Commentary

For the West to Revive, Christians Must Toughen Up

By Ilana Mercer | October 22, 2021 | 11:07am EDT
Pictured is a replica of Jesus on the crucifix. (Photo credit: NOAH SEELAM/AFP via Getty Images)
Pictured is a replica of Jesus on the crucifix. (Photo credit: NOAH SEELAM/AFP via Getty Images)

The West is collapsing under the weight of authoritarian governments. These “representatives” are rapidly robbing the individual citizen of bodily autonomy, of freedom of movement, and of the ability to work, play, and partake in society. 

Under martial law, Australia and New Zealand have, in the course of the COVID pandemic, practically reverted to penal-colony status. 

Working in tandem as a criminal syndicate, Canadian and American state and corporate entities have colluded to corner the individual, and compel him to offer up his life-blood to the COVID spike protein. That is, if their subject wants to…eat. 

COVID vaccine mandates and passports. Lockdowns and quarantines. And racial subjugation to the Other, in the form of a critical race theory that festoons state and civil society: Why have we rolled over? Is this white guilt? And does historical Christianity play a role? 

Edward Gibbon would probably say yes. 

Gibbon was the genius who wrote, in 1776, the 12 volumes that comprise “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” wherein he saddled nascent Christianity with the downfall of the Roman Empire, no less. (I read the 1943 version, which was “condensed for modern reading.”)

By so surmising, Gibbon brought upon himself the wrath of “bishops, deans, and dons”—not to mention that of the great Dr. Samuel Johnson’s biographer, James Boswell. Boswell called Gibbon an “infidel wasp” for “the chapter in which he argued that the fall of Rome was hastened by the rise of Christianity.”

And indeed, Gibbon seems to point toward Christianity’s self-immolating, progressive, pathologically inclusive nature, remarking on the courting by early Christians of “criminals and women.” (Not my words.)

Even more infuriating to his detractors was Gibbon’s prodigious scholarship. “No one could disprove Gibbon’s basic facts,” opines American author Willson Whitman.

Whitman, who wrote the 1943 Foreword to the abridged version, comments on how “Gibbon outraged the Christians of his era by suggesting the ‘human’ reasons for the success of Christianity.”

“Among these reasons [Gibbon] noted that Christianity…attracted to its ‘common tables’ slaves, women, reformed criminals, and other persons of small importance [Whitman’s words, not mine]—in short that Christianity was a ‘people’s movement of low social origin, rising as the people rose.” (His words, not mine.)

To go by Gibbon, Christianity might be called the social justice movement of its day. (My words, this time.) Gibbon certainly seemed to suggest so.

In no way does Gibbon’s thesis—he “professed Church of England orthodoxy”—diminish Christianity’s centrality to Western civilization, its essential goodness and sublime glory, or its great heart in ameliorating suffering across the globe. 

It does explain, however, why Christianity, whose missionary mandate is global, not parochial, fetishizes the Other and why the Church rarely defends its own.

Or, why Christian religious leaders seldom stand-up for the right of native European populations to retain their countries (despite their “problems” in the procreational department, for Genesis 1:28 commands the faithful to pru urvu).

While social justice is a pillar and an imperative in the Hebrew Bible; it’s not a national suicide pact. 

Deuteronomy, an early book, showcases an advanced concept of Jewish social justice, and is replete with instructions to protect the poor, the weak, the defenseless, the widows, the orphans, the aliens, even the animals (who, as enjoined in Deuteronomy 11:15, must be fed first).

This ethical monotheism, developed centuries before classical Greek philosophy, is echoed throughout the Hebrew Bible (Exodus), and is expounded upon by the classical prophets, who railed against power and cultural corruption so magnificently. The Ten Commandments, lest we forget, preceded the epistles of St. John. 

However, there’s none of this turn-the-other-cheek, love-thy-enemy stuff in the Hebrew Bible and in Judaism, in general. In the Tanach, there’s the imperative of justice. One of the oft-repeated phrases in the Hebrew Bible is, “Justice, and justice alone, you shall pursue.” (Deuteronomy 16: 18-20.)

Be just to your enemies, yes! But love them? Welcome them into your home? Let them walk all over you, outnumber you—even kill you when moved by the Prophet or by critical race theory’s white-hot hatred of whites? Never! 

In this, Israel’s much-despised ultra-orthodox rabbis are still hard-core Old Testament, steeped in a religious and cultural particularism, whose impetus it is to preserve the Jewish Nation. 

Before Gibbon, it was Voltaire, French philosopher and writer extraordinaire, whose historical analysis led him to view Christianity as having had a softening effect on Rome, culminating in its yielding to the invading barbarians. 

If Christians reject history’s lessons—and the imperative to harden the Faith—courtesy of Gibbon and Voltaire, perhaps they’ll heed the Hebrews who revived their fighting faith in their ancient homeland. As an Old Testament Hebrew who loves her Christian brothers and sisters, I pray for this with all my heart. 

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian think piece since 1999. She’s the author of Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed” (June, 2016). She’s on Twitter, Gab, YouTube & LinkedIn; banned by Facebook, and has a new podcast.

MRC Store