What is Christian Nationalism? An Interesting CNN Segment Delved Into It

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An interesting segment on CNN’s Reliable Sources show (07/31/22) delved into the new hot political topic, and that is, Christian Nationalism. So what is Christian Nationalism? Host Brian Stelter brought in Katherine Stewart, who has studied this topic for years, to shed some light on the issue. Stewart is the author of the book “The Power Worshippers–Inside The Dangerous Rise Of Religious Nationalism”.

This intro by host Brian Stelter is important for establishing the context for the ensuing debate:“Roughly 70% of Americans identify as Christian, and this segment is not about most of them. This segment is about the rise of a White Christian Nationalist movement in the U.S. It’s emerging in the news more and more, you are probably hearing the term Christian Nationalism more and more. Here is one expert’s definition:’Christian Nationalism is the belief that the American nation is defined by Christianity, and that the government should take active steps to keep it that way.’ Many observers feel that would threaten our diverse, healthy democracy in the U.S. We are seeing some Republicans in the U.S. embrace the term Christian Nationalism, for example [Reps] Marjorie Taylor Greene…Lauren Boebert…”

Here’s how Katherine Stewart defined Christian Nationalism (video at ):“Christian Nationalism is basically the idea that America was founded as a so-called Christian nation, our law should be based on the Bible, and supposedly right-thinking believers need to reclaim America’s past.”

Stewart said this is dangerous because “it’s a radically anti-democratic ideology. It rejects the principles of pluralism and equality, that represent the best of the American promise. The movement, it’s not just an ideology, it’s also an organized quest for political power.. it’s a political movement. This movement has built up…a sort of a dense organizational infrastructure over decades, that includes right wing policy groups, legal advocacy groups, networking initiatives, that get the leadership on the same page…[including] Supreme Court Justices.”

Stewart went on to expound on her argument re the U.S. Supreme Court saying, all the six conservative justices on the high court are either current or former members of the Federalist Society, which she says “is an organization that plays an outsized role in shaping our courts.” Just so you know, the Federalist Society is part of the “dense organizational infrastructure” Stewart alluded to earlier.

Stewart said Trump’s presidency was key to the Christian Nationalist movement because he “threw open the doors to leaders of this movement. It’s a leadership-driven movement, it’s not defined by the attitudes of the rank and file. Those attitudes are actually shaped by the leadership of the movement. He [Trump] offered them unprecedented political access, offered them of course the justices they wanted. This is a movement that represents the minority of our country. Most American Christians reject the politics of conquest and division this movement represents.”

There’s no other way to interpret Katherine Stewart’s remarks on CNN’s Reliable Sources other than(I’ll be happy to stand corrected of course), power hungry conservatives have schemed for decades on how to use Chritianity to achieve political power, and they finally got their opening with the Trump presidency. Trump elevated the leaders of this movement, and what we’re witnessing today with Reps Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert and others, are simply efforts to make Christian Nationalism a mainstream movement in America. Remember, as Katen Stewart correctly pointed out, a majority of Christians don’t agree with this effort to essentially hijack Christianity for political gain.

The CNN segment singled out Reps Marjorie Taylor Greene(R-GA) and Lauren Boebert(R-CO) as illustrations of this budding Christian Nationalist movement, but if anyone out there is looking for the classic example to date, it is, in my humble opinion, none other than former Arkansas Governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, a former Pastor, who has now fully embraced Trumpism. Mike Huckabee not only got his daughter Sarah to work in Trump’s White House, but also made sure she secured Trump’s endorsement for her run for Arkansas Governor, a job she is largely expected to bag.

Huckabee has also recently authored “christian” books themed around the Trump presidency. If Mike Huckabee, and his daughter Sarah for that matter, are not the classic examples of the abuse-Christianity-for-political-power-movement, I don’t know who is.

An important piece of advice Karen Stewart gave to the mainstream media when covering this Christian Nationalism movement, is to never forget that it is a leadership-driven movement. In other words, don’t focus too much on what the rank and file go out there and do in furtherance of the movement(often viral videos on social media attacking gays, pro-choice activists, etc), but rather, on the leaders of the movement, who indoctrinate them into doing this stuff. Hmm, very interesting.

Bottom line folks, many Christians, including Yours Truly, regarded former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura (Texas pride–deal with it), as very good representations of a Christian family–despite whatever differences one might have had with their political beliefs. Interestingly, Trump, the leader of the “christian” nationalist movement, has never humbled himself to say anything good about the God-fearing Bushes. That, my friends, is all you need to know about this “christian” nationalist movement. It is anything, but Christian.

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House Intel Hearing On Russia-Ukraine Provides Rare Oversight Of Our Intel Agencies

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Intel Chiefs from Left to right–Chris Wray(FBI), General Nakasone(NSA), Gina Haspel(former CIA Director), William Burns(CIA Director) and Lt. Gen Scott Berrier(DIA)

A House Intelligence Committee hearing on the Russia-Ukraine war provided a rare opportunity for members of Congress to conduct a backhanded oversight of our intelligence agencies. The hearing, which assembled all the alphabet agency chiefs(FBI, NSA, CIA & DIA) in one room(a very rare occurrence), afforded members of Congress a unique opportunity to raise other domestic issues of public concern regarding our intel agencies. Oversight of our intelligence agencies, as you may know, is an issue Congress has dragged its feet on, ever since the terrorist attacks in September 2001, so this was a breath of fresh air.

Rep Chris Stewart(R-UT) questioned FBI Director Wray about the controversial NSO Spyware Pegasus , which several media reports indicated last year, was being used by dictators worldwide, to illegally track/spy on political dissidents and even journalists. Rep Stewart wanted to know whether Pegasus was being used on U.S. persons for investigative purposes. Director Wray assured Rep Stewart that the FBI purchased Pegasus in 2019 only for “testing and evaluation purposes“, adding that it has never been used on any U.S. person for investigative purposes.

Rep Stewart then asked why the FBI would test a spying software if it didn’t intend to use it? Director Wray, acknowledging that this was a good question, maintained that Pegasus has never been used for investigative purposes on U.S. persons, and that FBI routinely tests products out there, that could be dangerous in the wrong hands.

Rep Joaquin Castro(D-TX) followed up on Rep Stewart’s questioning re Pegasus software. He wanted to know whether foreign governments have used Pegasus to target U.S. persons. Director Wray indicated that such a question would be better answered in a classified setting, so we are left hanging on that issue. Yay!!

Another interesting line of questioning came from Rep Elise Stefanik(R-NY) who brought up a very troubling case of an FBI counterterrorism informant, who was not only known to have violated the law multiple times, but whose Limo company led to the deaths of some 20 innocent New Yorkers, ruining the lives of their surviving family members. The crux of Rep Stefanik’s question, an excellent one that quite frankly isn’t asked often enough, was whether informants used in counterterrorism cases, are vetted to make sure they are not criminals. Director Wray assured Rep Stefanik that there are strict rules in place regarding the conduct of FBI informants, even when it comes to counterterrorism cases. This was a very important question because there is a widely held belief out there that in counterterrorism cases, “anything goes”, including the use of criminals/criminal gangs to go after/harass terrorism suspects–people who often times, have not been convicted of anything. A sad state of affairs indeed.

Bottom line folks, the hearing today showed just how important it is to have proper oversight of our intelligence agencies, something Yours Truly has been screaming about. There is absolutely no reason why questions about Pegasus spyware and other intelligence-related questions cannot be aired in a public forum like it happened today. Simply put, not every intelligence-related hearing has to be in a private setting. There are enough topics of public interest that can be safely discussed in public. Hopefully when U.S. Senators get their go-around with these intelligence chiefs, somebody will pop the $1 million question–the plight of targeted individuals in the U.S., which maybe, just maybe, may solve the Havana Syndrome mystery.

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OathKeepers Indictment Raises Serious Questions About Higher Up Involvement

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The bombshell seditious conspiracy indictment of 11 members of the militia group OathKeepers following their involvement in the January 6th insurrection, is raising serious questions as to how far up the law enforcement, military, and intelligence food chain, the conspiracy went. Specifically, given the level of tactical military sophistication they displayed on January 6th, there are valid questions as to whether Trump-allied senior members of U.S. law enforcement, military, and intelligence apparatus, gave material support, or even worse, are still members of this dangerous militia group that attempted to violently overthrow the government. A segment on CNN’s Outfront with Erin Burnett(01/13/22) delved into this very topic.

The full Outfront segment is available here, but the relevant clip is below.

Host Erin Burnett said in relevant part: “Prior planning, coordination, sedition, weapons. The 11 people charged today, were[in a]conspiracy, and they are not small fish, like many of the more than 700 people already charged, some of who may have been wrapped up in the moment. Not the case with these individuals. This group had a level of combat training, they were prepared to use force, they had a stash of weapons that they brought for that specific intent, and the question tonight is…now you’ve got a conspiracy, you’ve got planning, you’ve got it all laid out. How much higher does that go?”

Any reasonable person presented with the OathKeepers indictment would reasonably conclude, as host Erin Burnett did, that given the sophistication of their January 6th operation, people higher up in the law enforcement, military, intelligence and even political food chain, were providing material support to the OathKeepers. Providing material support to this dangerous militia group would also necessarily imply that they are members of the group–a scary thought indeed.

CNN’s Sara Sidner followed up with an in depth look at OathKeepers leader Stewart Rhodes in an appearance on New Day (01/14/22), where she dropped a bombshell that further bolsters the troubling prospect that the OathKeepers may have enjoyed material support from insiders within our law enforcement, military and intelligence ranks.

Sara Sidner said: “One of the things the OathKeepers do, is they try and recruit either current or former military, current or former members of law enforcement, current or former people who have been part of the intelligence apparatus in the United States, whether it be the FBI , CIA, anybody that they can get and bring into the organization, and when you think about that, it means that they have tactical training to do something like this[January 6th], and to plan something like this.”

This raises serious questions including but not limited to, what kind of arms and illegally acquired intelligence the OathKeepers currently have, whether in light of this indictment, it’s still okay to have active members of our law enforcement, military, and intelligence apparatus being active members of this violent militia group, etc.

Bottom line folks, Erin Burnett’s question as to how high up this conspiracy goes, is a very serious one, that needs to be seriously addressed by Congress, especially the January 6th Committee, and the mainstream media. For the record, this question has been raised before by concerned members of the public, including Yours Truly, but always treated as one requiring a voluntary answer from our law enforcement, military and intelligence brass. Given the seriousness of this OathKeepers indictment, this question should no longer be one that requires a voluntary answer. The mainstream media and Congress, preferably the January 6th Committee, must demand an answer from leaders in our law enforcement, military and intelligence agencies, as to how much the OathKeepers have infiltrated their ranks. This is a serious national security problem, and it should be treated as such. A major part of the January 6th Committee’s mission is to prevent another January 6th-type insurrection. Reasonable people will agree that rooting out extremism within our law enforcement, military, and intelligence ranks will go a long way in fulfilling that mission.

Specific emphasis should be placed on Trumper states like Texas, which has a heavy OathKeepers presence, and was involved all the way to the top(AG Paxton and other political leaders) in Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. What other nefarious activities are the OathKeepers enlisted for in such states? Did the Texas political establishment provide material support to the OathKeepers, for their January 6th operation?

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Rep Gaetz Says Republicans Have An Obligation To Use Second Amendment For An Armed Rebellion

Just four months after the horrific January 6th insurrection in Washington DC by violent Trump supporters, Congressman Matt Gaetz(R-FL) was in Dalton, Georgia (5/27/21) telling a crowd of supporters that the second amendment was meant for armed rebellion and importantly, that they(Republicans), “have an obligation to use it”. If this is not a direct incitement to violent insurrection by the sitting Congressman, I don’t know what is.

In the clip which was played on CNN’s NewDay with Brianna Keilar, Rep Gaetz can be heard telling the crowd, “We have a second amendment in this country, and I think we have an obligation to use it…The second amendment is not about hunting, it’s not about recreation, it’s not about sports. The second amendment is about maintaining within the citizenry, the ability to maintain an armed rebellion against the government if that becomes necessary.” There’s absolutely no other way any reasonable person can interpret this, other than a direct incitement to an armed rebellion against the government by Rep Gaetz.

This is a very serious issue, and must be treated as such by the powers that be, given the fact that it comes only four months after DC insurrection, an armed rebellion that came shockingly close to success. Rep Gaetz’s comments also deserve further scrutiny because unlike many other Republicans who initially distanced themselves from former President Trump after DC insurrection, he and Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene, in whose district Gaetz was speaking, fully embraced Trump even after the incident, and have since projected themselves as Trump’s trusted lieutenants nationally. As a result, Trump’s supporters regard public statements by Reps Gaetz and Greene as direct messages from the former President–a call to action if you will.

Any reasonable person looking at the GOP’s reaction to the events that transpired on January 6th, and since then, is left with a very troubling picture as to where the party, and quite frankly the country, is headed. Trump’s lies about election fraud led to an armed insurrection on Jan 6th. Congressional Republicans chose not to impeach him for that. Trump is still pushing the same dangerous lies. Some Republican members of Congress have since conjured up revisionist theories as to what really happened on January 6th(just a bunch of tourists etc), to excuse their continued support for Trump.

Republican-controlled state legislatures have embarked on voter suppression laws targeting areas/voters they deem anti-Trump and importantly, made it possible for state legislatures to overturn elections in case of unfavorable outcomes. All this is being done against the backdrop of Trump teasing another run for President in 2024, meaning the said state legislatures are setting the stage for overturning the elections in case Trump loses. The sham election recount in Arizona is also setting the stage to overturn future election results that don’t go in Trump’s favor. States like Texas are passing reckless gun laws that make it possible for just about anybody to bear arms. Hmm, coincidence? How does this fit into Rep Gaetz’s rebellion rhetoric? Remember, Texas Governor Greg Abbott is a super Trumper too.

Republican Senators, at the urging of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell(KY), are today(05/28/21) set to kill an effort to establish a bipartisan commission to look into what led to the January 6th DC insurrection, and coming up with ways to prevent it from ever happening again. Is Senator McConnell afraid that the commission will show that DC insurrection was not as “fringe” as establishment Republicans want the public to believe? Was he personally involved behind the scenes? These are questions the public needs to start asking, and asking loudly, because something is off-kilter with the current GOP, and it’s continued dalliance with insurrectionist Trump. Simply put, “fringe” Reps Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene may not be that fringe after all, as CNN host Brianna Keilar pointed out.

Bottom line folks, we must never forget the fact that we simply got lucky on January 6th. Everything that has happened with Trump’s GOP since January 6th, leads any reasonable person to conclude that Jan 6th was just a trial run, and if we don’t remain vigilant, we are definitely headed towards another one, this time, successful .

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