So about that white Jesus… 🇺🇸
Not sure if we should laugh or cry when we see white Jesus. (No, the historical Jesus was not born in America, and he didn’t have white skin and flowing blond hair.)
So. Here it goes.
What is Christian Nationalism, and why are we talking about it? Our #GETMAD Crusade* continues this month with a little bit of a "holy war" against the injustices of Christianity + Nationalism.
Yeah, we know, those two words together are a pretty sensitive subject in 2022 America. But ultimately (as with all the other topics we discuss as a company) we believe it is better to have open dialogue instead of sweeping things under the rug. We want to explore difficult topics so that we can become better people and a better society.
First, we are not bashing Christianity as a religious choice, or religion in general for that matter. And though we could also focus solely on “nationalism” in general, here in America we are faced predominately with nationalism that is rooted in Christianity, hence the topic Christian Nationalism.
Though the subject of Christian nationalism in America has become more popular the last few years, it’s a mindset that has existed for way longer than that. We chose this topic due to the current polarization of America and the movement of many folks wanting to learn more “why things are the way they are” now. It’s a difficult, nuanced topic for sure.
Basically, Christian nationalism is the belief that there is an ultimate, “God-ordained” way to direct the nation of America. It’s Nationalism, under the guise of Christianity. For example, some of the underlying views that drive this notion of Christian Nationalism are:
~ America was founded as a Christian Nation
~ God has blessed America, or has a special plan for America
~ Manifest Destiny or the Doctrine of Discovery
And people will do whatever it takes to drive these ideas forward, even at the expense of others. This dangerous belief has contributed to atrocities such as slavery, stealing Native lands, inequalities of all kinds, and even the “Purity Culture” of the 90s and beyond.
So we want to explore why this is a problematic view of America. Because, until we can open the door to exploring the “why” behind this reality, we will struggle to change or see real progress as a nation. We’ll look at how it began (the vacuum), what it was (evangelical Christianity’s movement into politics) and the after effects (Purity Culture & more).
To be clear, many people operate in good faith (pun intended) without fully realizing that some of their beliefs or worldview are rooted in this Christian Nationalism. (For example, much of modern Evangelical Christian “end time” eschatology implies these concepts.) So, how do we as humans begin to unpack our understanding of the world enough to be willing to challenge certain ideas that were passed on? What is our goal?
The goal is to see all humans treated with respect and dignity, and given an opportunity to seek life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Whether you’re a Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Atheist, etc (or “deconstructing” your religious upbringing), is our hope that you will come to these resources about Christian Nationalism with an open mind and learn alongside us. Get ready for some fun conversations!
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What others are saying about 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. Christian nationalism gives moral cover for actions, even unseemly ones, taken in pursuit of national or political goals.” – Dr. David W. Scott, Methodist historical researcher
“[Christian nationalism is] the belief that America is God’s chosen nation and must be defended as such.” – Dr. Kristin Kobes Du Mez, author of Jesus and John Wayne
“Christian nationalism is a cultural framework that idealizes and advocates a fusion of Christianity with American civic life. Christian nationalism contends that America has been and should always be distinctively “Christian” from top to bottom – in its self-identity, interpretations of its own history, sacred symbols, cherished values, and public policies – and it aims to keep it that way. But the “Christian” in Christian nationalism is more about identity than religion. It carries with it assumptions about nativism, white supremacy, authoritarianism, patriarchy, and militarism.” – BJC
“Christian nationalism seeks to merge Christian and American identities, distorting both the Christian faith and America’s constitutional democracy. Christian nationalism demands Christianity be privileged by the State and implies that to be a good American, one must be Christian. It often overlaps with and provides cover for white supremacy and racial subjugation.” – Christians against Christian Nationalism
*Our #GETMAD Crusade is a 6 month CONVERSATION surrounding 6 different issues of injustice. We do not have all the answers...nor do the experts that we host on our interviews. But we do hope that you will listen in and join in asking these hard questions with us. Cheers!