A LOT HAS BEEN written in recent months about how Christian nationalism is a threat to America — and of course that’s right. But it’s also worth noting that it’s a threat to Christianity.
This round of concern really took off when a new poll from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) found that alarming numbers of people believed things such as “the U.S. government should declare America a Christian nation” and “God has called Christians to exercise dominion over all areas of American society.” Nearly 30 percent of Americans mostly agreed (sympathizers) or completely agreed (adherents) with such statements, which is scary enough — but among Republicans that number rose to 54 percent, which means it is the dominant belief system among one of the two parties that frequently swap control of the U.S. government.
PRRI President Robert P. Jones defines Christian nationalism as “the idea that America is destined to be a promised land for European Christians.” Nearly two-thirds of white evangelical Protestants, according to PRRI, qualify as adhering or sympathizing with this belief. Astonishingly, these beliefs cross racial lines. “White (29%), Hispanic (25%), and Black (20%) Christians who identify as born-again or evangelical are each about five times as likely to be Christian nationalism adherents as members of the same racial or ethnic groups who identify as Christian but not evangelical,” the institute reports.