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The threat of Christian nationalism

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As opening arguments are presented today in the Donald Trump porn-star-hush- money trial, there are no signs that Christian nationalism is weakening its grip on the Republican Party.

This is despite the fact that Trump could be seen as incompatible with the stated values of the Christian faith. The twice divorced Trump has been found liable for sexual assault. He refers to the Eucharist as a “little cracker.” Former Miss USA contestant Samantha Holvey says Trump lined up all the pageant contestants to inspect them and later bragged about walking in on them as they were changing. He frequently compares himself to Jesus and while in need of cash has become a gaudy bible salesman.

Trump is an unlikely hero for the most conservative Christians in the US. But in both 2016 and 2020, Trump resoundingly won the vote of white evangelicals. Now Trump is looking to regain the White House and he is doubling down on his connection with the evangelical base and Christian nationalism.

Trump is signaling he wants to bring the Christian church and the American state into one entity.

A national survey conducted jointly by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Brookings Institution found 64 percent of white evangelical Protestants are Christian nationalism adherents or sympathizers to the movement. Thirty-five percent of Americans have never heard of the term “Christian nationalism.”


Katherine Stewart is the author of The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism. The documentary film GOD & COUNTRY, produced by Rob Reiner and Michele Reiner, is based on The Power Worshippers.

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org.

*This interview will be recorded on Monday, April 22, 2024.

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David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi