A roundtable examines Christian nationalism in the United States

Columnist Scott Reeder writes that Christian nationalism is entering the mainstream of political discourse. What do you think of Christian nationalism?

David Amor, Knox County Council District 2

Creating a state religion would destroy democracy

Christian nationalism is not really about Christianity, it is about the secular domination of a social order where the superiority of whiteness, patriarchy and heterosexuality was taken for granted. A particular and narrow reading of Christianity served, in part, to justify this social order. In the second half of the 20th century, through economic expansion, civil rights, feminism, and other changes, the fusion of these elements began to separate, become visible, and be questioned.

For millions of people who took this social order for granted, it has been a frightening prospect. The result was the “culture wars,” as both the demand for change and the ferocity of resistance grew stronger. Armed with politics, advertising, and social media, voices have become increasingly extreme, and fringe ideas like compulsory “Christianity” (including, of course, whiteness, patriarchy, and heterosexuality) are gaining traction. wider audience. But make no mistake, making Christianity the state religion would not put the genius for social change back in the bottle. Instead, it would destroy America. A state religion is profoundly antithetical to the values ​​of the United States, explicitly prohibited in the First Amendment to the Constitution. And its creation would destroy democracy and lead inexorably to authoritarian rule. —David Amor

After:Scott Reeder’s column on Christian nationalism

Harry Boulkeley

Critics tag all Trump supporters, conservatives with this term

Before I begin, please define for me what a Christian is. Is it a Roman Catholic whose church teaches that abortion is sinful or is it a Congregational church that supports abortion on demand? Is it a Southern Baptist who doesn’t allow female pastors or an Episcopalian who ordained the first transgender woman as a priest at the National Cathedral?

Using words like “Christian nationalism” conveniently omits a clear definition of what it is. For critics, all Trump supporters and conservative Christians are derisively branded with the term. Many who support the idea see it as simply an adherence to long-standing Judeo-Christian teachings in public life. Without a precise definition, there is no point in debating the question.

I believe that Congress should make no law concerning the establishment of a religion or prohibiting the free exercise of it.

Many secular beliefs about reproductive rights and gender identity have become a religion for their followers. I also oppose the imposition of their religious beliefs on the public. —Harry Bulkley

Jeannette Chernin

These people are using the Bible to twist morals

It’s easy to answer what I think of Christian nationalism: I completely disagree with its existence because of the First Amendment to the US Constitution. There is a separation of Church and State. This amendment aims to prevent the government from interfering with churches and to keep religion out of government. Religion should not be politicized although it is becoming more so day by day. The influence of religion on politics today cannot be denied.

One of the major problems with Christian nationalism is that it excludes any religion that is not a Christian religion. Christian nationalists want the United States to be an exclusively Christian nation. This is inherently wrong. These people use the Bible to twist morality to fit their standards. In my opinion, this is a terrifying group of extremists that can be compared to white supremacists. —Jeannette Chernin

After:Jody Breuer: Employers want consistency; employees want time off from work

Guillaume Urban

The term “Christian nationalism” inflames more than it explains

I have read Scott Reeder for years and respect his insights and experience. So my first reaction was that the Pilgrims and Puritans surely left England with the intention of establishing Christian republics in the desert. Then I realized that he was mainly referring to the years 1774-1789.

He was there on solid ground. Although the Constitution-drafting sessions opened with prayers and references to the Almighty, the delegates were careful not to give preference to any of the sects that made up American Christianity, a sentiment that was powerfully reinforced in the first amendment.

As for Christian nationalism, I don’t know anyone who professes this belief. However, it is easy to see why some Christians feel their values ​​are under attack and why secular people feel the same way.

One of the reasons our society is divided is that terms like “Christian nationalism” inflame more than they explain. —William Urban

John Hunigan

Type of faith adopted by Rep. Green steeped in hate

At a town hall in October 2020, Donald Trump said it was entirely possible that the Democrats, his enemies, were Satan-worshipping pedophiles. In April 2021, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene proposed forming a new political caucus based on Anglo-Saxon and Christian ideals. The backfire was immediate and the idea was dropped. Fast forward to August 2022. During an interview, she decried that the United States was founded on Christian principles and she proudly identified herself as a Christian nationalist. The political movement of Christian nationalism, based on racism and anti-Semitism, has existed since the 1950s. Our country’s founders were explicit in their writings that the United States is not, and should not be, founded on any particular religion. The religious right rejoiced when Roe vs. Wade was upset, but recent primaries and elections show pro-choice voters are responding to it as excess and an attack on basic human freedoms. The type of faith that Greene and others are trying to promote is steeped in hatred and bigotry, which is contrary to basic Christian principles. —John Hunigan

After:Roundtable: Is the current inflation President Biden’s fault

Charlie Gruner

Supreme Court decision ‘a huge victory for religious freedom’

Full disclosure: My wife and most of my family members are Christians. I am, by choice, Jewish. The majority of our country’s founders and the general populace are and have been members of Christian churches, but the Bill of Rights is very specific about keeping government out of religion: “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion…”

Scott Reeder, in his article, misses the last part of this statement: “…or by prohibiting free exercise”; His article criticizes U.S. Representative Mary Miller for calling the Supreme Court’s decision “a huge victory for religious freedom…”. Representative Miller was absolutely right! After years of court rulings against expressions of religion in the public square, but supporting the RELIGION of atheism, Coach Kennedy can pray after his games, on the field; not requiring others to join. —Charlie Gruner

Stephen Podwojski

Religion often used to convey a political or social belief

This country was founded on Christian values, which to me makes some of the opinions of the founding fathers suspect. Why? Because religion is often a sword in the hand of a fanatic. This belief in Christian nationalism is not new. He has sifted through this nation since the inception of this country. You can call it Christian nationalism, but I would call it confirmation bias and propaganda. Southern states used the Bible to wrongly conceptualize the “curse of Ham” to endorse black people as slaves. The Confederacy also used other biblical passages to justify slavery.

Every time you put “It’s God’s Will” in front of a propaganda movement — the religious sycophants will follow. And in this country, Christianity has often been used to quickly transmit political and social belief. Andrew Jackson was noted for exterminating, isolating, and reducing the Native American population to ensure that “under the protection of government and the influence of good counsel, cast off their savage habits, and become an interesting, civilized, and Christian community” . We believe in God.” The best example of this latter religious zeal was Congresswoman Lauren Boebert’s speech that “The church is supposed to run the government. The government is not supposed to run the church. It’s not how our founding fathers intended it.” Call it what you will. It reeks of manifest destiny. —Stephen Podwojski

The Community Roundtable takes place every Sunday and is made up of local writers. Community writers answer one question each week in 150 words or less.

Comments are closed.