Columbus Day

Once upon a time Italian-Americans, seeking cachet and respectability in their new country, lobbied President Franklin Delano Roosevelt for a national holiday honoring that storied and intrepid Italian, Cristoforo Columbo, the man who opened the Americas to European exploration.

christopher columbus

Not so fast, bigots.

On Monday in the nation’s capital, there is no Columbus Day. The D.C. Council voted to replace it with Indigenous Peoples’ Day in a temporary move that it hopes to make permanent. Several other places across the United States have also made the switch in a growing movement to end the celebration of the Italian explorer in favor of honoring Indigenous communities and their resiliency in the face of violence by European explorers like Christopher Columbus.

Baley Champagne is responsible for that change in her home state of Louisiana. The tribal citizen of the United Houma Nation petitioned the governor, John Bel Edwards, to change the day. He did, along with several other states this year.

“It’s become a trend,” Champagne said. “It’s about celebrating people instead of thinking about somebody who actually caused genocide on a population or tried to cause the genocide of an entire population. By bringing Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we’re bringing awareness that we’re not going to allow someone like that to be glorified into a hero, because of the hurt that he caused to Indigenous people of America.”

It is long past time for these paroxysms of guilt over events that happened before anyone alive was born to end. Is there any historical or hypothetical scenario under which the hunter-gatherers aren’t conquered by the farmers?

What if the hunter-gatherers are allowed their wild lands and tribal laws? How long before the young people discover video games and air conditioning and attractive non-hunter-gatherers their own age?

I’m as big a champion of blut und boden as anybody but here in actual human history, mankind is one wave after another, taking over. Traditionally, this meant the complete extermination of the conquered’s Y-chromosomal line. If you don’t hold, someone else will take. The rule of law doesn’t arise until the farmers show up and take the hunter-gatherers’ land and stake out the property lines.

In modern, thoroughly conquered Oregon, the Yakama and Lummi nations are demanding that the US remove three hydroelectric dams to restore fishing rights pursuant to an 1855 treaty.

Tear the treaties up. The Yakama and Lummi tribes aren’t valid nation-states. Neither are any of the other 573 indigenous tribes. Disburse the trusts to the current members and dissolve the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The Amish and Hasidim transmit their heritage under the umbrella of their host State; the Natives can do the same.

This gives me an excuse to talk about Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, who peddled the lie that her alleged white-Indian parents had to elope in disgrace. Ironically, despite being born and raised in heavily-Native American Oklahoma, Warren has a completely unremarkable amount of Native American genetics. She’s whiter than me. She may be whiter than George Plimpton.

The most famous Oklahoman ever, Will Rogers, was of approximately one-fourth Cherokee genetics, born to mixed-Cherokee parents who didn’t have to elope. (Read the Wikipedia entry; Will Rogers was an amazing American).

will rogers

The truth of things is that Americans have always enthusiastically seized on any possibility of indigenous ancestry. It’s a romantic notion from a long ways back, establishing your bona fides as a Son of the Soil. Elizabeth Warren is old enough to recall Norman Rockwell’s Family Tree (1959).

family tree

The design of the Oklahoma State Flag was chosen in a contest sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1912.

oklahoma state flag

This particular manifestation of political correctness is all part of the larger Flight From White, as everybody rushes to escape the ancestral taint of whiteness.

Once upon a time, believe it or not, there was a Fight To Be White.

najour1

* * * *

najour2

The Anglos and their European cousins are history’s winners so far. They established a very pleasant and well-ordered geographic redoubt in the Americas. (If you don’t believe me go to Lebanon, like I did, and survey the public commons and talk to the Lebanese about their elite political and financial classes). If this were still a serious country, everybody would be working to establish their modern American bona fides, not indulging in silly distractions like Indigenous People’s Day.

Post-scarcity Politics

Once upon a time, the national government was (relatively) limited. If States didn’t want women to vote, that was that. The only remedy was to get a super-majority of the States to amend the federal constitution in accordance with its terms. Nobody thought for a minute that the Supreme Court could judicially declare that restricting the franchise to adult males was a violation of the federal constitution.

Wars required legislative enactment. The Marine Corps was America’s expeditionary  force–an arcane branch of the Navy–to be dispatched to protect U.S. foreign interests and high seas navigation. If you wanted to send the military somewhere, there had to be a war. (Read the Wikipedia entries for the First and Second Barbary Wars to get a sense of the Founding generations’ scrupulous adherence to enumerated powers, and even to post-Westphalian international law).

As recently as the 1930’s, a whole class of criminals exploited the fact that individual States administered their discrete criminal codes in a far-flung, libertarian country.  The official response to these criminals, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow in particular, was downright anarchic: a posse of six lawmen from Louisiana and Texas persuaded a family friend to wait by the side of the road near the gang’s designated safe house, and when Bonnie and Clyde showed up, they executed them.

police-posse

There was no official inquiry, no protests, no lawsuits. Six public employees just used their imprimatur to kill members of a rising American outlaw class. Simpler times.

Compare that world of ordered chaos to the current anarcho-tyrannical, managerial state. Government and its media handmaidens manufacture and manage crises to maintain control. Congress no longer governs the country via legislation; we have all the laws we need, after all. Most legislation is just enhancement of existing bureaucratic powers and tax favors. The judiciary obligingly handles all the important domestic issues (abortion, same-sex marriage, immigration, civil rights) leaving Congress free to act as the World’s Greatest Investigative Body and run for reelection. The Executive branch dispatches troops wherever it wants and tells Congress to fund them.

Like the private sector, America’s public sector waxes fat off unprecedented prosperity. Liberals tell me Blumpf is finished over a telephone call with the Ukrainian president and a whistleblower within that august protector of republican virtues, the CIA. The transcript of the call is here. This is all political theater.

Speaking of the CIA, remember when they looked like this?

then the cia

cia now

Now they look like this.

the cia

evan for prez

I don’t think the CIA does any actual field work anymore. I think they just hire gay Mormons and perimenopausal women to look at satellite photos and conduct clandestine communications with journalists, politicians, and high net-worth individuals for “intelligence.” Then they pretend to do “analysis” at their computers.

Prepare yourselves. It will all be over soon.

(Inspired by an iSteve comment).

P.S. I rag on the career bureaucracy a lot, but you still see remnants of the hyper-competent Mandarin class.

The Acting AG Whittaker Group Glare:

whittaker glare

The Bill Barr Bodyman Glance, and Bill Barr Torquing Double-Take:

The Geoffrey Cox Stentorian Harangue:

Bernie Sanders will not be the Democratic nominee for President

bernies tax

I sympathize with the old bolshevik. Billionaires are anti-democratic. They can nullify the votes of 63 million mere citizens with a few phone calls; they can get all sorts of tax breaks from local governments by putting the location of their corporate headquarters in play; hence my argument that we should just give them the government. Precisely because of their venal influence, there is no way they are letting this old fool anywhere near the Presidency.

Ecclesia Is Downstream From Culture

Without getting too specific, let me summarize my Christian life by saying I have  observed and participated in numerous iterations of Christian worship, theological doctrine, and church governance over my lifetime. Over the decades, I have observed a single constant, as unchanging and timeless (though not, theologically, as significant) as the Our Father taught by our Lord Jesus Christ himself:

Ecclesia is downstream from culture which is downstream from ancestry.

Prove me wrong. You can’t.

Christians–humans–prefer the faith of their fathers. If you don’t believe me, change the 1928 Book of Common Prayer and see what happens. Or, transplant any ethnic group to another country and see where they go on holy days. We gravitate to the familiar, and public worship of our God (the Ahtman, the Tao, Allah, who or what ever) is about as fundamental an expression of Who We Are as it gets. Over years of inter-generational succession, the ecclesia (the body of the faithful, the liturgics, the aesthetics, etc.) reflects the ancestral culture which temporally generated it. If it’s not, then it’s just an individual affectation.

Now granted, at a given time Christianity will be Year Zero for somebody somewhere, but that’s temporary. The Russians followed the Byzantine forms to which they were introduced, and then 400 years later they had their own. This tale repeats over and over, with moralistic Germans and pig-headed Anglos deciding to leave Rome and develop their own liturgics. Celtic hillbillies in the Appalachians forged their own way, as did African slaves after them, and on and on.

This is not a new thing. The Egyptians left for their own Coptic Church to get out from under Byzantine imperialism very early in Church history.

In Guatemala, Greek Orthodox missionaries have started Mayan Orthodoxy.

mayan orthodoxy2

Not Guatemalan Orthodoxy, and not Roman Catholicism which has been there for 400 years, but Mayan Orthodoxy. Exarch parishes are being established in the United States as well. It’s a good cultural fit for these people, and they are on fire with the True Faith. And they are going to carry it as part of their national heritage respective of the State where they may reside. This is not for a lack of extant Orthodoxy anywhere. The United States is already home to three well-established jurisdictions: the Greek, the Russian (OCA, or ROCOR, and that’s a whole other topic) and the Antiochian (Middle Eastern).

Incidentally, the Antiochians have a monastery in Guatemala. There are a number of Middle Eastern diaspora in Antiochian parishes in Central and South America. I am told they are culturally Latino at this point and do not bother with the Arabic language. Here, for example, is the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires’ Facebook page.

The Antiochians in the United States probably have two more generations before they become largely indistinguishable from the “mainstream” American Christian sects. Middle Eastern Christians tend to outmarry easily into the dominant Anglo-American population. The more insular ones tend to drift to the Catholic Maronite and Melkite exarchates.

The extant American Orthodox jurisdictions could easily set up Spanish-language missions but the mestizo/indigenous Central Americans already have the bit in their teeth. They are not Spaniards, they are not Anglo-Americans, and they want their own Church. After all, ecclesia is downstream from culture which is downstream from ancestry.

If the traditional Orthodox dictum of unity in diversity and diversity in unity is appropriately expressed in a Nation for every People and a Church for every Nation, this debate disappears. Instead, we are told that the Church model is ecumenical and an ethnic exarchate in the US would be phyletism and hence heretical. But we already have multiple overlapping Orthodox jurisdictions in the US because people cling to the faith of their fathers. Of course, it would be an excommunicable offense to call for an Anglican Orthodox jurisdiction to reflect the ethnic heritage of Anglos.

Or would it? Maybe that’s what the Western Rite is for.

I expect the Western Rite and, eventually, the larger jurisdictional debate to become less of an issue in the New World over time. For example, nobody would mistake the below wedding ceremony (with the groom in a Colonial America suit and the bride in High Medieval-inspired design) for an Orthodox service in Russia. Antiochian choral directors are already experimenting with Gregorian and even American folk arrangements so the Western Rite vicariate will probably be absorbed into its parent at some point. Ecclesia is downstream from culture which is downstream from ancestry.