As the Republican presidential candidates start their politicking for the highest office, it is being accompanied by prolific pandering, with a definite Christian nationalist flavor.
Who would you like to hang with, Ron DeSantis? Why, Jesus’ disciples, who else?
“These guys all went out and they dedicated their lives to spreading the gospel,” DeSantis told Christian Broadcasting Network on Friday, adding, “I look back at that and would love to have been able to be there with them.”
Not only did DeSantis choose Jesus and his disciples as the people “in history” he’d most like to meet, he recited the Christian nationalist playbook, saying: “You know, this society, the United States of America, you know, was built on the foundation, you know, of what happened thousands of years ago in the Holy Land, and I think that the Judeo-Christian values undergird everything that the Founding Fathers did, some of it, you know, was just so embedded, they didn’t even need to think about it.”
Apparently that’s why the Framers entirely forgot to mention Jesus, the Holy Land or God in the founding document: our completely secular Constitution.
CBN’s David Brody leadingly asked DeSantis: “So we need more God in society today?”
“Oh, absolutely,” DeSantis replied.
DeSantis also repeated his line that the Founders rejected the divine right of kings, which prompted FFRF to write him earlier this spring and point out that he “missed the fact that the rebellious Founders didn’t only throw out the ‘divine right of kings,’ they threw out ‘divine rights’ altogether.”
Earlier this month, Donald Trump told an audience of faith leaders, “We have to bring religion back into our country,” prompting many to ask: When did religion leave this country?
Mike Pence just announced that his second book, “Go Home for Dinner: Advice on How Faith Makes a Family and Family Makes a Life,” co-written with his daughter, is coming out this November and will focus on, obviously, faith and family.
Even the lone Hindu running for the GOP presidential nomination, Vivek Ramaswamy, essentially is a Christian nationalist, who says, “We live our lives according to Christian values” and “I’m running to be a president who recognizes that we are one nation under God, that recognizes the Judeo-Christian values on which this country was founded.” (Nikki Haley, daughter of Indian immigrants, is a Christian.)
Unfortunately, the forecast for pandering is that it’s only going to get worse over the next 15 or 16 months. It’s a sad commentary on the disrespect for our secular government that we can expect Christian nationalist tropes only to multiply on campaign trails.