• Foundations of Truth

Christianity and Patriotism



The Denver Post recently published an article accusing Rep. Lauren Boebert (R) of supporting Christian nationalism, a concept that has been insidiously entangled with “white nationalism,”which is yet another leftist boogeyman word. [5]


The article makes a point of claiming that Representative Boebert is emblematic of what they deem to be the “sin” of Christian nationalism for daring to pray in public and that “the movement of [Christian nationalism] gains momentum through fears of white Americans who believe they’re losing ground in the country…non-white Americans who support the movement…[are] motivated by a ‘promise of whiteness.’”


When referring to “Christian nationalism” articles like this not only conflate racism and Christian nationalism but also paint nationalism in broadly negative brush strokes, equating it with certain kinds of rightist fascism. While one might argue that, definitionally, “nationalism” is not inherently bad, for the sake of discussion, one must recognize that the term has been appropriated and corrupted to demonize one side of the political spectrum.


Still, there are two major problems with this article’s interpretation of this negative form of “Christian nationalism.”


First, it over-expands the definition of Christian nationalism to include such commonplace activities as saying public prayers while holding public office. No matter how much secularists hate it, America was, in fact, founded by people who believed in God. That right is enshrined in the First Amendment and ought not be painted as a grotesque gargoyle.


Second, being a Christian who loves their nation and wants to see Christianity continue to be the dominant religion in the United States does not make one a white supremacist. Christianity is not a “white”religion (whatever that means) and the article’s author would do well to remember that it was Christians and their understanding of the Bible’s teachings that led the charge against slavery, Black Codes, and segregation, not the atheist philosophers of the Enlightenment (see Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”).


Being Christian and loving one’s nation is simply a matter of being one thing and one thing only: patriotic.


However, this begs the question: is Christianity compatible with patriotism? In its broadest sense, patriotism is the embodied love for one’s country, either the country of one’s birth or the country of one’s adoption.


This presented a major historical problem for early Christians who were embedded in the Roman Empire and required to worship the Emperor as a god. [1] For many early Roman Christians, this posed a major problem because of Exodus 20:4-5 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.”


Fortunately, American Christians are not forced to choose between loving their country and loving the One True God.


Not only was America founded as a Christian nation, but after breaking away from both the Crown and the Church of England, the American government abolished the notion of nationalized religion.


Nonetheless, the left should be careful not to misinterpret history. When Jefferson wrote the fortuitous words regarding a “wall of separation” between Church and State, he was referring only to the notion of preventing the government from interfering with religious practice, not attempting to prevent people from practicing religion while holding office.


It would have been inconceivable to him to have a nation where people were not allowed to hold public office while simultaneously practicing their religion in the public-eye. [2] [3]


Unlike the Roman government of old, America’s government does not demand that its adherents worship false idols. Instead, it makes room for people of all religious affiliations to worship God without fear of being made into an enemy of the state. America was, in fact, founded as a Christian nation and Christians have a major role to play in its continued existence and betterment.


Christian patriotism is not a bad thing, and it should never be mischaracterized as such.


Foundations of Truth hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.

 

[1] https://www.britannica.com/topic/Christianity/Relations-between-Christianity-and-the-Roman-government-and-the-Hellenistic-culture

[2] https://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9806/danbury.html

[3] https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel06-2.html#:~:text=Church%20services%20were%20held%20in,north%20wing%20of%20the%20building.

[4] https://www.denverpost.com/2022/09/14/lauren-boebert-christian-nationalist-republican-colorado/?trk_msg=M5NJ24448H54PARGARSM5SRM78&trk_contact=VH50QB4I888FJ4KL14GBD6UB70&trk_sid=JCG6FFKT0AEI2T90SJLHTF8KLO&trk_link=S00G0LU9Q4Q4P4RH6EPKKI9JIC&utm_email=15B374E5647ED4D105B4249FB2&g2i_eui=3APUcYErnc1BSD4exdBri9DUXOOvqE2a86EvVhT%2fBv0%3d&g2i_source=newsletter&lctg=15B374E5647ED4D105B4249FB2&active=no&utm_source=listrak&utm_medium=email&utm_term=https%3a%2f%2fwww.denverpost.com%2f2022%2f09%2f14%2flauren-boebert-christian-nationalist-republican-colorado%2f&utm_campaign=denver-mile-high-roundup&utm_content=manual


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