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Ahrens: Christian nationalism isn't Christianity

The headline above is part of the title of an article by Tim Ahrens that appeared in the Columbus Dispatch (8 Nov 2022). This is the gist of the article: "Christian nationalists falsely teach that there is no separation of church and state – and that conservative Christians should seize complete power by any means necessary." Tim Ahrens is the senior minister at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Downtown Columbus.

And why is this relevant? Because this mix of faux religion and power politics is precisely what Trump and his followers are attempting to implement. When you strip away the faux Christianity, what’s left isn’t just Nationalism, but White male Nationalism. It is extreme in its racism and misogyny.

They consider the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, regardless of public opinion, a success in their war against women. Their war against Blacks and other people of color continues unabated as they try to suppress knowledge of current discrimination and bias, overt and covert, as revealed in Critical Race Theory and other findings.

And Nationalism is not patriotism. Patriotism is love of country: Nationalism is love of power over a country, and the willingness to use violence to obtain it. The Jan. 6 insurrection shows what they are ready and willing to do. And it strikes at the heart of our democracy and our bedrock principle of freedom of religion for all. In short, their efforts constitute sedition and should be prosecuted as such.

Donald J. Trump has been, and still is the most divisive political leader in American history since the Civil War. He has managed to split the Republican Party, a feat that no one had thought possible. While Trump stands as the face of Christian Nationalism, the faction he has split off bears his indelible, toxic taint.

John H. Terrell


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