We’ve seen a lot of hatred from the GOP over the past few months prior to the new resurgence of Islamic extremist terrorism. They’ve talked a lot about America being a “Christian nation,” and candidates like Donald Trump have embraced an ultra-nationalist ideology which is extremely disturbing.
This rhetoric has resounded solidly with the GOP base, and it is indicative of how far to the fringe the Republican Party has drifted over the past few years. Their anti-immigrant, hyper-conservative message makes the days of George W. Bush seem progressive in comparison, and it is continually getting worse.
Combine this with ramping up of conservative talking points, and it is no wonder that the Republican base has become more rabid with their demonization of everyone who isn’t on their side. If you’re not a conservative Christian gun fanatic who believes evolution is a lie and that Christians are being persecuted for not being able to force their beliefs on others, you are the enemy and a traitor to this country.
Donald Trump has managed to court these people while also flirting with ultra-nationalist ideas like creating a national database for Muslim Americans. This isn’t a new phenomenon – the United States has been on this course at least since 9/11. The same folks who claim religious freedom in America is under attack are supporting GOP candidates like Donald Trump who are open to profiling Muslims based on their religion.
Conor Friedersdorf over at The Atlantic points out the following:
This record ought to make Trump anathema to anyone who has concerns about religious liberty in America. Had he aimed his remarks at any Christian denomination, his candidacy would effectively be over because of the backlash. The fact that his positions pose a stark threat to the religious liberty of Muslim Americans ought to be enough to provoke a backlash. Insofar as it leaves some Christians unmoved, they might reflect on how much damage would be done to their religious liberty if a president of the United States successfully set a precedent for a religious registry or empowered the government to shut down places of worship. (Source)
The brash, fascist form of American Christianity represented by Donald Trump and the GOP is in complete contradiction to the Jesus depicted in the New Testament. Christianity in America has always had its radicals, and has often been used by business interests to oppose things such as abolishing slavery, or domestic terrorist organizations like the KKK.
They’ve blamed liberals, intellectuals, minorities or foreigners for what they claim is the deterioration of American values throughout our history. Despite the fact that nearly everyone in our country is a descendant of immigrants, the xenophobic right wants us to believe that taking in the victims of religious persecution and sectarian violence is not our job.
All of this is in direct opposition not only to the teachings of all major religions, especially Christianity, but our nation’s history as a refuge – a light on the hill to those who seek freedom. Setting aside religious beliefs for the time being, we must be better than this as Americans. We have to reject this fascist ultra-nationalism, or we have no moral high ground to stand upon.
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