China’s state media exploiting identity politics in propaganda attack on US.
Beth Moore’s anti-nationalism smears and racially charged rhetoric are dangerous not only to America but the Church too.
Critical Race Theory (CRT), Intersectionality (I) and the attendant identity politics pose a national security risk. The division created by Identity Politics undermines national unity and foreign actors including Chinese state-affiliated media are exploiting it. In this case, the tragedy of the Atlanta murders and the progressive media reporting on it were turned against America by its Great Power rivals.
When Chinese state-affiliated media exploits identity politics, can there be any doubt that this is a dangerous and corrosive ideology that will destroy America?
As James Lindsay and Helen Pluckrose said in Cynical Theories that obsessive focus on race, “tear at the fabric that holds contemporary societies together.”
Without a cohesive national spirit that transcends race and religion there is only atomization.
Atomization will lead to balkanization.
There can be no doubt of the geopolitical benefits to malign actors like terrorists and Great Power rivals like Russia or China from the political disorder caused by this type of division. Yet, much of this dangerous ideology is spread by those within our own nation and our churches.
You will notice that the attack on America and any unifying national identity is part of the Progressive playbook. Secular Elites joined by Evangelical Elites repeatedly say that nationalism is wrong, dangerous and even a sin. For example, former Southern Baptist Beth Moore claimed that nationalism is a sin and the SBC is guilty of it.
As NBC News reported, “For years, Moore, 63, has spoken out against ‘sins of nationalism, racism, sexism, hatred’ within parts of the Southern Baptist Convention.”
This is dangerous. Nationalism is not a sin. Nationalism is simply the recognition that people are entitled to their own self-determination.
As Yoram Hazony explains in The Virtue of Nationalism, “The nationalism I grew up with is a principled standpoint that regards the world as governed best when nations are able to chart their own independent course, cultivating their own traditions and pursuing their own interests without interference. This is opposed to imperialism, which seeks to bring peace and prosperity to the world by uniting mankind, as much as possible, under a single political regime…Either you support, in principle, the ideal of an international government or regime that imposes its will on subject nations when its officials regard this as necessary; or you believe that nations should be free to set their own course.”
Nationalism is rooted in a long understanding by Protestant and Catholic thinkers that our responsibility to a community is anchored in both the benefits we receive from it and our blood ties.
As Thomas Aquinas said in Summa Theologica, “Man becomes a debtor to other men in various ways, according to their various excellence and the various benefits received from them. On both counts God holds first place, for He is supremely excellent, and is for us the first principle of being and government. On the second place, the principles of our being and government are our parents and our country that have given us birth and nourishment. Consequently, man is debtor chiefly to his parents and his country, after God. Wherefore, just as it belongs to religion to give worship to God, so does it belong to piety, in the second place, to give worship to one’s parents and one’s country.”
It is important for the Christian to remember that while we have a new identity in Christ—we remain present in this world with responsibilities and duties to our family and others. Evangelical teachings against patriotism (and nationalism) ignore the critical reality of our existence as dual citizens—we are both citizens of heaven and citizens of America.
Yet, both citizenships today are under assault. One group, conservative Christians are being made into second class citizens.
This is particularly dangerous for the church. Christians are supposed to be a place where there is neither Jew nor Greek; however, the new Social Justice Gospel requires white Christians to sit down and listen to groups defined as “oppressed.”
Who defines the oppressed groups? Progressive culture’s list is the starting point as Bible teachers like Beth Moore and other Evangelical Elites insist white Southern Baptists are guilty of racism and misogyny.
This is unhealthy for society.
How much more so for the church!
Yet, there is a path forward. We must promote a healthy identity. This means adopting something like a positive view of citizenship that takes benefits along with responsibilities.
Political Scientist Francis Fukuyama in his book Identity provides a roadmap. He writes, “While it would be wrong today to link identity to race, ethnicity, or religion, it is correct to say that national identity in a well-functioning democracy requires something more than passive acceptance of a creed. It requires citizenship and the exercise of certain virtues. A creedal identity is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for success.”
This is something the Church should model for America. The Church is diverse and creedal; however, membership is more than only ascent to the creed that Jesus is Lord but the active observance of our Lord’s commands. Thus, citizenship is lived out and, in some sense, shown to others through the fruit that a Christian brings forth.
This system is the same system the Church has known throughout its 2,000+ year history. We should not abandon it to the ethnic Gnosticism, racial grifters and prophets of division like Beth Moore of Big Evangelicalism.
Doing so would damage not only our country that we rightly love but the Church. This is intolerable.
Holding to a positive nationalism and rejecting the racial identity politics promoted by Critical Race Theory and liars like Beth Moore would be good for America and the church too. It is good for America as it protects us from the division spread by our Great Power rivals and it is good for the church because such a view fits the biblical data that the nation-state is God’s design for humanity.
 Fukuyama, p. 161.