Frequently Asked Questions
How do you define “christian Nationalism”?
There are various definitions and understandings of Christian nationalism. The statement defines it as “a political ideology that seeks to merge Christian and American identities, distorting both the Christian faith and America’s constitutional democracy.”
Is the united states a “christian nation”?
This question could be referring to many things. The Constitution is clear that the country wasn’t founded for Christians or to prefer Christians. The U.S. Constitution created a system of government open to people of any faith – Article VI prohibits any religious test for public office. Sometimes when people say the United States is a Christian nation, they are referring to demographics. Most surveys find around 70% of the American population identify with Christianity, so it can be accurate to say that we are a majority-Christian nation. The numbers decrease when surveys go deeper to ask questions about frequency of engaging in Christian practices, such as prayer, Bible study or attending corporate worship services.
can Christianity influence public policy?
As the statement affirms, “People of all faiths and none have the right and responsibility to engage constructively in the public square.” Separating the institutions of religion and government does not — and should not — silence religious voices in the public square. People approach voting and public policy from a variety of perspectives, including their religious beliefs and ethics. Often, there are religious viewpoints on multiple sides of a policy debate.
how is nationalism different from patriotism?
“Patriotism” is love of country that is expressed in many ways, such as waving an American flag, volunteering at a food bank, teaching in the public schools, serving in the military, running for public office, or protesting policies with which you disagree. “Nationalism” is an extreme form of patriotism that demands a position of superiority and has little or no room for dissent or disagreement.
can you give some examples of christian nationalism?
Examples of Christian nationalism can range from derogatory and exclusionary comments to issues of life and death. Christian nationalists often use the idea of Christianity or Christian language to demand conformity and promote policies and behaviors that solidify their power or status against others. “Christian nation” mythology is often used to marginalize non-Christians in political activity. Some of the white nationalists who marched through Charlottesville wore cross necklaces while chanting “Jews will not replace us.” Christian nationalism in the hands of extremists can lead to acts of violence, such as the shootings at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and Chabad of Poway synagogue near San Diego, California. At times, these violent acts are perpetuated by those who mix Christian theology with nationalist ideas of exclusion and superiority.
why link christian nationalism and racism?
The statement says that Christian nationalism “overlaps with and provides cover for white supremacy and racial subjugation.” The deep, abiding problem of racism in this country is much larger than this project, and yet it is undoubtedly connected to this conversation. We recognize the overlap between Christian nationalism and white supremacy and the fact that not all Christians or signers of this statement will view the connection in the same way.
why launch this campaign now?
This effort is not in response to any one event or statement. Christian leaders and others have long discussed the dangers in this political ideology, and this project has developed over time. Launched in July 2019, this project is a place for Christians to call out Christian nationalism and the threat it poses to our faith and to our democracy.
I agree that christian nationalism is a problem. how does signing this statement make a difference?
Sometimes the public perception of Christians is far more limited than the experience and diversity of Christians. This online statement provides a more accurate picture of how American Christians view Christian nationalism. It demonstrates common ground across the broad Christian family and can serve as a helpful resource for those combating the ideology of Christian nationalism and engaging in civil dialogue. Anyone who self-identifies as a Christian is invited to sign the statement online.
How will my information be used?
Your name, religious affiliation and city will be publicly displayed on the “Signers” section of ChristiansAgainstChristianNationalism.org. If you left a comment sharing why you signed and gave us permission to share it publicly, you might see your comment on the website or on social media.
We do not claim that everyone who signed the statement agrees on anything outside of what the statement says. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else. We may contact you to permit you to opt into future advocacy opportunities.
What can I do after signing the statement?
We are building broad support for this statement across diverse American Christian life. Help amplify these efforts by sharing your support for this statement with your networks, both online and in real life. Most signers tell us that they signed because they heard about the campaign from a friend.
We’ve listed several ways to share here, but be sure to:
Use the statement as a guide to help you recognize and call out Christian nationalism when you encounter it. In addition to these FAQs, we will make available companion resources to help you lead productive and civil conversations about Christian nationalism.
I signed my name to the statement, but there is a typo. what do i do?
Let us know! Click here to send an email of what should be changed. Please include all necessary details.
i’m not christian but want to support the campaign. what can i do?
We first approached this project as an interfaith partnership. After talking with our partners of different religious backgrounds and those of no religious background, we realized that this was work that we, as Christians, need to do first. We are grateful for the support of our non-Christian partners, many of whom have helped us spread the word about the campaign. There may be opportunities in the future for our non-Christian supporters to join in this effort as allies.
Who organized this campaign?
A group of Christian organizations came together to discuss what could be done to take a stand against this harmful ideology. Our “Endorsers” page shows some of the leaders of those organizations, along with short statements from them. The website and campaign is organized and managed by BJC, which defends faith freedom for all. You can learn more about the genesis of the campaign in this article and this podcast.