Reviews | Christian nationalism is one of Trump’s most powerful weapons
None seemed willing to condemn Mr. Trump for organizing an attempt to prevent the peaceful transfer of power to President-elect Joe Biden. On the contrary, Reverend Franklin Graham, writing on Facebook, condemned “these ten” of Mr. Trump’s “own party” who voted to impeach him and pondered: “One wonders what were the thirty pieces of silver that President Pelosi promised for this betrayal.
At the Christian Nationalist Conferences I have reported on, I have heard speakers go out of their way to defend and even glorify the January 6 insurgents. At the Road to Majority conference, held in central Florida in June 2021, author and radio host Eric Metaxas said, “The reason I think we are so persecuted, why the Jan 6 people are being persecuted, when you’re on target like that, oh my god. At that same lecture, political commentator Dinesh D’Souza, in conversation with religious right-wing strategist Ralph Reed, said: “The people who are really getting ripped off right now are the January 6 protesters,” before adding, “We won’t stand up for our guys even when they’re good. Mr. Reed nodded in response and replied. : “I think Donald Trump has learned a lot from our movement.”
The leaders of the movement now appear to be working to prepare the basis for the next attempt to overthrow the electoral process. Last year, in dozens of conservative churches in Swing States, groups of pastors were treated to presentations as part of an initiative called Faith Wins. Starring speakers like David Barton, a key figure in fabricating Christian nationalist myths about history, and led by Chad Connelly, a veteran of Republican politics, Faith Wins serves election skepticism while demanding that pastors mobilize their herds to vote for âbiblicalâ values. âEvery pastor you know should make sure that 100 percent of the people in their pews vote and vote for biblical values,â Mr. Connelly told pastors gathered at a Faith Wins event in Chantilly, Va., In. September.
âThe church is not a cruise ship, the church is a battleship,â added Byron Foxx, an evangelist on tour with Faith Wins. The Faith Wins team also had Hogan Gidley, deputy press secretary at Trump White House, who now heads the Center for Election Integrity, an initiative of the America First Policy Institute, a group led in part by former members of the Trump administration. Mr Gidley informed the assembly that his group is “non-partisan” – then went on to mention that in the last election cycle there were “a lot of rogue Secretaries of State, a lot of rogue governors”.
He was presumably referring to Brad Raffensperger, the Republican Secretary of State for Georgia who angered the Trumpists by rejecting the former president’s request to find him 11,780 more votes. “You’ve seen it in Arizona, you’re going to see more in Wisconsin, these are big issues, and we can’t be dismissed out of hand anymore, the facts are too glaring,” Gidley said. In fact, the audit of the Republican-backed votes in Arizona’s largest county confirmed that President Biden won Arizona by more votes than previously thought. But the account of the persecution is too useful politically to be dismissed simply because it is not true.
Even as the leaders of the movement prepare for a possible restoration of a Trumpist regime – a period they continue to view in retrospect as a golden age – they are moving in parallel on closely related fronts. One of the most important of these concerns public education.
In the panic over the claim that American schools indoctrinate young children into Critical Race Theory, or CRT, it is not difficult to detect the ritualized functioning of the same information bubble, the same complex. of persecution and the same sense of entitlement that fueled the attempted coup. . Whatever you do with the new efforts of state legislatures to impose new “anti-CRT” restrictions on speaking and teaching in public schools, the most important consequence is to expand the long-standing agenda of the right. religious faith to undermine confidence in public education, an effort that religious right-wing leaders see as essential both to the movement’s long-term funding prospects and to its anti-democratic agenda.