We Can’t Pray Away Christian Nationalism. We’ve Got to Vote it Out (Published by Newsweek)
As ordained Christian ministers, we have been distressed to see Christian nationalism increasingly normalized. For years, we’ve heard leaders in the Religious Right pine for greater power and influence in our politics. Now, emboldened by the Trump years, whispers have turned to shouts. Alarmingly, the loudest voices praising Christian nationalism have been elected members of Congress.
What I and other religious leaders involved in political work know is that Christian nationalism is a threat to democracy, especially at the state level.
Christian nationalism melds Christian and American identities, distorting both in the process. Christian nationalism expects that Christianity will be given a place of privilege by the State. It tells people that to be a good American, one must be a Christian. Far too often, it is deeply intertwined with white supremacy and patriarchy.
At its most basic essence, Christian nationalism proclaims that the United States is a “Christian nation,” even though this country was founded on a guarantee of inalienable rights for all people — regardless of religion or lack of religion — although not fully realized then or now. Christian nationalism isn’t the only option for people of faith who want to engage in our civic life. An elected leader can have personal faith without turning the State into a church.