McAtee Contra Littlejohn on Nationalism

“Nationalism can also err by defining the boundaries of the nation too narrowly—identifying a part of the nation with “the true nation,” and ostracizing the rest. This is one possible error of Christian nationalists if they allow themselves to think their unbelieving neighbors are not really fellow Americans; it is also the error of “white nationalism,” which conflates national identity with race. National identities may involve race and religion—and indeed many nations have historically been quite racially or religiously homogenous—but American national identity is necessarily looser and more varied.”

Brad Littlejohn

1.) Dr. Littlejohn needs to keep in mind the etymological definition of the word from whence “Nation” comes. That word is “natal.” Per the 1828 Webster dictionary “Nation as its etymology imports, originally denoted a family or race of men descended from a common progenitor, like tribe.” So contra the esteemed Dr. Littlejohn nations cannot be nations unless they are both racially and religiously homogenous. The lack of such homogeneity presages conflict and friction in the geographic area mistakenly being called a “nation.” So, Dr. Littlejohn is simply in error here.

2.) As to “unbelieving neighbors,” I would still consider them Americans though their embrace of different faith will work to the end of their ostracizing themselves from the larger community just as I am now ostracized from America because I do not embrace humanism which is the current religion of America. I am a historic American by race but not a current American because of religion.

3.) Dr. Littlejohn says that “National identities may involve race and religion.” This implies that National identities may not involve race and religion which is just utter nonsense. A nation that does not share a common race (it may be the common race of no race or all races such as is the modern multicult America currently) and a common religion (it may be the common religions of no and all religions as is the modern multicult America now) cannot possibly be a nation.

4.) Dr. Littlejohn ends by saying; “American national identity is necessarily looser and more varied.” First, I would say that historically this just is not true. America was made for the descendants of Europe which is explicitly stated in the US Constitution when the White Christian European founders inked;

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and OUR posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of …

POSTER’ITY, noun [Latin posteritas, from posterus, from post, after.]

A. Descendants; children, children’s children, etc. indefinitely; the race that proceeds from a progenitor. -Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

Keep in mind that whether in the Continental Congress who inked the Constitution nor in the State Conventions that ratified the Constitution could you find anyone except White Europeans — and most of those were Christian.

The fact that we were not organized as “loosely and more varied,” as Littlejohn has it is seen in the writings of more than one founder. Here is John Jay;

“Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people,” a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs.” –

John Jay
1st Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

Then there is The Naturalization Act of 1790 (1 Stat. 103) which provided the first rules to be followed by the United States government in granting national citizenship. This law limited naturalization to immigrants who were “free white persons” of “good moral character.”

So, whatever may be the case now, historically Littlejohn is in gross error to say that Americans have a National Identity that is necessarily looser and more varied.

Next, I would say that current America is NOT looser and more varied in terms of National Identity. In order to be a current American, you have to own a National Identity that finds unity in the fact that America now will always be a mutt nation with mutt religion. To insists that America should not be mutt in race or religion makes one effectively non-American. I see little of Littlejohn’s “looser and more varied,” in American identity today.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

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