Non-fiction (Christianity, Theology)
A book in the collection: The West
A book in the series: Cultures
Centuries ago, Martin Luther took to task a Church that abandoned Scripture in favour of selling indulgences. Today, he could challenge Western churches that abandon Christianity for multiculturalism, tolerance, and diversity. We offer people no reason to be Christian.
Multiculturalism requires atheism because religions are contradictory; treating them equally requires rejecting them all. Sport is now the opiate of the West, in Karl Marx’s words about religion. Environmentalism is the new religion for a globalist West craving structure, purpose, and eternity.
Saving Western Christianity requires the faithful to see us as peoples again, as the Bible does, rather than individuals or citizens of the world. Other races, whatever their religion, fill places of worship because they retain their collective identities. We need again to sense our Christian corpus: Christendom. Christ commanded Christian nationalism.
- God and Country
- Collective Guilt
- Feeling Unforgiven
- Postmodern Christianity
- Multicultural Christianity
- God and Jesus
- White Christian Burden
- Other People’s Churches
- Church and State
- Economic Religion
- Religion for Sale
- Other People’s Festivals
- The Religion that Hides
- Our Lands of Other Faiths
- Holy Mothers
- Voluntary Human Extinction
- The End of Christendom
- Saving Christendom
Chapter 1: God and Country
The only races to have taken up individualism since World War II weren’t just Western. We were Christian. We ceased being Christian peoples not because we ceased being Christian, but because we ceased being peoples.
It was all very well for the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, to want Europeans to rediscover our Christian heritage, but Western peoples of faith are no more embracing of our European heritage. Neither the faithful nor faithless still think of us being Christendom, a collective Christian corpus, as we did until 1914 and, to some degree, until 1939. We’re no longer Christian for being European peoples, whether in Europe or abroad: the Christian West. We’re individually Christian or not.
We won’t revive religion for the West (let alone be a light again for the rest of the world) without reviving our collective identities. We won’t be Christian peoples again without being peoples again.
Other races remain races, retaining their religions because they retain their cultures. Fijians, for example, are Christian for being Fijian. Christianity is their heritage, if only since the nineteenth century. Defending its parishioners and people as Western churches no longer imagine is the Methodist Church in Fiji, to which most Fijians belong. It described proposals from 2008 to allow all Fijian citizens (including Hindu Indians) to call themselves Fijian as “daylight robbery” of indigenous Fijians. For Fijians and their church, only people racially Fijian are Fijian.
Not us. The Church that once defended Christendom no longer cares.
The last week of September 2014, police arrested fifteen Muslims plotting the beheading of people in Sydney and Brisbane. Worried more about Muslims feeling unwelcome than Christians being murdered, Gordon Uniting Church declared from its Pacific Highway noticeboard: “Muslims Welcome Here.”
We of the faith are no less responsible than anyone else for the decline of Western Christianity. We help everyone, but when there’s a conflict between Western interests and other peoples’ aspirations, we favour other peoples. Our only difference with Western peoples without faith is our presumption we act with God’s will, as if God too prefers other races and their religions.
Western Christianity is eroding from within. Championing others more than our own we call social justice, but they’re other people’s societies. We’re individuals, with no more thought of our race than those without faith: the injustice of neglecting our own. We’ve succumbed to a Christian individualism, a Christian multiculturalism purporting to be part of a single world view. Why would people sit in churches more interested in everyone else?
The last Sunday in July 2013, Ben preached at our family’s Uniting church. Fellow Australians’ anxieties about illegal immigrants (primarily Muslim South Asians) sailing towards Australia to claim asylum, Ben attributed to Australian senses of national borders, sovereignty, and “a kind of country body corpus.” He then dismissed those things for being unreal, as only the West does.
They were real until recently. They’re more real than ever before for other races.
In the church were copies of the preamble to the Uniting Church in Australia constitution adopted in 2009. Paragraph 2 respected “Aboriginal and Islander peoples, who continue to understand themselves to be the traditional owners and custodians (meaning ‘sovereign’ in the languages of the First Peoples) of these lands and waters since time immemorial.” Paragraph 7 spoke of Aborigines suffering “dispossession and the denial of their proper place in this land.”
National borders, sovereignty, and body corpora are as real as we want them to be. If they’re unreal for countries, then they’re unreal for people. Without collective corpora, we’ve no families or churches. If national borders and sovereignty aren’t real, then private property isn’t real, but the books of the Bible defend peoples’ territories.
In chapter 25, verses 23 and 24 of the Book of Leviticus, God commands Israelites to retain ultimate control and title to their territory, even if they lease it to others. Verse 25 commands their nearest relatives to buy their property if poverty forces them to sell, failing which they must later buy it back if they can. The Book of Numbers, chapter 36, verse 8 requires daughters inheriting land to marry within their fathers’ clans. Both Testaments speak to races and nations.
So do we, but not for us. The countries we don’t have when they’re reason to exclude immigrants, are countries we have when they’re reason to admit them. The Sunday after Ben rejected all sense of nationhood, Reverend Laurel claimed Australian government policies to control the arrival of asylum seekers destroyed “the soul of the nation.”
Ben acknowledged that Biblical obligations to show mercy don’t require self-sacrifice, but we’re sacrificing our countries, races, and churches. The Anglican archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, acknowledged in a television interview late in October 2009 that immigration was against the Church’s future, without suggesting the Church save itself.
We’re Christians without countries. The only selves the West now understands are individual selves.
Christians outside the individualist West don’t demand their countries welcome immigrants. Justice and mercy for their forebears, compatriots, and descendants demand they keep outsiders at bay.
That last Sunday in July 2013, a divorced Scotsman at our family’s Uniting church dismissed my comparisons in attitudes to asylum seekers between the West and Asia. “We have a different standard,” said Craig.
“We think we’re superior,” I replied.
“Not superior,” he said quickly.
“We don’t say we’re superior to anyone, but that’s what it is.” Craig never spoke to me again.
Our anti-racial, anti-national West encompasses everyone equally. The Bible doesn’t.
The first two verses of the Book of Nehemiah, Chapter 13, describe the Israelites hearing the Book of Moses declare no Ammonite or Moabite should ever be admitted into the assembly of God, because they had not provided the Israelites with food and water but instead hired Balaam to call a curse upon them. The Israelites respond, at verse 3, by excluding all people of foreign descent.
Love thy neighbour is a command of kindness to our compatriots, including those we don’t know. It’s the sense of community underpinning racism, nationalism, and other tribalism.
Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan demonstrates that our generosity should be to people with whom we disagree. Samaritans were fellow Semites claiming descent from particular Israelite tribes and adherence to a purer, ancient form of their religion than others. Their modern-day equivalents aren’t people from other races but, for example, the racists and nationalists we condemn among our own.
The Bible talks of foreigners, thereby affirming races and nations. At a time other religions imposed no obligations to outsiders, the Bible spoke of them. Kindness to foreigners isn’t at a people’s expense.
The most generous obligation to foreigners is in chapter 19, verse 34 of the Book of Leviticus. It isn’t an obligation to admit them, but a consequence of doing so. “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt.” It might be another rule specifically for Jews who’d lived so long in Egypt, inapplicable to races without similar histories. It assumes the foreigner does no harm.
People living by Christian faith don’t risk harming their own, but may let foreigners use what they can’t. In giving out the scraps, chapter 14, verse 21 of the Book of Deuteronomy discriminates between different types of foreigners. “Do not eat anything you find already dead. You may give it to the foreigner residing in any of your towns, and they may eat it, or you may sell it to any other foreigner.”
In ancient Hebrew, a foreigner residing in a town was a “ger.” One passing through was a “nokrî.” Original Hebrew and Greek Biblical texts use several different words for what we broadly call others.
Deuteronomy abounds with discrimination. Chapter 15, verses 1 to 3 requires Israelites to cancel each other’s debts once every seven years, but allows them to demand repayment from foreigners.
Morals among a people are inapplicable to outsiders, which can be a problem or a privilege. “You may charge a foreigner interest, but not a fellow Israelite,” says Deuteronomy, chapter 23, verse 20, espousing economic nationalism. Charging each other interest separates people economically, but even after refining the rule in the Middle Ages we made a mess of carrying the prohibition into effect. Jews became Europe’s moneylenders.
“Deliver me and rescue me from the hands of foreigners whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful,” would be xenophobic and racial vilification in our multicultural West. Those words were said, or sung, thousands of years ago by David: God’s favourite, in spite of his sins. The words are Psalm 144, verse 11.
In the Book of Jeremiah, chapter 5, verse 19 the punishment for abandoning God is serving foreigners, giving up our countries. (It still is.) “And when the people ask, ‘Why has the Lord our God done all this to us?’ you will tell them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your own land, so now you will serve foreigners in a land not your own.”
Increasingly since the Second World War, the West has rejected our races, cultures, and God. By the early twenty-first century, many Western Christians are no more interested in Biblical teaching with which they disagree than are those without faith.
The Sunday before the 2010 Australian election, I asked Brother Ned Gerber, an American Swiss at our parish Anglican church (an Anglo-Catholic church), what he thought of the likelihood Australians would elect an unmarried atheist living with her boyfriend as prime minister. (I still liked her.) Joining the discussion over dinner, our South Asian friend Essy was more concerned about the married Liberal Party leader of faith, Tony Abbott, “playing upon people’s fears.” By that, she meant his promises to stop the boatloads of asylum seekers coming to the country.
Ned saw only the Greens political party as being acceptable for their support for asylum seekers, “even though many of their policies are hostile to Christianity.” In the choice between God and immigration, we’re pumping for immigration.
“They don’t like borders at all,” I told Ned.
“We need immigration.”
“No, we don’t.”
“With our birth rates, we need it for economic growth,” Ned insisted. “Countries need birth rates of two point one for economic growth,” he said, referring to the number of babies born per woman.
Biblical passages like chapter 13, verse 5 of the Epistle to the Hebrews don’t keep us from the West’s fixation with commercial expansion. “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have.”
“Countries like Korea, Japan, have lower birth rates than ours,” I replied to Ned. “They don’t have immigration.”
“It’s not just that,” said Essy. “It’s population density.”
“Vast areas of this country are desert,” I told her.
“Even apart from that.”
Europe’s high population density had not saved Europe from immigration. Essy, her family, and race gained from the West’s open borders. Ned, his family, and race did not.
By the time I came across our parish Anglican church treasurer James at the Pymble Ladies College garden party (which was really a fête, but the college called it a garden party), the election was over. We both thought Abbott should cease trying to make favour with the independent parliamentarians who’d fobbed off their conservative constituencies to return the government, but act like the opposition leader they’d compelled him to remain. James went onto say that he cringed to hear Abbott talk of asylum seekers. James wanted their applications for asylum processed in Australia.
Refugees are just another tranche of immigrants. James wanted Australia to admit all comers for no other reason than they showed the character to come, thinking the continent could sustain a hundred and fifty or two hundred million people (overwhelming what had been Christian Australia).
We don’t believe in countries in any meaningfully defined way, not for the West. James added, “I’m not very comfortable with what’s happening in France.”
Making the connection took me a moment. “You mean with the gypsies?”
He did. President Nicholas Sarkozy responded to high crime rates and problems of illegal accommodations by deporting thousands of Roma, although his actions reeked of political posturing. European Union rules allowed citizens of other European Union countries to turn around past the border and walk back into France.
“I’ve encountered gypsies,” I told James, “in Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Italy.” I shook my head. “I can’t really criticise him.”
The only times I’d heard much of churches in France were them giving sanctuary to illegal immigrants; separating church and state cut both ways. American churches espouse a wide range of positions, while defying American law and interest to welcome illegal immigrants.
When Western churches speak loudest, we no longer speak for our people. “We are disgraced,” says Jeremiah, chapter 51, verse 51, “for we have been insulted and shame covers our faces, because foreigners have entered the holy places of the Lord’s house.”
When three Vietnamese asylum seekers disappeared while attending St Mary’s Cathedral, Darwin in 2011, I was surprised refugees still came from prospering Vietnam. That December, Kiet, a lawyer who’d left Vietnam in the early 1980s but returned there for his honeymoon in 2001 among other trips and holidays, told me they were economic refugees, wanting Australian welfare and wages.
It was easy to imagine Father Paul’s complicity in the Vietnamese escape. “Good on ’em,” the Roman Catholic priest told immigration department officials. “If I had my way, I’d throw open the doors of the detention centre and say, ‘Out you go’.”
He’d believed the Vietnamese telling him they were escaping political persecution, but the persecution was pretty paltry. “I think that sometimes to be different from the majority is to show that you’re possibly against the government in Vietnam. It becomes a political thing.”
The Vietnamese weren’t fleeing persecution. They were fleeing a political thing. Gosh, we could all be refugees.
We can hardly expect Muslims, Jews, and people of other religions to put Western countries ahead of their religions when, so often since World War II, we haven’t put our countries ahead of our private little religions: our religious individualism. Our parish Anglican church organist Brett earned a Bachelor of Theology degree from Sydney College of Divinity, but listed his religious views on the Facebook website as “self-worship.” It might’ve been the most perfect expression of Western individualism I’d ever read.
Surprises were few when the Pew Research Centre reported the results of a survey of a thousand and thirty-three American Muslims from mid April to mid July, 2011. Forty-nine percent thought of themselves first as Muslim and only twenty-six percent first as American. That’s the flaw with self-reporting; I was sure the reality was much more skewed towards Islam. The flaw recurred when only forty-six percent of American Christians thought of themselves first as Christians and the same proportion first as Americans. There will hardly be patriotic others, when there are so few patriotic us.
Asked my eldest son at the time, as fifteen-year-old boys should challenge their fathers, “What’s wrong with that?”
For people believing in neither God nor Country, there’s no conflict, as there isn’t for people believing in one but not the other. Any religiously pluralistic country sets up a conflict between allegiances to religion and country. Muslims expect Muslim countries to honour Allah. Jews of faith expect Israel to honour Jehovah, although might argue what Jehovah demands. Nobody expects Western countries to honour God, but we used to expect it. We expected our churches to defend our countries, as other races’ churches defend their people and countries. God and Country were the same loyalties. By not having both, the West ends up with neither.
Having lost interest in our peoples, we’re preoccupied with our private little faiths. We pursue our perceived personal salvation, dwelling upon our inward senses of God without reference to religion. We do what we want to do; certain it’s what God wants us to do, because we want steadfastly to do it. We settle upon our single-person beliefs with no regard for their effects upon others. Our compatriots do the same.
Headed to heaven without regard for the faith left on earth or the world after our far-coming deaths, our interests are in our afterlives, not anyone else’s. We’re self-contained Christians, not trying to retain or restore Christian countries. Religion has no link with our nation or society, because we have no nations or societies with which religion can link. For the sake of our small visions of ourselves, we walk away, while our compatriots can all go to hell.