- Nov 2022
Americans who believe not only in the spiritual heritage of our nation, but believe that we ought to use elections to help return our country to its Christian foundation."
Note the word 'heritage' here rather than 'history.' In context, heritage is a dog whistle, alluding to a distorted account of our past that justifies white supremacy. It's an appeal to a return to that era when elite whites controlled American government and culture at all levels.
Texas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress said over the weekend that Christian nationalists had a right to "impose their values" on everyone else.
The claim and desire for power is Constantinian and conflicts with a Christocentric ecclesiology. It's based not on apostolic teachings about what it means to be the Church but on that invalid reading of Genesis 1:26-28 that undergirds Dominionism.
- Oct 2022
The danger is in conflating our Christian identity and our national identity. We can be Christian, we can also be American. But to assume that being American means being Christian and that being Christian means holding to a narrow view of what it means to be American is limiting to all of the above.
Being Christian means performing our commitment to follow Jesus along the Way of Love as our response to God's abundant grace. Being American means performing our commitment to a common life within our nation-state according to our founding and constitutional principles. To excel in our American identity, one need not be Christian. To excel in our Christian identity, one need not be American. Conflating these two identities causes us to miss the mark in performing both.
To assume that one side works on behalf of God while the other works in rejection of Divine order is a perversion of the unity that could exist in, at least, recognizing shared spiritual ideals. That spiritual unity cannot exist when we suggest that true Christians either wear red hats and carry “Don’t Tread on Me” flags or do not.
The Spirit unites us through our shared commitment to Jesus the Messiah as our Lord. When we see political opponents as our divinely sanctioned enemies due to their holding contrary views, we reject the divine word concerning our neighbor and thereby commit the sin of blasphemy.
What is Christian Nationalism? “Christian nationalism identifies the nation with God's will and action in the world; conflates national and Christian identity; and identifies service of the nation with service of God,” writes Dr. David W. Scott, who is a Methodist historical researcher and the Director of Mission Theology at the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church. “Christian nationalism gives moral cover for actions, even unseemly ones, taken in pursuit of national or political goals.” Dr. Kristin Kobes Du Mez, author of Jesus and John Wayne, takes the idea that Christian nationalism provides moral cover a step further, noting that Christian nationalism adheres to “the belief that America is God’s chosen nation and must be defended as such.”
Important to recognize that Christian nationalism is not, therefore, a form of Christianity though it's adherents may strive to be good Christians. It is about worldview, political identity, values, and consequent ethics - what behaviors and policies are American, who counts as an American, and who has the power to decide.
Today, the people in politics who most often invoke the name of Jesus for their political causes tend to be the most merciless and judgmental, the most consumed by rage and fear and vengeance. They hate their enemies, and they seem to want to make more of them. They claim allegiance to the truth and yet they have embraced, even unwittingly, lies. They have inverted biblical ethics in the name of biblical ethics.
Samuel Perry, a sociology professor at the University of Oklahoma, a scholar of Christian nationalism, and himself a person of the Christian faith
- Christian nationalism
- American religious right
- Donald J. Trump
- Michael Flynn
- Peter Wehner
- ReAwaken America
- Samuel Perry
- fear uncertainty and doubt