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Katherine Stewart Joins Jane Coaston to Discuss the Rise of Christian Nationalism

Christian nationalism has been empowered in American politics since the rise of Donald Trump. From “Stop the Steal” to the storming of the U.S. Capitol and now, the overturn of Roe v. Wade — Christian nationalist rhetoric has undergirded it all. But given that a majority of Americans identify as Christian, faith also isn’t going anywhere in our politics. So what would a better relationship between church and state look like?

To discuss, Jane Coaston brings together two people who are at the heart of the Christian nationalism debate. Katherine Stewart is the author of “The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism” and has reported on the Christian right for over a decade. Esau McCaulley is a contributing writer for Times Opinion and theologian-in-residence at Progressive Baptist Church in Chicago.

[You can listen to this episode of “The Argument” on AppleSpotifyAmazon Music, or Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]

From the transcript: 

Jane Coaston

I’ve been a Christian pretty much my entire life, though my faith journey would probably be best discussed on another podcast. But the world of Christian nationalism — or as I argue, nationalism with a light Christian flavoring — is both foreign to me and frightening. It’s not the first time I’ve asked, what are these people doing with my faith? And it’s probably not the last.

But just how big of a problem is Christian nationalism in our politics? And as church and state get closer together, is there a better way for them to exist side by side? My guests this week are contributing opinion writer Esau McCaulley, who is theologian-in-residence Baptist Church in Chicago, and the author of “Reading While Black: African-American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope.”

Esau Mccaulley

A large part of my spiritual biography is kind of helping people make sense of, what does it mean to be a person of faith on the other side of deep disappointment with your church?

Jane Coaston

And Katherine Stewart — she’s the author of “The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism,” and she’s been reporting on the rise of the Christian right for over a decade.

Katherine Stewart

This is not a new movement. It long preceded Trump. But the ideology is just becoming much more widespread as the movement has seized control, I believe, of the Republican Party.

Read entire article at New York Times