Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, in an Oct. 26 seminar at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., reiterated the Episcopal Church’s position that white Christian nationalism is a gross perversion of Christianity, and that Christians must refute such ideologies, Episcopal News Service reports.
The seminar, titled “How White Christian Nationalism threatens our democracy,” took place at the university’s Center on Faith and Justice and was hosted by the Rev. Jim Wallis, the center’s founding director and founder of Sojourners. Co-sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, Washington National Cathedral and the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, the discussion brought together Wallis, Curry, BJC Executive Director Amanda Tyler and University of Oklahoma sociology professor Samuel Perry.
“I would say that white Christian nationalism is the single greatest threat to democracy in America,” Wallis warned in his introduction. “It’s also the greatest threat to the integrity of the Christian witness,” reports ENS.
Curry argued that the basis of white Christian nationalism is not about differing opinions or interpretations of Christian teaching, but a uniquely dangerous movement. It should not be equated with the broad spectrum of evangelical Christianity, for example.
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Georgetown student Lauren Freed told the university newspaper, The Hoya, that she attended the event to better understand the context behind the effects of white Christian nationalism that she has personally felt as a Jewish American.
“Democratic institution is very important to me and how I identify as an American,” Freed told The Hoya. “Seeing people wearing shirts like ‘six million weren’t enough’ and White Christian Nationalists at the Charlottesville neo-Nazi rally has been deeply offensive to me.”
According to Freed, the speakers helped to reconcile the contradictions with people who allege to follow the Christian faith but fail to live out her understanding of Biblical ideals, The Hoya reported.
“I’ve been very confused by how people can perpetuate anti-Semitic messages while also professing to follow the Gospel’s messages,” Freed said. “It was nice to hear the speakers at the event, especially Reverend Curry as the head of the Episcopal Church, call out hateful rhetoric and detestable actions as not representative of the true essence of the Christian faith.”
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