Skye Jethani: Christian Nationalism and Nominal Christianity

Christian nationalism is the biggest predictor of Trump support.

There is more emphasis on saying “Merry Christman” than loving one’s neighbor or living out other Christian values.

More voters want America to be a nominally Christian nation than to display any actual Christian values.

Neither the Trump campaign and RNC thought Trump would win.

The RNC thought Trump had a 20% chance of winning.

polarization, entertainment, epistemology, Neil Postman

systems, structures, incentives – probably the best bet for change

  • gerrymandering, political parties, role of money, power of parties to select nominees: elites vs voters
  • in order to be more democratic it needs to be less democratic

How Democracies die: in Latin Americans use democracy to destroy Democracy.

mediated vs direct democracy.

The founders rigged it to keep too much power out of the hands of the rank and file uneducated masses.  Thinking that we need the elite to insulate ourselves from ourselves.

Since 1968, there have been reforms away from a balanced system, has swung towards the will of the people deciding almost everything.

The “unwashed masses” — not that the voters are stupid, but they are not experts.

The average voter should not have to know the difference between mandatory and discretionary spending.

The Museum of the Bible Is a Safe Space for Christian Nationalists

a recent gathering at the museum featuring speakers who intend to “transform nations” by “igniting a holy reformation in every sphere of society,”

.. “We wholeheartedly believe the Museum of the Bible represents an ‘Ark of the Covenant’ for our nation, bearing witness to his goodness,”

.. A typical museum might invite visitors to explore the multiple meanings of the Bible and the complex history of its reception in different cultures over time. But this museum is not the place for that kind of inquiry; you’re here to celebrate.

.. The museum is a safe space for Christian nationalists, and that is the key to understanding its political mission.

.. Its subtler task is to embed a certain set of assumptions in the landscape of the capital.

.. Mr. Drollinger believes that social welfare programs “have no basis in Scripture,” that Christians in government have an obligation to hire only Christians and that women should not be allowed to teach grown men.

.. He lays out his thinking in a 2013 book, “Rebuilding America: The Biblical Blueprint.”

.. The “institution of the state” is “an avenger of wrath,” he explains, and its “God-given responsibility” is “to moralize a fallen world through the use of force.”

.. participants in his groups, however, aren’t just anybody. They include Mike Pompeo, the director of the C.I.A.; Attorney General Jeff Sessions; Vice President Mike Pence; Betsy DeVos

.. the message that national unity can be achieved only through a religious “awakening” and allegiance to conservative Christianity.

.. to inspire confidence in the absolute authority and reliability of the Bible.”

.. When Steve Green, the museum’s founder and the president of the Hobby Lobby crafts chain, formed the museum’s parent organization in 2010, he informed the I.R.S.

.. the location of this museum was an act of symbolic and practical genius. If you’re going to build a Christian nation, this is where you start.