The violent inclinations of Christian Nationalism supporters have reached “troubling” levels, according to a report at Religious Dispatches, a daily non-profit online magazine covering religion, politics and culture.
“A stunning 40 percent of Christian nationalism supporters believe that ‘true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country.’” the report notes, citing from a recent PPRI/Brookings Institution study.
“The revelations of the survey do not bode well for the future of Christian nationalist violence in America,” says the report’s author Nilay Saiya, associate professor of public policy and global affairs at Nanyang Technological University.
“I’ve analyzed hundreds of religious militant groups around the world. My studies have consistently found that the tipping point toward violence occurs primarily when religious identity and national identity become intertwined.”
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Saiya writes that the 2022 candidacies of Christian Nationalist candidates are evidence of the threat.
“Consider the words of Kandiss Taylor, a former candidate for governor of Georgia: “The good thing about the First Amendment is that if you’re a Jew or you’re a Muslim or you’re a Buddhist, you still get to worship your god because you’re in America. But you don’t get to silence us,” she declared last year to an approving audience. She went on to proclaim: “we’re running the state with Jesus Christ first.
“Similar sentiments have been expressed by a number of other prominent politicians with Christian nationalist inclinations, including Florida governor Ron Desantis, Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, Colorado congresswoman Lauren Boebert, and Texas senator Ted Cruz.
“This fusion of religion and nation has created a fertile breeding ground for a culture of violence to take root. Given the dynamics present in the United States today (just look at last week’s CPAC), we can expect Christian nationalist violence to increase in the future,” Saiya writes.
“Paradoxically, the thumping Christian nationalist political candidates took during the 2022 midterm elections—including the failed gubernatorial candidacies of Pennsylvania’s Doug Mastriano, Maryland’s Dan Cox, and Arizona’s Kari Lake—will likely deepen the sense of embattlement among Christian nationalists, prompting a backlash.”