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“‘God and Country”: Christian Nationalism is Fascism

God And Country movie poster
God And Country movie poster

“God & Country”, the latest documentary from director Dan Partland and producer Rob Reiner opened in U.S. theaters on Feb. 16. The film is a thought-provoking addition to discussions on Christian nationalism in contemporary American politics.  The film not only dissects the roots of America’s particular brand of religious nationalism but also shows its evolution and its far-reaching impact on American democracy.

“Christian nationalism operates as a form of fascism when it intertwines religious identity with political power, breeding exclusionary ideologies that undermine democratic principles and perpetuate systems of oppression.” – Jameson Brewer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Social Foundations of Education at the University of North Georgia

Christian Nationalism is fascism.  It is the idea of making Christianity the national religion in America, which would go directly against the first amendment’s establishment clause.  A vision of an American Christian califate in which only Christians could hold political office and laws based on personal or biblical morality.  Drawing from Katherine Stewart’s book “The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism,” the documentary looks at some of the key figures in the movement since the election of Donald Trump, the stochastic terrorism they preach from their pulpits.

Jan. 6 (Don Byrd)

From historian Jemar Tisby, attorney David French, and theologian Russell Moore, the film presents a wide array of voices that underscore the dangers of political extremism masquerading as religion against the voices of those who want a religious takeover of the American government to happen.

Viewers are confronted with scenes that highlight this fascist ideology in action.  From prayers for and with political leaders from pulpits, training congregations how to take over local jurisdictions by using their numbers in their churches, fervent prayers for dominion over spheres of influence throughout American society. Viewers will witness the unsettling presence of Christian symbols amidst acts of violence during the white nationalist Unite the Right march in Charlottesville, Virginia and the Jan. 6 United States Capitol attack.

The documentary also shows the alliance between these Christians and former President Donald Trump. The film also highlights real concerns with the erosion of democracy  through the weakening of the wall between and state and the undermining of our government institutions through false claims of election fraud.  It also emphasizing the need for vigilant opposition to such theocratic tendencies in America.

“God & Country” asks viewers to grapple with the ugly side of American Christianity and the pernicious reach of these belief systems in and outside our secular government and society.  The film beckons audiences to learn the history of hate and violence inside of American Christianity.

The strength of America lies in its diversity of beliefs and its commitment to upholding fundamental freedoms for all. The film “God and Country” recognizes the profound significance of safeguarding the principles of democracy and the separation of church and state while asking the viewer what it will do to help protect it.

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