When one immediately thinks of religion and the South they immediately think of two scenes: the Southern Baptist preaching fire and brimstone or the high church solemnity of the traditional Anglican Church.
Religion has long been a point of contention in the Alt-Right, and rightly so. Religion provides not only a framework and a cosmology that offers a sense of place in the universe, but it is also a source of our identity. Even secular right-wingers have been profoundly influenced by the nominalistic culture of Christianity — what Kierkegaard referred to as “Christendom.” Western literature is saturated with Christianity. One cannot understand Milton’s Paradise Lost without a firm working knowledge of the Book of Genesis. One cannot even interpret Nietzsche’s critiques of Christianity in his Antichrist without first having an understanding of the Pauline Epistles.
Orthodox Christians, Roman Catholics, Evangelical Protestants, Asatruars, and even Nietzschean Atheists have advanced their beliefs as those which the movement should unite around. Regardless of what religion we ascribe to there is one thing that is certain: the religious institutions that our ancestors built have been infected with liberalism. Even the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) campaigns vehemently for missions and food drives in Haiti in spite of the fact that you don’t see many Haitians in liturgy. The Southern Baptist Convention this year, of particular interest to southern nationalists, has issued an outright condemnation of conservative values, nationalism, and the Alt-Right.
The churches we attend would be completely unrecognizable to our grandparents. They have been transformed into something radically different.
This has brought many Southerners, including myself, into a “long night of the soul” where we do not know where to turn and do not know where to go. If you are like me, this gives you some options. I will go through what I believe to be the viable options, their positive and negative aspects. You can decide for yourself.
While I will not go into the differences between Sedevecantist Roman Catholics and the mainstream in communion with the Bishop of Rome, looking at them as a gestalt, there are several positive things to mention about Roman Catholicism. Roman Catholics take hardline stances against abortion and same-sex unions that most Southerners oppose. And generally, Catholics rally behind liturgical tradition. However, several of the latest popes have had liberal stances on immigration and the economy, especially the current Pontiff, Francis I. Many Roman Catholic dioceses are helping to replace the populations of German, Irish, and Italian whites with Mestizos. If you are Roman Catholic, ask yourself this one question : would my local bishop rather have a small traditional Latin Mass or fill the pews with a Spanish Mass? If it is the latter, then you have a problem.
Furthermore, Catholics, like the Orthodox as I will explain later, glorify celibacy to the point where the highest echelons of ecclesiastical power are in the hands of men who cannot relate to their married flocks. This not only devalues the position of marriage in spiritual life but sets up a situation where you can only choose your leaders from “the bottom of the barrel.” These are men, who mostly, have never held down full-time jobs, never learned a skill, never reared families, and have never owned property. This presents a ripe opportunity for abusive individuals to use the priesthood as a “beard” to obscure their vices (see the widespread, enduring pedophilia scandals in the Roman Catholic Church and you understand my meaning).
Roman Catholics are notorious, as well as Orthodox Christians, for acquiescing in the face of clerical abuse in order to maintain their support of Apostolic authority. I don’t know how many times I have been in conversation with Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians when a bishop behaves badly or misappropriates funds only to have them say, “Well, they are a bishop.”
Just because a man wears a miter doesn’t make him immune to criticism. To quote Beaumarchais’ Le Figaro, “without the freedom to criticize there can be no true praise.”
Eastern Orthodoxy’s liturgical life is very attractive to those on the right. It has respect for austere tradition and good aesthetics. However, even though most Eastern Orthodox clergymen are allowed to marry, the people who hold the most power, bishops, are celibate. Most Orthodox bishops do not understand the plight of modern families and cannot relate to their needs. Additionally, Eastern Orthodoxy, at least outside of Orthodox nations, have churches divided into jurisdictions based on ethnicity. You have a church for Arabs, Greeks, Romanians, Ukrainians, etc., etc., ad nauseum. At least here in the United States of America, there is no autocephalous church for Americans (the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) boasts this title, however, it is actually a Slavic organization with ties to mother churches in Eastern Europe). These divisions are very problematic. In fact, many Orthodox churches look upon their white converts as a kind of shabbos goyim, people who contribute and promote Orthodoxy but are not considered part of the “tribe.”
In the 1980s through the early 1990s, many Christians from Protestantism and Roman Catholicism found a home in Eastern Orthodoxy having become disaffected by the churches they were raised in. However, their entry did nothing to change the operation of Orthodoxy in the Americas. The majority of Orthodox bishops are still ethnic. And in spite of their lack of representation in the highest levels of clergy, white converts coming out of Evangelical Christianity are usually the highest donors with respect to income. Many still adhere to the Biblical doctrine of tithing, unlike ethnic Orthodox who are used to state-sponsored churches. The entry of white converts to Orthodoxy has tapered somewhat after recent financial scandals in various Orthodox American jurisdictions have exposed their mismanagement.
Many jurisdictions in North America, despite dwindling ethnic populations in parishes, insist on conducting liturgy in languages other than English (the Greeks and Arabs are notorious for this). In essence, this makes Eastern Orthodoxy in America a front for ethnic interests. Indeed, in many Orthodox synods the most coveted bishoprics are in the United States where American money from fleeced parishes is funneled back to mother churches across the Atlantic.
Many Southerners have found solace in Paganism. And while my Christian readers may criticize them for their decision, remember this one fact: people go where they are fed. Pagans in the Alt-Right Movement have been some of the first to recognize the “pozzed” attitude of many Christian institutions, not to mention the nature that modern Christianity has taken: a Christianity which as Nietzsche said, is devoid of “joy” with its staunch Puritanicalism or one that is almost manic in its liberalism. Pagans should be praised for drawing a line in the sand. They have had enough and they have gone on to create their own institutions that will support the people that they are built for. Stephen McNallen and the Asatru Folk Assembly (AFA) immediately comes to mind. Their charitable works go directly to support their own needy adherents, they are pro-family, and when it comes to some of their activist work, they are more than willing to break bread and cooperate with Christians who share their interests. If there is one model for running an effective religious organization in its infancy, one needs to simply look no further than the AFA.
However, Southerners are still very much tied to Christianity. As Flannery O’Connor said that while she could not state that the South was Christ-centered, it is nonetheless “Christ-haunted.” While contemporary Europeans have sterilized Christ from their consciousness, He still lingers and preaches on the Mount of the Southern man’s mind. Furthermore, as the new Alsherjargothi of the AFA Matt Flavel has pointed out, “Asatru is a religion that requires homework.” The reason it requires homework is that it is a reconstructed religion that demands one to either revive old rituals or create new ones that have been lost. Christianity, even in its current form, consists of a living framework with tools to work with.
The Protestant Option
The South, like much of the United States, is predominantly Protestant. The spiritual ethos of Protestantism is deeply engrained in the Southern mind. It isn’t just simply trusting the providence of God and the respect for the Scriptures. It is the very sense of rebellion in the light of the a just cause that Southerners and Protestants respect. Protestantism, like the Southern Secessionist movements, were inspired by the desire to correct inconsistencies and abolish abuse. It is with this that I propose a “Southron Church” or “Church of Dixie,” by and for the Southerner. Furthermore, the ministry of Jesus Christ was rooted in a spirit of rebellion against the scribes, priests, Pharisees, and Sadducees of His time.
But what will a Church of Dixie look like? That is for future discussions. But as the old saying goes, from acorns to oaks. A Dixie Church could begin as a small confederation (haha) of home churches based on the famous pool parties. These home churches could begin with something as simple as Bible study among friends on Sundays followed by a potluck supper. It would begin in the very same way as the New Testament churches in the Book of Acts began: communities of Christians helping each other, feeding one another, and nurturing each other in a world gone mad: an ark in the midst of the flood.
In other words, these organizations would effectively become tribes, or second families – real families, not the ones manufactured by churches who do not have our interests at heart. We would turn people toward a spiritual life rather than a life of spiritual commuting. We would also have an organization that fits our narrative. Want to canonize Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson? Well, go right ahead. Ain’t no Pope stopping you.
For those who cry heresy in my face, I respond with with words of Queen Elizabeth I when debating the Act of Uniformity. “This isn’t heresy. This is common sense, which is a most English virtue.”
It’s also a Southern one too.
-By Southern Comfort
 Self-headed or independent. Autocephalous churches in Orthodox ecclesiology is where the highest-ranking bishop in that church does not report to another bishop.
 Flannery O’Connor, Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Identity Dixie. In addition, we welcome rebuttals from our readers and publish counter-arguments.