Saying No to ‘Christian Nationalism on Wheels’
Nathan Empsall is an Episcopal priest and executive director of Faithful America, which operates the mobile billboard touring opposite Mike Flynn’s ReAwaken America Tour. He spoke with Sojourners’ Mitchell Atencio.
THE REAWAKEN AMERICA TOUR came to our attention after Mike Flynn’s comments in November 2021 that America should only have one religion. He said this at a church known for its antisemitic founding pastor — a particularly chilling setting to say America should only have one religion. Since then, we’ve been training and organizing — and sending our mobile billboard.
I was pleased to go to Batavia, N.Y., and join local clergy. It was actually the only one I’ve attended personally. It was a Christian event, but we were joined by a rabbi and a Muslim leader. We stood in front of the mobile billboard that declares that the ReAwaken Tour features the “false prophets” Jesus warned against.
We heard warnings about Christian nationalism: the deceptive techniques it uses to make you think it’s Christian when it’s not, how it harms democracy, and how it raises the threat of political violence. We also heard what people stood for and the grace they want in the community. It was a beautiful day of affirming the gospel.
I held up petitions from Faithful America and Christians Against Christian Nationalism to show 60,000 signatures against Christian nationalism and/or the tour itself. Those gathered didn’t just speak for themselves but for a national movement of Christians concerned with the hijacking of our faith.
Flynn talks about the importance of local action. That’s the only thing I’ll agree with him on — local action matters. Christians need to be sure that it’s not just nationalists speaking out because Christian nationalism is neither Christian nor patriotic.