Recently I read an article related to the term “Christian Nationalist.” It seems that … “A year ago, calling someone a Christian nationalist was an insult.”
In fact, after the debacle of January 6th, when rioters spoke of their cause as a religious crusade and wielded crosses and bibles and banners with scripture, many pastors pushed back on any suggestion that the actions were related to Christian Nationalism.
Some even remarked that linking the term to American evangelical Christianity was “deeply dangerous,” and one leader claimed it was an unfair “accusation.”
Oh how times have changed.
In June, this same leader commented thus: “We have the left routinely speaking of me and of others as Christian nationalists, as if we’re supposed to be running from that.” He then added: “I’m not about to run from that.”
He is not alone. As many are aware, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene declared in a Tweet: “I am being attacked by the godless left because I said I’m a proud Christian nationalist.” (My emphasis.)
We also hear such remarks as: “This is just a tactic on the part of liberals and the left to smear good, patriotic, and godly Americans.” and “Christian nationalism is what we’re supposed to do.” (My emphasis.)
What has become a concern is that those who affirm the label are becoming more radicalized, more militant, and more open about it, claiming that if this is who they are, they’re going to embrace it.
“Christian Nationalism” is actually an academic term that encompasses different degrees of intensity. It includes the more harmless, everyday God-and-country white evangelicals who believe politicians and courts should eliminate barriers separating church and state, but it also identifies the violent extremists willing to tear down democratic processes to bring about their vision of a white Christian nation.
Several Republican individuals currently vying for positions in the government do support and promote the idea of Christian Nationalism; however, due to its negative connotations, they are now using the term, “Christo-fascism” when referring to the violent, extremist form of Christian nationalism seen during the Jan. 6 insurrection. Essentially, however, it is nothing more than an effort to direct attention away from their support for Trumpian extremism that has become “inextricable from some parts of white evangelical power in America.”
A Yale professor was quoted as saying that “A hallmark of fascism is this idea of regeneration through violence.” So one can’t help but wonder if the terminology even matters because, at the core, it’s the actions that speak the loudest and will determine the end results.