A BJC-led campaign to rally Christians against the persistent threat of Christian nationalism is less than two weeks old, but it has already generated substantial support and news coverage. In the first 10 days of the campaign, more than 10,000 Christians of different denominational affiliations (and representing all 50 states) have signed a statement decrying Christian nationalism, which it describes as seeking to “merge Christian and American identities.”
It reads in part:
Christian nationalism demands Christianity be privileged by the State and implies that to be a good American, one must be Christian.
Whether we worship at a church, mosque, synagogue, or temple, America has no second-class faiths. All are equal under the U.S. Constitution. As Christians, we must speak in one voice condemning Christian nationalism as a distortion of the gospel of Jesus and a threat to American democracy.
The grassroots initiative has already been covered by The Hill, Vice, Religion News Service, Patheos, Episcopal News Service, the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Baptist News Global and Baptist Standard.
In a column written for Patheos, Chris Gehrz explains why it should not be surprising that Baptists started this campaign, given “their historic commitment to religious liberty for people of all faiths and to the separation of church and state.” He goes on to urge skeptical readers to check out the new BJC Podcast series on the subject of Christian nationalism:
In the first episode, BJC director and statement organizer Amanda Tyler alludes to “some troubling signs that Christian nationalism may be stuck at high tide.” While she’s bothered by violent attacks on individuals and houses of worship, she warns that “Christian nationalism also reveals itself in less dramatic ways” — e.g., as bills in state legislatures that would require biblical literacy courses in public schools and post the statement “In God we trust” in such public spaces. The Christians Against Christian Nationalism initiative, she explains, “is not in response to any one of these incidents, but rather as a way to counter what we view and perceive as a growing threat.
The second episode of the 10-week podcast is now available!
Interested in joining this campaign? If you identify as Christian, sign the statement and invite your Christian friends, family and colleagues to do the same by visiting the website: ChristiansAgainstChristianNationalism.org. Share your support on social media using the hashtag #ChristianNationalism.
This is an exciting and much-needed initiative for both our Christian and American identities. As the statement says, Christians are “bound to Christ, not by citizenship, but by faith.” At a time when state legislatures continue to enact laws that both directly and indirectly promote religion in publicly owned spaces and a time when politicians and government officials increasingly conflate their love of Christ with their love of country, the united voices of Christians against Christian nationalism is more important than ever before.
So far, thousands of Christians have mobilized behind this effort, and it is just getting started.