The battle against Christian Nationalism continues as this ideology tampers with the real meaning of being a Christian. A group of North Idaho activists is currently moving to combat Christian Nationalism.
The United Methodist Church's Dr. David W. Scott explains that Christian nationalism involves the belief that the nation is synonymous with God's will and work in the world. This ideology equates national identity with Christian identity and considers serving the nation as serving God. Dr. Scott notes that Christian nationalism can provide moral justification for actions taken to achieve national or political objectives, even if they are unethical or improper.
This merging of religion and nationalism can lead to actions that harm individuals or groups outside the dominant culture or belief system.
Activists Flock to Protest Against Christian Nationalism
Activists gathered for a board meeting of the Community Library Network in Post Falls, where many were there to criticize the library's administration for allowing children access to "pornographic" books. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, this protest is part of a nationwide conservative movement targeting public libraries. During the meeting, critics of the library joined their speeches with appeals to the Christian faith and the Bible as the ultimate moral authority.
Josiah Mannion, a photographer and activist who spoke on behalf of the recently established Community Library Network Alliance, accused the library's detractors of having ties to patriarchal white Christian nationalism. The meeting broke out into insults after this comment, and several attendees ended up calling the police.
The board member repeatedly implored the crowd to let Mannion speak, and supporters of the library spoke out in defense of the librarians, sparking heated exchanges throughout the meeting.
A pro-democracy activist in Idaho, Alicia Abbott, is not surprised by the disruption of those who challenge Christian nationalism. In the article shared in Religion News, Abbott says that she has been given the gavel and interrupted herself for using the term Christian nationalism or asking questions about accountability in both local public comment and state public testimony.
Far-right supporters have flocked to Idaho and surrounding states for decades and have faced opposition from faith leaders and others. One among those fighting back against these far-right forces is Episcopal Bishop Gretchen Rehberg, whose Diocese of Spokane spans from eastern Washington to much of North Idaho and into western Montana.
Rehberg recalls her upbringing in Moscow, Idaho, and how locals fought out when white racists attempted to create enclaves in the past.
Also Read: Christianity's Downfall Would be Inevitable If Christian Nationalism Not Halted
Christian Nationalism is a Heresy, Said Episcopal Bishop Rehberg
In recent years, Christian nationalism has seen a resurgence in North Idaho, with some fleeing liberal politics in California and other blue states. This renewed groundswell has unsettled Rehberg, who sees modern Christian nationalism as overlapping with older forms of white nationalism.
Church Leaders said that in September of last year, word spread that Post Falls would be hosting an event as part of the ReAwaken America tour, which featured notable members of the inner circle of former President Donald Trump and self-described Christian nationalists. In an editorial published in a local newspaper, Rehberg attacked Christian nationalism as hazardous rhetoric for all Americans and heresy for Christians.
To protest the ReAwaken America event, Rehberg teamed up with the national activist group Faithful America to stage a "Christians Against Christian Nationalism" protest. She was joined by a group of faith leaders from across the region.
Related Article: Pastor Dubbed Christian Nationalism as a 'Form of Heresy' in a Statement