A Christian Nation? Understanding the Threat of Christian Nationalism to American Democracy and Culture



The rising influence of Christian nationalism in some segments of American politics poses a major threat to the health of our democracy. Increasingly, the major battle lines of the culture war are being drawn between a right animated by a Christian nationalist worldview and Americans who embrace the country’s growing racial and religious diversity. This new PRRI/Brookings survey of more than 6,000 Americans takes a closer look at the underpinnings of Christian nationalism, providing new measures to estimate the proportion of Americans who adhere to and reject Christian nationalist ideology. The survey also examines how Christian nationalist views intersect with white identity, anti-Black sentiment, support of patriarchy, antisemitism, anti-Muslim sentiments, anti-immigrant attitudes, authoritarianism, and support for violence. Additionally, the survey explores the influence Christian nationalism has within our two primary political parties and major religious subgroups and what this reveals about the state of American democracy and the health of our society.

Religious affiliation





I would sincerely like to know who the 7% of non-Christians who are adherents of Christian Nationalism might be.

People who are confused about what “Christian Nationalism” means? People who are confused about what their own religion is? People who are just plain confused?

Maybe Ben Shapiro would be an example? From what (thankfully little) I know about him, he seems to espouse most of the views of Christian Nationalism.

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He’s Jewish and I think identifies as an Orthodox Jew.

Unrelated, these kinds of surveys drive me nuts:

  • Statement 1: In the Bible, when Jesus and prophets talked about taking care of the poor, they were primarily talking about charitable acts by individuals.
  • Statement 2: In the Bible, when Jesus and the prophets talked about taking care of the poor, they were primarily talking about our obligation to create a just society.

No to both.

Statement 1: I would prefer the U.S. to be a nation made up of people belonging to a wide variety of religions.
Statement 2: I would prefer the U.S. to be a nation primarily made up of people who follow the Christian faith.

No to both.

I really, really, really dislike the term Christian nationalism (as they mention most skeptics do) but I might even be put in the adherent category by this survey very narrowly if I had to answer the questions. But mostly I’d want to skip all the questions because how they’ve worded everything reflects how American politics has warped our societal understanding of what it means to follow Jesus.

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What third option would you prefer in this case?

What do you dislike about it? What better term would you propose for the phenomenon, and similar phenomena such as Hindu nationalism?

Why do you think the questions are an inaccurate measure of Christian Nationalism?

Given that Christian Nationalism seems to have been an Evangelical thing decades before it became a Republican thing, I would suggest the the dominant effect would seem to be American religion warping your country’s politics, more than the other way around.


Yes, that is my point.

How would you complete the sentence, then?

In the Bible, when Jesus and the prophets talked about taking care of the poor, they were primarily talking about ___________________________________.


Maybe “Take care of the poor” like when Tony Soprano would tell one of his underlings “You’ll take care of this guy, right?”