Christian Nationalism: The Latest Tool in Language Control
Progressives, both inside and outside of Christian circles, have worked for many decades to try and separate any association between the religion of Christianity and the institution of American government. Any and all attempts by Christians to participate in the political process are met with hostility, criticism, and slander. This has recently culminated in the creation of the term “Christian Nationalism.”
Like many of the signature terms used by progressive leftists, it is nearly impossible to define. "Christian Nationalism" has been used to describe anything from white nationalists marching in Charlottesville, protestors storming the capital on January 6th, and normal everyday Americans that just so happen to love their country. As is the case with many of the Left’s terms, it can mean one thing today and another thing tomorrow.
This constant evolution and uncertainty is an integral part of their attempts at controlling language in culture. In order to adequately exercise control over a populace, control over language is integral. If you control the terms that can be used and the definitions of those terms, you have unlimited control over the perceptions of the culture. What is viewed as acceptable or unacceptable, what groups are good and what groups are evil, and the appropriate role of certain groups in the running of government and other institutions are all linked to the language of the culture and what is considered culturally sensitive or insensitive, commonly known as what is “politically correct” or “incorrect.”
This line of thinking has infiltrated the modern Church in a variety of ways. Discussions about race, sexuality, and gender roles all have a place in the growing battle over the control of language. The perception of the “Christian Nationalist” is just the latest example of this fight, and in many ways it encompasses all of the subjects and topics mentioned above. It is the ultimate culmination of the Left’s attempts at discrediting the politically active conservative Christian.
The loudest objectors often point to two things in making their case against political Christians: “separation of church and state” and the widespread support for Donald Trump among evangelicals. The first idea targets the perception by some that the United States is a Christian nation. Constitutionally speaking, the government has not established, and is not allowed to establish, a national religion for the nation. But when people say that the United States is a Christian nation, they do not mean so in a literal sense, but in a cultural sense. When you study the writings and works of the founders, even those who considered themselves deists, it is very evident the role that Christianity played in their ideas. Founders like Patrick Henry and Roger Sherman were arguably more inspired by John Calvin than they were John Locke. Even Benjamin Franklin, the go-to example of a nonreligious founder, appealed to his fellow delegates to go to prayer before God at the onset of the Constitutional Convention.
The other sticking point for many is the support for Trump among evangelicals. Those who criticize the “Christian Nationalist” movement often point directly at the fact that the evangelical vote was a large reason that Donald Trump was elected president. Those same critics often point to Trump’s brash behavior and insensitive comments, specifically those that many have labeled as racist. They do not believe that the support for Trump comes from genuine policy concern, but from the Christian Right’s own racism. According to the progressive's view, someone would not support Trump because of his protectionist economic policy, his hard stance on immigration, or his overtly pro-life messaging; they would only support him because of their own racism. That is how those who are sounding the alarm over Christian Nationalism think, and in many ways it is purposeful. No reasonable person wants to be labeled as a racist. No reasonable person wants to be associated with white supremacists. That is where the power of language comes in and why there is no set definition for Christian Nationalism.
For the progressive, the term describes those who are truly radical in their beliefs, as well as those who are just normal everyday Americans that love their God and their country. This is because, in the mind of the progressive, there is no distinction between the two and both are the same evil entity. They will do everything in their power to force this association onto anyone they see as a threat. Despite what many on the Left would say, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a Christian loving his or her country and wanting to see it flourish. Patriotism is not a sin. It only becomes one when it shifts from patriotism to idolatry.
Despite what contemporary culture claims, being born in the United States is a blessing. I was born in Russia. I was adopted at a very young age. When my parents recount my adoption story, they tell me stories of a deeply impoverished people who lived like those 200 years in the past did. The blessings of liberty that we have here in the USA are nonexistent on the other side of the world.
The United States is a gift, a shining city of liberty sitting on a hill above the world. Loving this nation and not wanting to see it in decline is not a sinful act. Christian Nationalism is a total misnomer used by progressives both inside and outside of the Church to try and keep evangelical conservatives from having a political voice. We must reject the notion that the Church has no place in the political system. Dr. Jerry Falwell Sr. once said, "The idea that religion and politics don’t mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country.” Christians must be present if we want to maintain a moral, just, and free nation. Do not be afraid to be a patriot and voice your love for America. Loving your nation is an extension of loving your neighbor, and if we want to have an effective voice, we need to love both well.