Christian nationalism, that is the belief that the United States was founded as a non-secular state, but instead, it was founded to be a white Christian nation has been gaining momentum with many Republicans.
Many Republican politicians have ahead of the 2022 midterm elections brought many themes critical to this idea to the forefront. Doug Mastriano, the Republican nominee for governor in Pennsylvania, for example, has said that America is a Christian nation and has called the idea of a separate state and church a “myth.”
Similarly, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has said that Republicans need to be nationalists and be proud to be called “Christian Nationalists.” Now, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has slowly also added to deal in some Christian nationalist rhetoric.
In American history appeals to the church were made by Christian nationalists in the past. However, those have usually been in the periphery before, while now they seem to be operating in the mainstream GOP circles.
A new University of Maryland Critical Issues Poll has shown that there is growing support for declaring the United States a Christian nation. This is also something that Republicans have been in full support of ahead of both the midterm elections and the 2024 presidential elections. However, in the long run, it is also possible that Christian nationalism might lead to political losses.
In the poll, it shows that 70 percent of Americans, that is 57 percent of Republicans and 81 percent of Democrats, have said that according to the Constitution the United States cannot become a Christian Nation. This is because the First Amendment says that Congress does not have the right to establish or prohibit the practice of any religion.
In the next question on the poll “Would You Favor or Oppose the United States Officially Declaring the United States to be a Christian Nation?” 62 percent of respondents said they would oppose it. However, 61 percent of Republicans supported the statement, when over half of Republicans had previously said that this statement would be unconstitutional.