At a time when Christian Nationalism and white supremacy are running rampant in this Republican-led government, it’s important to recognize that progressive Christians exist in ever-growing numbers and that could be vital for Democrats in upcoming elections.
But it’s also infuriating for them to watch their faith get twisted by white evangelicals, hell-bent on backing Donald Trump no matter what awful things he does (with GOP silence or support).
That’s why a number of prominent liberal Christians have released a joint statement denouncing Christian Nationalism — that is, the idea that to be truly American is to be Christian.
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. We reject this damaging political ideology and invite our Christian brothers and sisters to join us in opposing this threat to our faith and to our nation.
The statement says they believe one’s beliefs shouldn’t alter your standing in society, that government shouldn’t “prefer one religion over another or religion over nonreligion,” and that Christians have an obligation to “speak up and speak out” when their beliefs are used to inspire violence and intimidation.
There’s some fuzzy wording in there — I don’t care if something is “idolatrous” or if our status quo leads to an “impoverishment of religion” — but from a Christian perspective, it’s good stuff.
The statement was put together by the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty — the “good” Baptists, if you will — and the BJC is asking Christians all over the country to sign it if they agree. After one day, Christians from all 50 states had signed it.
Signing it is a good start. I’d love to know how many of those people are donating to or actively working to get progressives elected. Because that’s what matters more than just mere words.
The statement is also telling because, somehow, the ideas of religious neutrality and basic human decency are seen as progressive values. There are right-wing Christians looking at this statement as if it’s heresy. Which is basically the point.
If you’re a Christian who can’t sign a statement like this, what the hell is wrong with you?
(Thanks to Brian for the link)