Democrats try to make Halloween further spooky this 12 months by exhuming the boogieman of Christian nationalism. The information hook is the election of a conservative Christian as speaker of the Home. Rep. Mike Johnson, a Louisiana Republican, received the election final week.
Within the left-wing media’s lexicon, Christian nationalism doesn’t discuss with the handful of people that want to repeal the First Modification. It refers to individuals—often evangelical Christians like Johnson—who suppose unhealthy secularist court docket selections have drastically curtailed the Framers’ imaginative and prescient of the free train of faith during the last a number of many years.
However you wouldn’t know that from the hysterical leftist headlines.
“Mike Johnson’s Ties to Christian Nationalism Revealed,” reads a breathless headline in Newsweek. Reporter Ewan Palmer writes that Johnson’s earlier feedback appear to “echo these of a supporter of Christian nationalism.” That supposed “Christian nationalist supporter” is Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who stated again in 2022 that Christian nationalism is a “good thing.”
“He’s extremely customary when it comes to being a right-wing, white evangelical Christian nationalist,” historian Kristin Kobes Du Mez told Politico. Whereas admitting Johnson doesn’t describe himself as a Christian nationalist, Du Mez has no drawback making use of the time period to him.
“It’s merely descriptive,” she defined. “As he understands it, this nation was based as a Christian nation.”
As an illustration, in his Wednesday speech, Johnson stated that America’s creed is “We maintain these truths to be self-evident that each one males are created equal.” For Du Mez, that’s presupposed to be stunning—as if these phrases are from the New Testomony, fairly than the Declaration of Independence.
Huffington Submit reporter Jennifer Bendery was fast to make use of the trope as properly. “Earlier than coming to Congress,” Bendery tweeted on Thursday, “he spent 8 years because the senior lawyer and nationwide spokesperson for a Christian nationalist group devoted to dismantling LGBTQ+ rights and outlawing abortion. That is Mike Johnson, the brand new Home speaker.”
Bendery is referring to Alliance Defending Freedom—a Christian public interest law firm dedicated to non secular freedom, the sanctity of life, and parental rights. Johnson beforehand labored with ADF as an lawyer and spokesman earlier than becoming a member of Congress in 2016. MSNBC columnist Sarah Posner, noting Johnson’s work at ADF, asserted that Johnson is the “most unabashedly Christian nationalist Speaker” in historical past. In accordance with Posner, ADF desires to “eviscerate the separation of church and state.”
In reality, ADF helps non secular freedom for all Individuals, not only for Christians. However you wouldn’t know that should you simply learn the critics, who hope to consign Johnson’s mainstream conservative views to the perimeter.
What’s extra, in response to Bendery, this isn’t previous information. Johnson’s “Christian nationalist” ideology, she insists, hasn’t abated since he entered Congress. This previous April, he gave a speech “decrying the ‘so-called separation of church and state,’ insisting there was nothing within the Structure barring the federal government from supporting non secular beliefs,” writes Bendery.
Left-wing “Christian Nationalism” Boogieman Principally an Assault on Christians in Politics
The identical day the Home elected Johnson speaker, Democrat Rep. Maxwell Frost and Joint Baptist Committee Government Amanda Tyler testified on the specter of Christian nationalism.
Tyler warned Home members that Christian nationalism is “the only best menace to non secular liberty in america at this time.” She claimed this menace is a “political ideology and cultural framework that seeks to fuse American and Christian identities.”
Rep. Frost emphasised that “Christian nationalism is a type of non secular extremism making its means into our insurance policies and undermining our democracy.”
Look previous the heated rhetoric, nonetheless, and it turns into clear that this denunciation from the Left (“Christian” or in any other case) is admittedly an effort to maintain conservative Christians from making use of their religion to their politics.
Therefore, the panic when Johnson gathered in prayer simply after the Home elected him speaker. “I consider that Scripture, the Bible, may be very clear,” he stated, “that God is the one who raises up these in authority,” including: “He raised up every of you. All of us.”
Johnson Channeling the American Founders
Regardless of the (tiny) menace to the First Modification from a few folks on the Right, it’s not coming from the brand new Home speaker. He merely opposes the secular leftist spin on the First Modification. He’s additionally proper to take action. First, opposite to secular claims, the First Modification was grounded in a theological premise famously articulated by George Mason—that discharging the responsibility we owe to our Creator requires a context of freedom.
Second, the Framers weren’t “impartial” on the worth of faith for society. In his April speech, Johnson argued that “a free society and a wholesome republic rely upon non secular and ethical advantage.” This isn’t a sectarian perception, however a view the Framers extensively agreed upon.
Johnson pointed to George Washington and John Adams. George Washington stated in his Farewell Address, “faith and morality are indispensable helps” of political prosperity. Adams similarly said, “Our structure was made just for an ethical and spiritual individuals.”
The Framers, Johnson famous, “believed in liberty that’s legitimately constrained by frequent sense and morality and a wholesome concern of the Creator who granted all males our rights.”
Solely somebody blind to, or hostile to, the American Founding might suppose these arguments are a menace to fairly than a protection of the constitutional order. The Left evidently doesn’t like Johnson. However fairly than difficult his views straight, they’re making an attempt to smear him. Conservatives shouldn’t fall for this trick. As an alternative, we should always obtain it because the deal with it’s: Left-wing pundits are panicked concerning the new, constitutionally-grounded speaker of the Home. That’s significantly better than Circus Peanuts and Sweet Corn.
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