A cross statue and American flag.
Right-wing extremism is on the rise in America. What once accounted for 6% of domestic terrorism accounts now accounts for over one-third.

Prominent Christian leaders are warning their community members to be wary of ‘Christian nationalism’ and its potential to condone white supremacy, encourage racist violence, and ultimately damage America’s constitutional democracy.

“Christian nationalism demands Christianity be privileged by the State and implies that to be a good American, one must be Christian,” read a statement endorsed by nineteen religious leaders from groups including the Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, the Franciscan Action Network, the Episcopal Church, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, to name a few.

“[Christian nationalism] often overlaps with and provides cover for white supremacy and racial subjugation. We reject this damaging political ideology and invite our Christian brothers and sisters to join us in opposing this threat to our faith and to our nation. Conflating religious authority with political authority is idolatrous and often leads to oppression of minorities and other marginalized groups as well as the spiritual impoverishment of religion.”

The strongly-worded statement explicitly says that America has no second-class faiths and demands Christians stand up and speak out against Christian nationalism, “especially when it inspires acts of violence and intimidation-including vandalism, bomb threats, arson, hate crimes, and attacks on houses of worship-against religious communities at home and abroad.”

Nationalism Moves to the Mainstream

White evangelical Protestants have become the poster children for this more politicized strain of Christianity in recent years. Indeed, Christian American exceptionalism is a belief that has gone from the fringe to the political mainstream recently. From beliefs that America brings about its own violence and misfortune by not allowing prayer in school to the belief that gun ownership is a God-given American birthright, the language of Christian nationalism is increasingly being invoked in defense of socially conservative causes. Evangelicals’ fervor for a more Christian nation was made perfectly clear in the 2016 election, where they supported Donald Trump at a whopping rate of 77%.

So while Red Letter Christian found Tony Campolo may insist “the true Jesus is neither a Republican nor a Democrat,” it’s clear that an increasing number of evangelicals disagree.

Religious Extremism on the Rise

What’s wrong with Christians veering further to the right?

Well, researchers at the University of Maryland who analyzed the Global Terrorism Database reported that 2017 showed a “sharp increase” in the share of attacks by right-wing extremists, from 6% in the 2000s to 35% in the 2010s. The share of attacks by religious extremists also increased between those two decades, from 9% to 53%. Another study published in the Sociology of Religion found that “Christian nationalism can serve as an ethno-nationalist symbolic boundary portraying nonwhites and Muslims as threatening cultural outsiders. Indeed… we would expect Trump support, Christian nationalism, and Islamophobia to be closely related.”

The University of Maryland study defined “right-wing extremism” as “violence in support of the belief that personal and/or national way of life is under attack and is either already lost or that the threat is imminent.” It includes anti-globalism, white supremacy, and nationalism. The same study found a precipitous drop in left-wing and environmental terrorism over the same time period, from 64% of the share of terrorist attacks in the 2000s to only 12% in the 2010s.

When Quartz studied that same database, it found right-wing extremists committed most attacks in the US: in fact, 37 of the 65 total incidents in 2017 were tied to racist, anti-Muslim, homophobic, anti-Semitic, fascist, anti-government, or xenophobic motivations, including neo-Nazi extremist James Field’s attack against a crowd of counter-protesters in Charlottesville; attacks against a gay bar in Puerto Rico; mosques in Washington, Texas and Florida, and a vehicle decorated with Jewish iconography in New York. Islamic extremism accounted for only seven attacks in the same period.

As white nationalist and Christian nationalist language increasingly make their way into the public discourse, some Christian leaders are decrying a trend they see as worrying.

What are your thoughts? Is Christian nationalism the slippery slope to dangerous radicalization that the statement sponsors seem to think it is?

36 comments

  1. Joe says:

    So kiss my white Christian USA lov’in a**

    1. Don says:

      Do you kiss Jesus’s brown a** with that mouth?

      1. Joe says:

        I type with my finger.
        Any bigot that calls me a “white supremacists for my color beliefs or love of country can get my middle finger as well.

        1. Rev. Brien says:

          I have a finger too you freakin nazi, and I would be happy to shove it in your face. You are the same type of nutcase, just in a different wrapper.

          1. Joe says:

            Congratulations you’re the first bigot in line!

    2. Carl Elfstrom says:

      I bet Jesus misses the way his gay apostles used to kiss his.

      1. Carl Elfstrom says:

        Let’s crucify the American Nazis, in the name of Jesus!

    3. Carl Elfstrom says:

      I’m not a christian, but at least I look like a white boy, and stand for the national anthem. However, I’m getting most of my groceries from Amazon now, so I won’t have to go to the store more than once or twice a month. How can I be sure they only hit what they aim at. That’s alright, I enjoy the solitude. Ofcourse, I couldn’t live without my android phone.

      1. Joe says:

        Get your at ready for home Invaders!

  2. Lionheart says:

    Religion could well be the root cause for the death of this world.

    🦁❤️

    1. Joe says:

      Funny that you think that since religion has a lot to do with our getting this far.
      My money is on the time when we run out of fossle fuel. Renewables will only support around one tenth of the current population. There may be no survivors of the battle that ensues.

      1. Lionheart says:

        According to Wikipedia, of the 1763 known recorded conflicts throughout history 123 have religion as the cause, so, many people have died and didn’t get this far.

        Now that some radical religious countries are close to having nuclear capabilities, the next war could be the last the earth will see.

        🦁❤️

        1. John A Anderson, CD, CIF Mons ON says:

          Close?? Some already have that ability.

        2. Joe says:

          So 93% non religious wars. Radical religion is more radical than religious.
          True some nut with a nuke could do big damage. The difference post fossle fuel is that rebuilding will be less if at all possible.

      2. Carl Elfstrom says:

        We could always mount windmills to our cars and houses.

    2. Carl Elfstrom says:

      I can’t imagine this planet “dying” for millions of years, and many civilizations will rise and fall before then, although it might take a while for the air to clear before the next one gets started.

    3. Carl Elfstrom says:

      Directortice is starting to sound a little like flugo, who closely resembled Bob Fleutsch. When one disappears, another one shows up. Who will he be next?

  3. Liz Dix says:

    My Good and Loving Creator is not a wrathful, unapproarchable, exclusionary Diety.
    God (dess) of Love and Light, make me an instrument of your Divine Love: where there is hate, let me share love, where there is bitterness, let me show the Sweetness of your Love.
    Where there are Fools so blinded by hate of darkness and despair. Lend me your strength and courage to stand for the right of Love and Light ! So let it be So might it be!! So let it always be !!!

    1. Lionheart says:

      Your good and loving creator is indeed very wrathful, hence the mythical genocidal flooding of the earth, and his killing of the first born infants due to his wrath with Pharaoh, just to mention two occasions where death is involved at his hands.

      🦁❤️

    2. Carl Elfstrom says:

      Let it be. Let it be. Let it be. Let it be. There will be an answer. Let it be. Now would you like to hear me sing Imagine?

      1. Joe says:

        Yes
        Imagine
        No country
        No possessions
        No religion
        Pure Socialist/Communist doctrine.
        The left wing Democrats and their cohorts in the liberal media are promoting hate and fear to further their cause.

  4. John A Anderson, CD, CIF Mons ON says:

    extremism of ANY stripe, whether Klan, WBC, Wahabi, or Volk, is problematic, for that way leads to increased fear and hatred.Those then lead to the idea that we must attack that which is different, and then, that which is outside our borders. If we don’t learn from what happened in Germany in the 1930’s, it WILL happen again.

    1. Carl Elfstrom says:

      I’ve heard that the Cosa Nostra is a very nice family organization. Just don’t cross the family, or you’ll have to go sleep with the fishes.

  5. Liz Dix says:

    One of my latest Facebook timelines…..
    🎶🎶 “won’t be any trumpets blowing come the judgement day”
    💂👮💪💣🔪🔧🔨🔩🚀✈💧☔🃏💔👣 when new tin soldiers crawl away !!

    1. Liz Dix says:

      Should have read no t I n soldiers crawl away!!!

      1. Carl Elfstrom says:

        Do those tin soldiers have keys in their backs that need to be twisted in order for them to function? Wouldn’t it be better to use robotic sex dolls in military uniforms. Just change their programing a little.

  6. William Waugh says:

    What do you expect when your leaders base is a basket of deplorables. Oh yes I did.

  7. Liz Dix says:

    Lionheart: yes as you say the God of the old testament (according to stories past down word of mouth or so) was indeed a vindictive Diety.
    But if you take the time to read between the pages, God was wrathful 3 times
    Kicking Adam and Eve to the curb, dumping tons of salt on Lot’s wife and environs, and the Great Flood. When that Same God as much as we known made us exactly as before.
    So was the destruction caused from our failure to LOVE AS For directed or by a returning child?

    1. Lionheart says:

      Well, I only mentioned two, so lets include his infanticide, and add to that his approval of slavery, plus his decision to stone people to death, one for picking up sticks on the Sabbath.

      So, was our failure to love the reason? I doubt those who died at his hand, and directive, and also slaves would agree.

      🦁❤️

      1. Lori says:

        And then there was the apostles story where a husband and wife were killed for holding back money from them, Nice picture of who god is.

  8. Carl Elfstrom says:

    Do you think God eats popcorn while he’s watching the show?

  9. Liz Dix says:

    You do it course realize that is (was) valuable human beings, with religious -socially – political tendencies that have (and do still), tell us these things. And perhaps the God of the Old Testament, abdicated when Christ was born.
    And too perhaps some of the ancient philosophers are not wrong, when then spoke about Gods, crashing their strengths and energies from our belief in them.
    However; the case might be: My CREATOR is a God (dess) of All things bright and beautiful.

  10. Lynn Gideon says:

    I don’t think people know what a Nationalist really is? Nationalism is for our constitutional rights!

  11. directortice says:

    I’m reading Isaiah now… I post a daily Bible Study and this is the posting from today….. https://forums.somd.com/forums/religion.30/

    I use to go to a Bible study that was hosted by a preacher’s mother. A few women…. whom I respected as Christians…. would meet in her home once a week. I had to stop attending…. as a matter of fact…. that’s the first time I ever felt the need to walk out of a Bible study.

    When they sprayed the children with pepper spray….. that cut it for me…. ripping the babies out of the arms of “criminals”…. that’s cause for concern…. and I wanted to know more…. but when they sprayed the babies with pepper spray…. that was too much…. and when I said something in my Bible study about how cruel I thought it was…. I learned the true nature of the women I thought were “good” Christians.

    The preacher’s mom had an abortion…. hail Molech…..
    It was ok to spray the babies with pepper spray…. they were breaking the law…. hail Ceaser

    Now…. I can see how this all came about….. I use to listen to WAVA radio in Washington DC…. so I can see how my “good” friends might have been indoctrinated…. whatever the preacher says must be right…. after all he’s read the book.

    Humans have gotten too full of themselves…. IMHO…. and this is just one more sign….

    We need to ask for forgiveness….. we need to take care of our children… all children…. and homeless…. and needy…. and sick….

    IMHO…. we’re at this point because humans have gotten too bigheaded…. and now our church leaders and our government leaders are no better than the pharisees and sadducees of the days of Jesus.

    Pepper spraying babies is just like rubbing hotsauce in their eyes….. Mothers…. look at this…. Fathers…. look at this….

    Remember…. Jesus loved children…..

  12. Carl Elfstrom says:

    Good for you, Directortice. You gather up all those poor, homeless, sickos, and take them home with you. And please start with the ones in my neighborhood. And the crack whores, too. They’ll appreciate you respecting them, which is something they’ll never get from me. And however you hep them you can do it in the name of Jesus. And they’ll act like they’re very appreciative of all of your assistance. Some of them will undoubtedly help you get to Heaven a lot sooner than you expected, and then we won’t ever hear your silly BS on this blog again. So, please, go for the gusto!!!

  13. John Owens says:

    This is all preventive paranoid conspiracy theory on the part of the Left, trying to silence those against socialism by pretending this farce.

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