'Christian Nationalism' is woven deep into America's fabric
A few days ago, I encountered for the first time an alarming term in the MSM and blogosphere: "Christian Nationalism." The reason I find it alarming is its enormous potential for controversy and chaos. Obviously, "Christian Nationalism" is a political movement intending to establish — or restore — America as a Christian nation. But what does that term mean? In the hands of the Progressives, that term will undoubtedly be rendered "theocracy." The purpose of this essay is to head off the "theocracy" accusation by unpacking what the term means in the context of American history and law.
You can go here for a quick, but comprehensive, review explaining exactly why the USA and each and every one of the fifty states is a common law jurisdiction. One huge clue to the cognitive meaning of the term "Christian nation" lies implicit in the fact that, from time immemorial, both English and American courts have held that "Christianity is part of the common law." This principle has been affirmed in numerous English and U.S. federal and state Supreme Court decisions, notably including the 1824 Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Updegraff v. Commonwealth and the 1844 United States Supreme Court decision in Vidal v. Girard's Executors.
It is important to understand immediately that the reference to Christianity in the stated principle that "Christianity is part of the common law" is not to Christian theology — that is, not to the "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost" doctrine underlying Christian worship. It is, instead, a reference to Christian morality — that is, to Judeo-Christian morality, which is to say to biblical morality. The reference is to the Decalogue and certain standalone moral rifle shots such as the prime directives "Be holy!" and "Choose life!" It is not a reference to baptism, penance, the Eucharist, etc.
Because the United States and each of the fifty states is a common-law jurisdiction and Christianity is part of the common law, it would seem to follow that those 51 jurisdictions are collectively a Christian nation. The United States Supreme Court affirmed precisely this principle in the 1892 decision of Church of the Holy Trinity v. U.S., in which the court's opinion by Justice David Brewer declared, "This is a Christian nation."
Image: George Washington takes his oath on a 1767 King James Bible (artwork in the U.S. Capitol). Public domain.
Moreover, in 1947, two years after the end of WWII, President Harry Truman affirmed this status by writing to Pope Pius XII that "this is a Christian nation."
So, there we have it. The American Christian nation is the USA as it emerged from WWII, having, for the second time in the 20th century, pulled the planet's chestnuts out of the fire.
But then, in the 1960s, came the Progressive attacks, skillfully targeting the foundations of that Christian nation. Because the Progressives understand that the American Christian nation is built on family, the family is built on marriage, and marriage is built on righteous sexuality, the Progressives have focused their attacks on these three pillars: family, marriage, and righteous sexuality.
A measure of the success of these Progressive attacks can be seen in comparing the culture of "then" with that of "now." For example, in 1977, the Supreme Court of the looney-blue state of Washington affirmed a public schoolteacher's termination on grounds of "immorality" because he was a homosexual. Such a result would be unimaginable today.
As for myself, having entered that Christian nation in a Norman Rockwell painting shortly before D-day, I have already outrun my allotted span and have witnessed the steady collapse of that nation as it fell prey to lie after lie and hoax after hoax until, today, it faces a powerful shrieking insane domestic enemy intent on the total destruction of that nation. And yet, today, we also find ourselves suddenly and inexplicably blessed by Donald Trump with a Supreme Court courageously determined to follow the law, which has opened before us a vision of a road to restoration of the nation the founders bequeathed us. Can we successfully travel that road?