Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Wednesday, September 20, 2023

"From Evangelical Christianity to Christian Nationalism"

h/t Dave Miller

From Evangelical Christianity to Christian nationalism 

"The evangelical reaction to Trump’s victory pulled back the curtain to reveal an important truth: Many evangelical Christians today, because their religious identity is so infused with politics, particularly the politics of the Republican Party, are worshiping the political religion of Manifest Destiny. There is no distinction between their politics and their religion. They are one and the same. 

They have unknowingly confused the Christian religion with Christian nationalism. In fact, in the last six years, a shocking trend has occurred where there are an increasing number of people who identify as evangelical Christian, but have no connection to the Christian religion itself. Similar to Judaism as a cultural identity, Christianity has become a cultural identity for many who see the United States as the center of their worship. 

Indeed, many evangelical churches are knowingly complicit in cultivating this cultural identity among their followers. They promote a version of Christianity that emphasizes all the elements of Christian nationalism, while deemphasizing any teachings from Jesus that might undercut their very narrow perspective. They will say Jesus was a capitalist, when, in reality, Jesus despised materialism. They will say Jesus desires violence against the enemies of the United States, when, in reality, Jesus was heavily pacifistic. They will say Jesus deplores homosexuality and abortion, when, in reality, he never addressed the subjects at all in the Gospels. 

It’s no coincidence that there is such a high correlation between states that overwhelmingly voted for Trump and states with low educational achievement scores. The states ranked worst in education are the same states where evangelical churches are most likely to preach political religion from the pulpit."



In some Christian denominations, this is considered blasphemy; in non-theism, this is considered lunacy:


“Trump never was a Christian candidate for president. He was a Christian nationalist candidate.”


Dave Miller said...

Here's how deep this runs...

I'm not sure how many folks know that Christianity has a flag. Honestly, until I started serving in Mexico, I never knew that. But once there I started seeing that flag, alongside the Mexican flag in their churches.

Effectively showing the separation of church and state.

Here in the US, now that I know what I'm looking for, I do in fact, see a few Christian flags in churches. But I see way more American flags in logos, alongside the cross, on the platform up front and flowing behind projected words on screens while ppl sing.

It used to be that Christians ridiculed the Jehovah's Witness folks because they refused to celebrate holidays, claiming such celebrations led to ppl honoring country and idols more than God and Jesus.

Now I think they might have been right all along.

This isn't a problem in every church. But if people do not think this is a real issue for conservative Christianity, they're not paying attention.

Les Carpenter said...

Both the Evangelical Christian religion and the conservative ideology are about control. One is centeted on controlling mind and spirit through words and beliefs while the other is about controling the same through force as well. Soon the Evangelical Christian Nationalists will become unrecognizable apart from American nationalistic fascism.

Germany and Adolph Hitler is the reference example. tRump's Nationalistic Fsscism is pne abd the same.

Mike said...

The dumbass grins on their faces just proves how stupid they are.

Les Carpenter said...

There is no knowledge they are stupid per se, but it is fairly clear their minds have become obscured, deluded, and ignorant. Stupidity and ignorance are not synonymous.

-FJ the Dangerous and Extreme MAGA Jew said...

How DARE anyone oppose OUR secular Left wing ACTVISM!!!! Especially "evangelicals". They must think they're some kind of UNIVERSITY ACTVISTS! But are they CREDENTIALED? Do they have DEGREES?

Les Carpenter said...

Oh well FJ, truth will always prevail over lies, deceit, and conspiracy. Get ready for when the entire tRump MAGA hoax collapses entirely and tRump is eating prison food and blaming everyone but himself for his colossal failures.

Grey One talks sass said...

Are you OK -FJ? Who hurt you so badly that this is what you do with your life - ramble incoherently adding nothing to the discourse and making it appear that you aren't quite stable.

I worry about you -FJ, I really do. Moreso I worry for the humans in your life but that's who I am. I care about others. Seems to be a good idea.

I guess you are who you are - a willfully horrible person who believes when they stand before their deity that their ends justifies the means. Only - lies in the name of Jesus are still lies. Pretty sure there are a few words in the Christian Holy Book about such things.

But you do you -FJ.

Grey One talks sass said...

I'm fairly certain that everyone in the cult is afflicted with target fixation. They can't see what they can't see. To me the picture of those three humans depicts jubilation that they are part of the 'in' crowd, that hating the correct demographic is acceptable, that by the color of their skin they've achieved boss status (whether or not it's warranted) and, most importantly, they get to promote their religion over the Constitution. I see abusers of whatever power they hold. I see molesters of children. But then again I'm a dark sort and have much experience with the holier than thou types (#StillNotADragQueen).

Many of the Christian nationalist churches aren't affiliated with any organization or denomination. I've been reading about the Baptist/IFB aka Independent Fundamentalist Baptist schism. The IFB churches take the I as in Independent seriously. No oversite for these folks, no sirree!

The article was good but acts as if Christian nationalism is a recent phenomenon; within the past six years or so. As a warrior of the Marriage Equality wars I can attest that what we are seeing here/now was tested decades ago on the LGBTQA+ equal rights battle field.

Christian nationalists truly believe the USA is their country and the rest of us are trespassers (and they follow stand your ground principles). When they tell you who they are, believe them.

-FJ the Dangerous and Extreme MAGA Jew said...

@Gray One - What makes you think that I'll ever "stand before a deity"? I'm not a Christian. I'm like you. I only have a Secular religion.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Secular religion?

denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious
or spiritual basis.

the belief in and worship of a superhuman power or powers, especially a God or gods.

"Secular religion" is akin to "hairstyles for the completely bald."

It appears, from your avatar and self-description, that it is YOU who worships an idea, power, thing: MAGA.

Les Carpenter said...

Why is it that only the monotheistic religions, such as Christianity and Islam, are so anal about almost everything? And, they create deep "belief" systems that demand loyalty to some all powerful authority figure that you must worship and obey or go to hell. Sure sounds like a vindictive sort of diety that loves to punish those who are not on bended knee 24/7.

Not to mention in Christianity's beliref system we are all born sinners, even before we have a chance to commit an actual sin. Doomed to having to constantly ask forgiveness for imagined sins that we just can't help but to keep committing. But it's okay if we go to some church, pray, ask forgiveness, and do it all over again so more pennance can be exacted.

There's more but you all know it already anyway so no sense rambling on about it. But is it any wonder the Christian Evangelical mind, as malleable and impressionable as it seems to be, can be convinced that tRump the Rapist and Insurrectionist sits at the right hand of their authoritarian god. Insanity on steroids it is i say.

It's why i left the faith LONG ago and became a seeker of true spirituality. The problem with monotheistic religions is they are highly judgemental, highly reified in their beliefs, and demand fealty to a rigid stale belief system designed to control the minds of those in "their flock". Religion is control. Spirituality is seeking truth.

The moment one knows, believes strongly about anything without question, is the very moment they cut off growth and cease to learn.

possumlady said...

I admire Abraham Lincoln's take: “When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.”

-FJ the Dangerous and Extreme MAGA Jew said...

"...and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called, "Love"" - Plato "Symposium" (Aristophanes' Speech).

"Philosophy is the translation of Eros into Logos" - Byung-Chul Han

Philo-sophy: The LOVE of Knowledge

from Encyclopia Brittanica:

Eros : Eros, in Greek religion, god of love. In the Theogony of Hesiod (fl. 700 BCE), Eros was a primeval god, son of Chaos, the original primeval emptiness of the universe, but later tradition made him the son of Aphrodite, goddess of sexual love and beauty, by either Zeus (the king of the gods), Ares (god of war and of battle), or Hermes (divine messenger of the gods).

Logos : logos, (Greek: “word,” “reason,” or “plan”) in ancient Greek philosophy and early Christian theology, the divine reason implicit in the cosmos, ordering it and giving it form and meaning

The secular is pure logos. So what replaces "love" in a secular ideology? What is the complement to logos that makes a "whole" (aka philosophy)?

Do you claim that you have no love (or complement)? That secularism is A PURE "half" (and not a "whole") PHILOSOPHY?

No, the secular HAVE a religion, a "theory of the whole" and a desire to achieve it that keeps them going. Else they would simply "die".

ps - EVERY NARRATIVE eventually become a "myth". Secularism is merely a name for it's current (and only partially accepted) FORM.

-FJ the Dangerous and Extreme MAGA Jew said...

Who/ What is the "authority figure" representing "love" in YOUR secular "religion", Les. Is it Buddha?

As the Christians proclaim, "G_d is Love".

-FJ the Dangerous and Extreme MAGA Jew said...

LOVE is the Vig of Reason.

Shaw Kenawe said...

ps - EVERY NARRATIVE eventually become a "myth".

a story or account of events, experiences, or the like, whether true or fictitious

Here's a "narrative," The Earth is an irregularly shaped ellipsoid. Will this become a myth?

Another one: Water is made up of 2 hydrogen atoms joined to a single oxygen atom. Will this become a myth?

Shaw Kenawe said...

"-FJ the Dangerous and Extreme MAGA Jew said...
LOVE is the Vig of Reason."

Definition of a cynic: Someone who knows the price of everything but value of nothing.

-FJ the Dangerous and Extreme MAGA Jew said...

Here's a "narrative," The Earth is an irregularly shaped ellipsoid. Will this become a myth?

Once the Sun goes Red Giant then Nova is a couple billion years and humans extinct, It'll become a "lost" myth.

Another one: Water is made up of 2 hydrogen atoms joined to a single oxygen atom. Will this become a myth?

It's already a myth in Spanish speaking countries, for there is no water there, only agua. And if I were to simply add another Hydrogen atom, it would become a Hydronium (H3O) molecule. Maybe I could make a NAZI nuclear bomb with enough of it...

-FJ the Dangerous and Extreme MAGA Jew said...

Logos is the verba of Acta non Verba. Or as Shopenhaer would say, "The World as Will and Representation".

-FJ the Dangerous and Extreme MAGA Jew said...

What will happen to your 'god" when the inevitable Kuhnian science paradigm ship occurs, pSahw? When Newton's "apple" become a myth, again? when "Normal Science" becomes Extraordinary or Revolutionary Science, and the paradigm "shifts". Will your current science definitions all become "myths" again?

-FJ the Dangerous and Extreme MAGA Jew said...

btw - Not only do I know the VALUE of Nothing, but I call this value, its' "surplus value".

Grey One talks sass said...

Holy crap on a cracker. -FJ, if my concern for you was too much I apologize. Yikes!

Sigh. Agua is the same as water but yeah, you do you.

Shaw, you said "Religion often makes people twist themselves into pretzels to justify their reasons for believing in myths."

As I understand it, faith is not the same as religion. Religion I've discovered (not a commonly held view so I don't flash it about) is not about ones relationship with whatever deity one follows but the carefully collected set of rules and rituals to keep those the priests considered the unwashed masses in check. It was never about belief or love. Religion at its core has always been about control.

The Children of Abraham (Jew/Christian/Islam) all share their deity, no wonder they have trashed the planet with their wars over who is Dad's favorite.

Also Shaw - I love your definition of a cynic. It fits several folks to a T. thank you.

Les Carpenter said...

Shaw, i will email answers to you on the questions you posed for me. I prefer not to divulge too much that will no doubt trigger con negativity. Something i've had heard FAR to much of.

Les Carpenter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
-FJ the Dangerous and Extreme MAGA Jew said...

btw - Since the 21st century, we now have a thing called "gay marriage". In many ways, "marriage" has become a myth much as H3O mythologized H2O. It simply added a new "element".

-FJ the Dangerous and Extreme MAGA Jew said...

Gray One... I lived in Venezuela for four years drinking bottled "agua". Believe me, "agua" is NOT "water" if it doesn't share ALL the same qualities. As for 100% "pure" water? I'm sure that THAT is the real "myth".

Les Carpenter said...

All narratives eventually become myth simply because everything is in a constant state of change and nothing is concrete or permanent.

Not only does all life evolve, become extinct, and new species replace them, the cosmos is itself in a constant state of change and may very well, ultimately, billions of years down the road be impermanent as well.

Read some data on Quantum Mechanics and what it says about consciousness and the cosmos. Heady stuff and if you're a Biblical Christian you'll likely quit the first two minutes of exposure. Hinduism, Buddism, Daoism, Native American spirituality, and most non monotheistic spiritual paths however get it.

Maybe one day the Christian religion will actually get it as well.

Grey One talks sass said...

Les - exactly how I see the world too. As I've learned the only constant is change.

Lately I've been thinking of the dimensions necessary for the unification equation to operate correctly. Believe I need some more research as what I remember from the Norse lore is clashing with my very limited mathematic and physics skills.

My hypothesis is that the other dimensions are not necessarily physical but might be emotional as in love changes everything once one discovers its power and if one doesn't know love their physical existence is neither improved nor made worse with its absence. I don't know - just noodling with ideas.

Les Carpenter said...

For me Grey One talks sass those questions begin to answer themselves when i began to realize the nature of mind and the natural state through meditation and study. Being part of the 2 year Margha program through The Natural Dharma Fellowship has been extremely helpful for me.

It's a wonderful sense of freedom and liberation when you recognizes the essence and nature of mind as well as the profound interconnection and unity of all things.

Keep seeking and you'll find the path that works for you.