Historians of Christian nationalism are alarmed by its appearance in American pulpits

  
Via:  larry-hampton  •  one month ago  •  39 comments

Historians of Christian nationalism are alarmed by its appearance in American pulpits
“Nazi support was a very strong vote in the Protestant Christian community. Without that base of voters, Hitler’s party would have languished.”

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


But when it comes to at least one subset of Trump’s religious devotees, this reticence makes sense—and not because all of them necessarily support the white supremacists who rallied in Virginia last week. Instead, it may be because they share a very specific worldview that shapes their relationship to the president:  Christian nationalism.

Historians agree the roots of American Christian nationalism—including flavors that do insist on white supremacy—stretch back decades. Today’s right-wing preachers are hardly the first group to insist on a “Christian” America, or to heap praise on a “strongman” leader. Yet historians also agree that previous examples of Christian nationalism are distinct from the variety preached by today’s so-called “ Trumpvangelicals.

The result is an odd theological paradox. Pro-Trump Christian nationalism may be decidedly American in form, but it also has a frightening amount in common with historical examples of flag-waving spirituality in other countries—including those with far darker pasts.

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Larry Hampton
1  seeder  Larry Hampton    one month ago

But if history is any indication, the strongest versions of leader-linked Christian nationalism aren’t just powerful—they’re dangerous.

Arguably the darkest case of leader-linked Christian nationalism (not to be confused with Christianity as an instrument of empire, which has its own depressing history ) is the role of Nazi Christians in 1930s Germany. Christians are known to have been active participants in Adolf Hitler’s rise, a tragic story that Robert Ericksen, a historian and professor at Pacific Lutheran University, chronicles in his book Complicity in the Holocaust: Churches and Universities in Nazi Germany .

“Nazi support was a very strong vote in the Protestant Christian community. Without that base of voters, Hitler’s party would have languished.”

While Christian pastors such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer have achieved worldwide acclaim for resisting Hitler, Ericksen explained, many German Protestants fell in line with Nazis—so much so that the Führer relied on them.

“Nazi support was a very strong vote in the Protestant Christian community,” Ericksen told ThinkProgress in an interview. “Without that base of voters, Hitler’s party would have languished.”

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
1.1  seeder  Larry Hampton  replied to  Larry Hampton @1    one month ago

THE GERMAN CHURCHES AND THE NAZI STATE

‘Christian Confrontations with the Holocaust’: GERMAN CHRISTIAN NATIONALISM: ITS CONTRIBUTION TO THE HOLOCAUST

 
 
 
Donald J. Trump fan 1
1.1.1  Donald J. Trump fan 1  replied to  Larry Hampton @1.1    one month ago

Sorry but there is nothing  that establishment never Trump Republicans can say or do to divorce us GOP base and evangelical Christian conservatives from Trump in this election upcoming or for the bulk of his policies.  Feel free to rejoin us after Jan 20, 2025 or during the 2024 campaign.  Just remember that it’s our party now not yours anymore but our big tent will be big enough for all who want to be a part of it

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.2  Gordy327  replied to  Donald J. Trump fan 1 @1.1.1    one month ago

The government parties are supposed to serve ALL Americans, not just Christians. What you're advocating is the beginning of a theocracy. 

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
1.1.3  seeder  Larry Hampton  replied to  Donald J. Trump fan 1 @1.1.1    one month ago

Mark 12:17

Then Jesus said to them, "Give back to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." And they were amazed at him.

 
 
 
Donald J. Trump fan 1
1.2  Donald J. Trump fan 1  replied to  Larry Hampton @1    one month ago

We are Americans.  We have our religious beliefs.  We have our republic and we can keep it.  We have the examples of the founding fathers , we have the constitution.  We are conservative Christian nationalists who believe in an exceptional nation America, one nation under God indivisible....We are not white national socialists, we are not racist, we are not Christian dominionists.  We are America.   

 
 
 
JohnRussell
1.2.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Donald J. Trump fan 1 @1.2    one month ago

God does not favor one nation over another.  The very idea is absurd. 

 
 
 
1stwarrior
1.2.2  1stwarrior  replied to  Donald J. Trump fan 1 @1.2    one month ago

Don't get carried away HA.

 
 
 
pat wilson
1.2.3  pat wilson  replied to  Donald J. Trump fan 1 @1.2    one month ago

The founding fathers were not Christian nationalists. Far from it. I've shown you evidence of this over and over. Why do you hate history ?

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.2.4  Gordy327  replied to  Donald J. Trump fan 1 @1.2    one month ago
We have the examples of the founding fathers , we have the constitution.  

None of which establish a "Christian nation!" 

we are not Christian dominionists. 

Yeah, right! Could have fooled us.

We are America. 

More like Bizarro America.

 
 
 
Freefaller
1.2.5  Freefaller  replied to  Donald J. Trump fan 1 @1.2    one month ago
We are America

If you're referring to christianity in general then you are only a part of America, if you are referring to creationists then you are only a teeny tiny part of America.  In either case that grants you no more rights or benefits than any other individual

 
 
 
livefreeordie
1.2.6  livefreeordie  replied to  JohnRussell @1.2.1    one month ago

Evidently you’ve never read the Bible

“Blessed and prosperous is that nation who has God as their Lord! They will be the people he has chosen for his own.”
Psalm 33:12 

“To everyone who is victorious and continues to do my works to the very end I will give you authority over the nations”
Revelation 2:26 

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.2.7  Gordy327  replied to  livefreeordie @1.2.6    one month ago
“Blessed and prosperous is that nation who has God as their Lord! They will be the people he has chosen for his own.”Psalm 33:12 

How's that working out for the Middle East? They seem real big into god. How "blessed & prosperous" are they right now?

“To everyone who is victorious and continues to do my works to the very end I will give you authority over the nations”
Revelation 2:26 

See first statement.

 
 
 
livefreeordie
1.2.8  livefreeordie  replied to  pat wilson @1.2.3    one month ago

John Jay, Constitutional Framer and First Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court , letter to John Murray, a member of the House of Representatives from Pennsylvania, October 12, 1816

"Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest, of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."

George Washington

Washington’s Prayer for the United States of America appears on a plaque in St. Paul’s Chapel in New York City and at Pohick Church, Fairfax County, Virginia, where Washington was a vestryman, 1762-84:

“Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy Holy protection; and Thou wilt incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow Citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the Field. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the Characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

George Washington on morality and the soldier

Washington’s sense of morality was grounded in the Bible and his belief in God. While leading the American army during the Revolutionary War, Washington demanded that his men act with integrity, morality, and honesty. He wanted his men to be more than good soldiers and stated, "While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian." During the course of the war, Washington’s character helped sustain his troops. General Washington also hoped and trusted "that every officer and man will endeavor to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier, defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country."

Washington’s moral character was most likely a contributing factor in his election as his first president of the new country. Washington believed that the government should depend on God and seek His will and realized that, "Mankind, when left to themselves, are unfit for their own government."

http://www.pages.drexel.edu/~cjd327/character.html

John Adams

“Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People in a greater Measure than they have it now, They may change their Rulers and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty. They will only exchange Tyrants and Tyrannies.”

Letter to Zabdiel Adams (21 June 1776)

 
 
 
pat wilson
1.2.9  pat wilson  replied to  livefreeordie @1.2.8    one month ago

512

 
 
 
bbl-1
1.2.10  bbl-1  replied to  pat wilson @1.2.3    one month ago

Because conservatism has no memory, honor or soul.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
1.2.11  Sean Treacy  replied to  bbl-1 @1.2.10    one month ago
use conservatism has no memory, honor or soul.

Imagine writing that after the lies you spread about the Steele report.

 
 
 
bbl-1
1.2.12  bbl-1  replied to  Sean Treacy @1.2.11    one month ago

What lies?  Name them.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.2.13  Gordy327  replied to  livefreeordie @1.2.8    one month ago

Funny, but I can't seem to find where in the Constitution it says America is founded or based on Christianity, the bible, or religion in general. Perhaps you can point out where?

 
 
 
1stwarrior
1.2.14  1stwarrior  replied to  Gordy327 @1.2.13    one month ago

You won't find it in the Constitution Gordy - but, it is in the Declaration of Independence - all, of which, "implies" religion, in general.

which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them,

endowed by their Creator

appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world

firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence,

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.2.15  Gordy327  replied to  1stwarrior @1.2.14    one month ago

The DoA doesn't specify "God" or Christianity, nor does it establish our system of laws or government.

 
 
 
r.t..b...
1.2.16  r.t..b...  replied to  1stwarrior @1.2.14    one month ago
You won't find it in the Constitution

...which is the actual basis for our laws and system of governance, intentionally bereft of any ties to any religion.

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
1.2.17  seeder  Larry Hampton  replied to  Donald J. Trump fan 1 @1.2    one month ago

We are Americans.  We have our religious beliefs.  We have our republic and we can keep it.  We have the examples of the founding fathers , we have the constitution.  We are conservative Christian nationalists who believe in an exceptional nation America, one nation under God indivisible....We are not white national socialists, we are not racist, we are not Christian dominionists. 

That has to be one of the fruitiest comments I’ve heard here. Do you have any clue how much that comment resounds with fanaticism?  

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
1.3  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  Larry Hampton @1    one month ago
“Without that base of voters, Hitler’s party would have languished.”

hitler?  LOL

is trump or any other nationalist talking about burning people in ovens?

 godwins law has been evoked.

seriously...  too funny :)

 

 
 
 
sixpick
2  sixpick    one month ago

Larry, Trump probably doesn't even know what is meant by nationalism in the context Think Progress is trying to promote.  I would classify Trump's so-called Nationalism as Americanism.  I'm sure you love this country, so why be taken in by an unscrupulous website that is so far to the left it should be two feet off the screen.

As I read this article, I see there is unbridled hate and it has taken over some people's ability to use common sense.

 
 
 
sixpick
3  sixpick    one month ago

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
3.1  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  sixpick @3    one month ago

Six,

These are fine examples of propaganda. Well edited put together with a hashtag. And you wonder why Larry is posting what he is posting?

Here is something more honest and off the cuff. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
4  Tacos!    one month ago

Why are we relitigating Charlottesville? You have to be willfully ignorant to keep trying to tie Trump to White Nationalism. He has condemned it more times than any white elected official I can think of.

to heap praise on a “strongman” leader

And speaking of “elected,” Trump was, in fact, elected; and he is not holding onto power via military might. So it’s pretty absurd to refer to him as a “Strongman.”

 
 
 
Drakkonis
5  Drakkonis    one month ago

I can't say that Christian Nationalism is the problem the author of these articles presents it to be but  I can't say that it is not, either. I can say that I cannot remember attending any church that proposed something like Christian Nationalism or dominionism. That said, I'd like to put my two cents in concerning the idea.

In the beginning, man's charge was to take dominion over the Earth. Our task was to manage the Earth on God's behalf. We were supposed to be it's caretakers in His name. But that changed when we fell from grace. Once fallen, we were no longer equipped to do that original task. We were too consumed by sin to do even know what was right any more. Instead of subduing the Earth, managing it in His name, we flailed about, badly in need of rescue.

That rescue came in the form of God's Son, Jesus Christ. For those of us who accepted that salvation our task became something different. It was to make disciples in every nation. To bring the Good News to everyone we can. And Jesus showed us how to do it. He did not teach his followers how to take over governments and legislate belief in him. He went from town to town, proclaiming the Good News. People either accepted it or rejected it. And concerning those who rejected it, our course of action was to shake the dust off our sandals as a sign that their rejection was on their own heads, not the bringer of the Good News. 

The people who think Christian Nationalism or Dominionism are falling into the same trap as had the Jews of Jesus' time. Those Jews thought the Messiah would be a political King of Israel. A brilliant military commander who would deliver them from Rome and establish Israel as the rulers of the world. They thought in terms of dominion over the Earth with them as God's chosen above all others.

But Jesus had a different agenda. His was to make possible for the individual to have a personal relationship with God. He did this by, although being fully God in all his glory, leaving that behind to become a man destined for slaughter on our behalf. He did the exact opposite of what had been expected. He humbled himself in becoming human and letting Rome and the Jewish leadership put him to death. Because that what was needed to bring man and God into relationship.

And Christians need to have the same attitude. Jesus came as a servant, and servanthood, not dominion, is what we should emulate. If Jesus had wanted dominion politically, he most definitely would have dominated. I would love for our country to be a Christian nation. I want that with all my heart. But the only way it can be a Christian nation is if it's people willingly choose Christ. You can't create a Christian nation through Dominionism or Christian Nationalism. That is, from the top down. You could only do it from the bottom up. You can't legislate Jesus into anyone's heart. Attempting to do so would almost certainly be a horror. 

People who think Dominionism or Christian Nationalism is a good idea are either wolves in sheep's clothing, seeking power for themselves, or they don't really know Jesus or what he want's from us. There is no support for such things in the Bible. With one exception.

Jesus will come back some day and when he does, the whole world will be a theocracy, lead by himself for the glory of his Father. He is the only one who has the power and the wisdom to rule. The Bible is clear that Jesus himself will take dominion over the Earth and all that are in it. It isn't our job to do it and anyone who tries is trying to usurp Christ's place. 

So, to any of my Christian brothers and sisters out there who think Dominionism is a good idea I think you should reconsider. Emulate Jesus. Read Revelations and see that it is Christ who establishes his rule on the Earth, not us. 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
6  Nerm_L    one month ago

Nazi Germany was not a theocracy.  Neither was fascist Italy or the communist Soviet Union.  Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Joseph Stalin led strictly secular governments.  Bonaparte, Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin persecuted orthodox Christian authority to remove obstacles that interfered with achieving their secular goals of expansion. 

History shows that the real problem is secular imperialism.  Secularism must subjugate religious authority through persecution, coercion, and force to allow expansion across national boundaries.  As the history of Bonaparte, Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin shows secular expansion does not respect national boundaries, traditions, cultures, or religions.  Nationalism and codified religious morality are the most viable defenses against secular imperialism.

 
 
 
Gordy327
6.1  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @6    one month ago
Secularism must subjugate religious authority through persecution, coercion, and force to allow expansion across national boundaries.  As the history of Bonaparte, Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin shows secular expansion does not respect national boundaries, traditions, cultures, or religions. 

As History also shows, religion is just as guilty of the same thing.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
6.1.1  Nerm_L  replied to  Gordy327 @6.1    one month ago
As History also shows, religion is just as guilty of the same thing.

Medieval inquisitorial excesses attributed to Christianity were, in reality, motivated by the power of monarchy and feudal nobility.  Royalty and nobility claimed divine justification for their imperialism.  Keep in mind that royalty and nobility arose before Christianity; Christianity did not create royalty.  

 
 
 
bbl-1
6.1.2  bbl-1  replied to  Nerm_L @6.1.1    one month ago

Really?  Tell that to The Stuart Family of England.

 
 
 
Gordy327
6.1.3  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @6.1.1    one month ago

Keep I'm mind the church sanctioned and participated in such events. Nor to mention the church held considerable power and sway over the populace, which even a monarchy was not separate from. 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
6.1.4  Nerm_L  replied to  bbl-1 @6.1.2    one month ago
Really?  Tell that to The Stuart Family of England.

The Stewart family of Scotland?  The Magna Carta of 1215 was the first step in establishing a secular government in England.  The House of Stuart (successor to the House of Tudor) unified England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland under a single monarchy.  However, each of the countries retained their own government.  The War of the Three Kingdoms during the reign of Charles I (about 1640) was about attempting to expand the authority of the English parliament over the other governments just as had been done with the English monarchy. 

The secular English parliament executed Charles I.  Cromwell sought to expand secular English parliamentary authority over the monarchy and over the governments of Scotland and Ireland.  Charles II was Catholic which prohibited him from ascending to the throne.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
6.1.5  Nerm_L  replied to  Gordy327 @6.1.3    one month ago
Keep I'm mind the church sanctioned and participated in such events. Nor to mention the church held considerable power and sway over the populace, which even a monarchy was not separate from.

When?  The Protestant Reformation occurred during the 16th century.  The Age of Enlightenment encompassed the 17th to 19th centuries.

European colonial expansion during the 16th and 17th centuries was driven by mercantilism (secular greed) and not by religious evangelism.  

So, when did the church sanction and participate in such events?

 
 
 
Drakkonis
6.1.6  Drakkonis  replied to  Gordy327 @6.1.3    one month ago
Keep I'm mind the church sanctioned and participated in such events. Nor to mention the church held considerable power and sway over the populace, which even a monarchy was not separate from. 

It isn't as simple as that. When you speak about the "church" you have to take into account that, considering the time period, we aren't necessarily talking about Christianity. In some ways Constantine didn't do Christianity any favors when he made it the state religion. The Church ended up having two faces. 

One face of the Church was made up of people who were honestly doing their best to follow Christ. The other, not so much. When Constantine made it the state religion it opened up a new source of power to the sons of nobles that wasn't there before. Second, third and fourth sons, and so on, now had an avenue to power and wealth that hadn't been there before and the church became flooded with people seeking only those things. Through much of it's history, what you think of as Christendom was Christian in name only.

Point being, the ideology of Christianity didn't sanction such events, but instead, self serving men used the institution for their own gain, more often than not.  

 
 
 
bbl-1
7  bbl-1    one month ago

Christian Nationalism.  Never heard of the term until Trump.  It must be real.  The cult of the Stormy Who endures.

 
 
 
PJ
8  PJ    one month ago

 
 
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