Christians Against Christian Nationalism, Featuring Amanda Tyler of the Baptist Joint Committee
Memorial Day, July Fourth, and Veterans Day tend to be the Sundays that most churches creep up to the intersection of Separation of Church and State. After generations of not giving it a second thought, many churches still have an American flag in the sanctuary.
While well-intended, most of these select Sundays and spangled iconography are part of a 20th Century mechanism to rewrite America’s history and posture as a Christian nation. Without realizing it, many churches are adding support to the zealous belief in American authority as sanctioned by God, which has justified violence, intimidation, and authoritarian tactics.
“Christian nationalism threatens religious freedom for all. It asks the government to show a preference for Christianity over other religions or religion over nonreligion,” said Amanda Tyler, the Baptist Joint Committee’s Executive Director, on the CBF Podcast.
We sat down with Amanda to discuss a new initiative, Christians Against Christian Nationalism (link), and the way that Christian Nationalism is influencing politics and policy.
DACA, Dreamers, and the Church
DACA, you’ve most likely heard the term in the news or listened to heated debates about it from politicians. But what is it?
The Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals was enacted in 2012 to protect immigrant youth from deportation through a program of education and work permits. The beneficiaries of DACA are called DREAMers. Nearly 800,000 DREAMers have come forward, passed background checks, and been granted permission to live and work legally in the U.S.
Over the last several years, DACA has been at the forefront of the news with the Trump administration’s numerous attempts to dissolve the program, with the latest ruling in favor of retaining it in June of 2020.
Like many political issues, we are not often allowed to meet the people directly affected by them. We sat down with Jemima Martínez, a Baptist DACA recipient who works as a Database Coordinator at Buckner International, and Itzayana Aguirre, a DACA beneficiary who serves as an administrative assistant for Iglesia Bautista Victoria en Cristo in Fort Worth.
We take a look at the life of DREAMers, the effects of the harsh political dialogue, and where the church fits into all of this.
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Andy Hale is the creator and host of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Podcast. Hale is the senior pastor of University Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following eight years as the founding pastor of Mosaic Church of Clayton and five years as CBF’s church start specialist. Follow on Twitter @haleandy