Christian Leaders Warn against ‘Christian Nationalism’ and its Merger with White Supremacy

by Pitt Griffin on August 15, 2019 · 0 comments

in Politics, Religion

A group of 17 Christan church leaders under the banner of ‘Christians Against Christian Nationalism’ have issued an official statement. It condemns the Christian Right’s constant attacks on other faiths and their efforts to bring about a Christian fundamentalist theocracy in the United States. 

Their warning is clear: “Christian nationalism provides cover for white supremacy and racial subjugation.” Adding that it goes hand in hand with white nationalism. 

The group points out that the Constitution — the foundation of American law (the only one that counts) — makes it clear that: “Whether we worship at a church, mosque, synagogue or temple, America has no second-class faiths. All are equal under the U.S. Constitution.”

Too often we hear from the reactionary religious right that America was founded as a ‘Judeo-Christian nation’. This historical rewrite will come as a hell of a surprise to generations of Jews who were locked out of the best schools, country clubs, and professional firms by these very same sanctimonious gits. 

Anyone who has read the New Testament — that’s the Christian bit — knows Jesus was silent on the virtues of America, and of nationalism in general. The Bible overall has one ‘chosen people’ — the Jews – and the only ‘promised land’ was Israel. The teaming amalgam of race, creed, color, and nationality that became the United States was terra incognita to the Divine Son – and left unmentioned by his Father.

America’s history with Christianity has been a mixed bag. To many, it has provided sustenance, structure, strength, and solace. But for a few rapine opportunists, it has ‘proved’ the ‘legality’ of slavery and justified the meanest treatment of minorities. It was core to the KKK and the symbols of fundamentalist Christianity march goose-step, hand-in-hand, with neo-Nazi iconography.

The religious right may be politically and eschatologically one with Zion, but their philosophy is a veneer over their anti-Semitism. And as for other minorities, the conservative evangelical, pro-America crusaders make no secret of their scorn for these ‘lesser’ breeds.

On the one hand, they may decry the violence visited upon Christians in the Middle-East, Africa, and Western Asia. But on the other hand, they visit violence and casual cruelty on the good Christians escaping persecution in Central America.

Even other Christian Americans, be they black or brown, gay or mainstream or some combination are disdained. These Christian absolutists scorn liberal Christians as socialist and unpatriotic – and paint them as haters of America.

Take Erick Erickson. This evangelical philosopher and bosom buddy of Mike Pence tweeted scorn at Pete Buttigieg — not for being gay — but for being a lightweight Christian saying :

Erick Erickson @EWErickson

The  Episcopal Church is the American offshoot of the Anglican Church formed after the American Revolution by Anglian priests who would no longer swear allegiance to George III. Its roots go back to 1534. So why does Erickson sneer at it?

In all likelihood, because it is too Christlike — by which I mean too liberal. The Church is against the death penalty. It supported civil rights and affirmative action. It is pro-gay marriage and has liturgies to bless such unions. It is behind full legal equality for LGBTQ people and ordains women and gays.

This kind of acceptance of people as God made them is not going to impress an all-American bigot such as Erickson. In his mind, a deep and serious understanding of Christianity requires a whip — whether it be actual or metaphorical.

For Erickson and the rest of the evangelical crowd, religion is no more than a power grab. Jerry Falwell got the political ball rolling with the creation of the Moral Majority. This merry band of sinners backed the completely irreligious and divorced (back when that was still shocking) Ronald Reagan. They rode ‘states rights’ and other dog whistles to preeminence.

Jimmy Carter, a man of profound faith, was deemed insufficiently antagonistic to enough people to pass their muster.

Fast forward to 2016, and the next generation of expedient ‘Christians’ threw their lot in with a man so wholly lacking in Christianity that their hypocrisy was laid bare, visible to all. But the conservative evangelicals had met their soul-mate in shamelessness. And in a devil’s pact, they gave him the votes to enthroned him as their conduit to power.

Are 17 religious leaders going to make a difference? I don’t know. Jesus only had 12 disciples. The leaders of the National Cathedral in DC have added their voice  And there are millions of Americans who, if they vote in 2020, can scour this stain off America’s soul.  

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