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The Unholy Alliance: Donald Trump & "Christian Nationalism"

There is quite a bit of research now concerning Americans who identify as "Christian Nationalists," generally those that believe that the United States is 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."

The Supreme Court's opinion legalizing gay marriage was the catalyst for their most recent political eruption, but their philosophy can be traced back to earlier Christian nationalist groups that opposed the New Deal, desegregation, the ban on prayer in public schools, interracial marriage, the Equal Rights Amendment, Roe V Wade, and the teaching of evolution.

Donald Trump energized this group in 2016 with his immigration policies, proposed Muslim ban, extreme anti-abortion positions, and race-baiting rhetoric. In return, he was rewarded with overwhelming support at the polls, despite his well publicized moral and ethical lapses. "Donald Trump’s presidency coincided with the emergence of a fiery American nationalism fed by a strain of conservative Christianity and a sense of white racial and cultural superiority." ...
The Print: "The Trump administration and their Christian supporters promote a form of Christianity that scholars call “Christian nationalism.” That’s an ideology that isn’t just about religion, but “includes assumptions of nativism, white supremacy, patriarchy and heteronormativity, along with divine sanction for authoritarian control and militarism,” according to sociologists Andrew Whitehead and Samuel Perry."
Washington Post: "Sociologist Samuel Perry, co-author of the new book “Taking America Back for God,” says no other factor better predicts a vote for Trump than adherence to a Christian nationalist ideology. Poll data shows it is also a stronger predictor of Americans’ attitudes about race, gender, Islam, family/sexuality issues and mask-wearing than traditional political ideology."

And, if you are looking for some folks that actually believe Trump's insane voter fraud claims, this is the group.

New York Times: Even as prominent Republican figures like George W. Bush and Mitt Romney slowly tried to nudge Mr. Trump toward the exit, leaders of the religious right continued to man the barricades. The conservative speaker and Falkirk Center fellow David Harris Jr. put it this way:

If you’re a believer, and you believe God appointed Donald J. Trump to run this country, to lead this country, and you believe as I do that he will be re-elected the President of the United States, then friends, you’ve got to guard your heart, you’ve got to guard your peace. Right now we are at war.

Once Joe Biden is inaugurated in January most Americans will make piece with the transition of power, but don't expect Christian nationalists to accept the results and seek compromise.

The Conversationalist: "On prosperity gospel televangelist Kenneth Copeland’s Victory Channel, for example, evangelist Mario Murillo declared, “I will never believe that Joe Biden is the president of the United States.” Invoking the language of spiritual warfare, Murillo called on Christians to “rebuke” the election results and described the role of the church in current events as “supernatural.”
“Our role is to command the strongholds to come down,” Murillo exclaimed, referring to the charismatic Christian notion that demonic “principalities and powers” can be defeated through prayer."

The Christian nationalist narrative of the 2020 election will be of a “stolen election” and they will join with Republicans in Congress to obstruct progressive initiatives that they will label as illegitimate. Their focus will be on the restoration of Donald Trump or the candidate he anoints.

Further reading: The Wash. Post has an interesting and somewhat disturbing piece here about so-called "Patriot Churches" popping up around the country.

Philip Gorski, a professor of sociology and religious studies at Yale University recently published a piece titled "Revisited: Why do evangelicals vote for Trump" that explains the Christian Nationalist movement, or what he calls "Christianism."

An excerpt: "The narrative of apocalypse likewise binds together a number of seemingly disparate elements of Trumpism: fears of economic decline, terrorist attacks, and cultural transformation, amongst others. For Trump, though, the source of the danger is not sin but “weakness.” And so, it’s solution is not the return of the “unblemished lamb” bedecked in white robes, but the election of a “winner” all garbed in bespoke. As one commentator quipped, Trump is not running for President; he’s running for God." ...
"In short, the affinity is not really between Trump and Christianity—it’s between Trumpism and Christianism. By Christianism, I mean Christianity as a political identity denuded of ethical content. Trumpism is a Christianist version of political theology."

#news #opinion #Trump #Religion

By: Don Lam & Curated Content

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