A majority of Republicans identify as Christian nationalists


A new survey from the Public Religion Research Institute reveals that more than half of Republicans don’t understand America and would like either Jesus Christ or Donald Trump to lead us to a God-ordained promised land flowing with milk, honey, unchecked grift, and bottomless cheese fries.

According to PRRI, 55% of Republicans qualify as Christian nationalists, per the survey’s criteria, as opposed to just 25% of independents and 16% of Democrats. At the same time, 83% of Democrats can be considered “skeptics” or “rejecters” of Christian nationalism, compared with just 43% of Republicans who feel the same way.

Meanwhile, those Christian nationalist views are, as you might have guessed, strongly predictive of support for Donald Trump.

According to PRRI, “Among those who hold favorable views of Trump, 55% qualify as Christian nationalists (21% Adherents and 34% Sympathizers). Only 15% of those who hold favorable views of President Joe Biden qualify as Christian nationalists (4% Adherents and 11% Sympathizers).”

In other words, there’s a good reason the current House speaker thinks he’s Moses and the Alabama Supreme Court thinks eight-celled frozen embryos are human beings. Republicans are all hunkered down in a hermetically sealed room sniffing the same glue.

PRRI based its survey results on a five-point definition of Christian nationalism. Respondents were asked if they agreed or disagreed—either “mostly” or “completely”—with the following statements:

  • The U.S. government should declare America a Christian nation.
  • U.S. laws should be based on Christian values.
  • If the U.S. moves away from our Christian foundations, we will not have a country anymore.
  • Being Christian is an important part of being truly American.
  • God has called Christians to exercise dominion over all areas of American society.

The fact that so many Americans agree with even one of these statements means Thomas Jefferson must be rolling over in whatever golf course shed Trump stashed him in after stealing his corpse and wrapping it in top secret nuclear documents like a day-old order of fish and chips. 

The fact that a majority of the U.S. population still identifies as Christian does not make America a Christian nation, and it never has—any more than, say, the overwhelming prevalence of white hockey players makes the NHL the KKK.

Nope! We are a religiously diverse country with a Constitution that—in theory, at least—protects the rights of all citizens regardless of creed, and explicitly prohibits religious tests for public office

But even though U.S. Christian nationalists have a completely (M)ass-backward view of religion’s proper place in a pluralistic liberal democracy, they nevertheless wield outsized influence. And consider the current makeup of the Supreme Court, and the ascent of Speaker Mike Johnson—who’s called the principle of church-state separation a “misnomer”: That influence only continues to grow.

Ja’han Jones, writing for MSNBC’s “The ReidOut Blog,” noted this out-of-whack power dynamic:

PRRI found “three in ten Americans qualify as Christian nationalism Adherents (10%) or Sympathizers (20%), compared with two-thirds who qualify as Skeptics (37%) or Rejecters (30%).”

So adherents and sympathizers of Christian nationalism make up about 30% of the American population — and evidently about 66% of the Supreme Court bench, if the Dobbs ruling is any indicator.

In other words, because two presidents who were originally elected by a minority of voters have appointed five of our current SCOTUS justices, the majority of Americans—who would prefer to keep the country as Jefferson and James Madison envisioned—are already living under a quasi-theocracy. And Christian nationalism’s enduring popularity only promises to make this tyranny of the minority worse.

That a movement so antithetical to clearly defined and long-held American values has overtaken one of our two major parties is truly disturbing. But as this same survey makes clear, we are still the majority. Which means there’s still plenty we can do to push back, even if the game is rigged against us, thanks to the same Constitution that’s supposed to confer inalienable religious freedoms. 

It starts with this November’s elections—but hopefully doesn’t end with them. After all, our own little MAGA Moses remains determined to lead us into a promised land that very few of us ever signed up for.

Needless to say, we can’t let him.

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Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. 


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