Christian Nationalists Are Supporting Voter Suppression Bills. These Faith Leaders Are Fighting Back.

  Rob Boston

We’ve noted on this blog that Christian nationalist groups have backed legislation in several states designed to erect deliberate barriers to voting, especially for people of color.

The reason for this is simple: Christian nationalists are angry that Black voters played a decisive role in Joe Biden’s defeat of Donald Trump. They want to game the system to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

And now they’ve got a fight on their hands. The Associated Press reported recently about a growing campaign led by religious leaders who have a much different view about voting: They want to make it safer and more accessible, not more difficult. These clergy members recognize denying our freedom to vote for the un-American evil that it is, and they’re speaking out.

The effort started in Georgia, where a severe anti-voter law has already been passed. It has since spread to Arizona, Texas, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and other states. Faith leaders are mobilizing supporters and pressing corporate leaders to address the issue, a tactic that’s under way in Georgia.

In Texas, the Rev. Edwin Robinson of Dallas Black Clergy got right to the heart of the matter. 

“No matter what side of the political aisle you find yourself, any attempt to hinder voting is an attempt to take away our greatest freedom and liberty,” Robinson said. “We should be doing everything to protect our greatest freedoms – and make ways for our citizens to enthusiastically vote and do so free from fear and intimidation.”

Christian nationalists have responded to this with their usual tactic: generating a fog of misinformation. They’re claiming that these bills don’t do the things that anyone who can read can plainly see that they do. It’s a tactic these groups honed during the Trump era. Call it the “Deny and Lie” strategy.

It won’t work if enough Americans – religious and secular alike – stand up and demand equal and convenient access to the ballot for everyone.

P.S. We’ll have more on this issue in the forthcoming May issue of Church & State magazine. Remember, you get the magazine when you join Americans United.

Black minister smiling
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