Where to Move?

In his excellent article “Back to Qumran,” Kristor proposes, inter alia, that serious traditionalists consider moving to healthier regions of the country, regions where they will have a better chance of practicing a virtuous lifestyle.

This raises the question, Which regions of the country are relatively healthy? Where might a mobile traditionalist consider moving?

I can’t answer the question, so I’m throwing it open to our readers. If you know of any good areas, let us know in the comments section. Please be specific, and tell us what makes the region good.

196 thoughts on “Where to Move?

      • I live in northern VA. Front Royal is not far enough away. There are many people who commute from Front Royal to DC.

        If push came to shove, people could walk from the DC area to Front Royal in less than a week, and I-66 is a funnel that takes the horde straight from DC to your door.

        Much depends on how extraordinary the circumstances are. But why move at all if the circumstances are not extraordinary and projected to get worse.

    • Sorry, I wasn’t trying to be elliptical, I was just short on time (and kind of still am). I wasn’t saying “move to Front Royal” as much as “check out Front Royal”, as my immediate thought upon reading the post. This is probably a better suggestion for our Catholic friends as opposed to Protestant, offhand.

      Front Royal is far enough from DC and yet still has access to east coast urben centers when needed. (Real life involves things like medical care and work). Men with existing careers may still find the kind of jobs they need reasonably accessible, though commutes may be longish (depending on what you are used to). Christendom college means a significant population of orthodox Catholics, including, importantly, young ones. Large vans filled with large families are common. Signs of the cross while saying grace in public restaurants are not jarringly bizarre. Homeschooling is what all the neighbors are doing, not cultish weirdness. Etc, etc.

      Again sorry for the brevity, but time is short for me at the moment.

      • Isn’t Christendom College tiny, though? And Front Royal rather huge? I’m from the area originally and I know northern VA’s demographic destiny — it’s to become Montgomery County, MD, writ large. Even if it is as you say, it’d be an extremely small island in the midst of a very large ocean of liberalism, capable of being easily drowned.

      • Isn’t Christendom College tiny, though? And Front Royal rather huge? I’m from the area originally and I know northern VA’s demographic destiny — it’s to become Montgomery County, MD, writ large. Even if it is as you say, it’d be an extremely small island in the midst of a very large ocean of liberalism, capable of being easily drowned.

        Sure, all of that is true enough. As a practical matter though it is a place where it remains possible to raise orthodox children who will have orthodox friends with like minded parents, etc. There are few enough places, at least in my experience, where that is even possible without literally living in a locked compound. My own experience (I don’t live in FR but I do live in NOVA, going on ten years now) was stunned gratitude that places with genuine pockets of real orthodoxy actually exist at all. YMMV — no doubt it is all in what you are used to.

        I’m not sure the trend is all bad either. In some small ways things have gotten better during the last decade. Qumran itself wasn’t exactly an empire.

        There are probably better options; but for someone looking for a practical answer to the question – say someone living in Northern California who sees an urgent need to move to save the souls of his children – that’s the best practical suggestion I have to offer right now. I’m looking forward to reading other practical suggestions in this thread (haven’t managed to catch up on the current comments yet this morning).

      • Christendom is a small school, but Front Royal is quite far from “huge”. Also Seton Home publishing is right next door, and Patrick Henry College (for the prots) is about 50 miles away in Purcelville.

        If your focus is on keeping out the roving hordes of anarcho tyranny, then sure, move to central AK, but if you want your children to meet and marry fellow reactionaries and breed tons of them, then you could do a lot worse than that side of No. VA.

    • Front Royal is a marvelous choice. In addition to Christendom, there’s Chelsea Academy, HLI, PRI, and Seton as traditonalist influences. It’s annual Celtic festival is a major attraction. However, believe it or not the city is not devout and is quite irreligious for a southern town of any size. There’s definitely a nasty white underclass problem. Also, finding employment in the area will be tough for most, and it’s proximity to DC and NOVA is concerning should the SHTF.

  1. As counter intuitive as this may sound (and we appreciate the desire for US patriots to wish to remain in North America and work to heal the society there) it may be an option to move to other parts of the Anglosphere that have not yet been blighted by liberalism to the same extent as it has in the US. Canada and England are a write-off, from what we understand. But Australia can be an attractive target for relocation.

    We have our problems too, and we don’t have a First Amendment right to freedom of expression, but from what we have seen and heard about the situation in America, Australia is at least two decades behind the general liberal trend. Moreover, we don’t have the same race pathologies as our American counterparts, so there is room for freer exchange of ideas. We also get the impression that our popular culture can be more explicitly masculine.

    An influx of Anglosphere traditionalists from the US to Australia may bolster our position “downunder”. Admittedly, it would also contribute to the proportional liberalisation of the countries from which traditionalists are fleeing: this may therefore be seen as a form of surrender, ceding a former country to the left. But if traditionalists are seriously thinking of physically moving to survive as a people and culture, keeping an open mind about all options may nonetheless be a good idea.

    • Isn’t immigration to Australia almost impossible if you are white? The only people I know who have immigrated there married an Australian citizen.

      • Not impossible – many Europeans still move there, and they have an explict points based immigration system that favors those with education and skills above random 3rd worlders. There are many Greeks and Spanish moving there now to escape the problems in Europe.

    • Based on talking to my Australian relatives and reading the Oz Conservative site, I am skeptical that Australia is not as infected with liberalism as America or Canada. The Australian political elite seems to want the country to become a province or colony of China.

      As a practical matter it is expensive to move to Australia, and hard to imagine doing unless you had a job lined up and a support network of some kind. That might be a role for you, Sydneytrads…

      • Australia and Canada, whilst superficially more leftist than the US, lack large aggrieved and well-organized under classes, which could prove to be critical in SHTF scenarios.

    • I had considered moving to Australia, but realized that while there is much to recommend it otherwise, Australia suffers from a drawback that could be literally fatal: strict gun control.

  2. As a young traditionalist, this question is on my mind often. I’d say rural areas of red states are always a good deal, but the tragedy of Modern America is that we have abandoned our small towns and communities to decay and desolation. I go on a summer road trip every year to somewhere in rural west/midwest America and have experienced some of the towns first hand. I can’t say i’m encouraged. Usually there is an abandoned main street, with a couple struggling businesses. The residents are almost entirely elderly, and the youth who remain imitate the styles and culture of their urban peers. Add in the meth problem, poverty, and very little hope of economic advancement. The Heartland is broken, and as such would make great substance matter for some reflective gothic and tragic literature, artistically examining and explaining how the death of America came to be.

    That said, there are exceptions, but I think if we want (as traditionalists, reactionaries, and preservationists of the tattered remains of Western Civilization) community, then we are going to have seek out these towns and places together, in groups, like the pioneers and wagon trains of old, in order to create an evironment for our children to thrive and which would allow us to help each other. Running away, or attempting rugged individualism, is not the answer.

  3. Because that’s how America won it’s rights and became great. By running. From the most pathetic and motley collection of foes…EVER. Do America a favor. Discover birth control, never mind God as apparently you’ve lost his favor. Don’t pollute our gene pool. Forgive my candor, I cannot abide rank cowardice.

    • Sometimes people have to do things you don’t like, Brendan. Some people stay and fight, some people have to move.

      Unless you have something useful to contribute, mind your own business and keep your insulting comments to yourself.

    • Brendan,

      That is a very unfair comment, and insulting too. One could say that America was founded on enlightenment values, and was a propositional nation form the outset (even this is debated among traditionalists) and as a consequence, contained the seeds of its own undoing, however it is unhelpful and unconstructive to libel a people who are in despair.

      Our suggestion that US traditionalists could move to Australia was offered as an alternative to finding sanctuary in North America. The US and the Australian founding stock is essentially the same; true, we have our historical peculiarities and therefore have nuanced cultural differences, but these are hardly insurmountable.

      Of course, if US traditionalists chose to stay and repair their nation, that would be a noble and virtuous task. But sometimes things can be so dire that this is impossible. One has to have a sense of proportion and the ability to be realistic about one’s plight. There is nothing immoral about that.

  4. If five thousand hardline traditionalist voters moved to Oswego County in Upstate New York on lake Ontario, it would change the political complexion of the polity, and the outcome of every civic election, at once. If twenty-thousand hardline conservatives moved to Upstate New York, it would again alter everything politically, not least because the region is losing population. Taxes are high in New York State, and the Dem regime is obnoxious, but the core of twenty-thousand would be the nucleus around which Upstate might separate from Western New York and Downstate. Old houses can be had cheap in the city of Oswego; the art of refurbishing them might become an industry. I like Kristor’s idea of buying houses and fixing them up. That is what my wife and I have been doing for eleven years, with an old house, long in the Delaney family, almost 150 years old. There is a strong conservative-traditionalist element in the segments of Quebec contiguous with New York State; Quebec is still organized in parishes, not counties. Could “Laurentia” be an independent polity? It would have access to the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Lawrence River; it has significant known reserves of natural gas accessible through the “fracking” technique; it has long-standing agriculture going back to the eighteenth century. Conservative refugees from Sweden and Norway might be persuaded to come here, or from Flanders and Britain. If a kid from Malibu (namely Bertonneau) can adapt to the Upstate winter, anyone can.

    When Aeneas arrived at long last in Ausonia (i.e., Latium), he did not find virgin territory, but a place already occupied. Illegal Mexican border-crossers did not find California unoccupied; they boldly ensconced themselves. The common principle is a practical, a necessary one. What land will we occupy, wherein we might fly the Gadsden flag?

    • The big problem with a sudden influx of hardline traditionalist voters to one locale like Tom’s example above is that it will be quickly noticed by the local Liberals, and could be snuffed out in its infancy by a change to more restrictive building or zoning laws such as a freeze on new housing permits. Oswego County? I could easily see Tom’s fellow SUNY Oswego faculty members descending down upon their Mayor and City Council with “screaming harridan-like rage”, yelling stop it! stop it now!, and the local politicians would quickly cave. My goodness, any Democrat would do so, knowing that such an influx would mean they would be voted out of office the next election!

      Look what happened to Lewiston, Maine a decade ago with the sudden influx of nearly 3,000 Somali refugees, 10% of the total city’s population. At first, being good Liberals, they loved it, (we need the diversity they said!), but then they had to beg them publicly to stop coming and had to limit the building permits to do so, despite the cries of racism!

      As someone who recently voted with his feet and moved from the New York City area to semi-rural Indiana, the idea of traditional conservatives moving to common locales appeals to me, but it would absolutely have to be to an area that already has the highest number of such people, along with the least number of uppity Liberals. North Dakota comes to mind, as the job prospects are rather good there, but the winters may even be worse than upstate New York.

      Finally, if such a gathering of traditionalists really were big enough to threaten separation, what chance is there that the Liberals in the surrounding areas, not to mention Washington DC, would peacefully allow it? Could they be bought off somehow into leaving us alone?

      • I take your point, but the kind of population movement that I imagine needn’t be sudden and probably wouldn’t be. It would be gradual and it would happen according to a plan. Gain control of a city, then a county, then other cities and counties, and then a portion of the state. Nor would “Laurentia” stand in the way of a Dakota Republic or a “Big Sky” nation based on Montana. None is exclusive of the others. All of them should happen. As late as Mr. Gorbachev, only a few eccentrics thought that the USSR was not a permanent feature of geopolitics. As the economy weakens and the bankruptcy of the federal coffer becomes increasingly evident, the break-up of the US is not beyond the realm of possibility. It might — no, it would — be desirable.

    • I live in Western New York, and it is true that many of the counties in Central New York and the Southern Tier are rural and conservative. It is also true that the difference between the political culture of liberal regions and conservative regions are like night and day. For instance Buffalo and Rochester,NY are run by a left-wing, white elite mostly centered around the public employee unions and old, family-run businesses who usually win elections thanks to the unions and African-American support inside the city. The rural areas of New York are more conservative and healthier, but there is absolutely NO conservative will to fight the state even in majority Republican areas. This is probably because throughout the state, government employment remains a preferred occupation for most of the people. Going into business for oneself-without government support-is considered a risky proposition.

      • Thomas, you have been a literary idol of mine for some years now. I would love to meet. New York is a weird state. I wonder what happened to the fortunes of the Conservative Party here, which still has some electoral force, at least where I live. If you would like to e-mail me, let me know how to get in touch. I am glad you are writing regularly on this site.

  5. My recommendation would be to move to rural parts of states along the southern Mississippi River. The Ozarks region of Arkansas and Missouri would be good. However the best from what I have read would be Mississippi. I know a lot of the Northerners are probably thinking “that will never happen” but of all regions of the country few are more Traditional than Mississippi.

    1. Mississippi is the most religious state with 59% calling themselves “very religious” compared to the national average of 40%

    2. Mississippi has the highest church attendance nationwide with 63% “attending weekly or almost weekly” compared to the national average of 42%

    3. A November 2, 2004 state constitutional amendment in Mississippi to ban gay marriage, “Mississippi Amendment 1”, passed 86% – 14%

    4. Mississippi is the most self-described Conservative state with 53% identifying as such while only 11% self-identify as Liberal

    5. White men voted for Romney by 88% – 10% and White women voted for Romney 89% – 11%. White Evangelicals or born-again Christians voted 95% – 5% for Romney.
    (NOTE: I was not a fan of Romney but this just shows how few actual Liberals there are in Mississippi)

    6. A surprising 46% of Mississippi Republicans in a 2011 poll wanted interracial marriage to be illegal whereas only 40% thought it should be legal. If you consider that about 43% of Mississippians are Republican that means 20% of Mississippians want interracial marriage to be illegal. That is not including Independents.

  6. Front Royal? Eh. It is rural, and on the I-81 corridor, but no jobs. Lots of people commute into the city on I-66 East. I think Warrenton area is better, Fauquier County.

  7. Well, since I live in the South Island of New Zealand, some observations. I moved here in 2006, in part because of a job, but in part because I could see a storm coming and wanted a safe bubble for my family.

    1. 80% energy from renewables. Mixed agriculture: we make our own beer, whiskey and wine, raise deer, sheep, cows and chooks. We have a good organic farming infrastructure.

    2. The place is beautiful. Stunningly beautiful. It was used for the part of the Tolkien movies — and yes, it is like that.

    3. I live in the lower, colder part. Total population 400 000 in an area about half the size of England.

    4. The university city I live in is nauseatingly progressive with small islands of semi tradition.

    5. Rural NZ is quite conservative.

    6. However…

    a. You need a trade, to be under 40, or have lots of money to invest. Immigrating is as difficult as Australia.

    b. NZers are reflexly anti American. We see the US federal government as bullies. (That includes me, and I am about as pro-American as Kiwis get).

    c. We are not as rich. The average wage here is around 30K — about 24 — 26K in US terms. Housing is expensive, ranging from around 200K for a small house which will need relining and insulation where I live to 500K for the same house in Auckland.

    d. Kiwis are social democrats by default. Our conservative party are more like blue dog democrats than republicans.

    e. We have a feral underclass that uses their benefit to pay for their cannabis, methamphetamine, and alcohol, between abusing their children and assaulting each other.

    f. The Anglicans have gheys and femighey bishops. The Catholics are not much better. The Presbyterians and Baptists remain conservatives. And the Orthodox church is tiny.

    It is my nation: we need immigrants, but do not come over here with rose-coloured blinkers on.

    • Did you move from the USA or from another part of NZ?

      As with moving to Oz, it would be expensive to move to NZ from America, and hard to imagine doing unless you had a job lined up and a support network of some kind.

    • Chris,

      My mom and her family emigrated from the UK to NZ in the 60s, and so I (an American) still have half my family there. NZ is still one of the world’s best kept secrets, but I wonder about it sliding to the left, especially with increased ethnic immigration. Would you still recommend the South Island over the North?

  8. I must admit I admire the landscape of East and Central Texas. Culturally and politically it is probably better off than other parts of the country. I might recommend it. The students I have met from College Station seemed a bit more openly religious and conservative than those down here in South Texas. There is also Baylor up in Waco. Any town or village in the area might be a good place for a traditionalist to live.

    I also think agriculture is an important part of a functioning society, and I will contend that one path to a functioning society is an agrarian way of life. Obviously university professors are not going to become peasant farmers (although they might have to), but it might be advisable for run of the mill service workers to adopt an occupation that makes greater use of manual non mechanical labor (fishing, farming, and other primary sector occupations). Not only do the economic relations of primary sector labor help set a good foundation for a traditional society, but they can also be a helpful way to disconnect from many of the political and social demands being made by the left today. The Amish have been well served by their shoring up of their community. That is a lesson we can learn from.

    • I can’t recommend Texas, being a resident here. For all the supposed secessionist sentiment here, most Texans are too much a bunch of rah-rah Americanists. It’s almost like they’d sooner tolerate abortion than any serious deviation from Americanist orthodoxy… oh wait, they do!

      It has a relatively large Catholic population, too, but this owes primarily to its strong Hispanic presence. Most of the state is just a terrible place to live, and the places that aren’t are overwhelmingly leftist — basically the pattern that defines the rest of the country.

      • Texas isn’t all that bad. I can’t speak for the whole state, but north Texas is a stronghold of traditional Anglicanism and there are even a few TLM and Anglican Use Catholic parishes which are strong and growing. And apart from them, the Baptists and Church of Christ remain very influential. The Americanism critique is sadly true.

      • Texas is a big place, so one can find examples of just about anything. After more than twenty years living in the state, however, my impression is that Texans are not especially traditional. Texans are sentimental about traditions, so they talk about them all the time, but very few would pass up a dollar in order to honor a tradition.

      • That is certainly the impression I get from going to college in a large city in South Texas. But we do apparently have one of the highest TFR’s in the continental U.S.

      • After more than twenty years living in the state, however, my impression is that Texans are not especially traditional. Texans are sentimental about traditions, so they talk about them all the time, but very few would pass up a dollar in order to honor a tradition.

        Amen. G.W. Bush is the perfect exemplar of this — a superficial gloss of conservatism slapped hastily over a deeply unprincipled interior.

      • My understanding is that with the horrific influx of Mestizos, before long Texas will go the way of California. Truly a nightmare.

      • That may eventually happen. It is probably already happening here in South Texas. I know my fellow university students regardless of color are nearly all supporters of liberal ideas.

    • The students at Texas A&M are most certainly more conservative than their counterparts elsewhere. In fact more than 10,000 students–out of 50,000–attend an on-campus Bible study each week, the largest non-sports gathering of students in the country. In addition, Texas A&M commissions more military officers each year than ant institution outside the military academies.

      • The students at TAMU are somewhat more conservative than the national average, but the difference is not nearly so great as many people suppose. It also diminishes, by design, with every passing year. The university itself stopped being a conservative institution around 1970, and today’s faculty and administrators are ideologically indistinguishable from those at other large state universities. We had a good exhibit of TAMU’s respect for tradition last Saturday, when for the first time in nearly 100 years they didn’t play UT on Thanksgiving weekend. Why? SEC television dollars, of course. There are plenty of good things about TAMU, but Aggie parents who think they’ve sent their children to a conservative refuge are badly mistaken.

  9. I would say Missouri. Any place except Kansas City or St Louis. There are many vibrant rural communities centering around mid sized “cities” such as Springfield, Rolla, Sedalia, Joplin, etc… Missouri has a conservative house and senate but the governor and federal senators are liberals elected by Kansas City and St Louis political machines. Land is still relatively cheap and housing is affordable. There is a wide variety of topographical landscapes from mountains in the south to rolling farm land in the north. There are several good sized recreational lakes and plenty of public use land for outdoors types. Missouri also has the geographical benefit of being in the center land mass of the continental US and almost any place in the nation worth going to is within a days drive. The people are fairly friendly as a whole and the urban blight seems to be confined strictly to the two major cities.. KC and STL… Just some thoughts… Of course I am a little biased as I live here. If I were considering a relocation, it would be either to Texas or Montana, Wyoming or Alaska.. Just saying…

    • Indeed, I’m down in Little Rock and want to end up somewhere in the Ozarks.

      Its a region lauded by many survivalist types for many of the same reasons that it appeals to us.

      • No religious group is without problems.

        I agree with what Bruce Charlton says here:

        [Mormons] bear Christian witness to the core importance of marriage and family… all other Christian denominations in the West have in practice embraced willed sterility…

        Furthermore, Mormons display what is generally regarded as the highest average level of good behaviour of any large group in the West.

        For me, these facts – plus the fact that this continues after 180 years, or eight generations; means that Mormonism is essentially-true and essentially-good – despite all that can be said about its theological concreteness, simplifications, errors and/ or incompleteness; its faults and its limitations; and the fact that like any human thing in this world it is fallen and corrupt.

        All that can be said against the Mormon people is overwhelmed by the vital nature of the core message they carry and exemplify, concerning the centrality of marriage and family to Christian life; a message which happens to be the single most important and urgent thing that the modern world needs to know.

      • I called out Dr. Charlton for that too (he didn’t publish my comment). Mormons are farther away from Christianity than Islam.

      • That Dr. Charlton believes the supposed historical reality of Pseudo-Dionysius is a burning issue for Christianity, yet gives a pass to Mormon polytheism, strongly suggests that one should take his opinions on these matters with a grain of salt. Saying Mormons are a specifically Christian witness to anything is an abuse of speech.

      • If you make three out of what is essentially the One God on High, then your monotheism is checkered with multiplicity (pls visit the website: isaac-newton.org to discover Newton’s sincere monotheism which the Arianites professed which the Athanasian trinitarians clergy disowned).
        In any event, everyone who wishes to call himself a muslim man of faith is awaiting the return of Jesus the Messiah (peace and blessings be upon him), who will reset the scales of morality back to righteousness and compassion, to eradicate the back-biting of men enmeshed in greed and envy, and the secret intriques of powerful political alliances, for whom religion is not much more than a plaything for personal ambitions.
        The foremost aim in religion is to know God on High, and to love and serve Him in the souls of other human beings and the greater natural universe (but don’t allow yourself to be fooled by the radical politics of the wahhabis who have disowned the rationality and spirituality of Muhammad, on him be peace and blessings); and the means to that discipline is by seeking to know the self and to purify one’s heart of its encumbrances (which the secularists will have us believe can be glossed over with socio-political arrangements, by “them” of course).
        This was the way of the direct disciples of Jesus, as well as what the evidence of the Qumram scrolls reveals to us.
        Many thanks for setting up this forum here. May God bless us all with His guiding light and bestow upon us His loving-kindness always.

  10. I personally like bucolic fantasies, but in the modern world they are fantasies. Even if the first generation of pilgrims managed to find work in some rural outpost, the best and brightest of the second generation would march right back into Sodom and Gomorrah. Remember, there is always regression to the mean, so the average level of commitment will fall in the second and third generation, and a smart young man isn’t going to spend his life fixing flat tires just to make his old man happy. It would be nice to have a few enclaves of traditionalists, but our long-term survival demands that we develop the coping strategies of a diaspora community. This means we develop a stout carapace with which to resist assimilation, most especially assimilation of our children. This is already happening with homeschooling and media boycotts, but we have a long way to go. We need to control at least one or two good universities. The dispersed pattern would make us politically invisible in the U.S. system, but this might not be such a bad thing. The politicians who claim to represent us mostly embarrass us, and then betray us.

    • You know, I’d never thought about it before, but do we really not even control even just one or two good universities?

      I’ve heard good things about Steubenville and Ave Maria — is there something wrong with them?

      • Anecdotally, the move from NOVA to Omaha has been directly implicated in loss of faith and divorce, most likely, in the particular case I have in mind, at least partially because the bedrock of orthodoxy – not the Bishop, but the community – in NOVA was missing in Omaha. That’s just one anecdote mixed in with my opinion though, so it is pretty lightweight evidence.

      • I’m afraid that all that I know about these universities is what I have read in their advertisements in First Things. There is some research that suggests the evangelical bible college strategy doesn’t work because students are not prepared to have their faith challenged, and so crumble when they leave the cocoon. This makes sense if the bible college is simply a safe haven, but there is no obvious reason that students in a safe haven couldn’t be immunized before they are released into the world.

        I have a lot of respect for high quality teaching colleges, and think they contribute more to the mental health of the nation than the big research universities do; but traditionalists need to control a couple of big research universities as well. This would be difficult because big research means Federal money and Federal oversight. Notre Dame and Brigham Young show what can be accomplished here. Both institutions have compromised with the zeitgeist, but they have also retained some of their religious identity.

    • Your thoughts are internally contradictory. If our children will lose their commitment to traditionalism out in the country, then they will do so even faster in the city. If it is possible to “develop a stout carapace with which to resist assimilation” in the city, then it is possible (and even easier) to do so in the country.

      • It is certainly harder for young people to remain traditionalists if they are isolated in a city full of liberals than if they are insulated by a conservative rural community. But rural communities always export children to the cities because the population grows faster than the economy. The most intelligent and ambitious children are the first to go, so I say we need a strategy to preserve cultural identity in this diaspora.

        We could learn a lot from the Mormons when it comes to geographical strategies to preserve cultural identity. They combine a cultural homeland in Utah and a very well managed diaspora. Mormon churches are very effective at creating enclaves to sustain Mormons outside of the homeland.

    • “Even if the first generation of pilgrims managed to find work in some rural outpost, the best and brightest of the second generation would march right back into Sodom and Gomorrah.”

      Quite right. There needs to be a city large enough to have its own cultural life and economic base – a city your children and grandchildren will come back to.

      In the United States the list of suitable cities not totally dominated by leftists is small, but they do exist. Some possibilities:

      Lafayette, LA
      Lake Charles, LA
      Tulsa, OK
      Oklahoma City, OK
      Fort Worth, TX
      Exurbs of Houston, TX
      Exurbs of St. Louis, MO
      Colorado Springs, CO
      Rapid City, SD
      Green Bay, WI
      Coeur d’Alene/Post Falls, ID
      Wichita, KS

      • There’s an all boys Catholic school in Post Falls. I don’t know anything about it.

        Can you tell that I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this?

      • I generally agree with your small city strategy. One problem in the U.S. is that most places not controlled by leftists are controlled by a pro-growth Chamber of Commerce. I don’t know about you, but if someone cleared out the hippies, I’d be very happy to live in Madison, Colorado Springs, or Portland. Full bore capitalism is just as inhospitable to a traditionalist as progressive degeneracy. As I commented somewhere else in this enormous thread, traditionalist are not trying to escape zoning, they are trying to establish their own zone.

      • @ Bruce B. I’ve heard of it too. I believe that school is run by the SSPX.

        @ JMSmith. I generally agree with your remarks. That’s why a city like Lafayette, LA is so attractive. Its conservatism is tradition oriented more than CofC oriented.

  11. I’m surprised no one has mentioned the obvious (for Catholics): basically anywhere in Nebraska. The diocese of Lincoln is hands-down the most orthodox diocese in the nation, with a Catholic-to-priest ratio of about 900-to-1, regular widespread TLMs, lots of 24-hour adoration, solid orthodox priests, a strong SSPX presence, etc. The neighboring diocese of Omaha, I’ve heard, is also quite good.

    • In addition to my misplace comment above, I should mention that I grew up in Omaha. It was where I learned to be a cafeteria Catholic. Not to be ungrateful for the gifts I did receive; but the big controversy at my confirmation Mass was whether we would sing _Stairway to Heaven_ by Led Zeppelin or _Bridge Over Troubled Water_ by Simon and Garfunkle. I wish I was making that up.

      • When was that, Zippy? Fingers crossed, that was the immediate madness of the postconciliar age, long since quashed by reason and good faith.

      • The family that moved there and could not find the kind of orthodox community they left behind in NOVA was the last five years or so though. It could be that it was there but well hidden, though I doubt it because his brother, also and still a devout Catholic, lived there at the time and had been there forever.

      • @Zippy. Omaha does have a pretty decent FSSP parish and homeschooling community. Perhaps your friends weren’t fans of the TLM? Not that divorce and loss of faith doesn’t happen in these communities, but it’s pretty rare.

    • The diocese of Lincoln is super. Not only is the FSSP seminary located there, but there are also traditional Carmelites in Valparaiso (sp?). The Catholic school system is high quality, very inexpensive, and staffed by an order of teaching sisters. As for TLMs, there are only two in the city of Lincoln, one in Denton at the seminary, at one at the Carmelite convent. Lincoln itself is not all that conservative, unfortunately. Very middle-of-the-road, a typical government town with the liberal university influence. The economy is great, but it’s bleeping COLD in the winter and might be a tough sell for that reason.

  12. You might consider North Dakota (perhaps South Dakota). I’d suggest picking a city such as Fargo or Bismarck and checking the National Weather Service for that city every day or two for a while. You could thus get a sense as to whether the winter here are as dreadful as you think and how you would manage. Check for the kind of church you prefer. If you are Eastern Orthodox, you will probably be out of luck, but my sense is that the Roman Catholicism here is about as good as it gets any more in the US. The liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is big here, but Lutheran alternatives are not hard to come by. Scan newspapers online, such as the Fargo Forum, the Grand Forks Herald, etc. This will give you a sense of how people behave themselves here and who doesn’t, the size of our underclass, etc. I would say that North Dakota is a pretty decent place to raise a conservative family, but while people say they value “family” highly, its is also a place where it is very common for women to work outside the home and place children with hirelings. ND people think of themselves as independent, but many receive benefits thanks to “ag” subsidies. (Sadly, while farming is extremely big here, it is almost all aligned with the Monsanto-Con Agra-fed govt. model.) Unlike many small-town Heartland areas, ND doesn’t seem to have a huge problem with meth; there’s quite a bit of improper drinking. I would imagine that, in many places in the eastern half of the state, other than Fargo, you could buy a nice house for what might be a surprisingly low price.


    • My aunt and uncle lived there for many years. He had a very successful garden (each October, they put tons of food away for the winter) because of the very long days in the summer. He claimed that all the businesses didn’t open until Sunday afternoon so that everyone had a chance to go to church.

    • Housing costs in the western part of the state have blown up thanks to the Bakken oil boom, unfortunately for conservatives and reactionaries thinking of relocating to ND.

      • Bruce B. asked, “Do you have conservative homeschooling families in your parish?”

        I’m an adherent of the Lutheran Confessions and a member of a small independent Lutheran church (basically like Missouri Synod, but with a more traditional hymnal and a congregational practice whereby adult males are the voting members). My wife and I have four grown children, but we homeschooled. Homeschoolers in our area are usually evangelicals; however, we got to know a family located in Grafton who were homeschoolers and conservative Roman Catholics.

    • THere’s significant numbers of Apostolic Lutherans up there. I don’t know much about them but they’re described as “cultish” by some which is probably a good thing if you’re a reactionary i.e. any serious reactionaries would probably seem cultish to 21st century people.

  13. vitabenedicta

    I’m from Michigan and from what I understand the yoopers are fairly conservative as is the rest of northern Michigan most liberals in Michigan are concentrated in the big cities if you look at the 2012 electoral map you will see blue from Detroit over to Ann Arbor and up to Flint and Saginaw and then down to Lansing and Grand Rapids all the liberals idealogically speaking are mainly in Ann Arbor because of the universities there I live outside Ann Arbor and there are alot of conservatives around there theyre just overshadowed by the liberals the rest of whom are usually union workers or minorities rather than your idealogue variant liberal.

    • It is important to keep in mind how much the economic insecurity of the white working class keeps them in the leftist camp. Makaro’s comment as well as the election map proves that out. If your entire life is work it is almost instinctive that you vote for those offering a “fair deal” and a “new deal” for the worker.

  14. I’ve already thought a lot about it. Western Maryland turns out to be a relatively good choice, except for the close proximity to Baltimore. Lots of Mennonites around here, which is usually a positive sign.

    • The close proximity of Montgomery County is also a problem. The bastards got rid of Roscoe Bartlett by putting Montgomery County scum in his district.

    • I grew up in western Maryland and lived there till about two years ago. What makes you think it would be a good place for reactionaries to flee (besides the abundance of Mennonites)?

      • My logic was the reverse: there are a lot of Mennonites here because it is a good place to flee to. Many of the people here now are cultural refugees from the DC area, and it can be quite pleasant here as long as you don’t go too far toward Appalachia.

        My own opinion is based upon two things:

        1) We have found a strong orthodox community here.
        2) There is little poverty and crime is rare.
        3) High marriage rates and zero nightlife (three cheers for boring towns!)
        4) Excellent educational opportunities, whether public school, private school, or homeschooling.
        5) Large families are made welcome here.
        6) Reliable water and heat sources, less need for air conditioning, strong agricultural sector, lots of tradesmen.

        Mostly, we like it so much here that we really can’t imagine moving to any other part of America. If anything, we might brave the storm and head back to Europe.

        But, as Lady and I discussed, it’s not the sort of place to come if you’re a WN or something. You’d go bonkers here, in that case. Most people are white, but it’s rural enough that there’s a fertile woman shortage and importing wives is common. It’s more of a paleo-libertarian sort of place, which suits me well.

      • Oh, all sorts. Lots of ex-military and military contractors here, and they pick up women all over the planet. The civilian imports are mostly black or mixed-race like me, perhaps because of the close proximity of the Metro area.

  15. The PacNW is underpopulated, has plenty of natural resources and ability to be energy and food sufficient, and is quite wide-open in terms of opportunities to earn an honest living. It is also true that there is something of a Christian resurgence (of the Calvinist Protestant sort mostly, but also some Catholic and Orthodox pockets here and there) happening up here.

    The locals are lazy and can be routed around, as many immigrant populations are finding. It remains the last frontier, with all that implies in terms of risk and reward.

    Caveat for the racialist types– one would have to accept a level of interracial marriage of about 10-30%, depending on the area, among the Christians having kids, mostly white guys outmarrying.

      • Maybe. The men who marry after 25 are more likely to have a black, Asian , or Hispanic wife, vs. the ones who marry before then. There is also more Asian male-white woman intermarriage among Christians up here too, although that group of IR marriages marries younger based on anecdata and includes cultural Christians rather than more orthodox-oriented Christians.

      • Hmm… that’s interesting. That fits with national and international data that outmarriage increases with age and education. I see that here among conservatives, and also in Texas, so it’s interesting that you notice the same over there.

      • It is not the colour of your skin that matters but the nature of your character. Seriously. Hell, my kids are mixed race. (And yes, I was over 25 when I married).
        Oh, and being prepared to not live in the USA. Equally seriously. Your child protection (family destruction) services and your family courts are too irrational, punitive for families to survive and your property taxes too high for farms to survive.

      • Taxation will be a problem, but the government is being slowly defunded. A lot of the agencies which now plague us will soon be scrapped simply due to the decline in tax revenues and difficulty in securing new debt. ZIRP is setting a trap for them, as they refinance at extremely low rates, and they’re then going to hit the wall as soon as rates increase even a few basis points.

        You can’t squeeze blood from a stone.

  16. For those who like American convenience but don’t like modern American culture, I recommend El Paso, Texas where I live. The population here is mostly Mexican and the culture feels neutral, not really either American or Mexican. Obviously this means that the dominant religion here is Catholicism. There are also 2 Eastern Orthodox churches. Men who are single can easily cross to Mexico to find a Mexican wife. Mexican women make much better wives than American women do. (My wife for 22 years is Mexican.) This being Texas, there is no state income tax. We have a pleasant desert climate. And we have pine covered mountains with skiing 2 hours away. We also have the lowest crime rate for any city our size in the country.

  17. I would recommend Idaho. Boise is nice and there are an amazing number of young white families with lots of kids. We went there last year on vacation and everywhere we went lots of young families with children. People were friendly too, and Idaho is known as a more conservative state. I also like northern Idaho but Boise is the biggest city for those who prefer not to live rural.

  18. When it comes to universities, go for the best technical training you can get, as cheap as you can get. You want a program that is strong on STEM and less strong elsewhere. You want a profile like this. (Disclosure, I work there).

    I’m not a fan of bible college as prep. I am a fan, and support, campus ministries on the research based campuses.

    The other way that the churches influence kids is by running the residential halls: from Aquinas (which was originally catholic) to Knox (still run by the Presbyterians).

  19. As a European, I’ve considered Malta and Hungary. Malta is the most religious country in Western Europe, if not in all of Europe (measured in terms of things like regular church attendance and self-reported importance of religion in one’s daily life rather than simple church membership). Hungary, meanwhile, is one of the few former Communist countries that is effectively and actively resisting the influence of the EU, the State Department, and George Soros. In particular, the fact that Prime Minister Orbán seems to be standing his ground on the new Constitution is a hopeful sign.

  20. Interesting, nobody mentioned Canada. It seems the liberal stench we picked up during the reign of “The Liberals” is still lingering. However, it is definitely fading…. and with the present government in place will be eventually sufficiently deodorized enough that even our neighbours to the South might notice that their mental image of Canada is out dated.

    However, since this is a huge country with lots of empty space, a pretty harsh environment and a diverse, but still mainly European population, it depends greatly where you live. I live in the Lower Mainland of BC a pretty densely populated area. However, in about a 30 minute drive, I can leave civilization completely behind… heck, if you live anywhere in this part and feel then urge to “walk” North you will cross only two roads and no towns until you hit the Beaufort Sea. So if the flakes, yes this is La-La Land, are getting too much to bear…. I have many means of avoiding them. Besides, as annoying as they can be, at least they are Canadian flakes and thus, by design, mainly polite and lightweight flakes.

    How to live here as a separatist (not the Quebec type though) and traditionalist? Well I am a member of an English speaking Eastern Orthodox Church. We are minuscule in the design of things, but a closely knit family. That gives us strength. Our young families which are busily procreating, are mainly home-schooling, we are supporting each other in health and sickness. We even have the “idiot-cousin” among us. But would we be a family without one?

    After all I have read here, and it is pretty good stuff, I think “running away” is not an option for the vast majority of us. We are fish living in the smelly water of this cesspool of a society. The water is contaminated, but we cannot live outside it. So, what to do? We should seek out the parts of the pond least contaminated and hope that the coming storm will replenish the pond with fresh water… However, when that happens and it will happen soon, we should have kept ourselves strong and healthy to take advantage of the new opportunities.

    Oh yes, maybe catacombs and Essenes, even collecting together in new communities is worth considering… But for those who itch for a fight, now is not a good time. Remember, he who runs, lives to fight another day… and make Sun Tzu, The Art of War part of your reading schedule… Once the new water is flooding the pond, there will be a need to fight. So keep your powder dry (difficult for the fish though).

    One other thing. As Orthodox Christians we have the collective memory of 1400 years of oppression under Islam and 80 years under Communism. We have many heroes and even more martyrs. Yes we also have dhimmis and traitors. We have lost two great Empires, but we are still here…. and growing again. So, maybe we can offer something to our western brothers who are just now beginning to experience the uglier side of “history”

    My two cents…. thank you for listening.

    • Joseph, shhh! You’re not supposed to share that secret with Yanks. Let them think we’re all Trudeaupian ‘Canuckistan’ leftists, if they insist; more lebensraum for us. 🙂

      • Will, you are correct. I forgot. Sorry. And it rains here all the time and another Trudeau is rearing his pretty head…

      • Yep. I live just across the border. I’ve noticed the change in Canada as well, though I thought most of it was wishful thinking on my part. Seems like it is becoming a much happier place to be. Most immigrants seem to be hard-working Asians as well.

    • What Will Said.
      The problem with Canada is that they let liberal Yanks in. Like Michael (Let me ruin the liberal party, I am from Harvard) Ignatieff.
      Aussies and Kiwis keep them out, unless they come bring lots of money or have lots of needed qualifications.

      However, the Greater Toronto Area is horrible & to be avoided: (Will, daughter was raised in Oshawa, so i speak of what I know).

  21. Christian only RV parks on private property in rural Oregon. New RV financing and relocation assistance available. Homeschool, banking, medical, and agricultural co-operatives. Guns pointed at anyone mentioning zoning laws. Enough said.

    • If the RV parks are Christian only, then you already have at least one zoning law. It may be enforced by the guns of residents rather than the police, but it amounts to the same thing. You all have created a “zone” from which something that you find obnoxious (non-Christians) has been excluded. Everyone on this thread is talking about finding and defending a “zone,” so it should be clear that conservatives have no problem with zoning as such.

  22. Some observations of mine that some may find useful: I’ve found that while the larger cities provide much more temptations and avenues for sin, they also have much larger and much more active Christian groups. I grew up in Fargo, ND for 18 years and moved to Houston, Texas six years ago. I went to a catholic high school in North Dakota and can only say that while most students were your standard white republicans, they were also into all sorts of crap like premarital sex, binge drinking, drug abuse, and so forth. I’m not judging, I fell into all of these sins myself at that time.

    Young people who wanted to live real Christian lives were usually isolated, and thus they ended up being harassed and mocked. For example, we had a classmate who wouldn’t try to hook up with any girls because he thought it was immoral and unchaste; he was referred to as “gay” and “fag.”

    We had a foreign exchange student come in from Mexico; he was made fun of until he also called the moral kid a “fag,” at which point he became popular. (He didn’t do it to become popular, he did it because he was a terrible person. He was plenty immoral himself already, but it just shows how things worked)

    I now attend a Christian university in Texas and have found two differences: the deviants are really very deviant, doing things I would never hear of in Fargo, but the Christians actually assimilate into large recognizable groups and are not so separated and thus take much less heat from the surrounding immoral culture and also have a strong support group around them for when they do.

    So as strange as it may seem, I think that the cities may provide more secure Christian “hotspots” than the smaller towns. The higher percentage of liberals is offset by the higher total number of Christians. For example, a North Dakota school may have 500 students, 50 of whom are practicing Christians. A Houston school may have 5000 students, 300 of whom are practicing Christians. While the first has a higher percentage, the second will offer a larger support group and thus more protection from harassment and an opportunity to feel like you are part of a vibrant Christian group.

    It must be mentioned though that also the Christian groups are larger and stronger in the city, they do contain ignorant political liberals (people who don’t understand the issues and are very Christian in their personal lives but support liberal agendas because they naively believe the lies they have been told) as well as a significant amount of nonwhites. In North Dakota, most were cultural republicans (same as ignorant liberals, they don’t understand the issues) and almost everyone was white. In my class, only I and some other kid were nonwhite.

    So there are pros and cons to both. If you or kids actively looks for trouble, stay rural as that will limit the opportunities. If you or your kids want a more active and secure Christian environment, go to the city, as it has the benefit of sheer numbers.

    Plus, i should also note that some of the difference I have noticed may be attributed to the move from high school to college and not geographic/demographic differences.

  23. I’m doing an analysis of this sort right now because I need to leave New Jersey before it collapses. (I think the state will eventually, but my town specifically is also in trouble in the nearer term.) Thank you to all for your prior comments.

    I’m looking for places with a sufficient population, because the economy needs to be able to support me and, ideally, my family as it grows up and my kids move out. I have a lot of kids, and I don’t think I should assume that I can limit us all to farming — gardening will be important as the economy declines, but farming as a career is more than I can expect.

    I think the racial makeup of the state is important, because states with high black or Hispanic populations are likely to have a permanent aggrieved class that votes in a highly regular block.

    I presume that states with sufficiently serious problems in one major city will be sucked into a vortex of spending and liberalism, which is why I don’t really consider, e.g., Michigan. I’m open to evidence that I’m wrong.

    The importance of religious belief, conservative beliefs (as indicated by things like disapproval ratings of President Obama), etc., also factor in.

    Some of the states that top the list, based on a heuristic jiggering of some numbers — the main heuristic being that CA, NJ, and other liberal states end up near the bottom — include, in order, Oklahoma, Utah, Texas (despite the racial issue), Pennsylvania, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Kansas, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Tennessee, Idaho, Alabama, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

    • Jake, I’m in a similar situation. Want to get out of Florida. We have a large, young family (11years – 10 months) but don’t need much money to live on.

      I agree that it may be undesirable to pick a state with a significant underclass population. Some states are moving residents of the ghetto out into the smaller communities e.g Chicago to Peoria Illinois. We also want an affordable private Christian school for our children for high school. I have run into a few that are very affordable.

      • @Bruce B.

        How much is “not much money to live on?” I’m just curious as a young traditionalist myself who has not yet started a family. Does your wife have to work? How many children do you have? How do you make it happen?


      • @ Ransom Culhane

        We have six children and my gross salary is about $46K per year which means my take home pay is a little more than $700/week. My wife does not work. We could like on considerably less if we dumped our house which we are considering doing (we bought when the prices were WAY up). You’d be surprised how much you can cut out of your budget. We are looking at places with very cheap houses so that we can either buy a house outright or at least have a very small monthly payment. We could probably live on half of what we make now if we didn’t have a house payment or had a minimal house payment. Children are not nearly as expensive to raise as people think if you can find cheap (and safe) housing.

    • Thank you Tarl and Bruce. Bruce, I think your timing is good — I have some older children (mine range from <1 year to almost 18) and the uprooting won't be much fun for the older crew. I think earlier would have been better. As for money, it's tough knowing how much I would need at another location; I live in a reasonable home one a small lot in a not-posh New Jersey suburb, and my property taxes are $14K per year. On the one hand, that's a strong indicator that my cost of living will be much smaller elsewhere; on the other, shaving 12K off of my property taxes doesn't mean I can automatically take a $30K pay cut if food and gas are comparably priced. It'll be interesting to see what I can pull off. Good luck to you!

      • Jake, 14K per year is absurdly high for property taxes. We pay about $1K per year for a 1500 square foot house in east central Florida. I think if you move to the right place you’ll be shocked at how much your housing costs go down.

        We’ve found that we can feed a family of 8 reasonably well on about $15 per day (no teenage boys to feed!) which is about $450 per month. My parents were spending that much in the early nineties and they only had two children – frugality can really pay off.

        Good luck to you too, Jake.

  24. I appreciate most of these comments, as well as the original post, as being most informative. I do think it’s important for us to remember something: “Home” is not a product you select using a checklist of rationally-determined criteria; home is where you’re from.

    Of course I also realize that historically there have been justifiable reasons to flee, and that those reasons apply to many today. I can’t possibly imagine sticking it out in, say, L.A., even had I been born and reared there. But the burden of proof should always be upon leaving, NOT staying — just as in Just War doctrine the burden of proof is upon war, not peace. If a man abandons the place that nurtured him from his childhood, then he must acknowledge that he is handing that place over to the corruptors, surrendering to the conquerors. If you have no choice but to flee, keep in mind that abandoning home should be a cause of lamentation, not an exercise in smart-shopper skills. If we’re destined to be homeless, so be it; but let’s at least retain home as a concept, an ideal, a category of the consciousness.

    For those who must move I recommend Kentucky. Consider the region SW of Frankfort, KY, known among KY Catholics as “the Holy Land”, a conservative region which still bears the cultural and demographic marks of a sizable English Catholic settlement from Maryland. The Dominican parish that educated Jefferson Davis is still there and still going strong.

  25. Of course for Protestants I’d suggest eastern Kentucky, or really anywhere in Appalachia, where there is still something of a real folk culture/community. Yes, it’s an economically-depressed region and not especially sophisticated, but then that’s been a major factor in shielding it from moral and spiritual rot.

  26. Because of my work, I need to be fairly near a teaching hospital. This is not that much of a problem: many teaching hospitals are in smaller cities.

    Aim for lower population, academic centres, around 100 000 people. Big enough to have a technological base — we make everything from drugs to stereos locally — but small enough to minimize the big town factors.

    Rural also works well. There are plenty of Christian based communities — most last about two generations as there is a huge tendency to become cults.

    And the Christians on campus etc will self organize into churches of believers. The Rural area (which is huge) needs such a city. I know of another four or five in NZ, but I live at the one with univeristy affiliation to the hospital.

  27. For Catholics, let me share what I believe to be a much-overlooked destination for resettlement: Lafayette, Louisiana and environs, otherwise known as Acadiana. Cajun country. Lafayette is the most Catholic city of its size in America, with a fervency that is hiked up several notches from the usual nominalism. The faith is in the air and religious orders abound. There’s a classically-oriented Catholic high school, a Latin Mass in Carencro, and beautiful churches everywhere. It’s also one of the most “conservative” cities in America in the sense of voting GOP. The city is large enough to provide an economic base for employment, and that’s important. Louisiana is the most pro-life state in the union, and has a population capable of resisting federal encroachments.

    Racialists won’t be happy, though, as the region has a long history of racial mixing. A black underclass is present with all of its unhappy pathologies – about 30 percent of the city identifies as African-American – but the crime rate is the lowest I’ve seen of any southern city, and by all accounts it is very safe in the right places.

    The strongly Cajun heritage of the area gives it a necessary cultural center of gravity. Acadiana is not a “blank slate”: transplants from anywhere have some assimilating to do. About 20 percent of households still speak Cajun French. But for all of that, Lafayette is surprisingly cosmopolitan. It’s the home of a research university and an above average percentage of college graduates (over 30 pct). There’s an international music festival every year. Also a small Vietnamese community with shops and restaurants.

  28. I would add that, at this late stage, I think getting traditionalists to cooperate across “ecumenical” lines is pretty remote. Increasingly it is becoming clear to me that religious indifferentism had a lot to do with getting us into this mess in the first place, and that most serious rebuilding will necessarily take place within religious sub-cultures.

  29. On a more directly topical note, it occurs to me that building utility networks with local families of like affinity might be more fruitful than uprooting. Childcare, staple purchase and chore co-ops, regular social events– the aspects of actual traditional life that have been lost or cast aside. There is already some facility for hooking up local to local on this blogthing, perhaps more work on that might be beneficial.

    People need people, and working on developing a deep bond of affinity, fellowship and faith with like-minded (even just somewhat) traditionalists in one’s immediate area (like, i dunno, your church families as a start) is also one way to protect against the ill forces in the world.

    Sometimes it seems that gets lost in these discussions about how awful it is. it is awful, but we could already be helping each other out to make it less awful. Just a thought.

    • I was thinking the same thing. It is very feasible to separate from modernity, right were you live. The orthodox Jews have perfected that art.

      We’re very integrated into a traditional community here through our churches and homeschooling, and that makes a big difference. We interact with other people through intentional outreach (charitable events, for instance, or helping elderly neighbors), but our children are quite sheltered within a large community.

      • @ Alte.
        What you are doing, by having a home school co-op with mums working part-time @ most is you are getting a synergy across conservative and denominational groups.

        This gives you critical mass. Quietly. And as long as you stay under the radar, it will work. (Usual tricks apply. Stop cable, magazines that are not truthful. Keep within the bubble. Let the no-go districts be… they need missionaries, not kids).

        My biggest worry about the US & EU is that the statists will start insisting on things like state education and/or increase property taxes to the point where women will have to work, and make opting out impossible.

        We are seeing this with Obamacare. Now, some state legislatures will tell the Feds that they will not comply (like Texas freedom of travel act). Others. will. not, and allow the state to retroactively remove permission regardless of how well the child is doing

        @Blogmaster. You will get the orthodox confessional people bunching together. We may disagree on many things, but we would prefer that our children are educated, godly, and able to discuss them.

        So, unless your area is largely TradCath or TradReformed, you will end up working across denominational lines — particularly for the Catholics, who (when there is a liberal priest in town) may not have any options within the RCC for support. You take wisdom and support where you can find it.

      • @ Chris.

        I agree that there are some things that orthodox confessional people can do together, but what they can’t do is build a civilization together or form real communities. As a traditional Catholic I have lots of sympathy with Reformed Calvinists and share many of their cultural concerns, but we can’t even so much as go into business together without diluting one or the other’s influence. Interreligious cooperation can good on many levels, but It takes religious unity to build (or rebuild) a civilization.

      • @blogmiester — no, you can build a civilization if you have decent laws and a theology that respects unalienable rights and leaves people alone. Two examples — Hong Kong until 1991, the USA until 1965,

      • @ pukeko60 or Chris.

        “no, you can build a civilization if you have decent laws and a theology that respects unalienable rights and leaves people alone. Two examples — Hong Kong until 1991, the USA until 1965”

        I think the question of whether the USA was building a civilization before 1965 based on its common religious/moral/cultural capital, or whether the USA was a last-ditch attempt to save a deteriorating civilization shattered by the Enlightenment and the Protestant Revolt, is not easy to answer. Most likely the USA enjoyed some small rallies in the long course of the Anglosphere’s inevitable decay, much like one who is terminally ill rallies before dying.

        There is no Christian theology that “leaves people alone”, and so far as I know there are no “unalienable rights”, although the latter is perhaps a necessary fiction for the kind of society we would like. I’m sympathetic to a libertarian arrangement as a desperate survival gimmick – if that’s what it takes to convince the liberal supermajority to leave us alone – but it would never be more than a very leaky lifeboat. Besides, are we Christians willing to leave the surrounding world alone? No, we aren’t. Our fate is inextricably bound to it in temporal matters.

        Getting back on track, let’s just look at the marriage issue. We are where we are because Luther opened the floodgates to divorce in the 16th century and removed asceticism from Christian marriage. Luther, of course, would be horrified at the state of marriage today, and didn’t recognize the slippery slope at the time, but hindsight is 20/20 and rebuilding civilization demands that we make use of it.

      • Jeff, I respectfully disagree about Luther. It’s true he didn’t consider marriage a dominical sacrament but he said scripture is the highest authority. Scripture is VERY clear about prohibiting divorce (e.g. Matthew).

      • However, I agree very much with you that there is no Christian theology that “leaves people alone.” Very insightful comment.

      • Bruce, unfortunately Luther misinterpreted scripture as permitting divorce and handed this misinterpretation on to his successors. The permission for divorce has been a part of Lutheran ecclesial discipline from the very beginning.

      • Jeff, I’m not particularly familiar with Lutheran theology and history but here’s what I remember. A particular German prince wanted an annulment to his marriage (that was not consummated). The marriage was arranged and loveless (neither he nor the woman he married had feelings for each other). After consulting with Melanchathon and other theologians, they decided that an annulment was permissible in this particular case but I can’t remember this being generalized and extended as a part of formal Lutheran theology or confessions. This is from memory and I could be wrong. Dale Nelson is probably qualified to discuss this.

        Also I thought Luther refused to support Henry VIII with his divorce (and angering Henry in the process).

      • Bruce, here’s a quote from the Book of Concord:

        “Therefore, also on account of this jurisdiction it is not necessary to obey bishops. And, indeed, since they have framed certain unjust laws concerning marriages, and observe them in their courts, there is need also for this reason to establish other courts. For the traditions concerning spiritual relationship [the prohibition of marriage between sponsors] are unjust. Unjust also is the tradition which forbids an innocent person to marry after divorce.”

        Here’s a quote from the WELS (my former communion) website.

        “Scripture does not treat in detail the moral propriety of remarriage after a divorce. Clearly, persons who have suffered wrongful divorces, inflicted by their spouses, are free to remarry (1 Corinthians 7:15, Matthew 5:32). Mark 10 must be read alongside the parallel passage in Matthew 19:9, which states that where marital unfaithfulness has occurred, the innocent party may get a divorce without incurring guilt.

        The question of remarriage by guilty parties who have repented of their sin does not receive explicit treatment in Scripture. Our general practice is that a guilty party may remarry if that person has repented and has sought reconciliation with the spouse whom he or she wronged.”

      • The simplest reading of Matthew seems to suggest that a husband can put away his wife for infidelity (note that no such allowance is made for wives – a literal reading suggests that a wife has to endure her husband’s infidelity). Some Catholics I know have told me that Matthew is referring to infidelity in the betrothal period so that it follows that putting away your wife in such a situation is an annulment not a divorce since the sacrament was undertaken under false pretenses so there wasn’t really a valid sacramental intent.

        Scripturally, my major disagreement with what you quoted was their use of “person.” The wife has no such permission from the Lord. Yes, that’s “sexist” but so what. Christianity is “sexist” – men and women aren’t treated the same.

        Anyway, what you quoted from Concord involving an innocent person (husband really) is nothing like the easy, no-fault divorce of today. Marital infidelity on the part of the wife is very serious – a man can be fooled into raising up other men’s children.

      • Bruce, I agree that what Luther permitted is nothing like the no-fault divorce culture of today. But it started the ball rolling. The problem with the adultery and abandonment “exceptions” Luther thought he found is that spouses end up committing adultery and abandonment to free themselves or their spouses from marriages. They are loopholes big enough to fly a jumbo jet through. And once you permit exceptions like these, it’s easy to find more harrowing circumstances that ought to be excepted too.

        The teaching of marital indissolubility is hard. That’s why marriage is raised to a sacrament, so that special graces might protect the marriage. That’s also why the disciples were dumbfounded and said that it would be more expedient for a man not to marry. Many a Christian man has taken up his cross and reconciled with a straying wife while knowingly raising another man’s child. In fact **this very thing** is an image of Christ and the Church. See the book of Ezekiel.

      • The only situation where it seems permissable to me is where there is infidelity on the part of the wife. Even then, divorce is permissable not required and it may be virtuous to take your wife back. This is the Biblical position regardless of what Luther taught. I don’t see how this is a huge loophole. How many men would make their wives commit adultery so that they could divorce them? Any sincere, Bible-believing Christian would know that we follow the spirit of the law and that Christianity isn’t about figuring out what we can get away with or finding loopholes in our Lord’s words.

  30. Much food for thought here, but I do have to ask:

    How do Orthodox Jews living in New York manage to thrive and prosper? Is there a lesson for us in the way these people just do their own thing, regardless of what is going on around them?

    • I think there is a lesson for all trads in their example: capture a neighborhood or two in the big cities. That’s all that’s really needed for survival. A neighborhood can be very distinct and insular. And I don’t think there’s any escaping the need for cities with their economic, educational, and cultural provisions. It would be nice to have access to farmland for growing an independent food source, but that can be done through alliances.

      • Did I say “big cities”? Sorry, I was raised in the sticks. Smallish cities (under 300K) would be preferable. Larger cities like Tulsa, OKC, or Fort Worth could work. I have a feeling that our biggest cities are going to burn sooner or later.

      • I am a Londoner (UK). In the North West of the city there is a big concentration of Jews (many, but not all. Orthodox) in a suburban area near where I lived.

        London is a secular city, but these people seem to go about their business without problems.

        I suspect that Orthodox Jews’ distinctive clothing/uniform helps them stay together as a community, as they can immediately recognise a fellow Jew when walking down the street.

      • Looked at the new post.

        1. Distinctive dress should be driven by bible (such as head covers in church) or tradition set by the community. The Amish do this well — they tend to debate what to wear, balancing their use of modern technology (they range from old order Amish to people who make the Methodists look traditional). So if the community says that this is what we want — which in effects means the husbands then it is easier. Besides, you can buy cloth in bult and sew ’em.

        Otherwise, the Elspeth rule is wise Do what your husband suggests . You know what he likes. It does not hurt to wear it.

        2, When your country is living dead, obey the rule of Spengler the way to deal with a zombie state is not be it Socail isolation is good. It keeps your daughter away from Cute drummermuso and looking at men with real skillz. False argument. Go away.

        3. Of course it was unpopular. You are telling team women that they will need to lose power to remain faithful. How dare you.

        The very fact that people thought it was offensive means that it was effective.

  31. I’m late to the thread, but I’d like to put in a good word for the Canadian Maritimes, especially Prince Edward Island and northeastern Nova Scotia. This area is quite religious (though more on the Catholic side) and traditional by Canadian standards, the population is homogenous and so is mostly friendly and trusting, violent crime is nearly non- existent outside the cities, and land and house prices are very cheap etc. There is even a high rate of gun ownership in NS. Although I notice that some US-based commenters tend to think of Canada as a kind of wasteland of left-liberalism, what you really notice about living here is how light the touch of the State is on everyday life — people are mostly too agreeable to care much about ideology, and besides everything is so spread out in rural areas that it’s easy to be off the radar generally. The downsides are that the locals are clannish, there’s not much to do (especially in winter) and you’re a long way from anywhere if you want to travel.

      • I went moose hunting there once. Newfoundland is VERY rural. It makes Maine look like Singapore. The Wal Mart was about the size of a large 7-11, and that’s pretty much it for getting supplies on the whole island. The ferry ride is about six hours. Culturally I found it to be not all that different from an average small town in present day upstate NY; but my visit was a hunting trip and it is impossible for me to tell how much real local color I got to see. Genuinely nice enough people but broken homes, etc. They are all insanely Fast Talkers with that accent.

        Not a good place to raise kids, IMO. Might be a good retreat in an honest-to-goodness Zombie Apocalypse. Great place to go moose hunting.

    • I had recently been looking at those, and they seem very attractive! The question, as always, is what job I would have if I lived there (probably would have to reskill somehow, which is tough).

    • As a Maritime expat myself, I can virtually one hundred percent endorse what you’ve said. I’ve often argued that Canada is sociologically more interesting than it seems (damning with faint praise, to be sure!), and one of the things about Canada is that phenomena here don’t always fit neatly into American boxes like “left” and “right”. So, for instance:

      Although I notice that some US-based commenters tend to think of Canada as a kind of wasteland of left-liberalism, what you really notice about living here is how light the touch of the State is on everyday life — people are mostly too agreeable to care much about ideology, and besides everything is so spread out in rural areas that it’s easy to be off the radar generally.

      This is completely true; I’m glad to see someone else aware of this. Although Canada seems to be more socially left than America, this is, in certain ways, deceptive. What Canadians generally are is genuinely tolerant, in a “live-and-let-live” sort of way. That doesn’t mean they actually subscribe to the socially leftist agenda – in their personal lives they by and large don’t.

      Don’t omit New Brunswick, Iain! Not many outsiders know that it’s one of Canada’s Bible Belts.

    • Hey Ian, didn’t you get the message? Will had to remind me as well not to divulge or Canadian secrets. We do not want to be overrun by Americans. We’re only 10% of their size, friendly, naive and unarmed…

      Soto any American who’s thinking of coming north, it’s bloody cold everywhere here and in BC it rains all the time. We have a socialist healthcare system that lets people either on the wine. We’re not religious and a lot of us only speak French. We eat doughnuts and drink Tim Hortens coffee, some even live on poutine… We in BC eat geoyduck.
      Transplanted Yanks usually wilt during the first winter or drown in BC’s rain. So please go to Toronto or Australia it’s better for you…

  32. Pingback: Tuning out rather than moving out « Traditional Christianity

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  34. The following is personal in nature, but I hope it will be welcome here:

    Is anyone looking to hire (or know of someone looking to hire) a hard-working, young, Catholic revert with a strong desire to wed and raise a family? I’ve recently turned 28, and left my job at a University in SW PA, (I worked as an administrator and basketball coach, while maintaining a full time graduate courseload), as I couldn’t justify the motives and character that was promoted and enforced by my colleagues and supervisors. Unfortunately it’s been difficult to find honest, gainful employment ever since. I am, with all my being, trying to avoid working for the corporate behemoth — an environment that is, as I’m sure most would agree, just as spiritually and morally bankrupt as University environments. I am no careerist. My only real ambition is to, God willing, raise a family. I’ve been working on an as-needed basis for local non-profits, while generating a small income through self-employed landscaping work; however, this is not sustainable for family life, and, seeing as though I’m still single, far from attractive to the few young orthodox Christian women I’ve met.

    To note, I took a BS in General Science (Chemistry concentration) with the initial intention on pursuing professional studies in allied health. I’ve largely given up on this goal, coming to desire a family over a specific profession that is accompanied with an enormous student loan debt.

    I would greatly appreciate any advice or direction from the men who contribute to this blog. Did anyone else leave the corporate world? Is learning a trade the best option? What is the best advice for a nascent reactionary?

    My nominal Catholic upbringing, and wholly secular public education — which I somehow survived with a strong faith, but, no doubt, left seriously lacking intellectually — is something that I do not wish for anyone, let alone future children of my own.

    Please accept my apologies if this comment is inappropriate; I do not wish to sound pathetic. I am honestly seeking guidance from men of the traditional conservative character that I have not been able to meet in my own (non-virtual) life.

    Your time and consideration is much appreciated.

    • Justin,

      I’m just a fellow commenter not a contributor but I wanted to say that you do not sound pathetic. Quite the opposite.

      The only practical advice I have to give to younger men is that you probably don’t need as much money to raise a family on as you might think.

    • Justin, your best bet is to start your own business. It will enable you to be as independent as you can be these days, give you a way to earn a living, and even a way to get rich. Almost every sort of business can offer opportunities for wealth, if you are diligent and interested. Landscaping is no exception.

      What do you love to do? There’s probably a business in there somewhere. Try the book Wishcraft. If I had read and heeded it as a young man, I’d have had a much happier, more prosperous career.

    • You are fortunate to be so young. I think Kristor is right about small business ownership. But it takes some money. I would consider working for wages until you can save $30K to $50K. That’s enough to start a healthy small business. One thing you might look at is in-home elder care. You would manage the business and hire the caregivers. Considering the demographic winter that is upon us these kinds of businesses will be growing in demand.

      I’m presently in contract to purchase a wholesale bakery for $8,000. The business provides cookies to coffee shops and cafes – all cash. Very simple, a one man operation. If the deal goes through I will be CEO, manager, salesman, baker, janitor and delivery boy. As structured the business is capable of generating a net of $4K for one full-time working owner. The present owner rents a kitchen at a local senior center for $5.50 per hour. There is no website, no marketing literature, no organization really. He just makes great cookies. It’s also possible to expand into other products and markets, but that will take some working capital. Another $25K could take this business to much higher level. Whether or not this goes through, I just wanted to give you an idea of the possible.

      If you can, I would encourage you to learn a trade. Baking, mechanics, computer repair, plumbing, electrical, what-have-you. An all-around handyman will never be unemployed and can start an independent business with very little capital. Me? I’m all thumbs and kind of an oversized nerd. But I think many young men who are capable of the trades miss their vocations these days.

  35. Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate your thoughts and time.

    I’ve been mulling over the possibility of pursuing a trade for some time now. Though, family and friends look at me like I’m an alien — “What? You have a college degree(!)” they exclaim, But desiring a family more than a career will earn you the same look from most anybody these days. Add in the fact that I’m a Mass-attending, rosary-saying, chaste 28 year old — and you can imagine the type of looks I get. It seems, to me, that it is a matter of saving funds, working hard, and taking risks; and praying God will help with work and marital opportunities.

    Blogmaster, I hope your bakery enterprise is a success!

    And to you and your families: God bless.

  36. To Jeff, et. al. What about Ave Maria in south Florida? Has anyone heard much about it? I don’t know much about it but the idea was to create a Catholic town. They have the extraordinary form of the mass available at their parish and they have a university. Interestingly, I remember when they were building the town. They wanted to put agreements in place with stores so that the stores wouldn’t sell contraceptives. Not laws, just agreements. Of course, the usual suspects went nuts. I don’t know what happened.
    It’s very new and modern but the pictures they show make it look like the community is centered around the Church building – very interesting:


  37. Bruce, I’ve been following the Ave Maria story since its inception. It’s a grand and promising idea, and seems to have taken root with some good results. But I’ve kept my distance for several reasons. First, I have a severe distaste – a visceral abhorrence, really – for the fun-in-the-sun lap-of-luxury country-club atmosphere touted by the community’s promoters and presumably desired by the town’s residents. Second, the overwhelming and domineering influence of its wealthy founder, Tom Monaghan, gives it the feel of a “company town” and has created a lot of resentment among some residents. Third, the architecture of the church at the center of the project, which towers over everything (as it should), is just hideous. I’ve tried to like it, and I’ll keep trying, but so far no success. Having said all of that, nothing is perfect, and I still think this community has a lot of promise. So I’m keeping an eye on it.

    • Thank you Jeff. I agree about the condo atmosphere and I certainly couldn’t afford the houses and condos there anyway! I do like the Church as the center of town approach though.

  38. I don’t know if anyone is still checking this thread, but if so, I’d appreciate any opinions on either Urbana-Champaign,IL or Pittsburgh, PA. We are currently choosing between the two cities.

    • I would go with the outskirts of Pittsburgh. Beautiful area with great people. Latrobe looks terrific – small university town, low crime, traditional Latin Mass commencing this month at Holy Family – far enough from the big city to be serene, close enough to take advantage of its amenities.

    • Champaigne/Urbana is basically the university, plus satellite enterprises thereof. That at least was my impression. It’s deadly flat landscape, too. If you are willing to tolerate that sort of proximity to a big university town, I recommend Bloomington, IN, which is in a more conservative state and is in the *gorgeous* hills of Southern Indiana. There are lots and lots of lovely, very rural places between the latitude of Bloomington and the Ohio River.

      • My husband is an academic. He applied for a job at IU-Bloomington but didn’t get it, so our only options right now are Carnegie Mellon and the University of Illinois. Blogmaster, Latrobe looks good but his commute would be really good; do you know of any suburbs closer to the city that are beautiful and pedestrian-friendly?

      • @Kristor – Bloomington is extremely liberal and in the backyard of the loathesome Kinsey Institute, so one should be careful. But on the plus side there’s a thriving classical and early music culture due to Jacob School of Music at IU. And the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate are there somewhere, too.

        @Vitabenedicta – I don’t know Pittsburgh very well, but the northern suburbs are conservative (relatively) and safe. Aquinas Academy is in Gibsonia. .

      • Someone at one of these sites (Orthosphere?, WWWtW? – I can’t remember) recently wrote that in one of the Bloomington Catholic Churches, they had replaced the traditional Stations of the Cross with pictures of poor African people. I can’t remember who wrote this and I don’t know if it was when they were growing up there. And of course, it was only one Church. I don’t know if this says anything about the local Bishop or not.

    • I went to UIUC for my undergraduate and graduate degrees and liked it fine. I’m from Illinois, so the flatness didn’t bother me. The Newman Center there is supposedly one of the best in the country (or at least was in my day). Urbana-Champaign is definitely a university town, whether you regard that good or bad. It means lots of restaurants, at least.

  39. There are states I won’t move to because the states are awful, like California, but there are others I wontmove to because of the cities within them: Illinois because of Chicago, Michigan because of Detroit. It seems to me that those states will be so dragged down by those corrupt cities that things will get far worse there before they get better.

    If it were me, I’d choose PA over IL without even thinking about it much.

    • Someone (maybe Jeff?) told me years ago that some of the states like California that are further along in their liberalism are actually, in some ways, better for Christian reactionaries because there are more organized groups of reactionaries in those places. In other places that are (relatively) conservative there has been less impetus for groups of reactionaries to organize and those that have organized have had less time to build up their communities. Of course, the culture is so degenerate everywhere that maybe this isn’t true anymore.

      I do share your fear about the megacities.


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