The Allure of the Bad Boy: Why Conservative Christians Are Horny for Fascism

The Allure of the Bad Boy: Why Conservative Christians Are Horny for Fascism October 5, 2023

Strong Man is Strong” by LOLren is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

If the love affair between conservative Christianity and nationalism had you clutching your pearls, buckle up. We’re about to introduce the bad boy of this twisted love triangle—fascism. It’s the James Dean of political ideologies: irresistible to some, even if deep down, we all know it’s headed for a tragic end.

From Choir Boy to Bad Boy: A Tale as Old as Time

Picture this: you’re dating the “nice guy,” Mr. Nationalism, but then, along comes the leather-jacket-wearing, cigarette-smoking bad boy, Mr. Fascism. Nationalism wanted to build walls; Fascism wants to throw people over them. This ideological bad boy shares an illicit appeal with conservative Christianity, making even the mildest churchgoer feel like they’re getting a taste of the forbidden fruit. Maybe it’s the thrill of moral absolutism or the allure of authoritarianism, but something keeps conservative Christians coming back for more.

Moral Absolutism: Because Gray is for Sissies

Fascism deals in black and white, and there’s something seductive about that kind of simplicity. The world is a complex place, but who needs nuance when you have a one-size-fits-all ideology? Forget “judge not lest ye be judged.” Here, it’s more like, “Judge away, so long as you’re confident you’re right.” Gray areas are for liberal theologians and philosophy majors; conservative Christianity wants its truths served up like a Ten Commandments stone tablet—absolute and unchanging.

Authority Fetish: The God-King Complex

Authoritarianism offers structure and hierarchy, something many churchgoers find irresistibly sexy. But we’re not just talking about a deacon board overseeing a bake sale. No, we’re venturing into the realm of idolizing strongman leaders, the kind who promise to uphold Christian values while trampling the rights of anyone who stands in their way. It’s like substituting King Nebuchadnezzar for Jesus and calling it “protecting our Christian heritage.”

Apocalypse Right Now: The End Justifies the Means

For those who obsess over Revelation like it’s a summer blockbuster preview, the rise of authoritarian leaders fits neatly into an apocalyptic narrative. If the end is nigh, who cares about compassion, human rights, or democratic norms? Cue the Four Horsemen, roll the credits, and let’s get on with the rapture.

The Hypocrisy Highroad: Paved with Good Intentions and Bad Theology

Remember that little verse about the love of money being the root of all evil? Well, it seems the love of power isn’t too far behind. The uncomfortable alliance between Christianity and fascism sacrifices the teachings of Jesus at the altar of political expediency. It’s a high road that leads nowhere good, built with bricks of cognitive dissonance and mortar made of misplaced zeal.

And The Cycle Continues: Back to Mr. Nationalism?

This sordid affair may leave you wondering if we’ll ever break the cycle. But remember, even a bad boy gets old, and ideologies go out of fashion. The question is, will conservative Christianity wake up to the toxic relationship it’s in before it’s too late?

So, that’s the deal with conservative Christianity’s crush on nationalism and its lust for fascism. It’s a love story, alright, but one that could use a healthy dose of relationship counseling. And by counseling, I mean a return to the actual teachings of Jesus. Will they go for it? The odds aren’t in their favor, but hey, miracles happen.

Read part 1 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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