Center for Political Awareness

‘Demolishing Democracy’: How Much Danger does Christian Nationalism Pose?

Documentary Bad Faith looks at the history of a group trying to affect and corrupt politics under the guise of religion.

Photo: ‘They’re in bed together, based on economic principles, not theology.’ Photograph: Win McNamee / Getty Images

 

Bad Faith, a new documentary on the rise of Christian nationalism in the United States, opens with an obvious, ominous scene – the storming of the Capitol on 6 January 2021 – though trained on details drowned out by the deluge of horror and easily recognizable images of chaos. That Paula White, Donald Trump’s faith adviser, led the Save America rally in a prayer to overturn the results for “a free and fair election”. That mixed among Trump flags, American flags and militia symbols were numerous banners with Christian crosses; on the steps of the Capitol, a “JESUS SAVES” sign blares mere feet from “Lock Them UP!”

The movement to overturn the 2020 election for Donald Trump was, as the documentary underscores, inextricable from a certain strain of belief in America as a fundamentally Christian nation, separation of church and state be damned. In fact, as Bad Faith argues, Christian nationalism – a political movement to shape the United States according a certain interpretation of evangelical Christianity, by vote or, more recently, by coercion – was the “galvanizing force” behind the attempted hijacking of the democratic process three years ago.

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