Matthew Rose over at the Berkeley Center has a magnificent article in this week’s First Things, which if you are interested in highfalutin’ things such as ideas and intellect, you should read monthly:
There is no better introduction to alt-right theory than his 1981 work On Being a Pagan. Its tone is serene, but its message is militant. Benoist argues that the West must choose between two warring visions of human life: biblical monotheism and paganism. Benoist is a modern-day Celsus. Like his second-century predecessor, he writes to reawaken Europeans to their ancient faith. Paganism’s central claim is simple: that the world is holy and eternal. “Far from desacralizing the world,” Benoist tells us, paganism “sacralizes it in the literal sense of the word, since it regards the world as sacred.” Paganism is also a humanism. It recognizes man, the highest expression of nature, as the sole measure of the divine. God does not therefore create men; men make gods, which “exist” as ideal models that their creators strive to equal. “Man shares in the divine every time he surpasses himself,” Benoist writes, “every time he attains the boundaries of his best and strongest aspects.”
Benoist’s case against Christianity is that it forbids the expression of this “Faustian” vitality. It does so by placing the ultimate source of truth outside of humanity, in an otherworldly realm to which we must be subservient. In his Church Dogmatics, Karl Barth notoriously described Christian revelation as the “abolition” of natural religion. Benoist is a Barthian, if selectively. He accuses Christianity of crippling our most noble impulses. Christianity makes us strangers in our own skin, conning us into distrusting our strongest intuitions. We naturally respect beauty, health, and power, Benoist observes, but Christianity teaches us to revere the deformed, sick, and weak instead. “Paganism does not reproach Christianity for defending the weak,” he explains. “It reproaches [Christianity] for exalting them in their weakness and viewing it as a sign of their election and their title to glory.”
There’s so much more good stuff in this essay. Truly, do yourself a favor, grab a cup of coffee and read it all. Money back, guaranteed.