Pluralist Resistance to Christian Nationalism

Updates on Our Work

News Weekly Round-Up, July 1st – 5th, 2024

News Weekly Round-Up, July 1st – 5th, 2024.

The Weekly Roundup is a student-led initiative of the Meanings of Democracy Lab highlighting the latest news about Christian Nationalism and resistance to it.

CHRISTIAN NATIONALISM IN THE NEWS

  • Media Matters for America: Kevin Roberts, president of the Heritage Foundation, declared “We are in the process of the second American Revolution” after the Supreme Court immunity decision
  • The New Republic: Mark Robinson, the GOP nominee for governor in North Carolina, exclaimed “Some folks need killing!” in a speech at a small-town church
  • The New York Times: The blurring of lines between church and state and how faith is used as a tool and weapon in politics
  • Truthout: Christian Nationalism poses a threat to public education

Check out last week’s round-up!

Profiles in Resistance: Vote Common Good

Vote Common Good was founded by Doug Pagitt, a liberal evangelical Christian pastor, author, and religious activist. Pagitt and his organization are outspoken in their efforts to combat legislation that seeks to fundamentally change the landscape of our country and Christianity. They work to boost support among evangelical Christians for liberal policies and encourage the bloc to excercise their faith without the pressure of adhering to party lines: “For many of these voters, their primary commitment is not to switch parties; it is to be faithful to their beliefs and convictions and make the common good their voting criteria.” The effort started in 2018 following a turn in American politics towards Christian Nationalism, spearheaded by a conglomerate of religious organizations influencing policy and emboldened by Donald Trump. Vote Common Good became an avenue for evangelical voters who were disillusioned by Donald Trump’s leadership and the manipulation of Christianity in the 2020 election and following January 6th.

One of Vote Common Good’s most notable campaigns against Christian Nationalism is their billboard campaign, “HisWordsMatter”. They feature the words of Jesus compared with direct quotes from Donald Trump. Additionally, their “March on Christian Nationalism” Campaign, which took place in March 2023, centered advocacy against Christian Nationalism by joining an International conference being held at Oxford, mobilizing voter turnout in swing states like Arizona and across the country, and launching their podcast series centered around Christian Nationalism. Many of the leading voices on Christian Nationalism are featured in their videos and podcasts, such as Andrew Whitehead, Kristin Du Mez, and Rev. Dr. Stephany Spaulding and it has been very successful.

His Words Matter Campaign, Vote Common Good

A transformation in religious and political ideology has taken hold across the nation, Vote Common Good’s impact is visible and their work is grounded in a commitment to democracy and community: “We are dedicated to flipping the script [on]. . . the way we do politics in America. Flipping the script means changing the narrative with under-girded white Evangelical and Catholic reflective support for Republicans who have put other priorities over the common good for a variety of reasons.”

Lorien Touponse is a Senior, English Major, Women Gender and Sexuality Studies Minor. She has a passion for political activism and believes strongly in the separation of Church and State. In her free time she works for the Undergraduate Student Government at UConn as their Director of Student Services and runs initiatives relating to Mental Health, Sexual Health and Food Insecurity on campus. She hopes to become a lawyer to advocate for underserved communities and women’s rights. 

For more information about the organizations and individuals resisting Christian Nationalism in the United States today, check out our Pluralist Resistance to Christian Nationalism project page.

News Weekly Round-Up, June 24th – 28th

News Weekly Round-Up, June 24th – 28th, 2024.

The Weekly Roundup is a student-led initiative of the Meanings of Democracy Lab highlighting the latest news about Christian Nationalism and resistance to it.

CHRISTIAN NATIONALISM IN THE NEWS

  • Northeastern Global News:  Jeremy Paul, a professor of law at Northeastern, deemed Louisiana’s Ten Commandments ‘intimidating and coercive’
  • The Fayetteville Observer: Black, gay Fayetteville minister Mark Robinson details Christian Nationalism in North Carolina towards the LGBTQ+ community
  • Axios: Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled what would be the nation’s first publicly funded religious school unconstitutional
  • PBS: After the Oklahoma Supreme Court blocked public funding for a Catholic charter school, State Superintendent Ryan Walters mandates Bibles in every public school classroom
  • Rollingstone.com: RFK Jr.’s running mate, Nicole Shanahan, warns of ‘demonic’ influence in the government
  • U.S. Catholic: Reverend Jim Wallis, author of The False White Gospel, spoke on white Christian Nationalism on the Just Politics podcast (transcript included)
  • The Hill: The implications of Louisiana’s Ten Commandments law

Check out last week’s round-up!

News Weekly Round-Up, June 17th – 21st

News Weekly Round-Up, June 17th – 21st, 2024.

The Weekly Roundup is a student-led initiative of the Meanings of Democracy Lab highlighting the latest news about Christian Nationalism and resistance to it.

CHRISTIAN NATIONALISM IN THE NEWS

  • CNN: A voucher program is sending taxpayer money to private religious schools
  • Louisville Public Radio: Women leaders and members oppose the Southern Baptist Convention’s priorities
  • The Hill: The ACLU, ACLU of Louisiana, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit against a Louisiana law requiring the Ten Commandments in classrooms
  • VPM: The Extremely American podcast returns with a focus on the rise of Christian Nationalism in the college town of Moscow, Idaho
  • Politico: Michael Flynn, former Trump insider, is using harmful Christian Nationalist rhetoric to describe American politics
  • Axios: Louisiana becomes the first state to require the Ten Commandments be posted in all public schools
  • Newsweek: The Southern Baptist Convention voted to oppose in vitro fertilization (IVF)

Check out the previous round-up!

Profiles in Resistance: Repairers of the Breach

Led by Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II, a Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign and former North Carolina president and national board member of the NAACP, Repairers of the Breach is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) not-for-profit training activists, artists, and faith leaders to organize and mobilize. Their advocacy around a moral policy agenda prioritizing love, truth, and justice thrust them into the conversation regarding Christian Nationalism.

Photo Credit: Pilar Tempane on Flickr

ROTB views religious nationalism, which promotes the view that America was founded on Christian values and should be governed as such, as a “distorted moral narrative” that is “used in defense of regressive public policies.” In order to address systemic injustices through a moral framework, ROTB believes that faith communities can shift the moral narrative to one of love and inclusivity. Religious nationalism runs contrary to their goal of “peace within and among nations, the dignity and wellness of all people, equal protection under the law, and the responsibility to care for our common home.

Photo Credit: Becker1999 on Flickr

ROTB was founded in 2015 with the mission of reclaiming the language of morality from religious extremists that became prominent in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election. This effort is carried our through their Moral Fusion Organizing initiative, which supports grassroots and national movements for social change by advocating for multi-identity and multi-issue organizing. By reclaiming the moral language of the public square, ROTB challenges “so-called conservatives” who “hijack the powerful language of faith” in partisan debates. ROTB’s Poor People’s Campaign joins religious leaders of all races and faiths to combat systemic poverty, thereby promoting multiculturalism and cooperation in the face of pressing partisan divides regarding how to address poverty in the United States. Examples of efforts by the Poor People’s Campaign include the Moral March on Washington, teach-ins, and Moral Monday Rallies across the country.

Katherine Dattner is an honors political science major at the University of Connecticut. Her interests include public policy and international relations.

For more information about the organizations and individuals resisting Christian Nationalism in the United States today, check out our Pluralist Resistance to Christian Nationalism project page.

The Pluralist Resistance Doc-list

Looking to keep up with the latest documentary films and podcasts about Christian Nationalism? There is so much creative and insightful content being created about Christian Nationalism, its history, and the real people working to both spread and resist it. We’ve screened it all so you don’t have to. Here are the docs we recommend most. Let us know if you have any suggested additions to the list!

America First hat, God Guns and Trump hat
Source: God & Country film

 

AMERICAN IDOLS

BAD FAITH: Christian Nationalism’s Unholy War on Democracy

CHARISMATIC REVIVAL FURY: The New Apostolic Reformation

GOD AND COUNTRY

(more…)

Profiles in Resistance: Jews For a Secular Democracy

Jews for a Secular Democracy is a nationwide initiative of the Society for Humanistic Judaism that began in April 2018. Drawing from Jewish perspectives and pluralistic values, they combine education and community organizing to uphold secularism. They believe Jewish voices and community are necessary to oppose the ongoing elevation of Christian Nationalism.

Jews for a Secular Democracy works to defend Jews’ and other religious minorities’ right to freedom of religion, deconstruct “Judeo-Christian” rhetoric, and maintain separation of church and state. They define Christian Nationalism in tandem with political power and the imposition of Christian doctrine in policy. They specifically highlight attempts to curtail reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and secular public education. Recognizing how legal discrimination has historically been weaponized against the Jewish community, their advocacy aims to prevent similar treatment of others and the roll back of civil rights.

JFASD Michigan Director Nomi Joyrich at Reproductive Rights protest
Jews for a Secular Democracy, Michigan 2022 Ballot Proposals: Deep Dive and Relational Organizing Training with Nomi Joyrich

Jews for a Secular Democracy is headed by Paul Golin. The organization operates chapters in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, and New York. They are also organizing action in Minnesota and Pennsylvania. They have been involved in many projects, including promoting secular education in New York nonpublic schools and yeshivas with YAFFED and defending reproductive rights through a ballot initiative with the Floridians Protecting Freedom Coalition.

Kojo Aurelien is a Digital Media and Design B.A. and Sociology Alumni of the University of Connecticut. He combined these dimensions in his work for the lab as a social media intern and research assistant.

For more information about the organizations and individuals resisting Christian Nationalism in the United States today, check out our Pluralist Resistance to Christian Nationalism project page.

News Weekly Round-Up, April 22nd – 26th

MoD News Roundup April 22 – April 26 2024

The Weekly Roundup is a student-led initiative of the Meanings of Democracy Lab highlighting the latest news about Christian Nationalism and resistance to it.

CHRISTIAN NATIONALISM IN THE NEWS

  • TheHumanist: New documentary, “Bad Faith” shows foundations and dangers of Christian Nationalism
  • Post: More on Trump’s threat to American Democracy
  • MSN: Documents reveal inner workings of Claremont Institute, a Christian nationalist and MAGA supporting org
  • TuftsDaily: Trump on selling bibles and the influence he has on Christian Nationalists.
  • BismarckTribune: the dangers of CN, what it is, and who opposes it
  • Christian Post: New Poll on Southern Baptist Church Goers and Their Opinions on Christian Nationalism
  • WXII12: Nonprofit Organization Faith Forward Warn about the Influence of Christian Nationalism on Upcoming Election
  • Midland Daily News: Rev. Canon Dr. Lauren R. Stanley Calls Out Trump for Perverting God Through Christian Nationalism

Check out last week’s round-up!

News Weekly Round-Up, April 15th – 19th

News Weekly Round-Up, April 15th – 19th, 2024.

The Weekly Roundup is a student-led initiative of the Meanings of Democracy Lab highlighting the latest news about Christian Nationalism and resistance to it.

CHRISTIAN NATIONALISM IN THE NEWS
  • SaltLakeCityTribune: Pat Bagley Christian Nationalism Cartoon
  • ChristianPost: Scholar with Family Research Council (FRC) criticizes New Haven Declaration
  • TheHumanist: National Day of Reason is on May 4th, continues America’s original efforts towards a secular democracy
  • The Conversation: Comparison to Reagan’s religious references in office to Trump’s Christian Nationalism Strategies
  • Julie Roys: Southern Baptists are pulling away from the idea of a Christian Nation
  • Baptist News: More reporting on the results from a new Lifeway Research survey on faith and politics relating to Southern Baptists and Christian Nationalism
  • ReligionUnplugged: Education on CN is dire; learning how CN fuels things like churches and the January 6th riot. 
  • AnaBaptistWorld: At Yale, Christian pastors sign a declaration opposing religious nationalism ahead of the 2024 election. 
  • EBar: A gay Baptist minister helps in the fight against CN that seeks to exclude LGBTQ people.
  • AmericansUnited: Summit for Religious Freedom calls out CN as a threat

Check out last week’s round-up!

    Profiles in Resistance: Center for Christianity and Public Life

    Founded in 2022 by vocal evangelical Michael Wear, the Center for Christianity and Public Life believes that the fate of American democracy rests on the character of Christianity within the country. Wear, now CEO and President, established the organization following his work as a faith adviser to President Barack Obama. The CCPL advocates that Christian resources should be funneled into supporting and bolstering the public good. One of their most prevalent beliefs is that Christians should be helping build healthy civic pluralism within the 21st century. To quote Wear, “We believe that Christianity—its ideas, its institutions, its people—can and must contribute to building a healthier politics and nation for everyone.”

    The CCPL is motivated to resolve the cynicism and volatility in modern public life and politics through a combination of public imagination and Christian civic formation. Wear previously led Public Square Strategies, a consulting firm aimed at helping religious and political organizations along with businesses when it comes to handling the modern American religious and political environment. Now, his work focuses more on supporting individual Christians and community leaders rather than companies and groups. The CCPL does not mention Christian Nationalism by name but has continually promoted a pluralistic vision of the United States that opposes Christian Nationalism and its reach.

    The organization has three major programs: its annual “For the Good of the Public” Summit, the Public Life Fellowship, and the Young Professionals Network. “For the Good of the Public” aims to bring community leaders together to discuss issues and Christian resources that can contribute to the public good. The Public Life Fellowship Program is an intensive nine-month program offered to a diverse group of Christians regarding the role they can play in faith and public service. The Young Professionals Network, formally known as The Community of Young Christians in Politics (CYCP), is similarly comprised of a diverse group of Christians, however, it specifically focuses on professionals 35 and under to discuss challenges within their faith and career.

    Adrish Das is a sophomore Political Science major and Sociology minor at the University of Connecticut.

    For more information about the organizations and individuals resisting Christian Nationalism in the United States today, check out our Pluralist Resistance to Christian Nationalism project page.

    Resources