Broken Faith: What Must Christians Do About the White Nationalists Among Them?Roundup
tags: religion, evangelicalism, White Nationalism, Christian Nationalism
Anthea Butler is Chair of the Department of Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania.
What happens to America after Nov. 8? With the U.S. midterm elections looming, that unrelenting question is uppermost in my mind.
Americans are living through a continuing pandemic, even if some want to pretend it is over. The Jan. 6 insurrection still stains and strains our national discourse. Christians are calling elected officials demons and demonic. Transgender kids are being targeted by laws and policies that deny their humanity. Books are being banned. Reproductive rights are being dismantled. Gun violence continues at an alarming rate across our nation.
Conspiracy theories are rife. Lies are proffered as truths. Christian nationalism threatens our democracy.
Among politicians and religious leaders, there is talk about “moral” issues and the need to protect children, families and society. In reality, what they’ve categorized as protections of things moral are really actions designed to limit democracy, making a mockery of the guarantees that the founders and framers of America wanted.
These manufactured panics mask the real and present danger in our nation of religious authoritarianism achieved through political power. Their limits and restrictions, along with the embrace of dogmatic, unyielding leadership, are priming our 246-year-old experiment in democracy for autocracy.
To make it perfectly, painfully clear, Christians are an active part of dismantling American democracy. This country was not meant to be a theocracy, but the current election cycle and the claims of conservative Christians are driving us closer to one.
Perhaps it is too late to raise a warning flag, but it is critical to understand the components that are capturing some Christians this electoral cycle, and how they are destabilizing democracy. Three major forces have combined to lead us perilously close to disaster: conspiracy theories, racial and historical panics, and the increasing language of spiritual warfare.
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