An Associated Press article on the influence of “Christian nationalism” on the 2022 primary elections has confirmed the fears of many voices on the left who are calling for action, lest the nation perish.
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MSNBC host Joy Reid said via Twitter she was “glad to see the mainstream media beginning to make it plain, rather than trying to sugarcoat or both-sides this, because Christian nationalism poses a very real threat to American national security and social cohesion.”
Freelance writer David Bates tweeted they “will go after every office and seat, from the White House to school boards, city councils, even library boards.”
“They will. They are. Pay attention. This is what fascism looks like in America in the 21st century. Get in the fight or forfeit.”
Adrienne Quinn Martin, the Democratic Party chairman of Hood County, Texas, was among many who used the term “White Christian Nationalism,” declaring it must be “defeated.”
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“You can’t compromise with people who view opposition as evil and believe they are on a mission from God. White Christian Nationalism has to be defeated there is no middle ground.”
Robert P. Jones, the CEO and founder of Public Religion Research Institute, said “white Christian nationalism is not new,” listing the membership criteria for the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s: “White, Male, Native born citizen, Gentile, Believe in tenets of Christian faith, Committed to maintenance of white supremacy & pure Americanism.”
In contrast, author and radio host Ben Shapiro, who is Jewish, called the AP article “the height of absurdity.”
“Apparently if you believe in school prayer, American exceptionalism, traditional marriage, protecting the lives of the unborn, and biological sex, you might be a Christian nationalist,” he wrote.
Political commentator and former Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs said the AP’s take is “Fake News at its worst: insinuating that our Judeo-Christian faith and patriotism are threats to democracy: Christian nationalists champion a “fusion of American and Christian values.”
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Pollster Rich Baris tweeted that “the @AP is basically admitting here —using @dougmastriano as a piñata — that the central philosophies behind the founding of the country are something to be feared.”
“AP, do you believe you’re smarter than the founding fathers? It sure sounds like it,” he said.
Titled “Christian nationalism on the rise in some GOP campaigns,” the article Sunday featured the remarks of Doug Mastriano during a victory celebration after he won the Republican primary in Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial race last week.
The AP said Mastriano “has not only made faith central to his personal story but has woven conservative Christian beliefs and symbols into the campaign – becoming the most prominent example this election cycle of what some observers call a surge of Christian nationalism among Republican candidates.”
The wire service said Mastriano eschews the “Christian nationalist label” but “scholars generally define Christian nationalism as going beyond policy debates and championing a fusion of American and Christian values, symbols and identity.”
Elizabeth Neumann, who grew up in an evangelical Christian home and served in the George W. Bush and Trump administrations, is one of the “experts” cited by the AP. She said Christian nationalism “began picking up steam around 2015 amid a rising narrative of purported persecution of Christians.”
Neumann currently is chief strategy officer for Moonshot, a tech company that aims to counter online violent extremism and disinformation. She said the “heretical” and idolatrous movement has an “apocalyptic vision (that) very often leads to violence.”
But she sees it as “the gasping, dying breath of the older generation in America that is afraid that Christians are going to be replaced.”
Elizabeth Neumann, who served in the George W. Bush and Trump administrations and grew up in an evangelical Christian household, had a “stroke” of genius when she told AP “I see Christian nationalism as the gasping, dying breath of the older generation in America.”#MemorialDay pic.twitter.com/37CW6xlntN— Ann Grier (@BastardDroo) May 29, 2022
However, Christopher Tackett, who writes a blog on Texas politics, charged that the values of “white Christian nationalism” are manifesting in all kinds of ways and the source must be rooted out.
“Banning books, that’s just one of the tendrils coming up from what is truly the root of the rot: white Christian nationalism,” he said. “Until we stop chasing the individual weeds that pop up and address the root, we will continue to fall short.”
Banning books, that’s just one of the tendrils coming up from what is truly the root of the rot: white Christian nationalism.— Christopher Tackett (@cjtackett) May 30, 2022
Until we stop chasing the individual weeds that pop up and address the root, we will continue to fall short. pic.twitter.com/XHe1iAWPtz