September 9, 2006

Christian Nationalism: The Platform

Political parties (and some political movements or organizations) develop formal statements of their expressed goals, called platforms. Platforms are designed to attract supporters, however, they can also be assumed to reflect at least some of what the party stands for.

While reading Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, I started thinking about the goals of the Christian nationalist movement. What do they hope to obtain? If they could modify the American political landscape to suit their needs, what would it look like? What do their current political efforts and the statements of their leaders tell us about their plan for America?

I took notes while reading this book and continued to add to them as I read the national news. My hope was that this would allow me to uncover the platform of influential Christian nationalists in America. At the same time, I felt that it was important to derive the contents of the platform from their own statements, quoted in many different sources, to minimize bias and reduce potential misunderstanding.

Goals of Christian Nationalists
  1. Replace the Constitution with the Christian bible as the ultimate legal authority and basis for all U.S. law.
  2. Criminalize homosexual behavior.
  3. Criminalize abortion and implement severe penalties for persons who perform abortions.
  4. Permit (and even encourage) prayer in the schools.
  5. Replace public welfare with faith-based assistance, the receipt of which may be contingent on conversion to Christianity.
  6. Eliminate judicial independence, making the judiciary directly responsible to the public and/or the other branches of government.
  7. A revisionist history will be developed in which America is imagined as being founded as a Christian nation.
Under Christian Nationalism, non-Christians are second-class citizens. They may be tolerated, but they are certainly not real Americans. The basis of all law is biblical (especially Old Testament) law. Where the Constitution conflicts with this, it is to be changed or disregarded. This will require a totalitarian form of government to replace America's liberal democracy. However, this is perfectly acceptable because the Christian god selects America's political leadership, and there is no room for dissenting opinions when law is based on an inerrant source. Religious minorities do not deserve protection because they are destined for hell. There will be no separation of church and state.

Because homosexuality is condemned in the bible, it must be condemned in society. Homosexuals are entitled to their beliefs but will be punished for acting on them. The more extreme believers are already calling for the execution of homosexuals, but I suspect most will put up with them as long as they remain celibate and have no contact with America's children.

James Dobson describes abortion as the "biggest holocaust in world history." Abortion is to be outlawed, and abortionists will be tried (and possibly executed) for their "crimes."

Since the bible commands worship of the Christian god, there is no reason why school children should somehow be exempt. Prayer in school will be encouraged if not mandated.

Public welfare will become the sole purview of faith-based organizations. Aid may be withheld to nonbelievers or persons from the "wrong" religions, however, the more common approach will involve attempts at conversion. The faith-based agencies will be allowed to hire whoever they want, regardless of whether discrimination is involved.

Judicial independence will be eliminated so that judges are accountability to the will of the Christian majority. A judge who rules against their wishes will be removed. In this way, the Christian faith of the majority will be imposed throughout society.

Finally, a revisionist history under which America can be viewed as a Christian nation will be written to provide legitimacy for the movement. This false and misleading view of history will distort or omit the fact that America used to have a secular Constitution.

For more information, I refer you to this excellent article by John W. Dean and this one by John Sugg. I also encourage you to visit TheocracyWatch.

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