A new campaign by interfaith Christian leaders, signed by thousands, condemns the unholy marriage between Christianity and Nationalism. Will mainstream Christians join the call?
Hasn’t it always seemed outrageously hypocritical that a faith built on ‘loving thy neighbour’ loudly marginalises specific groups of our community? That a religion built on the image of a man who preached inclusivity, love and forgiveness seems so ready to ignore the plight of neighbours seeking refuge?
In the past 6 months alone, the US has made international headlines thanks to legislation aimed at further marginalizing and limiting refugees, homosexuals and women’s reproductive rights. There’s the big three right there—brought under control like a plague—predominantly under the guise of Christian values.
Which is why it’s so refreshing to see a clear, concise message from Christians, to Christians, to rethink their beliefs in alignment with their patriotism.
Christians Against Christian Nationalism
Christians Against Christian Nationalism (CACN) is exactly what it sounds like: moderate Christians speaking out against the loudest evangelicals; the conservatives who don’t care about kids in cages, or black lives, or gun control, or the LGBTQI+ community, or women’s bodily autonomy or rights.
Christian Nationalism conflates being a ‘true’ American with being a Christian—but only through a narrow lens where white supremacy, homophobia and racial subjugation overlap.
In only a day since going live, CACN has gained over 3,000 signatures and scathing reviews from online right-wing news outlets.
Backlash from angry conservative Christians
The Washington Times published an article by conservative Christian and opinion editor Cheryl Chumley denouncing the campaign, although her main argument revolves around her own homophobia.
The bulk of her opinion piece is just a large complaint about the leaders behind CACN welcoming homosexuals into congregations as ‘proof’ of their ‘un-Christian-ness’. But Jesus specifically calls his followers to welcome sinners and the most marginalized into churches. I bet Cheryl’s own church welcomes divorced couples into their congregation, and you know what the bible says about that.
In an attempt to strawman and win an otherwise weak argument, she brings extremist Islamic practices of throwing homosexuals off buildings to defend her own beliefs. By doing so, she inadvertently defeats her own argument.
“So when CACN endorsers write that “conflating religious authority with political authority is idolatrous and often leads to oppression of minority and other marginalized groups,” they’re not referring, say, to Sharia law, and how its Muslim adherents, working within the confines of government, toss homosexuals off buildings, or publicly cane women for the crime of walking in public without a face covering. No. They’re talking about Christian conservatives who stand for the rule of law.”
Well, no shit, Cheryl. That is precisely CACN’s argument: Many Islamic states have conflated religious and nationalist fervor, and look what they’ve become! CACN’s point is that America is just a hop skip and a jump away from a dictatorship of extremist values.
When did it become okay to separate refugee children from their parents and siblings under the guise of border protection? Or worse, for right-wing ‘Christians’ to condone this?
When “Christians”—and that’s “Christians” in quotes—attack CACN for loving homosexuals and refugees, it erodes the true fabric of Christianity. Christ compels his followers to love ALL, especially those who are marginalized and hurting. If being American means extremist Christianity that ignores Christ’s message of love and peace, then how does this country differ from other extremist countries restricting rights on the grounds of religion?
When organizations like CACN unite and speak out against the radicalizing of the Christian faith in the US, the true fabric of Christianity is strengthened. We at postchristianity.net join CACN in condemning the unholy marriage between the Christian church and conservative republicans.
Enough is enough. Right-wing, conservative, evangelical Christians don’t represent this faith. White supremacy, anti-immigration, children in cages, systemised apartheid and homophobia do not represent moderate Christians—and they don’t represent true Americans, either.
To truly be the ‘Land of the Free’, Christian Nationalism cannot be the only identifier of Americanism. But if we don’t speak up, it will be.