Alt Right critiques of Christianity come in two prominent varieties. The first is the Nietschzian view that Christianity is a “slave religion” that teaches pathological altruism. The second is that the Bible, and Christianity itself, constitute jingoistic Jewish propaganda.
Pathological altruism is self-evidently one of the biggest problems in the West today. The question is whether Christianity causes pathological altruism. There are a few logical ways to test that. First, we might form a hypothesis that post-Christian whites would be less pathologically altruistic than Christian whites. That hypothesis is false because atheists and agnostics are the most ardently Democratic voting bloc, moreso than Jews. What we do find is that religious, red-state whites are more personally altruistic, giving more of their income to charity than blue state liberals, but less pathologically altruistic in supporting massive transfers of wealth through government redistribution. This observation is exactly what an Alt Right defender of Christianity would expect. Going further, a Christian theologian would also predict that those who abandon Christianity will become more driven by guilt, as the essence of Christianity is forgiveness by free grace not based on merit. If Christianity is true, men will have natural guilt in their hearts. And what we find is that post-Christian Europeans feel “white guilt” more strongly than Christian Europeans.
Second, if Christianity causes pathological altruism, we might form the hypothesis that as society has become less Christian, it has engaged in less of it over time. Again, we observe this to be false. The more ardently Christian eras were marked less by altruism and more by enlightened co-prosperity. Colonialism was materially beneficial first to the Christian West but also to those it helped civilize. While the Alt Right today recognizes colonialism as a mistake, because of the corrupting influence of cheap labor and the internationalism it engendered, nevertheless we do not see massive, pathological transfers of wealth to the Third World until the post-Christian era.
The choice is whether to assess Christianity as Nietschze caricatured it, or as it is actually practiced. The Marxists believe Christianity to be a legitimizing myth for exploitive hierarchy (“slaves, obey your masters” and all that), whereas Nietschze believed it to be a religion that elevated weakness. It cannot be both. The more fair synthesis for Christianity is that it is a comprehensive, balanced moral system that provides dignity for people regardless of their position in life. Such a system will affirm a benevolent hierarchy, curbing both the abuses of tyranny and rebellion, and this is the system we observe in Christian societies in history.
The second critique is that Christianity is but an extension of Judaism, which is itself a vile, propagandistic religion of a genocidal desert god named Yahweh, the claims of which serve to validate the “Chosen’s” claims and blind our people to their own self-interest. Let’s take these one at a time.
First, Christianity is most definitely not an extension of Judaism. Christ’s entire ministry, as recorded in the gospels, can be understood as the antithesis of Judaism. The founding fathers of Judaism are not the Old Testament patriarchs but rather the first century Pharisees. The claim of the Pharisees is that the Old Testament was but the minor part of God’s law, and that the more important part was given orally to Aaron, who transmitted it orally to his descendants and then to the Pharisees themselves. The Talmud, the governing document of Judaism, consists of the writings and debates of the Pharisees, who used the purported existence of this unwritten law to undermine and amend much of the written law of Moses. The few Jews who reject the Talmud are considered a fringe cult by mainstream Judaism.
So if Judaism is not the same faith as the Old Testament Israelites, we must still answer this claim that the Old Testament is a narrow, ethnocentric religion for Jews, that Christianity merely co-opted. I suppose the objection some Alt Rightists would have with such a religion is not the ethnocentrism, but rather the fact that it is someone else’s ethnocentrism – and, of course, a narrowly ethnocentrist religion promoting one people is likely to be objectively false since it obviously serves propaganda purposes for elites in that society, who would have an incentive to invent it. So is the Old Testament fundamentally ethnocentric?
In a certain sense, yes, in that it tells the story of one particular people as it narrows its focus from Adam to Noah to Abraham and his descendants. But in the more important sense, it is not, for the entire history of Israel as recorded in the Old Testament is not one of glory, promoting the Israelites over all people, but rather a story of Israel’s faults, failures and unfaithfulness. Abraham is portrayed as a liar and coward, Jacob as a trickster and deceiver. The Israelites themselves are portrayed as the most ungrateful, whiny, cowardly, bitchy group of people imaginable. After being liberated from slavery in Egypt, and witnessing the supernatural parting of the Red Sea, within days they are complaining about having to rough it in the desert. After taking posession of Canaan, they immediately degenerate into all kinds of lawlessness and chaos. King David is a coward, adulterer and murderer, a weak man, unwilling to take decisive action, whose loyalty to his rebellious son, Absalom, and contempt for those trying to protect him, nearly becomes his undoing. David’s son, Solomon, despite an early period of wisdom, proceeds to idolatry to appease his foreign wives, and then nearly bankrupts the kingdom through his building projects, such that the short-lived Kingdom of Israel splits in two upon his death.
The Old Testament is unlike any piece of ancient literature, in that it tells the history of one particular people, but mostly shows how feckless and worthless they are despite God’s condescending to favor them based on promises to their fathers. An entire book of the Old Testament, Hosea, is dedicated to God’s calling of a prophet to literally cuckold himself by marrying a whore, a bit of “performance art” to show the unfaithfulness of Israel. What precedent is there for an “ethnocentric” work to compare the people it supposedly lauds to an adulterous whore, an offense punishable by death in the ancient world?
The needle is threaded in the New Testament, where Christ consistently speaks mostly positively of the Romans, declaring the Roman centurion to have greater faith than all of Israel. Pilate is portrayed as a sympathetic, tragic figure, caught between his desire for justice and a gaggle of troublemaking, scheming Jews demanding the death of an innocent man. Christ himself declared that had his miracles been performed in Gentile cities, they would have immediately repented. Consistently, the Pharisees are portrayed as power-hungry schemers completely uninterested in actual evidence. The Christians taught that God dramatically demonstrated his love for humanity in picking the most contemptible part of it, the Israelites, as his own, before dramatically revealing himself universally at the coming of Christ:
Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. – Matthew 21:43
Ancient and historical Christianity defined itself as fundamentally anti-Jewish. Alt Right critics point to modern Christians’ support for Zionism as evidence of the tainted roots of Christianity in undermining our people’s sense of their interests, a sort of false consciousness to borrow from Marx. This is very easy to explain: first, this is a very American affliction. Christians in Europe, West and East, are not particularly Zionist. Americans are afflicted by this due to the influence of the Scofield Bible, which popularized the near-heretical doctrine of dispensationalism. Whereas the universal testimony of Christianity prior to Scofield was that the Church had replaced Israel as God’s Chosen (or had really been God’s chosen all along), Scofield affirmed the opposite, that the “church age” was a temporary pause in Biblical history before God would resume his plans for the Jews.
The United States has always been the breeding ground for various cults, and the cult of Zionism is no exception. While those who adhere to dispensationalism are Christian in an essential sense, they are completely out-of-line with the historical Church and its teachings. I agree that Christian Zionism is a form of false consciousness, but to ascribe its defects, the result of the American religious fever swamp, to Christianity as a whole, historically, is not logical.
In the next and final installment of this series I will recommend practical action for Alt Rightists considering the merits of Christianity.