Overheard (March 2021)

Christian Nationalists’ acceptance of President Trump’s spectacular turpitude these past four years was a good measure of just how dire they think our situation is. Even a corrupt sociopath was better, in their eyes, than the horrifying freedom that religious moderates and liberals, along with the many Americans who don’t happen to be religious, offer the world.

Katherine Stewart, in her column, “The roots of Josh Hawley’s rage.”

The New York Times, 1-11-21


Let the science speak.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, discussing how “liberating” it is not to be muzzled by President Trump.

The New York Times, 1-25-21


Facts matter, and the facts couldn’t be clearer: Abortion is essential health care and plays a critical role in reducing health and social inequities in the United States and globally.

Herminia Palacio and Daniel Grossman in their op-ed, “How the Biden administration should stand up for abortion rights.”

Washington Post, 1-27-21


You can’t understand what happened today without wrestling with Christian Nationalism. . . They provided the political and theological underpinnings of this, and it has allowed anarchy to reign.

Andrew Whitehead, a sociologist at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, talking about the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6. He added that white evangelical movements have tolerated far-right extremism well before President Trump.

The New York Times, 1-12-21


We know, for example, that the [Supreme] court is exquisitely attentive to the slightest hint of discrimination against religion, religious people and religious institutions.

Linda Greenhouse, in her op-ed “The Supreme Court upheld Trump’s Muslim ban. Let’s not forget that.”

The New York Times, 1-28-21


Apocalyptic evangelical beliefs about the end of the world and the coming divine judgment blur with QAnon conspiracy theories.

Elizabeth Dias and Ruth Graham, in their article, “How white evangelical Christians fused with Trump extremism.”

The New York Times, 1-11-21


The Capitol insurrection was as Christian Nationalist as it gets. . . . [It] reflects a mindset that clearly merges national power and divine authority, believing God demands American leadership be wrested from godless usurpers and entrusted to true patriots who must be willing to shed blood (their own and others’) for God and country.

Samuel L. Perry, co-author of Taking America Back for God.

The New York Times, 1-28-21


The big question going forward is whether it is possible to integrate Christian Nationalists back within a pluralistic civil society when so many of their views are out of the mainstream — or whether they will continue to be a source of right-wing extremists willing to undermine American institutions on the basis of conspiracy theories.

Paul A. Djupe and Jacob Dennen, in their op-ed, “Christian Nationalists and QAnon followers tend to be anti-Semitic. That was seen in the Capitol attack.”

Washington Post, 1-26-21


It is not piety but policy that matters most. The real triumph is when evangelical convictions become encoded into law.

Gerardo Marti, a professor of sociology at Davidson College, on the fundamental strategic shift from the Religious Right toward a more embattled approach.

The New York Times, 1-28-21


I grew up in the Christian Nationalist movement. . . . I came to understand how racism is ingrained in the teachings of the white evangelical church. . . . I worry that neither the white evangelical church nor the public at large understands the danger that Christian Nationalism poses to democracy.

Dierdre Sugiuchi, in her column, “I grew up evangelical and the Christian Nationalist insurrection did not surprise me.”

Religion Dispatches, 1-28-21


Many observers commented on the jarring mixture of Christian, nationalist and racist symbolism amongst the insurrectionists: there were Christian crosses and Jesus Saves banners, Trump flags and American flags, fascist insignia and a ‘Camp Auschwitz’ hoodie. Some saw apples and oranges. But it was really a fruit cocktail: White Christian Nationalism.

Philip Gorski, professor of sociology at Yale.

The New York Times, 1-28-21


Christian Nationalism is the pursuit of tribal power, not the common good; it is identity politics for right-wing (mostly white) Christians.

Paul D. Miller, professor of international affairs at Georgetown University.

The New York Times 1-28-21