Christian Nationalism is on the rise and there are faith leaders that are worried about the problems and questions that could come along with it. The Pennsylvania Capital Star interviewed Rev. Richard Freeman of the Resurrection Baptist church in Braddock, Pennsylvania.
The reverend said that he has seen right-wing extremists up close throughout his life as he grew up in the South. He said that the difference today is that it is 'louder' that in ever was. The article said that the State of Pittsburgh is becoming one of the most prominent areas for the Christian nationalism movement. It added that one of the people making this possible is Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano as part of his talking points.
In one of his speeches, Mastriano even called the separation of church and state a 'myth.' Further, he is known for his controversial relationships with several churches in the state.
Christian Nationalism and What Faith Leaders in Pennsylvania Has to Say
According to the article, Christian nationalism demands for Christian privilege and implies that it is necessary to be a Christian for one to become a food American. Rev. Freeman said that because of this that it is a 'cover' for white supremacy and racial subjugation.
Rev. Freeman said that the movement is closely monitored by his congregation because of its implications. According to Freeman, the Ku Klux Klan, a racist white supremacist organization, started with the same mantra. He added that even though the language is different, the intent is the same.
There's also Pastor Shannon Garrett-Doege of the Community of Reconciliation Church in Oakland who is similarly alarmed with the movement. According to the pastor, it is an ideology that is 'antithetical to Christ' and that it does not make any sense.
She also equated Christians who refuse to take vaccines as a part of the ideology. Apparently, the theology of such people are a form of white, Christian, national, patriotic identity, according to the pastor.
Further, Pastor Vincent Kolb of Sixth Presbyterian Church in Squirrel Hill and president of Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network see the ideology as a sin of idolatry. The pastor is in the opinion that a person can love his country and be critical of it. He added that loving the country without question socially and politically is dangerous.
Rabbi Jamie Gibson also expressed his worries over Christian nationalism, saying that it is a direct threat to physical safety and spiritual well-being.
According to the page of the gubernatorial Candidate, Doug Mastriano is a combat veteran who served on the Iron Curtain with the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in West Germany. After the events of 9/11, Mastriano was tasked for planning the operation to invade Iraq via Turkey.
He has a Doctor of history Degree and several Master's Degrees in Military and Warfare Studies.
Previously in his career as a statesman, he was elected as the Senator for Pennsylvania's 33rd District in 2019. All in all, he has over 30 years of experience in building and leading teams.