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Culture War Roundup for the week of March 4, 2024

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Christian Nationalism

Within my own circles this is rather a hot topic, but I've yet to see it discussed in this forum. Christian evangelicalism has had its own version of the culture war; to whit, how involved and in what manner should Christians (both individually and the Church) be engaged in society and politics. There are factions of "Big Eva" who seem to be moving more Left (see the recent "He gets us" commercial in the Super Bowl). There are those who think that the "third-way"ism of Tim Keller (taking a high road that transcends politics and culture war) is still relevant in these days (from my perspective, with echos of Martin Niemoller). And there are those who are actively seeking a more aggressive and explicitly Christian approach to governance and policy. For those interested, a useful taxonomy provided by the Gospel Coalition describes to a reasonable first approximation the different approaches that Christians have to our current moment.

I have had my own journey in the direction of Christian Nationalism (though I wouldn't...yet...apply that label to myself). While in college I was a pro-life Ron Paul libertarian, over the years I've become less individualistic as I've grown in my faith. I used to think of religion as a private exercise. I know recognize the centrality of community. I even have begun to entertain the idea that there may be salvific consequences for those who are under the authority of a Christian leader. If the unbelieving spouse can be sanctified by his or her believing counterpart, and an entire house can be baptized when the head of the house believes, could there not be salvation extended to a nation whose head of state is an orthodox Christian and whose government practices the precepts of the Word? (If you are interested in more of my ramblings on this topic, and

Christianity in America has enjoyed centuries of being a dominant culture. Many Christians, having grown up in a culture that was at least outwardly compatible with Christianity, have slipped into casual acceptance of cultural norms. They are in the world, and of the world. In many cases self-proclaimed Christians are functionally agnostic, with no significant lifestyle differences from Atheists. Do we really believe Christ is Lord or do we not? Do we not believe in divine judgement and divine mercy? Is Church a weekly therapeutic exercise or is it a place where we meet the transcendent and drink of the body and the blood? Christian Nationalism, at its core, recognizes the reality and consequence of a world in which Christ is Lord. There is no "third way", there is only God's way. (For a somewhat related essay on the reality of God, see

There is a common assumption among Christians that all sin is equally damning. Man can never follow the Law, and Jesus even makes it clear that the Law didn't go far enough (the Law allows divorce, and does not explicitly proscribe lust). At the individual level, this assumption is correct. Outside the atonement found in Jesus, we all stand condemned. Yet at the societal level, there are varying levels of alignment with God's will. Every single person in Nazi Germany was a sinner. Every single person in 1941 USA was a sinner. Yet it would be an unusual Christian who would argue that 1941 USA was not more aligned with God's will than Nazi Germany. Not all societies are created equal, and there are varying degrees of misalignment. If I look at a woman in lust, I am clearly sinning and am condemned; but at least my desires are in alignment with God's ideal. It is only the object of my desires that is inappropriate, as being attracted to my wife is not only not a sin, but is a key part of a relationship that is a representation of Christ's love for the Church. Same-sex attraction is more disordered as both the object and the desire itself are misaligned. Transgenderism is completely disordered: the object, desire, and self are all misaligned. Societies that venerate increasingly disordered behavior will inevitably sink into corruption and decay. Christian Nationalism, perhaps alone among contemporary strands of Christian thought, fully acknowledges these implications.

I'll probably be censured for this, because for some reason--- religion, despite ZERO proof, needs to be respected on this forum. This is pure fantasy and shouldn't even be brought up as a serious topic. It is like watching Harry Potter fans argue over what fanfic should be cannon. It is made up out of whole cloth and shouldn't be in a rational adjacent forum.

  • -18

We respect each others' beliefs regarding the supernatural (including the beliefs "It exists" and "It doesn't exist"), even when we know Our Beliefs are Objectively Correct and Their Beliefs are Objectively Wrong, because when we don't, Bad Things tend to happen.

Who is "we"? This is a thread about Christian nationalism.

We respect each others' beliefs regarding the supernatural (including the beliefs "It exists" and "It doesn't exist"), even when we know Our Beliefs are Objectively Correct and Their Beliefs are Objectively Wrong, because when we don't, Bad Things tend to happen.

Who is "we"? This is a thread about Christian nationalism.

Christian nationalism, which is hard to talk about because no one agrees what it means, is hardly guaranteed to impinge on Westphalian tolerance. The Peace of Westphalia enshrined cuius regio, eius religio (in other words, a state religion) but prohibited ius reformandi (the ability of the state to regulate religious observance).

In other words, the principle of Westphalian tolerance is fine with the state being overtly pastafarian and funneling tax dollars to pastafarian temples; it just can't punish people for converting to baptism, building baptist churches, or saying the church of the flying spaghetti monster is hogwash in their capacity as private citizens.

That's giving people a right to be wrong, which is different from respecting their beliefs.