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I'm in a bit of an ornery mood, so I'm gonna comment on this Federalist article in favor of Christian nationalism (h/t @J_MarieWheaton) with all the seriousness it deserves.

Obvs anyone posing for a "professional" picture with hair like the author's is a super serious person. 😏
@J_MarieWheaton And clearly there's no danger of a Lutheran dudebro who literally named his blog "The 96th Thesis" taking himself too seriously amirite.

Clearly we're dealing with someone who is thoroughly grounded in reality and has reached the very pinnacle of human reasonableness. 🙃
@J_MarieWheaton Our super reasonable hero Matthew begins his screed--sorry, I meant to say his impeccably argued commentary--by clutching pearls over "a gaggle" of Christians signing the Christians against Christian Nationalism statement (on which, read salon.com/2019/08/10/a-g…). Sounds objective
@J_MarieWheaton We are informed that this "gaggle of Christians from liberal denominations" claims Christian nationalism "threatens both American and the ability of our religious communities to live in peace."

Narrator: They're right, but don't let that deter you, brave Matthew Cochran!
@J_MarieWheaton Which of course you won't, O heir of Luther himself, because you are going to dishonestly pretend that your views are compatible with democracy while actually arguing for Christian supremacism, which might be a neat bit of sleight of hand if it weren't so damn predictable.
@J_MarieWheaton No no, our hero, that Lutheran of Lutherans--by the way, how many of the household name founding fathers were Lutheran? Oh right, none. *Ahem*

Our hero "defends" this (97th?) thesis by deflecting to one of the Right's favorite punching bags. Cue the transphobia. So logic!
@J_MarieWheaton And now things get very twisty! In case gesticulating in the general direction of a distorted right-wing narrative about a Canadian case that is in no way representative of defenders of trans equality (better take here: medium.com/@notCursedE/je…) not enough to convince us...
@J_MarieWheaton Our Lutheran hero with the bad hair now informs us that clearly it is Christianity itself that has brought about religious freedom. Never mind the lack of evidence for this fact-free claim; the obvious conclusion is that Christians should have more religious freedom than others.
@J_MarieWheaton Heroic heir of Martin Luther but somehow also spokesperson for Christian America, because that makes sense, Matthew Cochran cannot get bogged down providing evidence for his claim that Christian faith as such has a direct causal relationship to American religious liberty!
@J_MarieWheaton He has no time for such trivialities. He needs to move on--definitely not so we won't notice the lack of support for his claims--to asserting there's no organized Christian nationalist movement (has he heard of Trump rallies?) and to accuse his opponents of "poisoning the well."
@J_MarieWheaton And there's definitely no right-wing projection going on here amirite. I mean far be it from his reasonableness, the heir of Luther, to poison the well by, I don't know, calling his ideological opponents a "gaggle" or using trans panic instead of substantiating his claims. 🙃
@J_MarieWheaton M. Cochran, humble and reasonable heir to the Protestant Reformation and ergo true interpreter of religious liberty, wants to reassure us that he "has no interest in contending on behalf of" white supremacy.

Also he definitely didn't masturbate thinking up that fancy phrasing.
@J_MarieWheaton You see, he's not a racist, no, of course not. He just wants to embrace and defend the same ideology, Christian nationalism, that motivates the people who are most enthusiastically in favor of Trump's most racist policies. I'm sure that's a coincidence.

@J_MarieWheaton And our hero most certainly does not want to "contend on behalf of" theocracy. He just wants to promote "a conviction that a Christian understanding of the world should predominate over other worldviews in American civic life."

See the difference? Yeah, I don't either.
@J_MarieWheaton From this point, we get some typical Christian nationalist "alternative history" talking points (FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STATES USED TO HAVE ESTABLISHED CHURCHES) and Christian apologetics, including the wily claim that everyone has a religion, even non-believers. No neutrality? See?
@J_MarieWheaton And then there's the classic "our notion of the secular comes from Christian theology of the two kingdoms, so obvs we're stuck with keeping Christianity at the center, QED." Yeah, clearly it's impossible to think of any other possibilities or adapt to modern democracy.🙃
@J_MarieWheaton Next, our hero turns to another bugbear of the Right, Islam, which he ahistorically insists has never made a distinction between church and state. But he's obviously more enlightened than the right-wingers who say Islam is "ideology, not religion," because he says it's both. Yay?
@J_MarieWheaton Cochran seems to believe this somehow proves that separation of church and state is inherently Christian. But even if it did, would that mean that therefore it is inevitable that we privilege Christianity in our civic life? That's some pretzel logic right there.
@J_MarieWheaton Christianity is "more focused on faith than on following specific laws." Definitely nothing distorted, ahistorical, or anti-Semitic here, folks... 🙃

For funsies let's also invoke 9/11 and ignore that domestic (white Christian) terrorism claims far more U.S. lives than Islamist.
@J_MarieWheaton Next Cochran claims law is not morally neutral, ours is grounded in Christianity, blah blah blah. Doesn't matter that key founders were Deists because that's just Christian heritage anyway, get over it, snowflakes. Uninteresting and unoriginal Christian nation talking points.
@J_MarieWheaton But then we get something "interesting," or that's one way to describe the statement that other countries have "culturally appropriated religious liberty from the Christian West." This is clearly the most "not-racist" claim from our "not-racist" hero in this "not-racist" piece.
@J_MarieWheaton And then, oh hey, look, see, Israel's also not religiously neutral and that totally means America shouldn't seek to be. Followed by "simply believing that Jesus Christ is the messiah voids the right of return granted by Israel to other ethnic Jews." LOL WUT 🥴
@J_MarieWheaton Okay, so I think what Matthew Cochran, heir of Martin Luther, is trying to say here is that the right of return applies to Israel because it's a Jewish state, but not to America because (he claims) it's a Christian state. But. My. Dude. That's not how analogies work.
@J_MarieWheaton Now Cochran wants us to know that while Christians get ALL THE CREDITZ for the whole history of any and all secularism, religious liberty, church-state separation, and accommodation, TOLERATION CAN GO TOO FAR. He invokes typical #ChristianAltFacts like "abortion is muder."
@J_MarieWheaton Our hero wants us to know that same-sex marriage and trans equality are definitely BAD, but also doubles down on his claim that persecution of the LGBTQ community and women is not theocratic at all, bc/, wait for it, CHRISTIANS ARE THE REAL VICTIMS. Much original. Very convince.
@J_MarieWheaton Finally, heroic self-appointed heir to the Protestant Reformation itself, Matthew Cochran, is pleased to inform you that if you value Christianity, you are a nationalist. By extension, the signers of the statement he wrote this argument against... aren't "real" Christians? 🤔
@J_MarieWheaton If you appreciate me reading this drivel in The Federalist so you don't have to, pledges to my @Patreon of a few dollars a month or more help keep my fullt-time work as a writer, commentator, and advocate sustainable. Thanks! End thread.


*threatens both American democracy and...
@Delafina777 have you seen this shit?
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