TMP — Christian Nationalism

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off. I know it’s Tuesday, but Paula has specifically stated that our response doesn’t have to be on a Monday.

Today’s peeve will likely prove to be very controversial. But I’m ready for any slings and arrows this post might generate. Because my peeve today is about the Christian Nationalism movement in America.

In case you are not familiar with the Christian Nationalism movement, let me tell you about it. It has very deep roots. It’s a worldview that has been with America since the founding of the country. It’s the notion that America was destined to be a promised land for European Christians. While most Americans today embrace pluralism and reject this anti-democratic claim, majorities of white evangelical Protestants and Republicans remain animated by this vision of a white Christian America.

The basic tenants of Christian Nationalism are:

  • The U.S. government should declare America a Christian nation.
  • U.S. laws should be based on Christian values.
  • If the U.S. moves away from our Christian foundations, we will not have a country anymore.
  • Being Christian is an important part of being truly American.
  • God has called Christians to exercise dominion over all areas of American society.

Sounds pretty extreme, doesn’t it? Do people seriously feel this way? But, according to a Public Religion Research Institute/Brookings Institution survey published last week, nearly two-thirds of white evangelical Protestants either adhere to or are sympathetic to these Christian Nationalists tenants and more than half of all Republicans “harbor a set of extreme beliefs at odds with pluralistic democracy.” And nearly six in ten QAnon believers are also either Christian Nationalism adherents or sympathizers. It seems that Christian Nationalism, a troubling anti-American movement, has now become a major force within the GOP.

The survey asked participants whether they agreed with the statements I listed above, such as “Being Christian is an important part of being truly American” and “God has called Christians to exercise dominion over all areas of American society.” More than half of Republicans responding to the survey either mostly or completely agreed. Worse, seven out of 10 Christian Nationalists agreed with the “great replacement” theory — the belief that immigrants are “invading our country and replacing our cultural and ethnic background.”

Half of the Republicans surveyed agreed that we need a leader “who is willing to break some rules” in order to “set things right,” and 40 percent said that “true patriots” may have to resort to violence.

The promise of America is that it’s a nation where people can come together as equals, where our different views and perspectives can be accepted and do not cause arguments or violence, where we can recognize that, while we are not all the same, we should embrace our differences and bring them together. In America today, there have been many debates on what it means to be American. To be American is to be free to be yourself regardless of your race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or background.

Christian Nationalism is unAmerican. Period. Understand, I’m not saying that Christianity is unAmerican, but the belief that the only way to be a good American is to be a Christian Nationalist most certainly is.

Okay, I’m done with this peeve.

30 thoughts on “TMP — Christian Nationalism

  1. newepicauthor February 21, 2023 / 5:45 pm

    Very informative and it is good to get stuff off of your chest. I am really happy that Paula hosts this Monday peeve.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Carol anne February 21, 2023 / 6:15 pm

    That is crazy that people believe that and act like being a Christian nationalist is the only way!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Paula Light February 21, 2023 / 6:58 pm

    They scare me. Their views are so ugly and intolerant, and this explains why they support/elect liars and con artists as long as those liars and con artists believe or pretend to believe the same…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Marilyn Armstrong February 21, 2023 / 7:14 pm

    I think you’ve gone way beyond “peeve.” It’s a serious issue and I agree with you. I really thought we’d moved past that. Right now, I’m reading a biography of Samuel Adams and his role in creating the America he saw in his mind based on his education and belief in equality and freedom. Those Adams cousins, John and Samuel, really believed that we could become really free, but they both also knew that we could just as easily fail. Reading all this American history has been very enlightening.

    We are as we have always been, but the bad and corrupt parts of us have taken over — as they feared could happen. Before this, I read a lot of English and European history and sort of avoided American history, but I felt that with our world going wacko, maybe it was time to dig in and see where and how we started. To see if I can see how we went from there to now.

    And you know? I can see it. We have done what they feared we would do. We are exactly what they were afraid we would become — as a nation, not as individuals. Yes, there are plenty of good people, but we aren’t a good nation. Huge difference.

    It has given me a lot of food for thought and while I hate where we are and where I fear we are going, at least I’m beginning to see how it happened and to a degree, that if we didn’t develop a much stronger moral sense, where we would inevitably end up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 21, 2023 / 10:15 pm

      I fear that we are headed toward becoming a Christian theocracy unless something can be done to stop the momentum of the white Christian Nationalism movement. But it may already be too late.


      • Marilyn Armstrong February 23, 2023 / 2:38 pm

        As the seas rise and the air gets hotter, I’m pretty sure theocracy will be the least of our problems.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango February 23, 2023 / 9:14 pm

          And that’s supposed to make me feel better? 😉


  5. Jen February 21, 2023 / 7:47 pm

    It’s scary. I don’t know how you can stop them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 21, 2023 / 10:18 pm

      Yes, it is very scary and I don’t know either if it can be stopped.


  6. motiv8n February 21, 2023 / 9:08 pm

    Today’s peeve may be a little more controversial, but it’s still a pretty big one. Thank you for alerting me to this movement. I think there may be an undercurrent of similar beliefs here in Australia as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. donmatthewspoetry February 22, 2023 / 12:41 am

    “Half of the Republicans surveyed agreed that we need a leader “who is willing to break some rules” in order to “set things right,” and 40 percent said that “true patriots” may have to resort to violence.”


    Liked by 1 person

  8. margaret21 February 22, 2023 / 12:54 am

    It’s hard to equate these extreme tenets with what I presume a simple Christian belief might entail. Quite scary.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Marleen February 22, 2023 / 6:04 am

    majorities of white evangelical Protestants and Republicans remain animated by this vision of a white Christian America

    The Catholic point of view controlled from Rome is more global but has additionally found place in America.

    The “Replacement” theorists or occultists are very much about Europe, too, much of the time these days.

    Religious nationalism in a Christian sense comes from the Byzantine period (Putin cynically taps into this.)

    Christians are mostly impulsive about what they believe on a mental level or think they should do and about what they actually do. Most haven’t studied and simply figure somebody’s got this all figured out; there are ministers (priests, reverends, pastors, what have you) after all. Most who think they have studied have no idea or have been convinced that the contradictions don’t matter (or lose their faith and decide the cultural benefits are worth the pretending). Besides, very few people have time to look into meanings and history or to contemplate rather than — while this doesn’t have to be a foregone conclusion — take celebrities/politicians (or their cults) as Paraclete.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Fandango February 22, 2023 / 11:32 am

        The video you attached was unavailable.


          • Fandango February 22, 2023 / 9:38 pm

            Now I can see it, but couldn’t last night.


        • Marleen February 22, 2023 / 12:28 pm

          I was in a hurry to do something else when I posted just above, at 11:35 am. I’d like to say more: Often, lately (compared to not often until recently), my comments don’t show up in any way immediately when I post a comment. Then (haven’t timed an average of how long it takes) the fact that I commented will appear as the expected note in the list of recent comments on the right side of your screen (when I’m on an iPad — and down near the bottom when I’m on my phone per your/the WordPress format). Still, the comment won’t be showing up as an actual comment. Later yet, the comment will finally be available. I might hazard a guess that if I’ve included a video, that could take even more time to work. I hope it’s usable at this point (within the 8:12 am comment).

          Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen February 22, 2023 / 1:18 pm

        Some Brits have taken this song as a Christian nationalisty kind of thing even if not in a dangerous way (and I don’t know if there’s been a really bad way they’ve taken it specifically). Of course, “them” is — some of — us in the early days. If not manifesting toxically (whenever and by whomever), it still should be clarified that Jerusalem isn’t by definition in the most empire-ish place on earth at any given time (to which the English were still trying to hold in Blake’s day). That’s a reason it occurred to me to share the song. But, as it happens, the poem serves as well as an example of needing our cultures to be conversational/conversations.,authority%20in%20church%20and%20state.

        Another product of the radical 1790s is The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Written and etched between 1790 and 1793, Blake’s poem brutally satirizes oppressive authority in church and state.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marleen March 3, 2023 / 6:30 pm

          I have an inordinate amount of curiosity, and ran across this yesterday evening.

          While traditional social darwinists arbitrarily categorized people into groups of races, often as means for justifying colonialism and racism, LaVey focused solely on the merits of the individual, judged upon talent, intelligence, and contribution, rather than pedigree. To LaVey, the post-Nazi era renunciation of social darwinist ideals was an example of “throwing out the baby with the bath water.” Each individual, according to LaVey, is a self-interested animal.

          The individualist social darwinist philosophy is the core of LaVeyan Satanism. LaVey once described his conception of Satanism as “just Ayn Rand’s philosophy with ceremony and ritual added.” ……

          ….. [1]


          .… “No one should be protected from the effects of his own stupidity.” Equality, LaVey proclaimed, “only translates to ‘mediocrity’ and supports the weak at the expense of the strong. Water must be allowed to seek its own level without interference from apologists for incompetence.”

          THE MASSES

          In his disdain for “the masses,” LaVey mirrored the opinions of another of his primary influences, Friedrich Nietzsche, whose message in The Will to Power was that a “declaration of war on the masses by higher men is needed” because “[e]verywhere the mediocre are combining in order to make themselves master.” This view was not entirely radical among the intelligentsia of the late 19th and early 20th centuries who felt themselves displaced from their elevated status as cultural engineers by educational reforms that greatly expanded literacy, and alarmed by unprecedented population growth that gave rise to concerns regarding human quality control. The rising literacy did little to increase the quality of the population, according to this line of thinking, but it did much to diminish the quality of new literature that now attempted to appeal to these “readers who had never before bought books, nor could have read them if they had,” as lamented by George Bernard Shaw, author of Man and Superman, recommended on LaVey’s booklist, in 1879.[2]

          ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


          Liked by 1 person

          • Marleen March 4, 2023 / 3:40 pm

            I no more decided to be an atheist or a Satanist — neither of which I did — due to a teacher, parent, or even a bishop or superintendent not being able to respond meaningfully to the following kind of questions than I would’ve forever eschewed solving a mathematical question with an equation because she/he/they said it was a good idea to take an algebra course but couldn’t figure out a numerical answer to basically a word (or world) problem. I don’t personally see these matters as zero-sum. One is not, for example, a scientific literate for simply rejecting a god or obsessing over dinosaurs.



            The irreconcilable claims regarding human origins which pit science against religion are often apparent even to young children. Dinosaurs [and] Adam and Eve’s early Earth… [seem irreconcilable]. Many non-believers cite their early recognition of this dissonance — and the outrage or unsatisfying evasions they witnessed in religious teachers when this sensitive topic was exposed to inquiry — as their first venture into the critical scrutiny that would lead them to resolute atheism.

            Zealots, of course, fight mightily …[a]ware that [fundamentalism] and Evolution can’t coexist… The cultural war between [literalists] and the scientifically literate has been a defining element of the American social backdrop for generations, a zero-sum war…


            Those who accept evolution also must accept that our moral sense is a byproduct of its blind processes, and it wasn’t long following the publication of On the Origin of Species that philosophers of Evolutionary Morality began to assert overreaching claims for “social Darwinism” that purported to explain human behavior in evolutionary terms. Social Darwinism is [defined as (link) “….] Social Darwinists held that the life of humans in society was a struggle for existence ruled by ‘survival of the fittest,’ a phrase proposed by the British philosopher and scientist [Herbert Spencer (link)].”


            DARWIN AND SATAN

            Anton LeVey, editor of the Book he entitled “The Satanic Bible,” embraced social darwinism as the scientific counterpoint to what he saw as Christianity‘s imposition of a deleterious illusion of altruism.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Marleen March 4, 2023 / 7:15 pm

            In reply to the publication of the Rooster piece [in which Raul Antony, a reverend in the Church of Satan, said The Church of Satan believes in lex talionis … and Trump positions like “might makes right” and that great men should rule lesser] the Church of Satan again publicly asserted its political neutrality. The more one scrutinizes … policy statements, however, their politics seem less neural than contradictory and willfully confusing. LaVey seemed to embrace the confusion that allows the Church of Satan to be all things to all people … writing in an essay entitled ‘A Plan’ from Satan Speaks!, “The only place a rational amalgam of proud… will be found — and championed — will be in the Church of Satan.


            And in regards to the Church of Satan’s “apolitical” stance, [current Church of Satan head Peter Gilmore] reaffirms that Satanism is a personal tool… however… elaborates the societal effects that the “practical application” of the Church of Satan’s philosophy would entail:

            “….. Thus has nature always acted to cleanse and strengthen her children. … We embrace reality and do not try to transform it into some utopia that is contrary to the very fabric of existence. … A meritocracy will replace the practice of such injustices as affirmative action and other programs designed to punish the able and reward the undeserving.”



            Social Darwinism made no appeals to supernatural explanations, but it does appeal to a misguided reductionism… as a social theory it is considered discredited. Not long after Social Darwinism had gained ascendancy in the American philosophical consciousness … it’s fundamental claims regarding the “natural” competitive nature of all biological life began to erode … among academics.

            Author and Historian Susan Jacoby describes Social Darwinism as a relatively “new pseudoscience […], like the ancient pseudoscience… alchemy,” which “used scientific language to mask an essentially unscientific essence.” However, “[w]hile the old pseudosciences defied the laws of nature, the new social pseudosciences — of which social Darwinism turned out to be only the first example — appropriated laws of nature to justify or attack institutions of civilization.”[10]


            We certainly can not disregard LaVey … but ….. If we believe LaVey would have maintained a “faith” in Social Darwinism, the non-cooperative nature of humankind, and Malthusian Theory regardless of the scientific evidence that would come to light against them, [what could his legacy be? Although he] was a product of his time…

            ~ [t]turns out he was wrong.

            { I, myself, don’t cut him such a break as this essay author sort of does —
            nor do I excuse Christian contemporaries promoting the pseudoscience or pseudofaith, particularly if they aren’t misled new recruits or children.

            And I kinda disagree with this:
            There was nothing in Darwinism that inevitably
            made it an apology for competition or force[…]
            The Christian denial of Darwinian “realism” in
            social theory was no less natural, as a human
            reaction, than the harsh logic of the [so-called]
            “scientific school.” Darwinism had from the first
            this duel potentiality; intrinsically it was a neutral
            instrument, capable of supporting opposite ideologies.

            — Hofstadter

            My humble perception is that cooperation is something supra.}

            Liked by 1 person

  10. Taswegian1957 February 23, 2023 / 3:15 am

    This sounds very scary. I think that America appears to be a more religious country than Australia is. A least Americans talk about it more.
    I am not religious at all and although I was taught to respect religious leaders I have to say that in recent years fundamentalist Christians make me feel very uneasy. Or rather hearing their beliefs does. A couple of our recent PM’s have strong Christian beliefs and I found both of them to be very smug and without compassion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 23, 2023 / 1:03 pm

      I have found that those in politics who claim to have strong Christian beliefs lack empathy and compassion.

      Liked by 1 person

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