It’s fear, not hate

A 40-year movement now called Christian Nationalism threatens democracy around the world. Especially dominant in U.S. politics in the past few years, this movement endangers our future as one nation. Many people opposed to it see it as hate-filled, but I believe it is driven by fear. And many people drawn into its influence are motivated not by hate, but by fear – although fear can drive people into hate. Here is one definition of it:

“Christian nationalism seeks to merge Christian and American identities, distorting both the Christian faith and America’s constitutional democracy. Christian nationalism demands Christianity be privileged by the State and implies that to be a good American, one must be Christian. It often overlaps with and provides cover for white supremacy and racial subjugation.” (https://www.christiansagainstchristiannationalism.org/statement)

As a Baptist minister for 50 years, I am especially opposed to the movement’s rejection of the separation of church and state. Almost since the arrival of European colonists, “Christians” tried to establish their version of the religion as the basis for law and culture – just as Europeans had done for centuries – and the founders of this nation rejected that. The first amendment made it a constitutional principle.

Many Christians today are afraid. They fear losing the culture and nation they thought we were – although in reality we never were. Many see the establishment of our laws and government on the basis of their version of Christianity as the best way forward for the whole nation. We are a diverse nation, though, and no single religion or group of people has the right or the power to do that. The growing power of Christian Nationalism must be stopped.

Fear is the opposite of love, not hate. Only love / compassion can drive out the fear that motivates people in this movement. At the top levels of leadership, it is about money and power, but the majority of people caught up in the movement are driven by fear of losing what they believe is “right.”

While my gut wants to stop this movement any way we can, my heart says the only we can turn many people away from the movement is through compassion, respect, and nonviolence.

Click hear to learn more …. and I will keep writing about it.

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