Gregory Hood is partially correct; Christianity alone can’t save us. “Christianity” is far too abstract, vague, and ill-defined to achieve much of anything, good or ill. A cursory review of the world’s popular denominations and their failure to coherently and consistently define their deity, define their doctrine, and define their prescribed behavior confirms that “Christianity” in the broad and abstract is not even wrong. There’s no there there. It only exists in the ether of superficial political bullshit.
Paganism is arguably even less coherent. Is it a Jungian mythic and organic pantheistic worldview? Is it a demonic inversion of and threat to Christianity? Is it the Will Of The Aryan Nation? Abstractions don’t meaningfully exist out of context.
What is “Marxism,” after all? Stalin’s industrial despotism, Mao’s inner party, Castro’s agrarian regime, North Korea’s dynastic cult of personality, and hipster college students all claim the “Marxist” label.
Mr. Hood repeats Russell Kirk’s claim that “culture arises from the cult,” but he fails to distinguish between the cult itself and its sacred texts, leaving us to presume that “Christianity” in the broad and abstract has an obvious and consistent political theme. It doesn’t. It’s imperial; it’s nationalist. It’s fascist; it’s anarchist. It’s hierarchical; it’s egalitarian. It’s identitarian; it’s borderless. While the sacred text itself may be of some limited utility if thoughtfully perused by an individual, anybody who purports that the Bible in and of itself has some specific political agenda is being willfully ignorant about the wildly different lessons individuals and civilizations have extracted from it.
In my opinion, both Christians and anti-Christians alike who attempt to point to the Bible as proof of its political utility or futility are mistaken. Among Christians, this is only really a problem for sola scriptura Protestants, as traditional Christian churches integrate the Bible into an overarching ecclesiastical tradition which one can confidently make specific claims for and against. Is the Bible literally apostolic? It depends on who you ask. But there’s only one correct answer for Catholics and a different one for Baptists.
Within Mr. Hood’s own article, he tries to have it both ways. Since there is no monolithic “Christian church,” there’s no proverbial door upon which to stick these charges. After congratulating Orthodox Christians abroad who are boldly pushing back against Modernity, he chuckles that “eventually they are going to start reading their Bibles.” Shortly thereafter, he informs us that “Westboro Baptists hold to a more authentic (and in some ways honorable) form of Christianity by truly believing what their Holy Book tells them, even in defiance of all the world.”
Is biblical literalism ridiculously hardcore, or a trojan horse carrying the liberal egalitarian universalist plague?
Is Christianity doomed because it’s integrally bad, or is Christianity doomed because it’s powerless against Modernity? Mr. Hood has established a rigged lose/lose framing in which everything Christianity has done right is vestigial paganism, everything it’s done wrong is integral to its nature, and everything that’s been done to it is its own fault.
Many of my fellow Christians are expecting me to write an article which defends Christianity’s ability to save the West. I agree with Mr. Hood that Christianity can’t save the West. Neither can paganism, though. Tradition doesn’t work that way. Institutions which have been around as long as Judaism, Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and Confucianism don’t survive from one millennium to the next by boldly defying the order. Like a pregnant woman hiding in the cellar during a siege, the Church’s duty is to preserve and protect Holy Tradition at all costs. The Russian Orthodox Church which has been modeling the most impressive 21st Century resistance to Modernity could only do so because its priests and patriarchs did an impressive job of accommodating themselves to the most virulently anti-Christian regime of the 20th Century.
We must rally behind a Tradition worth killing and dying for. I believe Western Rite Orthodoxy is the simple and obvious Tradition to resurrect and stand for, and I believe it should be inseparably married to the uniquely Western spirit and culture which preceded Christianity. Mr. Hood grudgingly admits that “Germanic Christianity” could be that vehicle, but dismisses it as an “unnatural conglomeration.” I don’t see it that way, and I see pre-Christian European traditions as foreshadowing and leading up to Christianity. I see the Arthurian Cycle and other Christian syntheses of indigenous folk tradition as perfectly natural.
For millennia, the fusion of the West’s unique spirit and Christ’s message were accepted as natural. For me, what’s unnatural is the bizarre effort by some fundamentalist types to frame this organic adoption of Christianity by our heathen forefathers as heretical. What’s unnatural is to strip us of our Solstice festival, its cherished Germanic symbols, and our integral martial spirit in favor of some simulacrum of Classical Middle Eastern desert culture and spirit.
Christ’s message was indeed universal, and it was for all the nations of the world. Up until recently, it was intuitively obvious that his message would and should be embraced within the cultural contexts of those nations. The notion that Christianity is really all about imposing a Semitic global empire with a Semitic spirit and culture is only taken seriously now that the Pharisees–Christ’s foremost opponents during his ministry–stand at the brink of achieving precisely that.
Christianity can’t save the West, but I believe the West can and should save Christianity. It can’t happen from within the Church, though. It must happen in parallel with and at arm’s length from the Church. Those looking to the Church for aid and comfort will continue to be disappointed. Only after a martial vanguard clears the way for it will an authentically traditionalist and nationalist Christianity be able to climb out of the cellar. This is how it’s working with the Golden Dawn in Greece. This is how it worked with the KGB Deep State and it’s relationship with the Church in Eastern Europe. This is how it worked long ago with Emperor Constantine.
And why should we save Christianity? Because it’s the one true faith, that’s why! Setting eternal salvation aside for a moment, the Church has done more to preserve our pagan and Classical inheritance than any other institution. I propose that a Germanic (I prefer “Arthurian” . . . ) Christianity is more capable of upholding European folk tradition than the European folk traditionalists themselves. I believe it’s also more confluent with our geopolitical predicament, plugging us into an emergent nationalist Christian superpower alliance which could compete with the emerging East Asian and Islamic superpower alliances.
The path from where White Americans currently are to a restored Christianity worthy of restoring seems shorter and more direct to me than the line to a pagan revival. That being said, skeptics, folk religionists, and those belonging to the panoply of Christian denominations absolutely must strike a delicate balance where we’re actively debating and discussing these different models without sabotaging one another. Personally, I think it’s more constructive (if admittedly more challenging) to make a convincing case for why our own answers are the best answer. I hope Gregory Hood will consider writing a follow-up article, “Why Heathenry Can Save Us.”