In light of the social and religious atmosphere around here, particularly in the last few years, many of us have started to examine the Christian doctrine a little more closely.
One thing that has struck me is the disconnect between the actual teachings of Christ and the preferences of large swaths of the self-identifying Christian electorate – you can start just about anywhere in the Gospels looking at the Nazarene’s philosophies, instructions and bits of wisdom, and point out glaring contradictions between these and the way that Christian philosophy has popularly emerged and evolved in America.
Where Christ preached assistance for the poor, American Christianity seems aligned with a mean-spirited attack on low-income individuals and families. Where Christ preached humility, American Christianity worships power. Where Christ preached radical inclusion, American Christianity tends to promote exclusion of the non-conformist, the outlier, the foreigner.
And perhaps most importantly, where Christ preached nonviolence, the brand of Christianity endorsed by many of the most devout American Christians tends specifically towards state violence, especially an appalling degeneration from post-modernity back toward a new anti-Islamic world crusade.
I could go into a tangent about how disconnected all of this is, but maybe it’s not until you really examine the sources that you get a better understanding of why these two ends of Christianity don’t match, and how one would go about on tethering them from each other.
A few months back I was thinking that you could say that while the left end of the political spectrum seems to embrace the values and teachings of Jesus Christ in the New Testament, the right end of the political spectrum, which again is where many of the most devout American Christians identify, tends more to embrace the teachings of the tribal God Yahweh (or Elohim) in the Old Testament.
The problem is that in orthodox Christianity, it’s extremely clear that the Messiah has come to bring the new covenant and disassociate us from the ancient Israelites. So how can the right deal with this assessment? How can they make themselves whole again, philosophically speaking, and regain some of the credibility that they have lost?
In short, the right needs a new Jesus.
These Christians who do not espouse those teachings of Christ enshrined in the Gospels as we receive them from history need a Jesus in word and action, in image, and possibly even in name.
You can think of him as “Jesus with muscles” and that would be a start. Really, to get to the root of the actual philosophies and thoughts behind this new Jesus, it seems like it would make sense for this figure to be rooted directly in Teutonic race origins.
In other words, the Viking God.
The Viking God is strong where Jesus Christ was weak. The Viking God does not call his followers to mercy, especially for those who are considered their enemies, or those who are less fortunate and might need something from them. The Viking God understands that by taking away resources from these hard-working individuals, the opposite philosophy is essentially robbing them – of their honor, of their rights and of their essential humanity. As for the enemies, the philosophy of the pre-emptive strike speaks clearly to a venal mean-spiritedness that is more 15th century Catholic than apostolic.
You couldn’t really go very far in this type of theoretical construct without talking about Friedrich Nietzsche and his essential rejection of Christian ideas and doctrines much earlier in the middle of the 20th century.
In my opinion, Nietzschian analysis makes all of the difference here. Nietzsche has already gone and detailed many of the reasons why the Judeo-Christian outlook disgusted him, and what should replace it. The Viking God will hew very strongly toward any number of Nietzschian ideals – the primacy of the individual, the need of society to be fair, and the rejection of the various weaknesses that are supposed to be so prized in New Testament religion.
The supreme irony here is that the parts of the American electorate who would warmly embrace the Viking God do not as a rule read Nietzsche or have a real affinity for his philosophies. The best way I can explain that is that in a truly nationalistic environment, a foreign philosopher is not American enough. So in the end, the American Viking Jesus will really be “supremacy-light” and not a total, naked disavowal of Judeochristian principles like what the Germans saw.
In the end, this could actually be the supremely ironic saving grace that stops us from running full-bore down the road to the types of Judeo-Christian rejections that led to a fascist and nihilistic German government.
That these ideas are somehow tarred as ‘German ideas’ and not embraced by an America that otherwise runs toward them is a great safety for all of those millions of people who fear a resurgence towards global fascism. In other words, America is not Germany and never will be. Its ability to insulate itself from German ideas may well be its eventual salvation.
And even if the American Viking Jesus exists – even if he emerges from the aftermath of this decadent age, he will not likely be the kind of raw glorious Teutonic figure so loved by those Germans of yesterday. He will instead be some strange facsimile combining those old Teutonic ideas with modern American ones – the American appetite for gluttony and indulgence, and American appreciation for strength that is much more innocent and naïve than that of Nietzsche, that is much more optimistic and sanguine then those of Nietzsche’s followers, and that does not appreciate art and culture enough to follow the likes of Richard Wagner into a political abyss shaped by music.
The American Viking Jesus will live in a world of first-class steaks and big shiny engines, in a world of abundance and denigration of want. A world of every man for himself and every woman following along….
The Viking Jesus will also be a God of conquest, but unlike some of those darker tribal gods, it’s likely that his conquest will be fairly innocent and unburdened by specific intent. As we understand the conquest of the Vikings, our Viking God would be. When we talk about it after reading our history books, we see it as a somewhat unmeditated and uncalculated conquest – it’s done out of raw aggression and desire, and not calculated satanism.
Of course, that doesn’t make it okay, and it doesn’t diminish the real danger and frightening exclusive figure like this. It’s important to be able to understand that although things could be worse, they are already quite bad for the poor, the disenfranchised, the minority, the foreigner, the non-conformist, the outlier, and all who resist the slide towards national aggression.