Decoding Christian Nationalism

Every organism acts on its environment, often for its own benefit and often against the benefit of other organisms.

Why would Christians not act like other organisms? Why would they be more passive than earthworms, lemon ants, beavers and the cuckoo?

I suspect most Christians want to reproduce with other Christians. In a more Christian America, they would have more chances to reproduce with another Christian. When elite Christians look out at the large swathes of America that are hostile to Christianity, why would they not want to subjugate these pagans and convert their women? Men know that women side with winners and loathe losers. If you beat the enemy’s men, the loser’s women will follow you. Christian men are incentivized to win in this world, conquer their enemies, and increase their odds of finding an attractive and compatible long-term partner.

From a 2023 paper published by Cambridge University:

Mate success is simply defined here as the probability that one can find a romantic long-term partner. The main claim is that if a niche is composed of individuals mostly of the out-party, and one holds negative affect toward the out-party, an individual’s perception of their probability of mate success will be hindered in that niche. As a result, highly partisan clustered areas repel out-partisan individuals the most, and negative affect magnifies this effect. Individuals are then incentivized to seek out niches with improved prospects or choose such niches when an opportunity arises. Additionally, such a mechanism could create a positive feedback loop between geographic and affective polarization.

When Christians move through a polarized America, why would they not want to end the polarization to create a state of affairs more to their liking?

In his work in progress, Conservative Claims of Cultural Oppression, philosopher Rony Guldmann notes:

* Tolerance “is touted as the highest virtue in our popular culture.” But that tolerance is not extended to Christians, who are denied “equal dignity, respect, and treatment.” If blacks were once maligned as the natural inferiors of whites, it is now, says [Angelo] Codevilla, the “Ruling Class” of liberal elites who “can no more believe that a Christian might be their intellectual and moral equal than white Southerners of the Jim Crow era could think the same of Negroes.” In the same vein, Cal Thomas charges that in their refusal to recognize Christian writing as “serious literature or scholarship,” many publishers are “treating the Christian market as a kind of ‘Negro league’ of publishing.” Liberalism “hides its bigotry behind the mask of reason” because it merely redirects without actually reducing the sum total of bigotry in the world, concealing its bigotry in what purports to be a fair-minded assessment of Christian intellectual limitations.

* Disney World decided to discontinue its “twenty-eight-year tradition of making on-site religious services available to Christian guests” at the same time as it “went out of its way to solicit the homosexual community, even having an annual ‘Gay Day’ event every year.” Where liberals see the arbitrary juxtaposition of two unrelated developments each of which can be assessed independently of the other, conservatives see varied manifestations of the same basic phenomenon, the supplanting of their moral traditionalism by ultra-liberalism, whose support for gays is inextricably bound up with its antipathy toward traditional Christians.

* Opposition to Christianity is just as intrinsic to homosexuality as opposition to homosexuality is intrinsic to Christianity.

* If the number of black scientists and inventors acknowledged in high school history textbooks is of sufficient importance to the self-esteem, and therefore the long-term life-prospects, of black students as to qualify as substantive rather than symbolic, then why should the question of whether America was at its inception a “Christian nation” be dismissed as a “distraction” from the bona fide “substantive” interests of religious conservatives? Is there not a double-standard here?

Wikipedia notes:

Niche construction is the process by which an organism alters its own (or another species’) local environment. These alterations can be a physical change to the organism’s environment or encompass when an organism actively moves from one habitat to another to experience a different environment. Examples of niche construction include the building of nests and burrows by animals, and the creation of shade, influencing of wind speed, and alternation of nutrient cycling by plants. Although these alterations are often beneficial to the constructor, they are not always (for example, when organisms dump detritus, they can degrade their own environments).

For niche construction to affect evolution it must satisfy three criteria: 1) the organism must significantly modify environmental conditions, 2) these modifications must influence one or more selection pressures on a recipient organism, and 3) there must be an evolutionary response in at least one recipient population caused by the environmental modification. The first two criteria alone provide evidence of niche construction.

Recently, some biologists have argued that niche construction is an evolutionary process that works in conjunction with natural selection. Evolution entails networks of feedbacks in which previously selected organisms drive environmental changes, and organism-modified environments subsequently select for changes in organisms. The complementary match between an organism and its environment results from the two processes of natural selection and niche construction. The effect of niche construction is especially pronounced in situations where environmental alterations persist for several generations, introducing the evolutionary role of ecological inheritance. This theory emphasizes that organisms inherit two legacies from their ancestors: genes and a modified environment.

The following are some examples of niche construction:

Earthworms physically and chemically modify the soil in which they live. Only by changing the soil can these primarily aquatic organisms live on land. Earthworm soil processing benefits plant species and other biota present in the soil, as originally pointed out by Darwin in his book The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms.
Lemon ants (Myrmelachista schumanni) employ a specialized method of suppression that regulates the growth of certain trees. They live in the trunks of Duroia hirsuta trees found in the Amazonian rain forest of Peru. Lemon ants use formic acid (a chemical fairly common among species of ants) as a herbicide. By eliminating trees unsuitable for lemon ant colonies, these ants produce distinctive habitats known as Devil’s gardens.

Beavers build dams and thereby create lakes that drastically shape and alter riparian ecosystems. These activities modify nutrient cycling and decomposition dynamics, influence the water and materials transported downstream, and ultimately influence plant and community composition and diversity.

As creatures construct new niches, they can have a significant effect on the world around them.

An important consequence of niche construction is that it can affect the natural selection experienced by the species doing the constructing. The common cuckoo illustrates such a consequence. It parasitizes other birds by laying its eggs in their nests. This had led to several adaptations among the cuckoos, including a short incubation time for their eggs. The eggs need to hatch first so that the chick can push the host’s eggs out of the nest, ensuring it has no competition for the parents’ attention. Another adaptation it has acquired is that the chick mimics the calls of multiple young chicks, so that the parents are bringing in food not just for one offspring, but a whole brood.
Niche construction can also generate co-evolutionary interactions, as illustrated by the above earthworm, beaver and yeast examples.

The development of many organisms, and the recurrence of traits across generations, has been found to depend critically on the construction of developmental environments such as nests by ancestral organisms.

Niche construction is now recognized to have played important roles in human evolution, including the evolution of cognitive capabilities. Its impact is probably because it is immediately apparent that humans possess an unusually potent capability to regulate, construct and destroy their environments, and that this is generating some pressing current problems (e.g. climate change, deforestation, urbanization). However, human scientists have been attracted to the niche construction perspective because it recognizes human activities as a directing process, rather than merely the consequence of natural selection. Cultural niche construction can also feed back to affect other cultural processes, even affecting genetics.

Niche construction theory emphasizes how acquired characters play an evolutionary role, through transforming selective environments. This is particularly relevant to human evolution, where our species appears to have engaged in extensive environmental modification through cultural practices.[29] Such cultural practices are typically not themselves biological adaptations (rather, they are the adaptive product of those much more general adaptations, such as the ability to learn, particularly from others, to teach, to use language, and so forth, that underlie human culture).

Mathematical models have established that cultural niche construction can modify natural selection on human genes and drive evolutionary events. This interaction is known as gene-culture coevolution. There is now little doubt that human cultural niche construction has co-directed human evolution.[29] Humans have modified selection, for instance, by dispersing into new environments with different climatic regimes, devising agricultural practices or domesticating livestock. A well-researched example is the finding that dairy farming created the selection pressure that led to the spread of alleles for adult lactase persistence.[30] Analyses of the human genome have identified many hundreds of genes subject to recent selection, and human cultural activities are thought to be a major source of selection in many cases. The lactose persistence example may be representative of a very general pattern of gene-culture coevolution.

Niche construction is also now central to several accounts of how language evolved. For instance, Derek Bickerton describes how our ancestors constructed scavenging niches that required them to communicate in order to recruit sufficient individuals to drive off predators away from megafauna corpses. He maintains that our use of language, in turn, created a new niche in which sophisticated cognition was beneficial.

Three academics published a related paper in 2016:

Ecological consequences of human niche construction: Examining long-term anthropogenic shaping of global species distributions

The reshaping of global biodiversity is one of the most significant impacts humans have had on Earth’s ecosystems. As our planet experiences its sixth “mass extinction event” (1), the effect of anthropogenic landscape modification, habitat fragmentation, overexploitation, and species invasions could not be more apparent (2, 3). These transformations are linked largely to the industrial economies, burgeoning populations, and dense transport networks of contemporary human societies.

Given that most forms of life go extinct, why would Christians not fight for their survival and thriving?

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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