The Left Raises Alarms Over ‘Christian Nationalism’ in a Second Trump Administration – RedState

The Left Raises Alarms Over ‘Christian Nationalism’ in a Second Trump Administration – RedState

The Alabama Supreme Court ruled Monday that embryos, even those frozen in an in vitro fertilization clinic freezer, were entitled to the same protection as any other unborn child under Alabama law.

In a majority opinion, Justice Jay Mitchell wrote that there was no exception for frozen embryos under an 1872 law allowing civil lawsuits for the wrongful death of children, or under a 2018 state constitutional amendment that required the state to “ensure the protection of the rights of the unborn child.”

“The upshot here is that the phrase ‘minor child’ means the same thing in the Wrongful Death of a Minor Act as it does in everyday parlance: ‘an unborn or recently born’ individual member of the human species, from fertilization until the age of majority,” Mitchell wrote. “Nothing about the Act narrows that definition to unborn children who are physically ‘in utero.’ Instead, the Act provides a cause of action for the death of any ‘minor child,’ without exception or limitation.”

.The ruling that has the left and libertarians (on social issues, the circles in that Venn diagram have nearly ceased to deviate) apoplectic is rich in Christian theology.


READ: Alabama Supreme Court Hands Pro-Life Activists Another a Major Victory


For instance, it enshrines imago dei as a constitutional principle in Alabama law.

n summary, the theologically based view of the sanctity of life adopted by the People of Alabama encompasses the following: (1) God made every person in His image; (2) each person therefore has a value that far exceeds the ability of human beings to calculate; and (3) human life cannot be wrongfully destroyed without incurring the wrath of a holy God, who views the destruction of His image as an affront to Himself. Section 36.06 recognizes that this is true of unborn human life no less than it is of all other human life — that even before birth, all human beings bear the image of God, and their lives cannot be destroyed without effacing his glory. 

It quotes the Bible.

It is as if the People of Alabama took what was spoken of the prophet Jeremiah and applied it to every unborn person in this state: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, Before you were born I sanctified you.” Jeremiah 1:5 (NKJV 1982). All three branches of government are subject to a constitutional mandate to treat each unborn human life with reverence. Carving out an exception for the people in this case, small as they were, would be unacceptable to the People of this State, who have required us to treat every human being in accordance with the fear of a holy God who made them in His image.

It refers to Saints Augustine and Thomas Aquinas.

Following Augustine, Aquinas distinguished human life from other things God made, including nonhuman life, on the ground that man was made in God’s image.  

“As Augustine observes, man surpasses other things, not in the fact that God Himself made man, as though He did not make other things; since it is written, ‘The work of Thy hands is the heaven,’ and elsewhere, ‘His hands laid down the dry land,’ but in this, that man is made to God’s image.”  

Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica First Part, Treatise on Man, Question 91, Art. 4 (Fathers of the English Dominican Province trans., Benziger Bros., Inc. 1947). Further, Aquinas explained that every man has the image of God in that he “possesses a natural aptitude for understanding and loving God,” which imitates God chiefly in “that God understands and loves Himself.” Id., First Part, Question 93, Art. 4. Thus, man’s creation in God’s image directs man to his last end, which is to know and love God. Id., Second Part, Question 1, Art. 8.  

John Calvin gets an approving nod.

Man’s creation in God’s image is the basis of the general prohibition on the intentional taking of human life. See Genesis 9:6 (King James) (“Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.”). John Calvin, in expounding that text, explains: 

“For the greater confirmation of the above doctrine [of capital punishment for murder], God declares, that he is not thus solicitous respecting human life rashly, and for no purpose. Men are indeed unworthy of God’s care, if respect be had only to themselves; but since they bear the image of God engraven on them, He deems himself violated in their person. Thus, although they have nothing of their own by which they obtain the favour of God, he looks upon his own gifts in them, and is thereby excited to love and to care for them. This doctrine, however, is to be carefully observed, that no one can be injurious to his brother without wounding God himself. Were this doctrine deeply fixed in our minds, we should be much more reluctant than we are to inflict injuries. Should any one object, that this divine image has been obliterated, the solution is easy; first, there yet exists some remnant of it, so that man is possessed of no small dignity; and secondly, the Celestial Creator himself, however corrupted man may be, still keeps in view the end of his original creation; and according to his example, we ought to consider for what end he created men, and what excellence he has bestowed upon them above the rest of living beings.” 

John Calvin, Commentaries on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis 295-96 (John King trans., Calvin Translation Society 1847) (1554) (emphasis added). 

As do the Ten Commandments.

Finally, the doctrine of the sanctity of life is rooted in the Sixth Commandment: “You shall not murder.” Exodus 20:13 (NKJV 1982). See 15Kenneth Graham, Confrontation Stories: Raleigh on the Mayflower, 3 Ohio St. J. Crim. L. 209, 213-14 (2005). John Eidsmoe, Those Ten Commandments: Why Won’t They Just Go Away? 31 Regent U. L. Rev. 11, 15 (2018) (arguing that the Sixth Commandment is the basis for “Respect for Life” in Western law); see also Van Orden v. Perry, 545 U.S. 677, 686-90 (2005) (discussing the impact of the Ten Commandments on America generally). Aquinas taught that “it is in no way lawful to slay the innocent” because “we ought to love the nature which God has made, and which is destroyed by slaying him.” Aquinas, supra, Second Part of the Second Part, Treatise on Prudence and Justice, Question 64, Art. 6. Likewise, Calvin explained the reason for the Sixth Commandment this way: “Man is both the image of God and our flesh. Wherefore, if we would not violate the image of God, we must hold the person of man sacred.

Read the whole opinion.

If you are a secular liberal or David French, but I repeat myself and are obsessed with Christian Nationalism, your undies are probably very damp and tightly wadded. But never fear; under a second Trump presidency, things are supposed to get much worse.

An influential think tank close to Donald Trump is developing plans to infuse Christian nationalist ideas in his administration should the former president return to power, according to documents obtained by POLITICO.

Spearheading the effort is Russell Vought, who served as Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget during his first term and has remained close to him. Vought, who is frequently cited as a potential chief of staff in a second Trump White House, is president of The Center for Renewing America think tank, a leading group in a conservative consortium preparing for a second Trump term.

The threat is so severe that nominal evangelicals David French and Russel Moore collaborated with Rob Reiner on a movie called “God & Country.”

    


READ: Deluded Rob Reiner Absurdly Blasts Conservative Christians As ‘Antithetical to the Teachings of Jesus’


Christian nationalists in America believe that the country was founded as a Christian nation and that Christian values should be prioritized throughout government and public life. As the country has become less religious and more diverse, Vought has embraced the idea that Christians are under assault and has spoken of policies he might pursue in response.

An easy way of testing that hypothesis is to look at our history. The first founding document of the United States is the Virginia Company Charter of 1606. This is the first mission given to the patent holders after the bounds of the colony are laid out.

We greatly commending, and graciously accepting of, their desires for the furtherance of so noble a work, which may, by the providence of Almighty God, hereafter tend to the glory of his divine Majesty, in propagating of Christian religion to such people, as yet live in darkness and miserable ignorance of the true knowledge and worship of God, and may in time bring the infidels and savages, living in those parts, to human civility, and to a settled and quiet government.

The next oldest document is the Mayflower Compact, which was signed in 1620.

Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid: And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience.

Gee, they look pretty Christian or at least theistic-based. If you think Christianity hasn’t been under attack, I’d suggest you haven’t been paying close attention.

Nations are founded upon coherent belief systems and cultural identities. Most of Western Europe was founded on Catholicism. Most of Eastern Europe was founded on Orthodoxy. Countries without a predominant belief system simply don’t last because there is no basis for governance.

The left uses Christian Nationalism as a boogeyman to hide the fact that secular liberalism is seeking, successfully, to supplant Christianity in America, and it is afraid of the competition. Indeed, even some of the “America First” proponents seem hostile to Christianity. The concept behind Christian Nationalism (full disclosure, I’m not entirely there, but I’m much closer to that philosophy than anything else I see in American politics) isn’t difficult. Yes, America was founded as a Christian nation. Yes, Christianity is baked into our Constitution and our culture, though definitely under pressure. Yes, Christianity should form the basis for our laws, policies, and purpose.

When we come to the term Christian Nationalism, we understand that one can be both a Nationalist and a Christian if these two identity markers are distinct in a hierarchy. Christianity would be a natural good of societies and nations. And, in a nation that is rightly ordered, the principles bequeathed in a family and a nation mutually inform and reinforce one’s religious convictions and one’s religious convictions will inform one’s society, culture and nation and with this one’s own particular commitments, loyalties, traditions, customs and routines. The two are not incompatible, but mutually complimentary aspects of a people.

As Vought said, “It is a commitment to an institutional separation between church and state, but not the separation of Christianity from its influence on government and society.” He also made the astonishing-to-modern-ears statement that “freedom is defined by God, not man.” 

Where the left goes particularly bonkers is over some of the specific policies that would come out of a public policy based on a Christian worldview. No-fault divorce, adultery, abortion, euthanasia, homosexual marriage, some means of contraception, gender identity, social policies that are hostile to family formation, surrogacy, and sex education in schools would be under a lot of pressure. One of my favorite follows on “X,” the social media formerly known as Twitter, William Wolfe, said, “Christians should reject a Christ-less conservatism and demand the political movement we are most closely associated with make a return to Christ-centered foundations. Because it’s either Christ or chaos, even on the ‘Right.’”

Ultimately, though, people equal policy. While this is a valiant effort by Vought, unless it has the buy-in of Trump and his inner circle, it is academic onanism. The only way this works is if being an observant Christian is the baseline standard for every political appointee. You aren’t going to have agency based on Christian principles if the people running it are transgender atheists or whatever. A Department of Health and Human Services with non-Christians in senior policy-making positions is not going to produce life-centric and family-centric policies. It will not stop euthanasia, and it definitely will not prevent another COVID-19 debacle. 

Does this effort go anywhere? It’s hard to tell. I have to admit I was shocked when Trump became the first president ever to address the annual March for Life because it was obvious he didn’t understand the issue and wasn’t terribly interested in it, but he knew that people like me and I did care. That mattered enough to him for him to take a stand. I’ve seen no evidence that Trump has particularly deep religious convictions, but that isn’t necessary. We’re not voting for a Pope or the next Dalai Lama. What is necessary is that he believe that a properly understood Christian Nationalism is important to his supporters.

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Originally Posted on: https://redstate.com/streiff/2024/02/20/the-left-raises-alarms-over-christian-nationalism-in-a-second-trump-administration-n2170393
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