Christofascism, Trumpism

What is Christian Nationalism? It Wears Christian Words & Symbols Like Sheep’s Clothing.

What is Christian nationalism? It’s nationalism – sort of “my country, right or wrong” stuff – but seems to be Christian only in superficial, dishonest ways.

What is Christian nationalism?What is Christian Nationalism

It’s power-lust,

hunger for dominance, sheer bullying – camouflaged in religious terminology, covered with religious symbolism. Here’s one of them explaining what they want.

Christian nationalist ideologues don’t want equality, they want dominance.
“Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ — to have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness.
But it is dominion we are after. Not just a voice
It is dominion we are after. Not just influence.
It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time.
It is dominion we are after.

World conquest. That’s what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less…
Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land — of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ.”

[From the book The Changing of the Guard: Biblical Principles for Political Action, by George Grant. Quoted in Michelle Goldberg’s article  “Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism” at Salon.com]

They Say They Want The Kingdom of Christ.

He clearly has no idea what “the power of the Gospel” is.  He clearly has no idea what “the Kingdom of Christ” actually is. In any Bible I can find, “Christ has commissioned us” to teach people TO DO WHAT HE (JESUS) TAUGHT.  And that is NOT domination.  It’s just not.

But then it seems Jesus, and especially Jesus’ teachings, are getting less and less popular among American evangelicals and other forms of right-wing Christians. (See article here: What If Christians Don’t Listen to Jesus?)

Two well-known US Representatives (Congresspersons) who represent the clown car contingent – well, actually the neo-fascist contingent –  are much in favor of this dominionist pseudo-Christianity. Of course they are.  They want power (and money). Amanda Tyler, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, quoted them in an opinion piece at CNN.com:

Marjorie Taylor Green:
“We need to be the party of nationalism and I’m a Christian, and I say it proudly, we should be Christian nationalists”
Lauren Boebert:
“The church is supposed to direct the government, the government is not supposed to direct the church,” she said at a church two days before her primary election (and victory) in late June. “I’m tired of this separation of church and state junk.”

Ma’am, the reason so many of us are NOT “tired of this separation of church and state junk” is partly precisely because ignorant and unprincipled people like you assume you ARE the church that should have power over the rest of us, especially over our shared governmental structures. And that is a repulsive thought! We have the separation ideal so that NO religious institution, no petenders to religious authority, can grab that power.

So, what is meant by Christian nationalism? Theocracy

Christian nationalism is a type of religious nationalism that is affiliated with Christianity, in which the end goal is to achieve an absolute Christian theocracy within a society.
It primarily focuses on the internal politics of society, such as legislating civil and criminal laws that reflect their view of Christianity and the role of religion in political and social life. …
Christian nationalism draws political support from the broader Christian right of the political spectrum of a country.
– From the introduction to a Wikipedia article on “Christian Nationalism”

I’m bringing lots of quotations into this post so we see this not just a bunch of subjective opinion from my caffeine dreams. (The emphases like bold, underlines, caps in the quotations are added by me).

What is Christian Nationalism? Here’s a Historical Use

1942 in South Africa BJ Vorster declared:

“We stand for Christian Nationalism
which is an ally of National Socialism.
You can call this anti-democratic principle dictatorship if you wish.
In Italy, it is called Fascism;
in Germany, National Socialism [Nazism],
and in South Africa, Christian Nationalism.“
 [BJ Vorster was in 1942 the future leader of the National Party and Apartheid Prime Minister of South Africa]

There IS a connection – I don’t mean a conspiracy, I mean a connection of attitudes – of power-lust, authoritarianism, domination – between Nazism and American Christian Nationalism.  This is not pretty stuff. [See at this link a review of “Confronting Christofascism” a recent book that gets into the values, psychology, morality, and behaviors of this group of heresies.]

Back to info from the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty – Wikipedia informs us:

The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty and
the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF)
released a 66-page report on February 9, 2022,
titled “Christian Nationalism and the January 6, 2021 Insurrection.”

It chronicled the use of Christian imagery and language by protestors on Jan. 6,
detailed the “various nonprofit groups, lawmakers and clergy who worked together
to adorn Jan. 6 and Donald Trump’s effort to overturn his electoral loss
WITH THEOLOGICAL FERVOR,”
and discussed the important role that race had to play.

It’s energy comes from human arrogance, nursing of grievances real and imagined, violence, domination theories, just plain bullying with all the trappings culture and state power can provide.
This is serious.
It seems theologically silly
and very shallow in terms of political theory –
but it is nevertheless strong,
and it hopes to become deadly.
It has often been deadly in human history.

Of course, some “conservatives” don’t want to acknowledge the danger involved.

They want us to believe there’s nothing here to see. Like this author at The American Conservative, who seems deeply wounded that many people see a warped version of Christianity as playing a role on January 6. “Christian Nationalism Didn’t Cause January 6.”

Duh!

But those sentiments were certainly, motivatingly, and strongly there. The fact that they didn’t talk like theologians, political philosophers, or academic cultural critics does not mean there were not Christian nationalist themes strongly playing in people’s minds, hearts, statements, and posters.

Christians Against Christian Nationalism

A group with presence in the ELCA, “Christians Against Christian Nationalism,” has made a strong statement against the USA’s own homegrown versions of deadly Christian nationalism. Text statement online here. Brief bishop’s Youtube statement here. Like this:

Christian nationalism seeks to merge Christian and American identities, DISTORTING BOTH the Christian faith and America’s constitutional democracy. … It often overlaps with and provides cover for white supremacy and racial subjugation. We reject this damaging political ideology and invite our Christian brothers and sisters to join us in opposing this threat to our faith and to our nation.

Here is a lovely, very strong statement from the LCMS President Matthew Harrison in February 2023:

Dear friends in Christ,

The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, its president, vice-presidents and all 35 district presidents, along with its ministerium and congregations, categorically reject the horrible and racist teachings of the so-called “alt-right” in toto (including white supremacy, Nazism, pro-slavery, anti-interracial marriage, women as property, fascism, death for homosexuals, even genocide).  …  “You shall not murder,” includes the prohibition of “hating, despising, or slandering other groups of people (prejudice, racism, and so forth).” …

We were shocked to learn recently that a few members of LCMS congregations have been propagating radical and unchristian “alt-right” views … even our wonderful deaconesses have been threatened and attacked.

This is evil. We condemn it in the name of Christ.

By asking “what is religious nationalism” we realize that “what is Christian nationalism” is just one version of the issue.

It can make itself at home anywhere – in many lands and religious traditions.  The important part after all is not the moral and spiritual foundations of the specific religion. Those things are cynically manipulated or ignored, the symbols and terminology of the faith appropriated so “the faith” can be put to the service of some “nationalism” or racism or whatever-kind-of-chauvinism they want – often many wrapped together.

But it’s energy is universal;

  • it comes from human arrogance,
  • nursing of grievances real and imagined,
  • ignorance,
  • violence,
  • domination theories, a drive to dominate others,
  • maybe the ultimate form of bullying with all the trappings culture and state power can provide.

It becomes deadly, not because of the religious connections, but because the practitioners subvert the religions, eviscerate the moral guts of the religions. Then you can do anything. It’s for “the Fatherland” or Jesus or some prophet, or some temporary messiah, or “the faith”.  Or whatever.

So it is very apparent to a lot of informed and thoughtful people – people who are concerned about the faithful representation of the teachings and person of Christ – that this so-called “Christian” nationalist movement should not use that first word, “Christian.” It seems, at least as they would practice it, you have to be one or the other – Christian or nationalist.  And if you choose the wrong one you become dangerous to yourself and everyone else.

Regarding “What Is Christian Nationalism?” SEE ALSO:

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