Over at ‘The Gospel Coalition’ website, there was recently a write-up about the Alt-Right titled “The FAQs: What Christians Should Know About the Alt-Right“.
Now, I do not wish to deal with most of the article, but rather, I want to tackle the specific portions of the article that deal with the claim that Christianity is allegedly not compatible with the alt-right. So, let’s get started.
First, consider this quote from the section of the article titled “How should Christians respond to the alt-right?”:
[Quote] At the core of the alt-right movement is idolatry—the idol of “whiteness.” In building their identity on shared genetic traits the alt-right divides humanity and leads people away from the only source of true identity: Jesus Christ. [Unquote]
This is absurdity on its face. First, God Himself divided humanity at the Tower of Babel and pushed humans into different nationalities, so there is nothing “ungodly” about doing so. Second, God made certain individuals “white”; so again, there is nothing “ungodly” about recognizing this fact. Third, the alt-right does not have an idol of ‘whiteness’; rather, it recognizes the simple fact that whites, or whites of different ethnicities, have the right to exist in their own nation-states unmolested by other groups—which is precisely the same right that other groups currently enjoy around the world. Fourth, just because the alt-right builds an identity in part on one aspect of their being does not necessarily divide humanity or lead people away from Christ, just as a group of male monks who build their identity, in part, around being male, does not divide humanity or lead them away from Christ. And finally fifth, building an identity on ethnic and/or racial lines does not necessarily lead people away from Christ; for example, in Christendom, there were many people of many different ethnicities, and people build their lives around those differing ethnicities just as much as they did around Christianity itself, and yet it would be difficult to say that those people in that past where less Christian than we are today. Christianity, after all, should not engage in the fallacy of chronological snobbery.
OK, so the next quote says this:
[Quote] The alt-right is anti-gospel because to embrace white identity requires rejecting the Christian identity. The Christian belongs to a “chosen race” (1 Peter 2:9), the elect from every tribe and tongue (Rev. 7:9). [Unquote]
Again, this is horseshit. After all, because I embrace my identity as a male, does that mean that I reject my Christian identity or that I am anti-gospel. Of course not. We all have different identities, and embracing one does not necessarily cause the negation of others. Furthermore, notice how this very quote undermines what the author is saying. After all, if the elect are from every tribe and tongue, then this assumes that there are different tribes and tongues, which is exactly what the alt-rightist wants: namely, to be allowed to have his own tribe and his own tongue without interference from others. Furthermore, just because Christians are the “chosen race” does not mean that there cannot be sub-categories within the chosen race. After all, does a Polish Christian need to claim that he is identical with a German Christian merely because they are fellow Christians. Of course not! Rather, the Polish Christian and German Christian recognize their commonality in Christ, while easily understanding and maintaining the fact that one is Polish and one is German. The idea that a Christian must choose between his Christian identity and his ethnic identity is both false and deceptive; the Christian identity may be the superior one, but this does not negate the obviously existent ethnic identity. Furthermore, I somehow doubt that this whole idea would be said to Blacks, or Hispanics, or Asians. Indeed, no one would say that embracing Black identity requires rejecting one’s Christian identity. So this claim seems to be a standard that is only applied to whites. And as such, it can be rejected as a hypocritical double-standard.
Next, the article continues:
[Quote]“The chosen race is not black or white or red or yellow or brown,” John Piper says. “The chosen race is a new people from all the peoples—all the colors and cultures—who are now aliens and strangers among in the world.”[Unquote]
Yes, Christians can come from all the different peoples of the earth, but this does not mean that on earth, all the different people need to be allowed to become one undifferentiated mass of humanity without distinctions. In fact, and as previously mentioned, given God’s separation of humanity at the Tower of Babel, it could be argued that it is literally against God’s plan that all people be brought together as one while on earth. So again, there is nothing about what the alt-right proponent wants—namely, different homelands for people of European ethnicity—which is against the Gospel or Christianity.
[Quote] This is why it’s impossible to truly follow Christ and be a white supremacist: How can we claim we are superior to people of other races when Jesus has chosen them? [Unquote]
Again, if read in a certain way, this claim is just foolish. First, so-called supremacy is task or trait relative, so it is difficult to say that there is such a thing as white supremacy without qualifying what is being spoken of. But second, there is nothing wrong with being a supremacist and being a Christian. For example, I am a male supremacist about the fact of strength and aggression, meaning that I believe that males are superior to females, on average, when it comes to physical strength and aggression. Does this mean that I suddenly cannot follow Christ because Christ has chosen women as part of his elect? Of course not. That is ridiculous. The fact is that it is entirely possible to consider certain groups of humans as superior to other humans in certain respects, and still be a follower of Christ. In fact, this is absolutely necessary. Why? Because Christ told us not to lie, and since it is a fact that certain groups are superior to other groups—like the example given above between males and females—then this is a truth that we must speak and believe. And finally, the reason that it is possible to be an earthly supremacist about some things and still be a Christian is obvious: namely, there is a difference between the earthly and the spiritual. Thus, we can recognize that all people, regardless of group, are made in the image of God, while at the same time also recognizing that in terms of their earthly traits, some groups are superior to others. There is no contradiction in these two beliefs.
Now, the next part of the article says:
[Quote] This is why it’s impossible to follow Christ and be a white nationalist: How can we claim to be sons and daughters of Jesus while separating ourselves from our brothers and sisters? [Unquote]
Ummm, because, again, God did so at the Tower of Babel. Additionally, the New Testament assumes the existence of different tribes and nations. Furthermore, all of Christianity for the past two thousand years thought it perfectly sensible to separate themselves into different ethnic, cultural, and racial groups, and the Christians of yesteryear were no less Christian than we are. Perhaps we should learn from their example, instead of thinking ourselves to be superior. Finally, this above point also fails analogically. After all, when I go to my house after Church, I separate myself from my fellow Christians, and yet I am no less Christian for it. By the same token, ethnic groups can have their own figurative homes in their own countries, and yet be unified in the greater idea of Christendom. And there is nothing anti-Christian about such an idea.
Next, the article writes:
[Quote] This is why it’s impossible to serve Jesus and advocate for white identity: How can your identity be found in the finished work of Jesus when you’re rooting your identity in the divisive work of Satan? [Unquote]
It is interesting how things can be twisted here. First, going back to the Tower of Babel example, dividing people into different tribes and different languages was God’s desire, while allowing them to be united was against God’s will. So, the above quote may actually have things entirely backwards. Second, when different identity groups live in close proximity, conflict usually results. As such, dividing into different groups with clear borders, while remaining unified by a shared Christian faith, may be the best and most peaceful means of bringing about stability and spreading the Gospel. Third, we once again know that a double-standard applies here—which thus removes the force from this point—because no one would claim that it is impossible to serve Jesus and advocate for Black, or Hispanic, or Asian identity. Again, this is a standard seemingly only reserved for whites, and as such, it is a double-standard that can be seriously questioned on those grounds alone. And finally, this idea is itself ridiculous. After all, I can be an advocate for male identity—meaning that I can contend that men are different from women, that men are superior to women in some ways, inferior in others—and yet I can also serve Jesus at the same time. Doing so is not Satanic. Nor is it divisive. Instead, it is the truth. And there is nothing that prevents it from being the case with ethnic or racial identities either.
Finally, in the end, the article concludes as follows:
[Quote] “Christians ought to reject racism, and do what they can to expose it and bring the gospel to bear upon it,” Kevin DeYoung says, “not because we love pats on the back for our moral outrage or are desperate for restored moral authority, but because we love God and submit ourselves to the authority of his Word.” [Unquote]
Now, let me tell you something that might shock you. Racism, is not necessarily a sin. Indeed, consider that sexism—meaning the idea that one sex is superior to another in a certain respect and thus that discrimination between the sexes in certain respects is warranted—is not a sin because sexism is true; after all, men are indeed stronger than women on average. This is just a biological fact. And there is no denying it’s truth. In fact, the sin would be to deny this truth and lie about it; thus, the sexist is being faithful to the truth, while the non-sexist is being a liar. And we all know who is the Father of Lies and who is the Father of Truth. But now, what this means is that if there are indeed legitimate biological differences between different ethnic groups or races, then being “racist”—meaning that you recognized this fact—would mean that you are being truthful. And speaking the truth is always from God. By contrast, to lie about these racial differences—if they exist—would be a falsehood, and God hates deceivers. So far from rejecting “racism”, what really needs to be rejected is falsehood, and if “non-racism” is false, then that is what needs to be rejected.
In the end, this whole article from The Gospel Coalition is just engaged in a category error. What I mean is that it is possible to recognize that there is a difference between the earthly abilities of different ethnic or racial groups, while at the same time recognizing that all people, regardless of ethnicity or race, are made in the image of God and worthy of respect, love, and the Gospel. The Alt-Right, or, more accurately, Alt-Christianity recognizes this distinction; too many modern Christians, however, do not, and that is a problem because it is a failure of reasoning and commonsense.