Kevin Swanson, a Colorado Presbyterian pastor, has recently done a podcast on his show Generations called “The Alt-Right, Nazism, and Breitbart,” supposedly analyzing the Alt Right from a biblical perspective. Swanson begins by giving a brief – very brief – and largely inaccurate history of the Alt Right. His knowledge is limited to a few Google searches that take leftist disinformation at face value. Swanson sees Steve Bannon as bringing the Alt Right into the inner circle of President-Elect Donald Trump. Bannon is a former executive chairman of Breitbart and served as CEO to the Trump campaign beginning this August. He has now been appointed as chief strategist and senior counselor in the Trump administration. Swanson states that Bannon “has touted the Breitbart website as the platform for the Alt Right.”
There is certainly a degree of overlap to be acknowledged. Breitbart and Steve Bannon espouse the “civic nationalism” central to the Trump campaign. Consequently Breitbart is supportive of immigration restriction policies and economic policies which favor American workers and domestic job expansion. After Hillary Clinton gave her speech denouncing the Alt Right, many Alt Right proponents were enthusiastic to be given attention by the national media, even if that press was negative. The fact that many in Fake News, Inc., a.k.a. the Lügenpresse, considered Breitbart to be Alt Right was cheerfully acknowledged by the actual Alt Right as a sign that the Alt Right was making its way into mainstream political discourse. Malcolm Jaggers at The Right Stuff has also mocked the leftist discomfiture at the appointment of Steve Bannon as Trump’s chief strategist. None of this is to say that Steve Bannon or Breitbart can be conflated with the Alt Right. There are many real and important distinctions, as both sides acknowledge.
Steve Bannon does not claim to be a member of the Alt Right or adhere to Alt Right principles. Bannon has specifically rejected the principles of the Alt Right, as has Trump. In fact, Trump specifically stated that Bannon would never have been hired by his campaign or administration if he believed that he was Alt Right. Bannon has never designated Breitbart as an extension of the Alt Right. Swanson’s contrived claim to the contrary is clearly false. While Breitbart writers have written about the Alt Right movement with some sympathy for Alt Right positions and agendas, Breitbart has never endorsed the Alt Right or identified with the movement itself. The main platforms of the Alt Right are Radix Journal (formerly alternativeright.com), The Right Stuff, and Counter Currents Publishing.1 The existence of any of these outlets (outside of the former alternativeright.com), as well as their obvious contrast with the material of Breitbart, has escaped Swanson entirely. The Alt Right is just as aware of the distinction between the genuine Alt Right that is presented and defended on the forums that I just mentioned and the politics of Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, and the content found on Breitbart. The Alt Right doesn’t identify with Breitbart, and Breitbart doesn’t identify with the Alt Right. This is important to point out, because Swanson is too lazy, careless, and dishonest to make these important distinctions in his podcast.
Swanson mentions Richard Spencer, an actual leader of the Alt Right and founder of altnerativeright.com (now Radix Journal). Swanson correctly points out that Spencer is not a Christian and that the Alt Right is not a specifically or even generally Christian movement. Many of my Kinist and Christian nationalist friends have discussed the Alt Right in great detail. We agree with Kevin Swanson that any political or cultural movement must be grounded in God’s Law and must seek the blessing of the true Christian God. It is evident that the Alt Right as it is presently constituted leaves a lot to be desired in this regard. Ehud provides an excellent critique of the secular Alt Right that should be read by all Christian nationalists concerned for the future of our country and people. The term Alt Right can and has been adopted by Christians who agree with the movement’s core principles, but want to see the movement embrace Christian teachings. In this sense a Christian can identify as a member of the Alt Right in the same way that a Christian could identify as a conservative, nationalist, or traditionalist while fleshing out what that means in Christian terms.
Swanson’s False Dichotomy
Kevin Swanson decries the Alt Right’s emphasis on ethnic and racial identity. He believes that focus upon immigration and demographics is simply wrong. On numerous occasions Swanson states that the Alt Right focuses on “nationalistic issues” and immigration rather than “abortion, gay marriage, adultery, etc.” Swanson repeatedly insists that “immigration is not the issue” and that “we cannot be led by a xenophobic person” who treats “multinationalism” or “immigration as an issue.”2 Instead Swanson insists that the problem that America faces is sin!3 This poses a false dichotomy between “nationalistic” issues like demographics and immigration on the one hand and “morality” issues like abortion, godless schools, homosexuality, and adultery on the other hand. This also begs the question, because Swanson assumes that the nationalist issues of the Alt Right are non-moral in nature as opposed to the sins such as adultery. Traditionally, conservative Christians cared about all of these issues and didn’t see immigration policy or demographic considerations as non-moral.
While commentary on issues such as abortion or homosexuality on the secular Alt Right leaves much to be desired,4 it by no means follows that the concerns of the Alt Right regarding national identity are wrong or illegitimate. In fact demographic considerations are paramount to progress being made on the social problems that Swanson believes are the “real issues.” It is no secret that the non-whites are slavishly loyal to liberal Democrats. The leadership of the Democratic Party understands this, and this is why they are committed to open borders, amnesty, voter IDs for illegal immigrants, and welfare programs aimed at redistributing wealth to non-whites. The Republican Party has been ineffective at best at stemming the liberal tide precisely because their leadership has ignored demographic considerations for so long for fear of being branded a “racist.” The result is that the Overton Window has steadily moved leftward. Swanson’s solution is to ignore demographics and racial replacement and suggest that the only problem is sin. Swanson acknowledges that sin is a transgression of God’s Law which he correctly insists must be our standard. So what does Swanson have to say about immigration, national identity, and God’s Law?
Biblical Principles of Nationhood
Kevin Swanson’s stated aim in this podcast is to provide a biblical evaluation of the Alt Right. Swanson emphatically insists that “there is only one race,”5 and states that the Alt Right believes that “skin color makes a difference, skin color is important.” Aside from the common fallacy that race is reducible to differences in skin color, Swanson suggests that belief in race’s importance cannot be reconciled with a Christian worldview, but he uses very little Scripture to build his case. Around 14:00 Swanson cites Colossians 3:11 to argue that “there is equality in Jesus Christ” and that there are “no distinctions” between believers as “the Christian position” on this issue. Of course Swanson conveniently ignores the parallel passage in Galatians 3:28, and the implication that there is “neither male nor female” in the very same sense that there is “neither Jew nor Greek.” Swanson’s interpretation of these verses is also used by radicals to justify the very sodomy and transsexuality that he decries.
Swanson cites Leviticus 19:34 (around the 24:30 mark), enjoining Israelites to love strangers in their land. Swanson concludes that Christians ought to “be kind their Mexican immigrant neighbors. In fact they should reach out to them with the Gospel.” Next Swanson cites Deuteronomy 10:7 (he means 10:17-19), which states that God does not show partiality and that He loves the stranger; therefore we ought to love the stranger as well. Finally Swanson cites Leviticus 24:21-22, which states that we ought to have one law for the stranger as well as the native born. This is the extent of Swanson’s exegesis on the matter of race, immigration, and national identity. Swanson concludes that these verses don’t “sound like Breitbart” or like Richard “Nazi guy” Spencer.
Needless to say, there is far more to be said on this subject than Swanson offers. I don’t intend to give a full biblical exposition on this subject, since this topic has been dealt with at greater length already, but the biggest issue is that Swanson only presents one side of the story. True, the Bible teaches that we are to love the stranger and forbids oppressing him. But the very word “stranger” refers to an approved sojourner. There is simply no way that these verses can be applied to the massive influx of foreigners who enter illegally, repeatedly violate numerous laws, and mooch off the welfare state. When we are told that there must be one law for the stranger and the native born, this only means that there must be a common standard of justice, not equal civil rights. Finally, Swanson fails to address passages such as Deuteronomy 28 which clearly indicates that uncontrolled invasion from hostile foreigners is a punishment for covenant infidelity. This perfectly describes what North America and Europe are currently experiencing today. A detailed analysis of God’s Law on the subject of national identity, immigration, and demographics paints a very different picture than what we are told by Kevin Swanson.6
Swanson doesn’t care that many of the current invaders to the West are Muslim. Around 19:40 Swanson suggests that politicians are trying to “whip up the mob” against Muslims in a manner similar to Hitler’s diatribes against the Jews in the 1930s. At 29:30 Swanson assures us that “being of the wrong religion” and “being Muslim” are not “the worst crime.” This naturally raises the question as to whether any Muslim immigrants today meet the standards of sojourners mentioned in the Law. Swanson already mentioned that there is one standard of justice for the stranger and the native born, but this standard of justice also prohibits the public worship of false gods (Ex. 22:20). King Josiah is praised by God for destroying and desecrating pagan altars and centers of false worship (2 Kings 23:4-20; 2 Chr. 34:3-7). While there is no question that America has lost her Christian heritage and we are a long way from prohibiting non-Christian religions from being practiced in the West, there is no reason why any Christian should minimize the danger of allowing scores of anti-Christian Muslims into our countries. Muslim immigration has already brought a tide of rape, murder, pederasty, and slavery to the West. Germany has even decided to legalize pedophilia and child pornography in order to accommodate the desires of Muslim invaders. Swanson is utterly dishonest in suggesting that the current Muslim invasion is not a “real issue” that should concern Christians.
Anything Besides Racial Neutrality = Nazism
Swanson portrays the Alt Right as an extension of Nazism, in turn condemning Breitbart. The premise is that even the rather milquetoast civic nationalism of Breitbart is at least a potential step towards the slaughter of millions of innocent non-whites. The theme of Nazism begins in the title of the podcast and recurs throughout Swanson’s commentary. Swanson is concerned that Christian support for the Alt Right movement is growing. He notes at the beginning conservative Protestants rather than Roman Catholics were responsible for bringing Adolf Hitler to power in Germany.7
Swanson laments that Richard Spencer believes that “skin color makes a difference” and that America was founded as a white country “for us and our posterity” (10:30). Naturally anyone who believes that race matters must be a closeted Nazi who wants to kill millions of people. Swanson fails to note that Spencer’s understanding of the American Republic conforms to the vision of the Founding Fathers. Swanson’s idea of the United States as a race-neutral “Christian” society does not.8 Swanson compares the Alt Right concern over Muslim immigration to Hitler’s targeting of Jews during the 1930s around 19:45 – the implication being that the Alt Right opposition to mass Muslim immigration is probably derived from Nazi sympathies. Swanson’s podcast is replete with terribly weak analogies and comparisons in the attempt to make the Alt Right and race realism seem unacceptable.
Many on the Alt Right have indeed adopted the symbols and language of 1930s German National Socialism and European fascism. The reason for this is obvious: fascist aesthetics are nationalistic and masculine, and they flaunt the anti-white code of political correctness. What’s not to like? A major reason for the emergence of the secular Alt Right, with all of its problems and failings, is that the Christian church in America and throughout the West has failed to protect the interests of white people by upholding God’s Law. The Law accounts for and defends the existence of nations as distinct ethnic groups, but the church has abandoned these principles over the recent decades at exactly the time when they have become most crucial. Consequently many who do not wish to see white people die out and Western Civilization to be swept away feel as though they have nowhere else to turn.
Swanson’s rejection of any kind of national pride and his denunciation of “xenophobia” (another leftist construct) are part of the problem. Swanson ignores the very real and massive problems caused by mass immigration from the Third World to the West, all from the safety and comfort of his home in white rural Colorado. His solution is to repeatedly assure his listeners that immigration – even Islam! – is not the problem, but rather “sin” (as he narrowly defines) is what should concern us. All that is needed is for someone to “disciple the nations” so that everyone can embrace this abstraction Swanson calls “freedom.” Meanwhile the destruction of the West continues unabated. Until the Christian church turns away from the foolish counsel of cowards like Kevin Swanson we should expect the secular Alt Right to continue to make gains among disaffected white men. The solution is to follow the example of our ancestor Charles Martel, not the cowardly advice of males like Kevin Swanson.
- In addition to these, see American Renaissance, Vox Day, Chateau Heartiste, Occidental Dissent, and the National Policy Institute, among others. ↩
- See Swanson’s comments beginning at 18:15, 21:10, 23:20, and 28:30. ↩
- See Swanson’s comments beginning at 21:45 and 27:15. ↩
- Recently Alt Right thinkers have had an interesting exchange on the subject of abortion. For articles defending the practice of abortion, see “The Pro-Life Temptation,” “Abortion and White Nationalism,” and “Unintended Consequences.” For an excellent defense of the anti-abortion position from an Alt Right perspective from Hunter Wallace, see “The Alt-Right and Abortion” and “The Pro-Choice Temptation.” ↩
- See also “Ken Ham on Darwinism and Race: Is Race a Darwinist Construct?” and “Racial Realism and Miscegenation.” ↩
- See “Open Borders, But No Freebies” by Nil Desperandum, and “Kinist Orthodoxy: A Response to Brian Schwertley, Part 6” and “Yes, Ethnonationalism Is Biblical: A Response to Kevin Craig, Part 2” by myself for more information about the biblical perspective on immigration and national identity. ↩
- For more information about the voting patterns that brought the National Socialist German Workers Party into power, see “Who Voted for the Nazis?” By Dick Geary. History Today, October 1998. ↩
- For more information see, the Preamble to the United States Constitution, which states that the American constitutional republic was for the founders and their posterity; the Naturalization Act of 1790, which limited American citizenship to whites; the Federalist Papers Number 2, in which John Jay insisted that the American Republic was intended for people “descended from the same ancestors”; and finally my “Who Does America Belong To?” ↩