On Saturday, supporters of former President Donald Trump took to the streets again – in solidarity with the people who were arrested on January 6, 2021 and are now under investigation.
Capital Storm illustrates how divided American society is. An attitude that is described as Christian nationalism is spreading. Cora Alter is researching it.
Cora Alter conducts research on religion, politics and conflict at the ETH Zurich Defense Research Center.
SRF News: Banners and flags representing Jesus or God. Were the people who attacked the Capitol building religious Christians?
Cora Alter: That would be very common. It was a meeting that was in the Capitol for a variety of reasons.
The focus is on maintaining them or restoring the dominance of symbolic Christianity.
Is Christian nationalism a separate line of faith?
No, and there is no specific religious community. Christian nationalism is an ideology made up of symbols, values and various historical stories. The focus is on maintaining them or restoring the dominance of symbolic Christianity.
Opponents argue that Christian nationalism is not defended from a theological point of view.
The main thing is that the US government should make concessions to Christians in order to ensure the Christian character of the nation in everyday public culture.
How do faithful Christians in the United States, who do not recognize accused nationalism, react?
You need to differentiate a little. There are very different categories in the United States. Christian nationalism is not equal everywhere, but above all in the circles of white evangelists. There are voices that speak out against it. After January 6, small groups were formed, for example “Christians Against Christian Nationalism”. They argue that Christian nationalism is not defended from a theological point of view. However, it is not yet clear how big waves these “opposites” will create.
Why did these people with basic Christian values elect Donald Trump as their leader?
What is special about Trump is that initially he did not position himself as a Christian candidate. Gradually, however, he approached this ideology and adopted his political agenda. He once said he wanted to preserve the Christian tradition like no one has ever done before.
Then why did the movement intensify under Trump?
It is a kind of partnership. Christian nationals had direct political influence in the White House – and Trump may be committed to a certain endorsement. It may be a barrier to speaking out against militant groups.
There is Christian nationalism in Europe as well.
How should Joe Biden deal with Christian nationalism?
At the moment, Biden is not directly confronting nationalism. His politics focus more on groups such as the “Proud Boys” or the “Guardians of the Truth”. There he commissioned a study to investigate this “domestic terrorism” aspect. In general, it is important to meet Christian nationalism in society as a whole.
Is Christian nationalism a purely American phenomenon or is it also in Europe?
Is also present in Europe. Often one does not talk about Christian nationality, but people’s movements that use Christian symbols or refer to them.
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