“As Christians, we are bound to Christ by faith, not by citizenship.” — Statement Against Christian Nationalism
The Baptist Joint Committee (BJC), a “national faith-based group solely focused on protecting religious freedom for all,” has issued a Statement Against Christian Nationalism. The statement is in response to the right-wing Christian campaign, formerly known as Project Blitz—a strategic campaign to implement Biblically-based state and federal laws.
The statement was preceded last August by an Open Letter Against a New Nationalism: An Appeal To Our Fellow Christians published in The Commonweal. The authors point to a group of Christians in 1930s Germany who tried to fuse their religious identity with the rising nationalist rhetoric. A concerned group of Christians put out an official statement of opposition at the time. The 1934 Barmen Declaration highlighted a list of scriptural-based points “in view of the errors of the ‘German Christians’ and of the present Reich Church Administration, which [were] ravaging the church and at the same time also shattering the unity of the German Evangelical Church.”
At first glance, the cries for permitting prayer in schools and the demand for the posting of the Ten Commandments seems symbolic and far from a nationalist agenda. However, these efforts lay the groundwork for more oppressive laws that are built into the three-part Blitz strategy.
The BJC statement explains, “Christian nationalism seeks to merge Christian and American identities, distorting both the Christian faith and America’s constitutional democracy. Christian nationalism demands Christianity be privileged by the State and implies that to be a good American, one must be Christian. It often overlaps with and provides cover for white supremacy and racial subjugation.”
The statement has been endorsed by 14 theologically diverse leaders in position of Christian ministry, education and other institutions and has been signed by over 15,000 Christians to date. To accompany the statement, The BJC has produced a 10-part radio series on the dangers of Christian nationalism that pares apart these different points, and more, with more depth.
If you are a Christian and want to sign on to the Statement Against Christian Nationalism, you can do so here.