Mississippi because the battle flag is depicted in the upper right corner. This is truly a stunning reversal of the proud defiant attitude that held sway half a century before.

The Confederate flag and songs like Dixie are ethnic symbols for White Southerners and while their removal might seem a non-issue to some, this effectively means ceding the moral high ground to our enemies. The consequence of this is the spiritual destruction of our people. Extinction is the eventual fate of any guilt-ridden race. There is a scene from Braveheart that has stuck with me ever since I first saw it. In the middle of the night a young William Wallace and his uncle walk up to a dozen or so Scotsmen paying respect to Wallace’s recently buried father. One of the Scots is holding a bagpipe and playing Scotland The Brave, young Wallace turns to his uncle and says, “What are they doing?” and his uncle responds, “Saying goodbye in their own way, playing outlawed tunes on outlawed pipes.” Longshanks knew that to break the Scottish people and subject them to his will he would have to outlaw the symbols and music of the Scottish race. Political correctness effectively accomplishes the same thing by depriving Whites of their own ethnic symbols and identity. The Scots’ spirit was not broken because in their heart of hearts they held on to their identity. We must do the same. It seems that Southerners have all but given up the fight, however, the flame is not yet entirely quenched and it can still be revived. Many working class Southerners still proudly cling to their heritage, instead of snubbing our nose at them, perhaps we should take note. You may fear offending a Black friend or a Black Mississippian who shares the campus. This is an understandable concern and for Whites this is a common moral impediment. But the question is, where will we draw the line and at what cost are we giving away ground? You may have noticed that Blacks have a strong sense of identity and peoplehood, you might be surprised to find how they respond to your embrace and defense of your own identity. Maybe you’ll find they come to respect you, and from that you can build relations with Blacks on a much more truthful and stable foundation.

There will always be ethnic tension and conflict between different groups, especially two as obviously different as Blacks and Whites. There was, without doubt, wisdom in the system of segregation that was dismantled half a century ago. It wasn’t without fault, no system is, but our ancestors are nobler and wiser than our credit affords them. Race and identity are a fundamental part of human nature and are therefore fundamentally important in terms of politics. The word nation itself derives from the Latin natio, from this we also derive our word natal. This implies that a nation is something racial rather than a mere tract of land or some motley assemblage of humanity. Whatever the future holds we cannot give up on our identity. When two cultural groups are forced together one must take the subordinate role to the other.  In the past Blacks were physically subordinate to Whites and now Whites are spiritually and culturally subordinated to Blacks, spiritually, by our admission of eternal guilt and culturally, by the spreading of Black music, dance, and courtship practices among Whites. Black dress, speech and behavioral patters are also adopted widely among White youth. Black standards of conduct are the rule of the day on the gridiron and Black athletes are elevated and given heroic reverence that should be reserved for true heroes like Jackson and Lee. Cultural exchange goes both ways, for sure, but the elevated and refined must always give way to what is common and base. Our culture and identity are being eradicated at the altar of “tolerance.”

So, what we Southerners must do is redirect our tribal energy away from our sports teams and focus it on our people. We need to revive the tribe, if you will. Our SEC schools are for better or worse centers of Southern cultural life and identity. We need to get in touch with our roots and then grow upward and outward from there. Our identity exists on three levels, local, ethnic, and racial. Local consists primarily in regional history and traditions. Our ethnicity is Southern and can be expressed through flags, songs, food, dialect, dance, as well as various other traditions. Racial is deepest because it is ancient and unchangeable, our racial identity is European, specifically Northern European. This is carried in our genes and is outwardly expressed by the White phenotype we share with other Europeans the world over, whether diaspora or mainland. As far as our pre-colonial roots, Southerners primarily hail from the British Isles but also to lesser extent France, Germany, etc. The Celt is strong among Southerners, many of us are of Scots-Irish decent. I suggest we make use of Celtic festivals, parties, and parades to express this aspect of our identity. Ole Miss should bring back, Colonel Reb, The Rebel Flag, and Dixie. All SEC schools should pay respect to the Confederate dead and hold public memorials and events in their honor. We need special departments that offer resources for us to learn about history as well as special classes aimed at enhancing White ethnic identity and consciousness. Blacks already have many classes and programs that do the same for them. A couple of years ago, some brave young men attempted to start a White student union at Townsend University; efforts like these should be supported and encouraged among our universities. Furthermore, Christianity is an inescapable part of what it means to be Southern and I would also argue, of what it means to be European. Christian holidays and the cultural forms that come with them should, without question, have full expression on campus. You may object with, “this is a public campus and we must not let any ethnic or religious group have dominance.” This is our country, these are our institutions, end of story. If we don’t assert our identity, then someone else will in our place.

Fraternity and Sorority culture has its roots in the South and perhaps reaches its pinnacle at Ole Miss, where 42% of students participate in Greek life. These institutions are among the only private organizations in the country that are not completely integrated. These remain as havens for Whites to be among their own and express themselves as such. I can personally attest; Southern fraternities are refuges against political correctness and exist as a “safe space” for young White men. These institutions have done much to serve the preservation of our people and our way of life, but they are certainly not above critique. Sadly, sororities and fraternities have degenerated along with the rest of the society. Instead of promoting brotherhood, virtue, and Southern aristocratic sensibility, fraternities have become dens of drug use, sex, and drunkenness. Furthermore, these institutions try to select for strong, attractive, and wealthier individuals, which is fine, but little value is put on intelligence, moral character and social virtue. Social stratification is part of Southern culture and in many respects, is a unique strength. Ideally though, we would have a culture that grants social status according to merit, while at the same time maintaining a sense of oneness across all rungs of society. Contrast Southern stratification with the cohesiveness of Germans and Scandinavians, who are very egalitarian in their mindset. You will rarely meet two Germans that try to size each up in terms of class, instead, they immediately communicate on an equal footing. We want to maintain the strength and preservation power of having a hierarchical society, without sacrificing a sense of people-hood. To feel at home on campus, we need to feel equal to everyone in some sense, not necessarily in every sense. That common denominator needs to be that we are all Southerners, whether working, middle, or upper class. You don’t have to allow just anyone in your sorority or fraternity, you shouldn’t, but by simply having a kind and friendly disposition to everyone you meet, regardless of class or social circle, it will go a long way toward promoting a sense of togetherness and belonging.

As far as football, Ole Miss will likely never have the winning team that it hopes for year after year. Mississippi has three major public universities and a limited population from which it can draw. It simply will never be able to recruit on the same level with consistently successful programs like Alabama or LSU’s. Instead of trying to beat them at their own game, why not play a different game altogether? Rediscover and embrace the traditions that make Ole Miss unique, then augment and amplify them. Sure, you may lose a few recruits here and there, but you will regain an identity, others will envy that. Focus on building a team that celebrates sportsmanship, human excellence and high moral character. The purpose of organized sports isn’t to entertain and enthrall the masses with “shear athletic dominance,” but to provide a context in which souls can strive toward greatness. If you build teams with this view in mind they will more than pay for themselves by edifying all who participate. In ancient Greece, it was recognized that an education consists in the fine tuning of the mind as well as the body. It is for this reason we have high-school and collegiate sports in the first place. Ivy-league schools place far less importance on having a winning football team because they realize its proper function in the academic context. Could you imagine Yale or Harvard pouring resources into having a successful team in the way that SEC schools do? It’s absurd to think of, why should we be any different? There is nothing inherently wrong with winning, indeed it’s good to win, just not at the cost of our collective character and identity.

If Ole Miss were to try to reassert its identity in earnest, I realize all sorts of funding would be cut and that there would be a de facto war declared against them. We’ve already fought this battle twice before, during the Civil War at Gettysburg and later through the Civil Rights Movement. What we have on our hands is a larger cultural war that extends not just across our nation, but across the globe and backward through time. Change is not going to come from the administration, it will come from the students, by petitioning, organizing, attempting to form clubs, events and organizations. Ultimately, what is needed is change at the populist level, that is in the hearts and minds of our people. Once this inner revolution takes place the institutions will quickly adapt to the new normal. We can’t win with the rest of the world against us, we’ve tried before and failed, but luckily, we Southerners aren’t in this alone. Signs portend that there may soon be a global resurgence in White identity. Trump has already done much in the way of dethroning political correctness and the rise of the Alt Right points to, what could potentially be, major cultural upheaval throughout the United States and Western World. We’ve held out this long, let’s not give up, let’s not miss out. Let’s join the rest of our European brethren around the globe in this collective struggle. Let’s reclaim our identity and in the end, we will finally receive our vindication.

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