Archive for June, 2008

I am an American. My ancestors hail from various ports of the old world: On my mother’s side all sprang from the black forest of Germany. On my father’s side the pedigree is forged between the fens of Denmark and the cobbles of Ulster and it is by way of Ulster whence my family acquires its name.

Naturally, I feel a certain affinity, or some would say sentimentality, toward all things Germanic and Celtic. But it does not make me a German-Dane or a Scotsman. I mean really, just imagine if I went to one of those little postcard hamlets in Denmark and simply declared myself a Dane. As sweet-natured as the Danes are, the women would likely snicker at my cowboy accent and the men would glare with furrowed brows and chide me with all the stoicism which northmen command. The Danes would appreciate the continuum of my commonality with them to be sure but they would never confess me one of them, a Dane proper.

The question then is, ought I to take offense at such exclusion? Certainly not. It is their right and their duty to preserve themselves with all the unique characteristics which make them who they are. And really, I wouldn’t have it any other way because if they lost definition of who they are, I, as an offshoot of that people, would lose reference to my own ancestors. If Africans, Arabs and Mongols might be declared ‘Danes’, being Danish loses all definition. If it means everything in general, it means nothing in particular.

No, I want Denmark for the Danes, Scotland for Scots and Germany for Germans. Could anyone imagine delftware porcelain bedecked with pictures of Nubians rather than the toe-headed Dutch? Holland wouldn’t be Holland without the Dutch. We Yanks might often consider the distinctions between all those kindred nations of Europe to be minor but if you want to know the differences between Swedes and Danes just ask one. They will happily delineate what are to them, profound differences.

Yet here in America the British came and founded a nation for ‘the White Man and his posterity forever’, meaning, men of European descent generically. Modern Deconstructionists typically conjure from this that our founders were proto-Marxists taking the first evolutionary step toward total egalitarianism. They take the American fusion of the tribes of Europe as proof that ethnicity be naught but ‘a social construct’, i.e., a figment of the imagination. Thus they extrapolate that as went ethnicity, so goes race—if Germans and Italians might be brought together under the banner of a single nationality, what’s to preclude the Mongol and Negro races from the same corporation?

First, it’s clear that whatever the assumptions of the Founders were, they certainly never intended for it to lead to racial amalgam. By their own testimony they reviled the very notion. They, like the Pilgrims, universally understood racial amalgam as one of the greatest curses which could befall their posterity.

Second, it must be acknowledge that the American doctrine of generic “White” identity over against any particular European ethnicity was uniquely crafted by those who by providence were Englishmen. As such, they had in their mother country the unique distinction of being the signal composite nation of Europe: England was originally peopled by the Bretons, a Celtic folk, but it sustained successive invasions by Angles from Denmark, Saxons from Germany and Romans from Italy. Thus comes the term Anglo-Saxon. Though they acknowledged themselves as contiguous with Roman civilization to some degree, and they honored their Celtic heritage, they expressed their identity by its foremost components—Angles and Saxons. But G. K. Chesterton and Abraham Kuyper have both said that Europe really has only three tribes: The Germanic, the Celtic and the Romanic (Italic) in their various communities. (C. S. Lewis agreed with this as well.)

Expectedly then, when the English Puritans struck ground in America, extending the English nation, they intended it to be a continuation of English civilization, which was itself a composite of all three of the tribes of Europe. They insisted of course upon maintaining a balanced immigration policy, with clear favoritism shown to the European nations with whom they shared closest relation. The American policy of “favored nation status” was most partial to the north and west of Europe but they admitted a trickle from the east and the south of the continent as well. This was the conservative approach, maintaining equilibrium of demographics with its attendant affections, sensitivities and culture which had long ago forged the country of their nativity.

But they admitted no immigration from alien races aside from the purposes of labor. They, being devout Biblicists, understood such precedent to exist as a practice of old Israel who had used foreign labor while keeping such people distinct from their own.

Irish Catholics were brought to these shores as slaves of the Englishmen; after serving the seven year term of their bonditure they were remitted to the status of free men who, if converted to Protestantism, could own property, and if maintaining their membership in good standing of a Christian church could even vote at the age of twenty-one. They were citizens, Americans, brothers. The prevailing theory of suffrage was of the “free-hold” sort via English common law (this was seen as consistent with and ultimately emanating from biblical Law) and it accepted all the tribes of the European race as assimilable because Britain had long been the generic representative of all the Japhetic peoples living cohesively subject to the Christian Lord.

This was not unlike the commonwealth of old Israel which would allow limited assimilation of outlying Hebrew-Semite tribes but was forbad from admitting those of dissimilar race.

And so it was that the Puritan slave trade of Africans and Indians was quite distinguished from their trade of Irish Catholics; though the Indians were allowed, not entirely unlike the Irish, to be freed and even buy land (in designated areas) after the passage of a seven year servitude, they could never vote or be considered American citizens.

But Africans were from 1632 forward accepted by law as “perpetual servants” without any right of release; which is not to say that they couldn’t be released, just that they had no right to it. Leviticus 25:39-55 was the justification for this practice, allowing for foreign (i.e., racially alien) slaves bought with money to be kept in perpetuity along with any children which they might bear. This seemed by the estimation of the Puritans and the British Crown to be the most equitable treatment of social stratification for the African as long as he was to reside among white men. Any lesser degree of Paternalism would leave the African destitute, unable to provide for himself and it would simultaneously be to admit great danger to all of American society. Moreover, the matter of possibly granting the African suffrage and citizenship were out of the question. One might as well declare oneself a poached egg as declare Africans to be Americans.

In their various appeals to the Crown the Colonists invoked no political corporation, no matters of economic expediency, nor any political idealism; they demanded their rights by way of primogeniture, on the basis of descent from Englishmen and their consanguity with Englishmen. The last such invocation was the Declaration of Rights of 1765 in which they claimed all the rights of “natural born Englishmen”. None but white men had any stake in such a claim.

It was with just such a sense of the matter that the Founding Fathers would reflect on the question as well. For them, America was an extension of England and as such, home to the European type generally, under English language, institutions and law. Therefore, when they set about the formation of our federal government in 1787 they claimed it to be “for the preservation of us and our posterity forever”. And they quoted from the earlier Declaration of rights (1765) in limiting the office of president to “a natural born citizen”. And contiguous with earlier Puritan law, the very first convention of the Congress of the United States of America declared that citizenship was open only to “free Whites” of good character residing in America for two or more years.

Despite the assertions of modern Liberals, America always knew what, or more precisely, who it intended to be. Our forefathers purposefully controlled immigration in favor of Europeans, especially of the north and the west of the continent and they always regarded it as impossibility for non-whites to be American citizens. They found this position in keeping with their own ethnic and historic identity in England and they found the scripture in support of such nationalism, as had the Church from the first century forward. This was so taken for granted that the alternative to it would have struck them as unabashed godlessness.

The ‘Americanism’ of our founding was based not upon a government structure or economic theory but upon the nation which formed it. That nation existed prior to the United States and as such, their chief concern lay not in the principles of a government but in the preservation of ‘[them]selves and [their] posterity forever.’ It was a matter of self-determination and self-defense of a people—the English-speaking White Race. Their Christian faith taught them that this was their primary civic responsibility and their government was subsequently formed to that end.

In summation, I, an American of Germano-Celtic extraction, speaking this German dialect known as ‘English’, feel a great sense of kinship with the various northwestern nations of Europe but I am yet distinct from them. And in the new world we members of the White race be one expanded Anglophile nation in our lesser tribes throughout. We are who we are; let us cherish that identity and safeguard it as our fathers who went before us. And let us think ill of no other people for doing likewise.


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Now here is a personal indulgence: I spent much of my childhood transfixed by tales of courage, adventure, and the dawning of civilization when the world was a sprawling expanse of mystery, interrupted only by the occasional feudal state or tribal fiefdom.

The authors of such works were numerous—some quite respectable, others less so. What follows are three poems by one of the latter category; Robert E. Howard, a pulp novel writer of the early twentieth century, is best known for his semi-autobiographical character Conan the Barbarian but I believe his true talent was never so clearly manifest as when he gave himself over to poetry. The three pieces which I’ve selected are to my knowledge completely disconnected one from another but read back to back they form a parable in the whole greater than the sum of its parts. Enjoy.


My brothers are blond and calm of speech,

Placid and slow of ire,

But all my blood is the heritage

Of one grim great-grandsire.

He came by night when the river-plain

Was wild with storm and flood,

To mix with the stolid Saxon strain

His searing alien blood.

His hair was black as the wings of night,

Coarse as a black bear’s fell;

His eyes were blue as the fires that roar

On the molten floors of hell.

My hair is black as a midnight sin,

My eyes are blue bale-fire;

My heart would sear a naked stone

With its hate and mad desire.

The Skull In The Clouds

The Black Prince scowled above his lance,

and wrath in his hot eyes lay,

“I would rather you rode with the spears of France

and not at my side today.

“A man may parry an open blow,

but I know not where to fend;

“I would that you were an open foe,

instead of a sworn friend.

“You came to me in an hour of need,

and your heart I thought I saw;

“But you are one of a rebel breed

that knows not king or law.

“You — with your ever smiling face

and a black heart under your mail —

“With the haughty strain of the Norman race

and the wild, black blood of the Gael.

“Thrice in a night fight’s close-locked gloom

my shield by merest chance

“Has turned a sword that thrust like doom —

I wot ’twas not of France!

“And in a dust-cloud, blind and red,

as we charged the Provence line

“An unseen axe struck Fitzjames dead,

who gave his life for mine.

“Had I proofs, your head should fall this day

or ever I rode to strife.

“Are you but a wolf to rend and slay,

with naught to guide your life?

“No gleam of love in a lady’s eyes,

no honor or faith or fame?”

I raised my faces to the brooding skies

and laughed like a roaring flame.

“I followed the sign

of the Geraldine

from Meath to the western sea

“Till a careless word

that I scarcely heard

bred hate in the heart of me.

“Then I lent my sword to the Irish chiefs,

for half of my blood is Gael,

“And we cut like a sickle through the sheafs

as we harried the lines of the Pale.

“But Dermod O’Connor, wild with wine,

called me a dog at heel,

“And I cleft his bosom to the spine

and fled to the black O’Neil.

“We harried the chieftains of the south;

we shattered the Norman bows.

“We wasted the land from Cork to Louth;

we trampled our fallen foes.

“But Conn O’Neill put on me a slight

before the Gaelic lords,

“And I betrayed him in the night

to the red O’Donnell swords.

“I am no thrall to any man,

no vassal to any king.

“I owe no vow to any clan,

nor faith to any thing.

“Traitor — but not for fear or gold,

but the fire in my own dark brain;

“For the coins I loot from the broken hold

I throw to the winds again.

“And I am true to myself alone,

through pride and the traitor’s part.

“I would give my life to shield your throne,

or rip from your breast, the heart.

“For a look or a word,

scarce thought or heard,

I follow a fading fire.

“Past bead and bell

and the hangman’s cell,

like a harp-call of desire.

“I may not see the road I ride

for the witch-fire lamps that gleam;

“But phantoms glide at my bridle-side,

and I follow a nameless Dream.”

The Black Prince shuddered and shook his head,

then crossed himself amain:

“Go, in God’s name, and never,” he said,

“ride in my sight again.”

The starlight silvered my bridle-rein;

the moonlight burned my lance

As I rode back from the wars again

through the pleasant hills of France,

As I rode to tell Lord Amory

of the dark Fitzgerald line

If the Black Prince dies, it needs must be

by another hand than mine.

The Autumn of the World

Now is the lyre of Homer flaked with rust

And yellow leaves are blown across the world

And naked trees that shake at every gust

Stand gaunt against the clouds autumnal-curled.

Now from the hollow moaning of the sea

The dreary birds against the sun-set fly,

And drifting down the sad wind’s ghostly dree

A breath of music echoes with a sigh.

The barren branch shakes down the withered fruit,

The seas that sweep the strands faint marks erase;

The sere leaves fall on a forgotten lute,

And autumn’s arms enfold a dying race.

~ Robert E. Howard ~

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In the introduction of this subject I defer to my better, the good Rushdoony:

“St Paul referred to the broader meaning of these laws against hybridization… (Deut.22:10), in II Corinthians 6:14: ‘Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?’ Unequal-yoking plainly means mixed-marriages between believers and unbelievers are clearly forbidden. But Deuteronomy 22:10 not only forbids unequal religious yoking by inference and as a case law, but also unequal-yoking generally. This means that an unequal marriage between believers or between unbelievers is wrong. Man was created in the image of God (Gen.1:26), and woman in the reflected image of God in man, and from man (I Cor.11:1-12; Gen.2:18, 21-23). ‘Help-meet’ means a reflection or mirror, an image of man, indicating that a woman must have something religiously in common with her husband. The burden of the law is thus against inter-religious, inter-racial, and inter-cultural marriages, in that they normally go against the very community which marriage is designed to establish. Unequal-yoking means more than marriage. In society at large it means the enforced integration of various elements which are not congenial. Unequal yoking is in no realm productive of harmony; rather, it aggravates the differences and delays the growth of different elements toward a Christian harmony and association.” (R.J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law, pg.256-257)

This interpretation seems the natural and harmonious reading of Moses and Paul so long as we take Paul’s treatment of the matter as being anything other than an abrogation of the case-law in question; and it seems apparent that Paul’s only intent is to make a fresh application rather than an abrogation-redefinition of the law as there is no hint of negation in Paul’s writing regarding the foregoing principle of unequal yoking generally. (Rushdoony’s take of the Mosaic Law will be treated below)
Of course, someone will still insist that “The only requirements for a Christian marriage be ‘one Christian man and one Christian woman’.”
The problem is that no one really believes this. Not even the most strident advocates are willing to be consistent with such an egalitarian definition of marriage because if a man took the requirements for marriage as spiritual in nature only, such a fellow would have no legitimate basis for opposing the union of his eighteen year old (or sixteen, if you’re in Texas) Christian son to a fifty year old Christian woman (or any other such vulgarities). Regardless of the man’s professed egalitarianism, he would reflexively find himself either discouraging or outright forbidding his son from proceeding with such a marriage. Such a man would quite hypocritically argue, “You’re at entirely different places in your lives…you have so little in common, etc.” In short, the man would find himself fiercely arguing that the couple were ‘unequally yoked’ in a general sense. This generic principle of unequal yoking applies across a broad spectrum of considerations (linguistic, social, cultural, racial, etc.). Montagues ought not marry Capulettes irrespective of conversion status; this remains a self-evident truism which flies in the face of the post-civil rights era Church’s definition of marriage. Everyone knows, whether or not they admit it, that we ought to seek similarity in our bridegrooming after the exemplar of the first marriage (Matt.19, Gen.2:18-20).
And even in its most literal sense, we still recognize it as inhumane to yoke an ox with a donkey: Though they might plod in the same direction, at the same pace, at the behest of the same master, their gate remains distinct one from the other and it is therefore injurious to both creatures. And if we are enjoined to make such considerations of our beasts, how much more ought we to give such consideration to the yokings of our children?
Henry opines on the burden of these laws from the parallel passage in Leviticus:
“Here is, I. A law against mixtures, v. 19. God in the beginning made the cattle after their kind (Gen. i. 25), and we must acquiesce in the order of nature God hath established, believing that is best and sufficient, and not covet monsters. Add thou not unto his works, lest he reprove thee; for it is the excellency of the work of God that nothing can, without making it worse, be either put to it or taken from it, Eccl. iii. 14. As what God has joined we must not separate, so what he has separated we must not join.” [Deut.32:8] (M. Henry’s Comm. On Lev.19)

Henry clearly sees some moral implication to the principle of unequal yoking, joining that which by nature God has separated, in the general sense. He tells us that the burden of the Law be against “all needless mixing”; this is in keeping with Rushdoony’s assessment that the emphasis is against “uncongenial mixing”. This principle is expressed across a broad continuum of case laws from the most mundane horticultural matters to issues of inheritance and nationhood.

Rushdoony and Henry both connect this principle closely with the Creation Image/identity ordinance but for the purpose of brevity I’ll not entertain that implication at length here; suffice it to say that God created man in His image, commissioned Man to identify and categorize biological things on the basis of morphology, drew Woman from Man’s own flesh (as a reflection of the man), and the first banishment-separation of Mankind was punctuated by God’s setting of a mark upon Cain that Sethites might know him as “other”. The implication is that by following the same morphological observations prescribed by God to Adam, Sethites knew to keep certain bounds between themselves and Cainites (as Dabney says, all things commanded to Adam are normative to Mankind as requisites to stewardship and dominion). And Augustine alludes to this when he connects the segregation of Noah’s sons with the segregation of Adam’s, saying, ‘It has never failed to be foretold in prophesy from the beginning of the human race, and we now see the prophecy being fulfilled in all that happens.’ (ibid.)

On the matter of infamy codes connected with the principle of unequal yoking Henry continues:

“Others think they [Non-Israelites] are excluded only from marrying with Israelites [this is over and against other sorts of unequal-yoking]. Thus the learned bishop Patrick inclines to understand it; yet we find that when this law was put in execution after the captivity they separated from Israel, not only the strange wives, but all the mixed multitude, see Neh. xiii. 1-2…It is plain, in general, that disgrace is here put, upon bastards and eunuchs, v. 1, 2. By bastards here the Jewish writers understand, not all that were born of fornication, or out of marriage, but all the issue of those incestuous mixtures which are forbidden, Lev. xviii. [The word herein translated, ‘Bastard’ is Mamzer in Heb. It is defined as “mixed, mongrel, mixed-peoples, alien, alienated, incestuous, one born of an illicit union”] And, though it was not the fault of the issue, yet, to deter people from those unlawful marriages and unlawful lusts, it was very convenient that their posterity should thus be made infamous…yet it is here promised (v. 5) that if they took care of their duty to God, as far as they were admitted, by keeping his sabbaths and choosing the things that pleased him, the want of this privilege should be made up to them with such spiritual blessings as would entitle them to an everlasting name…” (M. Henry’s Comm. On Deut. 23)

Though Patrick sided with the Rabbis of his time in their insistence upon a purely patriarical form of Kinism (without regard to matrilineal descent), Henry retorts that we have a superior interpretation of these laws granted us by the infallible prophetic authority of Ezra and Nehemiah, who insisted not only on the exclusion of the foreign women but the mixed children as well (some of the mixed assembly were by this time possibly three generations dilute). To be a Bastard/ Mamzer, was and is, irrespective of religion, to be an illegal alien without any 14th Amendment option of naturalization.

So it is that the mixed peoples (Mamzerim) expelled in the days of Nehemiah became the Samaritans—though they worshipped the God of Israel, they had no “heritage, right or memorial” (Neh.2:20) with Israel because they simply weren’t Israel by definition. Thus, after having publicly read the Law and the genealogies, “those of Israelite lineage separated themselves from all foreigners” (Neh. 9:2).

The Lord Himself affirms this distinction when speaking to the Syrophoenician woman saying, “Let the children first be filled: for it is not good to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.” (Mark 7:27) which is to say that it be immoral to look after the welfare of foreigners ahead of one’s own people just as it would be to consider another man’s children ahead of your own. We do not take Christ as engaging in gratuitous racial taunts but simply asserting His Patriotism, and special love of His kinsmen as an extension of His own natural family. His use of the term ‘dogs’ is taken as hyperbole meant to construe the distance of priority between His ‘kinsmen according to the flesh’ and the stranger. And this is not out-of-keeping with other such assertions made by Christ—He likewise drew such a distinction of priority in His calling upon children to “hate” their parents (Luke 14:26) by comparison to their love of God.

The principle of national and filial priority is also espoused by the Apostle when he says that “He who takes no care of his own, especially those of his own household, is worse than an unbeliever…” (I Tim.5:8) ‘His own’ (idios in the Grk., “of unspecified affinity”) is clarified by its subset, ‘his own household’; this means that we have a greater responsibility for ‘our own’ parents, cousins, great uncles, etc. than do those more remote to them. This principle extends unobstructedly to one’s ethnos, as is proven by John’s usage: “He came unto His own and His own received Him not.” (John 1:11). John clearly extends the idiom to a people group as a concentric outgrowth of the family. And Cyprian connects this with the identical sentiments penned by Isaiah:

“That every person ought to have care rather of his own people, and especially of believers: The apostle in his first Epistle to Timothy: ‘But if any take not care of his own, and especially of those of his own household, he denies the faith, and is worse than an infidel.’ Of this same thing in Isaiah: ‘If thou shalt see the naked, clothe him; and despise not those who are of the household of thine own seed.’” (st. Cyprian, Tract I On Envy and Jealousy)

But Augustine elaborates this connection further:

“For the examination of a number of texts has often thrown light upon some of the more obscure passages; for example, in that passage of the prophet Isaiah, one translator reads: ‘And do not despise the domestics of thy seed;’ another reads: ‘And do not despise thine own flesh.’ Each of these in turn confirms the other. For the one is explained by the other; because ‘flesh’ may be taken in its literal sense, so that a man may understand that he is admonished not to despise his own body; and ‘the domestics of thy seed’ may be understood figuratively of Christians, because they are spiritually born of the same seed as ourselves, namely, the Word. When now the meaning of the two translators is compared, a more likely sense of the words suggests itself, viz., that the command is not to despise our kinsmen, because when one brings the expression ‘domestics of thy seed’ into relation with ‘flesh,’ kinsmen most naturally occur to one’s mind. Whence, I think, that expression of the apostle, when he says, ‘If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them;’ that is, that through emulation of those who had believed, some of them might believe too. And he calls the Jews his ‘flesh,’ on account of the relationship of blood.” (St. Augustine, On Christian Doctrine book II, chpt. 12)

Augustine recalls to us the pledge of St. Paul’s Patriotism wherein the Apostle yearns to suffer the punishment due his “kinsmen according to the flesh” if it might affect upon their redemption (Rom.9:3, 11:14). This, Augustine construes as the Apostles’ conformity with the principle of Isaiah’s admonition (Isai.58:7). And really, if we disallow Augustine’s and Cyprian’s view (ethno-nationalism) here we have no rational frame of reference for what would otherwise be, if it were possible, relegated to nonsensical ramblings in scripture. If Augustine has parsed these texts incorrectly, we are yet to perceive any coherent context for Isaiah’s, St. Paul’s or Christ’s overt nationalistic sentiments. They stand nonetheless.

Henry once again reinforces this principle of familial proximity/ priority even in the finer nuances of the Law as it extends to issues of “favored nation status” in our foreign relations policy:

“We should think that the Edomites had been more injurious to the Israelites than the Ammonites, and deserved as little favour from them (Num. xx. 20), and yet ‘Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite, as thou must an Ammonite, for he is thy brother.’ Note, The unkindness of near relations, though by many worst taken, yet should with us, for that reason, because of the relation, be first forgiven.” (M. Henry’s Commentary on Deut. 23)

But overall, we recognize the deuteronomical case laws as outworkings of the Decalogue, the Ten Commandments applied. If so, it behooves us to ask from which commandment the principle of unequal yoking, in its various forms, descends; fortunately little inference is here required as St. Paul has confirmed that it has to do with marriage (II Corinthians 6:14). This means the principle of unequal yoking is a consequent of the seventh commandment prohibition on Adultery and this really makes the most sense as it is the only one having at all to do with proper versus improper fusions of anything.

And such being the case, it is then natural that the myriad laws amid which we encounter the principle are found to have one uninterrupted thematic continuum—familial, hereditary, horticultural and other assorted ‘yokings’. The laws against unequal yoking precede the treatment of Bastards and Eunuchs organically, as one uninterrupted thought (Deut. 22 & 23 approximately). Bastard (Mamzer, ‘mongrel’) was a term denoting the illegitimacy and impurity of the resultant offspring of various sorts of unequal (adulterous) yokings.
This explains why the Septuagint translators opted to use moicheuo (an inflected form of the Greek word moich) in Exo. 20:14 in the place of our word, ‘Adultery’. The Theological Dictionary of The New Testament by Kittel (English translation by Bromiley) defines moicheuo thus:

“Of the intermingling of animals and men or of different races.”

We find an historical survey of lexicography thoroughly supports this definition. It is an inflected form of this exact word that was used by Aristotle to describe admixtures between dissimilar families of birds over against “true-bred” species (Aristotle, Historia Animalium XI.32.6-10). A.L. Peck therein translates it as “mixed and adulterated”.

And it is also noteworthy that Jerome carried the same connotation into the Vulgate Bible, using the Latin term non moechaberis in Exodus 20:14 and non adulterabis in Romans 13:9 where Paul quotes from the Septuagint. Non moechaberis is a transliteration of the earlier Greek word which depends wholly upon the Greek definition but non adulterabis is a derivative of the Latin word adultero, which The Oxford Latin Dictionary defines as:

“To mix substances with each other; adulterate; to spoil/damage the purity or strength, to corrupt or falsify.”

Of course there is the question then of why our English translations bear the term “adultery” rather than ‘adulteration’. The answer to this is really quite simple: They were originally synonymous as variant iterations of the same concept derived of the same root Latin word (previously mentioned). The Oxford English Dictionary actually lists the recently obsolete definition of Adultery as:

“Adulteration, debasement, corruption.”

It footnotes the fact that early Christian writers used the term to describe any sexual relations “of a Christian with a Jewess”. And it cites Ben Johnson, who, in 1609 (two years prior to the printing of the King James Bible) used the word adultery as a synonym for ‘adulteration or debasement’. Infact, all the related family of English words point in the same direction:

Adulter: “to corrupt, debase, adulterate.”

Adulterant: “that which adulterates, adulterating.”

Adulterate: “spurious, counterfeit, of base origin, or corrupted by base admixture.” (verb) “to render spurious or counterfeit, etc.

Adulterer: “one who adulterates, corrupts, or debases.”

Adulterous: “pertaining to, or characterized by, adulteration; spurious, counterfeit, adulterate.”

But Herrell has pointed out perhaps the most interesting facet of this etymology found in The Oxford English Dictionary is that the footnote inserted under the definition of the verb form of adulterate says: “repl[aced] by To commit adultery.” Adulterate and to commit Adultery were originally interchangeable, which explains Johnson’s assertion that adultery be synonymous with ‘adulteration or debasement’ at the time of the earliest English translations. But that’s just to say that all three—Greek, Latin and English translations—agree on this matter; Moicheuo, Adultero and Adultery (adulteration) all mean the same thing.

So we see that it really isn’t a problem of bad translation of the text—the translation is perfectly sound here. The problem is that we’ve quite recently (in the last 300- 400 years) changed the once universally understood definitions of those words.

But of course, in the Reformed tradition we do not accept definitions by their secular usage but by their biblical usage; with that said, we turn to observe St. Paul’s quoting from the Septuagint in Romans13:9, using the term “moicheuo” and it must be asked—if he, being a highly educated Hellenic, knew the classic definition of that Greek word (as used by Aristotle among others) and as one with apostolic/prophetic authority, knew the intent of the Law—why did he not correct or at least augment the translation there and then? He could have used another word if he so wished. Clearly, it must be argued that he accepted the translation as correct. When he penned those words his readers, without the benefit of any redaction or qualification from the apostle, would naturally be inclined to understand it in the plainest (Koine) sense. What they would understand him to say then is “You shall not adulterate.” (i.e. “You shall not mix those things which are by nature, religion, covenant, culture or kind, separate.”) And he lets stand both the translation and the likelihood of the readers’ taking it in that sense.

And it is then in keeping with such a view of the Law that the Apostle would admonish the Corinthians against joining Believers to Unbelievers (II Corinthians 6:14), the members of Christ to a harlot (I Cor. 6:14-16), and various other inappropriate fusions of pagan practice with Christian worship. He even compares such things with the elemental divisions imposed at creation when he asks “what communion hath light with darkness?”

It may be said that their Cosmopolitanism required reproof in regard to several categories of adulteration even if race is not specifically enumerated among them.

Here, one is likely to ask why amongst all the categories of adulteration addressed by the Apostle we find none addressing race specifically.

Though I would say his admonishment to take care of ‘one’s own’ (among other racially aware statements) fits the bill, I acknowledge the fact that the New Testament levels no overt prohibitions on the matter. A couple things may be said of this: One, we know race-mixing was taboo amongst the Romans and Greeks who occupy the backdrop of the New Testament; Horace even praised this feature as a quintessential aspect of Roman law and thought:

“The pure home is not mongrelized by illicit sexual intercourse/ law and custom have driven out forbidden mongrelization/ mothers are praised for their resemblance of their offspring/ vengeance closely follows guilt.” (Ode 4:5:21)

Moreover, early Christian writers agreed with this:

“If it is a source of joy and glory to men to have children like to themselves—and it is more agreeable to have begotten an offspring then when the remaining progeny responds to the parent with like lineaments—how much greater is the gladness in God the Father, when any one is so spiritually born that in his acts and praises the divine eminence of race is announced!” (St. Cyprian, Treatise No.10 on Envy and Jealousy)

And two, it is a mainstay of Reformed thought that a thing legislated in the Old Testament, if not abrogated in the New, stands. Call them what you wish—Laws against hybridization, unequal-yoking, bastardization, or adultery—none are annulled in the New Testament.

Seminally, it can not be overlooked that Paul’s treatment of those various matters are typically compared by the Apostle himself, to marriage. His generic treatment of these various incongruencies among Christians manifestly relies therefore upon the seventh commandment.

Henry again concurs on this principle of adulteration/ unequal yoking in its general sense:

“Nehemiah had the vexation, notwithstanding this, to see some of his own people treacherously corresponding with Tobiah and serving his interest;…
Many in Judah were in a strict but secret confederacy with him to advance the interest of his country, though it would certainly be the ruin of their own. They were sworn unto him, not as their prince, but as their friend and ally, because both he and his son had married daughters of Israel,
v. 18. See the mischief of marrying with strangers; for one heathen that was converted by it ten Jews were perverted. When once they became akin to Tobiah they soon became sworn to him. A sinful love leads to a sinful league.” (M. Henry’s Comm. on Deut. 23)

He closes this passage with a normative warning against any and all adulteration, be it marital or national, as it invariably leads to divided loyalties and a compromising of security in all spheres. He even goes so far as to say that the exceptional foreigner, even if converted to our religion, will still carry with them ‘a sinful league’ which draws away ten of ours for their one.

We see this very effect in the modern American experience as Non-Whites, irrespective of conversion status or espoused ‘Americanism’, categorically reserve great scorn for all of our old national heroes: Be it the Pilgrims, the Virginia Colony Planters, the Founding Fathers, the Frontiersmen or the Western Homesteaders— Non-Whites, even if Christian, generally disdain them all. The reasons for this are manifold and beyond the scope of this paper but the fact can not be ignored that multiculturalism and multiracialism carry with them a great compromise of loyalties. Even when ‘conservative’ Christians, Non-Whites’ vision for America is one of perpetual Statist revolution. They love America only insofar as it bears no resemblance to what it used to be. This is why and how Barack Obama has successfully campaigned under a political platform summed up in one word: “Change”. This perspectival dissolution is precisely the sort to which Henry refers and which Nehemiah mitigated through stringent application of God’s Law—because acquiescence to the ‘exceptions’ in such matters only provide a foothold for the national revolution and desolation of Deuteronomy 28.

But it is the alternative to the dissolute society which is laid before us in scripture:

“To return to the Biblical doctrine, a wife is her husband’s help-meet…a true help-meet is a man’s counterpart, that a cultural, racial, and especially religious similarity is needed so that woman can truly mirror the man and his image.(pg. 351) Basic to family law is the inner bond of blood and faith.(pg. 360) The family was basic to Biblical society and culture; the godly family had to be perpetuated, and the ungodly family cut off. The bastard was cut of from church and state, insofar as any legal status was concerned, to the tenth generation (Deut.23:2). He might be a godly man but he was not a citizen. (pg.375)…bastards could not be recognized as legitimate…The creation and perpetuation of godly families is thus basic to the law (pg.380). Biblical law is designed to create a familistic society…[marital infidelity is] treason to the family and introduces an alien loyalty to the home, as well as alien seed (pg.395). ’In the trustee period, adultery, along with one or two other crimes, is the most infamous act against the whole society-kinship group…’(by Zimmerman) (pg.396) ‘Adultery…threatens the security of the bloodline…’(Cole) (pg. 397) A third type of divorce is implied, enforced by authorities, as with Nehemiah, in cases of consanguity and mixed-marriages: Mixed marriages banned: Deut. 7:1-3; cf. Ex.34:12-16; Num. 25:6-8. (pg. 403) Marriage is held in faithfulness to the creation ordinance.” (pg. 409) (R.J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law)


“The trustee family has the most power and scope. It is called the trustee family because its living members see themselves as trustees of the family blood, rights, property, name, and position for their lifetime. They have an inheritance from the past to be preserved and developed for the future. The trustee family is the basic social power … The head of the family is not the head in any personal sense but as family head and as a trustee of powers.…especially with all relatives, for “if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house [or, kindred], he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1 Tim. 5:8). The authority of the husband, and of the wife, is not personal but theological and is a trusteeship for God, first of all, and then the family. …When conservative Christians think of the godly family, they tend to think of the domestic rather than the trustee family; as a result, the individual man is exalted as head of the household rather than placed strictly in a trusteeship, in a position of custodial powers. …The atomistic family has no future. The godly family commands the future. The future family is under God, the trustee of children, property, inheritance, welfare, and education. It governs the basic areas of social power in terms of God’s law and grace.” (R.J. Rushdoony, “The Trustee Family” Journal of Christian Reconstruction: Symposium on the Family, Vol. IV, No. 2, Winter 1977-78, 12.)

This Trusteeship of one’s inheritance is a responsibility entrusted not only over real estate but all of a Christian family’s holdings— faith, culture, riches and yes, blood—that is to say, heritage.

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