Patriotism, Flag Waving & Allegiance

“We salute one flag and that is the American flag. And we’re going to make sure the American flag gets the respect it deserves, alright? … Patriotism will be celebrated in our cities and taught very, very strongly to our children.”

Donald Trump
Thank You, Tour
Hershey, Pennsylvania

“The territorialization of the patriotic sentiment has its modern roots in the political state that emerged in the Renaissance, but it was not brought to high intensity until the French Revolution. Then it was that the idea of France, ‘one and indivisible,’ became the mainspring, working through Jacobin decree and military successes in the field, of what think of as modern nationalism and patriotism.

Patriotism, as we have known it for nearly two centuries has been inseparable from war and revolution. Each of these forces, destroying or diminishing as they have the more ancient ties of race, locality, religion and kinship as effective allegiances….”

Robert Nisbet
Twilight of Authority — pg. 58

Many have been those who have opined that Trump ran upon a “civic nationalism.” But the question has to be asked, at least, what kind of Nationalism does Trump envision. Though I consider myself a Nationalist, I recognize that not all Nationalisms are created equal. The kind of Nationalism I envision is a grass roots nationalism that grows up out of allegiances that are more fundamental to an allegiance to the nation that is just the consequence of those former and prior allegiances.

There is a Nationalism that exists that is posited on the destruction of the allegiances I consider primary. Allegiance to religion, race, people group, locality, clan and kin are the bedrock allegiances that when existent create natural loyalty and allegiance to the nation. However, there is a patriotism that we might call “un-natural.” Un-natural because it reverses the process and is built top down. The demand is for the patriotism to the Fatherland without a prior patriotism to the former allegiances mentioned. This kind of nationalism absolutizes the nation-state and so seeks to destroy all other allegiances and patriotisms in favor of allegiance to the Father-land. This is the kind of nationalism that finds children being encouraged to report on their parents. This is the kind of nationalism that expects ministers to read their Bibles through the flag.

I don’t know which kind of patriotism Trump is touting but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that this kind of “patriotism” talk concerns me. Trump talks about local, local, local. I like that. But is he really going to give us a patriotism that devolves power from DC so that the local can be genuinely local again and so worthy of plights of fealty?

If he does so, I’ll be the first to congratulate Trump.

Bless Be The Tie That Binds

A people is constituted by the living who recognize, respect, and identify with their dead in the things and imprints of places that they left behind. The living love their dead by training their young into the social affections that keep their dead alive to them…

Edmund Burke

It is in the heirlooms of our ancestors as well in the shared belonging to a geographical place wherein the sense of generational continuity is fostered and wherein the bonds between the living and the dead and yet to be born are kindled and strengthened. The bands that tie the loved departed with the loved to be born are not bands that are merely abstract ideas. Such thinking would border on a creeping Gnosticism. No, our connection with the past and the future, as well as the connection through us of the past to the future is concretely embodied in our heirlooms and a shared place occupied by generation to generation.

An example.

My own Father didn’t leave much behind but what he left I cherish as a connection to him. When I go out I often will wear one of his old chapeaus. The hat itself is not in the best of condition.  I could easily purchase something that would be “nicer” or more stylish but because the chapeau belonged to my Father it serves as a kind of talisman that connects me to my Father and so I value it far more highly than anybody else would value it. His hat is hardly an heirloom in the traditional sense of that word but it is a bond in keeping with Burke’s opening quote.

These kinds of bonds which keep us connected to a living but absent past can be found in a shared homestead passed down generationally, or in shared heirlooms. It may be the library passed on from generation to generation. It could be the transgenerational belonging to the same Church or to the same community. The Historic Christian faith provides this kind of linkage between the dead fathers and their living sons.

Thomas McCauley captured something of what I am getting at when he inked,

“To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late 
And how can man die better 
Than facing fearful odds 
For the ashes of his fathers
And the temples of his gods”

Note, the sense of connection of McCauley’s hero with his Fathers and his faith. Horatius is defending both the living and the dead. This is largely absent in our individualistic culture.

Stephen Wolfe says the same without the poetic form,

The most precious aspect of human community—the connection among the dead, living, and yet-to-be-born —is the most delicate, the easiest to destroy. The most effective way to destroy the solidarity of a people is to undermine and sever their connection with the past and thereby disconnect the dead from the yet-to-be-born. The future, as a result, becomes a project rooted in universal and timeless values, a process of homogenizing the world into a series of sites—a flatness brought about by disaffection. The world becomes sites of consumption.


When we ignore these kinds of connections we descend into an atomistic individualism where the only important society is the consumeristic society of the here and now. We become disconnected to a sense of the past which promises that the generations that follow us will become disconnected to us, once we are gone. There is zero continuity and our Christian Fathers are to us so remote that giving up on them is as easy as giving up on the cheap imported gadget when it goes on the fritz.

And so because we refuse the bonds to our Christian past and our Christian Fathers our children will be whatever the anti-Christ creators of modernists culture want them to be.


The Connection Between The Second Amendment And Government Schools

“Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment,” Trump said to boos from the crowd.

“By the way, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks,” he then added.

“Though the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”

Donald J. Trump

1.) Hillary Clinton does indeed support abolishing the Second Amendment. At a townhall meeting recently Clinton responded to a question regarding the desire to clamp down on gun ownership by saying,

“the [Australian] government was able to curtail the supply and set a different standard for gun purchases in the future.”

Clinton finished by saying,

“It would be worth considering doing it on the national level.”

Clinton wants to take your Second Amendment God given rights away. In such a context it is fitting and proper for her opponent to note that such an action may well lead to unfavorable consequences.

2.) Our Marxist media is hyperventilating over the fact that Trump noted that Americans in 2016 might take the same actions against a Government that seeks to seize their weapons as Americans in 1776 took when the Government sought to seize their weapons.

Trump is not calling for political assassination. He is merely saying that if the FEDS come for guns some people may not go quietly into the night. This is an objective fact.

Today’s media would have supported the British in 1776.

3.) People who are so exercised in protecting the Second Amendment are a curious lot. I say that because many many of them are so incredibly hostile to any idea of seizing their weapons and yet they turn right around and willingly give up their children to be brainwashed in Government schools. If all the people who are intensely pro-Second Amendment had not sent their children to Government schools to be propagandized into Cultural Marxist thinking no politician would ever dare bring up the idea of overturning the Second Amendment since there would not be the public support for such a policy.

4.) Clearly, rabid Second Amendment types, by their actions, demonstrate that keeping their weapons is more important than keeping their children. The same rabidness about protecting our guns from the clutches of the FEDS should be applied to protecting our children from the clutches of the FEDS. Indeed, keeping our children is more important than keeping our guns, if only because guns need trigger fingers to squeeze the trigger in order to be effective and if we keep our children there will be more children with more trigger fingers in order to fire back at the FEDS when they seek to exercise their tyranny. If you want your children to share your conviction about the Second Amendment and its importance then take them out of Government Schools.

5.) If people desire to be truly consistent about their opposition to gun control then they should be equally opposed to children control. If you really love your guns do your children a favor and get them out of Government schools.

Baptist Refusal to Baptize Their Children & Postmodern Refusal to Assign Gender to Their Children

Baptists are forever insisting that only those who can articulate their confession of Christ are to be Baptized.  John MacArthur gives us one such example,

“The significance of Baptism is unmistakably clear. In our day, an open solemn confession of the crucified risen Lord is necessary. All who experience the reality of the power of the risen Savior should give this public testimony to His glory as an act of obedience. In biblical Baptism in the New Testament manner, believers not only give testimony to their union with Christ…listen to this…they give testimony to their thoughtful, careful, submissive obedience to the holy Scripture in which nothing could be treated as unimportant.”

Since infants can’t give what MacArthur’s requires therefore infants are not to be recipients of Baptism as a means of Grace. Indeed, the genuine Baptist doesn’t even like calling Baptism a “means of Grace” since to speak like that is putting the emphasis on what God is doing in Baptism as opposed to the Baptist emphasis that Baptism is about what we are doing by being Baptized.

This is Baptist thinking. Children of Christians are not to be Baptized until they can name for themselves their own religious identity as Christian.

This thinking of the sovereign child, who can only be Christian in the context of their own self understanding is now bleeding off into other areas that make perfect sense given the Baptist premise of, “a child cannot choose their religious identity until they are epistemoligcally self conscious about what identity they want to choose.”

Think about it.

What is the difference between Baptist parents insisting that their children have to be epistemoligcally self conscious about what religious identity they want to choose and Modern parents now who are insisting that their children have to be epistemologically self conscious about what sexual identity those children want to choose? What we are saying here is that there is a harmony found in Baptist parents refusing to baptize their children and many modern parents today refusing to “baptize” their children into a predetermined gender believing, just as the Baptists believe, that their children should be able to have a say in the matter of what gender they will have.

Modern parents insisting that children must choose their own sexual identity is just the logical extension of Baptist parents insisting that children must choose their own religious identity.

The point here isn’t that there is an exact one to one correspondence on this matter. The point here is that when you start with the sovereign individual who must be consulted before covenantal realities are determined apart from his or her approval the end result, naturally enough, is sovereign individuals who must be consulted before any number of realities are determined apart from zhis or zhers approval.

Consistent Baptist thinking lends itself to the atomized individual and once the individual is atomized then he or she is free to be self determinate in every area of life from religion to sexuality to who knows where else.

Some will protest that this isn’t a fair analogy since baptism signifies a supernatural event whereas sex is a natural given. But to protest such as this is to miss the point of the analogy. The point of the analogy is not supernatural vs. natural. The point of the analogy is the sovereign individual choosing all. When it is realized that this is the point of the analogy then all protestations of my creating a “straw man” here lose their power.

Let me also add here that both in God’s covenantal ordering and in sexuality both Baptism and gender are objective categories. When one is birthed to Christian parents one is, objectively speaking, a member of the covenant and so is Baptized just as one is, objectively speaking, either male or female. There is a givenness in both being a member of the covenant and in our gender that is objective. That givenness may be twisted but it can never be changed.

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends … Mickey Henry; A Christian Apologetic For Open Carry During Church Worship Services

Mickey Henry is a non de plume of a personal friend of mine who was recently rebuffed by his Church “leadership” for daring to open carry in Church in a state where to do so is legal. This is a letter he wrote to his leadership after being told he may not open carry in his “conservative” Church. Try to keep in mind that there was a time in the history of our country when it was not uncommon for men to carry their weapons to Church. I think that Mickey’s letter is convincing.


Dear Elder Donnie

Since concealed carry is encouraged, we share a lot of common ground concerning self-defense and the errors of pacifism. Suffice to say, armed defense of innocents is simply the application of the positive requirements of the Sixth Commandment. The crux of disagreement, then, is open vs. concealed. Here, in brief, are my arguments for open carry:

1. I am of the strong opinion that open carry acts as a deterrent to violence. Open carry is essentially a clear statement that acts of aggression will be met with strong resistance.

2. To Christ is given all authority; all earthly authority is thus derivative. Because we Christians confess Christ as Lord, submitting to His Law-Word, Christians have a unique responsibility to rule under Christ as His earthly vicegerents. We are, in fact, commanded to do so by the Dominion Mandate. Weapons and related imagery, such as swords, spears, maces, the fasces, halberds, etc., are the customary tokens by which power and authority are symbolized and commonly recognized (the instruments of the death penalty are identified with the authority to execute the death penalty). I open carry as a visible symbol of my submission to Christ’s Law-Word, and my willingness to use the authority He has given me to defend my family and other innocent life.

3. Just as the Gospel is made clear in the symbols and liturgy of the Church, there is a certain visible representation of the Law-Grace dynamic in the open carry of weapons by confessing Christians: grace and mercy to the innocent, justice for those who would transgress His Law.

4. The degenerate culture around us tolerates Christians only if we are weak and impotent. But we are to be standard bearers, a city on a hill, no matter the spirit of the age. I am glad that a number of the men at Redeemer do carry weapons, but open carry makes manifest that ours is a vital faith, and we will not cower or lower ourselves to the popular image of the ineffectual Christian man engendered by the enemies of God.

5. As to scaring away visitors, I humbly submit that this is an expression of the “attractive Gospel” theories of the Kellerite/New Calvinist movement, and is at odds with the historical understanding of Calvinism. A work of God’s grace on His elect is to overcome their sinful aversion to the practical outworking of His Law. Large families, homeschooling, modest dress, infant baptism, all male leadership, advocacy for traditional marriage – these things and others in open view at Redeemer are offensive to the broader culture and even to some of our brethren in other denominations, but we practice them as the people of our Lord and Savior, and depend on the sufficiency of His grace to reach those who visit us. Additionally, this being Texas, I have little doubt that at least some visitors would be attracted by a sign of such vitality.