“White Guilt” and Christianity
“White Guilt” and Christianity By Jack Kerwick for Lew Rockwell
A recent email discussion between a theologically diverse group of right-of-center friends—Christians, Jews, agnostics, and atheists—provided much food for thought.
Is Christianity the main culprit for what one interlocutor aptly referred to as “white guilt” and all of the cultural and political degeneracy by which this phenomenon has been attended? This person and another—both non-Christians—agreed that White Guilt is “a Christian affliction.”
Two Roman Catholic Christians took exception to this analysis, with one expressing their position that while “white race guilt may be a Christian heresy…it is not endemic to orthodox traditional Christianity, but a gross distortion of it.”
Still someone else maintained that even if it’s the case that our reigning secular ideology is but a corruption of “orthodox traditional [read: true] Christianity,” this begs the question as to why and how it is that Christianity lends itself to such perverse readings.
The interlocutors were arguing pass one another.
It is indeed difficult to imagine the mental and moral perversion that my friends were calling White Guilt taking flight from any soil other than that of Euro-Christian civilization. Thus, it’s by and large accurate (if an oversimplification) to characterize it as “a Christian affliction.” So too are Secular Humanism, Liberalism, Socialism, Communism, Marxism, Egalitarianism, Democracy, and, in fact, atheism itself—in short, of every post-Christian ideology that has originated and exerted any significant influence within the Western world—cheap knock-offs of Christianity.
To concede this, though, is hardly equivalent to conceding that there’s anything sociologically dubious about Christianity, the historically “mixed bag” that one discussant referred to it as. Quite the contrary, this concession amounts to nothing more or less than the concession that, first, Western civilization itself is inseparable from the faith that served as its soul for the better part of the last two millennia, the thing without which there would have been no Western civilization and, second, Christianity is that rich, that valuable, that even its staunchest enemies are just as staunchly determined to insure that they preserve some of its unique insights after they have wrenched those insights from the Christocentric context from which they derive their intelligibility.