For millions of Americans, the January 6th insurrection demonstrated the potent threats our nation faces from anti-democratic forces. While the mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol included various far right groups, some of the most indelible images from that day featured religious symbols and language. In the aftermath, many are coming to understand the threat of Christian nationalism for the first time.
Christian Nationalism (n.)
Christian nationalism is a cultural framework that conflates American identity with an exclusive form of religious identity. Rooted in the myth that we were founded as a Christian nation and therefore enjoy special favor by God, supporters seek a fusion of religious and civil life – to the detriment of both. Christian nationalism incorporates anti-democratic notions of white supremacy, nativism, patriarchy, and authoritarianism.
Christian nationalism draws on the symbols and language of Christian religious life in service of a political and cultural goal. But the “Christian” elements of this ideology are more about identity than religion. Its ultimate goal is power – for a particular group of Americans, at the expense of all others.
Yet across political party and ideology, people of all faiths and none are mobilizing to reject Christian nationalism. Our success will require a deep and sustained commitment to finally achieve our nation’s founding ideals. Download Interfaith Alliance’s inclusive vision of religious freedom.
Interfaith Alliance Hosts Capitol Hill Briefing on Christian Nationalism
Ahead of the midterm elections, leading experts gathered on September 28, 2022, for the first congressional briefing focused exclusively on Christian nationalism. Interfaith Alliance president Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush facilitated a conversation examining what’s at stake for people of all faiths and none as this anti-democratic ideology gains political and cultural force.
Hosted in partnership with Congressman Jamie Raskin’s office, speakers included Wajahat Ali, author of Fear, Inc. and Go Back to Where You Came From and Other Helpful Recommendations on Becoming American; voting rights advocate Tayhlor Coleman; Connie Ryan, executive director of Interfaith Alliance of Iowa; and Rev. Dr. Richard Cizik, president of Evangelicals for Democracy. Watch the full briefing, “Christian Nationalism is on the Ballot in 2022.”
A Concise Introduction on Christian Nationalism
The Christian nationalism of our current moment draws on centuries of exclusionary rhetoric and violence. We refuse to cede ground to activists who would privilege certain Christians above all other Americans. Here’s what you need to know about this growing movement.