One of the refrains I heard over the course of the last five years was, “When are Christians going to wake up and repent of anything to do with Trump and Trumpism?” But it was the wrong question. Christians, by and large, did repent of their association with this movement. A lot of Christians did this far too late for my liking, and some are still hanging on for reasons I can’t fathom, but Christians tended to reach a point where an association with the MAGA movement had to be rejected or repented of.
Christian Nationalists, on the other hand, have not. And they will not.
The problem with calling Christian Nationalists to repent for aggressive, manipulative, belligerent, or violent coercion is these are considered good things to that religion—there is nothing to repent from! In order for Christian Nationalism to be valid, according to it’s own belief, America must be forced into the vision that religion has painted for the country. And so abandoning the way of Jesus in order to make that vision come true isn’t just allowed, it’s almost sacramental. A Christian Nationalist who manipulates and/or uses violence to secure their sense of power isn’t walking away from their faith, they are faithfully practicing their faith.
It’s not that Christian Nationalists don’t have a conscience to guide them, it’s that they draw the lines for conscience in a way that’s alien to actual Christianity. It’s aslo toxic to having functioning society.
It’s something we all both need to reject and stop being surprised by.