Focus on 'Christian nationalism' is 'smokescreen,' real threat is 'neo-Marxism,' Christian scholars say (

As media attention on Christian nationalism looms large in American politics heading into the 2022 midterms, scholars this week debated the definition of the term and whether the increased media focus is an attempt to intimidate Christians from sharing their values in the public square. 

The Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University held a debate Thursday titled “Is Christian Nationalism a Threat to America?”

Luige DelPuerto, the editor of Colorado Politics in The Denver Gazette, moderated a discussion between Centennial Institute Director Jeff Hunt, whose organization hosts a prominent annual conservative summit, and Scott Wasserman, the president of the left-leaning think tank Bell Policy Center.

The debate comes as a new Pew Research poll released this week finds that 45% of Americans think the United States should be a “Christian nation,” compared to 51% who don’t believe the U.S. should be a “Christian nation.”

While Americans may be divided on whether America should be a Christian nation, they hold differing opinions about what that phrase means.

While nearly a third of respondents (31%) stated that they don’t know what Christian nationalism means, 34% of respondents and 48% of those who think the U.S. should be a Christian nation said Christian nationalism means the country is “guided by Christian beliefs/values.”

Nearly a third of respondents who don’t think the U.S. should be a Christain nation believe the term means the country is run by “Christian-based laws/governance,” and 21% said Christian nationalism is defined by negative attributes like “bigotry, authoritarianism, white supremacy.” 

“I’ve got a lot of questions about what Christian nationalism is,” Wasserman, who identifies as Jewish, said. “Over the past year or so, we have seen the emergence of politicians — notably Marjorie Taylor Greene as well as Congresswoman Lauren Boebert — speak very overtly about this concept of Christian nationalism. … It seems to me there has been an emergence of Christain nationalism in this country.”

“It seems to me that for a long time, its advocates have not wanted to talk about it in the public realm. But I think that we are at a point in our country where we need to have a candid conversation about it,” he added. “We can’t have a democracy if we can’t intellectually trade our thoughts and be honest about what we really believe.”


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