Nationalism, America, & the Ships of Tarshish

There are a few things worse than being called a nationalist these days. It’s as though the world learned how to spell “American” with four letters rendering it unsuitable for women, children, and polite company in general. Globalism is the new gospel; patriotism the new heresy. And the Grand Inquisitors read the roll call of the damned every evening at five o’clock.

Having succeeded at making the world safe from democracy, progressives turned their guns on American exceptionalism. When the cardinal doctrine of the religion is absolute equality then unusual strength and unprecedented success become mortal sins. Such threats to the status quo must be eradicated.

This is usually when words like “imperialism” and “greed” are tossed into the mix. It is argued that if we have an imposing military that has the ability to obliterate entire nations then that might provoke fear in the hearts of some nations. Amazingly this is leveled as an argument against the proposition. It is quite true, however, that there be factions in the world that we have no desire to see reach their full potential. In fact, we don’t want them to exist at all. Since that doesn’t quite square with the present credo of undifferentiated equality conservatives are forced to wear the purple robes of contempt; the imperial scarlet.

Similarly, those who would rather thrive than merely survive are derided as monsters of greed. Again the problem is largely theological. Since the Church of Liberalism has a deficient doctrine of creation—no concept of creatio ex nihilo—they can’t possibly believe that wealth could be generated where once no wealth existed. They tend to think that there is only so much wealth available in the world. Thus if someone has amassed much of it then he has necessarily deprived someone else of his fair share. So in lieu of a doctrine of creation they formulate a principle of confiscation. Robbing Peter to pay Paul is the progressive dogma of apostolic succession. Unfortunately the laws of physics haven’t been amended so as to conform to canon law. They have not yet figured out how to spread any of that wealth around without losing all of it. By spreading it so wide, they spread it too thin. When one is able to read the Wall Street Journal through the bottom of the pie plate then the writing is on the wall as they say. But I will admit that liberals do really love poor people. Nothing else explains why they wish to make so many more of them.

I renounce globalism and all its works, the vain pomp and glory of its big-tent tribalism. I do this having never owned a pair of jackboots though I know that I will be labelled an unrepentant goose-stepper. But that is no matter. To my mind there are worse things to be called than a “nationalist.” “Anti-nationalist” has a much more sinister ring to it to me.

If my fault is that I love my neighbor and my neighborhood then what would it say for the quality of my charity if I were to despise the men at my shoulders and the children at my heels in favor of the faceless mass of unfamiliar persons with whom I have nothing to do? The nationalist loves his people and place; the anti-nationalist loves love. He’s a slave to sentimentality. He would never dream of making any nation great again because that would of necessity mean that one nation would be better than another. Globalism (anti-nationalism) repudiates meritocracy and romanticizes mediocrity. The victory of liberalism is the triumph of insignificance.

Globalism says that we have to attain perfection everywhere by quashing progress anywhere. Nationalism is not bold enough to articulate the first proposition or blind enough to attempt the second. There is a certain humility which constrains a sober nationalism. We aren’t expecting utopia abroad if we only attain dystopia at home. But we do believe in the grace of God. We do believe that the Almighty is well able to make blessings abound from sea to shining sea. We have a settled confidence that God has lost none of his ancient power. If it is his eternal purpose to reign over nations of men who have been duly baptized in the Triune Name then it is unholy presumption to say otherwise. Baptized nations—not amalgamations or consolidations—but great nations will bear their glory into the New Jerusalem upon the ships of Tarshish. A Christian nationalist simply says that it is right to live today as though God were being honest about tomorrow.

“Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In this our green and pleasant land.” 

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