Tony aka “Truth Tribune” has discussed Kinism in a recent Citizen of New Jerusalem podcast hosted by Adam Kane. Additionally Truth Tribune (TT)1 has written articles engaging Faith and Heritage articles that have been published on the topic of Rahab and the law of kin rule, with an article on Ruth said to be forthcoming. The conversation on Citizen of New Jerusalem covers much of the same information that is posted in the articles published on TT’s blog. I found TT’s conversation with Adam Kane to be insightful. I appreciate the time that he has spent researching Kinism. Typically detractors of Kinism make it pretty obvious that they haven’t investigated our beliefs to any meaningful degree. I applaud TT for actually reading and responding to our content. I also appreciate TT’s approach that he takes during this podcast. He seems to understand that Kinism has emerged as a reaction to the problems of modernity. Nevertheless, TT disagrees with Kinism on the topics of interracial marriage (miscegenation) and ethnonationalism. TT’s articles and conversation on Kinism deal with these two topics, and I would like to respond to what he has written so far.
TT’s first article on Rahab is a response to Ehud Would’s article, “Rahab the Hebrew: The Royal Genealogy Vindicated“, and his “second article” addresses my comments about Rahab in my article, “Kinist Orthodoxy: A Response to Brian Schwertley, Part 4.” I don’t find it necessary to rehash all of the arguments pertaining to Rahab’s identity. Readers can assess our arguments and TT’s counter-arguments for themselves. There isn’t much more to say on this subject, other than I believe that the case presented on Faith and Heritage is compelling. I will offer a few comments in response to TT’s arguments. The crux of the issue is the meaning of Deuteronomy 7:1-6. TT argues that the prohibition of Israelites from marrying the Canaanites was rooted entirely in their abominable practices and worship of false gods. There ought to be no question that the idolatry of the Canaanites is the primary concern since it is specifically mentioned in this passage. Religious purity was likewise the primary concern for Ezra when he alludes to this passage in Ezra 9:1-2.
It would be a mistake to conclude from this, however, that the prohibition on intermarriage is entirely rather than primarily religious in nature. The Israelites were prohibited from intermarrying with particular Canaanite nations as nations. God could have told the Israelites to simply not marry unbelievers or those outside of the covenant, but instead God prohibited the Israelites from intermarrying with a group of particular heathen nations. Ezra alludes to this passage, and expands it to include other nations that were not included in the original commandment. Furthermore, both Ezra and Nehemiah state concerns in addition to the religious purity of the people of Israel. Ezra was clearly concerned with the hereditary identity of Israel and especially the priesthood (2:59-62), and the separation of the children born to foreign women confirms that the separation of Israel from the mixed multitude was not simply religious in nature (10:1-3). Nehemiah likewise objected to these marriages on linguistic and cultural grounds (13:23-24). This provides some background as to why marriages with these particular Canaanite nations were categorically prohibited in Deuteronomy 7 and why Kinists typically don’t believe that Rahab was a member of one of these nations.2
But for the sake of argument, let’s concede TT’s case that Rahab was a member of one of these Canaanite nations and that the law of Deuteronomy 7:1-6 did not apply to her as a proselyte. What does this prove? Does this mean that miscegenation or interracial marriage is normatively acceptable? I don’t believe so. During his podcast conversation TT delineates between weak, strong, and stronger Kinists. These distinctions are valid, but intramural discussions between Kinists have mostly resolved these differences for all intents and purposes. “Strong” Kinists concede that there are perhaps exceedingly rare circumstances in which marriage might be licitly contracted between members of different races, and less rare circumstances in which members of different ethnic groups within the same race might marry. “Weak” Kinists likewise acknowledge that such circumstances are infrequent indeed, and particularly rare in light of our present circumstances. Whites can easily find suitable spouses among members of our own race, and it is important to do so in light of the anti-white cultural zeitgeist that seeks to eliminate or supplant whites in the modern world. It is one thing to debate the propriety of the occasional intermarriage that took place between white settlers on the frontier with women from Amerindian tribes, and quite another to assert that race is a matter of indifference in marriage.
The circumstances surrounding Rahab’s rescue from Jericho with her family are nothing if not entirely extraordinary. The fact that Israelites were allowed to marry at least some foreign women in extraordinary circumstances could be granted on the grounds of Deuteronomy 21:10-14, but these are clearly non-normative and cannot make void what is normatively healthy and good. To argue for the normative acceptability of racial intermarriage on the grounds of purported examples like Rahab and Ruth is to miss the forest for the trees. I made the case in my articles “Divorce, Miscegenation, and Polygamy: A Comparative Approach to Their Morality” (Part 1 and Part 2) that this type of argumentation is typically not used or accepted by Christians in defense of practices such as polygamy. We could produce examples of faithful men who were married to more than one woman at a time, yet virtually no church would argue from this that polygamy was a normatively acceptable practice under normal circumstances. Faith and Heritage has published more articles that flesh out the topic of racial intermarriage in greater detail, but the point is that whatever occasional and extraordinary exceptions there have been in history, these exceptions don’t undermine the general Kinist case against racial intermarriage.3
The Law of Kin Rule
The Kinist case in favor of ethnonationalism is far more important and foundational than the identity of Rahab. Our general arguments against racial intermarriage flow from our understanding of what constitutes a nation and the place that nations have in God’s plan for human society. TT disagrees with our belief in ethnonationalism and in particular mentions the law of kin rule, in which he responds to Ehud Would’s article by the same name. The Kinist argument, which is derived from Deuteronomy 17:15 in addition to other texts, is that the rulers of nations ought to be hereditary members of the nations which they govern. TT argues that laws such as Deuteronomy 17:15 were specific to the Israelites of the Old Covenant and therefore are not applicable to any nation in existence today. There are two main reasons this is false. The first is the general continuity of the principles of the Law, typically known as theonomy. The second is the nature of the law of kin rule itself.
First, the laws given to Israel are applicable to other nations. Deuteronomy 4:5-8 teaches that the nations would learn from Israel’s law and see divine wisdom in the statutes given to them. Virtually everyone agrees that the Law contained universally applicable moral laws that still stand today. The prohibition against theft would be an example of this. Some of Israel’s laws pertained to ceremonial ordinances that were unique to Israel’s place in the history of redemption. These laws are abrogated, as they have been fulfilled by the coming of Christ. Other laws are specific to Israel’s historical context, but would still be applicable as to their underlying moral principles. The law of kin rule was given to Israel in their specific historical and political context, but the underlying principle is still binding. The nations around Israel all had kings and governors and would have been just as interested in preserving their autonomy from foreign rulers as Israel. There is no reason to see this particular law as a ceremonial ordinance unique to Israel, since it can easily be generalized as a principle of civil government.
The second issue is the nature of the law itself. TT argues that this law was unique to Israel because it pertained to the anointed kings of Israel, for verse 15 states that Israel’s king would be chosen by the Lord. Israel is the only nation that has had kings selected in the manner described in verse 15; therefore TT concludes that the entirety of the requirements for a king listed in Deuteronomy 17 apply only to the kings of ancient Israel. TT states that the requirement that the king of Israel be a fellow Israelite is the “only one Kinists harp on,” to the best of his knowledge. This simply is not true.
That there are multiple requirements listed in Deuteronomy 17 for kings demonstrates that these requirements are not applied solely to the king of Israel, because they would then all be superfluous — for God stated that He would (and did) chose the kings of Israel through the anointing of a prophet. Other nations did not enjoy the privilege of having their kings chosen by a prophetic revelation, but that does not mean that the other requirements did not apply. All nations are an extension of families, as per biblical usage of the term, especially in the Table of Nations (Gen. 10). Therefore, all nations can apply the law of kin rule to themselves for the purpose of fighting imperialism.
Kinists believe that national leaders are bound by all of these requirements. All national leaders are required to enforce God’s commandments. When the Apostle Paul teaches that the civil government is a terror to those who do evil and a rewarder to those who do good, this implies an objective standard of right and wrong to which all people are accountable.4 The requirements for kings listed in Deuteronomy 17 apply to all kings, not just those of ancient Israel.
Finally, even if the above reason is discounted on the grounds that all of the requirements for a king listed in Deuteronomy 17 are specific to Israel, it must be pointed out that the law of kin rule stated in Deuteronomy 17 for a king is simply an extension of the principle of government stated in Deuteronomy 1:13-16. The nobility and judges of the tribes were not directly appointed by God in the same way as Saul or David, so TT cannot simply write this principle off as being specific to Israel.
TT cites John Calvin’s commentary on Deuteronomy 17:15, in which Calvin states that a reason for this commandment was to prevent the Israelites from being ruled by a heathen.5 I’m not convinced that Calvin believed that this commandment was concerned with only religious concerns. Elsewhere Calvin expresses a belief in ethnonationalism entirely consistent with Kinism.6 In his commentary on Acts 17:26, Calvin states regarding the propriety of national boundaries, “Now, we see, as in a camp, every troop and band hath his appointed place, so men are placed upon earth, that every people may be content with their bounds, and that among these people every particular person may have his mansion. But though ambition have, oftentimes raged, and many, being incensed with wicked lust, have past their bounds, yet the lust of men hath never brought to pass, but that God hath governed all events from out of his holy sanctuary.”7
I appreciate that TT has gone to the trouble of actually reading our material in order to understand what Kinists believe. I find his other material, apart from this debate, to certainly be engaging and insightful. I look forward to his future posts on Kinism, but for now I will remain unconvinced until TT can rebut the more foundational aspects of Kinism.
- I will call him TT for short, not to be confused with Tribal Theocrat. ↩
- See “Further Commentary on the Mamzer of Deuteronomy 23” by Nil Desperandum. ↩
- See “On Interracial Marriage: The Moral Status of Miscegenation” and “Christian Ethics and Interracial Marriage” Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, and Part 7 by Nil Desperandum. ↩
- For more information on this subject, see Greg Bahnsen’s essay, “What Kind of Morality Should We Legislate?” ↩
- Interestingly enough, TT seems unaware of Samuel Rutherford’s commentary on this subject, in which he clearly sides with Kinists in our interpretation and application of this principle. ↩
- For more information on the Kinism of John Calvin, see Adi’s posts: “The Reformation and Race, Part IV: John Calvin Contra Racial Egalitarianism,” “The Reformation and Race, Part X: John Calvin on Miscegenation,” and “The Reformation and Race, Part XI: John Calvin on Ethnic Amalgamation as Disturbing Good Order.” ↩
- John Calvin’s Commentary on Acts 17 ↩