It would be hard to overestimate the impact fear of losing white male cultural dominance is having on America and American churches.

It is strong enough that many who consider themselves good, even Christian, will willingly cast aside basic ethics in attempts to assuage such fears.

Though seen with fresh and disturbing clarity through today’s media, these pious politicians and politicized preachers are acting in the same defensive, self-serving ways their predecessors enabled and excused evil means to deter racial and gender equality in the past.

Oh no! What would happen to us if slaves are free, if blacks vote, if women are educated, if gay couples adopt. … If, if, if? What if they even serve Communion or stand behind a pulpit?

Historically, fear trumps justice and equality.

For modern American Christian fearmongers, the ends justify the means – even if both the means and ends are in stark contrast to the biblical understanding of “imago Dei” – and just about everything Jesus said and did.

Some critics claim those who wrap themselves in the flag but don’t affirm liberty and justice for all, don’t really love America. They do; it’s just a vision of America in which they and those like them must exclusively benefit from power.

Likewise, they are often among the first to publicly pronounce their Christian allegiance while pushing aside the humility and self-giving that defines the one they claim to adore.

And hostility toward those who don’t look like them is rarely concealed.

Love of a white nationalistic agenda is neither truly American nor Christian. Yet these politicians and politicized preachers posit themselves as saviors.

They are “protecting” America and the church from an existence without those of their superior race and gender at the helm.

They are seeking to calm the unfounded fears that drive their lives and those who keep them in power.

Yet, as Jesus well noted, love and fear cannot coexist. One casts out the other.

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared on Pierce’s Nurturing Faith blog. It is used with permission.

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