When you’re a young college student, it’s easy to get caught up in what seems like a groundbreaking intellectual pursuit of knowledge that actually is run-of-the-mill old news. You’re young and naive, and ideas you just read from old books seem like your own original thoughts. Centuries-old discredited theories and ancient controversies seem very important on the tabula rasa of a young mind. With age comes experience and better judgment. With age comes the willingness to look past the inflammatory to the verdict of history. The results of ideas put into practice outweigh the promises of the ideas still in theoretical form.
You would think that the director of a Catholic think tank would avoid falling into the trap of a college freshman, but somehow Matthew Rose has fallen into it. He takes the self-asserted truth of atheists in the Alt Right and frames it as the truth that overarches the entire Alt Right. In his article for First Things, “The Anti-Christian Alt Right,” he meditates on the anti-Christian sentiments of Spengler, Evola, and Benoist as interpreted by Richard Spencer. Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids. He might as well have taken William Lloyd Garrison’s indictment of the South as the entire, objective truth of the antebellum United States. On second thought, he probably does, which would further condemn his pseudo-intellectualism a la Doug Wilson.
Seriously, how stupid do you have to be to take quotes from Richard Spencer as definitive statements of a movement that owes some, but little, to him? He is famous for taking left-wing stands on everything other than race. With the exception of the topic of race, Spencer’s personality and beliefs do not even remotely define the Alt Right. Even with respect to race, his statements are not in themselves definitive, because the movement is decentralized. If Rose had done more research into the movement’s internal debates, he would have known that religion is notoriously contentious in the Alt Right. The debate between anti-Christian and pro-Christian members of the Alt Right is a serious one. It is also an unresolved one, contra Rose’s assertion that the Alt Right is and will forever be anti-Christian.
To a guy with a hammer, the solution to everything is to use the hammer. To an intellectual, the solution to everything (and the cause of every problem) is an idea. Without discounting the important role that ideas play in all of life, Rose should have done more research. He would have discovered that most members of the Alt Right would rather have a great society than a great idea. There is a healthy, strong strain of pragmatism that runs throughout the Alt Right. I mention this to point out the fact that the anti-Christian sentiment Rose harped on, courtesy of Spencer et al., is not nearly so strong or important as he might want to think.
Most people don’t put the amount of time and thought into their anti-Christianity as Spencer does, but his hatred of Christianity is more a result of his sinfulness than the merits of atheism. As disappointing as it is to find a dearth of Christian leaders among the upper echelons of the Alt Right, that reality owes more to the religious demographics of our white peers and the in-group preferences of our anti-theistic leadership than to the inherent compatibility of anti-Christian sentiment with ethnonationalism. Among whites raised without a coherent Christian worldview and lifestyle, it is natural to find little to no affection for Christianity. The anti-white bias of most Christian denominations, coupled with one’s natural disinclination towards true religion, and experience confirming those biases, necessarily creates whites uninterested or hostile towards Christianity. As one such product of our culture, who knew little to nothing about Christianity prior to conversion, I’m more surprised to find people interested in Christianity than those hostile towards it. The weak indifference and hostility that most members of the Alt Right hold towards Christianity would rapidly convert into love for Christ and the Church if we had a potent denomination that visibly witnessed for ethnonationalism in Christ’s name. In other words, if we had a Crusader church that proclaimed Deus Vult and took the fight to the Turk and Jewish elites ruling the West, the Alt Right would be converted to Christianity en masse. In the meantime, we prepare the ground for that eventuality.
Among Rose’s other stupid assertions is that race is a modern concept — as if the ancients did not believe that nations collectively formed races, and couldn’t distinguish white from black. It is a way for him to damn race realism while also acknowledging the unavoidable truth that the Bible is full of the reality of ethnicity, ethnonationalism, and race.
Like an ignoramus, Rose denies the important role of genetics in cultural continuity. “Race offers no inheritance, and its mere preservation reflects no human achievement. Our stories, art, music, institutions, and religious traditions—unlike race—are transmitted only through special efforts of human intelligence and love. They are a bequest of the spirit, not blood.” Who knew Gnosticism was still a thing?
With no evidence to back him up other than his cherrypicking quotes from Spencer, Rose then goes on to deny that the Alt Right could unite love for nation with love for God. It is humorously gratifying to see Rose admit, “Today there are bespoke theologies for most every identity in American life. Meanwhile, we lack a compelling civic theology for the twenty-first century—a theology of the nation, not for the nation.” Such an ethnonationalist theology is precisely what Faith and Heritage is hashing out contra the civnat cucks like Al Mohler, Doug Wilson, and Rose.
Like a true hireling enjoying a paycheck as a member of the ruling establishment, Rose accuses the counter-cultural Alt Right of fearmongering and neglecting the transcendent while ignoring the harsh reality of black-on-white crime, the invasion and occupation of our homelands, and the criminalization of free thought under the Jewish oligarchs. Yes, Matthew, it is hard to be terribly transcendent when your streets, courts, and countries are ruled by anti-Christian Muslims, Jews, and hip-hop Republicans.
Rose hypocritically quotes from the late St. John Paul II, who affirmed the role of nationhood over and against international Bolshevism. “The ‘spiritual self-defense’ of our homelands, he wrote, is part of our moral obligation, commanded by God, to honor our fathers and mothers.” Agreed. But then Rose alleges, “For Christians, the problem [with the Alt Right] is the pitiable smallness of [its] goals.” If fulfilling our moral obligations to God, family, and country per the Ten Commandments (and as expounded by the late pope) is not sufficiently Christian, Matthew, what pray tell is? It would be nice to know how to revise every Christian confession, catechism, and sermon since the dawn of the Church.