The Danger of Christian Nationalism: An NPE Conversation w/ Katherine Stewart

When talking of American Christians has the term “American” become more important to us that “Christian?” Author Katherine Stewart discusses how the rise in nationalism has corrupted the evangelical faith from her new book “The Power Worshippers.


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TRANSCRIPT OF THE PODCAST (Transcribed by AI so not 100% accurate)

Welcome to the podcast. I hope you’re doing well. Sheltering in place today, feeling good about where you are, and hopefully we’re seeing positive signs that. Sometime soon, but not too soon. We’ll be able to get back to life and so glad you’re listening in with me as we walk this through together today. I am Paul Swearengin have a, an exciting guest joining us today, author of a book called the power worshipers the, D inside the dangerous rise of the religious nationalism. And Catherine Stewart is our author and she contributes to the New York times and the American prospect and a bunch of other cool media outlets of Katherine, thank you for joining me via zoom today.

Thank you so much for having me.

We’re all going to be zoom experts by the end of all this, aren’t we?

Indeed, and some of us will be better at homeschooling than we are. So glad to get to talk to you today.

And my wife and I have enjoyed reading your book. It’s called the power worshipers inside the dangerous rise of religious nationalism. And so that’s a, that’s going to be a, Title that can tweak the insides of a few people out there. So tell me about w power worshipers. What does that mean exactly and, and what is the book about?

Well, the power of worshipers is really, about the fact that what pretends to be a religious movement is really, in fact a political movement. That cloaks itself in religious rhetoric, and it’s a sort of form of nationalist religion that ties the idea of America to specific religious and cultural identities. It says that what, authentically, you know, makes us a great nation is this idea that we share. One religion that believers in that particular version of that religion are the true Americans and others who interpret the relationship that religion differently or belong to other religions or no religion, or somehow not as authentically American as others. So nationals, I also say the subtitle is inside the dangerous rise of religious nationalism and nationalist religion is inherently antidemocratic. And tends toward authoritarian is around the world. So the book is a bit of a warning. That’s why I say inside the dangerous visor. Religious, national.

Wow. Okay. And so where do you, how, how do you see that logistically working itself out? You, you talk about several organizations, not for profit. I assume five Oh one C3 religious based organizations tax exempt.

That are out there working to sort of instill their brand of politics. And so where have you seen that as you have you journeyed about? And we’re working on this book. Sure. I mean, the book, the movement consists of a variety of for profit and nonprofit organizations like, right wing policy groups, legal advocacy groups, data organizations, and a lot of different media outlets, a lot of other initiatives. and you know, I think a lot of, You know, it’s not leaderless exactly, but it’s kind of centralist. But what this movement has in common is a kind of common political vision, which is an NG democratic political vision. I think a lot of people make the mistake of persisting and viewing this as a culture war. And the cultural war is still there to be clear, but it’s a mistake to think that the culture. Wars and cultural issues, are driving the politics and that what we’re seeing is that grassroots expression, social discontent, I mean, defining feature of this movement is, it’s using the cultural war to, solidify a certain type of, political power for, movement leaders and their political allies. And certainly their most well-resourced funders and the cultural issues have, like, I’m thinking about, most obviously the issue around abortion or same sex marriage, these issues have been cultivated, , and exploited for, , consolidating a certain kind of political power.

So that’s an interesting point and I think it’s a really important point. So your book is not anti religion and not anti religious people being involved in civic engagement, but, but rather, sort of the people at the top who are using that religious civic engagement and maybe manipulating it a little bit towards a, their own end.

Absolutely. It’s become a very effective tool for manipulation. I mean, the first thing about this movement, it’s not a religion. It’s a political ideology that cloaks itself in religious rhetoric. so you know, movement leaders know that if you can get people to vote on two or three issues you can capture and control their vote. So let’s look about the abortion issue. I think that’s the best illustration of this. We bought the narrative that, religious nationalism in America arose as a kind of unified reaction to the horror of one Supreme court decision in 1973. But that just isn’t true. Or the reality is that abortion was consciously selected and cultivated as a political issue. And that actually happened quite a few years after the Supreme court decision. I mean, let’s remember that when Roe versus Wade was passed, most American Protestants supported some form of liberalization of abortion law. Even Billy Graham himself said in 1968, I believe in planned Parenthood in general, I would disagree with the Catholic stance is largely seen as an issue of concern to Catholics, not Protestants. even, RA, Barry Goldwater that great conservative hero. He supported some form of abortion law liberalization at least early in his career. And his wife, Peggy, believe it or not, was a cofounder of planned Parenthood in Arizona. But over time, those pro-choice voices or even nuanced voices were purchased from the Republican party in order to sort of, you know. Create a way in which to capture and direct people’s votes, to vote from sort of hyper conservative candidates that this movement favorites. Now, some people have asked me, you know, can you be, pro-life? And. Not be part of this movement. And of course he can. You can take that view or you can take a nuance view on this particular issue and still support democracy, but you need to understand this. If this is the one issue that decides your vote. Then you weren’t ending up being manipulated in service of a religious nationalist agenda.

And I think that’s important. I, I, you know, I know a lot of people that are very passionate about the issue of, of being pro-life and protecting, the lives of babies. And, and what I tried to, I don’t think anybody is for. Baby death. I don’t know any candidate out there. And so it’s a, it’s a discussion about when life begins in all of those things.

And by the way, this post birth abortion thing, that sort of far right seven. Talks about, it’s not a thing. It just doesn’t happen. I mean, nobody wants babies to die. And that’s one of the reasons when I started my, I think in the first chapter of my book, I attended a pastor gathering with a friend who’s a pastor, is, his church. He’s a member of the Southern Baptist convention and, another religious organization as well. And he says, well, when we’re talking about, you know, care for the poor isn’t, should in fact, be part of the pro-life conversation. I mean, he sort of rejects the idea that you’re forcing people into one box or another, and he’s trying to sort of look, I think most Americans and most American Christians see Christianity having something to do with loving one’s neighbor and caring for the least of these. And why aren’t you. These types of points.

Part of what really should be a kind of prolapsed conversation. Yeah. And I try to tell my Christian friends that pro-life should mean more, should be a longer period than from conception to the second that baby comes out of the birth canal. Our responsibility should be much wider and broader than that. And if, and if the goal really is saving life. then we should be aimed very much so at, at, at going after the contributing factors that lead to unwanted pregnancy in the first place. And so sometimes I think we fall a little short on. Really being pro life and, and it becoming a political battle. And I, and I think certainly you’re talking about at the upper reaches, it’s become a political battle to the point that it’s, and I think the looking at its origins as, as sort of an an overthrow tool of Jimmy Carter because his administration was going after private schools, is a, is an interesting thing that a lot of people don’t know about.

That’s absolutely true. I mean, at the time, well, when those sort of leaders of, they called the new right, this was a, an intellectual movement that played, an outsize role and forming that sort of, religious nationalism that we’re seeing today in our national politics. They were actually really animated over concerns that the IRS was going to go after. segregated. Christian academies for their tax exempt status. Now, let’s remember, they’re really sad about Bob Jones university. The IRS is starting to look askance at Bob Jones university and say, well, you’re segregating people by skin color. Why do you have all these tax privileges? And let’s remember that Bob Jones sr was an artist segregationist. He, identified, integrationists as satanic propagandists and you know, who are quote unquote, leading colored Christians astray. He called segregation, God’s established order. So a lot of the, pastors including Jerry Falwell, who were involved in this, rise of the new right where they were very concerned about preserving the tax exempt status of their, Christian academies, which were, often racially segregated. But they were trying to kind of inspire a broad based counter, like hyper conservative counter-revolution at the time. And they were looking for an issue that could unite them and they knew, you know, let’s preserve the tax status of segregated academies is going to be an effective rallying cry. To inspire broad masses of people cause issues really quite ugly. So, you know, the defenses of segregation, you know, God’s established orders. It’s really, You know, they knew that this is going to be unappealing to a lot of people. So they were sort of casting about looking for an issue that could unite conservative Catholics, conservative Protestants, and bring together some of what some of the movement leaders at the time called some of our fringe extremist friends. So they went down, there’s an incident where they went down like a laundry list of issues like segregated academies. They looked at the equal rights amendment, but it was at the time going down in flames. And they sort of landed on the issue of abortion and Paul Weirich, who was one of the leaders of this new right. He was like, Hm, that could actually work. And so over time, they purged those pro-choice or more nuanced voices from the Republican party until we’ve come about to a situation.

What we see today, which is this, you know, Republican party has been kind of captured by this. It’s, it’s almost like we’re seeing a new creation for pro-life religion, and it’s like if you can get people to to vote on that one issue, you can caption, control their vote. Now, here’s the irony of that. When. Leaders of the movement are talking to the rank and file. When they’re talking to pastors about the issues they should communicate to the rank and file. It’s all abortion all the time. Abortion is the beginning and the end, but when they’re talking to their political allies and when they’re talking to the. Some of the most well-resourced funders of the movement. They’re advocating for an incredibly wide range of policy positions in domestic economic and foreign policy. And a lot of this is about money. How they say that Bible favors low taxes or no taxes for the rich, how Bible favors minimal regulation of businesses, how the Bible is against environmental regulation. How, The Bible says that God is against government helping, fund the social safety net directly. And these policies at the top are, have contributed into kind of hollowing out of the social safety net. A diminishment of the value of expertise in our government and these types of problems have actually made it harder for us to meet a collective problem. Like. A health pandemic that unfortunately affects all of us and doesn’t discriminate and, in an effective fashion. So I think the consequences of this type of sort of far right and extremist ideology often don’t. We manifest for some time, but in the case of a public health crisis, like the one we’re pacing now, the consequences are too stark to ignore. Yeah. If you think about the division on the, the issue of abortion then also becomes the dividing line of whether you believe the Corona virus is a hoax or not. You know, you know, something’s gone a little offline there. I know. It’s really sad. I mean it mid-March at a time when it was clear to everybody that this was a problem. Jerry Falwell jr went on Fox news and he called, the Corona virus. overreact, said their reaction to the coroner bias was like, it was an overreaction. And he cast it as an attempt to quote unquote, get Trump. Like, as though like a global pandemic is somehow directed as an attack on his favorite political leader. And this kind of hyper-partisan visitation is so sad, but it does reflect a kind of hyper-partisan visitation that the sort of extremist, right. and religious nationalism has brought to the Republican party. Everything is sort of cast as, you know, you’re either with us or against us. You’re in the world of the pure or the world will be impure. And, and you kind of see that around Trump himself. Some of the folks around him, like, you know, he’s always taking this all spin, all politics view of the world, and there’s no interest in reality. Everything’s kind of spun for a political game. And so. Like some of the folks around him, who are meant to sort of guide, you know, cabinets or, manage different areas of government. They may not seem like the most competent people or the most educated people in those areas. They appear to be there, some of them really just because of their adherence to an extremist ideology. and also because of their willingness to praise the president. And in fact, it appears sometimes prostrate themselves. In fact, some of them has gone so far as to call him, you know, compare him to biblical Kings like King David or King Cyrus cast him as a sort of imperfect leader that has been chosen by God to enact his will. And I know a lot of people who believe that. And I do want to step back for my listeners here and say again, I think what we’re talking about here is not. You have to be pro choice or, or, or flip on on that belief system. But to understand, I think it’s worth considering as we’re looking at our whole civic engagement as people of faith that the, the Genesis, a little bit of the abortion issue was. A political maneuver, not, not a moral one. And I think a lot of people don’t even realize, I always sort of love this fact, and I think you did have this in your book, that Ronald Reagan as a Republican governor of California, passed the most liberal abortion law. In the history of the nation at the time that he was governor before he became this massive pro-life president. And so just I think understanding the political underpinnings of that is important to be a consideration. Because what it ends up being is people saying, okay, if you’re pro life, then you have to vote for all these other things as well. Our people are willing to put aside any other concern because of that. So I just think understanding those underpinnings is, is important in our consideration. I think that’s true. I mean, the, the, the, you know, who doesn’t love families, right? I mean, I am pro family too. I, but I think, you know, this movement has undermined some of the tools that make it possible to raise happy, healthy families, economically stable families. for instance, the movement has, tends to side on, err on the side of, I believe, undermining access to family planning. And, I think, access to family planning is, Key part of, being able to, create a healthy, happy family, so that people can sort of have the children that they feel like they’re able to. I mean, look, I have children raising children is the most profound. Commitment a person can make and you really want to be able to do it right. I also think that it’s obviously, right, right now we have a poorly developed collective infrastructure and that is a consequence of far right wing economic policy and government bashing and you know that. The movement has allied itself completely with a kind of libertarian economic conservative wing of the Republican party that has led to a privatization of the healthcare system, undermining of government everywhere, hollowing out of the social safety net and some of the tools that make it possible to raise healthy and happy families that are certainly an undermining of public education. And I think in this way, the movement has betrayed what might have been. Strongest suit. I think most people understand Christianity’s having something to do with loving our neighbors and carrots are the least of these, but this movement is undermining a lot of those tools that actually make it possible to care for the least of these. And. That’s definitely so sort of talking with Catherine Stewart, the author of the book, the power worshipers inside the dangerous rise of religious nationalism. Where’s the best place for people to get it? By the way. Well, anywhere books are sold. I’m always a fan of supporting independent booksellers, but in this difficult moment, you know, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, there’s lot of different places. So we come to 2016 this idea of, that started as the moral majority, or I think even back to the silent majority of Richard Nixon. Then comes to these, this value voting, and how significant was that in where we are today with with president Trump in office. It was a significant factor in all of that, right? Indeed. Do you mind restating the question? I’m so sorry. Yeah. So how, how much has, did values voting play into Donald Trump becoming president? The movement, it was everything. The movement. Invested in all of the tools of modern political campaigns. there, dozens of organizations at the national level that have played a significant role in organizing the thousands of organizations at the local and state level. all sort of collaborating on, turning out the votes for, the hyper conservative candidates and movement favors and for Trump. And a lot of the activism has actually run through churches. So when I was researching my book, I went to, this is just one thing I did. It was the, these pastor networks like Watchman, the wall, which is initiative of the family research council. I attended one of their events in rural North Carolina where they gathered together pastors, to sort of get them on the same page about how to turn out the vote for, the hyper conservative candidates, the Republican, That that the movement favors and they give them tools like this. I’m going to hold it up. It’s called a culture impact team manual. some of you might be familiar with it. How to establish a ministry at your church, and basically what it does is it that the pastor can. Figure out which congregants are connected to other congregants, politically engaged and motivated to turn them out to vote. And so they create these teams within churches so that, look, pastors are not supposed to tell. They’re not supposed to politic from the pulp, that this is the whole, you know, one of the justifications for those, IRS exemptions. But if they can get congregants to do it, it’s a way of sort of getting around those guidelines. So they get these, congregants to form these teams, communicate these. Issues, the issues to vote on them, this biblically correct way to vote to the other congregants and then help turn out the vote. And a few years ago, a pastor I was speaking to about this type of initiative said it, it’s threaded a guidance, us church and state shape loophole. He called it like a God-shaped loophole. Like, I’m not doing it, but if the congregants do it, you know. I can’t be held accountable for that, but still, he was sort of leading the charge. They also, of course, deliver, you know, huge numbers of voter guides. They have these incredibly sophisticated data tools where pastors are able to, compare voter rolls with church congregations and forget who’s. Voted in the last election and try and sort of figure out whether they’re able to turn out their congregations to vote and what percentage, and then they hold them, you know, movement leaders also hold these very effective, events and they focus, or. Initiatives on swing districts and on very particular populations. I remember Ralph Reed saying it a road to majority conference in advance of the 2016 election. He was talking about the resources his organization was going to bring to bear on the election. It was like millions and millions of dollars. Thousands of paid volunteers and you know, even larger numbers of, sorry, paid staff and then even larger numbers of paid volunteers and they were going to send messages to people’s phones and they were going to, if people hadn’t voted by 4:00 PM, they were going to drive to their houses and offer to take them to the polls. So it’s a very sophisticated movement. including, you know, data media messaging. They’ve just spent a lot of time, decades really investing in campaign infrastructure, and that’s why they win elections. I think it’s really important to point out in a country where 40 to 50% of people don’t bother to turn out to vote. You don’t need a majority to win an election. We just need a really coherent and United. and minority of the population to turn out to vote. Ralph Reed himself said something to the effect of, don’t pay attention to the polls. Our numbers are going down in terms of the population. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is who turns out on election day. Yeah. And voter suppression then comes into play in that a little bit. But what I think is really significant in what you’re saying is. When people are saying, God put Donald Trump in as president, and they can believe that, and we’re not going to disparage that, that belief, but there is a very sophisticated machine that was also very instrumental in putting Donald Trump into the presidency. Indeed, a very sophisticated machine that wants to keep them there as well. So how did you get into all of this? How did you, you, you’re, you’re traveling around to all of our conferences and all of these things, and how did this become your hobby slash vocation. Well, it’s a funny story. You know, I was living in Santa Barbara, California with my little baby, and my daughter is a kindergartener, and the good news club came to our public elementary school. And first I thought, Oh, what could be wrong with a club with such a very nice name? And then it turned out to be offering non-denominational Bible study. And I was very naive. I thought, nondenominational myth, non-sectarian, look, I’m a big free speech supporter, and I. I think we can teach about the Bible, even in public schools, from a truly non-sectarian standpoint. You know, it’s history. There’s literature. but, I started to sort of learn more about the good news club and I started to hear stories from parents where these good news clubs had been established in their public schools. Remember, these are elementary schools, so the kids attending the club who were like five and six years old. We’re telling, they were figuring out who in their class was not a Christian or was going to the wrong kind of church. and then they would be told to target those kids for what I could only describe as faith-based, bullying, and bigotry. So I heard from one family where their daughter was on the playground and her little school friend who is, they’re both six year old years old, came up to her and said, you don’t believe in Jesus. So you’re going to go to hell. And this little girl that we knew said that’s not true. And they’d gone to sort of discussion, and the teacher sort of overheard this exchange and said, you know, different people of faith have different understandings of these types of things. And so there are a friend’s daughter was completely fine with that. She was like, yeah, but the other little girl was really upset and she started to cry and she said. I know this must be true cause they taught it to me in school and they don’t teach things in school that aren’t true. And so that gets to the heart of the problem with fitness clubs. Little kids cannot distinguish what happens in their school from something that’s sponsored by their school. Click schools have a kind of cloak of authority in their minds and they think, you know, if it’s taught in school, that must be what the school wants them to believe. So I was kind of astonished that this was, these clubs were. Happening in public schools, and I started to dig a little deeper into this, these goodness clubs and the organization behind them, the child evangelism fellowship, they were referring to our public schools as their mission fields and our children as the harvest. And the more I learned about these initiatives and others like them, the more concerned I became. I was really stunned by. The legal sophistication behind there, the fact that they were happening in public schools as opposed to in churches and homes and parks and all of these other places that were all free to practice our belief or our faith. And it took a long time for me to understand that the movement really. Wanted to weaken and eventually, you know, destroy public education as we know it. And then I also realized that this was just only one piece of a much bigger story. And, that this movement had launched an attack on America as a kind of modern constitutional. Democracy. The sort of religious nationalism is deeply into debt, democratic movement. It favors authoritarian leaders. It doesn’t seem to have much respect for, many of our constitutional principles as they were written or even in representative democracy itself. As you can see, the effect of the movement and promoting sort of often race based gerrymandering and voter suppression. I mean, leaders of that new, right. Even Paul Weirich put it out, right. You know, remember, he’s the guy who wanted to sort of help launch that conservative, hyper conservative counter-revolution. I don’t even feel bad calling it conservative. It’s radical. It’s not remotely conservative. He said, I don’t want everyone to vote our influence and election and elections goes up as a number of voters go down. And, these sentiments have been articulated ever since by, Some of their key politicians and supporters. So I really do feel like right now we are at a kind of all hands on deck moment. And I wrote this book. I felt I had to do my piece. That’s good. And, and again, I think, and I think you do this well in your book, what you’re trying to say, these are sincere people that the people that are in the good news club, for the most part are moms or, or for people that care about their community. But there’s a bigger overarching. and, and I don’t mean this from a conspiratorial perspective, but literally these are being given that legal sophistication, I think you said by, by larger groups that have a different agenda than just helping the kids in the school. Absolutely. I mean, I think many of them really mean well, they think there’s certainly communities that they’re operating in, but, all of their, you know, kind efforts I think are well, meaning efforts are, are being harnessed in service of an agenda that is degrading. The public conversation in our schools, it’s destroying communities. It’s setting neighbor against neighbor, and more than that, it’s actually destroying our democracy. I mean, this is what religious nationalism does. I think you just have to look at the bigger picture here. When you look at leaders like the Latimer and Russia, or if you look at Orban in Hungary, or if you look at Erewhon in Turkey, or if you look at some of the sort of leaders of. some of the, in the middle East, you can see when they ally these sort of autocratic leaders ally themselves with religious conservatives and their countries in order, and they bind themselves tightly to those religious conservatives, conservative clerics in order to consolidate a more authoritarian form of power. We rightly identify this as religious nationalism, and I think that’s what we’re seeing today with, certainly with them Trump’s alliances with some of our own hyper conservative religious leaders. I mean, let’s not forget that he does seem particularly. Friendly to some of the autocratic leaders around the globe. Linda appears to be trying to upend some of the most valuable postwar alliances that have served our country for decades. I remember Franklin Graham commending Vladimir Putin around the Olympics for his anti homosexual stances, and, and I just try to say to my people. I don’t think God is going to be happy with him here. If he’s oppressing his people on the other hand over here, and let’s not lose the big picture of what we’re going after here, which is ultimately for people not to be in captivity or blindness. So what is the, where’s the funding come from? All of this. There are several sources of funding. The movement obtains a large number of smaller dollar donations from, you know, people who are favorable to it. I received mail almost every day from the family research council asking for money. the movement also derives a lot of its funding from. very well resourced. individuals. some are belonging to sort of hyper wealthy, extended families. I’m thinking of, items off hand, the Devoss, Prince families, the green family, and there’s so many others I mentioned in my book. but I think in sort of under appreciated source of funding is that the movement is really making a bid for. public funding and a greater access to public funds. I mean, let’s remember that religious organizations already obtained, tax privileges, and exemptions, vouchers and grants and other types of, funding. or I would say tax breaks from the public, but they’re after more and. This is really obvious in the field of public education where some of the leading legal advocacy groups of the, of the religious right of thinking about specifically the lice, defending freedom, have placed a case before the Supreme court asking for a share of funds for vouchers. Now. There’s already some voucher money that goes to religious schools, but, our government now spends something like $500 billion on public K through 12. And they know that if they can capture an even larger portion of that, they could open the flood Gates. The money will flow without end. And, and this is sort of been, an aim for quite some time. And, You know, they’re casting the idea of funding religious schools as an opposition to funding religious schools as an infringement of their religious freedom. Well, basically what they’re saying is. The unwillingness of the taxpayer to fund religion directly is a violation of religious freedom. I mean, this is a complete, completely contradicted by the establishment clause as it was written. That’s a very first clause of our very first amendment in our constitution. So, you know, we really shouldn’t have government funding or endorsement of an establishment of religion. So, you know, I think what’s behind that? and, and right now, I’m just, you know, to let, you know, eight federal agencies are currently renegotiating the way that they can fund, delivering services to the poor or to people who are needing. And trying to like, you know, they’re faith based organizations have long done service work and much of it is like just fantastic, but there have been rules about, you know, you’re not, you can’t proselytize, they’re not supposed to take taxpayer money and use it for proselytization. They’re really supposed to be delivering services. Now there’s renegotiations with some of those roles. So it’s really an effort to capture a larger, amount of public money and get it a funnel to faith based organizations that can then discriminate against people. Whose lifestyles are very deep, being they disapprove of, or even, or proselytize or demand that people attend worship services and things like that. If the money is delivered in certain forms. Hmm. Yeah. And I, I tried to tell my friends, it’s huge. Gosh, I think if, if we’re there to serve culture culture, we’ll be happy that we’re there. But if we’re there to come with our agenda and force. You know, try to convince people into our, our religious clubs, so to speak. then I believe we are putting our, our tax exempt status is at risk longterm. And, you know, I, I’m, I would fight for the church’s tax exempt status as we are serving the community. But the second that we start to do so with a political guise under that, I, I do think we’re putting that at risk. And I think you’re rightly pointing that out in this book. I guess you, you’ve sort of hit on this a little bit, but. Summarize for us, like what do you want the takeaway to be? If somebody that reads the power worshipers, what do you hope they, they come away with? And maybe a reaction to it would be, I hope people understand that, you know, when, the movement is really a larger political movement. They need to understand that there’s really a, I think it’s helpful in understanding the movement to, make a distinction between the leaders and the followers and understand how, Some of these sort of culture war issues have been manipulated over time, to, capture a certain subset of American voters and to understand the deeply authoritarian and anti-democratic roots of, of the movement. I think that’s really important. It’s also very important to understand that it’s a movement that divides, you know, that doesn’t, unite and that, In disenfranchises and doesn’t do the franchise. And that, doesn’t sort of serve the least of the ACE. And in fact, and, and, and, and targets, you know, sort of many and perhaps even most Americans as a sort of internal enemy. Very good. Well, the book is the power worshipers inside the dangerous rise of religious nationalism by Catherine Stewart for. My friends listening, I would say it’s not going to be an easy read for you because it’s going to challenge some of your precepts, but I always think it’s really important that we have challenges to our beliefs, so we know that we’re believing what we’re supposed to believe. And so from that, I really appreciate the research you’ve done. Obviously you did a ton of travel, you went to a lot of events. Hung out with a lot of our Christian friends and to get some deep insights. So Catherine, kudos to you. I think you did a great job putting this all together. Thank you so much. It’s really a pleasure to speak with you. Alright, Catherine, Stewart’s your name, that’s the book. Hope you’ll check it out and thanks for being with us today.

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