Documentation on Christian nationalism produced by Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty has drawn the attention of the Congressional Freethought Caucus, a group that includes Democratic House members Jamie Raskin of Maryland, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Zoe Lofgren of California and Steve Cohen of Tennessee.
The group hosted a March 17 briefing called “God is On Our Side: White Christian Nationalism and the Capitol Insurrection,” focused on the 66-page report about the role of Christian nationalism in the Capitol attack. It was produced by BJC in cooperation with the Freedom from Religion Foundation and previously was reported by BNG.
The BJC report and the caucus event drew the attention of the Washington Post, where religion writer Michelle Boorstein wrote about the issue.
“Concern about rising radicalism among a segment of white American Christians led this week to what some religious extremism experts call the biggest Congress-related event on the topic in years,” Boorstein wrote.
According to Boorstein, the virtual briefing was not open to the public but included more than 50 members of Congress, staff and experts.
She quoted Andrew Seidel, one of the report’s authors and a spokesman for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, who said Jan. 6 was “the culmination but not the end. … Insurrectionists were given moral license for the attack, and since then a growing slice of Americans are justifying it.”
“I look at what’s happening now, the rhetoric leading up to the midterms, and am more worried, not less,” he told the Post before the Freethought event. “We have more brazen nationalism. The Republican Party saying that day was ‘legitimate discourse.’ We are going to see something like this again.”
Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., told the Post he believes white Christian nationalism “is the most important piece of this insurrection people don’t yet understand fully.”
“A lot of Americans look at that day and think: ‘A lot of crazy people acted out.’ But it was far more organized, and it wasn’t just the Trump political organization,” he said. What tied many unconnected people and groups together was a shared worldview that Christianity should be fused with civic life and that true Americans are White, culturally conservative and natural born citizens.
Five takeaways from the Report on Christian Nationalism and January 6 | Opinion by Corey Fields