Experiencing White Guilt

I finally took the time to watch Chariots of Fire, the award-winning film from 1981 about the running career of Eric Liddell in the early twentieth century. Aside from the strangeness that 80s synthesizers brought to a period film, I found the film to carry something profound. It is a much different film than something like The Godfather, but it carries that same sense of subtly. Much was said by the film that was not said in the film.

Yet, when it was over, the feelings of having watched a satisfying piece of cinema and of finding inspiration in the character of Eric Liddell were conflicted with another feeling, an outside sense of something intruding.

I could not help but notice that everything was so English, so white, so male, so excellent, so old world. Missing were female warriors shaming every man they saw, poor angry blacks standing against Republicans, sensitive crying homosexuals dying lonely deaths because they could not marry in a church with the blessing of democracy. There was a Jewish character who complained of being rejected because of his ethnicity, though for a Jew being discriminated against, he did pretty damn well in the Anglo-Saxon Christian culture.

I watched a film that centered on a particular culture and the true life hero that culture produced and I felt guilty for admiring both the culture and the man who the film was based on. What I felt was white guilt.

The culture portrayed in the film was only a scant sample of those days, imitated just enough to tell the story of the characters. While it is unsound and unwise to romanticize the past it cannot be denied that something has been lost and missing are men like Eric Liddell and the culture of religion and excellence that produce them.

While change is inevitable, the guilt I instinctively feel at seeing such a culture portrayed reveals that modern western culture has not simply changed, but has developed a virulent hatred for its own heritage. Those who carry hatred for the old world culture are the ones who have inherited so much from it. It may have been dominated by white male Christians, but those who are not white, male, or Christian benefit today from what was produced in that culture yesterday.

Liberalism has rejected the Western Christian culture of the past three centuries not because of any bad its has done, as is claimed, but because of the good it has done. It produced a groomed Christian patriarchy and a developing civilized existence without the violent anarchy of a barbaric life.

What modern liberalism ultimately seeks is a civilized world devoid of the foundations of what made the western world civilized. Liberalism still tries to hold to the ordered sophistication and structure produced by the old Christian patriarchy while trying to strip away the old Christian patriarchy. Such is the madness and delusion of modern liberalism.

There is no viable reason why I should feel guilt over my admiration of the old world culture or the Anglo-Saxon heritage it has handed down. It was imperfect to be sure and like any attempt to civilize a savage existence it made errors. However, the tremendous good that Euro-Anglo culture has given the world over the past three centuries is something to be noted, admired, and studied. There is even reason to be proud of such a rich and amazing heritage.

As for guilt, well, I shall take it to my Patriarchal Christian God, and accept His forgiveness and cleansing of all guilt.

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Author: M.W. Peak

Just a humble guy trying to make his way in the universe.

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