When Christian nationalists are written or spoken about, Christians are painted with a singular negative brush. It is no different than painting all Jewish people, or Muslims, or any other religious people with the same incorrect brush. To ignore the differences is to be anti whatever follows with a refusal to accept differences between individuals of the same root faith.
The truth is that Christians run the gambit from pacifist Amish to the more radical Ethiopian Orthodox. There are Zionists, like me, who love Israel and the Jewish people. And there are anti-Semites that are found through various sects of Christianity.
It is dishonest to cast all Christians as the same. We hold very different beliefs from one another.
That said, it is important to understand who a nationalist is. Like many words in the English language, it has more than one definition. Depending on the intent, it can be either positive or negative. Not purely one or the other.
Cambridge Dictionary defines nationalism as:
“1. a nation’s wish and attempt to be politically independent
- a great or too great love of your own country”
The first definition makes clear that it is only when the people who would eventually make their nation, like Israel, yearned for independence from Britain, were nationalists.
The same holds true for all revolutions, regardless of success. All it takes is the desire and attempt to make a nation independent.
Though successful revolutions often result in one tyrant replacing another, unlike Israel and the United States, all share the same nationalism. There is nothing specific to ideology or religious belief to bind anyone.
The second definition’s use of or rather than and is important to note. There is a big difference between love and too great love of country. The latter is where national supremacy comes in, but not the former.
All patriots love their countries, regardless of religious belief. A patriot is not a supremacist in the nationalistic sense. Unless that too great part comes into play.
As a Christian American who loves my country, I am a nationalist in the first sense, not the latter. That makes me a Christian nationalist, rather than a Christian nationalist.
The wording may look strange, but it has everything to do with my intent. In the English language, intent matters greatly.
In modern times, one needs only to look at Russia to see negative Christian nationalism. Russian Orthodoxy teaches followers that not only is their church is supreme to all others, it is their nation that is also supreme.
The Russian church controls the state, and Putin, an atheist, controls the church. Russian Orthodoxy remains as anti-Semitic as it has been for centuries.
America was founded very differently than Russia, or any other European powers. It was not based on a singular Christian faith. Though most who fought were Christian, there were also Jewish people who wanted that same independence.
Due to a desire for independence leading to the revolution, those Christians were every bit as nationalist as the Jews.
Those Christians and Jews who helped to create the United States were varied in their beliefs. It was not a religious war in the traditional sense. It was a war against royals and favorable religious beliefs. That is the reason freedom of religious worship is included in the 1st Amendment.
I am a Zionist Christian who loves my country, warts, and all.
That does not mean I blindly accept America as perfect. As I said, warts and all. It also does not mean I condemn my nation for those past warts that have been removed through the Amendment process. It took time to get to equal justice and equal liberties in the Constitution, but we have reached that point.
The modern government and recent history have not shown perfect governing and perfect actions. The American government is run by people. All people are flawed throughout the world.
I am a Christian nationalist. That does not make me a supremacist. It simply means I am a Christian who loves my nation.