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How Many Christian Nationalists Are There? A Flawed New Study Attempts To Answer

Christian Nationalism has been a resurging movement in Protestant Christianity. This rise has come at the expense of multiculturalism, neoconservatism, pluralism, and Classical Liberalism. The rejection of the post-war consensus has found many Christians renewing an older Christian political theology under a new banner of Christian Nationalism.

Explicitly viewing this development as a threat, Neighborly Faith set out to study just how much of the population is Christian Nationalist. The report of the findings was written by Chris Stackaruk, Kevin Singer, and Peter Licari. Listed in the credits is the Democracy Fund. The Democracy Fund is the project of Pierre Omidyar, the founder of Ebay and a devout Buddhist.

Promising Findings

Believing that Christian Nationalism would not be a term many would self-identify as in a survey, the study sought to measure its prevalence in other ways.

Within our model, just 11% of respondents are classified as Christian Nationalists, or what
we call CN “Adherents.” A further 19% are sympathetic to the worldview, or what we call
CN “Sympathizers.” Our model suggests that a combined total of 30% of American adults
are either CN Adherents or Sympathizers.

So despite only 5% self-identifying as Christian Nationalists, 11% fall into their categorization and 19% adjacent.

Moreover, the report concludes that Christian Nationalism has great potential to rise.

Finally, our study considers one of the greatest threats of CN to be its growth potential in America’s polarized religious and political culture. Although, by our measures, only 11% of Americans are CN Adherents, a further 19% are CN Sympathizers who may join the more extreme faction. By doing so, CN’s influence over America’s culture and institutions would grow substantially.

Flawed Definitions

From the onset, it’s clear that Neighborly Faith is using a flawed definition of Christian Nationalism, one developed by anti-Christian Nationalists. The various definitions cited in the report include Robert Jones, President and founder of the Public Religion Research Institute, who defined Christian Nationalism as “the belief that God intended America to be a new promised land for European Christians.” Moreover, Andrew Whitehead and Samuel Perry’s definition define Christian Nationalism as “a cultural framework that advocates for a particular expression of Christianity to be fused with American civic life, with the government vigorously promoting and preserving this version of Christianity as the principal and undisputed cultural framework.” 

The report’s official definition is as follows:

Christian Nationalism is a movement advancing a vision of America’s past, present, and future that excludes people of non-Christian religions and non-Western cultures. Christian Nationalists romanticize Christianity’s influence on America’s development, attributing the nation’s historical provenance to God’s special favor toward its rightful inhabitants.

None of the thought leaders in Christian Nationalism such as Stephen Wolfe and Andrew Torba define Christian Nationalism in a way that is specifically hitched to the United States.

Examples include the beliefs/ attitudes that:

— America has a special God-ordained purpose

— America’s culture is fundamentally Christian

— “Christian values” should be solely and explicitly endorsed by the government

— Christian symbols and practices should be exclusively featured in public life

— Desire to live in a religiously homogeneous society

— Disdain for multiculturalism

Evangelical Dark Web reached out to Kevin Singer and asked why the definition was out of touch with rank-and-file Christian Nationalists, and his response was to state that different perspectives were included, citing a quote from Josh Daws from the American Reformer. Yet neither Josh Daws nor Stephen Wolfe are quoted giving a definition in the report, whereas multiple anti-Christian Nationalists are cited giving definitions.

Christian Nationalists Are The Most Serious Christians

Compared to the other five categories, the Christian Nationalists identified in the report are the most devoted Christians.

What is shown here is that the religiosity of Christian Nationalists is higher than any other group, even the sympathizers. Opposition to Christian Nationalism is linked to declining religiosity.

Papists were less likely to identify as Christian Nationalists, whereas “other Christians” and Protestants were most likely to identify as Christian Nationalists. Yet strangely 5% of agnostics were Christian Nationalists per the study, which seems like a vetting issue. Whereas the claim has been made that Christian Nationalists were nominally Christian, this data from opponents of Christian Nationalism proves otherwise.

Who are the Christian Nationalists?

Christian Nationalists are shown more likely to be men, more likely to be married, and more likely to be White. Moreover, they are more likely to identify as Christian and be interested in politics.

Knowing What Time It Is

Here, it’s demonstrable that Christian Nationalists are more likely to oppose wokeness or Cultural Marxism.

Additionally, Christian Nationalists were most likely to find the [Democrat] Party to be irredeemably evil. This finding is used to justify the view that Christian Nationalism is a threat.

CN Adherents support a variety of changes to America’s society or government that may harm others and run counter to America’s pluralist democratic traditions. Case in point, 89% simultaneously believe that (a) Christianity reflects the nation’s true culture; (b) that Christians need more influence over government; and (c) that the decline of Christianity in America is a problem.

Given that Democracy Fund was involved with the report, this conclusion is unsurprising.

Concluding Analysis

The number of 5% self-identifying and 11% categorically Christian Nationalists might be an accurate estimate, but between the adherents and the sympathizers, a better definition and line of questioning could make this study more reliable.

Instead, this Neighborly Faith study is a liberal screed against Christian Nationalism that is unintentionally a ringing endorsement with its findings.

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2 Responses

  1. Whether it’s 1% or 99%, they’ll never honestly ask the question why, because they’d incriminate themselves if they did.

    It is because government, businesses, and other powerful entities are increasingly demanding that Christians violate our conscience in order to live, work, send our children to school (and in some cases avoid having our children taken from us), in order to live and survive.

    It is because the existent imposition of their own version of religious nationalism, the imposition of their own beliefs, is increasingly becoming intolerable.

    These are the same fakes and frauds, who claim to be Christians but are not, who would demand that Jack Phillips bake the cakes. They are the same who would extort their supposed brothers and sisters in Christ to justify wickedness, condemn righteousness, to violate their conscience, and to defy the Lord and His word.

    I don’t care if it has only happened to one Christian in the entire country, that’s one too many.

    1. That’s their definition of Christian Nationalism, in a nutshell. It’s a nation where Christians aren’t forced to violate our conscience in order to live, put a roof over our heads, and put food on the table.

      If we’re not being forced to violate our conscience, then somehow we are imposing on them. If we’re not being forced to violate our conscience in order to live and survive, then, as far as they’re concerned, it’s theocracy.

      I don’t care what they call it, or what sort of solutions they advocate for, but if they’re professing Christians, I just want to ask them that one simple yes-or-no question: Should Christians have to violate our conscience in order to live and survive? Should we be forced to justify wickedness and condemn righteousness? Should we be forced to defy the Lord and His word? Yes or no.

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