True Religion, Part 4 (Christian Nationalism)

Warning: this won’t be pretty.

Christian (Protestant) Nationalism (CPN) has been part of American history since before we became America. It was present during the Revolution, Manifest Destiny, and the Civil War. It is at the root of White Supremacy, giving birth to the KKK. CPN victimized Jews and Muslims and told us to be afraid of the pope controlling John F. Kennedy, our first Catholic president. It enslaved Africans and tried to commit genocide on the people living in this land before Columbus tripped over it. It created Blue Laws; you still can’t buy a car in Pennsylvania on Sunday. It gives public school children Christmas break and Holy Week off while overwhelmingly ignoring the important holy days of other faith traditions. We take legal oaths on the Bible but lose our minds if a Koran is used. We put the American flag on our altars, not caring if that same flag ends up on the crotch of a bikini. We freak out over athletes kneeling during the National Anthem, forgetting that “under God” wasn’t even in the Pledge of Allegiance until Flag Day, 1954. CPN is a reaction based in fear, not faith, and it rears its ugly every day. Sometimes it is innocuous; sometimes it is evil. In a nation based on the rule of law, it is always wrong.

CPN has made a comeback in recent years. It perverts Scripture as it comes out of the mouths of politicians vying for votes. It uses religion to legislate, masquerading as science. It has tried (sometimes successfully) to have Creationism taught alongside of Evolution in public schools. It denies that human beings are killing the earth. It has tried to get public taxes to pay for vouchers to private, religious schools. It tells us that America was founded as a Christian nation even though most of the founders were not Christians. It equates the love of God with a lust for guns, watching (and doing nothing) as children die in mass murders while pleading for the life of the unborn. It has been creating laws to demonize and imprison anyone who participates in abortion while making excuses for the mostly young, white men committing those mass murders.

It is its own religion, and it will ultimately kill us. It is not patriotic or Christian; it is a perversion of both God and Country. It ignores the mandates of the Constitution while wrapping itself in the flag. It serves the Prince of Peace while holding an AK-47. Christian Nationalism is using the church the same way Hitler did, and that, as most of us would admit, turned out very badly. We need to push it out of the public domain and back into the hole it slithered out of. If we don’t, the Handmaid’s Tale will no longer be a fictional account; it will be our reality. 

Prayer – You told us to do for others as we would have them do for us, God of equality and free will. Help us to do just that. Amen.

Today’s art is “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Nat Jones.