A coalition of liberal Christians has recently put out a statement “Christians Against Christian Nationalism,” supporting a pluralistic society, rather than one distinctly Christian. ‘Christian Nationalism,’ in their term, “demands Christianity be privileged by the State and implies that to be a good American, one must be Christian.” This definition, and other features of the statement, tend to lump together the idea that American society should be Christian at the core with other ideas, as “to be a good American, one must be Christian.”
The statement, of course, raises questions it does not directly answer:
Christianity should not be privileged by the state? What worldview should the state privilege, then? For the state will certainly promote a worldview, otherwise it cannot enact and enforce laws.
And again, “Government should not prefer one religion over another or religion over nonreligion.” No? And if someone wants to revive the practice of human sacrifice engaged in by so many religions throughout history? We mustn’t reject those religious views?
“Religious instruction is best left to our houses of worship, other religious institutions and families.” And whose morals and virtues will you teach in the schools?
We must have some kind of a nation. Why not a Christian one?
Now, when one looks at the greed and corruption, racism and hate, sprawling abortion industry and militant sexual revolution, it is fairly easy to say that we’re not a very Christian nation. There are a lot of Christians in the nation–and they do a lot of good!–but the character of society is in many ways not very Christian.
But the really important question is not “what is America?” but “what was America meant to be, what should it have been, and what might it be?” And there the answer is quite obviously “a Christian nation”–in some sense of the term: not as a nation where everyone was or was required to be a Christian, not in the sense that pastors wrote the laws or in the establishment of a state church, but in the sense of a nation founded largely by Christians and shaped through most of its history by Christian morals and principles (the obvious exceptions and hypocrisies notwithstanding).
For what these pro-secularism liberals seem to miss is that a society must have some governing ideology. Pluralism is never really advocated for that job, except perhaps by thoroughgoing anarchists, because real ideological pluralism would allow any religious and cultural practices a place, and that is obviously not the intention of such secular coalitions.
A limited pluralism is not a foundation-level ideology; something beneath it sets the limits. The supposed pluralistic ideology being pushed is actually grounded upon something else, some ideology that decides which values and practices are permissible and which aren’t. That underlying ideology is probably some form of atheism, pantheism, or (most likely) paganism.
So we have to see the choices clearly for the future of our society. The illusion is that we have a choice between a Christian nation or a pluralist nation; that is not the case. We have a choice between a Christian nation and a pagan nation. Either culture will promote an agenda for society, will teach their values in the schools and media, and will enforce their morals in the justice system.
“Christian nationalism” is simply the alternative to pagan nationalism.