On the same glorious day when the Wall Street Journal ran a feature piece by Straussian Peter Berkowitz [email him] instructing conservatives to surrender on Big Government and gay marriage [Conservative Survival in a Progressive Age, December 12 2012], another Conservatism Inc. mouthpiece had a second revelation: Jonah Goldberg , [Email him] once one of my favorite targets but more recently in eclipse, assured us in his syndicated column the GOP is “not a club for Christians.” [The GOP—Not a Club For Christians, TownHall.com, December 12, 2012].
Jonah was getting off his chest something that has plainly been upsetting him for quite some time: what he claims is the preoccupation of Republicans with the second person (or perhaps any person) of the Trinity.
“I`ve attended dozens of conservative events where, as the speaker, I was, in effect, the guest of honor, and yet the opening invocation made no account [PG: sic—I think he means “took no account”] of the fact that the guest of honor wasn’t a Christian. I’ve never taken offense, but I can imagine how it might seem to someone who felt like he was even less part of the club.”
Since I’ve never been invited as a speaker by any organization that has invited Jonah, I can’t say that I’ve had the opportunity to hear a Republican spokesman mention Christ and then to shudder in horror because of all those non-Christians whom the GOP was turning off.
But it’s a good thing that Jonah defines himself as Jewish. That way he can now profitably put himself forward a spokesthing for other non-Christians, when some insensitive Republican speaker at one of those events where Jonah is the “guest of honor” presumes to mention Christ.
I think two observations are particularly germane to Jonah’s beef, particularly at this time. After all, this is the season when the Main Stream Media, the teaching profession, various leftist organizations and (mostly) Democratic politicians are busily at work trying to save us from putative Christian bigotry—a problem that seems to reach menacing proportions around December 25.
- First: to the extent that the Republicans have a sociological identity, it is as a white Protestant party.
It has proved possible to stretch that identity to include religious Catholics and even as far as Orthodox Jews. But it is unrealistic and unfair to expect Republicans to give up their essential historic identity, one that has survived since the Civil War down to the present.
Actually, of course, the fact that Republicans invite Jonah to be a “guest of honor” indicates the remarkable extent of their outreach. One would expect him not to bite the hand that feeds—even if it means restraining his latent Christophobia.
If the unlikely were ever to happen, and the GOP invited me to speak at one of those swell functions where Jonah is treated as royalty, I certainly wouldn’t complain about the goyim. Nor would I take offense in the name of some hypothetical absent Chinese and Indian if a Republican introducing the proceedings invoked the Christian Lord and Savior.
And, unlike Jonah, my mother was a very observant Jew.
- Second: It is ridiculous for Jonah to imply that Asian Americans would turn to the Republican Party if that party didn’t seem so Christian.
Thus Jonah writes:
“According to Pew studies, barely a third of Chinese Americans are Christian and less than a fifth of Indian Americans are.”
I see nothing that leads me to expect this. The non-Christian minorities that Jonah cites may simply be delighted to belong to a party that works diligently to de-Christianize America—the party, indeed, that began and most ardently defends the process of eradicating the Christian and European character of the country where Jonah’s Jewish and “Indian American relatives” have immigrated—the Democratic Party
Jonah claims that Asians’ overwhelming support for Obama in 2012 “run counter to a lot of conventional wisdom on both the left and the right” because “entrepreneurship, family cohesion and traditional values” are common among Asians.
But this “wisdom” was “conventional” only among fanatical immigration enthusiasts. It was always obvious that groups who perceive themselves as outsiders will tend to support political parties that appeal to outsiders.
Their “traditional values” are meant for their own communities alone. They are not something that incline these groups to identify with America or its Christian majority.
That is why letting these groups immigrate is so problematic in the first place.
Paul Gottfried [ email him ] recently retired as Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown College, PA. He is the author of After Liberalism, Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt and The Strange Death of Marxism His most recent book is Leo Strauss and the Conservative Movement in America.