Mr. Joseph McCarter of Puritan News Weekly has responded to an article of mine, which itself responded to what Mr. McCarter originally wrote about kinism and ethno-nationalism. Mr. McCarter continues his dialogue on the issue of kinism and race in his most recent post. He begins his post by stating agreement with kinism on the question of national identity. We both rightly agree that the Bible identifies nations by their ethnic heritage, rather than independently of ethnicity. Kinists maintain that the modern idea of nations as mere propositional social constructs is a serious error, one founded upon secular humanism rather than Biblical exegesis. I am glad to see that we have an ally in Mr. McCarter on this very important issue.
The Author’s Concern over the Kinist View of Ethnic Loyalty
Next, the author tries to point out what he perceives as deficiencies within the kinist position. The author states that while ethno-tribal ties “are the historic norm for political organization,” we ought to remember that “for the true Christian believer, love of Jesus Christ, the Biblical reformed faith, and fellow Christians from every nation, tribe and tongue, must trump family and ethno-tribal ties.” The author cites Luke 14:26 and Matthew 12:49-50 in support of his assertion.
Christ certainly did draw a clear line in the sand and made it clear that our loyalty towards Him must trump loyalty to anything else, and this includes even our own immediate family members. But I think Mr. McCarter is making a claim bigger than this. He is essentially saying that love of fellow Christians from every nation, tribe and tongue, must trump familial and ethno-tribal ties. This is false. I love my unbelieving relatives tremendously more than some Christian whom I do not know at all in China. This is natural, and there is nothing wrong with this.
The proper response to this is to point out that we do have stronger bonds with Christians than with non-Christians, all other things being equal. Spiritual ties are important, yet it would be improper to give some absolute, unqualified assertion that all spiritual bonds with other Christians take precedence in all circumstances over any non-Christian physical relations. They both carry weight, and though it can be difficult to provide some meter by which we can measure the total bond-strength provided by different degrees of spiritual and physical kinship, we can say this nonetheless: both physical and spiritual ties are important in different ways and to different degrees, and one does not necessarily trump the other. This is better than saying, as McCarter seems to suggest, that love of all Christians trumps all ties of family and ethnicity. It is somewhat preposterous to claim that we owe more loyalty to any Christian anywhere than to any non-Christian, even if this includes relatives in our immediate family; that argument flies in the face of the 5th Commandment. The issue is that loyalty to Christ does not need to replace our loyalty to our family, our nation, or our race.
People often misinterpret the verses cited by Mr. McCarter to mean that race or racial loyalty is unscriptural or unimportant. If this is indeed the case, then why stop at race? Christ doesn’t specifically list racial or ethnic loyalty in the verses mentioned, but rather goes straight to the heart of the matter; Christ specifically mentions that loyalty to Him must take precedence over loyalty even to our own family members. Therefore, if our profession of Christian faith comes into conflict with even our closest relations, we shouldn’t allow them to influence us against Christ. Indeed, many kinists have had the difficult task of remaining at variance with their family due to their Christian faith and principles. We do this in the hope that our disagreement will be temporary, and that our family members will eventually come to a saving knowledge of Christian truth.
We should keep in mind that even in the midst of unbelief, ethnic loyalty is still valid. The apostle Paul specifically singles out the nation of Israel as constituting his own people, even though they were unbelievers (Romans 9:3). Paul was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for the good of his own people, to whom he had a unique blood tie that he did not share in common with everyone. The apostle Paul also appealed to Philemon’s sense of ethnic brotherhood with his servant Onesimus, in addition to their brotherhood in faith (Philemon 16). My inclination is that the author would not disagree with anything that I’ve written in the above paragraphs. I confess that I’m not certain what exactly the author means when he states that “kinism allows blood ties to trump religious ties,” since he hasn’t provided any concrete examples of what he is talking about. I simply want to make our readers aware that this isn’t a real disagreement between kinists and someone like Mr. McCarter. This was simply a perceived disagreement on the part of the author.
The Author’s Concern over the Kinist Position on the Restriction of Intermarriage
Next, Mr. McCarter lists some general objections he has to the kinist view of intermarriage. The author demurs from the kinist position that the civil magistrate indeed does have authority to prohibit or at the very least restrict intermarriage between ethnic or racial groups. The author believes that kinists misuse certain texts to justify our position. “With respect to the kinist assertion that a nation today has the right to outlaw marriage outside a person’s ethnicity/tribe, based upon various Old Testament judicial laws and practices, kinists are twisting these passages and misapplying them.” The author states that the reason for the Old Testament prohibition of marrying foreigners was rooted in the fact that Israel was the only nation that corporately worshipped the one true God. The author concludes: “Therefore, the general Old Testament principle forbidding marriage to the people of other nations was rooted in the fact that the people of these other nations were (generally speaking) heathens and would lead the Israelites into sinful practices if married.” The author then cites Malachi 2:11, Ezra 9:11-12, Judges 3:6, and 1 Kings 11:2 in support of his position that prohibitions against intermarriage were religious in nature.
I agree with much of what the author has said here. He states that a primary underlying factor in forbidding intermarriage and foreigners in the Old Testament was rooted in the religious differences between the Israelites and their neighbors. When Israel intermarried with foreign nations, idolatry and religious syncretism often ensued as a result. In this regard, I and other kinists would be in complete agreement with the author. I do have a few comments that would distinguish the kinist position. First, in the original article I mostly refer the reader to the arguments made by Nil Desperandum in his excellent article, The Moral Status of Miscegenation. Nil in fact does acknowledge the very fact that Mr. McCarter makes above. Nil writes: “These prohibitions were given specifically to Israel, and not to mankind as a whole, so their citation should not be seen as promoting an absolute ethical forbiddance of all interracial marriage. Further, it is evident that the primary motivation in these commandments was religious, not racial or ethnic; the purpose of avoiding intermarriage was for religious purity (e.g., Ex. 34:16).”
Nil is answering the questions that would naturally arise about the generalizability of the principles taught in Deuteronomy 7 to our modern-day circumstances. Nil rightly points out that these commandments involved aspects specific to Old Testament Israel that cannot necessarily be applied directly to us today. For example, we aren’t really dealing with the question of whether it is specifically permissible to marry Canaanites. However, Nil rightly points out that the precept mentions a restriction given along ethnic lines. Nil writes:
[I]t still is significant that the commands were done along ethnic lines. Israel was forbidden from marrying other nations, not just unbelievers in the abstract. In principle, Israelites could not marry some foreigners, even if the foreigners were to be believers. This can have import today: there might be danger in marrying into other ethnic groups, even apart from whether the marriages might be interreligious or not. Race should likewise be a factor of consideration for marriages today, rather than disregarded as insignificant.
Today, we are conditioned to reject the restrictions of the Old Testament as stereotypical and overgeneralized, but God apparently didn’t see a problem with telling the Israelites to beware of the Canaanites, rather than simply unbelievers.
It should also be pointed out that Nil doesn’t limit his argument to these Old Testament restrictions alone; he provides several other arguments as well. I won’t restate everything that Nil wrote, since the reader can simply read his original article, but I can offer a brief summary. Nil cites R.J. Rushdoony, who points out that in 2 Cor. 6, where Paul is applying the principle of unequal yoking in a religious sense, this application does not rule out other subsidiary applications of the principle. Rushdoony states:
St. Paul referred to the broader meaning of these laws against hybridization, and against yoking an ox and an ass to a plow (Deut. 22:10), in II Corinthians 6:14. . . . Unequal yoking plainly means mixed marriages between believers and unbelievers and is clearly forbidden. But Deuteronomy 22:10 not only forbids unequal religious yoking by inference, and as a case law, but also unequal yoking generally. This means that an unequal marriage between believers or between unbelievers is wrong. Man was created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26), and woman in the reflected image of God in man, and from man (I Cor. 11:1-12; Gen. 2:18, 21-23). “Helpmeet” means a reflection or mirror, an image of man, indicating that a woman must have something religiously and culturally in common with her husband. The burden of the law is thus against inter-religious, inter-racial, and inter-cultural marriages, in that they normally go against the very community which marriage is designed to establish.1
Another arguments that Nil uses is that interracial marriage subverts ethno-nationalism. Since Mr. McCarter agrees with kinists on the question of national identity, it would seem that he would have to agree with us that widespread interracial marriage would spell the end of traditional national identity. Nil also points out that racial identity will still be present in heaven (Rev. 5:9, 7:9, 21:24, 22:2). Since this is true, we should surmise that any attempt to erase these distinctions on earth will result in disaster. The fact of the permanence of racial distinctions should clearly communicate to us that race is not something that we should try to outgrow. This teaches us that we should not try to overturn this God-ordained order through widespread intermarriage.
I agree with Nil’s well-thought-out critique of intermarriage. I would simply add my own commentary, in that we should establish normal rules for marriage on the basis of Adam and Eve, just as Christ did while rebuking the Pharisees. The first marriage is archetypal, and subsequent marriages should be based upon the archetype. At one point during Christ’s ministry, the Pharisees challenged Christ as to the permissibility of divorce. They argued that the law allowed for a husband to divorce his wife. Indeed, there is a permission to do this in Deut. 24:1. But Christ’s response is two-fold.
First, Christ argues that while divorce may be permissible, it is not the intention of God, since God himself joined Adam and Eve in marriage. If God truly joins couples in marriage, then these marriages should not end in divorce. This is an inferential case made from what is written in Gen. 2. The second observation is that the permission given in Deut. 24 is interpreted far too broadly by the Pharisees. They interpreted “uncleanness” to mean almost anything, whereas Christ clarifies that this is essentially equivalent to sexual immorality which breaks the marriage covenant (Matthew 19:1-9).
How does this relate to intermarriage? Well, arguments in favor of intermarriage often follow the same Pharisaic logic. Those who favor intermarriage will often point out that there is a permission in the law allowing for intermarriage in Deut. 21:10-14. They will also point out that there were a few cases in the Biblical narrative which seem to indicate that some did intermarry. A kinist response parallels Christ’s response to the Pharisees in Matthew 19. First, we could and should point out that the interracial marriage advocates infer far too much from the permission given in Deut. 21:10-14. The provision is made from foreign captive females who have been separated from their families and tribes. Most of these women would likely have still been Semitic anyway, and therefore this is not a good example of intermarriage. Yet, even if some marriages today could be justified on the basis of this precept, very few actually could. Most intermarriage does not happen by the extraordinary circumstances described in Deut. 21; and thus the passage isn’t applicable in the way pro-intermarriage advocates appeal to it.
Second, and more important, is to argue from the marriage of Adam and Eve, just as Christ did while rebuking the Pharisees. Adam proclaimed that God had given him a wife of his own flesh and bone (Genesis 2:23). This seems like a benign enough statement, but elsewhere in the Bible “bone and flesh” takes on the meaning of a close kin connection, never extending further than one’s own ethnicity. Jacob is told by his parents not to marry a foreigner, and Laban assures Jacob that his family is eligible since they are of the same bone and flesh (Genesis 29:14). We read in Deuteronomy 17:15 that rulers should be related to those whom they rule; and this principle seems to be worked out in the reign of King David, the archetypal ruler of the Bible, who is said to be of Israel’s “bone and flesh” (2 Samuel 5:1; 1 Chronicles 11:1). Thus, we can easily infer that marriages ordinarily should take place between members of the same “bone and flesh,” or ethnicity, since this is an attribute of Adam’s marriage to Eve.
If we reject this logic, then we fall to shaky ground. Think for a moment about the implications of this. We could just as easily argue that polygamy or marriage across huge age spans should be permitted, since these aren’t expressly forbidden in the Bible with an exact verse. Nowhere are we told that husbands can’t have more than one wife. In fact, there are verses in Deuteronomy 21 (ironically) permitting exactly that (vv. 15-17)! The same applies for age. Is it “ageism” for us to oppose the marriage of eighty-four-year-old men to seven-year-old girls? No! Since Adam and Eve were close in age, we can and should infer that God intends for couples to be reasonably close in age as well.
The same applies for polygamy. Since Adam and Eve were monogamous, therefore we ought to view monogamy as normative for what God desires of the institution of marriage. Might there be exceptions to any of these rules? I suppose that there could be at least theoretical exceptions, but these should never be allowed to become the norm. We are so sure that monogamy should be the norm that churches simply don’t allow their members to practice polygamy, even though the passage permitting it appears literally right next to the passage permitting the marriage to foreign captives! While I admit that there might be extremely rare cases in which intermarriage might be permitted as in cases similar to Deuteronomy 21, I think that these cases should be as rare as cases in which we assert that it is permissible for a man to have more than one wife. We must guard the institution of marriage as it was instituted, and try our best not to deviate too much from the essential characteristics of Adam’s marriage to Eve.
Given these arguments provided by Nil and myself, I think that laws restricting or prohibiting intermarriage are justified. This conclusion is reinforced by the equity of the policies which Ezra and Nehemiah enacted after the return of the Israelites from Babylonian captivity (Ezra 9-10, Nehemiah 13). I would also reiterate what I wrote previously: I think that, ideally, such laws would be unnecessary, and that local magistrates should be allowed to determine where they will draw the line based upon their circumstances.
The author goes on to speak of the New Covenant: “[A] better equivalent from the Old Testament for us today would be how there was not a general prohibition on godly Israelites from one Israelite tribe marrying a godly Israelite from another Israelite tribe.” It is true that the tribes of Israel were allowed to intermarry, but not when this would result in the transfer of property from one tribe to another (Numbers 27; 36). This is another indication that God considers heredity and not merely religion to be important factors in marriage. Another issue to consider is that the tribes of ancient Israel almost certainly are not analogous to the different races we encounter today. In keeping with the concept of the nation as ethnicity, we can say that there is a Celtic nation comprised of the British, Scottish, Irish, and Welsh tribes. There is likewise a Scandinavian nation, comprised of the Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, and Danish tribes. These nations are interrelated in much the same way that the Israelites were to the Edomites (Numbers 20:14, Deuteronomy 23:7). Just as the ancient Israelites wouldn’t have viewed marriage between the tribes with the stigma that they did to those of different races and ethnicities, we likewise don’t naturally think that marriages between English and Welsh or Swiss and German to be of the same nature of marriages between members of different races.
Finally, the author states that the “problem that the Western nations today face has absolutely nothing to do with Christian white Americans marrying godly non-whites, but it has everything to do with our own religious apostasy and God’s consequent divine judgment on us, giving us over to abortion, sodomy, artificial contraception, feminism, etc.” Certainly, it is true that social degradation resulting from humanism has manifested itself in the abominations of abortion, sodomy, artificial contraception, feminism, and so on. We cannot possibly speak of the death of the Western world and of the European people apart from these sins that we have collectively adopted as part of the encroaching humanistic faith. These practices must be repudiated first and foremost as a rejection of humanistic culture if white Europeans are going to survive.
I would agree with Mr. McCarter in that the suicide of our European people has primarily come about by the sins that he lists, rather than as a direct result of European Christians marrying Christians of other races. However, I would also observe that miscegenation is certainly a major part of the zeitgeist we currently face. Miscegenation is consistently promoted by our MTV- and Hollywood-driven popular culture. There isn’t a show on TV during prime time which doesn’t feature interracial couples and actively promote miscegenation as an appealing lifestyle. This isn’t a recent trend either. While the active promotion of miscegenation has certainly become more popular recently, there is little question that secular pop culture has been a major promoter of miscegenation for decades. This really does have a very harmful impact on Western demographics. While there may be individual exceptions on the practice of miscegenation, at the very least we can objectively state that the general practice of miscegenation has had a very real and detrimental impact on the West and is an integral part of the Humanist philosophy pushing the rest of the issues he condemns.
Regarding the Question of the Mexican-American War
Mr. McCarter also takes some exception to my position on the Mexican-American War. He states that the Mexican-American War “reflected imperialism both in its causes and its consequences.”2 While it is true that the Mexican government never officially recognized the independence of Texas until after the war’s conclusion in 1848, Santa Anna, who commanded Mexican forces during the war for Texan independence, promised to lobby for Texan independence upon his return to Mexico after the Battle of San Jacinto. Texan independence was also recognized by several other countries. Santa Anna temporarily fell out of favor upon his return to Mexico, but was back in power when hostilities over Texas began with the United States. He reneged on his personal recognition of Texas’s sovereignty, so any argument alleging that Polk provocatively positioned troops between the Rio Grande and Nueces Rivers is rendered moot by this fact. It cannot be argued that Zachary Taylor had taken his troops into disputed territory, since by Santa Anna’s reckoning, all of Texas would have been considered disputed territory.
In addition to this, the Mexican government’s conduct during the dispute was simply unreasonable. President Polk authorized emissary John Slidell to make generous offers to the Mexican government for recognition of the Rio Grande border and for the purchase of the rest of the American southwest. Polk didn’t have to do this. American forces were clearly far superior to Mexico’s forces. He could have simply taken them without any gesture given to Mexico whatsoever, but Polk and other American statesmen were accustomed to traditional Western ideals of fairness and justice. On top of all of this information, we should also note that the United States government graciously agreed to forgive 3.25 million dollars of Mexican debt and to pay the 15 million dollars for the territory ceded to the United States per the offer extended to Mexico before the war began! This is not the action of wanton imperialists. Surely Mexico would not have been so gracious had she won the war!3
It can be argued that the Mexican-American War was a prelude to more detrimental imperialist attitudes that characterized Manifest Destiny. There is no denying that. However, the conquest of the American southwest during the 1840s is far different from subsequent imperialism that the American government has undertaken. The American southwest was still mostly unoccupied, and the Hispanics who argue that this territory was stolen from them are for the most part not the descendants of those living there in the 19th century anyway. The same cannot be said for the inhabitants of Hawaii, who maintained clear control over the Hawaiian Islands for several generations.
Kinists are unequivocally opposed to imperialism and we most certainly do not want to “have it both ways.” Kinists certainly do seek to “follow peace with all men” (Hebrews 12:14). Most kinists actually are opposed to the detrimental influence of the American military, and even denounce most wars in American history as unjust. Today the American military has been embroiled in conflicts not at all related to American interests.4 The reason that the Mexican-American War doesn’t qualify is because Santa Anna’s government clearly stated that they intended to attack American forces in Texas. If there is ever to be an example of a legitimate defensive war, then this was it!
I cannot reiterate enough how much I appreciate Mr. McCarter’s constructive feedback that he has afforded in his posts on the Puritan News Network. I look forward to continued dialogue on these issues. My suspicion is that Mr. McCarter actually has a good deal in common with kinists and with kinism. I suppose my only question for the author would be how he would establish and maintain ethno-tribal homelands if some sort of restriction on intermarriage is entirely off the table? As I stated before, ideally such restrictions wouldn’t be necessary, but we live in a world beset with error founded upon generations of sin and rejection of Biblical standards. At least under our current circumstances, white Europeans are dying, and we are far from an ideal situation where we can simply view miscegenation as an oddity or annoyance.
To support the cause of white ethno-tribalism means to be realistic about the world in which we live. We are demographically on the road of extinction, and it is absolutely necessary for us to take the measures necessary to insure the future prosperity of our children and our children’s children. The road ahead will not be easy, but we must avoid the temptation to believe that our society can be saved by superficial changes in policy. When Ezra and Nehemiah saw Israelite society on the cusp of collapse after the return from exile, they took the steps necessary to secure the future of their people. Like the prophets before us, we must be equally matched to the task ahead of us. The future of generations of our progeny depends upon it!
- R.J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law, p. 256f. ↩
- Mr. McCarter cites the article, US-Mexican War 1846. http://www.principlesofwar.com/scenarios/19thc/USmexindex.htm ↩
- A good resource to review again is Erik Peterson, “The War With Mexico,” http://www.amren.com/ar/1995/09/index.html#cover ↩
- Meanwhile, we ought to be more concerned about current Mexican encroachments upon American sovereignty. The Mexican government commonly sponsors overt attempts by Mexican nationals to subvert American sovereignty and sneak into the country illegally. The Mexican government has also made several illegal incursions across the border. When a state such as Arizona tries to fix the problem, the Mexican government attempts to intervene and prevent a state government from enforcing the law! For more information on this see this helpful article posted on bigpeace.com: “Why Not Go to War With Mexico Instead of Libya?”, by Paul Hair. http://bigpeace.com/phair/2011/04/17/why-not-go-to-war-with-mexico-instead-of-libya/ ↩