top of page

"The Evil That Is "Christian Nationalism"
By Pastor Baudler

An article published on February 14, 2023, by National Public Radio, written by the political journalist Ashley Lopez, describes Christian nationalism as “a worldview that claims the U.S. is a Christian nation and that the country's laws should therefore be rooted in Christian values.” 


Her description serves as a useful basis for explaining the evil that is “Christian nationalism.” That such a worldview exists is clear from the fact that this phenomenon is neither unique nor limited to the U.S. So-called Christian nationalism is increasingly finding adherents in many right-wing authoritarian movements around the world, especially in Europe where democratic nations have long self-identified as Christian and even co-opted the name for their major political parties, from Germany’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU) to Switzerland’s Christian Democratic People’s Party to Norway’s The Christian Party (PDK), etc. While still democratic, they find themselves in countries which like the U.S., are seeing an alarming rise in right-wing nationalist movements that hide behind the name Christian and assimilate in one fashion or another with the pseudo-Christian façade that was a central tenet of the Reichskirche under National Socialism. Christian nationalism, in fact, is nothing more than just another word for “Nazism”.


While American politics has wed God-with-country since the republic’s earliest day — (no, American democracy was not founded on Christianity but on the French Enlightenment, and no, it’s laws are not founded on the Ten Commandments but on Roman jurisprudence) — the phenomenon has become accelerated in recent decades and been brought to a fever pitch in our time.


The pairing of God-with-country/God-with-flag gained momentum in the U.S. not long after WWII during the “Red Scare,” when cynically ambitious politicians with the support of certain churches began to require proof that U.S. citizens were not “godless” Communists. Among many other things it saw the uber-pious adoption and promotion of a so-called ecumenical “Christian flag” (1942) by the Federal Council of Churches (today’s National Council of Churches), the rise of McCarthyism (1950), the addition of “one nation under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance (1954), “In God We Trust” added to U.S. currency (1955), the politization of the Billy Graham Crusade and other evangelistic organizations, all of which have helped lay the groundwork for today’s Christian nationalism and its many supporters. The blurring of the lines between religion and politics is often the fault of the news media who, for instance, today refer to a large U.S. voting segment as “Evangelicals,” when statistics show they are in fact Republicans almost to the last man and woman voter.


Lopez writes:


“Long seen as a fringe viewpoint, Christian nationalism now has a foothold in American politics, particularly in the Republican Party — according to a new survey from the Public Religion Research Institute and the Brookings Institution. Researchers found that more than half of Republicans believe the country should be a strictly Christian nation, either adhering to the ideals of Christian nationalism (21%) or sympathizing with those views (33%).


Kristin Kobes Du Mez, a history professor at Calvin University, said it's important to note that this is not a novel ideology in American families. These ideas have been widely held throughout American history and particularly since the 1970s with the rise of the Christian Right," she said. Du Mez said these views are mostly a reaction to changing demographics, as well as cultural and generational shifts in the U.S. As the country has become less white and Christian, she said these adherents want to hold on to their cultural and political power.

In fact, according to the survey, half of Christian nationalism adherents and nearly 4 in 10 sympathizers said they support the idea of an authoritarian leader in order to keep these Christian values in society. The survey also found correlations between people who hold Christian nationalist views as well as Anti-Black, anti-immigrant, antisemitic views, anti-Muslim and patriarchal views.”

               Republicans may need to reckon with ideology in its ranks.

Most Christian nationalists – either adherents or sympathizers – either agree or strongly agree with the notion that they should live in a country full of other Christians. Tim Whitaker, founder of The New Evangelicals, grew up in the church and now spends his life trying to detangle these kinds of views from the evangelical faith. “We need to understand that the world of Christian nationalism largely rejects pluralism, which this study shows," he said. "Most Christian nationalists — either adherents or sympathizers — either agree or strongly agree with the notion that they should live in a country full of other Christians."


While Lopez’s article examines the political side of Christian nationalism, it doesn’t address the elephant in the room — the Christian faith — which renders  the term “Christian nationalism” a blasphemous oxymoron, to wit:

  • Nationalism is not Christian, it is political, from the Latin politicus “of the government.” Jesus rejected nationalism saying that his government “is not of this world.” (John 18:36)

  • And his followers may not “fight” to make it so. (John 18:36)

  • There is no such thing as a “Christian nation” (John 18:36), nationhood being of the domain of Caesar, not of God, a separation of the kingdoms. (Mark 12:17)

  • There is no such thing as Christian “values,” a legalistic free-will fantasy that suggests certain ethics and morality are exclusive to Christians even though “no one” is good, no one is moral, “not even one” as St. Paul says in Romans 3, least of all “Christian nationalists.”

  • “Christian nationalism” is a form of idolatry in violation of the First Commandment.

  • It is also a violation of the Second Commandment through its use of the Lord’s name in vain for political advancement.

  • It is a violation of the Fifth Commandment against killing in word and deed as its adherents have repeatedly demonstrated rhetorically and actually in advocacy and action (e.g., Jan. 6, Proud Boys, domestic terrorism, “Kill Mike Pence,” etc.).

  • It is a violation of the Seventh Commandment against stealing the dignity, pride, self- esteem, honor, and worth of all people, especially immigrants, migrants, people of color, the poor, the displaced and less fortunate in society through lies, defamatory speech, conspiracy theories, slurs, epithets, and actions against those who do not share its ideology and is a violation of the Eighth Command against bearing false witness against one’s neighbor through misinformation.

  • It is a rejection of the teaching of St. Paul, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” (Romans 13:1-2)

  • It is the wholesale rejection of the Gospel message that God loves all people “for God so loved the world” (John 3:16), and “Whoever loves knows God; whoever does not love does not know God.” (1 John 4:7-8)

Christian nationalism” is the creation of the devil meant to distract sinners from the cross of Christ and his message of God’s love for all the world through his justification by grace through faith alone. To quote the lyrics of the Rolling Stones song, “I rode a tank, held a general's rank, When the Blitzkrieg raged and the bodies stank. Pleased to meet you. Hope you guess my name.” Its purpose is to perpetuate the imagined privilege and dominance of white people over all other ethnic groups under a false flag of Christianity. It is a racist, ethnocentric, sexist, homophobic, godless mentality, and an affront to God through its rejection of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for all the peoples of the world whom God so loved that he gave his only begotten Son for them; prompting Samuel Johnson to demand, “How dare we then look down upon those for whom Christ has died!”  “Christian nationalism” is evil, pure and simple; an evil that is anti-Christ and must be called out and confronted by the witness of Christ’s true church the world over in, with, and through his love for our fellow human beings, our neighbors, all created in the image of God.

bottom of page