The Separation of Church and State

Surprise! Some of Christian Nationalism’s harshest critics are Christian leaders

  Rob Boston

Some of the most powerful voices against Christian Nationalism belong to Christian leaders who know best why the theocratic political movement is a threat not only to American democracy but to the witness of the church as well.

Several of these leaders gathered at Yale University recently to sign a document opposing Christian Nationalism and vowing to do more to confront it.

The New Haven Declaration of Moral & Spiritual Issues reads in part, “We repent of not doing more to preach and teach against this misuse of our faith, and we pledge to proclaim in word and deed a public theology that is good news for all people.”

A growing tide against Christian Nationalism

The declaration is welcome, and here’s some even better news: It’s not the only initiative out there challenging Christian Nationalism. Our friends at the Baptist Joint Committee have launched Christians Against Christian Nationalism, and several books have been written about the threat posed by Christian Nationalism, with more to come.

And let’s not forget the documentaries. Attendees at the Yale event screened an important new film, “Bad Faith: Christian Nationalism’s Unholy War on Democracy.” I’ve seen “Bad Faith,” and it’s a powerful broadside that delves into the alarming history of Christian Nationalism and lays out the threat it presents to American values.

A special Summit screening

“Bad Faith” will be screened during the upcoming Summit for Religious Freedom, and I’ll be hosting a panel discussion afterward featuring Stephen Ujlaki, the documentary’s director; Anne Nelson, author of Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right, the book that inspired “Bad Faith”; Lisa Sharon Harper, a public theologian and founder and president of Freedom Road who appears in the film; Todd Stiefel, founder and president of the Stiefel Freethought and executive producer of “Bad Faith”; and Katherine Stewart, author of The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism.

The documentary will be available for streaming nationwide soon. Learn more about it here.

There is a lot of energy and activism out there, and it’s being led by a broad coalition of Christians, non-Christians and nonreligious activists. Standing shoulder to shoulder, we’re going to give Christian Nationalists what they most fear: a united force of Americans from all walks of life who are determined to defend our democracy and its cherished principles, notably the separation of church and state.

Photo: Religious leaders hold a vigil to denounce Christian Nationalism at the U.S. Capitol to mark the second anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection. Nathan Howard/Getty Images.

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The Do No Harm Act will help ensure that our laws are a shield to protect religious freedom and not used as a sword to harm others by undermining civil rights laws and denying access to health care.

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