June 2, 2022
image above: thedispatch.com
WN: The U.S. has become increasingly unhinged–thanks in significant part to White Christian Nationalism. I have a close Canadian relative who tragically is in lockstep with such. His favourite website is Gab, about which you can read below. So distressing! He’s so far down the Rabid Hole, I can only pray that some day, as title of my post four years ago indicates, he can . . .
- December 18, 2018.
The adjacent book, Taking America Back for God: Christian Nationalism in the United States, is a good place to gain an understanding of this menacing phenomenon. Of it, we read:
Why do so many conservative Christians continue to support Donald Trump despite his many overt moral failings? Why do many Americans advocate so vehemently for xenophobic policies, such as a border wall with Mexico? Why do many Americans seem so unwilling to acknowledge the injustices that ethnic and racial minorities experience in the United States? Why do a sizeable proportion of Americans continue to oppose women’s equality in the workplace and in the home?
To answer these questions, Taking America Back for God points to the phenomenon of “Christian nationalism,” the belief that the United States is-and should be-a Christian nation. Christian ideals and symbols have long played an important role in American public life, but Christian nationalism is about far more than whether the phrase “under God” belongs in the pledge of allegiance. At its heart, Christian nationalism demands that we must preserve a particular kind of social order, an order in which everyone–Christians and non-Christians, native-born and immigrants, whites and minorities, men and women recognizes their “proper” place in society. The first comprehensive empirical analysis of Christian nationalism in the United States, Taking America Back for God, illustrates the influence of Christian nationalism on today’s most contentious social and political issues.
Please also see: What Is Christian Nationalism?, by PAUL D. MILLER | FEBRUARY 3, 2021. We read in it:
Can Christians be politically engaged without being Christian nationalists?
Yes. American Christians in the past were exemplary in helping establish the American experiment, and many American Christians worked to end slavery and segregation and other evils. They did so because they believed Christianity required them to work for justice. But they worked to advance Christian principles, not Christian power or Christian culture, which is the key distinction between normal Christian political engagement and Christian nationalism. Normal Christian political engagement is humble, loving, and sacrificial; it rejects the idea that Christians are entitled to primacy of place in the public square or that Christians have a presumptive right to continue their historical predominance in American culture. Today, Christians should seek to love their neighbors by pursuing justice in the public square, including by working against abortion, promoting religious liberty, fostering racial justice, protecting the rule of law, and honoring constitutional processes. That agenda is different from promoting Christian culture, Western heritage, or Anglo-Protestant values.
Please see as well my post:
- October 23, 2021
I cite in it:
But the messages shared by their users skew heavily pro-gun, anti-vaccine, anti-Biden, pro-Trump, and frequently laden with rhetoric that connects adherence to Christianity with American identity. There is a sense among many users that the fall of the country or Western civilization is imminent, and extremist views are not uncommon: In 2018 the attacker who killed 11 people at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue posted antisemitic and anti-refugee messages on Gab shortly before the mass shooting. (Gab reportedly later deleted the account and cooperated with investigators.)
David Golumbia, an English professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and author of The Politics of Bitcoin: Software as Right-Wing Extremism, said the creation of alternative digital platforms is a long tradition in right-wing circles, religious or otherwise.
“People who promote alternatives to Twitter say that ‘We’re above politics, we just care about free speech,’” Golumbia told Religion News Service. “And when people point out that they are being used to organize political violence…The people who create it say, ‘Oh, this is unintended and unfortunate, and there’s just nothing we can do about it.’
“But from where I sit, this is the main use case for these tools…They’re just beacons to (extremists).”
To his point, the number of registered users on Gab reportedly more than doubled to 3.4 million in the weeks after the Jan. 6 mob attack at the U.S. Capitol.
It has attracted some popular evangelical leaders. One example: Christian author Eric Metaxas has more than 27-thousand follows on Gab. (He has more than 127-thousand on Twitter.)
While decrying the violence of the insurrection, Torba welcomed Gab’s swelling virtual ranks in the weeks after the attack with a message steeped in faith.
“America is a Christian nation,” he wrote on February 1. “The foundation of Western Civilization itself is built on Christianity and more specifically: on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ.” Shortly, he said, he intended to shift all of his personal expenditures to support organizations and businesses he deemed Christian.
The widespread pushback to websites like his after Jan. 6 — which he claimed included Gab’s rejection by banks and other companies — was evidence that Christians could no longer operate freely in American society. They needed to build their own economy, entertainment industry, and internet.[Andrew Torba, founder of the social media platform Gab], who has invoked a personal policy of “not communicating with non-Christian and/or communist journos,” declined an interview request from Religion News Service in a one-word email: “No.”
The spiritual bluster may belie a practical subtext: A parallel Christian nationalist digital world may be a necessity for sites like Gab to survive at all as Big Tech moves to restrict or ban their content.
Please note finally, June 20, 2022, Opinion: Texas Republicans want to secede? Good riddance.