A RACE TO THE POLLS

Carpenter (2012). CC BY-SA-NC
Retrieved from Microsoft Word Online Image Library.

I would like to say the above image from 2012 is a hoax and a photo-shopped image. I would like to say it as an image someone crafted to prove a point. But it is not. It was a true event restricted to white’s only. If you want to verify this fact, do a Google search of “Alabama all white pastors conference” and you will find numerous credible sources to see that the conference was real. The mere fact this poster exists, and the conference was held, is indicative of the rise of Christian Nationalism in the United States today. 

Christian Nationalism views the United States as God’s chosen place and the Christian’s in the United States as God’s chosen people. Before you think we can identify these alleged extremists by their white sheets, shaved heads, or swastika tattoos, think again. Today’s nationalists look more like me – a white man in his 50’s, or you – if you’re white and vote. Christian Nationalists played a major role in getting Donald Trump elected as the 45th president of the United States of America in 2016 (Whitehead, 2018). It is that fact alone that scares me the most as we draw near to the 2020 presidential elections.

Christian Nationalism is closely tied to Islamophobia, xenophobia, and anti-black prejudice

(Whitehead, 2018).

For a better understanding of the power of Christian nationalism, I refer you to the video below from the American Sociological Associations Facebook page (2020).

American Sociological Associations Facebook page (2020).

While I truly did not want to get into the politics of racism, at some point, it becomes inevitable. Racism is a social construct and inherently political. Like it or not, money, power, prestige, and property perpetuate overt and covert Christian Nationalism, and thus racism.

I do not mean to imply that all voters (Christian and non-Christian alike) who supported Donald Trump in 2016 are racist. However, because of Christian Nationalists’ ties to Islamophobia, xenophobia, and anti-black prejudice (Whitehead, 2018), and because of the role Christian Nationalists played in successfully electing Donald Trump in 2016, a vote for Trump is inherently and subversively racist.  If there is any concrete action you and I can take to fight racism, it is in the polling place in this year’s 2020 election.

References

American Sociological Association. (2020, April 8). An embrace of Christian nationalism [Video]. American Sociological Association. https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2885967914851299

Carpenter, L. (2012, July 5). The face of fundamental Christianity [Photograph of conference poster for all white Christians]. Copyright CC BY-SA-NC. Retrieved May 7, 2020 from Microsoft Images Online and http://rationalnationusa.blogspot.com/2012/07/face-of-fundamental-christianity-in.html

Whitehead, A. L., Perry, S. L., Baker, J. O. (2018). Make America Christian Again. Christian nationalism and voting for Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential election. Sociology of Religion: A quarterly Review 70(2), 147-171. https:/doi.org/10.193/socrel/srx070

Author: Dr. Cook-Snell

PhD in Education, Instructional Design and Technology, and Lecturer at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA

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