Why Christian nationalism is suddenly front and center


If you were at the center of a religious crusade, do you think you would be able to detect it?

I ask because it is becoming increasingly clear that the United States is under siege by Christian fundamentalists and traditionalists.

Reported text exchanges between Trump’s White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the right-wing activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, gave us a window into the conservative movement’s religious push to remake America in its conservative, Christian image.

The media, for its part, seems more equipped today than in the past to denounce Christian nationalism as the dangerous and theocratic belief system that it is.

As he explored ways to cancel the 2020 election, Meadows reportedly texted Thomas“It’s a fight of good versus evil,” goes on to say, “Evil always looks like the victor until the king of kings triumphs.”

Keep in mind, this was a man who worked to undermine the right to vote of millions of Americans – and in the name of God no less. This gall should not surprise you. We are seeing an exhibition of white Christian nationalism in this country like never before in modern history. And in recent years, we have heard some of the most anti-democratic and violent voices of this movement playing a bigger role in their race for power.

The media, for its part, seems more equipped today than in the past to denounce Christian nationalism as the dangerous and theocratic belief system that it is. On Sunday, the Associated Press published an article titled “Christian nationalism on the rise in some GOP campaigns.” The room focused heavily on Republican nominee for Pennsylvania governor Doug Mastriano, a state senator backed by former President Donald Trump. He supported Trump’s efforts to cancel the 2020 election, calling on God along the way.

Photo Illustration: A dollar bill repeats the motto
Justine Goode; MSNBC/Getty Images

During campaign speech in AprilMastriano said that despite the unsuccessful contestation of the election results, “we have the power of God with us.”

“We have Jesus Christ whom we serve here,” he added. “He guides and directs our steps.”

(I just spoke with God for this post, and they denied being part of Mastriano’s plan. But I digress.)

The AP article examined Mastriano’s Christian nationalist ties, as well as mentioned GOP lawmakers like Reps. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, both of whom have used biblical language at pushing right wing and war talking points.

Other media, such as the Mississippi Free Press, have chronicled the political influence of the Christian Dominionistsa sect of Christian nationalists who believe conservative, Christian and predominantly white groups have a right to claim America.

And last week another right-wing Christian group, the Southern Baptist Convention, was exposed after an investigation, he found evidence of widespread allegations of sexual abuse by clergy. As my colleague Anthea Butler wrote last year, the SBC was deeply involved in Republican politics and looked into Trump during his time in the White House.

This whole exposition serves its purpose, pulling the ugliness of Christian nationalism from the shadows so that it can be seen, publicly, for what it is: oppressive, far-right conservatism wrapped up in scripture.

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