Gregory Hood’s anti-Christian article “Why Christianity Can’t Save Us” on Counter-Currents has been met well in response by Christian nationalists across the internet, especially by Faith and Heritage’s own Nathanael Strickland and Nil Desperandum. However, in this age of spiritual and intellectual anarchy, the ancient pagan adversary of the Holy Church, beginning to rear its head and attack the church again, must be met with unrelenting reprisals by the church militant. Therefore Hood’s article provides for us a good outline of the pagan anti-Christian worldview and its justification for rejecting the holy Gospel message. This hostile revival is not taking place on a massive scale amongst the mob, but rather among intellectual elite, most notably on the Right, which is seeking new and more radical forms of Völkisch identitarianism and spiritual mysticism to fill the void left in the wake of the established churches’ failure. It is another satanic attempt to capture the souls of Caucasians in an increasingly purposeless world where the soul craves destiny and communion with the supernatural.
The assertions made in Mr. Hood’s article are indicative of a new and reviving paganism that seeks not so much to supplant Christianity with a separate solution, but rather to undermine people’s faith in it and destroy it. It acts more as a form of intellectual and spiritual anarchy rather than as a positive, progressive acting force. Modern pagans have very little to contribute to the overall political, spiritual, and intellectual dialogue, as their numbers and prominence remain somewhat minimal, yet their presence is again rising to fill people’s spiritual needs, especially when the institutions of the modern church are showing themselves incapable of confronting the enemy. To be blunt, though, Hood’s arguments sound more like the ramblings of an upset pagan who has no ideological bearing himself, certainly no coherent understanding of the Christian Faith, but it nonetheless maintains the potential to become a powerful force with which to attack the faithful and erode the power of the Church.
Hood begins his tirade on the false premise that Christianity failed Western Civilization and opened the door to egalitarianism as an utterly inorganic importation from the Near East. He uses Alain de Benoist’s piece, On Being a Pagan, to assert that Christianity creates a “leveling process” whereby it initiates an “alienating process, as consciousness and the divine is held to be outside a fallen world.” Essentially, Jesus’s assertions not to be “of the world” entail that Christianity in its ancient and primitive form cannot create and sustain a genuine, organic community that traditionally resonates with the “Völkisch” traditions and behaviors of Indo-Europeans. The logical outcome, Hood asserts, is that “like acid, Christianity burns through ties of kinship and blood,” citing Christ’s demand to love Him over all family, blood, and national loyalties. He then asserts, with the support of James Russell’s The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity, that Christian theology and its politically ambitious hierarchy compensated for this: “Christianity in the West” adapted and became “a cultural conglomeration of ostensible Christian belief forced into the world-accepting, hierarchical, and warrior societies of the Germanic West.”
These spiritually dangerous assertions come from a gross misunderstanding of both Christian doctrine and the development of Christianity as a social and political force. Let not the reader be deceived: this is a new pagan attempt to reinterpret and geld Christianity from within and to force the reader to come to the inevitable conclusion that Christianity is nothing more than a new, semi-pagan-monotheistic cultural hybrid, syncretizing the folkways of Europeans with Christian orthodoxy. The inevitable conclusion Hood wishes his readers to come to is that Christianity, as presented at face value in its various denominational forms, is nothing more than a charade used to justify egalitarian infiltration and oppression of the “white man.”
Hood’s claim that the Christianity of Jesus’s era was different from the Christianity of today is nothing new. Varying attempts to claim that the church councils covered up hidden doctrines inside unfavorable literature, such as the now-infamous Gospel of Judas, are all exaggerated attempts to dislodge orthodoxy from its solid foundations. So far, the historical reality is that the orthodox teachings have all been upheld through both Christian and non-Christian analyses. This assertion that Christianity and Germanic paganism were syncretized to formulate what we now know as Roman Catholicism (and to a lesser degree, high-church Protestantism) has become widely accepted amongst the anti-Christian Right, in the attempt either to discredit Christianity as a religion or to justify some sort of new “Odo-Christianity” to oppose the growing heresy of “Judeo-Christianity.”
This syncretistic idea was made popular by James Russell in his book The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity. Littered with factual gaps, broad generalizations, and very false presuppositions about Christian doctrine, Russell locks Christianity into two basic camps of primitive egalitarianism and Germanic hierarchy. He contends that when Christianity encountered Germanic paganism, it was forced to adapt and mold its doctrines to make it more palatable to the über-masculine Aryan warrior culture that did not find Jesus’s message of love appealing. On the surface, Russell’s claims appear daunting to the uneducated reader, yet his claims are thwarted by the historical realities of the great evangelists of the day, most notably St. Boniface.
As Karl the Great (Charlemagne to Francophiles) was expanding his Frankish Empire throughout Northern Germany, his missionaries discovered a native Saxon population either stubborn in their heathen ways, or ignorantly blending Christian doctrine and merging it with Norse paganism. To quell this growing syncretism, St. Boniface was charged with converting the heathen and purifying Christian doctrine. Boniface was a purist in regards to doctrine. He was fanatical in preserving and teaching correct doctrine in a world that was polluted with demons portraying themselves as gods. In his “Letter #16,” he described the “German people” as being “steeped in error” while worshiping idols “under the cloak of Christianity.” In order to initiate the conversion of the Northlands, Boniface around A.D. 730 chopped down the Donar tree and built a shrine to St. Peter over the stump to mark the triumph of Christ over Thor. Boniface’s journey was then marked by the founding of many churches and monasteries that were later used to solidify the catholic and apostolic hold over northern Germany and later Scandinavia. Subsequently, local ecclesiastical officials were brought in line with the rest of the catholic and apostolic Church, which would solidify the victory of Christian doctrine over pagan presuppositions that were expunged. Boniface’s work was later expanded upon by St. Ansgar, known as the “Apostle of the North,” who led the charge against the final pagan revival in Sweden around 850.
That the Christian mindset of the time was confrontational against paganism, not accommodating, is the first step in discrediting the pagan lie that Christianity conformed, rather than fought, in order to conquer paganism. The fight to conquer Scandinavia was viewed in supernatural terms of God-versus-the-devil and angels-versus-demons. The missions of Boniface and Ansgar were designed not only to convert the lost, but also to purge the northern church of the already-existing syncretism and replace it with orthodox doctrine, recognized as the catholic doctrine from Bremen to Jerusalem. This is hardly the environment or the mentality that was prepared to accept views or ideas that were in any way demonic. It was a clear fight: either the universal Truth of Christ was correct, or the dark barbarism of the vikings was. Obviously in the end, both the leadership and populace of Scandinavia became convinced that the Christ-God was superior to their traditional gods, and Scandinavia became a part of the catholic and apostolic Church.
Furthermore, Russell’s assertion that the non-universalist, warrior-style Christianity only began with the encounter of Germanic paganism is also incorrect. Before Christianity fought Norse paganism, the essential core of doctrine was clarified by the time of the Second Council of Constantinople in A.D. 553, which occurred almost 150 years before the conversion of the Nordic lands began around A.D. 700. So if there was a great syncretism, it should be called the “Romanization of Christianity” or the “Byzantinization of Christianity.” However, even this modified syncretism can be discredited, as Christianity only absorbed the existing institutions of Rome and then used them to propel the conversion of the Norse with a preexistent church-militant mentality that inherited nothing from the vikings.
When heathens attack Christianity for the so-called “changes” of Christian doctrine that they claim are a blending of Christianity with some form of paganism, they fail to realize that these “changes” are hardly changes, but rather developments and clarifications as the Church grew in the West. Though Christian doctrine is universal, the experiences and issues confronting the church are not. St. Paul, for example, dealt with an infant and growing church trying to survive and thrive under a ruthless pagan empire. Consequently, in St. Paul’s writings, he was not going to be concerned with treatises on Christian government and Christian economics or an in-depth philosophical analysis of soteriology or Mariology. He was writing to a church that needed the basics of Christian theology and insight and wisdom on how to properly conduct themselves and their ecclesiastical affairs in a hostile world.
By the time of Augustine, though, the world had radically changed. Operating within the established ecclesiastical framework that the apostles laid down, St. Augustine was able to convey to us a proper outline for a Christian understanding of government, economics, warfare, and law, and he enhanced theology as Christianity confronted and conquered both paganism and other heresies in the Roman Empire. Augustine’s works on warfare and governance, for instance, have nothing to do with some sort of “Germanization” of the Church. Augustine was not blending Odinism with Christianity; he was taking Christianity to its logical conclusion in a new environment where Christians had finally achieved political power, discussing how they should use it. This is something that the primitive church never had to confront and consequently never had to write about.
Fundamentally, although minor blending between elements of pagan culture and Christian doctrine occurred at specific times and in specific places, what Mr. Hood and his fellow heathens need to understand is that this does not compromise the truth of the Gospel message. For example, having Christmas on the feast of Saturnalia, rather than some date in April, does not mean that Jesus Christ was somehow wrong, for throughout all times, across all major denominations, the core of the Christian message and the ideas stemming from it remain the same. That Christ is the Messiah, that the Bible is the Holy Word of God, and that the Church carries Christ’s power and authority remain true. Moreover, the “syncretism” that did occur was mild and generally in step with St. Paul’s command to “be all things to all men,” whereby men could more easily be converted to the truth. This accommodation always pointed back to the central idea that Jesus Christ is the living Messiah, as prophesied throughout the millennia of Old Testament history.
The northern Protestant Reformation proved this again inside Scandinavia and Germany, where Wycliffe, Huss, Luther, and Calvin led the Germanic nations back to the more primitive form of Christianity against a Roman Catholicism that was blending Christian doctrine with classical Greek philosophy. The Reformation era was sharply marked as a conflict not only between two different religious factions, but between two different European groups (the Germanic north against the Roman south), where Protestant Nordics defended a more primitive Christianity against a more “enlightened” Christianity embodied by Rome’s offspring. Interestingly enough, both camps staunchly defended the principles of hierarchy, royalism, and the church’s dominion over this earth for the Kingdom of Heaven. This leaves little room for Russell’s egalitarian assumptions about primitive Christianity: the argument was all about a defense of orthodoxy, and the Reformation itself was being led by kings, emperors, and princes.
If Hood’s premise of Christianity leading to egalitarianism is so true, how is it, then, that for the first 1700 years of Christianity’s existence, it was the supporting thought process that upheld royalism and aristocracy in Europe, along with Europe’s caste system of feudalism? Hood would probably counter that the Christian endorsement of European royalism was a consequence of the “Germanization” of Christianity. Yet this counter would not explain the royalist legitimacy stemming from the Old Testament, or Sir Robert Filmer’s “Patriarcha,” by which he sought to justify monarchy through the lineage of Adam, or the English monarch’s claim to have lineage from King David.
This break with the Old Testament is also one of Hood’s great misunderstandings and a common flaw in pagan critiques of Christianity. In his piece, Hood fails to understand the continuity between Old and New Testaments and does not give a holistic examination of Christian doctrine. His failure to understand the continuing role of the Old Testament and its political, economic, moral, supernatural, and hierarchical presuppositions and declarations injures his critique of Christianity as egalitarian, which is based primarily on a New-Testament-only approach. If Hood had taken this into account, he would not have misinterpreted Jesus’s assertion to love Him more than family. If he studied the Old Testament with a holistic exegesis, he would see that the concepts of hierarchy, blood loyalty, national identity and kin völkisch religion all become validated vis-à-vis God’s ordained will. Many Christians and non-Christians fail to understand the continuity between the Old and New Testaments, somehow thinking that because the Hebraic law is no longer strictly applicable, therefore the entire Old Testament is no longer applicable. The truth is that Christianity is incomplete without the Old Testament and the words of the New Testament could not be written without accepting the Old. Considering that Hood attacks Christianity on its exclusively New Testament statements, he fails to properly understand that in Genesis 9, God established the three races of the world out of the sons of Noah, validating the distinction with blessings and curses upon their respective descendants. Hood therefore also fails to understand the ancient hierarchical tradition of patriarchs, prophets, kings, and judges from which many of our Western leaders claim lineage. As well, the basic concepts of tribal loyalty, with which Jesus Himself identifies, are discarded for the same reason.
In specific regards to the doctrine of salvation, Hood makes the argument that the “abstract” Christian understanding of salvation “renders family, kin and nation irrelevant and encourages intellectual stagnation so as not to endanger the soul of the believer.” He believes that it eventually transforms Christianity into its “true form,” which is “a cult of egalitarian true believers.” Unfortunately for Hood and heathenism overall, this interpretation of Christian doctrine is not only utterly ignorant of Christian theology and history, but is downright reckless.
Firstly, in regards to the overturning of familial, kinship, and intellectual institutions, St. Paul, while writing on slavery in his letter to the Ephesians, clarifies for us the clash between Christian doctrine and existing social and organic institutions. In the Roman empire, where a form of slavery was legal, St. Paul, though obviously finding a moral aversion to the Roman institution of slavery, never wrote for the overthrow of the institution itself. Rather, he called upon slaves to be faithful and obedient servants to their masters. Likewise, Christ Himself never attacked the institution of slavery. This, along with the regular endorsements by Christ and the apostles to support family and obey the governing authorities (e.g. Romans 13), shows us that the message of Christ is designed not to incite revolution, overthrow systems, and replace them with a type of egalitarian cult-worship, but rather to enhance, as salt to food, the essence of those institutions.
Paul does not call for extreme abolition, for example, as the specific goal of the Gospel message is neither abolition nor revolution. It is reformation of the society through an internal revolution, liberation in the soul. The Holy Spirit enlightens and enhances a man when he is redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, which leads to the second false point of Hood’s: that Christianity “encourages intellectual stagnation as to not endanger the soul of the believer.” A statement such as this could not be made except in the most remote parts of intellectual and spiritual ignorance. Perhaps Mr. Hood forgot to examine that great gap of European history from the fall of Rome to the Third Reich, where Christianity was the leading intellectual, scientific, and philosophical force for over 1,000 years? Men such as Albertus Magnus, Roger Bacon, Nicolaus Copernicus, William Turner, Galileo Galilei, Gottfried Leibniz, and Sir Isaac Newton could not have accomplished their miracles in scientific advancement without the dual inspiration of the Gospel message and the intellectually stimulating environment of the Christian Middle Ages that produced a community and environment allowing both Christendom and the Caucasian world to flourish beyond its previous pagan history.
Even in Christianity’s greatest period of internal strife during the Reformation, Christendom was ripe with various deep forms of intellectual thought that produced volumes of writing which could glare at the intellectual infancy of contemporary heathen writings. The debates of Wycliffe, Huss, Luther, Erasmus, Calvin, Zwingli, Ignatius of Loyola, Filippo Neri, and Teresa of Ávila are monumental, intellectual hallmarks of Western civilization, and to deny their value would be for heathens to throw the baby out with the bathwater regarding the contributions of Caucasians to the world. Heathens would also do well to remember that it was the Christian monasteries which were the center of intellectual, literary, and scientific advancement. They produced many of the great scientists and thinkers of our civilization, as well as the translators and interpreters of ancient Nordic pagan texts that give modern pagans a literary basis for their new mythology from which to attack Christianity.
This boom in technological development and social advancement would not have been possible without Christianity’s ability to “de-divinize” the world, meaning that Christ has given mankind liberation in that we are no longer bound to worshiping ourselves through idols or fallible, man-made rules. By Christ’s declaring, for example, that a believer is to love Him more than his family, Christ is asserting Himself as the ultimate reality and ultimate, omnipotent source of knowledge and law. Thence, once Christ’s divine supremacy is established, the believer has the template and insight needed to be the proper spouse, parent, or other role. The earthly misunderstandings and confusions of earthly functions and interactions are to be clarified through the truth of the Gospel message and the metaphysical power of the Holy Spirit. Christ effectively declares in His supremacy that believers are to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). In contrast, heathenism cannot offer an assurance as secure as this to the world, for it envelops mankind again in the inevitable life-death cycle, with man trying to save himself through a myriad of different paths, all of them failing in misery.
The post-Christian West is a perfect example of this non-Christian chaos, where since the French Revolution, mankind has traversed through at least four major cycles of thought in 200 years: rationalism, romanticism-transcendentalism, progressivism in various Marxist, Fascist, and Nazi forms – which all ended in extremely violent and turbulent forms – and nihilism, which is now killing the white man and making way for perhaps the final phase of Western ideology, Islamism. Furthermore, what makes heathens think they have the superior answers to confronting Islam and Western nihilism, when it is their anti-Christian ideological allies that have created this mess in the first place? The Western world flourished and expanded under Christianity, with its dominion mandate and Gospel-spreading militancy, while it has imposed suicidal policy after suicidal policy under non-Christian ideological systems.
Despite these glaring interpretive mistakes, there is one fundamental point that Hood as an “Odinist” cannot accept, and it is why he is forced to ignore the Old Testament: the fundamental core of the Old Testament’s supernatural essence, validating Jesus as the Christ through over 100 confirmed prophecies. Considering that this war is in fact a spiritual war (Ephesians 6:10) between Christendom and heathenism, the obvious fact that the Old Testament contains hundreds of fulfilled prophecies, which have perfect continuity in 39 books over thousands of years, alone disproves paganism. In addition to the myriad of prophecies about Christ, there are also confirmed prophecies about Alexander the Great, Rome, Cleopatra, and the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in Scripture. Paganism has nothing that can match this; hence all that is left for them is to isolate the New Testament and outright attack Jesus Christ as not being a “natural king” for Caucasians, claiming that His message is muddled in misinterpretations and cannot be accurately or purely applied for the development of a coherent society. All of these claims, of course, have proven for naught.
Lastly, to further complicate Hood’s argument, he offers no alternative to Christianity. His tirade, if correct, breaks down believers’ faith and leaves them hopeless with nothing left to believe in and fight for. The reader is again entrapped in the inevitable fatalist trap of nihilism, which if asserted as the solution for Western Civilization, will plunge European civilization into a mire of purposelessness. The hopeless message of Hood and many other Odinists is the realization that their paganism offers no long-term solutions for our people, and that paganism will never again rise as a political force. It is trapped in the realization that it hates the modern world and it reviles the emasculated nature of American Christianity, so it naturally becomes a reactionary cult for the pseudo-intellectual outcasts of the dissident Right.