A premise which far too many people unquestioningly and unthinkingly accept today is the moral propriety of interracial marriage. Egalitarian propaganda has so efficaciously transformed our minds in the last several decades that even the slightest resistance to it – even a father’s stating a mere preference against it – is deemed the unforgivable sin. But given the historical Christian witness against miscegenation, this Pavlovian moral indignation deserves a new assessment. It deserves an assessment which vindicates the historical Christian belief on these matters, showing how intertwined an anti-miscegenist and anti-racial egalitarian outlook is with the rest of Christian and biblical morality.
The Series’ Overarching Aim
In my previous article on miscegenation, I strove to make the case that interracial marriage has a certain sort of moral presumption (or weight, or preponderance) against it. After noting that the answer to the question can lie anywhere on the continuum between “wrong in all circumstances” and “wrong in no circumstances,” I gave a number of reasons trying to tip the scales further and further towards the “wrong in all circumstances” side, even though I conceded that rare, desert-island scenarios could morally permit extraordinary instances of miscegenation. In that article, I essentially argued that miscegenation is wrong in ordinary circumstances, though I did not explicate very deeply what is meant by that. Therefore, just as David Opperman has contributed some further ethical points on miscegenation as it relates to divorce and polygamy, I would like to extend this argument against miscegenation to defend explicitly a “strong kinist” position, the view that miscegenation is inherently wrong, not merely unwise.1 This aim – to provide good grounds to accept the strong kinist position – will be the primary objective of this entire lengthy series, not merely this article; and another objective, slightly lesser in importance, will be an explication of various principles of Christian ethics. This series, in other words, will not simply cite principles of Christian ethics as they instrumentally bear on the question of miscegenation’s moral status; they will receive further elaboration for the reader’s general edification. (As the title states, a strong weight will be placed on both Christian ethics and interracial marriage.) The first of many of these principles is the idea of an act’s being “inherently wrong.”
In my previous article, I mentioned an extraordinary and nigh-impossible scenario to illustrate that there is some kind of circumstance where miscegenation would be permitted, namely, if a man had only two options: an interracial, intrareligious marriage and an intraracial, interreligious one. I ceded that miscegenation would be morally legitimate in that circumstance, but continued to state the irrelevance of that thought experiment to the question of miscegenation’s permissibility in our ordinary lives. Against this concession, however, some zealous pro-white advocates take umbrage at the idea that miscegenation could ever be permissible, perhaps believing that such a concession is a denial of miscegenation’s intrinsic immorality.
While their zeal is appreciated and applauded, it is misguided. Morality by its very nature allows for exemptions in certain circumstances; and this occurs not because God’s law lacks universal validity, but because God’s law accounts for conflicts of moral goods—that is, moral dilemmas. Moral dilemmas occur whenever there are, in God’s providence, decisions whose alternatives all have moral reasons opposing them to some extent.2 For instance, imagine a dreadful situation where a killer has taken a mother’s two sons; the criminal then tells the mother at gunpoint that she must choose to save only one of her two sons or else lose them both, and the mother, unfortunately, is entirely unable to fight back. The mother therefore has the very difficult decision of choosing one (or both) of her own sons to die. Such a situation would be a moral dilemma, for moral reasons resist all three of the options (choosing the first son, choosing the second son, and choosing neither) but one of them must be selected. Choosing a child to die is grievously wrong in ordinary circumstances, but it might be permitted in these very dire circumstances.3
To use a better and less ghastly example of a moral dilemma, consider the Hebrew midwives who lied to Pharaoh in order to save their own people’s babies (Exodus 1:15-20). Lying is ordinarily sinful—there is a strong moral presumption forbidding deception—but here is a circumstance where moral reasons even more strongly forbade truth-telling, since it would have led to the babies’ (and their own) deaths. Lying is an act which would be wrong in normal circumstances, but here it is permitted due to overriding moral concerns. Additionally, consider the practice of divorce. Many Christians hold that divorce is permissible only in cases of adultery and abandonment. According to them, divorce is ordinarily wrong—something that God hates (Mal. 2:16)—but it is permitted by these rarer and overriding moral reasons. (Even then, there are more complicated moral concerns to take into account, since it can also be better for couples to reconcile even after adultery or abandonment has occurred.) While Christians might not all apply the language of intrinsic immorality to divorce, they would still certainly refer to lying (and selecting a child to die) as intrinsically immoral. Nonetheless, without denying these acts’ intrinsic immorality, one can posit exceedingly rare circumstances which morally legitimize instances of these intrinsically immoral acts. This is not a contradiction of the idea that some acts are inherently wrong; it is just a clarification of the idea of an act’s being inherently wrong. Similarly, this is not an idea that God’s law contradicts itself; it is just an affirmation that God’s law accounts for all the complexities and interrelations of competing moral goods in all possible circumstances. The possibility of moral dilemmas does not entail that we must sometimes choose between sin and sin—which is awful and blasphemous to suggest, for God could never force us to sin—but it does mean that our moral choices sometimes will be very difficult and strenuous.
These principles should help us to see the coherence and competency of strong kinism: it is not inconsistent to affirm both that miscegenation is inherently wrong and that miscegenation is permissible in extremely rare and extraordinary circumstances. It is not a denial of the sinfulness of interracial marriage to claim that it is sometimes permitted by overriding moral concerns. The same thought process would deny that there is any intrinsic immorality to such obvious sins as lying. It may be that strong kinism is false; it may be that interracial marriage is not inherently wrong—but even if that is so, the permissibility of miscegenation in extraordinary circumstances cannot be cited as proof.
Wisdom and Sinfulness
While the idea of a strong moral presumption against miscegenation can entail both that it is inherently wrong and that it is permissible in extraordinary circumstances, the question remains of what constitutes that moral presumption. What does it mean to say that an action has a moral presumption against it? I will answer this question in depth more in the second installment of this series, but for now it would be profitable to analyze the difference between weak kinists and strong kinists on this point. While strong kinists oppose miscegenation as intrinsically sinful, weak kinists oppose it as unwise (or inconsistent with right reason, or of unsound judgment, or a bad idea). Yet, initially at least, this seems to be a distinction without a difference. For are we not bound by God’s law to act wisely? The Lord is not indifferent to whether we act with sound judgment, but teaches that whatever is not done in faith and good conscience is sin (Rom. 14:23).
There still is a difference, of course, but it is small. Strong kinists hold that the very nature of the act of miscegenation (that is, miscegenation qua miscegenation, or miscegenation considered in itself) is sinful, whereas weak kinists think that a number of harmful or undesirable consequences (e.g., the pain caused to mixed children) usually attend miscegenation—and since it is sinful to engage in an act while cognizant of its harmful risks and consequences, miscegenation is usually sinful. Nonetheless, since Scripture (as weak kinists contend) does not expressly prohibit miscegenation, what constitutes its sinfulness is not something about the act in itself, as strong kinists hold, but merely the negative consequences which often follow. This, it seems, is an adequate formulation of what weak kinists mean when they say that interracial marriage is “unwise”: strong kinists locate miscegenation’s immorality in the nature of the act; weak kinists in its consequences.
Significantly, however, the weak kinist must inevitably articulate his position in such a way that, statistically speaking, miscegenation is often sinful, even if its sinfulness is due only to consequences. Unless the weak kinist means something by “unwise” that is very different from what is ordinarily meant by the word, then he would also agree that the majority of interracial marriages—those including the harmful consequences which normally are concomitant—are sinful. But if this is the case, then the weak kinist and the strong kinist are in great practical agreement. They may disagree slightly on the underlying theory, but they would both agree in condemning miscegenation in practice. Consequently, weak kinists should be unwilling to accuse strong kinists of terrible legalism, as if the strong kinists were grievously adding to God’s law and tyrannizing over a matter of indifference. Even if the weak kinists are right, that simply means that strong kinists go slightly too far in their opposition to the zeitgeist—which should clearly be tolerated by mindful and kind Christian brothers. (And for those who are alienist to the point that they oppose even the rationale of weak kinism, natural revelation should be sufficient to overthrow their error. Who could deny that miscegenation often has harmful consequences?4)
It is important to better dissect the varying positions a Christian can take on this issue, if only because politically incorrect positions will necessarily be placed under the strictest scrutiny. In particular, the permissibility of miscegenation in fanciful and abnormal circumstances does not provide evidence against the claim that it is intrinsically sinful. Anti-kinists who believe they see an invincible disproof, in addition to overzealous anti-miscegenists who believe they see a theoretical weakness, are both mistaken on this point. Circumstantial qualifications are built into God’s law and part of the very nature of morality.
Also important is realizing the rather small degree of difference separating the weak position from the strong one within the kinist camp. While weak kinists may disagree upon the nature of miscegenation as considered purely in itself, they both nevertheless agree that the vast number of interracial marriages in society are formed sinfully. Practically speaking, this is a small disagreement, one which should not sever racially aware Christians in their desire for white advocacy.5 In upcoming articles, nonetheless, I will further outline reasons to accept strong kinism as representative of a robust Christian ethical stance on race.
- See “A Proposed Division of Kinist Beliefs” by Generation 5: http://generation5.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/a-proposed-division-of-kinist-beliefs/. ↩
- Foolish and deluded university professors will think that the “grayness” of moral dilemmas, where a correct choice can be extremely difficult (or even impossible) to identify, shows the falsity of moral absolutism and the truth of moral relativism. But if moral relativism were true, there would be no such thing as objective morality, and therefore no moral reasons weighing for or against an act in the first place. Instead, the “grayness” of certain dilemmas presupposes principles or reasons which are themselves black and white: moral dilemmas require objective morality. ↩
- Note from this dilemma that, sometimes, moral dilemmas could have no singular correct answer. I would contend that the right choice of the mother in this situation would be to select one of her two boys to die, rather than leave them both to perish, as grievously and unimaginably painful as that might be; but I clearly could not say that moral reasons favor the choice of one particular son over another. Hence, this moral dilemma would be truly irresolvable: choosing one of her two sons, rather than choosing neither, would be a moral duty of the mother, but there would be no moral reasons favoring the choice of one son over the other. Most moral dilemmas certainly are resolvable (though, again, involving a difficult choice to make), but moral dilemmas do not necessarily need to be so. ↩
- Given most people’s blind acceptance of interracial marriage, a lot of people could! And thus, in an article far later in this series, I will also defend this claim: that great harms proceed from miscegenation. ↩
- This point is particularly momentous when the reader grasps that certain notable anti-kinists have, in the past, conceded the reality of race and called miscegenation unwise—all while opposing kinism as satanic heresy! ↩