Christian nationalists' rhetoric is growing 'more violent, more graphic and more tightly focused on fellow Americans': expert
Christian Leaders Lay Hands and Pray over Trump Official White House Photos by Joyce Boghosian

Christian nationalists are excited about the possibility of violence as the post-Roe future comes into view, much to the alarm of experts who study the religious right.

The Supreme Court's decision overturning abortion rights emboldened right-wing extremists, who are already preparing for a brutal assault on individual rights and democratic self-governance, according to a New York Times column by author Katherine Stewart.

"Breaking American democracy isn’t an unintended side effect of Christian nationalism," wrote Stewart, who has reported on the religious right for more than a decade. "It is the point of the project."

Stewart noted with alarm that speakers at annual Road to Majority Policy Conference, including keynote speaker Donald Trump, explicitly endorsed dominionism -- a belief that "right-thinking" Christians had a mandate to take over government and society -- and used violent rhetoric against anyone who stood in their way.

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"Although metaphors of battle are common enough in political gatherings, this year’s rhetoric appeared more violent, more graphic and more tightly focused on fellow Americans, rather than on geopolitical foes," Stewart wrote. "Speakers at the conference vied to outdo one another in their denigration of the people that Mr. Trump was evidently talking about. Democrats, they said, are 'evil,' 'tyrannical' and 'the enemy within,' engaged in 'a war against the truth.'"

The movement's leaders see the end of abortion rights as the start of a new and more personal attack on individual rights, and they aim to pit Americans against each other to ensure compliance.

"Indeed it is personal," Stewart wrote. "Much of the rhetoric on the right invokes visions of vigilante justice. This is about 'good guys with guns' — or neighbors with good eavesdropping skills — heroically taking on the pernicious behavior of their fellow citizens. Among the principal battlefields will be the fallopian tubes and uteruses of women."

The movement intends to criminalize women seeking abortions and anyone who helps, and Stewart said even their base supporters have no idea how radical their intentions are.

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"This is a leader-driven movement.," she wrote "The leaders set the agenda, and their main goals are power and access to public money. They aren’t serving the interests of their base; they are exploiting their base as a means of exploiting the rest of us."

"Christian nationalism isn’t a route to the future," Stewart added. "Its purpose is to hollow out democracy until nothing is left but a thin cover for rule by a supposedly right-thinking elite, bubble-wrapped in sanctimony and insulated from any real democratic check on its power."