Conservative Christianity’s Crush on Nationalism: A Love Affair More Scandalous Than Your Pastor’s Hidden Browser History

Conservative Christianity’s Crush on Nationalism: A Love Affair More Scandalous Than Your Pastor’s Hidden Browser History October 3, 2023

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The Siren Song of Yesteryears: 1950 Called, They Want Their Values Back

Ah, the “good old days.” You know, that fairy-tale epoch when kids respected their elders, everyone went to church, and Christian values were the compass guiding America’s moral ship. It’s a narrative as touching as it is fictitious. Don’t forget—these were also the days of segregation, rampant misogyny, and ‘duck and cover’ drills. Yet, the nostalgia junkies would have you believe this was a golden era of Christian morality. It’s an American Camelot that never was, but it’s perfect for selling the idea that today’s society has strayed from a righteous path. So, if you’ve ever heard someone nostalgically lament the “loss” of prayer in schools as a societal downfall, congratulations—you’ve been fed a dollop of Christian nationalism with a side of historical amnesia.

Me, You, and the Holy Trinity: God, Country, and Exclusion

When you boil down nationalism, it’s like the worst parts of a high school clique, just with more flags and fewer pimples. You’ve got your jocks—the gun enthusiasts, your mean girls—the judgmental Sunday School teachers, and your exclusionary lunch tables—the Christian nationalists who claim to love their neighbor while conveniently forgetting that Jesus’ neighborhood included Samaritans and tax collectors. They insist that their brand of American Christianity is the only ticket to salvation, as if Jesus himself had a hand in drafting the Constitution. It’s a club that will accept you, but only if your beliefs, practices, and politics come in the one color they like: Red, White, and Blasphemy.

Prosperity Gospel’s Unholy Offspring: ‘Blessed to Occupy’

This is where the prosperity gospel evolves from a sketchy infomercial to an even more dubious geopolitical strategy. Forget “name it and claim it”—it’s now “annex it and bless it.” We’ve traded the camel-through-the-eye-of-a-needle metaphor for something far more disturbing: the notion that God blesses imperialistic ventures. This isn’t just a fluke; it’s a calculated narrative used to justify a range of actions, from the Iraq War to the slashing of social programs. After all, why care about poverty when you’re too busy turning God into a divine real estate agent?

The Silent Majority: Voices So Loud You Can’t Hear Yourself Pray

Here’s the gag: these self-proclaimed champions of Christian morals are neither silent nor a majority. If they were actually quiet, maybe they’d hear the deafening sound of their own cognitive dissonance. They argue for religious freedom while pushing for school prayer and claiming that there’s a “war on Christmas.” It’s like saying you’re dieting while deep-frying a Snickers bar. The decibel level of their selective outrage drowns out the still, small voice reminding them to love thy neighbor.

Teaser: Next, We Tackle the Bad Boy of Ideologies

If nationalism is the slightly sketchy guy that conservative Christianity brings home for Thanksgiving, fascism is the leather-jacket-wearing bad boy that nobody wants to talk about. In our next deep dive, we’ll explore why some Christians are more fascinated with authoritarianism than a televangelist is with a tax loophole.

So, there we have it: an adulterous affair between conservative Christianity and nationalism. It’s time we acknowledge that this relationship isn’t just problematic—it’s downright antithetical to the life and teachings of Jesus. You won’t want to miss our next piece where we dive into the darker corners of this romantic entanglement. Stay scandalized!

Read part 2 here

About Stuart Delony
My hope with Snarky Faith is to incite change no matter how big or small. I want to cultivate conversations that help people to look for new ways to live out their faith. I'm also one of the weird ones who think that God still moves today - we're just looking in the wrong places. You can read more about the author here.

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