Understanding Christian Nationalism

Thanks to Diana Butler Bass – and one of her readers – for sharing this most excellent Great Idea!

Since July, Diana Butler Bass has written one new post per month on Christian Nationalism – without intending to be that organized about it. A reader wrote in to say that his congregation is using these three essays as the basis of a small group discussion in preparation for elections.

This is a GREAT IDEA! Butler Bass thought so, too, so she put all three essays together in one post and added discussion questions.

As Butler Bass writes, “This three-part exploration of Christian nationalism involved terminology, theology, and history. It isn’t exhaustive (there’s much more that can be said), but it is provocative, thoughtful, and timely. And, since the essays are short, you needn’t read an entire book to engage important issues.

Of course, you may agree or disagree with various points and interpretations. That’s expected! Talking about a subject is often a good way toward greater understanding – and moderating fear we might have.”

Many of us are fearful – for a host of reasons – these days. Many of us struggle with these overwhelming serious topics of supremacy, tradition, history, systemic racism, anger, hate, division, fear. We might even wonder where God is and/or why God isn’t more obviously active to bring peace and justice.

Conversations might be just the place for God to show up.

Invite your whole community: allow for diverse opinions. Butler Bass’s historical insights are sound, her theology is accessible, and her perspective is both humble enough to accept challenge and powerful enough to be prophetic. Let her writing bear the brunt of any controversy (she welcomes it in this blog post!), and let your spiritual community become a place for dialogue amidst difference that may just lead to deeper understanding and relationship-building.

This election season, talking about Christian nationalism may just be the antidote to the division and fear it is creating.