At one time the Nazi symbol was code for good, code for well-being, a well-regarded code, then it became tarnished by one of the most horrible human beings on Earth, Adolf Hitler. Today, Christianity faces the same existential possibility, a tarnishing of their name, of their symbols, and a resulting pervasive loss of membership, because of one small group of loud and rude Americans: Christian nationalists.
Although they come from the same roots, there is a difference between Christians and Christian nationalists. First, though, nationalism on its face on is not bad, because national loyalty is not bad. However, mix it with gun-toting, Bible-thumping, anti-abortion folks high on Trump, and you get a toxic brew. Nationalists are right-wing extremists bent on imposing Christianity, that is, their own interpretations of the Bible, on the rest of us. They’re proud of their extremism as it descends down their rabbit hole of fever-pitch insanity, and they threaten to take Christians down with them.
That’s the worst-case scenario. With nationalist churches starting to pop up around the country, what we now have is a burgeoning cultish movement.
Why should Christians fear nationalists?
While Time magazine reports that “study after study shows Christian nationalism is strongly associated with attitudes concerning proper social hierarchies by religion, race, and nativity,” nationalists are not an organized movement. Their “organization” is race-based for we know that “Christian nationalism is an ideology held overwhelmingly by white Americans,” whereas Christianity in general has a bigger tent and, thus, a much larger and more diverse membership.
Nationalists make up about 20-30% of the population but account for much of the fake news that’s been around since even before the former POTUS, but their numbers are growing and they appear on the cusp of getting organized … through churches. That is why Christians need to fear nationalists.
“Protestant,” conservative evangelical, and nondenominational churches, such as Patriot Church in Lenoir City, Tennessee, are espousing nationalism and possibly getting the movement organized in drips and drabs. (And, while they’re getting organized, we should question if they should be taxed too, since nationalism is essentially political in nature.)
What About Florida?
On the state level, here in Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis, appears to be driving the nationalist force movement right into government offices. He appears intent on systematically imposing Christian nationalism on all of us woke folks, a dangerous authoritarian trend.
Fortunately people and organizations are fighting back. Take Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which launched an investigation into DeSantis’ new $106 million “Civic Literacy Excellence Initiative,” a Florida endorsement program for teachers who complete the state’s civic training. Not in and of itself bad but bad when you add DeSantis’ other authoritarian measures, like the “Stop WOKE Act,” which restricts how race is discussed in schools, colleges and workplaces, and you once again have a toxic brew that is Christian nationalist in nature.
What You Can Do
According to Christians Against Christian Nationalism (CACN), an off-shoot of the Baptist Joint Committee, their movement is about speaking out “against Christian nationalism, especially when it inspires acts of violence and intimidation—including vandalism, bomb threats, arson, hate crimes, and attacks on houses of worship,” because when we’re talking about nationalists, we’re talking about a group that tends towards violence. Just note January 6, 2021, where Christian nationalists were insurrecting in abundance.
As CACN noted, Christians of all denominations need to take the first step, since nationalists have taken possession of their name. Actions you can take is to gently confront nationalists, speak-out against those who claim they are Christians but are really just Christian nationalists. Sign the CACN statement. Or, write a letter to the editor decrying the existence of this group of loud, rude Americans.
God wants his good name back! It’s now up to Christians to take the lead.
I hope that normal Christians will act boldly and wisely, because the USA is in big trouble.
Agreed. The USA is already in big trouble, and we all have to depend on Christians to get us out of this nationalist jam.
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I am NOT a Christian nationalist. I am a lover of Jesus, a giver of His good gifts. I am pastoral in nature. I don’t know where you got an idea that I was anything else. I don’t care about anything else, frankly.
I care, Stephen. I didn’t say you were a Christian nationalist. I was simply sharing the post I wrote about it to make you aware. But remember that religion and government do not mix well. Goo’day!
Well, I frankly believe that the Founding Fathers were firmly Christian (and Jewish) and wanted the government seated in Christianity and Judaism. The fact that religion and government do not mix well is something that occurred over a very long period of time. George Washington fought to the death to preserve the right to worship freely and other freedoms.
Let’s face it, the moral face of America has suffered the same fate. I can remember the first time the word “Jackass” was spoken on a sitcom. Then it quickly eroded to “ass.” Gone With the Wind introduced “I don’t give a damn” to film and it was “shocking.” Now TV is full of half naked or actually naked people. What?!!!
Our seat of government has eroded in the very same way. These were wealthy men that risked their lives to worship in any way they chose, and they absolutely positively made sure of it by putting that into the Bill of Rights. That’s been twisted into meaning something entirely different.
We are the melting pot, and so many religions have arrived here and that also complicates the matter.
Okay, I’m up for debating you. Here goes.
First, you contradicted yourself when you said on the one hand that our Founding Fathers “were firmly Christian (and Jewish)” then you say “Washington fought … to preserve the right to worship freely.” Do you believe that Washington was fighting for all religions or just yours?
And, you said it right there, “We are the melting pot, and so many religions have arrived here …” but I don’t agree that it complicates the matter. What complicates the matter are people who think that everyone of the Founding Fathers were god-fearing. That is simply not true.
In addition, with so many religions here in the USA, do you really believe that government should favor one or two religions over all others? No, government should never favor any religion over any another. That would be similar to the Taliban and what it tried to do on the other side of our Earth.
Would you become a Muslim if the government favored that religion? Do you really want a government that favors your religion over all others?
When you say “your religion” I feel like you think it’s s “dirty word.” Are you an atheist?
I don’t consider Christianity a dirty word. I do feel that people who talk like you are expressing that one religion is superior to others and, of course, that’d be “your religion.”
I’m a humanist and belong to the “church” of Humanists of Polk County. https://polkhumanists.org/ What denomination of Christian are you?
I do not subscribe to any denomination. Religion is man putting doctrine over a spiritual relationship. I believe that Jesus loves me and Jesus loves you, more than we could ever humanly comprehend. I believe that God would like it if every single one of His children could go to heaven, but He gave us all free will to choose whether we believe. Further, while many will speak about the 11th hour salvation (death bed salvation, maybe out of fear, or maybe “I just can’t deny Him any longer and I wish I could have done this a long time ago”), I also believe that there is midnight salvation. Midnight salvation is where the spirit leaves the body and comes into contact with Jesus when they see not yet saved. Jesus says in the most loving, caring, gentle and inviting voice, with His beautiful smile and twinkle in His eye, “Would you like to come in?” At that time if there is any good in that spirit they immediately recognize Jesus and exclaim with great joy and relief, “Oh my gosh, it IS you! I believe EVERYTHING! Yes, I do want to come in!! I can’t wait!” or, if there is nothing good in that spirit at all, then out of the wickedness of their heart, without even speaking they tell Jesus, Savior of the world, “I DON’T NEED YOU 🤨, Ha!,” and they are whisked immediately away to hell, where there is much weeping and gnashing of teeth. At that time the spirit begs, only out of their selfishness and fear, to be let into the kingdom of heaven, but, as soon as they would be released from the depths of hell to have relief and have a 2nd opportunity to see Jesus they are no longer suffering and they return to their, “I DON’T NEED YOU 🤨,” position. Because God knows the shallow, evil, emptiness of their heart they are not given that 2nd chance, and in the cruel environment of hell the knowledge that there was another choice makes that hell even worse.
Clearly, you’re an extremist. Go find someone else to save.
In not an extremist. I’m full of love and very pastoral. The people who have been hurt in churches are brought to me by God. I think you just do not have anything to respond because you hear the love. Who else has ever told you that you could get saved AFTER death? If you have a Bible you can look and you will see that no scripture ever says that you must believe before death, only hat you must believe.
It is strange to me that I have shared with you how loving Jesus is to those who did not believe, and how badly God hurts for each child He cannot have.
How could you read these things and call me an extremist. I told you, I am very pastoral in nature. People get encouragement and hope when I speak with them. I do not preach at people, I empathize with them. How is that extreme. I think what is really happening is that you just have no argument because I’m not doing the things you are used to seeing, such as scaring people or making them feel uncomfortable by asking them “if they know where they’re going when they die.” I’m not an extremist, I have more of the love of God for people than most Christians who are constantly judging others.
God is currently placing my wife and I into an impoverished neighborhood in Pol to advocate for the residents.
Your lady comment is what you say she you’ve “got nothin'”
A little cognitive dissonance going on here? You may not know it but you are in fact preaching at me. You’re not “pastoral” at all; you’re simply another evangelical nut case. Oh, and yes, you really are an extremist.
Gramparsteve is Stephen Johnson. I’m new here at WordPress
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