In both previous essays within this essay series, it has been clearly implied that the idea of Christian secession is something to be seriously considered mainly for Christians and traditionalists within the United States. But at the same time, the same two essays have also hinted at the fact that a “divorce” between the traditionalist right and the progressive left may be something which is required across the whole of the Western world. Indeed, perhaps Christian secession is needed not just in the United States, but in Europe and Canada as well. So just how far does this idea of Christian secession extent? And is Christian secession only for Christians, or for others as well? And finally, what kind of Christian secession are we talking about?
The ‘Where’ of Christian Secession
In terms of where it is believed that Christian secession both should happen and has an actual chance of happening, it must be said that the ‘where’ really is focused on the United States of America. And the reason for this is two-fold: first, the United States has a sufficiently large population of traditionalists within its borders that they actually could form the nucleus of a successful secessionist movement, and second, the United States has a large enough landmass that even if it separated into two different countries, the two new countries would still be significant countries in their own right. At the same time, the United States is already culturally separated to a large degree; furthermore, the divisions between Americans on the progressive-left and the traditionalist-right are presently so stark, that people in certain regions, such as California, for example, already perceive what “America” is differently from people in other regions. Consequently, there is already a de facto cultural and social separation between major sections of the United States, thus meaning that culturally and socially, there already exist two or more “Americas”, if you will. Indeed, the United States of San Francisco is not the same as the United States of the Bible Belt. And to make matters even more volatile, in many cases, those on the traditionalist-right view progressive-leftists as un-American, while those on the progressive-left are either embarrassed of what America, as a whole, is, or else they also view their political and cultural opposition as not “real” Americans. Furthermore, since many Americans have bought into the questionable claim that America is a “proposition” nation, rather than a nation bound by a shared national identity—such as language, cultural, religion, ethnicity, etc.—then this proposition nation idea has further eroded the bonds that bind Americans, for within a so-called “proposition” nation, it is very easy to hold that your political and cultural opposition is not adhering to the “right” propositions—as your side defines them—and hence it is very easy to claim that your political and cultural opposition are not “true” Americans. And, of course, both the right and the left do this to each other. And what this all means is that in the United States, the fault lines for separation already exist and are ready to burst, while the ties that bind Americans together are weak. So, the United States is indeed a strong candidate for secession, and that is why it is the main region that will be focused on when it comes to the idea of Christian secession.
In contrast to the United States, European nations are not so ready for secession along traditionalist and progressive lines—perhaps they are ready for secession along some other lines, but not those ones. Indeed, the traditionalist and orthodox Christian population of many European countries is small—in terms of those who are practicing and devote Christians—and thus it would be difficult to form a strong secessionist movement based on such lines with many European countries. At the same time, European countries often have strong ethnic, national, and historical bonds which hold them together and which inspire national unity to an arguably stronger degree than in the United States; thus, while two Frenchmen may disagree politically, they still have the strong historical and cultural bond of being actual Frenchmen, and furthermore, “French” is not a proposition but a matter of identity and blood, and so this “French” bond might bind these Frenchmen together in a manner which negates any strong desire for secession along religious or purely ideological lines. Now, this does not mean that different Europeans groups are not ready for secession—in fact, in many cases, such as the Basques or the Scots, they potentially are—but the reasons for the secession of these groups has as much or even more to do with ethnic and historical differences than purely political or religious ones. So a concept like Christian secession would, arguably, not gain much traction in many of these European countries. Finally, a number of European countries, such as Poland and Hungry, are already very pro-traditionalist and pro-Christian, and so such countries already provide a sovereign refuge for any orthodox Christians who truly feel the need to flee their native European countries due to their religious beliefs. So, arguably, Europe is not in the same situation as America is in terms of both the type of secession which could potentially occur there and in its readiness for intra-national secession to occur. As such, when it comes to the idea of Christian secession, while it could happen in Europe, and while the ideas in this book could apply to the European situation, at present, this work is not focused on Europe nor on secession in Europe.
Having touched on secessionism in the Old Continent, what about Canada, that strange hybrid between Europe and America. While Canada certainly has the landmass to easily facilitate some type of secession, and while Canada even has a history with secessionism given its dealings with the province of Quebec, one main issue within Canada stops it from being a good candidate for such a thing as a traditionalist Christian secession: namely, the orthodox Christian and serious socially conservative population in Canada is so disperse across the country, so small, and so politically weak that such a thing as Christian secession would be difficult to achieve. Indeed, within Canada, the generally leftist progressive narrative—at a cultural, social, and even political level—is dominant. In fact, even the ostensibly “conservative” party in Canada is “conservative” in economics only; culturally, it would be considered liberal—or, at best, centrist—by any serious right-wing or traditionalist thinker. And even regions which might wish to consider secession, such as Quebec or Alberta, would most likely only be considering secession for non-religious and non-traditionalist ideals. Quebec secession—though mostly a ploy to gain more benefits from the federal government—would be more for cultural and linguistic reasons than any other; the residents of Quebec are as socially liberal as they come, so social conservatism would not be the main reason for their secessionist impulse. And while those in Alberta are more conservative than the rest of the country, any secessionist ideas for them—though minor at present—would be mostly for economic reasons than for religious or socially conservative ones. So, in the end, Canada is not a good candidate—at least not at present—for anything like Christian secession.
Now, when it comes to Australia and New Zealand, I am not familiar enough with that general region to speak with authority on it, but from what I do know, the issues with Canada and secession would be mirrored by Australia and New Zealand; quite simply, the number of serious orthodox Christians and traditionalists in those countries who would be willing to push for something like Christian secession would be arguably too small to be a viable political and cultural movement. Thus, the push for Christian secession in that area of the world would be a non-starter at this time. However, this assessment needs to be viewed with caution, as it may not be accurate. But regardless, for the sake of this essay series, Australia and New Zealand will not be considered as viable secessionist candidates.
So, in the end, the idea of Christian secession, at this point in history, is indeed focused on the United States. If traditionalist Christians in European countries, or Canada, or Australia and New Zealand wish to muster the strength to try to achieve the same goal in their own countries, then let them do so. But at this stage in mankind’s long journey through time, the best chance for Christian secession is in the US of A. And so that is where we will focus our attention.
The ‘Who’ of Christian Secession
Having restricted the idea of Christian secession to the United States—at least for the time being—it is also necessary to consider who would be involved in this move towards American Christian secession. Now, given that we are speaking about Christian secession, it might seem rather obvious that the ‘who’ that we are speaking of are Christians. But this is not necessarily the case, or at least not in the broad sense. After all, there is a wide and contentious chasm which separates progressive-Christians from orthodox ones, and this large gulf between them is not going to be bridged anytime soon. Thus, when we are speaking of Christian secession, we are speaking of secession primarily by traditionalist and orthodox Christians; and so, we are not considering progressive or liberal Christians as being part of the group that seeks Christian secession. But why is this the case? Because in terms of their moral and ethical perspectives—which are precisely the issues that are so contentious in America today—not only is there a wide division between progressive-Christians and traditionalist ones, but progressive-Christians arguably have more in common with secular-progressives than they do with conservative Christians. After all, there is very little political or cultural dispute between progressive-Christians and their liberal and leftist secular counter-parts; consequently, while there may exist tension between these groups on metaphysical matters, in terms of practical social and cultural policy, these groups are allies, not enemies. In fact, in many disputes, progressive and liberal Christians would side with secular progressive liberals over conservative Christians any day of the week. And so, the idea of Christian secession is not one which embraces all Christians, but rather one which embraces socially and morally conservative orthodox Christians. Progressive-Christians—if they value the “progressive” portion of their name as much as it so often appears that they do—are precisely the type of people that conservative Christians need to secede from; the two groups are not allies, and their moral understanding of Christianity is so divergent—with each side essentially viewing the other as un-Christ-like—that there is no substantive unity to be had between progressive-Christians and orthodox / traditionalist ones. And while such a division might not be perfect, for some Christians may be progressive on some issues but conservative on others, the fact is that most Christians in the United States know whether they fall more on the progressive-side of the cultural and social spectrum or on the traditionalist side. And so, for all practical purposes, this division between progressive-Christians and traditionalist ones is quite functional for delineating which Christians would form part of the movement for Christian secession, and which ones would not.
Now, from a denominational perspective, the movement towards Christian secession is unconcerned with denominational affiliation so long as the denominations in question are Christian, and are morally and socially traditionalist in orientation. And the reason for this denominational indifference is relatively obvious: namely, in today’s cultural climate, theological differences can be easily accommodated for amongst different groups who nevertheless share a similar moral and cultural outlook. Indeed, whereas in the past few centuries in the West, theological differences were extremely important on a cultural and political level while moral homogeneity about fundamental issues was still largely the norm, today it is not only the theological differences but the moral ones which are at odds all across the West. However, a Western society can largely live peacefully with theological differences in today’s day and age given the lack of direct impact on public policy that theological differences have; however, since moral differences are directly expressed in public policy, then it is very difficult for any modern Western society with large moral differences to survive without constant cultural and social conflict. Thus, while theological differences can be lived with without excessive strain—especially if some form of federalism is eventually adopted in the nation in question—moral differences are much more difficult to accommodate peacefully. This is why a denominationally-divergent but morally-similar Christian secessionist movement could still be successful and viable from a cultural and political perspective. Thus, as stated, denominational differences amongst orthodox and traditionalist Christians are no obstacle to Christian secession, nor are they the way in which the Christian secessionist movement would divide itself. And so, in many ways, Christian secession is a movement of mere Christianity, albeit of the traditionalist-persuasion.
Finally, it must also be noted that the idea of Christian secession is not necessarily restricted to traditionalist Christians alone. Indeed, it is entirely possible that an individual might be an unbeliever in the religious elements of Christianity, and yet hold to a moral framework that is largely in-sync with the moral views of traditional orthodox Christianity. In such a case, such an individual would be readily welcome to form part of the movement for Christian secession. Thus, in theory, the movement for Christian secession is a movement for all traditionalists and social conservatives, be they Christian or not. However, in practice, given that the vast majority of traditionalists and social conservatives in the United States are Christians, then that is why the movement is one of Christian secession. It would thus be, essentially, an identitarian movement, where the identity in question is essentially a non-denominational, orthodox, socially conservative, and traditionalist Christian one, even though sympathetic non-Christians would be welcome as well.
Now, having thus considered ‘who’ would be part of the Christian secessionist movement from a Christian perspective, it is also beneficial to view the potential secessionist division from a political perspective as well. And as everyone knows, within the United States, the present political division that exists is between the Republicans and the Democrats. As such, it might seem that, in practical terms, the secessionist division for Christian secession would be largely along those lines as well. But again, this is not necessarily the case. After all, given the type of nation that would hopefully be formed as a result of Christian secession—essentially, a socially conservative one—many people who are often grouped on the Republican-side of the political spectrum, such as libertarians, economic-conservatives, neo-conservatives, and right-leaning pagans, might actually be less comfortable in a socially conservative Christian nation than in a liberal Democrat one. And so, such Republicans and right-leaning groups may not wish to be any part of a move towards Christian secession. At the same time, certain groups who are largely socially conservative concerning certain moral issues, such as African-Americans or Hispanics, but who nevertheless overwhelming vote for Democrats, may also not wish to be part of such a secession. Thus, for such groups, and for any such groups, a choice would have to be made concerning what is most important to them: their socially conservative values or the type of government and governmental programs that Democrats and liberals offer. And given the voting track record of these groups—where their votes are largely for Democrats—it would appear that the priority for these groups in terms of their political and public life is towards the types of government that they want rather than towards their socially conservative values. And so, this fact would largely dictate whether such groups would be part of the move towards Christian secession or not. And the same considerations would need to be weighed by American Muslims and Jews as well, for though such groups are often traditional in moral outlook, they nevertheless consistently support the left side of the political spectrum when it comes to politics. Thus, it would be expected that such groups, regardless of their traditionalism, would be opposed to Christian secession. By contrast, Mormons—who are not Christians in any real or orthodox sense of the term—are staunchly socially conservative, and as such, they would indeed likely side with the idea of Christian secession. Consequently, as can be seen by all these political considerations, Christian secession is thus for a unique sub-set of the American population: those who largely vote for the right side of the political spectrum and who are simultaneously strongly socially conservative and traditionalist in outlook.
The ‘What’ of Christian Secession
Finally, it is also important to be clear about what type of Christian secession is being spoken of in this work. In essence, when speaking of Christian secession, what is meant is an official and formal secession between the different segments of the United States. This is not some de facto secession or a return to a serious form of federalism, but rather, what is being considered in this work is clear, unambiguous, and full secession within the United States. The reasons for why such a secession is needed will be articulated in a later essay, but for now, let it simply be said that this is the only type of secession that will ultimately work. And so that is why it is formal secession that is the type of secession under discussion here.
And so, the long and short of it is this: when it comes to the idea of Christian secession, this essay series is focused almost exclusively on secession by social and cultural conservatives and traditionalists, mostly of a Christian persuasion, within the United States.
Anno Domini 2017 04 17
Non nobis Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam.