The Occidental Observer, February 17, 2010
Isabella and Ferdinand lead Reconquistadors, holding a cross
Recently two articles in TOO have expressed diametrically opposed views of the proper place of Christianity in the fight to save the West demographically.
Thomas Dalton outlines Friedrich Nietzsche’s critical view of Christianity and its origins. Nietzsche ridiculed the traditional religion of the West as senile and decadent and speculated that Christianity was invented by embittered Jews, especially St. Paul, to turn the lower classes against Rome and thus provide Israel with a degree of freedom from Roman rule.
Michael Colhaze is loyal to Christianity. He attacks Nietzsche’s character and sanity, portraying his writings as fanciful and his superman ideal as monstrous social Darwinism. He praises Christianity for embodying the love and compassion of Christ that empowers believers.
I have agreements and disagreements with both perspectives based on the criterion of what is good for the survival of ethnic groups that adopt Christianity, though my main interest is the corporate survival of Western peoples. I come down roughly in the middle of the two positions, though tilting decidedly towards a Christianity of the traditional variety informed by anthropology and genetics.
Thomas Dalton, in his article “Nietzsche and the Origins of Christianity,” demonstrates considerable sympathy for the German philosopher—born 1844, died 1900. Dalton reveals aspects of Nietzsche’s philosophy that will be attractive to many White advocates, as we shall see.
Nietzsche began his treatment of Christianity with a bold accusation — that it is decadent, weak, and nihilistic. Dalton writes: “It led to a sickly, subservient, herd morality, and suffocated the quest for human excellence. Worst of all, it replaced a life-affirming naturalness with an otherworldly, life-denying negativism. It has become, in fact, ‘the greatest misfortune of mankind so far.’”
Here Nietzsche must be radically wrong. The Church ministered to European peoples during our long resistance to Islamic aggression, our invention of science and industry, and our spectacular global expansion. That includes all three Christian worlds — Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox. The arrest of Western confidence and expansion and its accelerating contraction have coincided with the liberalization of Christianity or its actual suppression under communist regimes. I shall take up this theme again.
The alleged disaster of Christianity can only be explained, Nietzsche thought, by understanding its Jewish origins. Jesus and the apostles were Jewish, as were Mark, Luke and Paul and the many unknown authors who contributed to the New Testament. This meant that Christianity is stamped with the Jewish character, which Nietzsche refers to as “race.” That character comes through in the slave morality embodied by the religion from the beginning, which Nietzsche interprets to be Paul’s strategy to subvert the masses of the Roman Empire, weaken Rome’s aristocratic grip on its far-flung provinces, and thus give Israel a chance to break free. It should be emphasized that this is speculation.
For the success of this alleged strategy Nietzsche mainly blames the West. Dalton quotes Nietzsche: “There is no excuse whatever for their failure to dispose of such a sickly and senile product of decadence [as the Christian God].But a curse lies upon them for this failure: they have absorbed sickness, old age, and contradiction into all their instincts — and since then they have not created another god. Almost two thousand years — and not one new god!”
Dalton states that a fitting — a fitness enhancing? — re-conception of religion needs to be “a truly uplifting, life-affirming, and ennobling enterprise — decidedly unlike Judeo-Christianity — and must never be taken as permanent and absolute truth. All superstitious, i.e. anti-natural, religions are out of the question. The human condition, and human ‘salvation’, must be firmly rooted in the present, physical world — the real world.”
I wholeheartedly agree with the need for a religion that engages reality, especially the reality of humans as an evolved species with biological interests of survival and continuity. However I cannot accept such a negative depiction of the traditional religion of the West. At the same time I have difficulties with blanket praise for what it has become, which brings me to the article critical of Nietzsche.
Michael Colhaze, in his article “Nietzsche and No End” turns Nietzsche’s critical blowtorch back on its inventor. Colhaze describes Nietzsche’s superman as “[a] kind of socio-Darwinian zombie whose general credo is the exact reversal of Christian ethics. Goodness is stupidity, compassion the dumbness of slaves, beauty ugliness, love utter contempt, gentleness dirt under his fingernail. In short, a two-hundred-fifty-page glorification of hate without any strings attached.”
I agree that Nietzsche’s superman is not the sort of person to invite for dinner, at least to the family table. And would he be someone who could be relied upon? I also agree with Colhaze that this so-called superman evinces some social-Darwinistic values which should be rejected. But social Darwinism is not the same as modern evolutionary theory and it has never constituted the theory. In fact Darwin himself was interested in untangling the causes of morality and compassion, not abolishing them, even if at the same time he was quietly proud of his English and European identity and pessimistic about the potential of primitive races.
It is one thing to criticize Nietzsche’s excesses, another to rubbish his call for a religion that respects reality. Colhaze does so by mischaracterizing the evolutionary process:
a process similar to tossing an infinite amount of golf balls into the air, each numbered, and each falling accidentally into a hole with the corresponding number.
The only alternative, Colhaze concludes, is an omnipotent God, “one whom I believe to be solely responsible for the world’s creation and its grandiose theatre, though not for the crimes of mankind which cause about ninety nine percent of all its suffering.” Actually the great majority of suffering is caused by competing life strategies, e.g. between predator and prey.
Colhaze believes that Christianity delivers “man’s highest and most sublime aspiration. An aspiration to consummate, on a strictly personal level, Christ’s divine message of Love and Compassion. A message that is, for those who handle it calmly, an inexhaustible font of joy and inner certainty, a way of life that can brace adversities more thoroughly than any other. And a message that might one day, ’one day’ after many a summer, enable mankind to live in the Utopia we sometimes dreamt about when we were young.”
The science of human bonding is converging remarkably on the moral truths of Christianity, especially the traditional Catholic ordering of love and duty. Christianity does distil and train a purity of attachment dependent on abstract intelligence. Since our ancestors converted at the urging and example of pioneer Medieval monks, we have been enjoined to nurture our families and local communities and to stand against the heathen at the city gate.
Nietzsche longed for a religion that embraced nature red in tooth and claw, that did not shy away from reality. There is no doubt that the West needs religious leadership that defends our temporal interests, not only short-term individual ones but corporate survival — cultural and genetic continuity. And it is undeniable that Nietzsche appeals to masculine values of strength and heroism in an age of white domestication. Those familiar with the shortcomings of the modern mainstream churches might find his writings attractive on that score.
In the face of diversity’s many sins, not one major Christian denomination stands with the majority of Westerners in opposing mass Third World immigration. Nor do they defend voluntary reciprocal segregation in multi-ethnic societies or criticize the elites that are forcing diversity on an unwilling but leaderless public. The depredations of diversity — higher divorce rates, alienation, destruction of downtown social life, uncaring societies, the decline of education, rising corruption and crime, loss of general social trust, reduced economic growth, less foreign aid, not to mention civil war and genocide — all have been shown to be exacerbated by diversity (see here and here).
Despite these failings Christianity is not inherently weak or ignoble. For example, post-Vatican II Catholicism does not represent much of the Church’s noble history.
Nietzsche’s criticisms remain valid only if they are taken to apply to the Church’s weakness in defending the ethnic interests of their modern Western congregations. However that interpretation reduces his charge to a criticism of Church policy, not of Christianity root and branch.
Such a reinterpretation is a favour to Nietzsche because his accusation of Christian weakness is absurd when tested historiographically. As Kevin MacDonald has documented during the Middle Ages the Church became an organic part of European society. Not for nothing was the West known as Christendom. The Church acted to save bodies and posterity as well as souls. It blessed new knights in the ceremony of knighthood, sanctified the new code of chivalry that forbade harming civilians and enacted the first codified rules of war. War was justified when it advanced Christendom — an ethnic-friendly legitimization that reduced or at least regulated fighting among Christians and culminated in the Crusaders’ attempt to wrest Near Eastern lands of the Eastern Roman Empire back from the Arabs. The Church defended the ordinary man from a parasitic aristocracy. It helped forge nations with responsible governments. It protected the mass of the people from enemies without and within. The English Church promoted the expulsion of Jews — who had become a predatory financial elite — from the country in 1290 as a pastoral duty, also a trend elsewhere in Western Europe. Throughout Europe the Church was Gentiles’ repository of sophisticated culture, of literacy and record keeping. It was indispensible for governance, advising kings and educating princes. It prevented the Jews from monopolizing the niche of trans-generational literary group strategy. It underwrote the earliest stirrings of modern science. The university, one of the greatest creations of the West, was founded under the Church’s auspices. Professors were priests of learning. Gregor Mendel was an ethnic German monk!
Instead of speculating on the basis of almost non-existent ancient documents concerning St. Paul, Nietzsche should have been looking for the origins of the seamless dovetailing of Christianity and European culture, achieved in a very few centuries. A plausible theory is offered by James C. Russell in his book The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity (1994).
Russell shows that the seamlessness resulted from the missionaries’ policy of accommodating the Church to local custom. The result was the reciprocal Germanization of Christianity, though the process is better described as the Europeanization of Christianity because the Celtic peoples of the British Isles and the Slavic peoples of Eastern Europe also had their folk festivals incorporated into the Church. Irish monks were instrumental in converting the Germans, working from the Lake Constance area northwards from the fifth century, while Greek monks began the conversion of the Russians. The deep imprint of the northern winter and isolated settlements is clearly evident in the Christian calendar. Nietzsche should have been content that this Europeanization was, as Russell puts it, part of the broader phenomenon of a “world-rejecting” religion such as early Christianity being transformed by its accommodation to “world accepting” Indo-European peoples.
Very few grasp how central the Church was to European society for more than 1500 years because modern education and the mass media — notably the movies — have all but expunged the monk and Sunday services from the record or pathologized them. Ministers and priests are routinely shown as corrupt and generally deplorable.
That was not always so. Even Hollywood finds it difficult to delete Friar Tuck from the story of Robin Hood or his dual identity as priest and warrior. Religious patriots were depicted in the glory days of Hollywood, when its Jewish proprietors were disciplined by powerful Christian elites. Who can forget the striking imagery of Charton Heston as an upper class Jew awestruck by the grace of Christ in Ben Hur (1959) or as a Visigoth nobleman smiting the Muslim occupiers “for God, Alfonso, and Spain” in El Cid (1961). Christian-conservative external control of Hollywood slipped after 1965, and the rising Jewish elite had its coming-out decade, a general uprising against White Christian society and culture. Some modern movies, notably Mel Gibson’s Braveheart, show monks blessing the Scottish army on the battle field. But that is rare. Who wants to be accused of religious bigotry?
Civilized and cultivated by this “senile” religion, the West rose in a little over one millennium from the ashes of the Roman Empire to dominate global trade, to invent modern science and industry, to subdue most of the world and settle three continents. As Churchill would say, some senility!
All this was done without knowledge of genetic interests, that humans are a specially endowed evolved species with the same vital interest in reproduction as all other species (even more vital if those endowments are valued). However the Church always acknowledged the values attendant on individual reproduction. It blessed sex within marriage because the resulting children and bonds harmonize reproduction and the stability of the child-rearing family. Partly for that reason the Church stands against sex outside of marriage and against homosexuality.
Whatever the deviations of this stance from an evolutionary perspective — for example homosexuals also have ethnic interests — the fact is that the Christian Church has historically stood for the heterosexual family, which makes good evolutionary as well as humanitarian sense.
Modern knowledge of biology supports the Church’s pro-family policy. And extends it. Humans have never existed as isolated individuals or even single families but as parts of genetically related communities. We evolved to have genetic and cultural interests not only in the continuity of our families but of our tribes and nations. Historically the Church recognized this, not perfectly but well enough to establish precedent. The Christian Church was the West’s evolutionary group strategy. We were Christendom, and Christendom defended, elevated and shaped us. Priests were not abstractly removed hermits but organic parts of their communities. As they became more mobile, taking up appointments in the Church’s far-flung domain, so they served the wider European interest.
Now Christianity’s domain is the entire world and priests should be true to the vital interests of all peoples. That is the truth of Christian universalism. But just as the Church protects parental rights and the autonomy and dignity of families, so it should defend national rights. It would be wrong for Chinese bishops to promote mass foreign immigration to China, or for Japanese monks to undermine Japanese homogeneity.
This is doubly true for those who believe that God has been an agent in human genetic and cultural evolution. If He created distinct peoples over countless millennia, Christians should stand against the atheist-humanist drive to confound that creation. If one believes in God’s agency in the real world, Christians who support mass non-European immigration to the West on the basis that the immigrants are Christian are as blind to God’s will as the immigrants themselves. They are destroying His creation by trying to rebuild the tower of Babel, not in the mythical way of a single language group challenging God’s glory, but by forcing — against their will — a diversity of peoples to lose their cherished identities in a single cosmopolitan mishmash that dissolves communities, flattens ethnic genius and is good for nothing except facilitating globalism.
The West is literally dying for the lack of warrior-scholar priests. White advocates need to win back their churches to become once again defenders of their congregations’ vital interests.
With Nietzsche we declare: “The last sacrament will always be irrelevant to us as a people!” But with Charles Martel, El Cid, Edward I of England, the English lords at Runnymede, Isabella I of Castille, and the Alamo martyrs we welcome the Victory Psalm [reprinted below] with the shout: “For God and the reconquest of the West!”
A cross looms over the army of Charles Martel as it defeats the Muslims at the Battle of Tours
The 35th Psalm is a regular part of Christian services, considered one of the masterworks of prayer that constitute the psalms. It was composed by King David and is part of the Old Testament, and as such Friedrich Nietzsche would undoubtedly approve. He would like the muscular tribalism, the unapologetic ethnocentrism. Yet it is also part of the Christian tradition. And it is a work of beauty.
I read the Psalm recently in the memoir by English super soldier Andy McNab (Seven Troop, 2008, pp. 414–415), recipient of the Distinguished Conduct Medal and the Military Medal. It was given to Andy by another soldier who was a devout Christian. McNab saw frequent evidence of Christianity among elite soldiers. The Psalm is what one would expect from a biologically informed religion. Of course a universal religion seeks to defend the temporal interests of all believers, and as these can be opposed it would seek to harmonize those interests. It would seek peace and reciprocity. But it would never pretend that temporal interests do not exist and that people are not justified in defending them.
Psalm 35 (King James Version)
1Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.
2Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.
3Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.
4Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.
5Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them.
6Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them.
7For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul.
8Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall.
9And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.
10All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?
11False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not.
12They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul.
13But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.
14I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.
15But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not:
16With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.
17Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions.
18I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.
19Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.
20For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land.
21Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it.
22This thou hast seen, O LORD: keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me.
23Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my Lord.
24Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.
25Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up.
26Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonour that magnify themselves against me.
27Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.
28And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.
Charles Dodgson is the pen name of an English social analyst.