Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Who Are the Real Radicals?

By Brad Littlejohn, The American Conservative

Especially since the events of January 6, “Christian nationalism” has become all the rage among the chattering classes, promising to join such hallowed terms as “white nationalism,” “alt-right,” and “religious Right” as a catch-all for everything that is putatively wrong with American politics. It is tempting to dismiss this latest villain of choice as another exercise in paranoid projection by those eager to discredit conservatism and Christianity by any means. But that would be a mistake.

No observer can watch clips of the riot at the Capitol without being struck by the prominence of crosses and Christian flags, or the extraordinary spectacle of Jake Angeli, the “QAnon Shaman,” leading a prayer of thanksgiving in the name of Jesus while standing on the dais of the Senate. It should be clear by now that we do have a radicalization problem here in the U.S. (although anyone who thinks it is confined to the Right needs to awaken from their dogmatic slumber), and that it has become grotesquely entangled with Christian faith in some quarters. The causes are complex and call for investigation, but before we join the pundits and self-anointed experts in assigning blame for this phenomenon, we had best be clear what we’re talking about. And that means talking about reality.

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