An article in USA Today explores the issue of how some Christians hijack symbols of faith and use them to advance dark movements like Christian nationalism or white nationalism. The issue is more of a problem than many people want to admit in American evangelicalism. Individuals like Eric Metaxas reveal how deep the rot is inside evangelicalism, especially as they have tied their identity to Christian nationalism.
“Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first.“
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:25-26 NIV
Christian nationalist pastor Brian Gibson with one of the notorious January 6 Capitol rioters
Recently this blog did a post about Eric Metaxas and asked if his descent into radicalism mirrored what happens with Islamic radicalization? Eric Metaxas after all offered to die for Donald Trump and sacrifice his life. How many find that ironic for the “Dietrich Bonhoeffer” biographer. It was written here because I am seeing more similarities between the radicalization of white evangelicals like Eric Metaxas and individuals like Al Qaeda’s Anwar al-Awlaki. You can read that post in, “Are White Evangelicals Being Radicalized? Are There Growing Similarities Between Eric Metaxas Who Said He Would Die for Trump’s Cause and Al Qaeda’s Anwar al- Awlaki?” This blogger also did his graduate studies on modern European history and his graduation project focused on an aspect of the Weimar Republic. Given what has been studied in history I also began to realize that many white evangelicals in the United States never learned the lessons from Christians in Nazi, Germany. You can read that post in, “How White Evangelical Christians of the United States Never Learned From the Christians of Nazi, Germany.”
Those articles are to be considered in light of a new article published at USA Today. Trevor Hughes writes about Christians who are into nationalism using symbols to advance hate, or white nationalist ideology. In American history the Ku Klux Klan rallied around the cross of Christ and made that an important symbol. Many of those images were used at the January 6 riot at the United States Capitol. The acceptance of these symbols reveal the dark path by some and how they use Christianity to advance their agenda. The people who stormed the Capitol carrying crosses are no different than the September 11th hijackers who flew Boeing 757’s and 767’s into the World Trade Center or the Pentagon under the guise of Islam. This is why the rhetoric of people like Franklin Graham, Robert Jeffress, James Dobson, Eric Metaxas and schools like Liberty University which push Christian nationalism have become so dangerous. Just look at the picture leading this post. Its with Christian nationalism pastor Brian Gibson who roams the country like a plague and pours gasoline on the movement. The Kentucky pastor is posing above in Arizona with one of the most notorious rioters of January 6. That picture was taken long before the Q Anon Shaman and Q Anon conspiracy theorist rioted at the Capitol. You can read about Brian Gibson in, “Brian Gibson of HIS Church: Is He The Pastor to Terrorists?” This blog would urge you to read a USA Today article about Christian symbols being used as a tool to advance dark nationalist forces. You can read that article in, “White nationalists are once again using Christian symbols to spread hate.”