What is Christianism?:
Christianism is the Christian analogue to Islamism, a doctrine about using Islam as the basis for government. Also known as Christian Nationalism, it is a blend of extremist religion and even more extreme nationalism, going well beyond both. It has occurred in many nations: America through most of its history, the Confederate South, and Nazi Germany are prominent examples. It varies according to the nationalism of each nation, but it the nature of the Christianity is often consistent.
True Christianity + True Patriotism = Christian Nationalism in America:
Although Christian Nationlism is obviously defined as a combination of religion and nationalism, in the American context it is characterized by the belief of adherents that they are following the only true versions of both. Thus only their nationalistic form of Christianity is a true and valid form of Christianity; only their religious nationalism is a true and valid form of nationalism. Non-Christians are virtually excluded from being patriots and, perhaps, from the right of citizenship.
Christianism, Christian Privilege, and Christian Supremacy:
Because Christianism presumes that genuine patriotism must be Christian in character, it naturally follows that Christianity should be favored in American society, culture, and politics. Sometimes this might simply mean privileging Christianity, Christians, and Christians beliefs; more often than not, however, it means endorsing the doctrine of Christian Supremacism, according to which Christians have a divine right to rule while non-Christians are relegated to a second-class status.
America, the "City on the Hill":
Many of the first colonists in America saw it as a "City on the Hill," a "new Canaan" where a pure Christianity could be developed. This causes America to stop being just a nation and to become, in addition, a religion. Americans themselves are not simply citizens of a nation or even of a great nation; instead, they are the chosen people, blessed for living in the chosen land where the divine project for humanity has reached its highest fulfillment.
Christian Nationalism, Manifest Destiny, and Military Might:
For much of its history, people in America have seen their nation, guided by divine providence, as a means by which they could bring religion and civilization to the rest of the world, lighting the path so that others might follow. This was a principle behind the idea of America's "Manifest Destiny." American soldiers become missionaries for the True Faith the True American Faith. Instead of simply killing terrorists and insurgents, they also cast out demons.
White Christian Nationalism in the Confederate South:
During the Civil War, both North and South believed that God favored them and their ideology; for the South, though, this meant arguing that God favored slavery and a state founded on slavery, something most Christians today would regard with horror (thus perhaps the common claim that the Civil War wasn't really about slavery). Southerners believed that they and their institutions represented the last best hope for Western civilization and had been chosen by God.
Christian Nationalism, British-Israelism, and Christian Identity:
British-Israelism portrays the British (or anyone of Anglo-Saxon descent) as the true chosen people, not the Jews. The Jews would be variously described as simply the descendants of Judah and who required the help of the true Israelites, or perhaps not true Jews at all. British Israelism came early on to American shores, spreading its message across the country and laying the basis for the creation of Christian Identity, one of the most dangerous theological doctrines in America. Read More...
American Christianity vs. World Christianity:
Christianity is a world religion, but an important aspect of Christian Nationalism is ignoring the claims of foreign Christian communities when they prove inconvenient. Conservative evangelical churches in Europe which opposed the invasion of Iraq were ignored while the war was trumpeted from American pulpits. The suffering of Palestinian Christians is ignored while the claims of Israel take center stage.
Christian Nationalism in Nazi Germany:
Although Nazi Germany is not normally associated with Christian Nationalism, this ideology played an important role in German self-consciousness and the Nazis' rise to power. Germans viewed themselves as a nation with a special mandate from God. They believed that their loss in World War I was due to domestic betrayal of Germany and of God. The Nazis relied upon this connection between German nationalism and Christian faith extensively. Read More...
Christian Nationalism is unAmerican, Illiberal, and Anti-Democratic:
For adherents of various forms of Christian Nationalism, their ideology seems appropriate because they believe that America was chosen by God to bring the light of Christianity and democracy to the world, and furthermore that America was intended by its founders to be a Christian Nation. From these flawed premises stems all sorts of flawed conclusions and political problems.
Christian Nationalism is anti-democratic because it presumes a religious inequality between citizens which is contrary to the needs of a fully democratic state. Mere formal voting rights are insufficient to establish equality in the political process that requires social and political equality. Christian Nationalists, however, would have Christianity, Christian beliefs, and Christians favored in American culture and politics.
Christian Nationalism is illiberal because it denies the validity of the modern, liberal state. Illiberal here doesn't mean opposition to the political philosophy of liberalism, but opposition to the modern conception of a liberal state characterized by liberty, privacy, pluralism, equality, separation of church and state, limited powers, consent of the governed, and so forth. Christian Nationalism places particular interpretations of Christian religious beliefs above all else in their pursuit of a theocratic state.
Finally, Christian Nationalism is arguably unAmerican because it dismisses the diverse and pluralistic nature of America's religious and cultural heritage. The First Americas weren't European. The First European immigrants weren't Christian. Most of the southwest was colonized by Catholics, not Protestants. America's secular Constitution contains no references to Christianity, God, or Jesus; religion is only mentioned by excluding religious tests for public office and denying the government any authority over religious affairs.
The Christian Nationalist vision of America is consistent only with religious fantasy, not reality.