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New Research; "Christian Nationalism" Tied to Support for Political Violence

There is quite a bit of research right now concerning the rise of a more virulent form of Christian nationalism associated with the election of former President Donald Trump.

Illuminate: ... "Americans who identify as "Christian Nationalists," ... believe that the United States was founded as a white Christian nation that should be governed under a "reactionary" [think old testament] understanding of Christian values. They argue that Christianity and "American exceptionalism" are under attack from those that support LGBT rights, abortion, immigration, the secularization of our laws, and their rather ill-defined notion of "socialism."

Their view of "patriotism" includes pushing back against the idea of America as a melting pot of races, cultures, and religions, and returning to our white Christian roots. And, increasingly in the age of Donald Trump and his acolytes, some Christian nationalists accept that political violence may be necessary to achieve their goals. In a new paper published in the journal Political Behavior, Miles T. Armaly, an assistant professor at the University of Mississippi describes the relationship "The researchers found that support for Christian nationalism was positively associated with increased support for political violence. In other words, those who agreed with statements such as “the federal government should declare the United States a Christian nation” were more likely to agree with statements such as “Violence is sometimes an acceptable way for Americans to express their disagreement with the government” and “The riots at the U.S. Capitol building on January 6th were justified.”

A second report released last week by a group of religious scholars and faith leaders describes in depth how Christian nationalism influenced the attack on the Capital on Jan. 6th.

Religion "Christian nationalism was used to “bolster, justify and intensify the January 6 attack on the Capitol.”

Sociologists Andrew Whitehead and Samuel Perry who provided input on that report also published a piece in Time recently warning about where all this could lead in the future. Among those that they describe as white Ambassadors [white nationalism's true believers], there is a large and growing percentage that appear comfortable with violence to achieve their political goals.

Time: "In our August 2021 survey we found roughly 46% of white Ambassadors agree “there is a storm coming soon that will sweep away elites in power and restore rightful leaders” and 40% agreed things have gotten so far off track in our country that “true American patriots may have to resort to physical violence in order to save our country.” Other polls report similar findings. For example, in their September 2021 survey, the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) found that roughly one third of whites who believe God granted America a special role in human history completely agreed that patriotic violence may be necessary to save the nation. Another poll shows a greater comfort with the use of force to achieve political ends among political conservatives."

And, unsurprisingly, these are the same folks who have “manufactured controversy” over critical race theory in schools, embraced Trump's "stolen election" nonsense, and pushed vaccine conspiracy theories. Their goal is to sow distrust in government in order to empower authoritarians like Trump to take power and restore their vision of a white Christian America.

#news #research #religion

By: Don Lam & Curated Content

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