Let’s be clear up front: Christian Nationalism is a destructive, hateful, white myth. It doesn’t exist because it cannot exist. It is a fundamental and ethical contradiction in terms: if it is truly Christian, it cannot be nationalistic, if it is nationalistic, it is by definition unchristian. And yet, it is a topic of extreme concern and widespread attention.
It is not new, but it is as flawed and false as it has ever been. It is disingenuous in that it is framed around religion when in fact it is truly classist and political. Any nationalism is elitist, manipulative, racist, and established on lies and revisionist history. And the sad fact is that those in power frame a false narrative that persuades the less-educated, most highly fearful and prejudiced to redefine the Christian faith as hate, division, violence, judgment, punishment, rage, resentment, and vengeance. Surveys show that self-described Christian nationalists oppose racial equity, feeding the hungry, healthcare for the poor, immigration, prisoner rehabilitation and restoration, gender equality, and a host of other gospel instructions from Jesus as the test of true faithfulness.
Core tenets of the myth of Christian nationalism depend on a deep-seated and impenetrable ignorance. It presumes a bizarro history that the United States was first established as a Christian nation, and that the 1st amendment protection of religious freedom is limited to the Christian faith. It consciously avoids the teachings of Jesus, labeling such teachings “socialism.” It picks and chooses the aspects of biblical framing that suits the purpose of exclusion, judgment, and control. It relies much more heavily on a twisted and inappropriate application of the Old Testament than the New Testament. It ignores the limitations and restrictions on women’s authority, and it preferences the rich and powerful as those blessed of God. It pretends that a totalitarian Christian doppelgänger is preferable to the Christ.
The ”Christianity” of those calling for a Christian nationalism cannot be found in scripture. And those snippets pulled out of context and superficially reinterpreted are used as weapons of mass destruction rather than Kingdom-building tools. There is a huge difference between Empire-building and Kingdom-building.
Look at the faces of self-proclaimed Christian nationalists. You see rage. You see condescension. You see contempt. You see hatred. You see self-righteousness. What isn’t always as obvious is the fear that underlies it all. A call for any kind of nationalism is a call for help. When people of privilege launch a thinly-veiled, poorly constructed, and deeply flawed begging for power, it is a clear indicator that they understand that their day is quickly passing. Rich white racist elites are quickly becoming a minority. They feel threatened by everything. They fear minorities and immigrants, so they try to demonize and crack down on anyone “who doesn’t belong here.” They fear knowledge, truth, and education, so they call for book banning and the removal of any topic that might bring deeper understanding and insight and that might lead to a more just and equitable society. They fear a stable economy where all have access to a living wage, so they foster a system of enforced working poverty and limited social services. They make it unconscionably difficult for those on the margins to have adequate healthcare. They create systems of despair that lead people to drink, drugs, crime, then hold those most broken and bereft responsible, creating effigies of real villains. They tromp on the fear and loathing button constantly to upset people and make them less able to respond with reason instead of reacting with rage and resentment.
As is so often true in our current culture, we are allowing the tail to wag the dog. “Christian nationalists” are getting a lot of airplay. The more attention they receive, the more people see it as a crisis. However, only 29% of Americans support or are tolerant of this supposed Christian nationalism. Two-thirds of our country is deeply skeptical or outright opposed to this bastardization of real Christian faith. One in four Americans aren’t even sure what Christian nationalism means. These statistics come from a recent study by Robert P. Jones, author of White Too Long. The vast majority of Americans support the 1st amendment and a seriously protected religious freedom.
It is important that all people who truly love God, love Jesus, and are seeking the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit speak up when faced with any kind of discussion about Christian nationalism. It needs to go away, and it needs to go away quickly. As long as corporate and social media keep lifting it up it will hold a pernicious and perilous power in our country. Do all you can to dispel the myth. It may just afford you the opportunity to engage in some real evangelism as you say what the Christian faith is really all about.
Pio Nino (Pope Pius IX) baned voting as God ordains our leaders as the elect who deserve to lead us. St Teresa of Avila said sex with priests is the Rapture and Bellarmine concurred. Democracy is the way of the magog from their Hun, Lapp, Fin, Viking, and American Indian lineage.
Thank you for this!