Editor, Gettysburg Times,
I want to commend Gettysburg Times reporter John Spangler for his Saturday, Jan. 14 Reporter’s Notebook report on Rev. Dr. Pamela Cooper-White’s presentation pertaining to her book about the psychology of Christian nationalism that was recently held at Gettysburg’s Democratic Headquarters.
This growing movement in America is one of the most serious threats to our democracy. Repurposing the compassionate teachings of Christ into intolerant militancy is a trend that has overtaken a large swath of America’s right-wing. From politicians like Marjorie Taylor Green and Lauren Boebert, who flat out denounce the separation of church and state, to a majority of Supreme Court Justices who have taken on the role of Iran-like morality police, this threatening movement is infiltrating the upper echelons of our government. Sadly, the very essence of a peaceful, loving faith has become metastasized into an “AR-15 mentality,” in which might is right and the hell with our founding documents which authorize a pleural society whereby people of all religions or no religion can live in harmony. In essence, to a growing number of Christians, Christianity is becoming downright Talibanized! It has been melded with patriotism and nationalism which we know historically can only lead to fascism. A frightening example is Russia, where Vladimir Putin and the Orthodox Patriarch Krill have formed an alliance to control the Russian masses through the theater of faith— a phenomenon that unfortunately seems quite appealing to some Fox News commentators. And in the Muslim world we need only to look at Iran, or the Taliban in Afghanistan to understand the dangers of religious dominated societies.
Christians have had a free pass in America, never to be criticized because of their spiritual beliefs. I’m sorry, the time has come when they can no longer ignore this militant movement within their ranks because it’s blatantly obvious that Christian nationalists are posing an existential threat to the very basic foundation of our democracy. This movement urgently needs to be addressed by those Christians who know better! They need to loudly call out and reprimand their so-called fellow Christians before it’s too late. By staying silent they will only become subsumed into the movement. And, more importantly, by staying silent they are permitting militant members of their ranks to corrupt the basic tenets of Christ’s peaceful and loving teachings and ignore the steadfast rulings of America’s’ founding documents.