Renewing Christendom.

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A high point of Fraser’s book for me was his discussion of the parable of the Good Samaritan, a favorite text of Christian xenophiles, who see in the man lying by the roadside a prototype of all the colorful foreigners upon whom they seek to lavish what they take to be Christian love. But properly understood, the parable provides no warrant for “cat lady” morality:

The Samaritan and the innkeeper generate a stock of social capital that could be beneficial to future travelers along the Jerusalem to Jericho road. The man lying by the roadside was not just an archetypal exemplar of the Other; he belonged to the latent community of interest constituted by all the travelers along that dangerous route. The Samaritan and the innkeeper were building up a fund of mutual trust and cooperation.

The contemporary white xenophile, Christian or otherwise, is doing the opposite:

squandering irreplaceable stocks of inherited social capital, undermining what remains of the traditions of family, faith, and folk uniquely associated with high-trust European-descended societies such as England. It is not safe simply to assume that European Christians are bound, in all circumstances, to shower unrequited, self-giving love upon racial and religious Others at home and abroad.

Fraser also differentiates the Samaritan’s motives from the sentimental morality of “love” preached by the heirs of the evangelical movement:

The Samaritan was not moved by transient feelings or shallow emotions but by inbuilt, enduring character traits, by a masculine sense of civic virtue. In other words, he was a trustworthy, responsible, and honorable man predisposed to act in ways that serve the common good—even at considerable personal cost.

This point is obscured by modern bible translations which employ “love” to represent the active virtue represented by the Greek agapē. As Fraser notes, when this word “was translated into early modern English as ‘charity,’ the word signified not an inner emotional state but rather a social, political, or civic virtue essential to organized community life.”

I shall close with one final quote that encapsulates the central message of Dissident Dispatches to contemporary Christendom:

It is not a sin when white Christians notice differences between themselves and other racial groups or when they distinguish between neighbors and sojourners, strangers and aliens, friends and enemies. It is a sin, however, to elevate love of strangers and aliens above the divinely ordained, fraternal love for neighbors.

If the contemporary church can digest this message, it may prove possible to renew Christendom after all.

(Occidental Observer, September 7, 2017).

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