Fortress Building in Negative World

Toward a Cultural Insurgency

“It has been the custom of princes, so as to be able to hold their states more securely, to build fortresses that would be a bridle and bit for those that might plan to act against them, and to have a secure refuge from sudden attack. I praise this mode because it has been used since antiquity.”

–Machiavelli, The Prince

Aaron’s Renn’s Life in the Negative World continues to generate discussion and reassessment. Rightly so. (You can get up to speed on the “three worlds” heuristic here.) The situation is dire. The book is timely. Roughly, the first half of Renn’s book is descriptive, defining the relationship, if you will, between Evangelicalism (or American Protestantism) and the culture. The second half provides preliminary advice for constructing a Negative World strategy. But Renn has expounded futher on said strategy elsewhere. In a speech last year, he presented further provisions.

In brief, Renn suggests that Evangelicals need a “cultural insurgency” (or counter insurgency) mindset to suit Negative World as opposed to the Culture War or Cultural Engagement mindsets of Positive and Neutral Worlds, respectively.

A Culture War approach assumes cultural predominance and power at some competitive level such that oppositional culture can be engaged on equal footing or countered at scale. Here, the whole culture is targeted. A Cultural Engagement mindset assumes a marketplace setting, not the battlefield. Cultural engagers operate in a real (or, rather, imagined) plane of neutrality, not conflict. Free exchange is possible and fair competition ensures meritocratic outcomes, so to speak.

Culture warriors rightly understand themselves to be in a state of war, but they misconceive their own position in Negative World. Christians no longer strike from a position of strength and dominance. Culture warriors are bound to lose because their targets are unachievable (at present) and they mistakenly intend to meet the enemy in the field at close range in mirrored formation. They are, in fact, colonials in the continental army attempting to engage the red coats in open combat. Moreover, culture warriors are poor at constructing proper defensive structures, and crudely put, think both too big but also too small.

Cultural engagers, because they are stuck in Neutral World, are wrong in their assessment of the state of play. War is upon us, whether we would wish it or not. Operating in a market mindset is conducive only to peacetime. The currency in peacetime markets is respectability and reputation which captivates cultural engagers, indebting them to market forces. Cultural engagers are also not adept at building defensive structures suitable to Negative World conditions.

The recruitment strategies of both Culture Warriors and Engagers are also outdated and increasingly ineffective. Engagers lack a martial spirit, but Warriors lack strategy. A posture of cultural insurgency is the right fit for Negative World. Cultural insurgency is realist in its assessment of the Evangelical position, strategic in its targeting, and separatist insofar as it shuns the incumbent status hierarchies and cultural currency. We add that this strategy is distinguishable from the Benedict Option model presented by Rod Dreher because it is only provisionally defensive; it is neither passive nor accelerationist, but strategic. Long-term, it is offensive.

Renn provides two important attributes for this new model, the second of which is included in the book though in relatively brief form. First, shifting loyalties. Second, owned space. Taken together, these two principles form the basis of the cultural insurgency mindset. But more must be fleshed out in terms of expression and strategy.

Upgrade to Fortress

This Negative World approach is best captured by the idea of a network of fortresses.

Fortresses as pockets of insurgency strongholds, located in strategic places, sufficiently resilient to external attack, and vigilant against infiltration offer not just a Negative World survival strategy, but a springboard to a new world hereafter—a new Positive World. Indeed, if Negative World is anything other than a stage within a cycle, ultimately leading back to a Positive World, then this strategy is irrelevant and futile. Our aspirations must extend beyond our present embattlement. Evangelicals must not succumb to a theologized, baptized version of their present condition under a “pilgrim” or “sojourner” ethic.  

We are not looking for Evangelical CHAZ or Christian Occupy Wall Street—or a new Münster, Germany circa 1535, for that matter. We must build for a new future, not a LARP #RETVRN, but a real and new American Christendom. New Christendom Press seems to share some of this vision in their upcoming “Building Christian Boroughs” conference. (If you are a reader that needs an “option,” go ahead and call this the Alfred Option.)

This begins, in most cases, not with fully formed towns sprung out of the ether, but with strategically placed, carefully constructed fortresses, castle, borough (or burh), or hillfort—whatever you like. This metaphor captures the cultural insurgency mindset.

We cannot conquer the cities; we do not yet possess the requisite technology, force, arms or resolve for such a siege. We also cannot construct our own cities—that is advanced technology not available to a novice. Imagine yourself at the outset of a game like Sid Meier’s Civilization or Age of Empires or Total War. (You had been thinking about ancient Rome, as one does daily, and needed to express your longings for glory through a time-consuming map game!)

You begin with a mere settlement, a vulnerable fledgling. You must develop in both strength of arms, population, economy, and technology before you can upgrade to a sprawling city with extensive cultural reach. Before that, you must make your position defensible. You must construct a fortress. Thus far, in Negative World, Evangelicals have settled for dilapidated, defenseless settlements—sometimes former towns, in this metaphor. Those that remain in such habitations have not fully recognized (or accepted) their vulnerability.  

A fortress is marked by its defensive construction. It is built for battle, for protection from external enemies. Ancient boroughs, castles, and fortresses also contained economic, social, and familial life, especially as they grew into towns and cities. One strategy to winning “map games” like Civilization is to develop such an extensive range of cultural influence with which your opponent cannot compete. Though the radius is not broad, establish enough fortresses, outposts, across the map—a network—with overlapping cultural influence and you can counter the effect of a city.  

But the initial phase of reinforcement of the Evangelical position must be dedicated to antifragility, insulation, protection from external threats. Upgrade to a fortress. Solidify your position and, with time, you can launch from a place of strength. Again, the long-term goal is not monkish withdrawal but conquest.

Fortresses are not always and everywhere alike useful. Their use depends on circumstance. If you control a country or city, fortresses may sow resentment, and are useless in quelling rebellion, and this is especially true if you find yourself a prince of a newly conquered country. “[I]f the people hold you in hatred fortresses do not save you,” Machiavelli reminds us in The Prince. There is no substitute for esteem. “[S]o long as Rome lived free and followed her institutions and virtuous constitutions, they never built one to hold either a City or a province.”

As he further lays out in Discourses on Livy, fortresses cannot protect you from your own subjects, but they can defend you from external enemies. Of course, situational awareness is key here, and fortresses can be harmful even in the latter case. Again, this strategy is provisional, suited to the present moment.

American Protestants, Evangelicals, are no longer in control of the nation in which they live. They do not own the space culturally, economically, or legally. In this sense, their enemies are external not internal. One day, if Providence permits, once Evangelical technology has sufficiently “upgraded,” a fortress can transition into a new city on a hill. The eyes of all people are, indeed, upon us.

Fortresses, in this model, can and should take on various forms. Places like Moscow, Idaho or Hillsdale, Michigan represent something closer to “towns.” Each place features an array of “fortresses” insofar as each contains several resilient industries or institutions. Schools, colleges, and businesses, not to mention population and demonstrated cultural reach, situate Moscow and Hillsdale as aspirational examples, but ones not yet attainable for most locales and organizations. Something like Ridge Runner also presents an encouraging but unique situation wherein the “town” phase might be acquired more rapidly and completely than most places.

Think smaller, at first. Establish antifragile organizations and institutions (digital and physical) that possess the provisions, resolve, and resilience for Negative World. Schools, companies, and media can all constitute fortresses in this sense. None of them can, alone, morph into a “town,” but they can and should be strongholds, self-consciously so. Above all, these fortresses must be self-sufficient and self-reliant, not depending on the real or cultural capital of the Negative World for sustenance. We are besieged; act like it… build like it.

In turn, a network of fortresses is the optimal Negative World strategy at this stage. Interconnectivity, mutual support–something like King Alfred’s roadways between burhs–is essential. This strategy requires, again, an insurgency mindset, shifting loyalties, and independence of arms (i.e., owned space). Allow us to explain further.

Shift Loyalties

In one of his talks from last year, Renn advised Christians to shift their loyalty from the incumbent regime to the American people. At first glance, this move may appear impossible. How does one pledge allegiance to America and not to its political order?

In his provocative 1995 book, The Next American Nation, Michael Lind in no uncertain terms rejected the “proposition nation” propaganda, a bold move even today, but especially at the height of the decadent but self-confident 1990s. “The very notion of a country based on an idea is absurd.”

“A real nation,” he countered, “is a concrete historical community, defined primarily by a common language, common folkways, and common vernacular culture.” We should add that all nationalists assert the preservation of these national elements and, moreover, insist that a nation should act self-consciously and primarily for itself.

With this in mind, Lind’s comment that “The American nation is older than its government,” makes intuitive sense. Of course, it is possible for a nation’s customs to be informed by certain ideas, but without concretizing customs, those ideas remain abstractions.

Taking the “post-national idea-state” thesis to task, Lind went on to advocate for a kind of liberal, anti-nativist nationalism (which “might be most simply defined as yesterday’s ‘melting-pot’ nationalism updated to favor the cultural fusion and genetic amalgamation… of all races”), but his particular brand of nationalism does not interest us here. Rather, it is Lind’s astute bifurcation of patriotism and nationalism that is useful.

Today, patriotism is often deployed as a sort of nicer alternative to nationalism. Etymologically, the two could be interchangeable synonyms, but colloquially they function differently. Patriotism provides a non-threatening conceptual hook for commentators like Paul Miller or David French to project their American loyalty in a way sanitized of what they find unsavory or immodest about most everyone to their right—which includes most all of us at this point. In other words, patriotism and nationalism are juxtaposed as synonymous in all but degree and sobriety.

Lind on the other hand distinguishes between the two in kind or species. Patriotism is “allegiance to a particular government or constitution; nationalism is loyalty to the interests of the cultural nation. The nationalist is willing to sacrifice patriotic duty to national loyalty, if necessary.” Lind, recently a critic of overzealous reverence for our founders, nevertheless cites late-eighteenth century Americans as his illustrative example.

Secession from Britain and the adoption of a new form of government was necessary when the interests of the American nation demanded it. (See the list of grievances in the Declaration of Independence.) “Governments should serve nations, not nations government.”

And, we hasten to add, a government must be formed for a people. Law must suit an ethnos. Montesquieu makes this clear in The Spirt of the Law: “[Laws] should be adapted in such a manner to the people for whom they are framed.” The character of a people includes their religion, inclinations, manners, and customs. Crucially, though, neither the laws themselves nor the form of government—the regime—can be equated with the people.

A government, its law and enforcement apparatus, should never be hostile to the people or nation it governs. The longevity of the nation is the preeminent priority of any just regime. Insofar as our own government is hostile—sometimes openly—to the American nation and way of life it is unjust. To be clear, violent regime change is not being advocated for here—Renn, too, explicitly shuns violence and advises Evangelicals to do the same. What we are saying is that Evangelicals should not expend their focus, time, or resources for patriotic interests, but rather for national ones. This posture does not entail lawbreaking or insurrection, but rather a reorientation of voluntary expenditure (of all kinds) toward what will likely be more localized and Christian projects. To borrow Renn’s example, whilst serving the military is admirable in principle, it is no longer in the Evangelical interest in the Negative world to devote blood and treasure to an organization diametrically and openly opposed to the historic American way of life governed by an increasingly erratic foreign policy that results in the disproportionate deaths of fly-over-country residents.

Owned Space, Aligned Arms

Life in the Negative World includes a brief chapter (“Pursue Ownership”) on the concept of owned space. Owned space is the institutional flip side of personal resilience. The concept is self-explanatory. Renn encourages Evangelicals to gather economic, cultural, and literal space (i.e., real estate) in order to break with potentially detrimental reliance on hostile holdings. “One of the problems evangelicals face in America today is that they exist almost entirely inside space owned by others—legally owned in many cases, but more importantly, socially and culturally owned.”

The foundation of all good polities is good laws and good arms. Both must be indigenous and are interdependent. In The Prince, Machiavelli advises never to allow yourself to be put in a position where you are forced to rely on the arms of others. It follows that the ideal defensive force is a homegrown militia, drawn from your own citizenry.

Conversely, Mercenaries and auxiliaries—i.e., allies—are “useless and dangerous” since both are “the arms of others.” The “slavery and disgrace” of Italy, Machiavelli claims, was owed to reliance on foreign arms. Therefore, he concludes, a good ruler prefers “to lose with his own [arms] than to win with others, since he judges it no true victory that is acquired with alien arms.”

Your arms must be aligned; you cannot afford to allow for your forces to harbor ulterior motives or divided loyalties. This fact is especially true for Christians if they want to hope to possess the resolve and stamina necessary to maintain fidelity in the Negative World.

Translated into socio-economic terms, this is expressed by Renn—drawing on Michael Anton drawing on Bronze Age Pervert (BAP), both of whom surely are drawing on the Florentine himself—as “owned space.” Anton takes to be the central insight of Bronze Age Mindset (BAM) For BAP, life is a “struggle for space.” From BAM:

“It is this aspect of our time that is crucial to understand. When I speak of something like owned space it must not remain mere word. When you understand something I mean you must see and feel it like you would a landscape you know from youth, how to navigate all its nooks, the different heights of earth, the banks of streams, where the trees are and how it feels inside them, how long it takes walking from this or that group of beech to the abandoned factory, so that the map is already in your body.”       

Living in space (or territory) owned by others diametrically opposed to your flourishing or simply divergent in their aims and ends is akin to captivity. You do not know the landscape; it is not yours. Demoralization ensues.

“Holes” or enclaves—ghettos in a “world of shadows”—for misaligned outcasts are intentionally permitted, says BAP. An outcast may discover some sense of exhilaration in such niche environments, but this is artificial and temporary. The enclaves still operate even in their contained rebellion by the rules of others. BAP interprets, not without reason, this move as a mechanism of control: “The truth is that they are allowing these ‘holes’ because they, or the people who crafted the fabric in which the masters of lies operate, are smart enough to know you need these ‘free spaces.’” The very idea of “free space” is an exception to the rule and implies gatekeepers. Meaning, you are not the rule.

“It is with sadness that you realize, eventually, after the first exhilarating rush of freedom in this world of the damned, that these spaces too, thought not so pervasively ‘owned,’ have portals and gates manned by that which owns everything else.”

In this situation, the life of the enclave within pre-owned space morphs into parody. BAP describes this, shall we say, more colorfully. And his ideal of actualization, maturity, and flourishing is not a Christian one, which is not to say it is all anti-Christian or incompatible in toto. But the analogy and descriptive power of BAM holds.

Life in space owned by others is like living behind enemy lines (think of the movie with Owen Wilson and Gene Hackman in Bosnia). And non-conformists live in prisoner camps, even if they are very nice ones. In our case, the case of America, Christian life is that of a homeland conquered, but less Red Dawn and more The Man in the High Castle, sanitized and deceptively homogenous and politely hostile to what came before. Life in the Negative World is negation of past conditions and expectations.  

For some time, Christians have assumed that this arrangement is, at least, better than nothing. Or, worse, they have rejiggered their theology to justify this treatment—marginalization and martyrdom represent the singular political posture for some Evangelical “thought leaders.” Indeed, life in space owned by others induces self-misunderstanding and domestication, confusion. Hence why what passes for political thought in Evangelical circles amounts to little more than baptized liberal truisms spawned in the post-war, Warren court era. To quote someone BAP would approve of: When I am among the many I live as the many do, and I do not think I really think. After a time it always seems as if they want to banish myself from myself and rob me of my soul.

Prudence—another one of Renn’s imperatives—must always govern application, but the fact that Evangelicals are not only novel and ahistorical in their thinking, but lack the will or wherewithal to think, much less act, in their own interests evinces a sub-rational existence—demoralized deplorables all. Prolonged captivity does that. Reliance on foreign arms, made domicile in rented space, invariably leads to servitude.  

First, Evangelicals need to recognize their current state, but they need not accept it. Second, they must strategize a jailbreak. But bare freedom is not enough, just as mere life is not enough. American Protestants need to, on the one hand, readopt a sense of ownership in their own land, albeit concomitant aspirations cannot yet be realized. More immediately, they need to discover initiative, resilience, and self-reliance: adopt the industriousness and guile of your forbears.

The posture advocated for here is foreign to American Christians generally because of the relatively favorable conditions of the Positive and Neutral Worlds. Their muscles have atrophied. Machiavelli accordingly advised princes to exert themselves mentally and physically via study of tactical history, geographical surveying, and hunting, for example, in peacetime to avoid this deleterious fate. American Christians do not know how to defend themselves, much less reconquer lost space, and, metaphorically, lack knowledge of their own landscape. Now it is trial by fire that awaits them.


Fortresses are useless and, indeed, harmful at controlling your own people. They invite resentment and are vulnerable to someone lowering the draw bridge, as it were. Under ordinary circumstances, fortresses are ineffective for preserving a city but potentially useful as a last resort. Such measures are all that are left to us now.

To defend against enemies who have already conquered the land and cities, fortresses can be useful to carve out a foothold of space. First, we have already determined that we are not trying to control our own people. Second, we must screen for potential counterinsurgents. No traitors can remain within the gates. Treachery is the greatest threat. If someone lowers the draw bridge, we are finished.

Renn has illustrated this necessary process with the example of Doug Wilson’s notorious blogging. Moscow, Idaho serves as a model for much of what Renn has discussed in various talks, but in this case, he notes that Wilson’s communiques have functioned as a screening mechanism, attracting aligned people and repelling hostile people. No such process is perfect. A Wormtongue will slip in from time to time; just make sure he does not spot that sewer drain in the wall. But you get the gist. Sorting must take place on the front end to limit internal liabilities. Personnel is policy, as they say. Machiavelli would add,

“But as to building fortresses in order to defend oneself from external enemies, I say that they are not necessary to those people, or to those Kingdoms that have good armies, and are useless to those who do not have good armies: for good armies without fortresses are sufficient to defend themselves, and fortresses without good armies cannot defend you.”

And the most important personnel are governors.

A brief caveat: the fortress strategy must necessarily be provisional and temporary, for famine is the downfall of many a fortress, and any healthy polity must, in some sense, be expansionist—it must grow— rather than stagnant and complacent. As we said, the goal of the fortress is to establish a position of strength from which to launch a campaign at a later date. Moreover, a network of fortresses can provide mutual reinforcements in arms, morale, and provisions. The bottom line, however, is that Evangelical institutions, whether new or revitalized, must be militant in their screening process. They must be explicitly and unapologetically coded for Evangelical purposes and occupants.

Come With Us If You Want to Live

Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War offers two illustrative examples of the utility of fortresses. The first is the example of Pylos, an island on the southern end of Laconia, homeland of the Spartans. In a daring raid, the Athenians are able to land a force on the island and lay siege to the small contingent of Spartan soldiers there, forcing them into ignoble surrender and captivity in Athens.

Once the Athenians establish a fortress foothold in Laconia, they press their advantage and exploit a crucial weakness to the Spartans. The Spartan regime is dependent on the slave labor of Helots, native Laconians who were subjugated by the invading Spartans. From their base in Pylos, the Athenians offer protection to any Helots who manage to escape their Spartan slave masters. With every Helot the Athenians are able to siphon off, the Spartan strength diminishes exponentially: the strength of the Spartan army as well as its ability to hold its much-larger slave population in bondage depend upon prestige, the ability to forecast an aura of invincibility that empowers the Spartans to rule others without having to exert actual force.

The lesson for us is this: identify a population that is critical to your enemy and find a way to acquire their loyalty. In our situation, this means the Normies, the potentially “red-pilled” who are otherwise useful idiots for the opposition. Winning them is crucial.

The second example is Decelea, a small village north of Athens that served as a trade route that connected Athens to its erstwhile ally Thebes and critically its northern silver mines. After he was ousted from the Athenians, the former general Alcibiades went over to Sparta and advised them to take Decelea. The Spartans easily took Decelea from the unsuspecting Athenians, and once they fortified it, Decelea functioned as a refuge for Athenian slaves to escape to, but it also cut off Athens from crucial resources.

The lesson for us: find strategic areas and resources where fortresses can be maximally effective. Learn the resources that the opposition is dependent on and figure out how to seize them.


Like Renn’s own initial volley, none of the aforementioned is definitive or complete. Our hope is that the above sketch is sufficiently constructive and provocative to invite further comment and formulation–maybe, better metaphors. But it is time to get the ball rolling, to get creative, and, most of all, to get strategic and ambitious. We’ve certainly got our work cut out for us, we Evangelicals.

Image Credit: Ludlow Castle with Dinham Weir, from the South-West, 1765-1769, Samuel Scott (1702-1772).

Print article

Share This

Timon Cline

Timon Cline is the Editor in Chief at American Reformer. He is an attorney and a fellow at the Craig Center at Westminster Theological Seminary and the Director of Scholarly Initiatives at the Hale Institute of New Saint Andrews College. His writing has appeared in the American Spectator, Mere Orthodoxy, American Greatness, Areo Magazine, and the American Mind, among others. He writes regularly at Modern Reformation and Conciliar Post.

Clifford Humphrey

Clifford Humphrey holds a doctorate in political science from the Van Andel Graduate School of Statesmanship at Hillsdale College. He is a 2024 Claremont Institute Lincoln Fellow. He is on X at @cphumphrey.

11 thoughts on “Fortress Building in Negative World

  1. While some are hyper-vigilant, we need to ask if the above article is hyper-responsive. But responsive to what?

    We are told that we are in a negative world. That is we are in a place where the world holds a negative view toward us Christians. It would be interesting to see if fellow believers from other parts of the world see it as alarmingly as Renn, Cline, and Humphrey do.

    Anyway, what is the above article responding to? Is it responding to a world where some fellow believers are arrested for their faith or are beaten or publicly persecuted or have even been executed? It would be biblically helpful if that was the case because we have Biblical examples from the New Testament to follow in terms of how to respond. Unfortunately, or fortunately really, that is not the case. The hostility toward religiously conservative Christianity in today’s America takes two forms. The first form objects to us Christians trying to impose our values, especially our sexual morals, on others. The second form is simply a lack of conformity to what we in the Church try to follow. That is the hostility we are facing?

    Then what, or whom, are we setting out to conquer? Note that the only reason why Cline and Humphrey say that we are not in a culture war is because the sides are unevenly matched. And so Cline and Humphrey are recommending a Christian guerrilla type warfare so that we can eventually rule over the people and enforce a certain level of conformity to the Biblical values and laws that we want to be codified into our laws.

    Please note that with the kind of negative view that the “world,” (a.k.a., American society) has of us and our religion, this guerrilla type conflict is not a defensive struggle; it is an offensive one. The objectives are still the same as if we were fighting a culture war: to conquer and rule over others. Are those the objectives that either Jesus taught or the Apostles worked for? Didn’t Jesus emphatically teach His followers to be servants, not rulers? Didn’t Jesus warn us not to ‘lord it over others’?

    Cline’s and Humphrey’s use of hyperbole in both describing our situation and the responses he promotes indicate an inordinate sensitivity and even fear to the current situation. But what is the current situation? That the world (again, a.k.a., American society) has a negative view of and is hostile to Christianity. So what if the world objects to Christians imposing their values on others and refuses to conform to our traditions? In fact, I don’t blame the world for that. What do we have to fear with how the world is criticizing us? Not only that, whereas Paul explicitly states that our defense and weapons are spiritual in nature, Cline’s and Humphrey’s response is physical and worldly in nature. Their response more-less mirrors a response that a group of rebels would use to overthrow an evil ruler–or the Sith-lord Emperor if you want to cite intergalactic history. Cline’s and Humphrey’s response is simply too similar to Lenin’s response to the Tsars or Castro’s response to Batista or any revolutionary’s response to an oppressive government. And we are not even being oppressed.

    But it goes beyond that since Cline’s and Humphrey’s vision doesn’t focus on the Church, it focuses on the nation. That Cline and Humphrey insist that a healthy nation requires a single ethnic set of cultural values for the nation to survive and thrive. And what is the ethnic source of those values? It is Christianity. But look at the history of Christendom.

    I could point out that if all of the nations were so strictly defined by a single ethnicity, we would be approaching the world just prior to WW I. And how did that work out? Or we could cite the Puritans here since Cline greatly respects them. How did the Puritan experiment work out when those who shared the Puritans’ faith in Christ but held to different views on non-essential issues lived with them? How did the Puritans treat the Quakers who came calling? Or how did the Puritans eventually treat the Native Americans?

    But it would be better for us to focus our attention on why does a lack of conformity incite such sensitivity and fear in Cline and Humphrey that they would employ a worldly model of thought to respond to our current situation using worldly methods? The Apostolic Church faced a much harsher negative view and never responded as Cline and Humphrey are responding.

    Yes, it would be better if American society had a positive view of Christianity. But perhaps if American society and Cline’s and Humphrey’s hypersensitivity to and over the top response to the current negative view of Christianity were triaged, Cline’s and Humphrey’s conditions would be treated first, before American society’s view because they are in greater need of immediate attention.

      1. Ryan,
        The above article is about taking our nation back. And the way that the writers want people to use to take the nation back suggests that there is a lot of fear about where the nation is and where it isn’t. It seems that Cline and Humphrey are afraid because our nation doesn’t follow their cherished traditions. And how they want the nation to be suggests that they are afraid of a lack of conformity in the nation.

        So do you share their fears?

      1. LF,
        Since you are using ‘liberal’ as a pejorative, you’re only communicating some of your biases.

        Plus, I’m a Leftist, not a liberal. Do you know the differences that exist between the two?

  2. What is the goal these authors are trying to achieve with their idea of ‘Cultural Insurgency?’ What does it mean to ‘take the nation back?’ I don’t see any mention of bringing the gospel message to the unsaved in this piece, and next to loving God and our families, loving our unsaved neighbor and bringing them the message of salvation in Christ should be our priority. Are these authors seriously suggesting the idea of running away and establishing communes somewhere? Where does that leave the neighbors, churches, pastors, Christian schools, and other ministries with whom we have established relationships?

    I am reading Renn’s book and listening to his online content, but this doesn’t sound like anything I’ve picked up on in his writing. I hope he isn’t of the same POV as these gentlemen, because this sounds like pure nonsense.

    1. It’s far easier to faithfully follow Christ in a nation that is also faithful. Is being a Christian easier in 1800s America or in ancient Rome? Clearly, it is easier in 1800s America. Now, is it easier in the modern US, or in 1800s US?

      Not everyone is spiritually strong enough to withstand the temptations of the world. If we have the ability to remove those stumbling blocks and don’t, are we not sinning against our brethren?

      1. Dylan,
        We have responsibilities in sharing the Gospel, but we have no control over who believes. And so we can’t make a nation faithful to Christ. Imposing Church laws, such as the 10 Commandments does make a nation faithful to Christ. Remember that the New Testament says that without faith, no one can please God.

        In addition, are we to try to make the nation faithful so it is easier for us to remain faithful?

        I think that it would be better to follow what Jesus said about how we are to relate to unbelievers and to follow the words of and the examples set by the Apostles than to try to make a nation faithful to Christ. Remember that in the New Testament, there is no covenant nation. Instead, God’s covenant people consists of the Church. And the Church consists of people from all different races and nations. Our job is to establish place in each nation from which to preach and teach God’s Word. Our job isn’t to conquer each nation for Christ. For with which each nation we try to conquer, we establish stumbling blocks to the listening to the Gospel for unbelievers who observe us

    2. Jill,
      Having read Renn’s latest article posted on this site I have to agree with your comparison of the above article with what Renn has been saying.

  3. This is truly an excellent, energizing piece of work. Let’s put our hands to the sword and the plough, well done!

  4. There is another way, which my family has developed over the generations. My own ancestry in America began with Puritan settlers to Boston in 1640, followed by others from northern and south-western England later in the century. My surname came from Northumberland, a modification of a much older one going back to the Anglo-Saxon era. Their main faith was Methodism, although there were some Presbyterians mixed in. Up to four generations prior to my own, they were ethnically English-Scottish-Welsh. My DNA test results match this. Prior to that generation, they lived in the southern Midwest and northern tier of the South. They were the spear line of my family of which I’m the eldest son of the eldest son going back six generations.

    But as new immigrants came in, my ancestors began to intermarry with them. My great-great grandfather of my surname married a woman whose father was Swedish. His eldest son married a woman whose mother was German and had Pennsylvania Deutsch ancestry. My paternal grandfather’s wife was ethnically half-German, again from Pennsylvania Deutsch ancestry. My mother was mostly Irish whose mother came from Ireland. This caused my father to convert to Catholicism and my siblings and I were raised Catholic. My wife is also Catholic from Portugal. This pattern is the same as my younger brother, paternal great-uncles and great-great-uncles.

    We evolved with the changing ethnic makeup of the country to where we are no longer ‘Anglo-Americans’ or ‘WASPs’ (more accurately those who are Protestant of northern European ethnicity). A better name for our kind, coined by Michael Lind, is “Euro-American.” I expect that my grandkids will continue to intermarry those of other races and creeds. We embody the melting pot, with an emergent and eventually distinctly American racial identity.

    Buy you folks didn’t see it that way. As you changed our national motto from “e pluribus unum,” to “In God We Trust,” you have sought out an ethnic northern European racial identity (perhaps the best definition of ‘white’ as it excludes ethnic southern Europeans) and conservative Protestant faith. We have taken different paths from the same fork in the road, from which you and I have parted more than a century ago. This sociological phenomenon is not unknown in other parts of the world. Iran has its Zorostrians, who retain the original religion of the Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sassanid empires, and who refused to intermarry with the invading Arabs more than a millennium ago.

    How this will play out no one knows. Perhaps your ‘fortresses’ will become like the quirky ethno-religious enclaves one finds in Pennsylavania and upstate New York, like the Amish and the now-extinct Shakers. Or they may concentrate into a geographic area to form a new nation-in-becoming. I had a roommate in college in the early 1980s who was an ethnic Serb from Yugoslavia. He didn’t want to mix with the Croats, Bosniaks, and Kosovars, so he likely embraced the breakup of that country into smaller distinct nation-states in 1990. He now lives in Montenegro. There are those on the left who desire the same, especially Woke African-Americans who at the moment are all but separatist. These are people who have had it with whites. The Black Belt in the South makes for a natural homeland about which to concentrate, and they already have the Afro-American flag for such a nascent nation-in-becoming. Boston also long had a bit of a separatist streak, being enamored of itself.

    Our current age since 1980 has been a very petty one, a retreat from the more expansive ideas of the past. We aren’t going to get one solid patriotic country without people of all persuasions learning to accept each other. America needs to heal. Otherwise, we will instead get a cluster of nascent nations-in-become that despise each other. The result will not be a civil war, but a breakup like what happened to Yugoslavia. And even then, those new nations would have to learn to get along in order to trade and unite against outside threats, most notably China.

    I believe you folks went down the wrong road from the fork, and in the end, it will be a loser.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *