The new culture war

Jackson_inauguration_cropThe old culture war was about morality and was informed by religion.  The new culture war, signaled by the election of Donald Trump, is about nationalism vs. multiculturalism and “the people” vs. the elites.  Trump has little interest in the old culture wars, with the important exception of being pro-life.  But the new culture war is just as emotional, with pretty much the same people on either side.  So says Rich Lowry in a piece excerpted and linked after the jump.

So where does that leave Christians and others who are still concerned about morality and religion?

If those issues are taken off the table, Christians have other interests–jobs, security, liberty–that could align them with this alleged new culture war.  Many are members of what Lowry calls “Jacksonian America,” those ordinary citizens scorned by the elite as “vulgar masses,” like those championed by Andrew Jackson (and who trashed the White House when he invited them in).

Other Christians may be on the elite side, a faction often championed by traditional conservatives.  Just as populism used to be central to the ideology of the Democratic party.

If this analysis is correct, isn’t there going to be tension between a catholic religion like Christianity (“from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” [Rev. 7:9]) and nationalism?

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Nationalism joins Islam as reasons for Christian persecution

ARUNPATHAK5Open Door, an organization that monitors Christian persecution, has released its annual report for 2016, which it calls “the worst year yet” for violence against Christians.

The biggest part of the persecution is still committed in the name of Islam.  No longer just a matter of the Middle East, Islamic persecution has risen dramatically in Africa.

As nationalism re-emerges worldwide, ethnic nationalism has become an excuse to persecute Christians.  This is happening especially in Asia, including India, Bhutan, and Laos.

See highlights of the report and a link to an article about the report after the jump. [Read more…]

The triumphs of nationalism

photo-1454991170847-afc8d5b828dd_optThe victory of Donald Trump–along with other political insurgencies in England, France, Italy, and other countries–was a triumph of nationalism.  It was not a triumph of conservatism, though conservatism went along for the ride and is generally hospitable to nationalism.  But the new political force is, above all, a rejection of globalism in favor of local cultures and a revival of the nation-state.  So says Mark L. Movesian in a stimulating essay, quoted and linked after the jump.

He says that nationalism can be either beneficial or malign.  Which do you think it will be this time, both in the United States and in the other countries where nationalism is coming back with a vengeance?

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Patriotism vs. Nationalism

The words “patriotism” and “nationalism” have different meanings.  So explains Jonah Goldberg, channeling William F. Buckley.  This is in the context of an essay criticizing both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.  But, for now, consider these two different ways of loving one’s country. [Read more…]

Europe’s politics defy “left” and “right”

The Greeks, tired of the European Union’s “austerity” programs, elected a far-left government.  But observers are confused about how it is allying itself with far-right–even fascist–parties.  Also how the new Greek government is adopting pro-Russian, pro-Putin policies.

Anne Applebaum points out how “left” and “right” political categories don’t really apply in Europe anymore.  “The real division in Europe,” she says, ” is between what I would call established, integrationist politics and isolationist, nationalist politics.” [Read more…]

Nationalists win big in election

The different countries that constitute the European Union held elections on Sunday for the European parliament.  Political parties that oppose the European Union won big, taking over a third of the parliamentary seats.  The winners included anti-immigration parties, traditional conservatives, and even neo-Nazi groups.

How do you account for this apparent rise of nationalism in a supposedly globalist and cosmopolitan era?  What does this mean for the United States?  Do you see any potential problems that this could bring?

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