Religious Minorities

In Minnesota, A Secular Government Caucus Will Oppose Christian Nationalism

  Rob Boston

Here’s some interesting news out of Minnesota: A group of state legislators has created a Secular Government Caucus to oppose Christian nationalism and uphold the separation of church and state.

“We are troubled by the efforts from some politicians to push a Christian Nationalist agenda, where right-wing Christian politicians are attempting to break down the wall of separation between church and state in order to push their beliefs on others,” the caucus co-chairs said in a media statement.

This is a welcome development for several reasons. Here are three of them:

Caucus members have identified the problem – and the solution: Christian nationalism is a toxic political movement that seeks to merge a narrow version of Christianity with the power of the state to force people to live under theologies not of their choosing. The way to stop it is to spark a national recommitment to separation of church and state.

It proudly embraces the word “secular”: Secular government, although often portrayed as a bogeyman by Christian nationalists, is a positive, indeed necessary, feature of America’s political system. Our religious freedom rests on the secular government created by our Constitution. That principle protects religious freedom; it doesn’t erode it. We should embrace secular government and advocate for it vigorously.

The caucus includes people of faith and people of no faith: Christian nationalists speak for a tiny percentage of the American religious community. Their oppressive agenda is opposed by many Christians, not just non-Christians and the non-religious. One way to stand up to Christian nationalism is for people of diverse faiths and philosophies to link arms and make it clear that the concept is un-American, dangerous and alien to our shared civic values.

Christian nationalists are known for targeting state legislators through Project Blitz and other efforts. In Minnesota, a new force will be there to meet them.

Lawmakers in other states, please take note.

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