By Rev. Graylan Scott Hagler
Newt Gingrich broke onto the national political scene with his “Contract with America.” It was the offering of an agreement, that if the public allowed the Gingrich coalition to lead, that coalition would then deliver on a number of points in the contract. Whether you agreed with the framing of this contract or not it conjured the image of the covenant between God and the people in the wilderness established through Moses on Mt. Sinai. There is an “If” and “then” equation to a covenant. One act is related to the other. One thing is related to the next. One thing is required in order to get to the other thing. A covenant is where at least two parties enter into an agreement.
So-called Christian Nationalism addresses the concept of a covenant, or a contract. In this view, America is the promise of God, and blessings will unfold, fulfillment will be realized, and the country will be the “City on the Hill” as long as its people uphold their part of the bargain. If the nation fails in upholding its agreement the blessings will be squandered, the country will be in decay, and the hopes found will become lost. Hence, we hear the assertions that America was founded on Christian values and principles, and its laws should reflect that. Christian norms should be upheld lest the country fall into decadence and decay. All of the assumptions, of course, are built on concepts of a conquering god, patriarchy and white supremacy. The cultural wars are attempts to uphold these sense of values, and keep the country from falling into perceived decay and obsolesce. Therefore, other religions, other peoples, like immigrants of darker hue, defy the dominant idea of “American”. Blended sexual and family structures, bended genders, and expanding expressions of sexuality suggest a crisis and the need to assert and re-assert the perceived so-called Christian American agreement into the covenant or the blessings and the nation will eventually be lost. This is where the tension emerges.Continue reading “Christian Nationalism: An Existential Agreement with God”