Since Jan. 6 attacks, spiritual leaders unify to combat Christian nationalism

The Jan. 6 insurrection of the U.S. Capitol drew recent attention to the phenomenon of Christian nationalism, but religious and spiritual leaders acknowledge its existence long before that.

his article is the fourth in a series on Christian nationalism supported by the Pulitzer Center.

(RNS) — Shannon Rivers believes that Indigenous people are the moral compass of the United States.

A member of the Native American Akimel O’otham, or River People of the Southwestern U.S., Rivers points to historical accounts of the northeastern Wampanoag, who in the 1600s taught the Pilgrims how to grow crops and weather harsh winters. “W

We were the ones who had that initial moral understanding of how you take care of one another and we still maintain that today, despite every wrong that has been done,” said Rivers, who is a spiritual counselor for incarcerated Native Americans. “Indigenous peoples still gather. They still pray for those who are settler societies.”

The Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol introduced many Americans to the phenomenon of Christian nationalism, as some of the rioters carried crosses or invoked the name of Jesus. But for many non-Christian Americans, Christian nationalism is an unavoidable fact of life.

RELATED: Post-Trump, Christian nationalists preach a theology of vaccine resistance

Rivers said the history of Christian nationalism began when the European settlers answered the Native Americans’ welcome with a belief that divine providence had ordained their domination of Indigenous land.


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