Devout Christians: Will The Real Christians Cave to the Christian Nationalist.




( Christian nationalism was perceived as a fringe perspective for decades. However, today, it seems to have gained traction in American politics. According to a survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Brookings Institution, this particularly holds true in the context of the Republican Party.

According to the study, over 50% of Republicans are of the belief that this country must be transformed into a Christian nation, with 21% stating that people must align with the belief system of Christian nationalism, and 33% sympathize with such perspectives.

For several years, the religious world was a subject of severe scrutiny by PRRI’s founder and president – Robert P. Jones. In recent times, Christian nationalism in particular became a topic of discussion for Jones and his team.

He explained that they noticed an increase in the usage of the phrase ‘Christian nationalism’ in political paradigms, not merely by democrats or republicans but also by journalists and general media.

Simply put, Christian nationalism is a perspective that argues that the laws of the USA must be based on Christian ideals since America is a Christian country. Although this was initially only the perspective of white evangelical areas, Republicans have also begun to propagate this view.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. recently stated in an interview that there is a need for party leaders to respond more proactively to respond to the party’s base, which according to her is rooted in Christian values.

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She further stated that their party must be associated with nationalism and proudly be renowned as Christian nationalists.

Furthermore, Jones stated that it is currently challenging to gauge the extent of Christian nationalism across the Republican Party.

Although there is some data available, he believes it is important to truly quantify the term’s significance and the number of American citizens who associate with it. In particular, he is in pursuit of a nuanced perspective to understand the extent of strict adherents and mere sympathizers.

According to Jones, this is only the initial stage of their effort to gauge how widespread these views are in America, and gradually, it may become possible to determine if these ideas are spreading or declining.

On a broad spectrum, Americans don’t seem to adhere to Christian nationalism

Although there seem to be many Republicans who either adhere to these views or sympathize with them on some level, the ideas of Christian nationalism seem to be spread only across a small minority.

The PRRI/Brookings study disclosed that while merely 10% of Americans perceive or identify themselves as adherents of the ideals of Christian nationalism, this number rises to 19% when it comes to sympathizers.

Moreover, a Calvin University history professor – Kristin Kobes Du Mez – stated that this idea is not completely new, however.

She explained that these are ideas that have been quite prevalent in America for decades, and they took center stage especially when the Christian Right became prominent in the 1970s.

She also stated that the changing demographics are contributing to these perceptions, along with generational and cultural changes across the country. Since there seems to be a shift in the demography away from white groups and Christians, there is an increase in the desire to retain political and cultural power among these groups.

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The survey also revealed that among adherents of Christian nationalism and sympathizers, around 50% and 4 out of 10 people, respectively, are proponents of employing authoritarian leadership to retain Christian ideals in the country.

Du Mez stated that this demonstrates a sense of antidemocratic ideals and since over 50% of a particular party seems to be dedicated to the values of Christian nationalism, it can be easy to determine whether the country can attain bipartisan agreement across various issues.

There were also correlations identified between people with perspectives of Christian nationalism and those who hold anti-immigrant, anti-Black, anti-Muslim, antisemitic, and sexist perceptions.

It may be necessary for Republicans to confront ideology across ranks

Most Christian nationalists, both sympathizers, and adherents – seem to either strongly agree or at least agree with the idea that they must reside in a nation that is primarily home to Christians.

New Evangelicals’ founder Tim Whitaker grew up in the church and now struggles to separate these kinds of views from evangelism.

He stated that Christian nationalism typically tends to deny pluralistic ideas, as demonstrated in this study. He also believes these ideas may be consistently rejected by Americans when they encounter them. However, he does express concerns over the increasing extent of such perspectives across the Republican Party.

He explained that the adherents usually illustrate militant ideas, including the belief that God put them there to rule their country. Thus, they perceive compromise as a weakness and there is a need for the GOP to better comprehend their counterparts.

The survey also revealed that Christian nationalists are willing to go to extreme lengths if they are convinced that such measures can help them implement their visions pertaining to the country. Jones stated that adherents are usually comfortable with exerting violence to “save” their country and perceive it as patriotism.

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However, it is important to point out that this does not define every individual, but a considerable part of the country that is ready to openly criticize both democracy and pluralism. Moreover, they are also ready to turn to violence and kill others to adhere to their belief system and this should never become reality today.

Staff Writer; Stanley G. Buford

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