May 18, 2023


What is Christian nationalism, anyway? (Bob Smietana, 5/17/23, RNS)

Perry and Whitehead have defined Christian nationalism this way: "a cultural framework that blurs distinctions between Christian identity and American identity, viewing the two as closely related and seeking to enhance and preserve their union."

In an interview, Perry contrasted that view with "civil religion"-- when the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. invoked the promises of the Declaration of Independence or President Barack Obama led a grieving congregation in singing "Amazing Grace." These moments combined spiritual ideas and political moments.

Christian nationalism, Perry said, is more about who should be in charge.

"The difference between Christian nationalism and civil religion is Christian nationalism says this country was founded by our people for a people like us and it should stay that way," said Perry.

It's why you can't be both Christian, which is universalist, and Nationalist, which is particular. 

ReAwaken America Tour Fuses Trumpism and Christian Nationalism (NOACH PHILLIPS, 5/15/23, Moment)

If you've heard of the ReAwaken America Tour, it is probably in the context of two of its most explicitly antisemitic participants, Scott McKay and Charlie Ward, being slated to share the stage with Eric Trump at his father's Doral Resort in Miami this weekend. [...]

But McKay and Ward are just the tip of the iceberg of conspiracy thinking, extremism and antisemitism at ReAwaken America events, where more than a hundred speakers affiliated with Q-Anon, election denial, vaccine denial, Christian nationalism, the January 6 insurrection, and Trump's presidential administration and businesses take the stage in a blur of 15-minute segments. The tour stops, also called conferences, are equal parts tent-revival, political conference and fever-dream. Since 2021, there have been at least 21 ReAwaken events in more than 15 states. Usually, the events are held at mega-churches to sold out audiences that reach into the thousands. Tickets cost about $250. This weekend is the first time the rally has been held at a Trump property, and another is scheduled for August at Trump's Las Vegas hotel. Friday's lineup includes the pledge of allegiance led by retired general and disgraced former national security advisor Michael Flynn, exposés of medical fraud by disgraced doctor and vaccine denier Christiane Northrup, evening baptisms on the patio, and more than fifty other speakers and performances.

"Each ReAwaken America Tour is a toxic extremist, radical and harmful blend of baptisms, praise music, election denial and QAnon misinformation--things that do not belong together--all presented to an audience of thousands in Jesus's hijacked name," Rev. Nathan Empsell, executive director of Faithful America, said during a press conference Friday afternoon. "The antisemitism, hatred, election denial, and outright embrace of political violence found at Trump Doral has no place in Miami, no place in Florida, no place in America, and no place in Christianity."

The Ringmaster

At the heart of the ReAwaken America tour--its founder, spokesman, and master of ceremonies--is Clay Clark. In fact, the tour's full name is "Clay Clark's ReAwaken America Tour" in a style reminiscent of Buffalo Bill or Barnum and Bailey, a parallel heightened by his manner of calling speakers on stage as if he's MCing a monster truck rally.

Clark, a 42-year-old Tulsa-based entrepreneur and business coach who was asked to leave the pentecostal Oral Roberts University after a parody rap song he produced mocking the school's president went viral. In 2020, when his media production company's projects declined due to COVID-19, he sued the city of Tulsa over its mask mandates. According to Sam Kestenbaum of Rolling Stone, it was during that time that "a network of pandemic defiers--churches refusing to close, alt-health physicians hawking treatments, politicians grandstanding about the incursions on personal liberties--was coalescing. Depictions of the pandemic as part of a scam to control the population swirled about and Clark seized the idea that the official narrative about the virus was not to be believed."

Rather, what Clark purportedly does believe is that the COVID-19 vaccine is a bioweapon containing "luciferase," which he says Bill Gates created by combining cryptocurrency technology with Jeffrey Epstein's DNA to create a new species of human. (Luciferase is actually a naturally occurring enzyme involved in bioluminescence.) All of this, Clark and his ilk contend, is in service to "the Great Reset," a real initiative by the World Economic Forum (WEF) to reshape global fiscal policy in the wake of the pandemic but seen by conspiracy theorists as a nefarious plot to take over the world through 5G, artificial intelligence, weather modification, Black Lives Matter, and virtually every other right-wing boogeyman.

In Clark's view, the bad guys include WEF head Klaus Schwab and his "high priest," Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari. Clark's website points out (in capital letters) that Harari is "Openly Gay" and "Does Not Eat Meat," and that the biblical Yuval was a descendent of Cain--all indications that Harari is, or may be, the antichrist. Billionaire George Soros, who has been active at the WEF, also features prominently on team "Great Reset" on the website along with Bill Gates, Barack Obama, and many others.

Met one Nationalist you've met them all. 
Posted by at May 18, 2023 2:30 PM