Christian nationalism has gained traction in the Republican party in recent years.
A Wyoming Republican wrote an op-ed arguing the movement has hijacked her state.
She said the growing embrace of the concept has led to “bad church and bad law.”
A Republican in Wyoming says the Christian nationalism movement has “hijacked” both the GOP and her religious community “by blurring the lines between church and government and in the process rebranding our state’s identity.”
Susan Stubson, a lawyer and a member of Wyoming’s Republican Party, described the transformation in an opinion piece published in The New York Times this week. Stubson is married to Tim Stubson, also a Republican, who served in Wyoming’s House of Representatives from 2008 to 2017 and ran in the primary against Liz Cheney for a seat in the US House.
Stubson said she first witnessed Christian nationalism in 2016 while campaigning for her husband at a monster-truck rally. A man they greeted who was wearing a cross necklace and a “God bless America” shirt said he would vote for him if he kept a certain group of people out of office, using a racial slur. The man proceeded to make racist and xenophobic statements.
“I now understand the ugliness I heard was part of a current of Christian nationalism fomenting beneath the surface,” Stubson wrote.
Christian nationalism can be described as the belief that the US is a Christian nation and that the government should work to ensure it stays that way. While the concept is still on a historical decline as Americans, in general, continue to become less religious, experts say the ideology has experienced a resurgence of support over the past decade or so, particularly among conservatives and the far right.
Critics of Christian nationalism, which also includes Christians, say the concept distorts both American and Christian values. But the movement has gained traction in US national politics, including open expressions of support from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and not-so-subtle allusions to the concept by former President Donald Trump and Rep. Lauren Boebert.
Stubson said Christian nationalism has now taken such a strong hold over Wyoming that on many Sundays it’s unclear if she’s listening to “a sermon or a stump speech.” She also said there is a growing group of new lawmakers who embrace Christian nationalism in Wyoming’s legislature, adding that a third of Wyoming’s House members align with the Freedom Caucus, which she described as “a noisy group unafraid to manipulate Scripture for political gain under a banner of preserving a godly nation.”
Stubson said the rise in Christian nationalism has subverted Wyoming’s roots as a “live-and-let-live cowboy culture,” which itself is enshrined in law as the state code.
As “God, guns, and Trump” has become “the new trinity” in Wyoming, Stubson said it’s led to “bad church and bad law.”
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