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Lynchburg & Charlottesville:
A Study in Contrasts

Lynchburg, Virginia

3,758 words

Now that it is past Labor Day, I want to tell the traditional “what did you do last summer?” story. Most of my summer was spent doing what I normally do: working out, attending civic and cultural events in my home base in the state of Washington, and supporting Counter-Currents. This summer, however, I did get to attend a partial Rockwell family reunion in – of all places – Virginia.

My journey began with a continental overflight to Washington, DC, where I attended a health and fitness symposium as part of my day job and later met up with my older half-brother. Then I went with his wife and teenage daughters to a sporting event in Lynchburg, Virginia. My family reunion was thus smaller, more focused, and frankly less fun than the reunion which I described a year ago.

As usual, this reunion revolved around sports, but the event we attended was now a pickup game among cousins: It was official, with judges, timekeepers, and medals. Each girl had some event they were competing in. It was heartwarming to see the girls participating in a healthy activity, but it really was a grind to be in a minivan filled with estrogen-driven drama, such as a mother of teen girls involved in a power struggle with one of her girls at a stop light. But I held my tongue, as I was a guest.

In the spare time between competitions, we explored the area around Lynchburg, including the city of Charlottesville. I’ve been to Charlottesville briefly before, but not Lynchburg. The two towns are a study in contrast between mainstream conservatism and mainstream liberalism. They are roughly an hour’s drive apart, in an area of great natural beauty. The hills are green with hardwood trees, the grass is magnificent and lush. The state of Washington becomes drier the further one moves inland, so it’s very different from what I’m used to. The climate is also different. DC is sweltering – it’s awful. Why did George Washington build his nation’s capital there? Lynchburg’s climate is less oppressive than DC’s.

Charlottesville & the mainstream liberals

I’d only been to Charlottesville twice before: The first time I visited friends and stayed on their couch for a night while passing through, the second I only saw the central pedestrian mall downtown. This time, I drove through Heather Heyer Way. It felt ironic for a Counter-Currents writer to be on this road – if only the antifa knew! The walls of the buildings on either side were covered with graffiti – but chalk graffiti instead of paint. Much of the graffiti consisted of slogans about resisting “hate” and other such Leftist pap.

I spent the afternoon with the girls at the pedestrian mall. Most of the shops are of two basic types: overpriced restaurants and bars, and shops that sell gimmicks such as refrigerator magnets, many of which are inspired by liberal Internet memes, and calendars and mints featuring Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s likeness. One wonders if anyone buys this stuff.

Also at the pedestrian mall are panhandlers, bums, and other such flotsam and jetsam. I saw a group of older people, Boomer hippies with headbands over their grey hair. I wonder if those Boomers look back at their lives and feel like they idled it away. Most such people are harmless, but I observed something that clarifies the differences between mainstream liberals and those on the Right. While I was dodging beggars and pacing about the mall, a Negro on a bike rode by, chasing a black woman. The Negro was wildly shouting obscenities, and passed close to the hippies. Soon, a white Charlottesville bike cop positioned himself between the two people arguing. The scene was unpleasant. The angry biker presented a clear danger: Plate-glass windows could have easily been smashed; children were forced to hear foul language; and the black woman and the hippies were threatening to break into an impromptu chimpout. Though I noticed all of this, the mainstream liberals I was with did not. And that is the big difference between today’s Left and Right: Today’s Left can’t see the danger, can’t interpret the data, and thus can’t prevent the danger.

Throughout my trip, I didn’t say anything about what I believed. I always go to a family event with trepidation. I half-expect a feminine bossypants relation to scream out over dinner that “he’s a white supremacist!” and make life difficult for me. My Rockwells wouldn’t care to be associated with George Lincoln Rockwell if they knew who he was. I do, however, wish to better understand mainstream liberals so as to reach them (or more accurately, reach their boys) with my ideas for white well-being. So I picked up the book Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign (2017) to learn about their perspective.

Shattered describes the internal workings of the Hillary Clinton campaign during the 2016 election. According to it, Hillary’s first problem was that she failed to provide a reason for running. As a result, she had no solid platform, no solid message, and the common perception was that she had no grasp of any of America’s problems. While Shattered’s authors imply that Hillary’s private e-mail server was a public perception problem rather than a criminal matter, it is clear that it played into a long-running belief among many that Hillary thought herself above the law. Indeed, this author believes – but cannot prove – that her private server was part of a bribery operation.

The book also shows that Hillary believed that campaign infighting caused her to lose the 2008 Democratic primary, so she sought to reduce such infighting in 2016. Unfortunately, her second campaign turned out to be just as problematic. Hillary was not able to recognize that the drama was related to genuine differences in principle among her staff, and that these differences mattered. She needed to pick a side; instead, she mistook the appearance of cooperation and good will for progress. Shattered’s authors describe the Trump “Russian collusion” story in a chapter called “Red October,” but since we already know that this was a spurious Hillary/Deep State operation to take Trump down, I skipped it.

The book’s authors only spend a couple of sentences regarding Hillary’s other problem: having no dedicated coalition of voters. Every time Hillary made a promise to a non-white group, working-class white voters defected to Trump. Hillary just couldn’t keep Obama’s coalition together. While Hillary, the centrist politician, foundered in a cruel sea she didn’t understand, the “radical Right” was ahead in understanding, as Peter Brimelow wrote in his Forward to America’s Half-Blood Prince: Barack Obama’s “Story of Race and Inheritance” (2008): “. . . Barack Obama has been presenting himself since 2004 as a ‘half-blood prince,’ an archetypal ambiguous figure in whom the various parts of a deeply-divided society can jointly invest in the contradictory hopes.”[1] This deeply-divided society couldn’t jointly invest in Hillary in 2016.

I’d add that 2016 was the first election where white identity became a part of electoral politics in a more naked way than it had been since the 1870s. It is increasingly likely that from now on, elections will be a game where one party must get enough whites to vote arm-in-arm with non-whites while the other party seeks to unify whites. America’s domestic politics is destabilized along racial lines. There will not be a post-racial America.

But a lack of racial analysis aside, in Shattered we get a tale of one misstep after another, so it’s good to read just to see how failures happen so as to avoid them in the future. One gets the impression that Shattered’s authors, who were embedded in the campaign, were not surprised by Trump’s win, unlike the rest of the mainstream media.

Lynchburg & the mainstream conservatives

Lynchburg is the mainstream conservative counter to Charlottesville. The two towns are remarkably alike physically, although Lynchburg has some older houses since it was not destroyed during the Civil War, unlike many other Virginian cities. You can find antebellum Neoclassical architecture tucked away around town that I didn’t see in Charlottesville. Lynchburg also has a seriousness that Charlottesville doesn’t have. I didn’t see any shops in Lynchburg that sold Ruth Bader Ginsburg junk. There was also a surprisingly good art museum there. One visitor I spoke to told me about something I’d never noticed in paintings before: the concept of the 14 Line Armature. (You can Google that concept yourself.)

Lynchburg is a deeply Protestant town. I noticed a church from every type of denomination on what seemed like every street corner. There is even a Unitarian Church near the Lynchburg Historical Museum. Lynchburg is a Southern town, but much of its religious ideology and many of its earliest settlers were not Southern, at least in the strict, Virginia First Families sense. The state of West Virginia, as well as western Virginia, was founded by people from Pennsylvania. The very Yankee Abraham Lincoln’s grandparents are an example of this folk migration. The Lincolns hailed from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and were early settlers in Rockingham County, Virginia. Lynchburg itself was founded by Quakers. The Baptist denomination, well represented in Lynchburg, was founded by Roger Williams in Rhode Island. Lynchburg’s religious environment is thus part of a cultural ecosystem that cuts across all the regions of the United States.

Liberty University is the center of Lynchburg, and Liberty University is a top-notch facility. The campus itself is impressive and prompted me to research the life of its founder, Jerry Falwell. Its bookstore is first-rate and has more Christian literature on its shelves than the average bookshop. The sporting facilities are really fantastic: There is a hockey rink, a football stadium, and an indoor basketball arena, all very close to each other. Perhaps because of that, many of the coeds I noticed at Liberty University wore athletic clothes and sported the feminine version of the jock hairstyle, even when they were at an ice cream shop. This look could also be some kind of “one foot in the feminist-dominated secular world and another in the religious world” thing. This style felt to me as though it telegraphed “I’m an empowered girl,” but with a subtle Christian fundamentalist neo-chastity belt cue.

Jerry Falwell’s career

Falwell’s biographer, Michael Sean Winters, ends his book thusly: “Falwell mattered, and the changes he wrought continue to shape the culture in which we Americans live today.”[2] From a by-the-numbers ministerial perspective, Falwell’s ministry was wildly successful, but his Christian-themed political crusade was only partially successful. From the perspective of the North American New Right, most of what Falwell did was a distraction from the real issues, other than his support for Ronald Reagan and his successful strategy to destroy the Soviet Union. All that Wilmot Robertson wrote about Falwell in his book The Dispossessed Majority was that “. . . the Reverend Jerry Falwell preaches a ‘moral revival’ that is tightly linked to Israel Über Alles.

Many great men have come from backgrounds like Falwell’s. They grow up and live in a community where they have deep roots and that gives them a leg up over others. Falwell’s family had lived in the area for generations. His father Carey Falwell was a local businessman with a checkered career that included shooting his drugged-up brother in self-defense and bootlegging. Carey died from alcoholism in 1948, at the age of 55. Falwell’s mother was from a religious family. Falwell, as they say in fundamentalist circles, “became born again” and met Macel Pate, the woman who became his wife, at a church service on January 20, 1952. In May 1956, he graduated at the top of his class from the Baptist Bible College in Kansas City. He intended to get a preaching job in Georgia, but ended up founding Thomas Road Baptist Church after a dust-up with another minister who had only thirty-five followers. He would build this church into America’s first Protestant megachurch. He also produced a TV show called The Old-Time Gospel Hour.

Christianity’s great division is not really between Catholics and Protestants, but between public Christians and private Christians. Private Christians don’t seek to change the world of the here and now. They only focus on individual salvation. Public Christians seek to effect change on Earth. Much of America’s cultural life has been influenced by public Christians since the Second Great Awakening. Initially, Falwell was a private Christian, but he ironically tiptoed into the public Christian sphere with a call for private Christian action in a sermon called “Ministers and Marches.” In it, he criticized Martin Luther King for focusing on civil rights issues rather than winning souls for Christ. Falwell’s sermon was theologically sound, but it was also an act of racial activism. A Negro preacher seeking to save individual souls rather than lead marches is one who isn’t damaging white interests.

There needs to be some further examination of Falwell’s brand of Christianity, also. While most denominations have a specific theological outlook, Protestant churches are so loosely controlled that identifying as a “Baptist” or a “Presbyterian” can be less than helpful. Falwell was a Baptist, but of a type that was fundamentalist.[3] Fundamentalists believe that the Bible is literally true. If the Bible says “the Sun stood still,” then fundamentalists believe God’s very own hands caused the Earth to stop in its orbit and rotation. Most importantly, this version of Protestantism rejects the theory of evolution.[4] Fundamentalist Protestant Christianity has a theological near-kin in Evangelical Protestantism, and there is a great deal of overlap. These two forms of Protestantism are similar, but not exactly the same. Nonetheless, during Falwell’s career, the two groups were tightly united and shared common goals in the political sphere.

I’ve come to believe that all the protest movements after 1964 which were led and executed by whites, including the anti-Vietnam War protests, were at least partially or subconsciously a rejection of the Civil Rights movement as its negatives became increasingly apparent. Buttercup Dew explains the situation better, though, and he deserves to be quoted at length:

Whites with healthy instincts will instinctively cling to rationalizations and proxy issues that allow them collective agency without blowing their socially protective cover stories. They can only articulate their horror at being a disprivileged and exploited group through increasingly flimsy terminology about rights and legalities: Their “cover story and secret life” are “inextricably garbled.”

Reverend Falwell’s conversion from private to public Christian, as well as the rise of the politically active fundamentalist/Evangelical Christian voter, matches the above-described “garbled cover story.” The spark that launched Falwell’s political career, his organization the Moral Majority, and the Religious Right in general was not the abortion issue, but a lower court ruling in a case, Green v. Connelly. This case eventually made it to the Supreme Court, and it allowed the IRS to withdraw tax-exempt status from religious institutions that practiced racial discrimination. The Carter administration supported this policy, and thus the Religious Right was born. The Religious Right and the Moral Majority later changed their focus to overturning Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion, but the Religious Right’s true launching pad was its rational rejection of the Civil Rights Movement. Black school children are dangerous to white school children, therefore whites needed to retreat to private Christian schools. It was there that whites had to make a stand.

Throughout his career, Falwell’s main causes were:

  1. Ending abortion.
  2. Opposing the homosexual agenda.
  3. Opposing pornography.
  4. Allowing prayer in public schools.
  5. Commenting on small issues that he felt were anti-Christian, like opposing Wiccan chaplains in the US Army. (“Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”)
  6. Developing Liberty University. After the end of the Reagan administration, this became his focus.

Falwell also did what other great men do: He attracted good followers and teamed up with other quality people. One of his first key allies was a conservative activist and Roman Catholic named Paul Weyrich. Weyrich is an extraordinary man in his own right. His views were actually quite close to those of the North American New Right in many ways, except that Weyrich pushed for a Christian society over other concerns. Falwell’s chief supporters were Ed Dobson, Cal Thomas, and James Robison. All of these men were well spoken, able to write well, and looked professional and sharp.

Falwell likewise recognized good advice when he saw it, and followed it. As Falwell’s ministry took off, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accused him of fraud following a bond issue to raise money for Liberty University. Falwell was a minister, not a financial expert, and he fouled up the bond issue pretty badly. However, he was able to find fundraising experts to help him who were not members of the Thomas Road Baptist Church. One of them, Jerry Huntsinger, realized that Falwell was sitting on a fundraising gold mine. Falwell followed Huntsinger’s advice and turned the situation around.

Falwell’s successful handling of the SEC crisis through honesty and hard work served him, his church, and his university well. In later years, if a creditor had a claim over Falwell’s empire, and that claim became public, the answer usually was “the check is in the mail” – and soon there really was a check in the mail. When Falwell promised Liberty University’s first students a free trip to the Holy Land, they got a free trip.

There was another thing that Falwell did which was linked to his honesty and hard work. While he used over-the-top hyperbole and fiery rhetoric against his political enemies, such as pornographers, he didn’t insult people personally. He behaved in a warm and friendly way towards his rivals. As a result, even his political enemies, such as the pornographer Larry Flint and liberal pro-abortion Senator Ted Kennedy, ended up becoming friends with Falwell.

Like many a Greek tragic hero, Falwell’s honesty led to his biggest crisis. Throughout his career, Falwell would cover down on churches in crisis. That is to say, if the preacher was caught in flagrante delicto with the attractive young wife of a parishioner, Falwell would serve as the interim preacher, manage the church’s affairs, and get things back on track. He was called to do this during the Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker Praise the Lord Club scandal in 1987. To make a long story short, the scandal was so sordid that Falwell ended up looking bad himself, even though he was trying to put things right. His own fundraising efforts were harmed, and U2’s lead singer Bono criticized him in the 1988 film Rattle and Hum. After that debacle and George H. W. Bush’s election, Falwell wound down much of his political activity to focus on developing Liberty University.

Advisor or prophet?

Falwell did make some missteps that should be discussed. Ed Dobson spoke of one of them, or at least one hard decision that led to later missteps, in an interview:

One of the realities of politics is you can choose – and I’ll use a biblical paradigm – you can choose either to be an advisor or a prophet. If you choose to be a prophet, then you don’t have a lot of influence on the political reality. But you are always free to speak what you believe to be the truth for the current historical moment. Or you can be an advisor with a sense of truth, a sense of value, but your objective simply to influence the process, and I think the Moral Majority moved from a prophetic role into more of an advisor role and lost some of its ability to speak against even the administration it was for.

Falwell was a charismatic organizer and leader, but he was not a theological genius. The Moral Majority ended up supporting Ronald Reagan’s policies first and retrofitting a Christian rationale for it second. This worked throughout Reagan’s presidency, since Reagan made few errors. However, when Bill Clinton was elected, Falwell became hostile to the point of calumny, and he couldn’t make use of his theology to appreciate the things that Clinton did right. Falwell thus missed many opportunities to support a flawed but very capable chief executive who made a number of wise, and even pro-white, decisions. Falwell then went on to support George W. Bush’s many foolish decisions, which did a great deal of harm to fundamentalist Christianity. After Bush II, many Americans gave up on that form of Christianity.

Falwell aligned himself with Israel First Jews throughout his career. In fact, what was likely his only break with the Reagan administration occurred in order to further Israeli interests, when he came out against the sale of AWACS surveillance aircraft to Saudi Arabia. This allegiance blinded him to the dangers of Jewish chicanery in general and neoconservativism in particular. Additionally, most of Falwell’s moral agenda was not enacted. Even those elements which were, such as the Defense of Marriage Act, ended up being overturned. In the meantime, a great deal of activities supporting Jewish interests occurred throughout Falwell’s career.

Conclusion

Overall, Reverend Falwell’s correct decisions outweighed his few missteps. In researching his life and career, I came to very much admire the man. Nothing the pro-white community has done even comes close to Falwell’s accomplishments. However, much of his moral agenda was a distraction from the key event that occurred during his life: white displacement. His moral agenda had some cryptic pro-white aspects to it that have helped, but only to a very small degree. Additionally, the Religious Right never came close to producing the level of outstanding creative works that their homosexual activist rivals did.

Regardless, however, it is nevertheless the case that the Second Great Awakening lasted longer than most historians assert. I have come to believe that Protestant activism in the United States has been a major factor in society and politics from the time of the “Burned over District” in the 1810s, and it ended with Jerry Falwell’s death.

Notes

[1] Steve Sailer, America’s Half-Blood Prince: Barack Obama’s “Story of Race and Inheritance” (VDARE.com, 2008), p. xiii.

[2] Michael Sean Winters, God’s Right Hand: How Jerry Falwell Made God a Republican and Baptized the American Right (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2012), p. 371.

[3] Like most Christian denominations, one must convert to Christianity by being “born again.” Other denominations, like Catholics, call this confirmation. The Protestant, “born again” version of confirmation is a more emotional – and often rushed – affair. To get a sense of it, watch this video.

[4] For most of Christianity’s history, fundamentalism didn’t exist. For this belief to arise, the Bible had to be translated into the vernacular and made widely available to a literate population. Then, Protestantism had to divide into people who saw the Bible as containing figurative language and those who saw it as divinely-inspired literal truth.

2 Comments

  1. Peter D. Bredon
    Posted September 3, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    “The climate is also different. DC is sweltering – it’s awful. Why did George Washington build his nation’s capital there?”

    Well, of course he didn’t have much to do with the building. As for the selection, IIRC this was another one of those Rube Goldberg “compromises” that the Founding Fathers seemed to think would solve all problems though REASON. Slavery? Keep it, but only count them as 3/5 of a free man for apportionment. Solved forever! Etc. As for the capitol, the idea was not to have it in any existing city, nor in any existing state, but to locate it in a new city, on land ceded by one or more states, and EXACTLY between North and South. Voila, no need to ever have a Civil War — genius! Alas, among other problems was the pestilential, malarial climate; JFK called it a city with “Northern hospitality and Southern efficiency.” The states followed similar ideas, with capitols in the hinterlands; supposedly this kept them insulated from big city bribery, but actually helps keep it under wraps, like going to Vegas or Thailand. You’ll notice that in normal countries, the political “capitol” is usually a business and cultural center as well, while Washington, like Brasilia, is some nightmarish world of bureaucrats (other than the ghettos, which take up about 3/4 of the non-govt parts.

    • BroncoColorado
      Posted September 4, 2019 at 2:48 am | Permalink

      Similar ‘reasoning’ produced the Australian capital of Canberra, complete with its enclave of territory called Australian Capital Territory. It is also noted for its extremes of climate, though fortunately humidity isn’t one of them.

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