One of the central plays the Left is running is to paint Christians and conservatives with the same dirty brush as they do the alt-right white supremacists. They have been calling conservatives Nazis for years, a standard retort to such offenses as budgetary math and the suggestion that the federal government wear a functioning seat belt. Of course, now that real Nazis have sieg heil-ed their way through Charlottesville, what passes for political discourse is: aha, toldja so. Collapsing Christianity, conservatism, and alt-right white supremacy into one essence is a power play aimed to discredit and destroy Christianity and conservatism by mere association. Ultimately, it is a strategy to mar the name of Christ. Christian conservatives, therefore, must labor to break this association by refusing to own the alt-right in any capacity. They are not us; they are not ours.
The first thing Christian conservatives must do is clearly repudiate white supremacy. Brothers and sisters of color should not be confused as to where white brothers and sisters stand. Let us be clear: white supremacy is wicked. It is a high sin against almighty God, and it is a low blow against humanity. It is like Wormwood got drunk on whiskey and, in a stupor, stumbled upon an idea that would win him the Demon of the Year award. Therefore, we must disavow, denounce, and combat this anti-Gospel worldview. Simply regretting its existence is not enough; we must actively fight against it in tangible ways. This is part of our task in discipling our nation and teaching it to obey everything that Jesus commanded. And we must be sure to fight against white supremacy as an adversary. This is not an intramural squabble. Christians and the alt-right may share some common enemies, but we are not on the same team. They are not our crazy cousins that we need to somehow get in line. We are different families. Our Father is Father to all nations, and our Older Brother bled for every tribe. So we give no quarter to white supremacy.
Other than the fact that Christian conservatives and white nationalism are both referred to with the moniker “right” (e.g. religious right and alt-right), it should be obvious that we are talking about separate movements. The one area where liberals refuse to be non-binary is political identification. You are either right or left, and all the “rights” are the same thing. But the alt-right is neither conservative nor Christian. The movement favors a strong totalitarian government, violence, racial supremacy, abortion, and LGBT rights. Some of them self-identify—it’s all the rage these days—as Nazis, who, shall I remind you, were socialists. The alt-right is not the far-right, the most conservative of the conservatives; it isn’t even conservative at all. Joe Carter notes how the horseshoe theory helps us understand how to place movements like the alt-right, Black Lives Matter, and antifa on a political spectrum:
“The confusion about the movement’s politics lies in thinking that extremist groups are on each ‘end’ of the left-right political spectrum. It is more accurate to consider them through the lens of the horseshoe theory, a concept in political science that claims the far left and the far right, rather than being at opposite and opposing ends of a linear political continuum, closely resemble one another, much like the ends of a horseshoe.”
These extremist groups are at the tips of the horseshoe together, and share more in common with each other than they share with Christians.
And this brings us to the topic that has evangelical Twitter accounts all aflutter in dismay: whataboutism. This is the name given to the response given by some conservatives who reply to condemnations of the alt-right with some variation of, “well, what about _______?” filling in the blank with BLM, antifa, Barack Obama, or some other leftwing outfit. Those decrying whataboutism say we should not point out the sins of the left, but must first clean our own house. We must get the log out of our own eye before taking the speck out of antifa’s. This is true as far as it goes. If someone is guilty of racial malice and vainglory, he must repent of his own racism before going after the same of someone else. Otherwise, he is just making a tu quoque defense of himself by pointing out the hypocrisy of others. But what if the person pointing out antifa thuggery is not a racist? What if he also condemns neo-nazi alt-right thuggery? Saying that whataboutism ignores the command of Jesus to take the log out of one’s own eye assumes that all people pointing out violence of antifa have the log of racism in their eyes. This is hardly charitable or accurate. Is it impossible that some Christian conservatives obey our Father by abhorring double-standards? Is it inconceivable that some Christians watching the news are interested in practicing even-handedness and using equal weights and measures? Why do we assume they are automatically sinning?
Further, using the rhetoric of “clean our own house” and “get the log out of our own eyes” identifies the church with white supremacy. This language assumes that we are the same, linking the Church with white supremacy in the exact way the Left wants to do. By all means, if a Christian is guilty of racial malice and vainglory, then he must repent and his church must discipline him if he doesn’t. I do not doubt there are many such professing Christians. But a blanket ban on telling the truth and hating sin wherever we see it, regardless of the skin color of the sinner, is to play progressive identity politics, evangelical edition. It does not solve our problems, but exacerbates them.
At every turn, we must fight against the evils of white supremacy and the evils of godless secularism, the latter of which has a goal to discredit the church and tarnish the name of Christ by linking us with white supremacy. This is because secularists hate Jesus. We must not allow them to successfully run this play. White supremacy is not a fruit of the Gospel; it grows on secularism’s tree. When you remove the Cornerstone, the house collapses and all Hell breaks loose.
White supremacy is not our baby. It is the bastard child of secularism.