Earlier this week, a group of Christian leaders released a statement speaking out against the rising tide of Christian nationalism in the USA. The group, known as Christians Against Christian Nationalism, includes leaders from a variety of denominations; their statement has been signed by more than 4,000 people, as of August 1.
In their statement, the group describes Christian nationalism and the threat it poses to both the nation and Christianity, writing:
“Christian nationalism seeks to merge Christian and American identities, distorting both the Christian faith and America’s constitutional democracy. Christian nationalism demands Christianity be privileged by the State and implies that to be a good American, one must be Christian.”
The group seeks to dismantle the conception that being a good American inherently means being a Christian as well as the idea that being a Christian makes one more worthy of leadership in the public sphere.
The statement is also quick to point out that Christian nationalism is very closely tied with white supremacy and other forms of bigotry; although the statement does not specifically reference any particular racially-motivated crimes or incidents, others have drawn the connection between Christian nationalism and things like the proposed Muslim ban, the Charlottesville demonstrations, and attacks on non-Christian houses of worship, such as the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
In addition to the group’s statement on the website, there are also brief reflections about the importance of this work from a number of different Christian leaders, including Presiding Bishop Michael Curry of the Episcopal Church, who states:
“As followers of Jesus, his command to love our neighbors means neighbors of every type, of every faith, not just our own. Through our baptism and in our democracy, we are called to a way of love that creates a community in which the dignity of every human being is recognized and respected, and where all can have an equal say in the governing of our civic life. The violence, intimidation and distortion of scripture associated with “Christian nationalism” does not reflect the person and teachings of Jesus Christ, and so I stand with fellow leaders in the Christian community and call for a better way.”
Other endorsers of the statement include the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Jim Wallis, the founder of Sojourners, Tony Campolo, the founder of Red Letter Christians; and representatives of several other denominations and Christian organizations.
For the complete statement, visit the official site of Christians Against Christian Nationalism.