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Kinism and the Bible on the propositional nation

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One of the central doctrines of Kinism is the notion that the Bible defines "nation" in terms of blood-kin rather than shared unity in ideals, where the latter is defined and rejected as belief in a "propositional nation." Belief that nations ought to be understood in such a way is a common belief among traditionalist conservatives, and is ably defined by Patrick Buchanan:

"Nation, as suggested by its Latin root nascere, to be born, intrinsically implies a link by blood, wrote Peter Brimelow in National Review in 1992. A nation in a real sense is an extended family. The merging process through which all nations pass is not merely cultural, but to a considerable extent biological through intermarriage"(Buchanan).

Or in the same essay:

"There is a rival view, advanced by neoconservatives and liberals, that America is a different kind of nation, not held together by the bonds of history and memory, tradition and custom, language and literature, birth and faith, blood and soil. Rather, America is a creedal nation, united by a common commitment to a set of ideas and ideals"(Buchanan).

They appeal to the Bible for their position on the grounds of such passages as the Genesis 10 genealogy:

These are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Sons were born to them after the flood.

2 The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. 3 The sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. 4 The sons of Javan: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. 5 From these the coastland peoples spread in their lands, each with his own language, by their clans, in their nations.

6 The sons of Ham: Cush, Egypt, Put, and Canaan. 7 The sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The sons of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan. 8 Cush fathered Nimrod; he was the first on earth to be a mighty man.[a] 9 He was a mighty hunter before the Lord. Therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the Lord.” 10 The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. 11 From that land he went into Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, Calah, and 12 Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city. 13 Egypt fathered Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, 14 Pathrusim, Casluhim (from whom[b] the Philistines came), and Caphtorim.

15 Canaan fathered Sidon his firstborn and Heth, 16 and the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, 17 the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, 18 the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. Afterwards the clans of the Canaanites dispersed. 19 And the territory of the Canaanites extended from Sidon in the direction of Gerar as far as Gaza, and in the direction of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha. 20 These are the sons of Ham, by their clans, their languages, their lands, and their nations.

21 To Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the elder brother of Japheth, children were born. 22 The sons of Shem: Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram. 23 The sons of Aram: Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash. 24 Arpachshad fathered Shelah; and Shelah fathered Eber. 25 To Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg,[c] for in his days the earth was divided, and his brother's name was Joktan. 26 Joktan fathered Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 27 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 28 Obal, Abimael, Sheba, 29 Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab; all these were the sons of Joktan. 30 The territory in which they lived extended from Mesha in the direction of Sephar to the hill country of the east. 31 These are the sons of Shem, by their clans, their languages, their lands, and their nations.

32 These are the clans of the sons of Noah, according to their genealogies, in their nations, and from these the nations spread abroad on the earth after the flood.

That the Bible in at least some contexts defines "nation" in such a manner is obviously true, so far as it goes. But Kinists take this purely descriptive account of how the word nation is sometimes used and insists that it must be mandated as a general principle mankind is obligated to follow.

This flatly contradicts Exodus 12:43-49:

43 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the statute of the Passover: no foreigner shall eat of it, 44 but every slave that is bought for money may eat of it after you have circumcised him. 45 No foreigner or hired servant may eat of it. 46 It shall be eaten in one house; you shall not take any of the flesh outside the house, and you shall not break any of its bones. 47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. 48 If a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised. Then he may come near and keep it; he shall be as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. 49 There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.”

The text is about as descriptive and prescriptive an account of a propositional nation as one can possibly get. On the one hand, a set of rituals (circumcision, an oath of fealty to the suzerain Yahweh) constitute both the necessary and sufficient conditions for membership in the commonwealth of Israel. Keeping in mind other texts which affirm the necessity of such rituals on pain of banishment from the commonwealth of Israel, as well as the fact that this text explicitly allows non-natives of Israel to join the commonwealth provided they undergo the requisite rituals, it becomes evident that the Bible denies that ethnicity is either a necessary or sufficient condition for membership in a nation.

To summarize: it is certainly true that Genesis 10 demonstrates that in some contexts, "nation" can refer to a group or clan of blood-related people on a purely descriptive level; but other texts teach that prescriptively, for a nation to be a legitimately Christian nation in the eyes of blood, ethnicity and blood-ties are neither necessary nor sufficient conditions for nation membership.

Buchanan, P. "Nation or Notion?" Web. Accessed 12 December 2013. Retrieved from: http://conservativetimes.org/Conservative_Resources/PropositionNation.htm

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