The culmination of white evangelical/Christian nationalist influence & power is insurrection.
Let's not pretend many people didn't see this as possible, even likely.
Yesterday, on Epiphany, the Capitol Building of the United States Congress was invaded by domestic terrorists and insurrectionists, encouraged to do so by the President of the United States, and aided by the action of seditious Senators Cruz & Hawley.
This is the outcome of a society that has continuously downplayed the domestic threat of far-right groups, with the naive assumption that “it couldn’t happen here.”
What did we think the outcome would be of the elected-right and right-wing media encouraging and propagating culture war grievances for decades, undermining civic and social norms and laws in order to attain more power? Did we think it would be peaceful?
What did we think would be the outcome of a faith that sacralizes violence?
What did we think would become of a party that abandoned its platform in order to rally around a demagogue?
What did we think would happen when the radical anti-democratic political theologies of Christian Reconstructionists are played out?
What did we think would happen when the influence of Q, 4chan, Fox News, Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, and countless others in the conservative media ecosystem have radicalized their audiences over decades—questioning the validity of their political opponents’ rightful claim to power, dehumanizing them, and both quietly & loudly asserting white Christian supremacy all along the way?
What did we think would happen, when white Americans are never in fear for their lives at the hands of the police, even as they storm the Capitol with Confederate flags?
This was all foreseeable. Plenty of people warned of this: journalists, academics, antiracist activists, clear-eyed Black and BIPOC people who have a very different experience and view of life in America, lifelong bureaucrats, and yes, ex/post-evangelicals who have lived in the spaces that normalized and tolerated this extremism here in the US.
Will there be consequences? The sort of consequences that will matter, hobble the GOP, and make sure this is never repeated? Will there be true introspection among religious communities that have tolerated or encouraged the very ideas that animated these insurrectionists? I wish I was more hopeful.
I wrote this thread on Jan. 5th, which was only two days ago but time still feels odd when every moment is momentous:
Read the whole thread, but in the aftermath of yesterday, my final two post feels especially true:
Share Powers & Principalities
I know that this is “self-promotion” but Josh Hawley sent a fundraiser during the insurrection he helped incite, so I don’t really care.
I’m proud of the work I did on Powers & Principalities to help contextualize white evangelicalism & Christian nationalism.
All of season one is dedicated to the topic, and features interviews with Reza Aslan, Jeff Sharlet, Julie Ingersoll, Bradley Onishi, Diana Butler Bass, Kristin Kobes du Mez, Katherine Stewart, Robert Jones, Anthea Butler, Andrew Whitehead, Sam Perry, Sarah Posner, and Jack Jenkins. Their work is timely, prescient, and vital in this moment.
Images of Insurrection. Portraits of Privilege.
This is America. Don’t look away.
This is America. Don’t look away.
It’s always been America. Don’t look away.
I’m collecting more resources over on Twitter. Follow along on this thread: