As a growing number of sane Americans, who have abandoned the Republican Party and the racist White Christian evangelicals that now control it, realize, the party of the elephant is no longer a political entity or even a patriotic one.
“One must acknowledge that the GOP is not a political party anymore,” writes conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin. “It is a movement dedicated to imposing White Christian nationalism.”
Dr. Robert P. Jones, leader of the Public Research Institute, says the so-called White evangelical movement is systematic racism. He writes:
What we saw in the 20th century was that edifice of white supremacy that got built with the support of white Christian leaders and pastors and churches. Once it was built, the best way to protect it was to make it invisible, to create a kind of theology that was so inward focused that Christianity was only about personal piety. It was disconnected from social justice, politics, the world. It led white Christians to be fairly narcissistic and indifferent to injustice all around them. Martin Luther King Jr. had that line in Letter from Birmingham Jail where he’s in dismay not about racist Christians, but about so-called moderates in Birmingham, the “more cautious than courageous” white Christians who “remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained glass windows.”
King’s words ring even truer today:
I have watched white churches stand on the sidelines and merely mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a mighty struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice, I have heard so many ministers say, ‘Those are social issues which the gospel has nothing to do with.”
In 2021, church membership fell below 50 percent in the history of polling by Gallup. The pollster found that the drop did not indicate a decline in those who believe in God but reflects an increase in those who feel churches are not following their faith and are caught up too much in politics and racism.
In 10 years, the percentage of Americans who no longer have an “official” religious affiliation rose from 11 to 21%.
Rubin further explores this step away from a tolerant and more loving God:
Today, those who argue that America is a White, Christian nation simultaneously insist they are devoid of bigotry. The MAGA crowd is offended by any attempt to identify the ongoing reality of systemic racism (evident, for example, in the criminal justice system, maternal health care, housing discrimination and gerrymandering to reduce minority voting power). The notion that institutions they refuse to reform perpetuate racism is a sort of moral challenge to their claim to be “colorblind.” Perhaps it is simply self-interested blindness.
No one should be surprised that the “big lie” has become gospel in White evangelical churches. The New York Times reports: “In the 17 months since the presidential election, pastors at these churches have preached about fraudulent votes and vague claims of election meddling. … For these church leaders, Mr. Trump’s narrative of the 2020 election has become a prominent strain in an apocalyptic vision of the left running amok.”
If anti-critical-race-theory crusades are the response to racial empathy, then laws designed to make voting harder or to subvert elections are the answer to the GOP’s defeat in 2020, which the right still refuses to concede. The election has been transformed into a plot against right-wingers that must be rectified by further marginalizing those outside their movement.
Our political problems are significant, but they are minor compared with the moral confusion that is afflicting the millions of White Christian Americans who consider themselves victims. Left unaddressed, this will smother calls for empathy, tolerance, and justice.
In America today, the fastest-growing segment of residents classify themselves as ‘unaffiliated” ones who express a belief in God but want nothing to do with the intolerant, politically-divisive White evangelicals who replace faith with racism.
Thank God for them.