Ecce Homo. “Behold the man.” These were Pilate’s words to the ravening throng screaming for Christ’s blood. The Man, indeed. The exemplar of perfect manhood.
Endemic to Conservatives under Liberal occupation, we have played the part of Cassandra all along the way, warnings of the slippery slope ever on our lips and quills: racial integration would lead inexorably to sodomite marriage*, and to every other sundry permutation of sexual revolution which the devil can devise toward the total blurring and eventual abolition of gender differences and deconstruction of the family. Because nation and clan differ not so much in kind but in scale, as goes national (ethnic) identity so goes familial identity. And though Liberals scoffed at all our forebodings, assuring us that every fresh innovation of the moment was the sum of their goals, once attained they always pushed on to new depths of depravity only to turn around and assert again that their new landing was the ultimate goal with no agenda beyond. Even the inner wall of the court has collapsed under the crush of this process as the churches, too, at length yielded to sexual revolution, embracing gender equality nigh simultaneously with racial equality, and therefore, same-sex unions as readily as miscegenation.
Even purported Theonomist and author of several family-centric works, Doug Wilson, has come to accept married* sodomites as “the same as anyone else.” Albeit excluding their wedding* day.
The gender-bending chemicals in the water must really be working because American Vision released an article arguing that associating physical strength with masculinity is paganism! Look, godliness is clearly not contingent on a man’s relative health indicators such as physical strength, okay? Nobody ever argued otherwise. But you’d never know that from McDurmon’s article; to hear him tell it, one of the great heresies besetting the church today is the doctrine which holds men enter the gates of heaven only by besting St. Peter in armwrestling. His may be the most straw-packed straw man argument against masculinity – and thereby patriarchy – I’ve encountered to date. And abjuring the cultivation of physical strength is tantamount to pacifism, shirking one’s God-given responsibility to defend life. After all, how ultimately differs McDurmon’s position, that men should spurn physical strength, from John Piper’s position that it is wrong to defend one’s wife from a rapist by force? McDurmon’s position is merely a resolve against effective defense of life, thus landing him in what amounts to the same stance as Piper – pacifism.
Nonetheless, strength, not unlike the beard or a deep voice, is one of the God-ordained characteristics of the male gender set against the “weaker sex.” It is symbolically denotative of the authority with which God has vested men in the family, church, and broader society. As such, David had no inkling of McDurmon’s position when he sang, “He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.” (2 Sam.22:35; Psa. 18:34) Clearly, physical strength is an objective good and symbol of potency and dominion associated by God with the male gender. And since “man’s chief end is to glorify God” (WSC Q.1) with all his strength (Deut. 6:5), strength is to be valued, even prized. It is a mighty gift emblematic of men’s federal authority under God and to great effect in His service.
Need I even mention Samson, whose faithfulness was inextricably tied to his physical strength? And whose physical might was both derivative and symbolic of God’s own dominion and power?
Meantime, as American Vision undermines Christian manhood, the same fellows turn around to “press the antithesis” in a startling direction – gynocracy! Yes, according to Bojidar, a wife is to be the manager of all her husband’s property and of her own, in effect, leaving the man custodian of nothing. This is what Bojidar characterizes as “equality,” and God’s template for the Christian family. Yes, these putative leaders of the Theonomic movement have defaulted to the position of the lowest heathen societies.
Under these circumstances of such unmistakable subversion of covenant theology, it’s no wonder at all that evangelicals and secular reactionaries are positing their own theories of manhood. Granted, because egalitarianism and feminism are polarizations away from Christian patriarchy and the manosphere is a reversed polarization away from the egalitarian/feminist paradigm, the Men’s Rights Movement often finds its way back round to some traditional Christian positions. But not unaugmented.
Reaction isn’t enough. For reaction is accounted for in advance by the culture destroyers and merely plays into their dialectic: thesis, antithesis, synthesis. Action, reaction, solution. And apart from God’s Law-Word, all our cogitations against evil are infected with the same germ. For all the relative good that non-Christian reactionary thought may stumble upon, we cannot embrace their categories without qualification and recontextualization under the Christian cosmos. In order to justify, anchor, and perfect it, we must predicate reactionary thinking upon, and calibrate it in terms of, divine revelation. There is no other objective starting point nor basis for the endeavor. Apart from God’s Law-Word even the shrewdest minds are adrift and at the mercy of the dialectic.
But the two foremost reactionary paradigms today which purport to rescue manhood from the gynocracy are both ethological analogies based upon the social hierarchies of animals.
One is Killology. Though originally postulated as a system of military study and conditioning for battlefield psychology, it has since unfolded to encompass a more general theory of sociology which hopes to reprise manhood by casting society as divided between three types – sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. Therein women, children, and weak men are sheep who need protection from wolves (sinister men), and the only ones to do this are the good (strong) men – sheepdogs. This perspective, which was articulated for public consumption first by Army War Psychologist Lt. Col. David Grossman, has since been adopted as the patent social theory in militia and patriot circles. Evangelical churches which especially prize veterans even host Killology courses at their churches. In fact, Grossman began the Sheepdog Seminars expressly for churches and he has succeeded in suffusing a right-wing evangelical culture with his Killology credo.
Lest anyone dismiss the seeming emphasis on killing in this new philosophy of rightish Evangelicals, proponents of said view cite the aphorism of Maj. Gen. James Mattis approvingly: “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” I ask you, reader, is this the disposition of the Christian man? Ever calculating against friend and foe alike? I submit to you that such a man has no actual friends, only prospective enemies and collateral damage.
The other paradigm purporting to redeem manhood is a subset of what is called Game theory, Alpha Game, or simply, Game – a set of algorithms loosely patterned after the pack hierarchies of social animals like wolves and apes. So advocates of this view delineate the pecking order of human society. And as you might imagine, as a study in algorithms, the notoriety of Game theory has largely been advanced by awkward Gamers and Strategists intent on memorizing the “cheat codes” to social interaction for their personal service. This perspective is interwoven with economic, psychological, sexological, and even marketing strategies. Call it counting cards with people, hotwiring your friends, or just plain old manipulation, in an age so leveraged against White men and a Church demuring from biblical identities, Game has filled the void and defined masculinity for many Gen Xers and Millennials, and may be said to comprise its own wing of the Alt Right, if not permeating the whole. Besides this, because of their intersection and overlap in Alt Right circles it has gained ground in some contrarian Christian circles as well – Trad Cats, Orthodox, and the like, mostly.
Within this system the gold standard of manhood and ostensible enlightenment is the class known as the “alpha male.” Even if the application of Game hasn’t gone entirely mainstream in the public consciousness, this denotation of masculinity certainly has. As has the related “beta male” concept. Though some proponents of this perspective insist that the social stations of men are predetermined and unalterable, life coaches and ascendant masters abound eager to disciple lower-ranking males in the ways of alphahood – true manliness.
Although these concepts are widely used to facilitate womanizing, some, embracing an “omega male” status and confronted with the caustic nature of modern feminism, have resorted to the antithesis, asexuality.
Foremost though, devotees of this paradigm are chasing the status they call alpha. Though technical definitions of that status differ depending on who is describing it, the tally is likely to include traits like loud alongside confident and arrogant next to fearless. I’ve even seen descriptions which include overbearing. The alpha persona seems to encompass both charisma and general belligerence. If the alpha character is intimidated by neither adverse social settings nor rabid enemies, he is also described as so cocksure as to tolerate no peers nor superiors. Because the alpha has to be the boss in every circumstance. All of which should sound familiar as the concept of Nietzschean man asserting his ‘will to power,’ in concert with which Nietzsche also posited his ‘God is dead’ doctrine.
While I certainly do not intend to dissuade our men from recapturing their boldness and courage, or the willingness to struggle for our Folk, that struggle is rightly defined only in terms of the Christian faith. I certainly appreciate the social rejection of feminism, but the alternative offered in the alpha ideal is equivalent to Austrian economics’ value in critiquing statism: both demonstrate facility in deconstructing their perceived antitheses – but that’s as far as it goes. Neither have viable worldviews of their own. In as much as a libertarian-built world inexorably lays the groundwork for the very centralization which it decries, alpha Game actually feeds into the feminist paradigm that men are all self-serving manipulators, fakes, sexual predators, and con-men. Even if the Game paradigm successfully deconstructs feminist social grids, at length, because it does not posit any restoration of the clan-centric society under the objective values of God’s Law, it sets the stage for only a deeper jading of our women against our men. If the Hippies couldn’t “live on love,” how much less can our people live on posturing, manipulation, and self-aggrandizement?
Granted, the technicians of this system draw some shrewd observations about behavioral patterns, but treating human interaction as merely a means to obtain sex, treasure, and praise, they also smuggle in a hedonistic philosophy which runs the gamut from self-help for the socially inept to building a better sociopath. This is why so many who subscribe to Game theory count themselves “black-pilled,” embracing egoism and nihilism. It is the perspective one would script for some extraterrestrial mandroid hoping to infiltrate and subdue the human species.
Borrowing as they do from ethology, both these theories of masculinity – Killology and Game – are based upon the assumption that men are naught but complex animals. Allowing such to define the desired traits and virtues of manhood is to consent to the evolutionary presuppositions which underlie those systems – or, speaking to its more candidly theological character, animism. And the old fundamentalist saw against evolution, “teaching kids they are animals will only produce animals,” is then applicable in regard to these perspectives. Even if they are taught in church seminars.
Of my personal friends and acquaintances who are committed evangelicals and acolytes of Killology, all dismiss Just War Theory with open contempt. If an enemy (a term they have no small difficulty defining) pitches a rock and misses, the sheepdogs advocate total war against not just his family, but typically too, his neighbors and associates, if not his nation. Typically speaking, men of this mindset are also big believers in preemptive action based upon suspicion. Yes, they reckon distrust is ample reason to start war after war. Thus they endorse Israeli policy with respect to Palestinians and neocon foreign policy for the greater Mideast. They recognize no principle of proportionality or moderation in the lex talionis, only ruthlessness. They look on chivalry in disdain. Winning is all that matters, no matter the cost in innocent life. If confronted with the collateral damage of massacred non-combatant children, they respond, “So? It isn’t my fault their fathers aren’t better at protecting them. They should have trained harder if they wanted to win. And they shouldn’t have tugged on Superman’s cape.” I have been told something very close to this very thing face-to-face by more than one such sheepdog.
For all its parabolic presentation and in spite of pretense of approximating Christian resistance theory, Killology is really naught but an apologetic for the militaristic barbarism native to and serving the interests of Zionism – psyche conditioning for shabbos goy.
Keeping, then, in mind the aggressive militaristic externality of Killology, and the aggressive social internality of Game, the two accord with the dichotomy of externally-focused Zionist foreign policy and the internally-focused hedonism pedaled to undermine American domestic life. And appraising the politics of each lens, there is correspondence in fact; Killologists tend to be right-wing neocon types and Game devotees identify with the Alt Right which Richard Spencer (who coined the term) defines as “the New Left” – a big tent of total-state NS types, Euro Imperium folks, atheists, perennialists, nihilists, satanists, eco-nuts, anarcho-futurists, and a handful of “Dark Enlightenment” Trad Cats and Orthodox. The Protestants involved are so only out of what they perceive as a total dearth of positive movement in their own circles and a lack of alternatives. It is in times such as these that the line between principle and pragmatism tends to blur. And in essence, the Christians pursuing the alpha motif do so for the same reasons they identify with the Alt Right – because flawed as the rightist heathens’ positions may be, their rejection of cultural Marxism is superior to Christians’ embrace of cultural Marxism.
But these twin Manosphere analogies – society as a wolfpack vs. society as wolves, sheep, and sheepdogs – miss the mark because neither are predicated on biblical grounds. Although the Bible does tender a social analogy which sounds similar: society as divided primarily among sheep, goats, wolves, and the Shepherd. But the similarity is superficial at best because the biblical paradigm is truly an analogy, not an ontological description of man undergirt by evolutionary or animist presuppositions. That is, the Scripture speaks of Christians as ‘sheep’ in much the same way that it speaks of the Church as the bride of Christ. The designation of sheep in that analogy is meant only to communicate our reliance on and protection by our Good Shepherd (Christ), not to suggest men to be mere animals, nor to admonish us to emulate any animal behavior. Even if it often proves to be the behavior of many Christians, nowhere do we gather the impression from the text that because we are called sheep we have a mandate to wander about oblivious, grazing and bleating dumbly. No more so than its calling us a bride effects a sex change upon the elders.
Both Killology and Game implicitly condemn the identity of the sheep in the biblical analogy. In Killology ‘sheep’ are the weak and foolish, and in Game they correspond to Betas and Deltas, again, the weak and the foolish.
The sheepdog and the alpha male are one and the same in that they seek their own status and bow the knee to none but their own egos. But striving toward humility, the Christian gentleman mortifies the self, serves God, and fears no man (Lk. 14:7-11). Where the sheepdog/alpha fights in and for his own pride, Christ’s man fights for the glory of the Lord of Hosts at the hearthside no less than the battlements; he lays down his life upon the hearthstone and is therefore at home on the rampart.
Chesterton has counterpoised the contest between alpha heathen and selfless Christian man in the words of Alfred the Great to the Viking lord Guthrum:
That on you is fallen the shadow,
And not upon the Name;
That though we scatter and though we fly,
And you hang over us like the sky,
You are more tired of victory,
Than we are tired of shame.
That though you hunt the Christian man
Like a hare on the hill-side,
The hare has still more heart to run
Than you have heart to ride.
That though all lances split on you,
All swords be heaved in vain,
We have more lust again to lose
Than you to win again.
Your lord sits high in the saddle,
A broken-hearted king,
But our king Alfred, lost from fame,
Fallen among foes or bonds of shame,
In I know not what mean trade or name,
Has still some song to sing;
Our monks go robed in rain and snow,[…]
But the heart of flame therein,
But you go clothed in feasts and flames,
When all is ice within;
Pride juggles with her toppling towers,
They strike the sun and cease,
But the firm feet of humility
They grip the ground like trees.1
It is a paradox to the heathen mind which conquers by the superstitions of pride, that it is in love and humility that the Christian man becomes indomitable. This is the testimony of all the martyrs. The passion and power of the heathen gods of ego begins and ends in the shallow faculties of man, a being embrittled and fractured by sin, but the perseverance of the saints begins and ends with God whose faculties are infinite and whose being defines all Good. The weakness of God is stronger than the might of men. At the Lord’s birth He was deemed such a threat to the state that the governor of Judea dispatched armies against an infant, and in spite of their organized resources, the Babe eluded them. As a Youth He engaged the theologians, lawyers, and scholars and through the Scriptures prevailed against the greatest minds again and again. Apprenticed in construction by his adoptive father Joseph, He grew into great physical strength and like unto Samson, He entered the temple which had become equivalent to the Wall Street Stock Exchange, bludgeoned and scourged the usurious moneychangers, bankers, merchants, and all their armed guards, driving them from the temple; one Man driving a thousand, He proved the consummate Warrior. Unflinching, He faced down demoniac ghouls, cast out demons, and after extreme fasting, sought out the devil himself for battle in the wilderness, and prevailed. He calmed the storm with a word. And threw a phalanx of soldiers to the ground, again, with but a word. But He also healed the sick, lame, and blind, and even rose men from the dead. Christ, the zenith and source of all power and authority, and the perfect expression of Manhood, walked this earth not with vain bravado or posturing, but gently in total power under total control, in the mastery over the flesh and the allure of social elevation. Though unyielding with His enemies and speaking truth with all power, He walked in meekness and was a servant to His friends and His Father. He loved His mother and other women besides, but unlike Adam fell thrall to no womanly anxieties. Far from living to climb the social ladder and the gratification of appetite therein, in obedience to the Father and for love of His people He subjected Himself to utter shame and ignominious death. He counted righteousness and the glory of God of more worth than His appearance. No torture could rend confession, apology, or pleas for mercy from His lips; no power in creation could compel Him to concede the authority of Roman interrogation. Even as He hung upon the cursed tree He was possessed of more raw power than all the armies in heaven and earth, but He indulged no temptation to use it in His defense, preferring our defense and God’s glory therein. He died unbent and unbroken. And arose in glory.
He is greater than any sheepdog. He is the Shepherd. He is far more than any alpha. He is Alpha and Omega. In the humility and peace of His service is man’s greatest strength, and apart from His service, all is vanity. All other examples of masculinity, no matter how august or how commanding, are but His shadow falling across the earth. Whether we speak of those neo-theonomists who eschew the emblems and duties of manhood through pacifism, or those neocon evangelicals and Alt Righters who posture at manhood through emulation of animals pursuant of the praise of men, all make themselves less than men. The precondition and taproot of the Patriarchy of old for which all these are blindly groping is found in the very thing from which they aver at all cost – relinquishment of pride. To be a real man one must fear and obey God, thinking His thoughts after Him. To be a man in full, take up your cross and follow Him. Ecce Homo.
- G.K. Chesterton, “Ballad of the White Horse” ↩