The Biggest Challenge to the Church: The Alt-Right

The Christian church has plenty of enemies in our day. Everything from the rise of secularism and atheism to simple neglect of spiritual things aggregates against the Christian faith in our day. There has been a veritable industry of apologetic resources produced to combat atheism, naturalism, Islam and other religions. What I fear the contemporary church is not ready to combat is the mythos of the Alt-Right. Critics of the Alt-Right attempt to paint it as a bunch of backwoods David Dukes, but I am afraid that a look at its intellectual roots makes it necessary to take them more seriously than that.

This post will take a look at some of the main intellectual pillars of the Alt-Right, Alain De Benoist and his extolling Paganism as the cure to the illness of Christianity. The Alt-Right is, in many ways, a return (or as Benoist notes a "Recourse") to Paganism. Though this isn't a crude paganism in which the gods are thought to be metaphysically real beings. Rather, as Benoist notes,

By itself this task is considerable. Not only are the ancient religions of Europe equal to monotheism in their spiritual richness and theological complexity, but it can even be claimed that they often prevail in this domain. Whether they prevail or not over monotheism is not the most important thing, however. What is important is that they speak to us-and for my part I draw more lessons from the teaching of the symbolic opposition of Janus and Vesta, the morality of the Oresteia, or the story of Ymir's dismemberment than the adventures of Joseph and his brothers or the aborted murder of lsaac. Beyond the myths themselves it helps in the-search for a certain concept of the deity and the sacred, a certain system of interpreting the world, a certain philosophy. Bernard-Henri Levy refers to monotheism all the while declaring that he does not believe m God. Our era remains profoundly Judeo-Christian in the way it conceives of history and the essential values it assumes, even if the churches and the synagogues are emptying. Conversely, there is no need to "believe" in Jupiter or Wotan-something that is no more ridiculous than believing in Yahweh however-to be a pagan. Contemporary paganism does not consist of erecting altars to Apollo or reviving the worship of Odin. Instead it implies looking behind religion and, according to a now classic itinerary, seeking for the "mental equipment" that produced it, the inner world it reflects, and how the world it depicts is apprehended. In short, it consists of viewing the gods as "centers of values" (H. Richard Niebuhr) and the beliefs they generate as value systems: gods and beliefs may pass away, but the values remain.
Benoist makes some interesting observations on how Paganism can be adapted to a modern environment. In essence he advocates emptying the pagan religious system of any metaphysical comment, and rather looking at it as an embodiment of values. A way of finding the god one would like to see exist. A designer deity, for what is now, a secular age. Religion becomes a "structure of consciousness" and a way for man to organize into societies. Rituals provide a certain  assurance and commonality. (17)

This to me should be a very big concern for thinking Christians. Young men often feel alienated in church, and many are attracted to the alt-right. Not for reasons of race at first, but because of its message about identity. Identity is a fundamental human need. Arguably without some form of identity people end up withering, and a multitude of problems start when a man loses his identity. Proponents of the Alt-Right such as Richard Spencer appeal to the feeling of alienation that young men feel in society.

Besides men in the church, many secular men are attracted to the message of the Alt-Right. The alt-right attempts to use Nietzsche and Darwin to argue for a natural aristocracy. It looks down on the ideas of Christianity and Liberal Democracy because they see both as altruism run amok. The Altruistic impulse is viewed as so disordered that the whole of civilization is under threat from immigration which has its roots in this pathological altruism. Men in America, specifically, become attracted to this view point because of the rise of feminism and the replacement of blue collar workers with immigrants. This all stokes the flames of discontent and makes these men ripe for the Alt-Right message of identity and racial solidarity.

Unlike other forms of secular non-belief the Alt-Right does not seek to disparage religion, but seeks to incorporate it in its bigger vision. Much like the ancient pagan empires it seeks to incorporate the religions of the people it "conquers" (in the Alt-Right's case convinces). This is the real danger, because there are already those with in the Alt-Right who refer to Christianity as "cucked" and they seek to construct a form of Christianity that is consistent with the Alt-Right (Vox Day is an example).

Its time for the church to wake up and develop a theological response to these view points.

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