Civic Religion

Proponents of the propositional state often make the claim that America is held together by a civic religion. Usually, but not always, the argument in favor starts with the first line of Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” The emphasis is on the bit about all men being created equal, from which flows the ideals of political liberty, equality before the law, democracy, etc.

It is wise to start with Lincoln, as there is no evidence that the Founders were fond of the idea or even aware of it. Rousseau coined the term in 1762 and many of the Founders would have read his work, but there is no evidence they embraced the idea. In fact, they largely rejected the idea of a unifying state, as a cultural force. Their words and actions contradict the modern interpretation of “all men are created equal” so it is impossible to argue they intended it as currently interpreted. Lincoln is a much better starting point.

That said, it is doubtful Lincoln or anyone alive at the time would have embraced the idea of civic religion. The first guy to talk about America having a uniquely religious quality was Alexis de Tocqueville, but he did not think Americanism was a civic religion or anything close to it. He thought America’s uniquely Christian nature is what allowed for a diverse people to form a single nation. For a 19th century American, especially in the aftermath of the Civil War, the idea of a unifying creed would have been laughable.

The earliest mention of America having a unique civic life, held together by something resembling a religion, is by Chesterton. He wrote that America was “the only nation founded on a creed” and was “a nation with a soul of a church.” This observation was probably not unique to Chesterton. Europeans have always viewed Americans as being moralistic and impractical, with regards to the affairs of state. This is something our rulers encourage. Just look at the war on terror. It is entirely framed in moral terms.

The fact is the idea of a civic religion and an American creed is a fairly new one. The guy credited with promoting it is sociologist Robert Bellah. He formalized the concept in a 1967 article titled “Civil Religion in America.” According to Bellah, “Americans embrace a common civil religion with certain fundamental beliefs, values, holidays, and rituals, that transcend their chosen religion.” It is what allows a diverse people to fight under the same flag, cooperate economically and maintain a multi-ethnic society.

As is often the case, theories of history require the wholesale rewriting of history. That is what has happened with the civic religion claims. The most generous interpretation is that this new civic religion was born after the Civil War, as a result of the North defeating the South. The “new nation” that came out of that was formed around this new creed. That is reasonable, but it also disconnects us from the Founding and the Founding documents. What it means is that the Constitution is largely meaningless.

A less generous reading is that this was part of a marketing campaign by certain elements in 1960’s America to de-legitimize the dominant American culture. After all, this was the peak of the cultural revolution when the New Left had embarked on its long march through the institutions. It was also around this time that Congress began to fling open the borders and invite the world into the country. If America is not a nation of Americans, but a concept, why not invite in the world, so they can learn the concept too!

The ahistorical nature of the civic religion is not troubling to the believers because they simply want to believe, as long as the civic religion serves their purpose. For Buckley conservatives, libertarians and others, the language of the civic religion is useful as an argument against the Progressive ruling class. It lets them stand in opposition on moral grounds, but also accept defeat, without violating their principles, which they claim are rooted in their Americanism. It is the political get out of jail free card.

The bigger problem with this civic religion stuff is the problem with civic religions in general. If they mean anything, they end up in a blood bath. The reason is a religion has rules that are non-negotiable. For example, you cannot be a Catholic and support abortion on demand. In order to be a member in good standing, you have to be in line with the teachings of the religion. Otherwise, you are a sinner, and maybe even a heretic. No religion can tolerate heresy among its members and remain an active religion.

In theory, you can quit a religion and join another one. You can also not participate or maybe just do the barest minimum to keep everyone off your back. You cannot realistically quit your country and join a new one. You cannot become agnostic as a citizen. Similarly, the leaders of the civic religion cannot easily exile you for heresy. The result is usually concentration camps or worse. That is why all other efforts at building a civic religion have ended up in wholesale murder. It is the only practical way to handle dissent.

There is another problem with the civic religion idea, which is particular to America. This has never been a country with a single culture or even a single people. The founding of the colonies was by distinct groups of English. New York City was not even founded by English. If you read the book American Nations, it does a pretty good job of describing the different cultural groupings of the country. Imposing the cult of Lincoln on the nation sounds good to the ruling class, but it has never sat well with the rest of the nations.

This cult of Lincoln promoted by our betters has another defect and that is they are compelled to impose it on the world. This seems to be another problem with all civic religions. The French exported radicalism around Europe. The Soviets exported Bolshevism around the world. The American empire is the story of imposing the American creed on every nation of the world, always against their will. Civic religions, like all religions, do not seem to play nice with other religions, seeing them as competitors.

That is why America has gone from a republic full of active Christians to a “meritocracy” at war with anything resembling Christianity. A century ago, Progressives were Christians, who were Progressive reformers. Then they were Progressives, who could also be Christians. Then they were just Progressives. There was a time when “liberal Catholic” was a real thing, but no one can chase two rabbits at once. Eventually, the American civic religion won out and is now being imposed on all of us, by force.

The best you can say about the supposed civic religion of America is that it is what the ruling class uses to keep the plates spinning. There is something to say for economic progress and domestic peace. It is not, however, natural or normal, and therefore it must eventually yield to reality. That is what we are seeing today. Americanism is a luxury item for an America that was 80% white and free of economic and political inequality among the white population. That is not today so the civic religion is losing its salience.

54 thoughts on “Civic Religion

  1. “Civic religions, like all religions, don’t seem to play nice with other religions, seeing them as competitors.”

    Incorrect. MONOTHEISTIC religions don’t seem to play nice with other religions, seeing them as competitors. THIS is correct.

    There is and never has been a polytheistic religion or even an essentially atheistic pagan religion (I’m specifically thinking of Buddhism here) that insists all people must practice their religion or be considered heretics. The Romans syncretized the religious imagery and the Gods and Goddesses into their own pantheon just as a for instance – they were not alone in this.

    At worst, polytheistic religions just want to be left alone to practice their religions in peace. They are not proselytizing nor are they killing people for heresy like all three of the monotheistic religions and the civil religions of socialism and communism.

    The myth of equality and democratic society that we currently labor under only works in an homogeneous society where all share the same essential values – as it was in the founding fathers’ time.

    • In the Bronze Age, the practice was to destroy the temples and totems of a conquered people’s gods. Often, the winning side would carry off the symbols of the loser’s gods.

      • That was not religious intolerance. It was to conquer land and resources. Or it was about one tribal chief insulting another.

        It was believed that destroying the temple destroyed the ability for those gods to accept offerings from the people. And the symbols were sometimes carried off in order to convince those gods to change their allegiance and protect the victors. For reference about this look at the history of the Romans with some of the Venuses and Cybele. The wars were started about resources, not about gods. Not ever.

  2. Once upon a time, we passed wisdom from generation to generation via the mechanism of religious practices and beliefs. Early on, there were many unknowns and consequently mysticism and faith were necessary to instill these habits despite a lack of direct real-world feedback. In our modern life, the unknowns are far fewer and wisdom transfer has become more generic (civic) rather than faith-based. There is a downside to this change. Religious wisdom tended to be longstanding (i.e. stood the test of time), whereas civic wisdom tends to be transient and fleeting. The latter will keep you entertained but not necessarily help keep you alive should the going get tough again.

  3. “Just look at the war on terror. It’s entirely framed in moral terms.”

    Not just that. EVERYTHING is framed in moral terms. Race relations. Immigration. Taxation. Industrial policy. Foreign policy. Every issue is turned into a Good vs Evil question.

    That’s because White people are unique in that we will reliably do whatever we believe is the most moral thing.

    Therefore if you figure out a way to establish the White society’s morals, then you control that society.

    White people used to get their morals from the church, the family & our aristocrats.

    Then Church was debunked, the family was destroyed & our aristocracy was overthrown. So now we get our morals from Universities & the Media.

    Who has provided the ideas for that process, starting with socialism & feminism? Who most vocally pushed those ideas? Who has benefitted the most?

    In other words, who has a wildly disproportionate level of influence in Universities & the Media?

    Come on, guys. Just look around.

    The level of questioning & hand-wringing & brow-knitting & theorizing that you guys do to avoid the simple explanation is ridiculous. You are trying to figure out why Whites jumped off the bridge & saying that it doesn’t make sense. That’s because Whites didn’t jump. They were pushed.

    Imagine that there were a group of really smart people who look like white people, but aren’t exactly the same thing as white people. Imagine that they see their interests as weakening traditional white society in ways that create opportunities for themselves. Imagine that they want to continue to benefit from ethnic solidarity, yet get white people to stop working together for white interests. Imagine that either consciously or intuitively, they started working to collapse traditional white society’s morals & replace them with a set of morals that benefit them.

    This imaginary group of smart people would probably engage in a set of actions remarkably similar to those practiced by the Jews in America: Use high intelligence & ethnic networking to establish positions of dominance in fields that have great influence — finance, academia, media, law. Then use that influence to subvert traditional authority & replace it with authority granted by the institutions that you control.

    That’s probably not a coincidence.

    • I never understood this “good for the Jews” rhetoric. Is it? Jewish intermarriage rate is the highest of any faith.. except of course the Hasids and they aren’t so interested in progressivism and have limited public engagement.

      Assuming Jews did all this out of collective self-interest, there might have been some short-term (financial) gains, but I don’t how all this benefits them (or Israel) for the long term. Their birth rates are abysmal, example.

      I’m starting to think that American Jews (non-Orthodox) have been simply better at giving up their old religion and adopting the new one while still being able to maintain some in-group preferences which pays some dividends when networking in the business world.

      • So do you need to understand every nuance & wrinkle & mechanism of a phenomenon to see it in front of your face?

        Just take a look at any terrible idea making the West a worse place & chances are that there are Tribe members re-framing that terrible idea into a Western value & advocating the loudest for it.
        The U.S.A. rushes headlong into every Middle Eastern war that it can pick. Not because the Gentiles, wanted to go there, but because the Jews wanted it.
        The U.S.A. went from a 90% white nation to 65% white (and falling fast) & it wasn’t because the whites asked for it. Jews have always been & continue to be the loudest voices clamoring for ever more & more exotic immigration.
        Advocating for White self interests went from common sense to the closest thing our progressive religion has to a sin under the guise of Civil Rights. Ask any Jew about their people’s role in the Civil Rights struggle… they are proud of it.
        Universities are heavily Jewish. And they are the founts of the anti-white, anti-religion, anti-male ideas that are used to signal education & status.
        The Press & Entertainment industries are heavily Jewish. And they integrate these anti-white, anti-male, anti-religion ideas into all the news & movies & TV that they produce.

        Correlation may not necessarily imply causation, but at some point it becomes the way to bet.

        And I don’t understand it either. I don’t think that it’s a conscious conspiracy. I think that it’s more of an intuitive impulse… To help each other out, to stick up for “the outsider” & to transform whatever part of the world they find themselves into a place more amenable to themselves.

        The kicker is that historically their efforts have tended to wind up being very bad for the Jews indeed.
        At some point, they push it too far & there’s a backlash.
        Or as in the case of South Africa (look up Jewish leadership of the anti-Apartheid movement) they wind up unleashing such chaos that they have to flee their success.
        I’m only a counter-semite. But true anti-semites compare them to a virus that weakens its host so that it can thrive, even though eventually the predictable result is that they will kill their host & doom themselves. Though it doesn’t make logical sense, it happens. They just can’t seem to help themselves.

    • What would a real Jewish conspiracy look like? A. Mass conversion of Christians and Atheist Whites to Judaism, but with an “inner party” of “real Jews.” B. Jews dominating the military command, the Presidency, the Senate, the National Security Agency, and the police forces both local and federal. C. Almost no non-White immigration of any kind, and the only immigration allowed being Jewish from places like Russia. D. Funneling of tax money to Jewish leaders, under the rubric of organizational grants, i.e. Jews controlling most of the urban political machines and getting block grants to do whatever they want without the need to spend trillions to the non-White underclass not to riot.

      I could go on, but all elements point to a Market Dominant minority in Infotainment and a few corporate/NGO structures (totally absent in the oil, aerospace, and medical industries btw); going insane on hopium and that old Calvinist Magic: the view that you are “chosen” and preordained saved by Providence/God/etc. over the other BadWhites.

      If Jews were a conspiracy they would not intermarry. They’d run IMPORTANT industries like aerospace and biomed and the energy business, not dating apps swiping left. They’d be every general, in the JCS on down. And their population would be constantly growing not shrinking, and they’d definitely not import those who hate hate hate them the most: Muslims.

      Great White Bwana types who are into WASP adventuring, marry the foreign princess, Pocahantas, some Hawaiian chick, some Tahitian babe, and go off to Pitcairn Island (without the later slaughter of every male save one survivor of course) — well that’s just the thing for WASP culture. From Avatar to Michener’s Hawaii, and the real life adventurers in Central America who married local ladies of influence and wanted to create mini empires like William Walker. Who briefly conquered Baja Californian and later Nicarauga.

      The basic idea is simple — a lower caste Aristo can move to KING! KING I TELL YOU by marrying a local princess and imposing Western ways on the Heathen, who by obeying his kingship is already far more worthy than his compatriots. Kipling wrote about this you may have heard. Variations of this by importing the heathen (no need to go abroad adventuring) are legion among both sexes amongst WASPs. Tingles Merkel being Exhibit A.

      • “they’d run IMPORTANT industries like aerospace”…

        Excuse my snicker. How 3rd Generation warfare of you.

        The moral plane is where it’s at, bro.

        If you can set the moral standards of a society, you don’t NEED to actually run the day-to-day operations. Because once you set the moral standards, even your enemies will only act in ways that benefit you i.e. Cuckservatives.

        Can the aerospace industry, or biotech, or even the oil industry control how a person feels, thinks, dreams, loves & hates? Can they set the program for how someone believes they should act to be considered smart & good?

        Because that’s what universities, TV, Pop Music & Movies do.

        The Jew-saturated Universities, TV, Pop Music & Movies are what turned the Beaver Cleaver generation kids into the America-hating hippies who turned this nation inside-out so that they could feel good about themselves. While the IMPORTANT industries like aerospace (excuse my snicker again) full of gray-flannel-suited goyim seethed impotently.

        Sure, I will grant WASPS have a couple of easily pressed buttons that get us moving to build a shining city on a hill. And those are the buttons that our Tribal friends have learned to push over the centuries they have been living among us. Just because those buttons exist doesn’t mean that I don’t hold someone responsible for mashing them constantly for their own gains.

        You think Merkel let 1 million foreigners overrun Germany for the Tingles alone? You don’t think that 60 years of non-stop Holocaust Guilt Rays directed at Germany by Jews had something to do with it? The six decades of continual brainwashing that made discrimination the greatest possible moral failing (and worse yet an icky sign of low social status) conditioned Germans to accept those people, whether they felt Tingles or not.


        I’m not one of those guys saying that Jews cause 100% our problems. And I’m not saying that 100% of Jews cause problems. I don’t even say that it’s a deliberate conspiracy. I suspect that it’s a shared mindset that is both cultural & genetic in origin that predisposes many Jews to similar behavior even without coordination.

        But I am saying that the historical behavior of ethnic Jews in the West causes problems for the non-Jewish populations. And that the main way they cause these problems is by using their influence in our Universities & Infotainment Industry to tell us that the obvious solutions to our problems (traditional white values of faith, family & folk) are immoral & low status.

        To me, that seems pretty obvious. Once you look at the U.S. through that lens, a lot of things just make more sense. It doesn’t make sense that white people would develop and push an anti-white culture. It just makes more sense that an anti-white culture would be developed and pushed by non-whites. I mean, duh.

        So it always seems weird to me when people come at me with odd statements about birthrates & Pitcairn Island. It’s like people are so afraid of saying something that they’ve been conditioned to think is ridiculous that they will grasp at even more ridiculous explanations instead.

        What I’m saying isn’t that outrageous, or secret. Jews openly brag about being different from gentiles. They openly brag about being influential in our society, about changing our morals, about making us more inclusive, etc… I am agreeing with them. But I’m just saying that they didn’t do it out of the goodness of their hearts. And that there has been a cost to my own tribe. And that I would like the option to live in society where my tribe’s values can reign.

        PS ask a Jew about your vision of an open Jewish takeover of the nation’s military & political structure. He will tell you that it is the stupidest fucking goyish kopf idea he’s ever heard of. That it is exactly the kind of takeover that would cause a generalized revolt from the 98% non-Jewish population.

        He would also point out that is pretty much what the Bolsheviks pulled in the USSR & that inspired Stalin to “Russianize” the Politburo by purging the number of Jews down to a less dominant level.

        Which is, by the way, why the miniature white empires of William Walker & the other Central American adventurers descendants no longer exist. Because populations don’t like being openly run by outsiders.

  4. So? Just because somebody gave it a fancy name, it’s ultimately what we are discussing.

    The issue isn’t whether America has a civic religion. It’s that we have, through insane immigration policies, and insaner Progs, created a situation where a significant percentage of the country not only rejects the civic religion, but is at war with the institutions which uphold it.

    That’s how you wind up with a rodeo clown who just happens to be in the car with a gold star wife when the President calls. She’s there to destroy the institution. Cindy Sheehan is proof that there are plenty of military families willing to be patsies in that war.

    Many in the West assumed that their local civic religions could withstand mass immigration and refugees and the eradication of national identity. That their civic religions would prevail. It’s the collapse of the civic religion that is at the heart of our present troubles.

    The country ripped itself in two when it was 100% run by white men, and slaves were property.

    The South lost the war, in part, because the things they wanted were things the Founders discovered with the Articles of Confederation don’t work. Had the South prevailed, it would have quickly disintegrated…because Lincoln and the Founders were right about Libertarianism. It doesn’t work.

  5. All societies and cultures have norms. If the USA didn’t have a civic religion, the Progs wouldn’t be spending their every breath and action trying to tear down the institutions of that civic religion.

    They’ve been doing the same with regular religion – Christianity – because American civic religion is entwined with our country’s religion.

    We most certainly do have a civic religion in America. We have feast days, for example. We have symbols and traditions. We have saints and sinners. We engage in hagiography about the sins of our saints.

    The civil war in this country is about the overthrow of that civic religion, and what it will be replaced with: a transnational oligarchy run by a permanent governing class unified with large corporations.

    Without that civic religion, there is nothing which binds its, regardless of race or national origin. Civic religions don’t necessitate concentration camps. Tribalism does. Concentration of power in a centralized government – which then dictates obedience to a civic religion – does.

    • Cultural norms != civic religion. Two different things.

      Every nation has holidays, heroes and national symbols.

    • Hok;
      I think you’re wrong about actual tribalism leading to concentration camps for ‘enemies’. Instead tribal conflict leads to either rapid absorption (early Roman Republic) or genocide, (the recent Balkan wars and Ruanda). Camps cost money that tribes either don’t have or don’t care to pay on behalf of their enemies. Only organized states can set up and staff a concentration camp system.

      All morality aside, there are three main reasons to have a concentration camp:

      – Temporary suppression of people who differ significantly and might prove dangerous in time of war but who might prove useful later. Examples include the English rounding up the civilian Boers during the war of the same name in S.A., the Japanese internment camps in the western US during WWII and various flavors of POW camps. This variant, being temporary, without overt fatal intention requires little religious justification. But the next two do require considerable civic-religious rationalization: Fatalities are a feature, not a bug.

      – Extracting enough economic value from ‘enemies of the state’ (or enemies of the race) to make the cost of the camps a ‘worthwhile’, if temporary, investment. Examples include the Gulags of the USSR and the German Slave Labor system during WWII.

      – Concealed genocide such as Auschwitz, etc. ‘Concealed from whom_’, one may ask since the Germans practiced open genocide on the Eastern Front just like the Hutu’s did in Ruanda or the Turks did in Armenia. It’d have to be concealment from your own citizens, including the ‘enemies within’ for reasons of evil convenience.

  6. “That’s why America has gone from a republic full of active Christians to a “meritocracy” at war with anything resembling Christianity.”

    Reminds me of the Twilight Zone episode – “Obsolete”, where the State was the Supreme “being” who had dominion over the dirt people. Where “dirt people” were put to death because they served no function deemed worthy by the State. Where having a Bible in your possession was a crime punishable by death. Thinking about this episode, this is the civic religious end game that today’s Progressive would approve of. Utopia can only be achieved by having the State run strictly by fellow Progressives.

    Cleanse out all the undesirables (those that think right of extreme left), eliminate all religions and put the State up on the pedestal that God once stood on as the supreme authority of the land. Though the flaw in their plan would be that they coddle Islam, they coddle all the militant minorities as victims. Eventually they will all turn on each other and eat their own. Thus Utopia forever out of their grasp.

  7. The ecumenical movement within Christianity tries to promote working together across Christian denominations. Or one can go whole hog and join the Baha’i thing, which even tries to roll up the cult that is Islam into one large global religion.

    The problem is that trying to promote a religious movement that includes heretical ideas, as far as the subject members look at things, is doomed to failure. You either have some sort of religious discipline, or you don’t, and the arena of religion becomes one big playground, with no rules other than “treat the other kids nicely”.

    Civic religions certainly avoid any equivalent of ecumenism whatsoever. If you manifest any indications of heretical thought, it is arrest, interrogation, or worse. Disciplined religions can practice a certain sort of forgiveness, sort of a “you at OK but I pity your lack of enlightenment”. Civic religions, as fragile and empty as they are at their cores, can allow no such indulgences.

  8. This is why we saw so much genuine emotional distress after the Trump election. In religious terms it was literally a contest between a priest and a heretic. I’m assuming we’re all agnostic around these parts, so we probably can’t literally empathize with someone who cried on election night or shoots up a magazine because they drew a picture of Muhammad. But we can understand that such is within the wheelhouse of totally normal human beings, act with proper fear of it, and hopefully also learn to exploit it.

    • Ryan;
      I can tell you for myself and my associates that there was plenty of emotional distress when it looked like the Progs were going to carry all before them, no more than a year ago. But unlike those Progs, we had the consolation of knowing that God is in charge and that our salvation does not depend on any nihilistic, utopian civil religion.

  9. Like most things academics get their hands on, the term “civic religion” got “reified” (as egghead lingo has it). To “reify” is “to make into a thing,” as in “capitalism reifies class differences” (in English: there wouldn’t be any class conflict if it weren’t for eeeeevil capitalists, because we’d all be happy happy slaves to the Party). “Civic religion” used to be shorthand for stuff like baseball — Gilded Age immigrants tried to out-American the Americans, and so it sometimes actually happened that the Micks and the Polacks put their differences temporarily aside to root for the Sox. But then the professors got their hands on it, and now we pretend that throwaway cultural history fluff is actually a Very Big Important Process that only those with PhDs can understand. (Did I mention college is a scam? You can get everything you need to know for a buck-fifty in late charges down at the local library).

    • The term “civil religion” was coined by Rousseau, and he wasn’t talking baseball, so I think you might have its history backwards.

        • I mean, the term objectively means whatever Rousseau had in mind given he’s the one that coined it. If anybody abused the term, it was those that redefined it to refer to things like baseball. Why does the fact that academics continued to use the term in its original context while other people didn’t upset you?

          Of course you’re right about the Cult-Marx academics – they’re a cancer. Their desire to deracinate and disenfranchise me is the reason I don’t like them, not the mere fact that they publish papers on 18th century political philosophy.

  10. It is not so much that it is religion, but it is illiberal. The high priests in the temple keep discovering things like absolute rights to contraception, abortion, gay marriage, and that fees are taxes and civil asset forfeiture is okay and the endangered species act, WOTUS, or BLM land grabs too, and all this is imposed by force.
    Violence and Concentration camps? Ask the Branch Davidians, Randy Weaver, or now the Bundys.
    The war is between Christian Tradition and sola curia scriptura. And it is war. The left has created this secular religion, but the cuckservatives consider it a reasonable substitute that can coexist with the original cultures, but that is because they too are post-Christian.
    Libertarians bought into the “just convince everyone via reason and evidence and they’ll see the light” idea of man. And replace a common culture making liberty possible with DRO insurance-security firms (would that work in Minneapolis in the Somali Sharia areas?). This is their denomination of civic religion. And that is why many are leaving to the alt-right especially now there is a doctrinal split where some are worse than Hillary calling others racists and deplorables.
    Ultimately it is a spiritual war so far with Christendom and its civilization on one side, and the liberal globalism on the other. But it is spilling into the physical world. I keep remembering Lewis’ Perelandra where Ransom simply had to beat the demon posessed Weston to death – physically. You must raze the devil’s temples to the ground, and do what is necessary to those whose bodies are temples of demons as Christians’ bodies are temples of the Holy Ghost. Light can tolerate some darkness but darkness cannot tolerate light, and they wish to destroy us, though using soft and reasonable tones of speech. That is why the left is pro-gay, pro-feminist, and pro-Islam and sees no contradiction. It is all dark.

    • In other words, “there is no dark side of the moon, really”.

      Scripture uses the sun and the moon as symbols for God’s people. And that at the end of the age, before the return of the King, the “sun shall be darkened and the moon not give her light”. The religion of America was Christianity from day one. All original charters of the colonies explicitly declared that the law and basis of their society would be Biblical. Read “The Light and the Glory” for irrefutable proof. We have certainly departed from that now and are reaping the just consequences. We as a people are indeed in a great darkness which few will find their way out of.

      This will become more and more evident as the months and years wear on. Moaning and pining on about what we’ve lost and imagining vain solutions (expatriating, balkanization of the nation, ‘arming up’ for the Apocalypse) is futile. Instead, “repent ye, for the Kingdom of God is at hand!”

      “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain..”

      “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.”

    • I am not Abrahamically religious but I recognize that Christianity reflects some aspects of the European spirit and that most people need religion to be functional. Given that montheism will always outcompete polytheism I am sympathetic to Christianity for the sake of functionality.

      That being said, I think the dissident right should play political judo with Islam by vowing that although we disagree with Islam in principle we will not oppose Shariah law because it is more “conservative” than the status quo.

      Liberals and Muslims only have an alliance because Islam currently has no chance of political power with so few adherents in America. As long as we prevent muslim immigration it does us no harm to let Muslims agitate politically. This country does have freedom of Religion so there’s not much can be done stopping them from organizing anyways, by fighting them we’re only feeding a schizophrenic leftist coalition in thrall of Stockholm’s syndrome.

      Liberals want us to fight Islam so that their fundamentalist radicals become leftist foot soldiers. I say we give them what they’re asking for and watch the cognitive dissonance tear them asunder.

      • “…that most people need religion to be functional.”

        I agree & disagree. I agree that ALL people need an ethical underpinning to their lives. The only place historically to get this was religion. Hence the civic religion Z is talking about is designed to do just that.

        However, as he and others repeatedly state it’s built on quicksand. You can’t embrace LGBTQx & Islam and expect that nothing will go wrong.

        We need to espouse an ethical system to counter the civic religion. That’s our biggest weakness right now IMO and we need to solve it to move this train forward.

        • Matt;
          There *is* such a native ethical system that exists right here and now. It’s called Christianity. Maybe if more of us embraced and practiced it, we’d get somewhere: Just sayin’.

        • I don’t see how resurrecting Christianity for the Nth Time is going to reimposed ethics in society. What is not being explicitly acknowledged is that religion is mostly for women. Men are forced to be virtuous by way of natural law lest they fail to procreate or do so dysgenically.

          The problem with Christianity is that it relies on shame, but for shame to work you have to have cohesive communities who know each other’s business. That’s not possible with modern technology.

          The other problem with Christianity is the idea of humility. While humility reduces conflict amongst men, the women have no idea who the most successful men. Their only way to judge men is by the accumulation of money. Money, being as corrupted as it is, encourages women to breed with the most corrupt and unethical.

          • Ivan;
            Christianity doesn’t re-impose ethics. When properly applied, it creates a climate where ethics today might be re-assessed, measured and re-asserted pragmatically, both short term and long term, using eternal standards.

            For the last 2,000 years Christianity is distinctively patriarchal yet highly respectful of women as *spiritually* (the all-important upward dimension) equal to men. How this plays out in the horizontal physical/political/social dimension, where women are objectively *not* the equal of men (rather an honored compliment to them in a just society) is a matter for pragmatic discussion within the biblical Christian guidelines in every age.

            Will these or any guidelines fall short of moral perfection_? Of course, since we are all fallen creatures, me included. Would these guidelines be objectively better than what the degenerate Cloud (Hollywood/NYC) gives us now_? Obviously, if one has eyes to see. Actually, any knowledge of human history should be enough.

          • If one looks across all of the various ethical systems including the many religions I bet we could quickly narrow down a base set of ethics that makes sense that we lever as a foundation without having to name any particular religion.

            I’ve had enough of “religion” for my lifetime because so much baggage comes along. I have zero interest in the baggage but see tons of value in fundamental ethics.

      • Ivan;
        Your humorous ‘agree and amplify’ ‘let’s embrace Shariah’ proposal has the very great danger of being too cleaver by half. Muslim deceptiveness coupled with Prog stupidity (Muslims don’t really mean it any more than Wymn’s Studies Profs do) could easily go badly wrong. The Moslem Brotherhood has *already* set a number of ‘agents of influence’ in high place in the Cloud (Huma, I’m looking at you.).

        There are a number of historical examples such as Byzantine Egypt or Visigothic (sp_?) Spain where a local faction thought they could bring in Arab armies to see off a local rival, take over and then see off Islam. Too cleaver by half: Didn’t work out like they thought, etc.

  11. “You can’t realistically quit your country and join a new one. ”

    Expats might beg to differ; being one, I more or less do. My immigrant-to-the-USA grandparents (one was a naval hero in the Spanish-American War!) were completely American when I knew them, including the Gaelic speaker. They’d assimilated and embraced the early 20th century American cultural model.

    I have not and will not embrace the cultural model of the South American country in which I’ve lived quite some time now. No, my plan is to do my best that my locally-born grandsons will be bilingual in English and maintain mores, morals, manners, traditions and the work ethic of the north. I’ve assimilated into local society, but I will always be a foreigner both in my mind and those of my neighbors.

    What my neighbors don’t fully understand is that I’m a migrant in both space and time, because in many ways, my new country is very much like the USA of my childhood and early youth, the 50s and early 60s.

    Civic religion isn’t necessary here, happily, but it may catch on as the country becomes more bourgeois.

    • I thought about this while writing that line. Yeah, you can quit your country, but only if another country will take you. I doubt most people think that is a reasonable solution to the civic religion problem. It is not a problem from the other end. Imagine if the US government began driving off people for heresy. Banishment has always been of limited value, even in the case of criminals and political rivals.

      • The US Government IS driving people off for heresy. That’s where 99.99% of anti-Trumperism comes from. Think about how little television people watch (even if streamed). The airwaves and internet are being ethnically cleansed. Some universities got so carried away with it, that now they’re really hurting for money (Univ. of Missouri).

        This has been going on for 20-25 years now.

        The Official Government Party seeks a new civic religion to replace the one they have been busily taking apart for most of my life. In the process, they are driving people out.

        • How many Trump voters have you known to be deported by the United States government?

          Z is talking about literal banishment (which is deportation in the context of a country), not cultural alienation.

          • Fair enough.

            I’d be inclined to attribute that to the happenstance meeting of a corrupt medical industry and the adverse economic effects of globalization, but I’ve seen Cloud People absolutely gleeful at the thought of out-of-work Dirt People overdosing en masse.

            And they wonder how Trump happened.

  12. France is an interesting case. The dechristianization campaign was a result of the prejudice of the elites in the early revolutionary government and the backlash after confiscating church lands and the civil constitution of the clergy and the oath requiring them to support the constitution. Robespierre’s cult of the Supreme being was a response to the atheist dechristianization campaign and this died with him, so his version of civic religion is not what was exported, but something more akin to what we have been exporting with the war on terror. Instead of going into the world baptizing men in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, it was kill the kings and strangle the priests with their entrails, making revolutionary governments while collecting tribute in the form of protection money. Meanwhile at home the counterrevolution was both Christian and royalist and things remained unsettled until Napoleon ended the revolution and made a concordat with the pope.

    The thing to note is that the cult of the Supreme Being was considered a compromise position and was designed to be so vague that it would be innoffensive. Problem is it was celebrated in cathedrals. It was going nowhere.

    Bottom line is that the most successful of civic religions are implicit, not official and enforced. That is what the Romans had until Christianity came along. There’s and interesting book, I think by Wilkin, called The Christians as the Romans Saw Them. The Roman government was very liberal in religion, but saw the danger in allowing people to organize willy nilly, so there were actually regulations on public and private gatherings. One of the most commonly allowed gatherings was banquets for burial associations. Part of the reason Christians met in the catacombs was not entirely to be secretive, but because these places were traditionally protected areas where the police didn’t go. The idea of baquets was also used in the French Revolution of 1848.

    The problem for the Romans was that if they attacked the Christians by modifying the rules of associations they risked offending the stalwarts of their society, so they were stuck with devising a strategy that went against their usual religious liberality. Civic religion at this point became overt and enforced. This had to have an effect on how the average person in the empire viewed the government, not only from the Christian perspective. Thus various cults were also driven underground, and some of them were also proscribed.

    In other words, this fear of the ruling elites ended up undermining solidarity in the empire. I think we may be seeing something similar now with the very ideas you and others are discussing. The implicit civic religion is being threatened and the response is to try and make it official somehow.

    • Don’t forget that, in Rome as in America, “civic religions” are also a jobs program. Think-tank dorks that write puff pieces for National Review, NPR, etc. make a nice living as our modern pontifexes and augurs (and, as Cicero said, no two augurs could ever meet in the streets without smiling).

      • I’ve never been able to find where Cicero actually said that. He defended augury and was a member of the college of augurs.

        • It is true that the quote comes from Cicero, but he’s reporting an adage of Cato the Elder: “Quite well known is the famous expression of Cato, who used to say that he was amazed that one haruspex didn’t laugh after seeing another” (Vetus autem illud Catonis admodum scitum est, qui mirari se aiebat, quod non rideret haruspex, haruspicem cum vidisset.). The quotation comes from words attributed to Cicero himself in his dialogue “On Divination” (Book 2, sec. 51).

          Cicero was skeptical about traditional religion in general and about divination and omens in particular. The phrase from Cato refers not to the official college of augurs (as is frequently said) but to the less reputable category of Etruscan soothsayers known as haruspices. As it was, Cicero didn’t have much faith in either.

          • Medicine Men have always been with us. They are eternal. Boobus Americanus follows them blindly. Human sacrifice would seem to be making a come back. Best regards everyone.

          • “Human sacrifice would seem to be making a come back.”

            What do you think the Las Vegas massacre was? Don’t even get me started on the 53+ million innocents murdered via ‘planned parenthood’ either!!

            Yours in Daily Armed Liberty via anarchy!
            Northgunner III

    • “Bottom line is that the most successful of civic religions are implicit, not official and enforced.”

      They depend on the people who live there to more or less abide by the rules.

      The Progs are happily trying to create an explicit, official, and enforced civic religion. They largely enforce it through the media, and via mobs who show up to destroy people personally.

      North Korea has a civic religion where people are required to worship Kim Jong Un and his father/grandfather as gods on earth.

  13. Lincoln was the guy who transformed the US from the founder’s republic to a Nation-State typical of its time. In the same time period Germany, Italy, Japan were all undergoing that same transition.
    All of these new states relied on a kind of civic religion, ultra-centralized bureaucracy in the capital city, and education systems to create unity.
    These systems depend on top-down distribution of information, though, and the internet makes this system obsolete.
    A key reason I think Nazism/Fascism isn’t relevant to modern movements is these systems took Nation-Statism at high tide to its extreme while modern dissidents are essentially anti-Nation-State as well as anti-globalism

    • I think people rightly saw Nazism/Fascism as a condition of nation-states eternally at war with each other. Nationalism on steroids has dangers. The fallacy is that international socialism is some sort of antidote to Nazism/Fascism. Socialism is no such thing. It is simply stripping the individual of any social or community ties to his heritage, family, or neighborhood, and leaving him naked and alone if he closes to defy the powers-that-be. What a triumph of marketing was accomplished by the socialists!

      The outcome of Lincoln’s tenure as president was perhaps foreordained, given the social pressures and the inevitable civil war as he entered his first term. It is hard to try to model any kind of alternative outcome from 1860 that would come out much differently, and still yield a fairly stable society.

      • If anything Nazism/Fascism bolsters Zman’s point that the civic religion inevitably leads to violence because the violation of the state and its interests is also heresy. A nation might survive an oppressive domestic policy that crushes civic heretics, but it’s game over once these attitudes dictate diplomacy and foreign policy. These are not areas where any polity can act dogmatically and hope to survive.
        That Nation-Statism was world wide suggests to me that it was an inevitable product of of the industrial revolution whether or not Lincoln was around. Slavery would have ended on its own in another 20-30 years, just like it did even in Brazil. It is tragic there had to be a bloody and pointless war.

Comments are closed.