CULTURE WARS
CIVILIZATION CONFLICT

DECEMBER 31, 1998
Written By
S.R. Shearer

[This information was taken from the 16th chapter of the Antipas Papers. It lays the groundwork for a number of articles which are to follow. As evangelical Christians, we desperately need to come to the realization that we are no longer citizens of this earth (or of any of this earth's civilizations, nations or ethnic groupings - regardless of the perceived facts of the matter), but we are now citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, "whose builder and maker is God." (Heb. 11:10) And this isn't "make believe" or simply a "doctrinal matter" without any practical outcome: the fact is unless we begin walking in this reality, we will inevitably get swept up in the civilization wars that are already beginning throughout the world. In these "latter days," we need to -


 

"... put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. (Col. 3:10-11)]

"And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation (ethnos) shall rise against nation (ethnos), and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. (Matt 24:3-10)

INTRODUCTION

The Bible speaks of "wars and rumors of wars" and "nations rising up against nations" in the "end of days" as one of the most pointed and distressing signs of those events leading up to the "Beginning of Sorrows" (i.e., the first half of the Tribulation and the appearance of the Antichrist as a messianic savior). But what exactly does that mean? We can begin to get an idea by examining - as we did in the section on the "Two Witnesses" - the word that is used for "war" in this verse. As we have already indicated, the Greek language has two words for war: mache and polemos. The meanings for the two words are similar, but their scope is vastly different. The word mache means a battle or war of limited duration, while the word polemos means war on a much broader and bloody scale.[1] The word that is used here is polemos. Obviously, then, what the Scriptures have in mind here is a period of intense, bloody warfare carried on over an extended length of time.

Then the Bible describes the kind of warfare it has in mind - "nation shall rise against nation." We can begin to appreciate what is meant here by discovering what the Bible means by "nation" - it's not necessarily what we, as Americans, mean. The word that the Bible uses for "nation" is the Greek word ethnos - which is the root word from which the English language derives the word "ethnic." The word is better translated as "tribe" in the English language. [2 ] Paul Hockenos, in his book Free to Hate: the Rise of the Right in Post-Communist Eastern Europe, distinguishes between ethnos (i.e., "tribe") and what we as Americans understand as "nation." He writes:

"In the lively academic discourse that has grown around nationalism, scholars distinguish two general concepts of the nation: (1) the civic or democratic, and (2) the ethnic. The civic definition, with its roots in the French Revolution, uses "nation" to refer to a body of citizens whose collective sovereignty constitutes a state. In other words, it is "nation" as the term is commonly applied in ... (the United States), referring to all of the people who live within a state, regardless of their ethnicity, language, (religion), or other characteristics. The underlying principle of the civic nation is citizenship, and all citizens are afforded equality under the law. The civic nation-state is thus synonymous with constitutional democracy, the rule of law, and human rights. In German, the term is Rechtsstaat...

"The ethnic nation, on the other hand, is a folkish community, bound not by a common legal code or state (i.e., geographic) borders (so much) ... as by descent, language, customs ... (religion), and history [what the Germans call a Volksstaat or Volksgemeinschaft - meaning ethnic nation (or community) - a nation (community) based on ethnicity and "group rights" over and against "individual rights") ...] What defines membership in this kind of nation is ethnicity. This nation is a community of "blood" Germans or ("blood") French or ("blood") Romanians, for example, from which all other peoples of different lineage are excluded. The primacy of blood (or religion) establishes a racial (and religious) hierarchy of peoples, particularly when more than one people live in a given state. Rights and privileges are acquired by birth into the ethnic nation, and not upon citizenship. For ethnic nationalists, the (ethnic) nation is a natural unit, which evolves according to its own biological laws and inner rhythms. Each nation has its own unique, mystical destiny towards which it aspires, and which other nations impede at the cost of war ...

"The ethnic nation is at odds with the premises of ... (the civic) nation ... and presents a ... recipe for conflict in the combustible multinational (world of today) ...

"Where extreme ... (ethnicists) take the logic of the ethnic nation to its ... conclusion, as in the former Yugoslavia, the result is the forging of an all-inclusive, homogeneous ethnic nation-state. The price (of course) ... is war, complete with forcible mass expulsions, concentration camps, and genocide. In other cases, such as the Baltics, the Caucasus, Slovakia, Romania, or Bulgaria, where significant national minorities live, the majorities have tightened the screws on their co-inhabitants through cultural repression and restrictive citizenship laws. Under fire, the minorities react with nationalisms of their own, which often take the form of separatist ambitions. In response, the dominant nationalities crack down all the harder on the "disloyal" minorities. The heightened tension can bring in the minorities' mother states, usually all too willing to come to the rescue of their national kin, in regions they often consider their own anyway. The action-reaction spiral of nationalism plays itself out wherever ethnic nationalism is the order of the day."[3 ]

This is precisely the kind of conflict the Bible has reference to! - what Hockenos calls the "action-reaction spiral" of one ethnic group "raging" against another; it is exactly this kind of pathology which produces fascism; and it's out of the fascist nexus that Antichrist will emerge - and it's not just in the Caucasus, the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, etc. that this "action-reaction spiral" has taken root. The fact of the matter is, it's happening right here in our own backyard. Take California, for instance. When Hockenos speaks of majority cultures (i.e. ethnic groups) "tightening the screws" on "significant minorities" in their midst which seem to be challenging their dominance, he could just as easily be speaking about majority whites (i.e., "Anglos") tightening the screws [through measures like Proposition 187 (the 1994 California anti-immigrant initiative)] on Mexican immigrants (legal and illegal) who are threatening to displace them as the preeminent ethnic group in California. And when he speaks of minorities reacting to what the majority is doing by appealing to their "mother country," isn't that exactly what's happening when Mexican immigrants appeal to officials in their homeland just across the border (who, as Hockenos explains, are "... usually all too willing to come to the rescue of their national kin, in regions they often consider their own anyway ...") for protection against what majority Anglos are doing in "tightening the screws" against them.

Finally when Hockenos talks about "minorities reacting with nationalisms of their own," and when they begin harboring their own "separatist" ambitions, isn't that also what's happening when Mexican immigrants retort, "we didn't cross the border, the border crossed us" and begin waving Mexican flags at their rallies in downtown L.A. - and you can be assured that the "action-reaction cycle" is already far advanced when Anglos then angrily react by calling them (i.e., the immigrants) "disloyal" for doing so. By using the term "disloyal," Anglos - whether they are prepared to admit it or not - are preparing the way for their (i.e., the immigrants) eventual expulsion.

This is exactly the kind of "action-reaction cycle" that Hockenos is talking about - the kind which ultimately produces what's going on in the former Yugoslavia, the Caucasus and in Rwanda - and it's occurring not just in some far-off land, but right here in our own country. Majority whites in America are no more immune to this pathology than are the members of any other cultural group - and they have altogether too high an estimation of themselves to think otherwise. This is what the Bible is talking about when it speaks of "nations (ethnic groups) rising up against nations (ethnic groups)."

CIVILIZATION CONFLICT

Moreover, given the increased "globalization" of the world, the conflict which the Bible envisions will most likely transcend the narrow confines of "national ethnicity" and will instead encompass what scholars today are beginning to refer to as "civilization identity" - which is the broadest form of ethnicity. Samuel P. Huntington, Eaton Professor of the Science of Government and Director of the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University, explains:

"What do we mean when we talk of a civilization? A civilization is a cultural entity. A civilization is ... the highest cultural grouping of people and the broadest level of cultural identity people have ... It is defined both by common objective elements, such as language [or groupings of languages - such as Western European (Germanic and Romance) or the Slavic grouping of languages], history, religion, customs, institutions, and by the subjective self-identification of people. People have levels of identity: a resident of Rome may define himself with varying degrees of intensity as a Roman, an Italian, a Catholic, a Christian, a European, (and finally) a Westerner. The civilization to which he belongs (in the case of the Roman here - Western) is the broadest level of identification with which he intensely identifies ... Civilizations are not only real; they are basic. Civilizations are differentiated from each other by history, language, culture, tradition and, most important, religion. The people of different civilizations have different views on the relations between God and man, the individual and the group, the citizen and the state, parents and children, husband and wife, as well as differing views of the relative importance of rights and responsibilities, liberty and authority, equality and hierarchy. These differences are the product of centuries. They will not soon disappear."[4 ]

Huntington defines eight major civilizations of world importance:

  1. Western (which includes Western Europe and North America).
  2. Slavic-Orthodox (Russia, eastern Europe, Armenia, etc.)
  3. Islamic (which includes three subdivisions: Arab, Turkic and Malay).
  4. Latin American.
  5. Hindu.
  6. Confucian.
  7. Japanese.
  8. African.

Huntington continues - almost as if he had read the Bible concerning the "end of days:"

"... world politics are entering a new phase ... (in which) the great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural ... The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics ... The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future [5] ... Over the centuries ... differences among civilizations have generated the most prolonged and the most violent conflict" [6] - more so even than ideological conflict. The reason? - because differences between civilizations "... are far more fundamental than differences among political ideologies and political regimes ..."[ 7 ]

Finally, Huntington claims that this clash will dominate global politics not just as a struggle between civilizations, but as a struggle within civilizations - that is, as a struggle to "purify" or "cleanse" each respective civilization of "foreign elements." This is fascism - plain and simple! - the effort by one ethnic group (or civilization) to establish its supremacy (through an appeal to biological determinism, history, and religion) its right to rule over other groups and civilizations.

CASE IN POINT: THE
FORMER YUGOSLAVIA

And the evidence for Huntington's assertion is easily discernible in what's going on in the former Yugoslavia. Indeed, it's only in "civilization" (or religious) terms that any sense can be made of the alliance structures that have grown up as a result of the conflict: Germany, France and Austria (and, as a result, the E.C.) favor Slovenia and Croatia (which are Catholic and Western Christian); Russia and the "Eastern Slavs" favor Serbia (which is - like the rest of the Slavic states - Orthodox); and Turkey, Albania and Iran favor the Muslims of Bosnia (which are Islamic). Indeed, the Balkans have been a tinderbox of conflict for hundreds of years precisely because they lie at the convergence of three major civilizations (or religions) and the cultures which these religions undergird: Western Christianity (Slovenia, Croatia, etc.); Orthodox Christianity (Serbia, Bulgaria, Russia, etc.); and Islam (Turkey, Albania, etc.).

Commenting on the danger of what's going on in the Balkans, former Secretary of State, James A. Baker, III, writes:

"Soon, ethnicity (what Huntington broadly refers to as "civilization"), not democracy (ideology), could become the organizing principle for the region. History would tell us that's likely. Here's where that could lead. Serbia (Orthodox) could extend its ethnic cleansing[8 ] to Albanians (Muslims) in Kosovo and Sandjak and to Hungarians (Western Christians) who reside in northern Serbia. Tensions could increase between Greece (Western [9] ) and Albania (Muslim) over the Albanians already expelled from Greece and the 60,000 to 300,000 Greeks living in Albania [So contentious is the issue already that Greece and Albania cannot agree on the actual number - Baker].

"These tensions are likely to rebound in Turkey - where there will be calls for defense of the primarily Muslim Albanians, as well as the approximately 800,000 ethnic Turks (Muslim) in Bulgaria (Orthodox). Hungarian nationalists could come to power on promises to protect the more than 4 million ethnic Hungarians (Western Christians) in neighboring states."[ 10 ]

Robert D. Kaplan, author of the Arabists: The Romance of an American Elite and Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History, and a contributing editor of the Atlantic Monthly, believes that America's present cultural elite is having a very difficult time coming to any meaningful understanding of what's happening in the Balkans today, gripped as it still is by the illusions of multiculturalism (as are the European elites - though certainly to a lesser extent than their American counterparts [11] ). Kaplan believes this is especially evident in America's narrowly directed policies favoring the so-called multiethnic state of Bosnia (which today, as a result of more than four years of ethnic strife, is no longer a multiethnic state, but an overwhelmingly Muslim one).[12 ]

Kaplan writes,

"Last July, in the course of a briefing at a policy foundation in Washington, I asked a question about the effect of the Clinton administration's Balkan policy on the Middle East. A high-ranking State Department area expert turned to me in derision, and said, in effect, that there was no connection. After an embarrassed silence the session resumed, concerned entirely with the inside baseball of the Arab-Israeli peace process. Indeed, the State Department has been trying - without noticeable success - to move the Balkans out of the president's 'in' box to make room for the Middle East. This is less a strategy than a dangerous bureaucratic convenience, for the false borders erected by area experts are fast being superseded by history. Middle East specialists today are like Sovietologists in the late 1980s - on the brink of a rude upheaval they can't see coming. The reason, simply, is that Turkey, the Balkans (at least that portion of the Balkans whose inhabitants embrace Islam) and the so-called Middle East (and to lesser degrees, the Caucasus nations and Central Asia - Kaplan) are reemerging as one region - what historically minded Europeans have always referred to as the 'Greater Near East'. The former Ottoman Empire ... is fusing back together following the aberration of the Cold War. The implications of this tectonic shift are, needless to say, enormous."[13 ]

Kaplan is sensing the same thing Huntington has already discovered: the earth is no longer being driven so much by ideology as it is by religion and culture - by "civilization identity." Kaplan continues,

"While this might shock (the State Department's multicultural) policy wonks, it won't surprise historians ... The murder of 12 Bosnians and Croats, all of them Christians, by Muslim militants in Algeria last December (1993) [to say nothing of the recent (i.e., May, 1996) cold-blooded killings of a group of Catholic monks by militant Muslim fundamentalists in Algeria which has infuriated the Pope and enraged Europe] went virtually unnoticed in America, but it was a wakeup call to Europeans about the link between religious wars in the Balkans and those in the Middle East." [14]

Kaplan goes on to say that all this may be leading to a three-way "civilization war" centered - at least to begin with - on the Balkans, one which involves the Western World, the Orthodox World and the Islamic World, and one with the potential of spreading to the Caucasus region, Central Asia and eventually into the Middle East itself - despite the efforts of NATO and the Dayton accords to stop it. As it spreads, it will draw in Europe, and through Europe, America; the Turks and eventually the other Muslim nations of the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia; and finally the Orthodox World and Russia. And as it expands, it will intensify as the hostility of the one plays off on the fury of the others - barbarity begetting barbarity as each civilization's radical "champions" feed off the frenzy of the others - ratcheting each ever upward in a spiraling, widening circle of violence leading to further radicalization of each respective civilization - and finally to catastrophe. This is the nightmare that Kaplan, Huntington, Baker and the others fear.

AT THE HEART OF TODAY'S CIVILIZATION
CONFLICT: THE RESURGENCE OF RELIGION

Garry Wills,[15] former Henry R. Luce Professor of American Culture, commenting on the refusal of the elites to recognize what's happening and to come to grips with the resurgence of religion as a real factor in today's world, writes,

"The learned have their superstitions (too), prominent among them a belief that ... (religion) is evaporating. Since science has explained the world in secular terms, there is no more need for religion, which will wither away."[16 ]

But, as Wills explains, that's the point - it isn't withering away; Indeed, George Weigel isn't whistling in the dark when he speaks of the "unsecularization of the world as the dominant social fact of life in the late twentieth century;"[17 ] and Huntington isn't too far off when he notes the huge gains fundamentalist religious movements have made throughout the world - and when he goes on to remark that in most countries -

"... the people that have become most active in (religious) fundamentalism are young, college-educated, middle-class technicians, professionals and business persons." [18 ] [And this is as true in America as it is elsewhere in the world.]

And, this is perhaps the most puzzling aspect of all to the present secular elites - the capture of large numbers of the young and well-educated by the "world of religion"[19] - the revival of religion, la revanche de Dieu, as Gilles Kepel puts it. Wills writes,

"Technology, urbanization, social mobility, universal education, high living standards - all were supposed to eat away at religion, in a wash of overlapping acids. But each has crested over America, proving itself a solvent or a catalyst in other areas, but showing little power to corrode or diminish religion." [20 ]

Huntington agrees with Wills. He writes that in a world where many people fear losing their identity in an ocean of monotonous universalism, "... religion ... provides a basis for identity ..."[21 ] that differentiates one people from another while at the same time uniting those within the community it has created. Indeed, Huntington says that it is religion more than anything else which creates the "... commitment that ... unites civilizations"[22] - and that as people the world over turn away from the "monotony of universalism" and back towards "civilization conscienceness" they are rediscovering religion - and, as we have already alluded, it's not just in "backwashes" like Bosnia, Serbia, and Rwanda that this is happening, it's happening right here in America - and in yuppie California, no less.

Lynell George, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, writes:

"For all the well-meaning attempts to build bridges (between different races and cultures in this country over the last thirty years), the discussion of race (and religion) remain(s), (even among the nation's secular elites), taboo - off limits ... Race (and religion) is (are) the crashing crystal at the well-appointed dinner party ... The only difference is that, afterward, seldom does anyone offer to help clean up the mess..."[23]

Slogans of peace and harmony (between the differing races and cultures in this country) ... ring hollow, sometimes inspiring a cynical chuckle. The reticence to broach matters of race (and religion) and have adult ... discussions (on the matter) only underscores a nation's failings ... For those blacks, (Latinos) and whites who come into closest contact, it stands as a huge barrier to their ever truly accepting one another - of finding common ground. Like a tumbleweed, the subject of race (and religion) gathers all sorts of cast-aside delicate issues in the course of its travels; class or privilege, or an exact definition of who and what is racist. (Whites) ... prefer not to have that tense, if not unpleasant conversation. Instead ... (they) walk in circles; talk in metaphors. The avoidance at times is as intricate and showy as a modern dance ..."[24 ]

Commenting on the reluctance of most white Americans to discuss how they really feel about multiculturalism - i.e., the acceptance by majority whites of a multicultural, multiracial society in place of the older, white, European-based, Christian culture which used to undergird American society - Jackie DuPont-Walker, a senior projects director and a manager of urban development and housing for Los Angeles, says,

"We live in a society where we define politeness in a way that encourages avoidance ... It's impolite to confront a reality that may be unpleasant."[25 ]

Janet Fitch, a '60s radical, adds,

"The whirlwind that has developed around race (and religion and culture) ... has rendered (white) people not just cautious, but silent ... "[26 ]

Ellis Cose, contributing editor and essayist for Newsweek, agrees. Cose writes,

"The inability (of whites) to talk about (how they really feel about) race (and culture) in anything resembling honest terms ... renders silence necessary."[27 ]

And that's the point - the silence on the subject of race and culture on the part of majority whites may be masking an underlying reality - that the matter of race and culture in this country, of multiculturalism - is not quite as settled as some people would like to believe, even among the nation's secular elites let alone the country's blue collar masses.

Bryan Bonner, an African-American, says,

"I think ... (majority whites) are (in reality) pretty much set in their beliefs (against the new multicultural and multiracial ethic, despite their silence) ..."[28 ]

Reuben Martinez, a Latino activist and author agrees. Writing in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, he describes an incident which happened to him at a speaking engagement in Pasadena not too long ago which juxtaposed polite white silence on the issue of race and culture against what whites may be really thinking:

"I am surrounded by the old (i.e., "Anglo") L.A. - Pasadena, actually, old Pasadena, moneyed Pasadena. The front yard of the house I've been invited to speak at is, literally, a 100-yard golf course. The Chardonnay sparkles in the ... afternoon sunlight. ... I am to speak on - what else? - L.A.'s new immigrant culture ... Los Angeles, I say, has always held out the promise of multiculturalism ... At the end of the talk I get polite applause ... and sympathetic questions. But later, as I'm making my way back to the appetizers, I am cornered by a group (of the same whites) ... who ... (had been) afraid to voice their (real) un-PC opinions ... They hurl questions at me: 'Isn't bilingual education failing? ... Doesn't the United States have a right to regulate its borders'? I try to maintain my composure. And then a tall, white haired ... (Anglo) in white slacks and snappy summer shirt tells me: 'You're just trying to make yourself out to be a victim so I'll feel guilty. But I'm not guilty of anything. Your problems are not my responsibility'."[29 ]

And these are the real feelings, Martinez suspects, that white silence is masking - a witches brew of cultural and racial hostility that someday could boil over and scald all those who come in contact with it - not unlike what has happened in Sarajevo.

Luis Alfaro, another Latino activist, concurs. He adds ominously, moreover, that such a "someday" may not be so distant - that majority white silence may be ending; that since the L.A. riots there has been a growing "counter current" in the larger white community against its self-imposed silence - a tendency by whites throughout the nation to speak out against the attempts by cultural and racial minorities to impose a multicultural and multiracial ethic on the country.[30 ]

Janet Fitch agrees. She notes the change among her old '60s comrades. Commenting on the new tendency of many of her old friends to resort to racial and cultural stereotyping and immigrant bashing, she asks,

"Has this generated a new emotion or is it (merely) uncovering an emotion that was (really) always there?"[ 31 ]

WHITE RAGE: A PHENOMENON THAT IS BEGINNING
TO ENGULF THE ENTIRE WESTERN WORLD

Moreover, the growing revulsion by whites against the intrusion of "foreign" races and cultures into the confines of Western Civilization is not limited just to North America. Derek Ingram, writing for Gemini News Service - a Third World-oriented news agency operating out of London - says,

"The echo of jackboots has been swelling in Europe for several years (now). Skinhead thugs invoking Adolf Hitler in Germany and Britain were once dismissed as an aberration - (no longer!); and France's xenophobic resentment of Moslem immigrants (streaming up into southern France from out of North Africa), which has been held in check so far (is worsening) ... (To make matters even worse) ... Italy's moderate center has collapsed in a wave of corruption, establishing ... a (newly fashionable) fascist right as (a fresh) political power (there)."[32 ]

Martin Klingst, writing in Die Zeit, a liberal German weekly magazine published out of Hamburg, reports on a list of 250 Germans being circulated by the neo-fascist magazine, Der Einblick (Insight); it is a list of people from every walk of life - politicians, lawyers, journalists, mayors, social workers, writers, teachers, and business people. What they all have in common is a liberal public stance on immigration and refugees and an active resistance to the rightist violence in German towns and cities. Klingst writes, "From one point of view, being on the list could be seen as an honor. But the magazine did not print their names as accolades. For Der Einblick, these people are to blame for the "wretched condition" that Germany is in today; "they are 'enemies' who need to be 'eliminated'."

Klingst reports that the danger from the German right is growing day by day; moreover, the various elements of the right have learned how to cooperate in what is becoming a surprisingly unified front. Just as in the United States, the right in Germany is taking advantage of modern technology. According to the police, there are now regional and national computer networks complete with hotlines and electronic mailboxes which link the many Nazi and neo-fascist organizations together. Good organization has always been the hallmark of the German right - and now it has the communications setup to broadcast its conspiratorial information and commands instantly. Most important, Klingst reports that the right is now prepared to back up its threats with action. In Lower Saxony, rightists threatened a Green Party politician engaged in refugee work and set fire to her farm twice. In Aurich, they terrorized a young man for weeks; he finally dropped out and went underground.

Der Spiegel, a liberal German newsmagazine also published out of Hamburg, reports that in Britain,[33 ]

"... harassment of ethnic minorities, who represent 6 percent of the total population, is increasingly violent throughout the United Kingdom. In 1992, according to the government, nine people were killed for purely racist motives, and there were an estimated 27,000 (other) racist attacks. 'That means', says Bernie Grant, a Labor Party member of Parliament, 'that every 20 minutes, a nonwhite citizen is either harassed or assaulted'. Grant is Britain's most popular black politician. He foresees further sharpening of racial tensions - with unrest approaching civil war, as last happened in London and Birmingham in 1985."[34 ]

Barbara Spinelli, reporting in La Stampa, an Italian centrist publication in Turin, writes that -

"The rebirth of the far right is not an exclusively Italian phenomenon. There has been xenophobic, tribal extremism in France for years now, and similar movements are at work in Germany, Great Britain, and Belgium. The fear of what the future will bring economically ... the panic aroused by the conspicuous presence of immigrants uninterested in assimilation into our societies - (these are) among the many ingredients of right-wing extremism that are cropping up throughout Western Europe. And everywhere they are blended with a profound hostility toward the traditional (liberal) elites (responsible for pushing economic and cultural globalism)35 ... We have seen the birth and growth of (France's) Jean-Marie LePen's (extreme right-wing) National Front ... The National Front (has) prospered because the left is practically bereft of programs and ideals."[36 ]

THE DISINTEGRATION OF
THE MULTICULTURAL ETHIC

The growing disintegration of the left's multicultural dream as a result of growing white, middle-class rage has left liberal utopians reeling. Michael Ignatieff, writing in Harper's, says,

"For many years, I believed that the tide was running in favor of cosmopolitans (multiculturalists) like me. There seemed to be so many of us, for one thing. There were at least a dozen world cities - gigantic, multi-ethnic melting pots that provided a home for expatriates, exiles, migrants, and transients of all kinds. For the urban professional populations of these major cities, a post-national state of mind was simply taken for granted. People in these places did not bother about the passports of the people they worked or lived with; they did not care about the country-of-origin label on the goods they bought. They simply assumed that in constructing their own way of life they would borrow from the customs of every nation they happened to admire ... With blithe lightness of mind, we had assumed that the world was moving irrevocably beyond nationalism, beyond tribalism, beyond the provincial confines of the identities inscribed in our passports, toward a global market culture that was to be our new home. In retrospect, we were whistling in the dark. The key narrative of the new world order is the disintegration ... (of the world) into ethnic civil war; the key architects of ... (the new world order) are (the ethnic) warlords ... (Ethnic) rhetoric (is) rewrit(ing) and recreat(ing) the real world, turning it into a delusional realm of noble (ethnic) causes, tragic (ethnic) sacrifice, and cruel (ethnic) necessity (like "ethnic cleansing") ... Wherever I went, I found a struggle going on between those who still believe that a nation should be a home to all - and that race, color, religion, and creed should be no bar to belonging (i.e., the globalists and the multiculturalists) - and those who want their nation to be a home only to their own kind (i.e., the nationalists)."[ 37]

Ignatieff continues,

"I know which side I'm on (the side of the globalists and multiculturalists); he paused, and then added regretfully, I also know which side ... is winning (the ethnicists and nationalists)."[38 ]

ELITE PRESUMPTION LEADS
TO ELITE DISCONNECTION

The effort over the past twenty years by Western elites to push multiculturalism by disengaging the great mass of ordinary people from their historic culture or "civilization identity" is on the verge of unraveling;[39] as a result, these elites are in grave danger of pushing their secular multicultural agenda beyond the limits which can be easily tolerated by ordinary white Americans and Europeans, the great mass of which continues to subscribe to a European, Christian-based civilization.

It is the common mistake of all elites to presume that they speak for the great mass of ordinary people - or at least that they should because they somehow "know better;" that their concepts are necessarily the people's concepts (or they should be), and their beliefs are the people's beliefs (or, again, they should be) - or at the very least, failing that, that they (i.e., the elites) can lead the masses where they (i.e., the people), in the end, might not want to go because they (i.e., the masses) are just too stupid to know that they are being bamboozled. But history has shown over and over again that this simply is not the case - and more often than not, this kind of elite presumption is nothing more than an illusion, and that the elites are tolerated by the people so long as it is convenient, but thrown off when they press too far in directions the people do not wish to go, as the people did in Iran when Iran's secular elites pressed too far toward "westernization."

Contrary to the views of a great many conspiracists, elites lead so long as the people allow them to do so - and it is their rather unhappy fate that this is a lesson they have to learn over and over again. So also with the Western elites.

Nonetheless, the elites plod on, seemingly oblivious to their growing disconnection from ordinary people and to the danger which surrounds them as a result. Rationalism, positivism, and materialism are the elite's passwords, not religious belief and faith. In reality, however, the secular elites are nothing more than a thin crust overlaying the civilization they purport to represent - a civilization which considers science to be nothing more than a flickering candle when compared to another reality - a reality which, though obscured and half-hidden, is as true, nonetheless, as is the seen reality of science and technology: the world of religion and mythology. And when compared to religion and mythology, reason and science are but the tip of an iceberg that shows above the water, while submerged down below is the great mass of that which is true and real. It is precisely this - the border line which separates reason and science from religion - the secular elites from the mass of ordinary people - that is at the core of the elite's inability to communicate with everyday people, and which may be leading inexorably to a break.

Speaking on elite control of the media - and the resultant disconnection between the media and ordinary people which this control leads to - Wills writes that the secular elite would do itself a service by -

"...reflecting on the number of churchgoers in the national press, as opposed to the general population; or on the uneasy way journalists talk about religion, as opposed to its frequency of reference among ordinary people[40] ... Some of the glibbest persons in the nation are oddly tongue-tied when the Bible is brought up. And editors seem to prefer inarticulacy on the subject. Major papers and networks encourage reporters to acquire expertise in the law or economics, but I have not heard of any editor asking reporters to brush up on theology ... Religion embarrasses the commentators ..."[41 ]

Carolly Erickson, a professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, writes,

"(People) ... who assign such things (i.e., religion and the supernatural) to the fringes of reality cannot easily recognize the awesome import of (these things) for people who set them at (the) center (of their reality)."[42 ]

And it is the reality of this world - that part of the iceberg which exists below the waterline, rather than the world of science and technology - that lies more closely to the roots of Western Civilization.

UNIVERSALISM VS. "CIVIL-
IZATION CONSCIENCENESS"

Still, to many Americans it might seem difficult to comprehend that we may be headed away from "universalism" and back towards a period of "civilization consciousness." Americans and West Europeans have passed through a period of dazzling universalism, but it is one which has just about run its course and is banging up against the wall of absurdity: the rejection of all sexual, cultural, and religious differences which has led to the madness of a multiculturalism or universalism where women are being injected into military combat, white males are viciously denigrated with very little distinction as to whether they are rich or poor (there are many more poor white males in the United States than all the poor blacks, Latinos and Asians - men and women - combined), all borders are open, the primacy of the English language within the borders of the United States is being challenged, homosexuals are viewed in the same moral light as are heterosexuals, all values are relative, and all religions are the same. A "counter current," as Luis Alfaro has called it, has set in - a growing white backlash fueled by middle-class, Christian fundamentalists and charismatics (both Catholic and Protestant) which, like other reactions in the past, may very well whiz right past the cultural middle in its pell-mell race in the opposite direction, without even bothering to stop and say "hello." And it might be worth noting in this connection that in the past, the periods of "civilization conscienceness" have lasted much longer than the periods of "universalism."

When H.G. Wells was a young man, the mood, as he tells it, was "quasi-universal."[43] A few years later, however, it had become the aggressive, jingoistic belief we have come to recognize in such popular turn-of-the-century leaders as Joseph Chamberlain and Cecil Rhodes. Rhodes, the great British empire builder, was clearly a racist; he saw and made others see, in the words of Francis Thompson, his admirer,

".... the Teuton and the Saxon grip, hands round the ... world ... part(ing) it as a dish ..."[44 ]

Moreover, Rhodes' followers made it clear that his greatness lay in being the first British statesman whose imperialism was not of empire, but of race.45 Politics, religion and race-theories seemed then to be natural allies, and the "great white race" or "Nordic" myth, which has had as many forms as there have been situations to shape it, was very much in vogue[46] - a racism which combined in it a concept of civilization which linked Christianity to the white or European race, and made it the special purveyor of civilization and progress to the rest of the world.

RACISM, CHRISTIANITY, AND
CIVILIZATION EXPANSION

The concept of the "White Man's Burden" was central to Cecil Rhodes' notion of civilization, and was pivotal to the expansion and sustenance of the French, Dutch and British Empires during most of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The ideological underpinnings of these empires lay not - in the first instance - in any theory of "trade expansion," or economic aggrandizement, although this phenomenon certainly followed on the heels of empire (or civilization) expansion, but in the belief that they were carrying Christianity and, ipso facto, the blessings of Western Civilization to the rest of the world.[47 ]

A greater reason than "trade expansion" must be given to the people if an empire is to be sustained over any length of time - especially to the common man who must do most of the fighting and dying involved in the creation and sustenance of empire,[48] and whose financial rewards for doing so are negligible, at least in relation to the benefits from trade expansion which accrue to the economic elites. Indeed, very good arguments can be made to show that the collapse of these western empires was due in large part to the corrosive effects of socialist ideology on the religious underpinnings of these great empires - and that compared to this, economics played only a secondary role. No, it was not the thought of trade expansion that fueled the popular imagination, but "civilization expansion" - the expansion of God's kingdom on the earth. Now that was something the common man could believe in - if not the elites - and it's back to this kind of thinking that men like Huntington, Kaplan and even Baker believe the world is moving.

RACIAL CHRISTIANITY AND THE
EXPANSION OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION

People tend to forget the lessons of history and to recognize just how far racism has been carried in the past, all in the name of Christianity. Indeed, most would be appalled at just how far "Racial Christianity" extended less than 100 years ago; but so far were these concepts carried in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, that throughout all of the Western World - and not just in Germany - racial and religious theories were in vogue which linked the white race to Christianity through the vehicle of the "Ten Lost Tribes." [Please see "The Khazars" in our article, "The Rutherford Institute And R.J. Rushdoony."]

The story goes something like this: in the closing years of the kingdom of Israel, a considerable proportion of the inhabitants of northern Israel were carried away into captivity. The deportation took place in the reign of Pekah (II Kings 15:29); they were taken to Media and Mesopotamia after the fall of Samaria, 722 B.C. (II Kings 17:6). The kingdom of Judah was dealt with similarly by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. But while the Scriptures narrate the return of the captives of Judah, they are silent regarding the fate of the exiled natives of the northern kingdom, so that the ten tribes comprising it simply seem to have disappeared from history. These are the facts of the matter.

Now the myths: over the years, stories developed which posited the theory that these tribes migrated up through the Caucuses mountains (the mountainous area which lies between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and which constitutes the main land bridge from the Middle East into Europe proper), reappearing in history as the Germanic invaders[49] of the Roman Empire in the second and first centuries B.C. The theory continues: God - knowing that the Jews would reject Christ - had carried the northern ten tribes off to Europe in order to preserve them from the consequences of the Jews' later rejection of Christ, which of course meant God's rejection of them (i.e., the Jews). After the death of Christ, Joseph of Arimathea carried the Gospel - along with the "Holy Grail"[50 ] (the cup from which Christ drank during the Last Supper and which Mary supposedly used to catch Christ's blood during His crucifixion) - to Great Britain, where the Gospel was preached, the Germanic (or white) people brought to salvation, and consequently made the purveyors of Christianity (and, ipso facto, civilization) to a lost and dying world.

The myth accomplished two things: first, it made the white race - as the descendants of the "Ten Lost Tribes" - the inheritors of all of God's promises to Israel of earthly glory in the Old Testament; second, it consigned "Jewry" (i.e., the Jewish people, those who rejected Christ) to ignominy, making them - as Christ's enemies - the enemy of Christianity and ipso facto, the human race. This kind of thinking created an atmosphere towards the Jews which lead people in the early twentieth century to easily accept the veracity of the "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion."

The enormous popularity of this kind of thinking in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries has been greatly underplayed by secular histories which have ascribed such thinking to the rather limited circles which today encompass "British Israelism" and "Identity;" but just how widely such thinking was accepted one-hundred years ago can easily be gleaned from the fact that the generally accepted term for whites today is "Caucasian" - which term was clearly lifted from this mythology! Moreover, the myth of Joseph of Arimathea's appearance in Great Britain had for centuries previous been accepted by ordinary Britains and other Europeans as generally true, and had been woven deeply into the Arthurian legends and the Germanic myths which surrounded Parsifal; these legends later became the themes for Richard Wagner's music - a "heroic" kind of music which vilified the Jews, lent credence to the Arthurian legends (Parcifal and Tristan and Isolde) and ipso facto to the myth of the "Ten Lost Tribes" and which enjoyed unparalleled popularity at the turn of the century, not only in Germany, but in England, France and the United States.

This is not to say that people everywhere accepted these myths - but they seemed to explain to ordinary whites what seemed to be so obvious to them: their own "superiority" as exemplified in the accomplishments of their own Euro-centered, Christian-based civilization over and against the apparent "backwardness" of other non-Christian, nonwhite civilizations.

RACIAL CHRISTIANITY: NOT QUITE AS DEAD
AS SOME WOULD LIKE TO BELIEVE

Moreover, it would be a great mistake to believe that "Racial Christianity" is a thing of the past, even now - in a time which is still dominated by a "multicultural chic." (Please see "Racism & Right-Wing Christianity.") And one should not necessarily look to science and modernity as a bulwark against this kind of thinking and the racism it produces if the pendulum begins to swing back towards these kinds of concepts; the sad fact of the matter is, science - especially anthropology, evolutionism, physiology and genetics - can be made to serve racism just as easily as it can be made to serve universalism, as the history of all four of these disciplines has so clearly shown - the protestations of secularists notwithstanding. After all, it is no accident that the racial or "gene pool" theories of William Schockley and Arthur Jensen are gaining ever more adherents within the so-called "scientific community," many more than most multiculturalists would care to admit - despite their efforts to disrupt the lectures of both men on university and college campuses; indeed, such efforts have only drawn more attention to these men and the "race-science" they are purveying. (Please see "The Pioneer Fund.")

THE IMPORTANCE OF MYTH

Huntington has postulated that all eight of the world's great civilizations are undergirded by religion, but not necessarily by religion in its pure sense, but by religion which has been intermingled with each respective civilization's folklore, for example the folklore which produced the myth of the "Ten Lost Tribes" just discussed, and which - when combined with Christianity - contrived the "Racial Christianity" that fueled the imaginations of men like Cecil Rhodes at the turn of the century.

Myths involve the interaction of sometimes difficult religious and cultural concepts together in stories which can be easily understood by "everyday" people; in doing so, they exert extraordinarily powerful images on society - images which project the goals and values towards which a society presses, heroes which individual members of that society can pattern themselves after, and villains which portray those things against which the society feels itself arrayed.

Myths do not have to be true - or even portrayed as true - to be powerful; the important thing in mythology is not so much the historic reality of the individual "actors" in the mythological drama as the values they set forth. For example, take the heroes of the Old West: very few of these heroes - heroes which John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Randolph Scott and a whole host of other actors portrayed in such movies as Red River, Stage Coach, Shane, High Noon, etc. - have any real basis in fact, and people realize this. Yet the images which these actors and movies, dime store novels and comic books [Red Rider, Tom Mix, Roy Rogers, (and, of course, the more modern manifestation of this mythology as portrayed in Highlander, the Super Heroes, and in the "Spaghetti Westerns" of Clint Eastwood {The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, A Fist Full of Dollars}, etc.)] portray have determined how countless numbers of Americans have patterned their lives: the image of a strong, highly individualistic, chivalrous hero who stands for justice, honor, and the "American Way."

In projecting such images, a society fashions for itself unifying patterns and values around which the society can rally. So important are these images to a society that most historians assert that a civilization cannot come into existence without them. Indeed, German philosopher Friedrich von Schelling argues that -

"a ... (civilization) comes into existence with its mythology ... The unity of its thinking ... (is) presented in ... (it) ... It's mythology contains (its) fate."[51]

To be truly effective, however, myths must be fashioned in such a way that ordinary people can readily identify themselves with the concepts and heroes portrayed. The myth of the Samurai, for example, while a powerful image in Japanese society, holds little attraction for most Americans. Why? - the Samurai portray cultural, religious and - yes - racial images with which few Americans can readily identify. And herein lies the great problem with all civilization myths: while they unify, they also separate. All civilization myths create "insiders" and "outsiders." For example, John Wayne, Gary Cooper and Randolph Scott, Clint Eastwood, etc. portray "American" images which are white and "Euro-centric" with which few American Asians, Latinos, blacks and most especially Native Americans can readily identify - and more, they often project these images in a manner which denigrates nonwhites.

For example, take the mythology which surrounds the Alamo. The mythology of the Alamo pits heroic, white, European settlers driven by "Manifest Destiny" and led by such cultural champions as Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, Col. William Barret Travis, etc. against pathetic, illiterate, brown Mexican/Indian peasants led by a despotic and ruthless overlord, "Gerneralissimo" Santa Anna. One side represents democracy, Christianity and everything that is good, while the other side represents despotism, illiteracy, and everything that is "backward" and bad. The two sides stand in stark contrast to one another. Mythological imagery permits no gray areas to confuse the message that is being sent: white, European settlers are good; brown, Mexican peasants are bad.

Moreover, try as they will, white Texans are unable to mitigate the message of the Alamo myth for a "new" Texas, a more "inclusive" Texas which multiculturalists hope will embrace the globalist ethic being trumpeted by America's present-day secular elites - an ethic which embraces browns as well as whites. It's for this very reason that brown (Mexican/American) Texans are demanding that the administration of the Alamo site be taken from the "Daughters of Texas" and given over to caretakers which will portray the Battle of the Alamo in a more multicultural manner. Of course, to do so will strip the mythology of its power and meaning, rendering the myth impotent - a myth around which untold numbers of Texans have patterned their lives and portrayed themselves to other Americans for over one hundred and fifty years. As a result, whites throughout Texas are enraged.

Take another example, the myth of the "Old South," as portrayed in Margaret Mitchell's classic, Gone with the Wind - a South characterized by planter aristocrats, grace, gentility, hospitality and a deep respect for womanhood - a place where L.V. Cooley could describe blacks as those -

"... chattering, singing ... and willing (workers who labored) in (musical) rhythms to show their fellows ... that the strain of the cotton bales, the grain sacks, the oil barrels and the timbers merely loosen their muscles and lighten their hearts."[52 ]

And make no mistake about it, this myth, the myth of the "Old South" - the South of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, a myth immortalized in the music of such Stephen Foster songs as "My Old Kentucky Home," "Old Black Joe," "Old Folks at Home," "Camp Town Races," etc. and in Walt Disney's Song of the South, and so forth - continues to exert an almost magical hold on most white Southerners, even today.

Like all civilization myths, the myth of the "Old South" clearly has "insiders" and "outsiders." Whites are the "insiders" and blacks are the "outsiders" - and, as the "outsiders," blacks are clearly denigrated. Moreover, like the Alamo myth above, efforts by Southern whites to mitigate the racist "insider/outsider" tensions inherent in the myth without at the same time destroying the myths' magnetism have been futile - and it's for this very reason that blacks throughout the country feel compelled - compelled out of a very justified sense of their own self-worth - to ban Song of the South from being played in movie houses throughout the country, to forbid the playing of Stephen Foster's old classics in public, to destroy all references to the myth in the nation's text books and histories, going even so far as to brand the confederate battle flag as a racist symbol and to demand the removal of statues dedicated to the honor of fallen confederate soldiers in the parks and town squares of the Old South as racist symbols "not appropriate" to the new "multicultured" South of Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. Of course, by denigrating the heroes which countless numbers of white Southerners have patterned their lives after - not just for 150 years, as in the case of Texas above, but for over 300 years - blacks are stripping white Southerners of their own self-worth - and so the battle is joined, a battle where there is apparently no middle ground.

Finally, take the case of General George Custer and the Battle of the Little Big Horn - "Custer's Last Stand" - portrayed for years as a battle between the agents of civilization and the agents of savagery. Again, like the two previous examples, the myth portrays "insiders" and "outsiders" - the "insiders" being the whites, the "outsiders" being the Indians or Native Americans; so repugnant has this myth become to Native Americans, that they have demanded and received from the federal government a promise to change the name of the battlefield; demands have also been made on publishers to change the histories in school textbooks so as to present a more "evenhanded" approach as to "what really happened" at the Little Big Horn. But whites protest, saying that, after all, Custer was merely following the orders of the same federal government which today is denigrating his memory - and so it goes, on and on, apparently without any resolution.

Universalists insist that new multicultural heroes can be fashioned that will appeal to everyone - regardless of one's cultural and ethnic heritage But all too often, what the multiculturalists produce is a monotonous blandness that appeals to no one. The failure of the former communist regimes in Yugoslavia and the old Soviet Union to fashion multicultural symbols around which people of diverse backgrounds - Ukrainians, Latvians, Russians, Georgians, Armenians, Azeries, Bosnians, Serbs, Croats, etc. - could rally indicate the success that can be expected in this direction.

THE FASCIST MINDSET

If people are honest, they will have to admit that much of their own self-identities revolves around these kinds of myths? - and, if they're fair - they will see what a powerful magnetism these kinds of myths produce. But this is the exact kind of mythology which produces fascism - and again, it is out of a fascist mindset that the Antichrist will eventually emerge - and remember, it's out of the confines of the Western World that the Antichrist will spring - he will be a product of Western mythology. It is, thus, a great mistake to think that the kingdom of the Antichrist will spring out of "New Age" thinking and "universalist" concepts. Those who are looking for the Antichrist to emerge from out of this kind of nexus are looking in the wrong direction. The kingdom of Antichrist will have a very definite "Christian" stamp to it and will largely emerge as a populist reaction against the concepts of "universalism" and the "New Age." But the Christianity out from which Antichrist will emerge will not be Biblical Christianity - but heterodoxy.

THE ROOTS OF WESTERN
MYTHOLOGY: HETERODOXY

At the root of Western mythology - the mythology which produced the myths just described - is a curious mixture of folklore and religion - a mixture which first took root in Europe, producing the Arthurian legends - and which spread to the New World with the coming of white European settlers. The end result of this remarkable mixture of myth with religion produced heterodoxy - a result not unique to Western Christendom and which can be found in other religions and other civilizations, but a fusion which has joined Western folklore to the Christian religion in a manner not replicated anywhere else - so much so that other civilizations speak of Christianity not so much as a universal religion, but as a "Western religion," a result which the "Fathers" of the early church could never have foreseen.

The Alamo myth, the myth of the "Old South," and the myth of "Custer's Last Stand" are in reality nothing more than American variations on the Arthurian legends. Indeed, the favorite author of white Southerners in the Old Confederacy was Sir Walter Scott, whose manors and castles, graced by brave Ivanhoes and fair Rowenas, roughly mirrored their own semi-feudal society. The Southern aristocrats, who on holidays would sometimes stage jousting tournaments, strove to perpetuate in the nineteenth century a kind of Arthurian world which reflected their mythology. So far did Southerners strive to replicate Camelot that Mark Twain once accused Sir Walter Scott of having had a hand in starting the Civil War; the British novelist, Twain said, aroused the Southerners to fight for a decaying social structure - "a sham civilization." The same could be said with regard to the defenders of the Alamo and the men of the Seventh Cavalry, whose music and campfire stories clearly reflected the fact that they thought of themselves as Templars and Teutonic knights pushing back the forces of chaos and expanding the realm of Christendom.

And just how close the relationship is between the Arthurian legends and the myths which came to surround America can be measured by the easy acceptance not only of the flow of the Arthurian myths to America, but the flow of the American variations on this myth back to Europe. Take the myth of the Old West, for example. In Germany, the most popular fiction writer of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries - and perhaps even today - was a man named Karl May. May had never been to America, but his tales of cowboys and Indians were accepted as gospel by generations of German and Austrian boys. Hitler, in particular, was enthralled by May. As a boy, the adventures of old Shatterhand and his comrades were almost an obsession. He tirelessly led his schoolmates into reenactments of Shatterhand's many adventures, and when the enthusiasm of the older boys began to flag, he recruited younger ones and even, on occasion, girls. In 1933, when Helena and Egon Hanfstaengle visited Hitler at his mountain villa on the Obersalzberg, they were surprised to find that the great majority of the books in his library were the wild west novels of Karl May; and once, when confronted with timidity in his generals at the boldness of his plans to attack France through the Ardennes Forest in 1940, he derided his opponents as cowards, saying that "They should have read more Karl May!"

And these myths are alive and well - even today - and have been popularized to the public in such recent modern-day versions as The Highlander, Rambo, and the "Super Heroes" in today's popular comics - comics which enjoy a popularity in the younger generation far beyond what most adults can possibly imagine. In reality, the super heroes of these comics are nothing more than variations on the old Arthurian legends - Lancelots, Parsifals, Gallahads, Guineveres and Isoldes dressed up in modern garb and possessing all the supernatural powers that the Vulkries and the Niebelungen in Wagner's operas possessed.

Carolly Erickson[53] writes,

"Heterodoxy - belief that goes beyond or varies from orthodox doctrine - has always existed in the Western Church as the unavoidable result (of the mixture of Christianity with Western folklore) ..."[54] (a result where) "... Christian doctrine tends to fade into ... pre-Christian beliefs ..."[55 ] She adds, "the flowering of heterodox belief ... was one dimension of a final stage in the Christianization of Europe. As such it was not a peripheral matter but one of central importance to popular belief."[56]

And more than most people care to admit, this kind of thinking is as central to Christians today as it was a millennium ago.[57 ]

THE ENCHANTED WORLD

Thus, when people speak today of "religion" and/or "Christianity," to a greater or lesser degree they are speaking of heterodoxy. "Christianity" - as it has come to be understood within the Western tradition - has been enshrouded by an aura of myths that has tied it to Western Civilization. The depth to which the Christian core is shrouded by these myths varies from sect to sect, but it is almost always there. Therefore, when people speak of "religion" and/or "Christianity," to a large degree they are speaking of this kind of heterodoxy - and this is as true of evangelicalism and fundamentalism as it is of Catholicism, the protestations of evangelicals and fundamentalists notwithstanding,[58 ] as we shall soon see.

Erickson has called heterodoxy, "the enchanted world ..." Erickson goes on to say that to understand the kind of thinking which is central to the core of our civilization - the way most people think when they are alone - "... means coming to terms with a quality of awareness that much of modern (secular) education is intended to discredit,"59 but an "awareness" which can generate myths like the "Ten Lost Tribes, "Camelot," "Valhalla," etc. - all with the aim of promoting within the popular imagination "civilization identity."

Erickson continues,

"The visionary imagination (of most people), long a disquieting embarrassment to rationalistic historians ... (is) not aberrant (within the confines of the Western tradition - as many secularists would have us believe) but mundane, not unearthly but natural, even commonplace (- with some polls showing that as many as 90 percent of the population in the United States subscribing in one way or another to belief in the supernatural - editor). (It) ... is full of visions. Extraordinary appearances - unusual configurations, visual portents, dream messages ... divine and infernal warnings, intellectual illuminations, visions of the future - everywhere compliments ordinary sight."[60 ]

Coming to grips with how widespread this heterodoxy is, is crucial to any understanding of Western Civilization and the forces which drive ordinary people - even today.

The importance of the "civilization myths" produced by heterodoxy to the "civilization identity" of a people cannot be overemphasized. These kinds of myths - the kind produced by heterodoxy - are the highest and truest expression of a civilization's spirit (Geist). And just as it would be impossible to understand Japanese civilization without at the same time understanding the mythology which surrounds the concept of the Samurai,[61] or try to come to grips with Islam without comprehending the mythology which surrounds the Hegira or the struggle between the Umayyads and the Shiists, so also would it be impossible to understand Western Civilization without at the same time understanding Camelot and Valhalla (and the Christianity which came to intermingle not only Camelot, but Valhalla as well) - and this is as true in Spain (i.e., the El Cid legend) and Italy as it is true of England, Germany and France.

Perhaps more to the point, myths are important because they explain the thinking and worldview of the people rather than the elites - and in the end, it is what the people think, not what the elites think, that determines the direction a civilization takes. The dismissal of these myths by the secular elites is the primary reason why there is so little connection today between these elites and the ordinary person.

WESTERN MYTHOLOGY:
WHERE WILL IT LEAD US?

Huntington has postulated that the world's civilizations are today involved in a "search for identity;" that this search involves a return of the people to religion because religion is at the core of a civilization's identity - it is, therefore, at the heart of the people's search for their own identity; that religious fundamentalism62 has been the main beneficiary of the movement of the people back to religion, infusing fundamentalist religious groups throughout the world with "young, college-educated, middle class professionals and business persons."

Erickson then goes on to elaborate what is meant when most people refer to religion: it's heterodoxy - a system of belief that goes beyond or varies from orthodox doctrine, one which produces "civilization myths" which define societies and cultures, and which set parameters that engender "insiders" and "outsiders."

Finally, Von Schelling argues that these parameters create a channel down which a civilization flows towards its destiny.

It follows then, that an examination of Western mythology might very will give us a glimpse of where we as a culture and a civilization are heading, given Huntington's basic assertion that

"... world politics are entering a new phase ... (in which) the great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural ... The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics ..." [63 ]

God bless all of you,

S.R. Shearer
Antipas Ministries

(Footnotes to "Wars &
Rumors of Wars)

  1. These distinctions are observed by Trench (New Testament Synonyms], Thayer (Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament), and Vincent (Word Studies in the New Testament).
  2. Please see Strong's Concordance #1484; also Trench, Thayer and Vincent.
  3. Paul Hockenos, Free To Hate. New York: Routledge, 1993, pgs. 11-12.
  4. Ibid., pg. 22-25.
  5. Samuel P. Huntington, "The Clash of Civilizations," Foreign Affairs, Summer, 1993, pg. 22-25.
  6. Ibid., pg. 22-25.
  7. Ibid., pg. 22-25.
  8. The term "ethnic cleansing," when applied to what's happening today in the former Yugoslavia, is a misnomer. The people of the former Yugoslavia are all of the same race, i.e., for the most part, they are all "white Caucasians," whether we are speaking of the Bosnians, the Serbs, or the Croatians. The better term for what's going on is "civilization cleansing," or even "religious cleansing." Unfortunately, however, if history is any indicator, "religious cleansing" inevitably leads to "racial cleansing."
  9. Greece is one of those nations which lurk at the periphery of civilizations - what Huntington calls a "torn nation." While religiously it is a part of the Orthodox world, culturally it is a part of the West - and has been since it broke with the Ottoman Turks in February of 1830; indeed, because of their struggles with the Turks, the Greeks were forced into a military alliance with the West (first with Britain, then with the United States), and it is this alliance - forced on Greece out of military necessity - which has pushed Greece into the West; it is one of those few times where military necessity has proved more of a determining factor insofar as "civilization identity" is concerned than religion.
  10. James Baker, "Will 'Who Lost Russia'? Become 'Who Lost Europe'?" in the Los Angeles Times, February 6, 1994, pg. M-1.
  11. So out of touch has America's multicultural elite become with America's white (i.e., of European extraction) middle class on the issue of multi-culturalism and globalism that a growing number of very reputable scholars [e.g., William Greider (formerly an editor with the Washington Post and author of Who Will Tell the People); Robert W. Merry (executive director of the Congressional Quarterly); Donald Bartlett and James Steele (both of the Philadelphia Inquirer and authors of America: What Went Wrong?); Lester Thurrow (Head to Head); Professor George Kennan, etc.] are fearful that it is in danger of being swept aside over this issue.
  12. George Kenny, a consultant to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and who was - until several years ago when he resigned in protest over U.S. policies in the Balkans - the State Department's Yugoslav desk officer, writes, "Let's not kid ourselves ... about the nature of the Bosnian government. It used to be a moderate, inclusive regime that enjoyed substantial support from the Bosnian Croat and Serb communities. Bosnian Croats and Serbs held key positions. Over the past year, however, under the pressure of the war, it became a 95% Muslim entity ... Today, Sarajevo is the capital, as Bosnian Prime minister Haris Silajdzik told me recently, of a Muslim state. It is only to the outside world that the Bosnian government maintains the fiction of its 'multi-ethnic' character, for the obvious reason that a multi-ethnic state is more likely to get international aid." [George Kenny, "A Forced Peace Is Worth Trying," in "Commentary," Los Angeles Times, February 6, 1994, pg. M-5.] In this connection, it is important to note that the thought of a Muslim state in the center of the Balkans strikes a certain terror in the hearts of most Europeans who remember Western Christendom's millennial-long struggle with the Muslims. To Austrians, Germans and other Western Europeans - if not to Americans - it was not such a long time ago that the "Muslim terror" stretched all the way up to the gates of Vienna and threatened the heart of Europe with destruction and ruin.
  13. Robert D. Kaplan, "Middle East was just a Mirage," in Forum, February 27, 1994, pg. 1.
  14. It is interesting to note also in this connection the initial reluctance of the American Press (which is secularly and multiculturally oriented and, as a result, loath to concede the religious dimensions of any issue) to recognize what is all too obvious to the European Press and the "main players" on the ground - namely, the religious range of the war. The American Press has treated the strife in its "racial" dimension, while the European Press and the "players" (i.e., the Serbs, the Croats, the Slovenes, the Bosnians, the Albanians, etc.) see the conflict largely in its religious sweep. And to what extent this is true insofar as the "players" are concerned is clearly demonstrated by a poster in the office of General Ratko Mladic, commander of the Bosnian Serbs; it depicts green paint symbolizing Islam spilling over the blue flag of the European Community.
    Mladic is convinced that Muslim influence is rising throughout the former Yugoslavia and Western Europe - and that it's all part of a coordinated strategy he calls the "green transversal" - the effort by Islamic fundamentalists to regain their lost Balkan possessions, possessions which reach all the way to the gates of Vienna. Mladic and his followers believe that they are the only ones standing in the way of Islamic expansion northward into Europe, and that though they are little understood now, someday the world will thank them for the sacrifices they have made to stop this expansion. And there is a great deal of evidence to suggest that his fear of Muslim expansion into Europe is being echoed by right-wingers throughout Europe - especially in Germany, Austria, Hungary, France and Italy. [Please see Roger Cohen, New York Times, as quoted in the San Francisco Examiner, April 17, 1994, pg. A-8.]
  15. Garry Wills is a former Henry R. Luce Professor of American Culture and Public Policy at Northwestern University; he is the author of Reagan's America: Innocents at Home, Nixon Agonistes, The Kennedy Imprisonment, Inventing America, Cincinnatus: George Washington and the Enlightenment, and Explaining America.
  16. Garry Wills, Under God: Religion and American Politics (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990), pg. 15.
  17. Ibid., pg. 26.
  18. Ibid., pg. 22-25.
  19. Ibid., pg. 26.
  20. Ibid., pg. 16.
  21. Ibid., pg. 26.
  22. Ibid., pg. 26.
  23. Ibid., pg. E-1.
  24. Ibid., pg. E-1.
  25. Ibid., pg. E-1.
  26. Ibid., pg. E-1.
  27. The Rage of a Privileged Class, as quoted in Lynell George, Los Angeles Times, January 30, 1994, pg. E-1.
  28. Ibid., pg. E-1.
  29. Ruben Martinez, "The Dance of Nuevo L.A.," Los Angeles Times Magazine, January 24, 1994, pg. 10.
  30. Op. Cit., George, pg. E-1.
  31. Ibid., pg. E-1.
  32. Derek Ingram, Gemini News Service, London (World Press Review, February, 1994, pg. 9).
  33. Strangely - or so it would seem at first glance - it's easier to find out what's going on in Britain by turning to the German or French press than it is by utilizing the British press. The British press tends to play the problem down, which is not the case with the German and/or French press; the exact opposite is often true with regard to the goings-on in Germany and France, the British press in these instances sometimes being a better source than the French or German press.
  34. Der Spiegel, Hamburg, Germany (World Press Review, February, 1994, pg. 12).
  35. "Globalism" and "internationalism" is invariably associated in one way or another by the right-wing in Europe with the Jews - and this is as true in France, Britain, Italy, Holland, etc. as it is true in Germany.
  36. Barbara Spinelli, La Stampa, Turin, Italy (World Press Review, February, 1994, pg. 13).
  37. Michael Ignatieff, "A Cosmopolitan Among The True Believers," Harper's, March, 1994, pg. 17. [Taken from Blood and Belonging: Journeys into the New Nationalism, a chronicle of Ignatieff's travels in Croatia, Serbia, Germany, Ukraine, Quebec, Kurdistan, and Northern Ireland.]
  38. Michael Ignatieff, "A Cosmopolitan Among The True Believers," Harper's, March, 1994, pg. 17. [Taken from Blood and Belonging: Journeys into the New Nationalism, a chronicle of Ignatieff's travels in Croatia, Serbia, Germany, Ukraine, Quebec, Kurdistan, and Northern Ireland.]
  39. Please see "The Jewish Community and Minority Coalition Building."
  40. Wills asks, "How ... (does) such a sizable proportion of the population (the great mass of ordinary churchgoing people) escape ... the notice of journalists and political analysists?" He answers his own question, "... (clearly it's) the result of elitism." [Wills, pgs. 18-19.]
  41. Ibid., pgs. 18-19.
  42. Carolly Erickson, The Medieval Vision: Essays in History and Perception (New York: Oxford University Press, 1976), pg. 36.
  43. Op. Cit, Barzun, pg. 32.
  44. Francis Thompson, Ode on Cecil Rhodes.
  45. W.T. Stead, Rhodes's Last Will and Testament, 52.
  46. Op. Cit., Barzun, pg. 33.
  47. Cecil John Rhodes (1853-1902) was born in Bishop Stortford, Hertfordshire in England. He went to Kimberley in the Orange Free State (South Africa) in 1871 where he made a fortune in diamonds. In 1880, he joined forces with the DeBeers Diamond Trust and established a diamond monopoly which to this day continues to control the international diamond trade. Critics of Rhodes suggest that his concept of bringing "Christian civilization" to South Africa was nothing more than a smoke screen for his financial interests - and this has been the great problem of Christianity throughout the centuries; wherever it has allowed itself to be used by "politicos" and "financial interests" in the service of "Western Civilization" it has suffered great loss insofar as its spiritual message is concerned. Christianity is universal in its Gospel, and whenever it has been portrayed as in the service of "Western Interests," its universalism has been diminished.
  48. It would be a great mistake, however, to believe that all those who were engaged in empire building in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were merely masking their financial greed behind a facade of Christianity, like Cecil Rhodes. To the contrary, there were many very sincere men and women - not all of them missionaries - who were so engaged, and had become involved not out of any hope for financial gain, but were rather driven solely by "Christian conscience." The name of the great British soldier, Charles George Gordon - known to an entire generation of British school children as "the commander of the 'ever victorious army'," springs immediately to mind: Gordon was a man of great personal courage and profound religious faith. In 1877, Gordon was named governor general of the Sudan and in this capacity did everything he could to stop the Arab trade in black slavery. In reaction to Gordon's efforts, the Mahdi rose in revolt and surrounded Gordon at Khartoum. "Gordon at Khartoum" became the rallying cry of the entire British people, and a great army was raised to rescue him; for almost a year he held out against the Mahdi's forces while British relief columns struggled up the Nile to reach him, but two days before the city was relieved, the Mahdi's forces broke in and killed him. Gordon's martyrdom at Khartoum became legendary, and for years afterwards his name could not be mentioned without bringing tears to the eyes of ordinary, working-class people in England.
  49. Please see, "The Germanic Tribes."
  50. Please see, "The Holy Grail."
  51. Please see, "Von Schelling, Nietzche, Wagner & Chamberlain."
  52. Captain L.V. Cooley, Address Before the Society of Economics, New Orleans, April 11th, 1911, on River Transportation and Its Relation to New Orleans, Past, Present and Future. [New Orleans, 1911].
  53. Carolly Erickson received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1969. She is the author of The Records of Medieval Europe and numerous other articles and books.
  54. Ibid., pgs. 94-95.
  55. Ibid., pg. 68.
  56. Ibid., pgs. 94-95.
  57. Deny as some secularists will the existence of the supernatural, people are, nonetheless, reminded of it constantly. Hollywood reminds us. Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas remind us. The fascination of our young people remind us. Movies such as Gremlins, Ghostbusters, The Shining, E.T., Star Wars, Amityville Horror, The Exorcist, and The Omen seem openly to declare the reality of the supernatural.
    And despite all the protestations to the contrary, the so-called secular world is also deeply involved today with the supernatural. Indeed, the psychology departments of many of our finest colleges and universities have, in recent years, become nothing more than fronts for the investigation of para-normal phenomenon - that is, clairvoyance, astrology, etc. - and scholastic credit is offered in these subjects. Our best police departments openly consult and even employ [often quite successfully] psychics in the investigation of crimes. And before its collapse, even the Soviet Union, that bastion of state-enforced atheism, carried on widespread and active research in such matters, belying their official policy toward these things.
  58. When we say this, however, we fully appreciate the effort by many Christians to rid themselves of heterodoxy and to get back to a form of "Biblical Christianity" - a Christianity which is not tied to any particular civilization, race, or culture, and is universal in its message.
  59. Op. Cit, Erickson, pg. 30.
  60. Op. Cit, Erickson, pg. 30.
  61. Indeed, both the State Department and the Commerce Department have recently initiated programs designed to instill such knowledge in their diplomats and trade negotiators heading for Japan; private U.S. companies doing business with the Japanese are now doing the same. The thought behind such programs, of course, is to intellectually equip Americans to be more successful in dealing with their Japanese counterparts.
  62. The return to fundamentalism (which supposedly is, the core essence of a religion after it has been stripped of its extraneous elements) implies a search for purity, and that such a search of necessity involves the purging of foreign elements which dilute that purity.
  63. Samuel P. Huntington, "The Clash of Civilizations," Foreign Affairs, Summer, 1993, pg. 22-25.

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