It’s said that the difference between liberals and conservatives is that liberals don’t feel gratitude for what they’ve inherited, but that’s not true. Liberals do express admiration and gratitude, but of a particular kind. They are grateful for those daring individuals who “challenged injustice” or “made the world a better place”. Establishing and maintaining a social order doesn’t earn much recognition from them, because “mere” social continuity is supposed to happen automatically. Being a conservative, and–even more–being a parent, I find myself having more and more appreciation for all our humble, forgotten ancestors who just did the arduous job of keeping civilization going. There were times when just keeping a new generation alive until adulthood was an extremely difficult task. Passing on our moral and cultural inheritance is still extremely difficult. It doesn’t happen automatically–just look at what happened when one (post-WWII) generation decided not to bother.
“What have blacks contributed to our civilization?” asks Lawrence Auster, and he concludes that they have not contributed to civilization (although he grants that they have contributed to our culture, especially music). My first thought: well, they passed it on to their own children. My second thought: I don’t want to point a finger at blacks, because what have American Christians of any color contributed to American civilization? I’m serious. Most Americans are Christians, but of our country’s greatest statesmen, writers, composers, scientists, inventors, and entrepreneurs, how many are Christian? There might have been one or two, but I can’t think of many. This isn’t a “Christians are dumb” lament. Look at England, the mother country; during America’s lifetime, there have been great English Christian writers (e.g. Eliot) and scientists (e.g. Faraday). Black Christians may actually have been a more creative force in our culture than white Christians, although white Christians have (necessarily, because of our numbers) been the greatest preservative force.
The English monarchy is much more representative of its people than our democracy. The English sovereign has these past two centuries shared the national religion. Who was America’s first Christian president? I mean a real Christian, as in someone not thought to be a deist or a unitarian and who therefore might have believed in the Trinity. According to this list it was Andrew Jackson, our seventh president, who became a Presbyterian after leaving the presidency. (Note however that Washington’s deism is a matter of dispute.) Don’t stop there, though. Do follow the list down to see what an irreligious lot our presidents have been. “Government of deist freemasons, by deist freemasons, for deist freemasons.”
White America has no culture. Culture is the stories a people tells itself. In America, there are producers of stories–movie and television makers, mostly atheist, and a disproportionate number of these atheists being apostate Jews who don’t even have childhood memories of belonging to the majority faith. Then there are the passive consumers of stories–our “Christian America”. The two are separate and unmixed. This is commercialism, not culture. If atheists or Jews would write stories for their own consumption rather than ours, that would at least be real culture, although it wouldn’t be our culture. It’s not the fault of the atheists and Jews that Christian America isn’t expressing itself in a higher–or even a popular–culture. The fault is ours for abdicating cultural creation to the atheists, trusting them to express our communal consciousness for us. But this is something they can’t do, even if they wanted to, because they don’t share it.
Never is the lack of a Christian culture more obvious than when a television show tries to have a sympathetic Christian character. Here there’s no malice to blind the screenwriters, but the portrayal is still definitely off. They can’t capture the idiom. They’re not Christians, and they don’t interact with Christians. They’re in the same position as a Chinaman or a Turk writing a story about American Christians.
Why is it that American “culture” has spread throughout the world and become so popular so quickly? Is it because it’s so good? That can’t be it. Could it be because it’s already not a culture, but a product for export and consumption? It’s already rootless, with no ties to a particular people or place, with no “in jokes” that only a single culture would catch.