Christian Nationalists: In the Crosshairs

Why another article about Christian nationalism? I assert that there is a program afoot targeting Catholics under the tag “Christian nationalists,” and it can be defeated if we know how it works. Let’s start with a couple of jokes.

Last month saw the release of Rob Reiner’s new movie, God & Country, which affects concern for the well-being of Christianity. Reiner is an avowed atheist and a vocal Leftist, so his solicitude for the Church is disturbing, like a crocodile reading a bedtime story to sleepy kittens.

The movie’s website states, “God & Country speaks directly to the 200 million Americans who identify as Christians who fear their faith is being hijacked by an extreme right-wing political movement known as Christian nationalism.” 

Orthodox. Faithful. Free.

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Over its opening weekend, the movie grossed a total of $38,415, which will join the list of lowest-grossing movies of all time. A couple thousand of those 200 million people supposedly losing sleep over Christian nationalism cared enough to buy a ticket, and they were probably relatives of the cameraman. The least bit of market research could have saved Reiner a lot of money and embarrassment.

Last year, the bulletin of an unnamed church celebrating the Liturgy-which-must-not-be-named featured this greeting: 

Dear FBI Agents and Informants, welcome to our parish! Our ideology is Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever. All races, peoples and nations are called to find salvation in Him. Come and see us anytime, and thank you for your service.

It’s good to laugh over clever priests and unclever Leftists, but it’s not so easy to dismiss the “Christian Nationalist” tag that government agencies, justice operatives, and media are so studiously attempting to pin on their political opponents: Catholics, Latin Mass-goers, pro-lifers, people who defend children, and the like. 

It’s not easy to dismiss the “Christian Nationalist” tag that government agencies, justice operatives, and media are attempting to pin on their political opponents: Catholics, Latin Mass-goers, pro-lifers, people who defend children, etc. Tweet This

I expect most casual pew-sitters think this is all the product of a fevered mind. The danger is, in fact, being clearly telegraphed by those seeking to advance it. It presents as a well-thought-out strategy with a timeline. 

February 2021. In a Town Hall meeting, Biden states that white supremacists are the greatest domestic terror threat in the country. (What? I don’t know any white supremacists, never have, and I’ve lived in the South most of my life. Seems like a straw man to me.)

August 2022. The formerly prestigious Atlantic magazine publishes an article about the rosary as a tool of violence, originally entitled, “How the Rosary Became an Extremist Symbol.” The name of the article was later changed to “How Extremist Gun Culture Is Trying to Co-opt the Rosary,” subtly altering the villain. My guess is that the author, Daniel Panneton, a Canadian on a grant from his government to combat racism, was laughed out of literary circles by his peers. (Perhaps he could join a support group with Rob Reiner.) 

In the article, Panneton claims that the AR-15 has become a “sacred object” for Christian nationalists. There it is: Christian Nationalism=gun violence.

September 2022. Biden convenes a summit meeting at the White House to denounce white supremacy. (Still haven’t encountered any white supremacists.)

September 2022. At dawn, 25 heavily-armed Feds in SWAT gear swarm the home of Catholic pro-life advocate Mark Houck. You know this story: the indefensibility of the raid, the emotional violence done to young children, the reckless pointing of M-16 rifles around terrified family members. The only plausible reason for the ostentatious brutality of the raid was to represent pro-lifers as dangerous enough to pose a threat to community safety. 

February 2023. A memo of the Richmond FBI field office is leaked online, purporting to link RMVE’s with RTCs. For those who don’t speak Initialese, it means that “racially- or ethnically-motivated violent extremists” can be found within the Catholic Church, specifically in “radical Traditionalist Catholic” circles. In other words, the Feds purport that Rad Trads are really white supremacists with mayhem on their minds (in their spare time between prayers, fasting, and parenting).

The author of the memo wrote that Rad Trads prefer the Latin Mass, tend to reject Vatican II (what stake does a federal agency have in a Church Council?) and subscribe to “anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ and white supremacistideology” (emphasis added). There it is again, another block in the tower they’re building. 

Despite the Richmond field director’s assertion that the memo was only local, it has since been revealed by whistleblowers that it was sent to bureau offices across the country, one of which is located right here in Tyler, Texas. Speaking for my hometown, we don’t need the FBI to protect us from little girls in dresses and veils carrying their Latin missals to church.

May 2023. Biden warns, “white supremacy is the single most dangerous terrorist threat to our homeland.” (Now I’m starting to smell a rat. How can it be the biggest threat to our country when I can’t even identify any?)

March 2024. The Biden Treasury Department issues the memo “Bankrolling Bigotry,” in which banks and online vendors are advised to cut off services to “hate groups.” Apparently relying on the Southern Poverty Law Center for definitions, “hate groups” such as Tradition in Action, the Fatima Crusader, the Ruth Institute, and Catholic Family News are in the crosshairs. Being successfully pro-life and pro-family will get you a spot on the SPLC’s hate map, which also includes the Ku Klux Klan, actual white supremacy.

Now that white supremacy has been identified, over and over like a bat to the head, as the single greatest threat to baseball and apple pie, all that remains is to tie it tightly to Christian nationalists, and the arrests can begin. Have you noticed that the FBI is now targeting people they assert might be expected to commit a crime, not just those who have actually committed one?

The American people have seen some colossal hoaxes in the last few years, and this one is practically transparent. It’s a programmatic effort to associate Catholics with racism and gun violence, making them appear dangerous, so the neighbors won’t kick up a fuss if they disappear. Despite all her woes, the Catholic Church is still the primary defender of the family and the primary opponent of the deathly worldview of Big Tyranny.   

We can no longer say that this sort of thing can only happen in Germany or the Soviet Union. It’s happening here, now. As Eric Metaxas wrote in Letter to the American Church, we have a small window in which to act before the curtain drops. Whistleblowers and independent journalists are giving us the tools we need. All we have to do is open our eyes to the road markers.

  • Sheryl Collmer is an independent consultant for several non-profit organizations. She holds a Master’s in Theological Studies from the University of Dallas, as well as an MBA. From her home in the diocese of Tyler, Texas, she studies homesteading, history, and the currents in the Church.

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