Rev. Paul Raushenbush: “Christian Nationalism 101: What is it? And why does it matter?”
This episode originally aired on February 13, 2023.
It’s becoming increasingly common for conservative political leaders in the United States — including here in Florida — to use language and put forward policies that conflate American identity with religious identity. Many are focusing on issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, and trans rights — and critics say this trend represents a rise in what’s called Christian Nationalism.
Christian Nationalism is best summarized as the belief that the history and character of the United States is defined by Christianity, and that the government should take active steps to keep it that way.
Our guest counts himself among its critics, and says that while supporters of Christian Nationalism portray it as a social movement, it’s actually a well-organized political movement that seeks to gain political power and to impose its vision on all of society.
Rev. Paul Raushenbush is an ordained Baptist minister, and he is President and CEO of Interfaith Alliance, a national nonprofit founded in 1994 to advocate for religious freedom and pluralism in the U.S.
He is a longtime leader in the interfaith movement working to protect an inclusive vision of religious freedom for people of all faiths and none. He is the great-grandson of the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis and great-grandson of Baptist theologian Walter Rauschenbusch, a key figure in the Social Gospel movement.
We spoke with him on this show back in February before he came to town to give a talk titled “Confronting Christian Nationalism: Advancing True Religious Freedom & Pluralism.” He’sreturning to southwest Florida this Thursday, November 9 at 7:00 pm to give a follow up talk at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Naples titled “Christian Nationalism 101: What is it? And why does it matter?” It’s sponsored by the Interfaith Alliance of Southwest Florida, an affiliate of the national Interfaith Alliance that was launched following the February event.
Rev. Raushenbush’s presentation on Thursday will be followed by responses from a panel of local leaders: Rabbi Adam Miller, Rev. Dr. Barrion Staples, Cori Craciun, and Kathy Curatolo.
You can find more information and register to attend here.
Click here to listen to our conversation with Katherine Stewart, author of "The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism."
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