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Union Seminary @UnionSeminary
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1. It's the #FourthofJuly, and there's perhaps no better time to discuss Christian nationalism. So, let's talk.
2. Though this sinful confluence is particularly pronounced today, the truth is that broad swathes of American Christianity have united worship of God and empire. While extreme patriotism is already idolotrous, many Christians take spiritual allegiance even further.
3. This is quite vivid in churches that proudly display the American flag in their sanctuary, flying high over Bibles and baptismal fonts. Some even recite the pledge of allegiance during worship, swearing fealty to country in a place that ought to be reserved for the divine.
4. However, Christian nationalism runs far deeper than just these overt displays of patriotic fervor. It's found in theology that declares the United States uniquely blessed by God, in the invocation of Romans 13 to sanctify state crimes, or talk of our "Christian nation."
5. All of this isn't just empty theology, it's a fundamental perversion of the faith started by a man executed by the state for condemning its abuses, and for decrying the complicity of religious authorities who allied themselves to political power instead of God's justice.
6. Indeed, Jesus would have much to say watching white evangelical leaders praying over a President who tears immigrant children from their parents, and it would not words of praise and accolade.
7. When Christians declare fealty to empire, we forget that our first and only calling is to be faithful to God. Then, when empire abuses people on the margins—the community Jesus was born into and people who Jesus loved—the costs of this devilish discipleship become clear.
8. Jesus promises we will know false prophets by their fruits and, in the case of Christian nationalism, the fruits are all-too-painfully apparent.
9. Perhaps the darkest chapter in Christian nationalism is the shameful capitulation of most of the Church in Nazi Germany, but history is rife with examples of invoking God to justify atrocity.
10. Slavery, apartheid, eugenics, segregation, and countless wars have all been defended in God's name by Christians so blindly loyal to their nation that they spat upon God's commandments.
11. Today, Christian nationalists have become some of the staunchest defenders of our President's patently un-Christian oppression—abusing and dehumanizing immigrants, demonizing Muslims, and openly supporting white supremacist policy.
12. It's time for all Christians who still worship God, not country, to stand up and decry these crimes in God's own name—to call out those who pervert Jesus' ministry by using him to bless a regime that desecrates everything Christ stands for.
13. if you're interested in reading more to better understand Christian nationalism, we commend @jackmjenkins' wonderful series for @thinkprogress—which both chronicles its history and examines its present manifestations.…
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