Good Faith Media is committed to combating Christian nationalism as we provide an alternative perspective centered on the life and teachings of Jesus.
According to two recent articles from The Washington Post and The New York Times, Christian nationalism continues to ramp up its hostile and radicalized rhetoric, leading many experts to voice concern about another possible insurrection or worse leading up to the midterm elections.
Last month, The Freethought Caucus held a virtual briefing regarding a report published in February by BJC (Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty) and the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The Freethought Caucus was established in 2018 to “protect the secular character of the government by adhering to the strict Constitutional principle of the separation of church and state.”
The briefing consisted of a 66-page report entitled “Christian Nationalism and the January 6, 2021 Insurrection.” The report directly linked Christian nationalism with the Jan. 6 insurrection in the U.S. Capitol.
Researchers note that while much of America blames former president Donald Trump for the insurrection, citizens would be remiss not to understand that the events of Jan. 6 were a well-planned attack on the principles of American democracy supported and carried out by Christian nationalists.
Concerned citizens would also be naive to think the insurrection was a final and decisive act.
Andrew Seidel, spokesman for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, told The Washington Post that Jan. 6 was “the culmination but not the end. … Insurrectionists were given moral license for the attack, and since then a growing slice of Americans are justifying it.”
The Christian nationalism movement is bigger than those who stormed the Capitol.
University of Oklahoma sociologist Samuel Perry, a recent guest on the Good Faith Weekly podcast, has written several books about religion and politics. Perry was a participant in the Capitol briefing to the Freethought Caucus.
He told The Washington Post, “Christian nationalism is not just in the people who stormed the Capitol but it’s powerfully associated and a leading predictor of whether people affirm authoritarian tactics to control populations they think are problems.”
Therein lies the grave concern that many have regarding the lengths to which Christian nationalists will go.
Christian nationalists truly believe they are ushering in the kingdom of God through their political activism.
In The New York Times article, pastor Ché Ahn of Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, California, said, “My understanding of Jesus’ kingdom is that he is Lord, not just over the church, but every aspect of society. That means family, education, arts, entertainment, business for sure, and government.”
While this sounds appealing to some, what Ahn fails to say is that Christian nationalists want their rigid interpretation of the Christian faith to be paramount and to govern all citizens.
Shaun Frederickson, an organizer and activist, told The New York Times, “Christians are the ones that are responsible for granting you and myself the right and authority over government.” He went on to conclude that the constitutional principle of separation of church and state was a “lie.”
In the briefing to The Freethought Caucus, BJC Executive Director Amanda Tyler spoke about the effort it will take to combat this latest wave of Christian nationalism.
She wrote in the introduction of the report, “Dismantling Christian nationalism will take a broad and diverse response from individuals and organizations committed to effecting change.”
Good Faith Media is honored to join organizations like BJC and others to call attention to the dangers and heresy of Christian nationalism. People of all faiths need to demonstrate solidarity in our efforts to thwart this dangerous trend.
As a Christian, I fully believe that Christian nationalism perverts the gospel, supplanting it with the heretical belief that the United States is somehow more favored by God than any other country and that a literal and rigid interpretation of the Bible must govern everyone.
As a U.S. citizen, I believe our nation must retain its secular government so that religious liberty for all faiths – and people of no faith – can flourish. The theological and political idealism of Christian nationalism is dangerous because it places one group of citizens over another under the guise of divine favor.
Good Faith Media – as a Christian organization – denounces any religion that claims divine favor over others. This is one of the many reasons why we joined with other Christian organizations to proclaim and endorse a statement that we are “Christians Against Christian Nationalism.”
Let me close with the opening line from that statement: “As Christians, our faith teaches us that everyone is created in God’s image and commands us to love one another. As Americans, we value our system of government and the good that can be accomplished in our constitutional democracy. Today, we are concerned about a persistent threat to both our religious communities and our democracy — Christian nationalism.”
Christian nationalism remains a threat to the gospel and to democracy. Therefore, people of good faith need to collaborate in our efforts to stamp out its dangerous rhetoric and actions.
The United States can still become a more perfect union, but we must do so as a diverse country, demonstrating respect and honoring the freedoms of all citizens.
CEO of Good Faith Media.