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Truth and honest inquiry should guide our country, not religion

| November 21, 2023 7:00 AM

‘Truth and honest inquiry’ should guide our country, not religion. So stated Founding Father James Madison. 

Christian nationalists believe we created America on the myth that we are to be led by a demagogue who promotes a religious interpretation of education, science and intellectualism. 

The Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, is among them. Christian nationalists idealize leaders who exude confidence, who convey that they know what’s right and true and how to solve problems. People who don’t share their worldview must be evil, and so must be silenced and defeated. They resist pluralist society and oppose any ‘sexual deviance’. 

Christian nationalists are constantly sensitive to any criticism of their beliefs, to where they believe they are victims in today’s society.

Research reveals that people who practice Christianity are less likely to hold Christian nationalist beliefs. For example, most Christian nationalists regard refugees as a threat to America. Welfare queens and illegals are dog-whistle terms used to mean they are not good people because they are not white, native-born citizens. 

They believe only Christian nationalists are sole defenders of American heritage. It is why Rick Santorum criticizes democracy. Historian Jason Stanley describes this “us versus them” mentality, where “we” can become more desperate and willing to compromise any remaining moral scruples about the means to accomplish the necessary Anglo-Christian ends.

History teaches us that Christian nationalists love authoritarians like Donald Trump, who will protect “us” from “them” by any means necessary. When certain Christian leaders declared their faith and support for Donald Trump, it ensured the support of a third of Americans. 

But they do not express the beliefs of most Americans. 

To these ‘Christians,’ the ends justify the means. It is difficult to speak truth to people infected with disinformation, because they feel they are doing God’s will. 

Most Americans don’t identify themselves as Christian nationalists. Yet, many churches throughout Montana and the nation continually express these ideas. It is one reason many Christians are so committed to a man and a party that promises to do what Speaker Mike Johnson perceives feminism, “wokeism”, CRT, LGBTQ as threats, because they violate God’s design for sex, marriage and Anglo-Saxon society. 

Multiculturalism will turn our kids gay. It is important to realize that Christian nationalist beliefs are the same characteristics of fascist regimes, such as populist demagoguery, xenophobia, oppression of minorities, anti-intellectualism and authoritarianism. They claim to be followers of Jesus and then become offended when they are called on their hypocrisy. 

Mike Johnson is today’s version of the “Handmaid’s” speaker. His interpretation of the teachings of peace, love and tolerance of Jesus Christ has led the Republicans to detest and scapegoat millions of Americans. 

According to the GOP, truth and honest inquiry are irrelevant. 

Sincerely,

David R. James, 40 years. History Teacher

38 years Lincoln County High, Eureka, Montana