On Institute on the Constitution’s website, a 1956 essay by Calvinist thinker Frederick Nymeyer describes discrimination which is permitted within a society. John Lofton, IOTC Director of Communications, reprinted this article from a journal recommended by Christian reconstructionist Rousas Rushdoony.
Nymeyer lays out his thesis clearly:
The word discriminate has in late years acquired a bad flavor. There are three kinds of discrimination which are under special attack: discrimination on the basis of religion, discrimination on the basis of race, and discrimination on the basis of nationality. We wish to challenge the validity of objections to these discriminations. We see no reason why men should not discriminate on grounds of religion, race, or nationality, if they wish. We wish to present the case for the right of any and all discriminations except discriminations which involve injustice (violation of Second Table of the Law).
Injustice is not completely spelled out but involves violation of the Ten Commandments.
What, if any, discrimination is forbidden? The discrimination that is forbidden is the discrimination that involves injustice. And in our thinking injustice is discrimination which involves coercion, fraud and theft. All other discriminations are, we submit, permissible.
According to Nymeyer, discrimination is allowed even if the reason for the discrimination is an immutable trait.
But the moral crux of the problem of discrimination is the discrimination against unalterable characteristics. Is it moral to discriminate against unalterable characteristics regarding which a man is helpless? Here is where the race problem becomes so sensitive. A man with a white skin cannot do anything about it; a man with a black skin cannot do anything about it. Why discriminate against (choose against) a man for that for which he has no remedy, for an unalterable trait that is unattractive to you and maybe others? Here is where cruel injustice appears immorally to intrude itself into the situation. But is it injustice?
If the writer has made an earnest effort to carry a tune and keep time (which he has) but is unable (which happens to be the fact), is an injustice done h i [him] because he is “discriminated” against by a choral society which discriminates against a trait he had which is unalterable for h i [him]? Of course not. Justice does not consist in denying reality or the facts of life; injustice is not identical with recognizing reality (that I cannot sing).And so we hold – in the name of happiness, and in the name of liberty, and in the name of the right to discriminate – that there is no more “injustice” in discriminating against an unalterable trait than against an alterable trait; neither is an injustice. For us, every discrimination is valid except a discrimination involving injustice.
Somehow for Nymeyer (and apparently for IOTC) singing skill is analogous to race. Since the trait in question is the unalterable trait of skin color, Nymeyer must believe there is something inadequate about one skin color versus another (analogous to the desirable trait of song versus inability to sing). I wonder which race is the disadvantaged one?
Even if they would not personally discriminate based on race, Nymeyer and by extension IOTC actually promote the idea that discrimination based on race can be justified. If IOTC does not mean to convey this belief, then why post this article on the website?
For more on the IOTC, click here; for more on the League of the South, click here. IOTC founder Michael Peroutka is a board member of the League of the South and has pledged the resources of the IOTC to the League.
The IOTC’s course on the Constitution is being hosted by the National Religious Broadcasters each Thursday evening at 8pm.