The phrase Alternative Right has been causing a stir of late, and I suspect this may have led some of our inquiring readers to ask if the Orthosphere is part of this shadowy and (to some) sinister movement. My unofficial answer is a qualified yes, but I am open to correction (official or otherwise).
I take the title Alternative Right as denoting a rather motley collection of opinions that are neither Leftist nor of the respectable Right. It is, in other words, a negative identity whose members are defined by what they are not, rather than by a common creed with definite positive articles of faith. Our readers might do well to think of it as a protestant Right, since it is composed of factions that agree that the Right is in need of radical reformation, but that vary in their specific diagnoses and remedies.
If we look at the original Protestants, we see that, broadly speaking, some of them were primitivists and some of them were progressives. Some aimed to reform the Church by restoration of the primitive religious order suggested in Scripture, while others aimed to reform the Church by renovation of the existing religious order along lines suggested by the Spirit. Think of Puritans as opposed to Quakers.
The Alternative Right likewise has restorationist and renovating parties, although the difference is a matter of dominant tendency and very far from absolute. The Orthosphere is, I would say, mostly restorationist, but we understand and accept the arguments against simply “setting the clock back.”
The Orthosphere is not Leftist because Leftism is inherently secular and egalitarian. We do not deny that there are genuine Christians who think that they are Leftists, but put these down as cases of unresolved cognitive dissonance. As the epigram on our masthead affirms, we believe that the order of things is hierarchical, that the apex of this hierarchy is transcendent, that denial of this transcendent apex must result in a collapse of the order of things into a tohu va bohu of comprehensive equality, and that such a collapse is a consummation richly not to be desired.
Obviously, this does not mean that we deny the fact of equality where equality in fact exists. What we deny is that equality can be made to exist, and that, if equality could be made to exist, its making would improve rather than degrade the world. We observe that the story of Creation that we receive from Genesis is fundamentally a story of creation by differentiation of the primordial indifference and equality of tohu va bohu into light and dark, Heaven and earth, land and water, man and woman, obedience and disobedience, innocence and Fall.
We observe also that each of these differentiations is pronounced good. Twilight is lovely in its way, but we recall no place where God pronounces it superior to day or night.
The Orthosphere is not part of the respectable Right because it recognizes the respectable Right as a superannuated form of Leftism, and on top of that, as a superannuated form of Leftism with an opportunistic weakness for selling out to the modern form whenever it can connive to do this discretely and to a profit. It does this, we believe, because behind all its flags and screaming eagles stands a prosaic and Gradgrindian utilitarianism.
Three signal traits of the Alternative Right are denial of sexual, racial and political equality. The various factions on the Alternative Right affirm different, and frequently incompatible, positive doctrines regarding the proper ordering of sexual, racial and political relations, but all agree in repudiation of the present egalitarian order, and of the egalitarian doctrines by which it is sustained.
This repudiation is why the Alternative Right is presently causing such a stir, and why it is in so many quarters an object of fear and loathing.
I am not going to detail an Orthospherian position on the proper ordering of sexual, racial and political relations, for we have no single or detailed position. I do believe that we are agreed that the present order is manifestly disastrous, and that this dolorous assessment places us somewhere on the Alternative Right.
As traditionalist Christians, our position on the Alternative Right is qualified by certain dogmatic commitments, but we are also wary of mendacious formulations of these commitments. The locus classicus is, of course, the statement of Christian equality in Galatians 3:28. We affirm this equality but insist on the adjective. Mendacious formulations twist this passage from the natural meaning that all Christians are equally Christian to the diabolic meaning that a Christian is someone who regards all things as equal.
Stated simply, Galatians 3:28 means that, among God’s children, there are no favorites. There is no sex or race or political class whose members are, as it were, flying first class on the Christian airliner, or enjoying privileges reserved for charter members in the Christian clubhouse. In the Church of Christ there is no Court of the Gentiles or Halfway Covenant. This spiritual equality does not imply equality of function or gifts within the Church, as we believe should be tolerably obvious from I Corinthians 12:12. It certainly does not imply, suggest or command equality in the sexual, racial or political order of the secular world.
Perhaps the best way to state our position is to say that the Orthosphere is one of the alternatives on the Alternative Right.
What’s your view?