Ginni Thomas-Mark Meadows texts expose the Christian nationalism that fueled the Jan. 6 insurrection: religious scholars
Supporters of President Donald Trump protest on the steps of the U.S. Capitol building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. - Yuri Gripas/Yuri Gripas/TNS

The shocking texts between Ginni Thomas and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows reveal the key role that Christian nationalism played in the efforts to overturn Donald Trump's election loss, according to experts on America's Christian right.

Meadows promised the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas that “King of Kings” would ultimately “triumph” in a "fight against good versus evil," and allow Trump to remain president despite his election loss, and Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent said the exchange was crucial to understanding the insurrection.

"We haven’t paid enough attention to the role of right-wing Christian nationalism in driving Trump’s effort to destroy our political order," Sargent wrote, "and in the abandonment of democracy among some on the right more broadly."

Many on the Christian right believe that Trump was "anointed" by God to fulfill their "goal of restoring the United States as a Christian nation," according to religious scholar Sarah Posner, and the former reality TV star became the unlikely focus for their hopes.

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"In this narrative, Trump — despite his glaring and repugnant personal imperfections — became the vessel to carry out the struggle to defeat various godless and secularist infestations of the idealized Christian nation, from the woke to globalists to communists to the 'deep state,'" Sargent wrote.

Right-wing Christians justified the violence carried out on Jan. 6 as necessary to their "holy war against an illegitimate state," Posner argued, and she said Meadows and Thomas both saw themselves as "soldiers in this spiritual battle."

The movement is inherently violent, according to Robert Jones, the founder and CEO of Public Religion Research Institute, who said right-wing Christians see their fight as existential.

“It is a violent reclamation movement,” Jones said. “If we’re going to move into the promise of a multireligious, multiethnic democracy, these forces are going to have to be confronted.”

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