I had not heard of the term “Christian nationalism” until I opened my copy of the Dallas Morning News this morning and read a lengthy but remarkably informative essay by Ryan Sanders.
Sanders, a member of the DMN editorial board, says essentially that Christian nationalism is bad for the country. Why? Because in his view the notion takes Christianity and its religious tenets to dangerous new levels.
The essay alludes briefly to the founders’ intent when they formed this government of ours. They wrote the constitutional articles, noting in the preamble that “We the People of the United States” sought to form a “more perfect Union.” It doesn’t mention God, unlike the Declaration of Independence, which refers to our “Creator,” which of course is a reference to a universal God.
The First Amendment to the Constitution lists freedom from several government mandates, the first of those was freedom from government-sanctioned religion; it instructs that “Congress shall make no law” that establishes a state religion.
I am fine with that. Christian nationalists, though, are not fine with it. They believe wrongly that the founders created a religious document when in fact they created a document that was as far from a religious governmental framework that one can get.
I encourage you to take a look at Sanders’s essay.
Sanders writes, for example: Christian nationalism isn’t attracting followers because it’s far-fetched. On the contrary, like all the most dangerous errors, it is attractive because it seems good. It is darkness masquerading as light, like the Apostle Paul warned. In modern parlance, we might say it is truth-adjacent.
The rioters who stormed the Capitol Building on 1/6 exemplified the horror of Christian nationalism. They sought to persuade the rest of us that they were to do God’s work by disrupting the 2020 presidential election certification. My goodness! They were acting at the urging of a defeated president and transferring his message into some twisted form of religious doctrine.
I must rank Christian nationalism among the list of existential threats to the very principles on which this nation came into being.