Subscribe to Secularism is a Womens Issue

Secularism is a Women’s Issue

Home > impact on women / resistance > USA: Christians Against Christian Nationalism

USA: Christians Against Christian Nationalism

Wednesday 18 August 2021, by siawi3


Christians Against Christian Nationalism

As Christians, our faith teaches us everyone is created in God’s image and commands us to love one another. As Americans, we value our system of government and the good that can be accomplished in our constitutional democracy. Today, we are concerned about a persistent threat to both our religious communities and our democracy — Christian nationalism.

Christian nationalism seeks to merge Christian and American identities, distorting both the Christian faith and 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. It 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.

As Christians, we are bound to Christ, not by citizenship, but by faith. We believe that:

People of all faiths and none have the right and responsibility to engage constructively in the public square.

Patriotism does not require us to minimize our religious convictions.

One’s religious affiliation, or lack thereof, should be irrelevant to one’s standing in the civic community.

Government should not prefer one religion over another or religion over nonreligion.

Religious instruction is best left to our houses of worship, other religious institutions and families.

America’s historic commitment to religious pluralism enables faith communities to live in civic harmony with one another without sacrificing our theological convictions.

Conflating religious authority with political authority is idolatrous and often leads to oppression of minority and other marginalized groups as well as the spiritual impoverishment of religion.

We must stand up to 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.

Whether we worship at a church, mosque, synagogue, or temple, America has no second-class faiths. All are equal under the U.S. Constitution. As Christians, we must speak in one voice condemning Christian nationalism as a distortion of the gospel of Jesus and a threat to American democracy.

Ensorsed by:

Rev. Dr. Paul Baxley,
Executive Coordinator, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
“The Church of Jesus Christ exists by the power that parted the Red Sea and raised Jesus from the dead, and that power and authority is still at work within us and among us even as empires rise and fall. To suggest that the church needs the protection of the state in order to flourish and thrive is idolatrous.”

Sister Simone Campbell,
executive director, Network lobby for catholic social justice
“Christian nationalism comes from a place of insecurity and fear. Jesus said we should “fear not!” Christian nationalism rejects Christ’s teachings and manipulates our faith to deny the inherent dignity of every person. Additionally, in our pluralistic society where we meet is the Constitutional vision: “We the People.” Christian nationalism is unpatriotic and unchristian. There is no room for these wicked attitudes in our nation!”

Tony campolo,
A founder of the red letter christian movement
“If you go to 2 Corinthians 11:4 you will find that the Apostle Paul warns us against those who come preaching another Christ who differs from the true Christ who originally had been given to us. With the rise of Christian nationalism, there are those who are doing just that. The true Jesus is neither a Republican nor a Democrat, but what I often hear preached on some radio and television programs seems to me to be an American Jesus who differs from the Jesus that I read about in the gospels, and often comes across as being politically partisan.”

Shane Claiborne,
A founder of the Red Letter Christian Movement
In ages past, we have seen distortions of the Christian faith that warrant a response. Church leaders have held emergency councils in order to unilaterally denounce mutations of orthodox faith, and to affirm the core values at the heart of Christianity. It is in that Spirit that we unite our diverse voices as Christian leaders to declare that “Christian” nationalism is a heresy. What we saw manifest itself in the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 is the most recent deadly fruit of this heresy. It is a threat to democracy. And it is a threat to orthodox Christian faith.

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry,
Presiding Bishop and Primate, The episcopal church
“As followers of Jesus, his command to love our neighbors means neighbors of every type, of every faith, not just our own. Through our baptism and in our democracy, we are called to a way of love that creates a community in which the dignity of every human being is recognized and respected, and where all can have an equal say in the governing of our civic life. The violence, intimidation and distortion of scripture associated with “Christian nationalism” does not reflect the person and teachings of Jesus Christ, and so I stand with fellow leaders in the Christian community and call for a better way.”

Paula Dempsey,
Director of Partner Relations, Alliance of Baptists
“‘Christian nationalism’ is an oxymoron and a dangerous movement rooted in supremacy and hate. The Alliance of Baptists decries the ways many so-called Christian nationalists have warped and exploited the words of Jesus to demean and degrade those of other faiths, nationalities, and backgrounds. We believe in a world where all are beloved as God’s children and support BJC’s efforts to promote a pluralistic society grounded in the First Amendment’s free exercise and no establishment clauses.”

Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer,
General Minister and President, United Church of Christ
“I have been tracking our government’s covert attempts to embrace Christian nationalism for a couple decades now, and the level at which America is endorsing this is - quite frankly - frightening. We are watching core values of and foundational commitments to our Democracy disappear as one of the least Christ-like presidents we have ever seen has forged alliances with Christian nationalists who want to rewrite our Constitution. We cannot sit by and watch this happen, or we - as Christians who oppose this abuse of our own faith - will be as complicit as the Christians who manipulated our government into submitting to their ambitions.”

Rev. Elizabeth Eaton,
presiding bishop, evangelical lutheran church in america (ELCA)
“Christian nationalism identifies a human government with God’s will and seeks privilege for Christians from the state. Lutherans teach that government should be held accountable to God but not ever identified with God’s will. The ELCA is committed to strengthening public space as a just place for all regardless of religion or worldview and will defend the full participation of all in our religiously diverse society. This common statement is an important witness on these matters.”

Rev. Nathan Empsall,
Campaigns director, FaITHFUL aMERICA
“Faithful America’s members are sick of seeing our religion twisted to serve the evils of nationalism and white supremacy. When pastors teach that ‘to resist government is to resist God’ or pray that a politician’s critics ‘be torn down in the name of Jesus,’ they distort Christ’s core message: We are all God’s children, called to love our neighbors and enemies alike. That’s why Faithful America’s members are excited to join this timely movement against the dangerous idolatry of Christian nationalism.”

Dr. Jeffrey haggray,
executive director, american baptist home mission societies
“The statement alerts the Christian community to the threat posed by associating nationalist ideology with Christian principles; and makes a strong case for why our faith is both distorted and compromised when this happens.”

Rev. Jimmie Hawkins,
director, office of public witness, Presbyterian church (U.S.A.)
“The merging of faith and politics into a single ideology is idolatrous and dangerous. The Presbyterian Church’s 2018 social witness statement, “Honest Patriotism”, determines that “Bearing our civic responsibilities as Christians in mind, we must also at times, in our role as active Christian members of a civil community, take seriously our prophetic role. Because we understand the state as ordained by God we must, in all humility and acknowledging our own propensity for error, call the state to task when it fails in its obligations.”

Bishop W. Darin Moore,
Chair, National Council of Churches, USA,
Presiding Prelate of the Mid-Atlantic Episcopal District,The AME Zion Church
“Our Christian faith is too expansive to be defined by any national identity, even a nation as beloved as America; and our embrace of American values of equality and inclusion are too profound to privilege any religion, even one as beloved as Christianity."

Doug Pagitt,
Executive Director, Vote Common Good
“Christian nationalism is a threat to the United States’ wellbeing, the world, and the Christian faith. To be clear, there is nothing Christian about ‘Christian nationalism.’ The damage done by radicalized Christian nationalism is evident in the world, the church, and in the lives of individuals and communities. The heart of the Christian faith is the call to love one another and to seek to be a benefit and blessing for all people. The heart of ‘Christian nationalism’ uses the trappings of faith to extend a political agenda of exclusion, bigotry, and demagoguery.”

Diane Randall,
General Secretary, Friends Committee on National Legislation
“We uphold the separation of church and state. We defend guarantees for the free exercise of religion and oppose favoring particular religious beliefs or groups. That we care about the rights of all to practice their religion is an enduring value and aspiration of our democracy. We are a people of many faiths and religious practices and we are stronger for it.”

r. mitch Randall, dmin.,
Executive director, Good Faith Media
“Christian nationalism perverts and distorts the foundational tenets of the Gospel. When Christianity combines with political ideologies, the Gospel will always take a back seat to the political pragmatism of power and wealth. When Jesus walked the earth, he challenged his disciples to love the marginalized, oppressed, and disenfranchised. Christian nationalism establishes religious superiority over others, which in turn hinders the missional mandate of the Gospel. Jesus said to humble oneself, not rise above others.”

Melissa Rogers,
Visiting Professor, Wake Forest University School of Divinity
“Christian nationalism perverts the gospel and the Constitution. As Christians, we pledge to confront this false teaching within our communities. As Americans, we pledge to insist on equal justice and liberty for all.”

Rev. Rob Schenck, D.Min.,
President, The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute
“I am deeply distressed about this phenomenon and the damage it is doing to the Church, the injury it is doing to so many inside and outside of the Church, as well as it its deleterious effect on the spiritual condition of Christians and how much it is compromising the integrity of the gospel itself. The history of Christian Nationalism is a very bad one with enormous suffering in its wake.”

Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer,
General Secretary,American Baptist Churches USA
“American Baptists, as a denominational family, have consistently been advocates for religious and civil liberty for all and for the concept of “a Free Church in a Free State” (1986 ABCUSA Policy Statement on Church and State). Key tenets of the divisive ideology of Christian nationalism are incompatible with Baptist theological and social convictions. American Baptists historically have advocated for respect, tolerance, justice and freedom for everyone in our country (and world), while resolutely opposing all manifestations of racism, prejudice, fear and injustice. May we continue this witness in 2019, and into the future.”

Amanda Tyler,
executive director, BJC
“Christian nationalism harmfully suggests that to be a good American, one must be Christian or that to be a good Christian, one must be American. For Christians, Christian nationalism also confuses our allegiances — a danger that Jesus warned about when he taught us to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and render unto God the things that are God’s. When religious authority is conflated with political authority, it tends to marginalize our fellow Americans and undermine our own spiritual health.”

Jim Wallis,
President and Founder, Sojourners
“Nationalism is not just a love for country; rather, it pits the power of one nation against others, often with ideologies of racial superiority, and has led to the worst violence in human history. There is no Christian nationalism; nationalism is unchristian. I am grateful to BJC for bringing faith leaders together to jointly proclaim that no nation is above another in God’s eyes, and that our nation must never put one religion above another or privilege religious people above those who do not follow any religion.”

Jim Winkler,
President and General Secretary, National Council of the Churches of Christ
“Christians Against Christian Nationalism reminds us of the importance of teaching and practicing both sound patriotism and sound theology. When we place our nation and our faith over against others we have distorted the Gospel of Jesus Christ and laid the basis for war, violence, racism and extremism. Let us remember who we are and whose we are.”

Dr. Aidsand Wright-Riggins
executive director, new baptist covenant
“Christian nationalism undermines authentic faith and a vibrant democracy. New Baptist Covenant stands with our sisters and brothers as we expose and extinguish this insidious ideology.”