Tennessee Faith Leaders Call on Hagerty, Blackburn to Reject "Christian Nationalism"

Advocate Andy

Southern Christian Coalition denounces comments from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, calls on Tennessee GOP leaders to take action

Tennessee faith leaders affiliated with the Southern Christian Coalition denounced recent comments from U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene that the Republican Party should be a Christian Nationalist party.

The group has previously raised concerns about the spread of Christian Nationalist ideology and is now calling on Tennessee Republican leaders, including Senators Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty, to openly reject the philosophy and denounce Greene's comments.

In a statement, the group called the ideology of Christian Nationalism "worrisome" and "dangerous."

"It's worrisome and dangerous to hear a United States Representative claim to be a 'Christian Nationalist' and to desire for an entire political party to do the same," said Dr. David Dark, Professor of Religion at Belmont University. "Marjorie Taylor Greene's decision to announce that the Republican party should be the party of Christian nationalism gives Tennessee's Republican elected officials the opportunity to draw a clear and public line for their constituents. And while Governor Lee and Senators Blackburn and Hagerty have yet to join their Republican colleague in self-identifying as Christian nationalists, their refusal to publicly acknowledge that President Biden won fairly or to even publicly differ with Representative Greene and President Trump's positions is deeply troubling for constituents who want accountability and transparency in these matters. We call on Governor Lee and Senators Blackburn and Hagerty to tell us where they stand on this matter as the line can be drawn like this: Nationalism is antichrist. Love of country is one thing, professing that God privileges one nation over another is heresy." 

The group continued by saying that Christian Nationalism is contrary to the Gospel of Jesus.

"I want to be perfectly clear. Christian nationalism, sometimes called White Christian nationalism, is not a true representation of the Christian faith," said Rev. Dr. Lillian Lammers, Associate Pastor of First Congregational Church in Memphis. "The definition of Christian nationalism is the belief that the American nation is defined by Christianity, and that the government should take active steps to keep it that way. This is a dangerous ideology that is actually contrary to the Gospel of Jesus, who never tried to overtake the government, or align God with 'empire' as a means of asserting power or control. Yet, that is the agenda of white Christian nationalists in the United States and specifically in Tennessee right now." 

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

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