"American Flag and Cross" by Mattpayne1098 / CC BY-SA 4.0

The rise of Christian Nationalism in America

Oct 5, 2020

By Liz Theoharis

On August 26th, during the Republican National Convention, Vice President Mike Pence closed out his acceptance speech with a biblical sleight of hand. Speaking before a crowd at the Fort McHenry National Monument in Baltimore, he exclaimed, “Let’s fix our eyes on Old Glory and all she represents. Let’s fix our eyes on this land of heroes and let their courage inspire.” In doing so, he essentially rewrote a passage from the New Testament’s Book of Hebrews: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross.”

There’s nothing new, of course, about an American politician melding religion and politics on the campaign trail. Still, Pence’s decision to replace Jesus with the Stars and Stripes raised eyebrows across a range of religious and political persuasions. Indeed, the melding of Old Glory and Christ provided the latest evidence of the rising influence of Christian nationalism in the age of Trump.

It’s no longer hard to find evidence of just how deeply Christian nationalism influences our politics and policymaking. During the pandemic, the Bible has repeatedly been used (and distorted) to justify Covid-19 denialism and government inaction, not to speak of outright repression. In late March, as cities were locking down and public health officials were recommending strict quarantine measures, one of Donald Trump’s first acts was to gather his followers at the White House for what was billed as a “National Day of Prayer” to give Americans the strength to press on through death and difficulty.

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5 comments on “The rise of Christian Nationalism in America

  • We are all in this together. We are all in this together to raise the Quality of Life and Standard of Living for as many and for as much as we reasonably can. -Humanism

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  • After all, in every chapter of American history, abolitionists, workers, labor organizers, civil rights leaders, and other representatives of the oppressed have struggled for a better nation not just in streets and workplaces, but in the pulpit, too. In the wreckage of the present Trumpian moment, with a fascistic, white nationalism increasingly ascendant, people of conscience would do well to follow suit.

    The paragraph above is the conclusion of the Salon article.  That’s the problem with religion, it is always spun in the direction which the adherent wants.

    Indeed the fundamental texts of most religions offer plenty of opportunities for spin, being full of ambiguities, collected usually over aeons of time, descending from societies which shape-shift, metamorphise, merge, and borrow from other cultures in boundless historical situations, added to being usually written down from oral traditions.

    Personally I don’t care whether sacred books are misrepresented or not, the whole lot are of only historical, social or artistic importance, but, being as they are, they are of little use as a guide for living today.

    St Bono of Dalkey put it succinctly: we are all in the same storm, but not in the same boat, he was comparing his most comfortable life, with that of locked-down inner city dwellers, during the pandemic.  I might add that, unlike Timothy, I do not believe that we are all striving for altruistic ends.

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  •  would he be in the same boat as st bob of Sandymount?

    The same type of well-appointed boat, but St Bob lives in the lands of Her Majesty, and like Lord Fitt, St Bob accepted an Imperial title from her.


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