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Don’t Let The ‘Christian Nationalist’ Slur Shame You Into Hiding Your Faith

The aim of the ‘Christian nationalist’ smear is to bully — so that when you count the cost of faithfulness, you conclude it is too high.

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A concerted effort is underway among leftist and self-styled progressive Christians to take faithful believers out of the game culturally and politically.

Politico came out swinging on Tuesday with the tired “Christian nationalist” slur in an article about a second Donald Trump term. It intended to shame conservatives who “believe that the country was founded as a Christian nation and that Christian values should be prioritized throughout government and public life” — in other words, mainstream Christians.

The Politico article closely followed last week’s release of the Rob Reiner-backed “God and Country” documentary, which also uses the “Christian nationalist” moniker and B-roll of so-called “ultra-MAGA Republicans” to scare viewers away from basic Christian beliefs.

Just before that came the “He Gets Us” Super Bowl foot-washing ad, which twisted Jesus’ teaching on the cleansing of sin to paint politically engaged conservative Christians, such as vocal pro-lifers, as hateful. As The Daily Wire’s Megan Basham wrote on X, “[E]very foot washer in the scenes where a political subtext was present was someone who would be perceived as conservative (including the one that differentiated the foot washer from prolife protestors outside an abortion clinic). And this was juxtaposed against the message ‘Jesus Didn’t Teach Hate.’ So the inference seems to be that the stereotypical conservative Christian in those scenarios practices hate, unlike Jesus.”

These aren’t the first three examples, and they won’t be the last. For much more tangible attacks, look at how Joe Biden’s Justice Department has gone after Christians as “domestic terrorists” and targeted pro-life parents like this father of 11, who was recently convicted for praying outside an abortion facility and now faces up to 11 years behind bars and potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

The goal of all these assaults, whether verbal or legal, is the same. It’s to bully faithful Christians out of participation in public life.

If you defend traditional marriage, unborn human life, national sovereignty, the immutability of the sexes, the importance of virtue in self-government, the risks of oral contraception, or the divine origins of life and liberty — Politico attacks all of these — you’re a “Christian nationalist.” Don’t oppose pro-abortion Democrats or protest Planned Parenthood’s profit- and eugenics-motivated killings, or you could be ripped from your newly impoverished family for a decade. If you take your faith seriously, you’re on par with bombers and mass shooters.

The aim is to threaten and harass and shame — so that when you count the cost of faithfulness, you conclude it’s too high.

I’m not talking about necessarily a formal and total renunciation of the faith. Those hurling the “Christian nationalist” insult aim not immediately to apostatize but first to neuter you, to make you think twice before you protest pornography in your library, run for school board, post about border security on Facebook, or vote for Republicans. The amount of embarrassment you feel about your religious beliefs shares an inverse relationship with your ability to convert those beliefs into political realities.

So how are Christians to react to these attacks? First, if it’s not clear already, reject your ideological opponents’ mischaracterization of you. Frankly, the “Christian nationalism” label is lazy and meaningless.

Sure, some misguided folks on the right side of the political aisle count their American citizenship as more important than a heavenly one. However, not only is this phenomenon incalculably more prevalent among non-Christian leftists — whose so-called social justice crusades and woke struggle sessions are undeniably religious — but it’s also not what detractors are actually talking about when they speak of “Christian nationalism.” As Politico and “God & Country” make abundantly clear, by “Christian nationalism,” they mean any effort by Christians to vote and live according to their faith. Period.

Let’s not forget, Jesus explicitly told his followers they would be hated. And not because they were hateful or hypocritical, but because the world hated Jesus and his message first. As long as we’re faithfully following Jesus, in repentance for our sin and the belief that we desperately need His saving grace alone, we don’t need to take the word of our self-interested critics for why they don’t like us. Jesus plainly told us why we’d be persecuted, whether by character assassinations or literal ones.

Second, learn how to live in exile. Contrary to Politico’s claims, America was indeed founded on Judeo-Christian principles with the understanding that effective self-government works only among a moral and virtuous people. Oh, how far we’ve drifted. We now live in what writer Aaron Renn astutely describes as the “negative world,” where “[b]eing known as a Christian is a social negative, particularly in the elite domains of ­society. Christian morality is expressly repudiated and seen as a threat to the public good and the new public moral order. Subscribing to Christian moral views or violating the secular moral order brings negative consequences.”

True Christians don’t make up the majority or the in-group. We’re in a form of 21st-century exile, and thus God’s commands to his people Israel while they were in exile in Babylon are instructive:

Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

Jeremiah 29: 4-7

In other words, when you are not in control, trust in God’s control and be faithful in the ordinary things.

“God says for Israel to get rooted: to build houses, plant gardens, and build families,” writes Andrew T. Walker, a Christian ethics professor and Ethics and Public Policy Center fellow, in his new book A Christian Guide to Political Engagement. It’s an easy-to-digest, catechism-style guide that every Christian should read. “God calls [the exiles] back to his original plan and creation mandate. … [B]e fruitful, multiply, steward the world around you.”

Walker continues: “[P]olitics is how we arrange ourselves in society for the sake of justice and mutual benefit. In this way, politics is very ordinary. It consists of the small, daily actions of citizens stewarding the parts of creation order that are meant to be honored: life, family, and engagement in society.”

So as the apostle Paul urges in his letter to the Galatians, “Let us not grow weary in doing good.” Follow God’s designed order. Remain faithful and engaged in the seemingly humdrum acts of your life, not only getting married and having children but stewarding your physical and political surroundings for them. And reject the lie that your faithfulness is shameful.

The people peddling that lie would love nothing more than for you to take it to heart.


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