FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2022

CONTACT
Manisha Sunil, West End Strategy Team
msunil@westendstrategy.com; (202) 417-0171

Experts Address Threat of Christian Nationalism Ahead of Midterm Elections, Call on Americans to Reject Dangerous Ideology
Faith and civic leaders gathered on Capitol Hill to warn of the dangers Christian nationalism poses to democracy

WASHINGTON—Leading religious freedom organization Interfaith Alliance today hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill on the rising threat of Christian nationalism as the midterm elections approach. You can watch the full briefing here.

Moderated by The Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, the new president and CEO of the organization, premier experts on the history of Christian nationalism, religious pluralism, and voter engagement convened to examine this anti-democratic ideology as it gains political and cultural force.

“The goal of Christian nationalism is the consolidation of power in the hands of an exclusive religious and political movement, and it is using churches, courts, and increasingly electoral politics to gain power,” said Rev. Raushenbush. “As a Baptist pastor, I oppose Christian Nationalism because I love my faith and I love my neighbors of all different faiths and no faith, and I respect them as equally deserving of the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

“Christian nationalism presents a clear and present danger to our democracy and to the inclusive vision of religious freedom guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution,” added Raushenbush.

Once confined to fringe corners of the Religious Right, Christian nationalism has gained currency in recent years as public figures increasingly urge their supporters to adopt this theocratic doctrine. Christian nationalist symbols were especially prominent at the January 6 insurrection, prompting Interfaith Alliance to insist that this ideology is incompatible with democracy and religious freedom.

“Christian nationalism is a perverse ideology of cruelty and white supremacy, said author Wajahat Ali. “Faith leaders need to have skin in the game. You have to speak up at your churches, you have to speak up at your community centers, you have to speak up at your home. You have to tolerate the short-term discomfort to create the long-term change.

“Christian nationalism is a political idolatry dressed up as theology,” said Rev. Dr. Richard Cizik, president of Evangelicals For Democracy. “We need to act really boldly. Christian nationalism betrays our faith. What would Jesus do? Reject it.”

“When I look at the folks who are leading the Christian nationalism movement, I don’t see any Christianity,” said Tayhlor Coleman, a leading voting rights advocate in Texas. “To me, they don’t represent my faith. I don’t concede that label to them. What I do see is the very same racism our nation has always had.”

“If you believe in our democracy and if you believe that Christian nationalism is doing damage to our democracy, then you cannot sit on the sidelines.” said Connie Ryan, executive director of Interfaith Alliance of Iowa. “We need you to act. We need you to be part of the solution by empowering others and educating them on the impact Christian nationalism is having at the national, state and local level.”

If you are interested in speaking further with Interfaith Alliance on this issue, please contact Manisha Sunil at (202) 417-0171 or msunil@westendstrategy.com.

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Interfaith Alliance is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.