Sometimes updates don’t help. That’s because evil is so good at masquerading as righteousness that constant vigilance is required. Michelle Goldberg’s Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism was recommended to me by someone at a local church. I’ve been giving educational talks to help people understand what Evangelicalism is, so I figured I’d better read it. The optimistic epilogue to this otherwise excellent book allowed relief after the 2006 midterm elections. Of course, nobody back then could’ve believed an even less intelligent president than W could ever be put forth by the GOP. That doesn’t mean Kingdom Coming shouldn’t be read. It should. And it should be required reading (aw, gee! Homework?). There have been many studies that have demonstrated repeatedly that Christian Nationalism is highly organized and well funded. Meanwhile intellectuals scoff that religion is dead.
I spent most of the last week in a kind of panic. I have another public talk coming up, and I needed to read Goldberg before that. Yes, it is dated. But yes, we have Trump’s bumbling form of “leadership” with a well funded, highly organized Evangelical subculture calling the shots. Forget the politicians—they’re only interested in money—it’s everyone else who suffers from America’s growing fascism. The fact that the GOP won’t stand up to 45 shows that we’ve already turned the corner toward das Vaterland. Anyone the Republican Party elects from now on could be the new dictator. Christian Nationalism stands behind this as journalists scratch their heads.
Goldberg’s book has likely been shelved because eight years of Obama made it seem like the threat was gone. The problem is, silence works to the benefit of Christian Nationalists. Perhaps the most frightening thing about all of this is that many intellectuals simply don’t take the threat seriously. At the same time I was reading this, I was also reading about Nazi Germany (because I’m such a cheerful guy). The parallels are blatant and entirely too obvious to miss. Christian Nationalism has an agenda and it is fascist in nature. Even obeying the words of Jesus takes second place to the political objective of making America in their own image. This may sound alarmist, but it’s based on solid information. The Devil, they say, is most powerful when people don’t believe in him. Those who would make America into a theocracy would claim to follow the other guy, but looking at their tactics, it’s pretty clear who’s really in charge.