I have mixed feelings about this.
1. First, I am not going to restate my view of Dump as a leader, which I have shared a million times over the years. If he wins the 2024 election, he will be gone in 2028. What’s more interesting to me is the movement that has sprouted up around him which could go a lot further with better leadership. The Trump years were also not a total loss. We at least had much lower gas prices and peace in Europe.
2. Second, I feel vindicated in insisting that American Christianity is malleable back in the day when I was arguing with the First Things crowd. In particular, the idea that evangelical Christianity HAS ALWAYS been antiracist is absurd and ahistorical. At the time, I argued that it had evolved before and would surely do so again. This was before belief in the Great Replacement skyrocketed among White evangelicals.
3. Third, I have returned to my earlier view that Dump was a bulldozer. That’s why I originally supported him in 2015. By knocking down mainstream conservatism, he has allowed our ideas to spread much further. We eventually got a lot of what we wanted out of Trump after he was gone with Joe Biden in the White House. Secession has gone mainstream. Nationalism has gone mainstream. The Great Replacement has gone mainstream. It is mainstream to criticize the ADL now.
4. Fourth, ordinary people have always believed in conspiracies to explain complex events, so that doesn’t really bother me. There was never a time when millions of Americans didn’t believe in conspiracies. Most of these people are motivated by the right sentiments which can and should be channeled in the right direction with better leadership. The problem is the lack of leadership.
5. Pastor Greg Locke should be commended for saying we haven’t seen the real insurrection yet. Locke is correct about the demonic energy that animates the Democratic Party.
“Back in August 2015, when Donald Trump’s presidential ambitions were widely considered a joke, Russell Moore was worried. A prominent leader of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, Moore knew that some of the faithful were falling for Trump, a philandering, biblically illiterate candidate from New York City whose lifestyle and views embodied everything the religious right professed to abhor. The month before, a Washington Post poll had found that Trump was already being backed by more white evangelicals than any other Republican candidate. …
Until now, the alt-right has presented itself largely as an irreligious movement; Spencer, its outsize figurehead, is an avowed atheist. But with Trump as president, the alt-right sees an opening for its own religious revival. “A new type of Alt Right Christian will become a force in the Religious Right,” Spencer tweeted on the morning after the election, “and we’re going to work with them.”
To alt-right Christians, Trump’s appeal isn’t based on the kind of social-issue litmus tests long favored by the religious right. According to Brad Griffin, a white supremacist activist in Alabama, “the average evangelical, not-too-religious Southerner who’s sort of a populist” was drawn to Trump primarily “because they like the attitude.” Besides, he adds, many on the Christian right don’t necessarily describe themselves as “evangelical” for theological reasons; it’s more “a tribal marker for a lot of these people.”
Before the election, Griffin worried that white evangelicals would find his “Southern nationalist” views problematic. But Trump’s decisive victory over Russell Moore reassured him. “It seems like evangelicals really didn’t follow Moore’s lead at all,” Griffin says. “All these pastors and whatnot went in there and said Trump’s a racist, a bigot, and a fascist and all this, and their followers didn’t listen to them.”
There is no way of knowing how many Americans consider themselves to be alt-right Christians—the term is so new, even those who agree with Spencer and Griffin probably wouldn’t use it to describe themselves. …
For alt-right Christians, Russell Moore is the embodiment of where the religious right went wrong—by refusing to openly embrace racism. Throughout his youth, Griffin says, he felt alienated by Christians like Moore who were intent on “condemning racism.” He was only drawn back into Christianity when he married the daughter of Gordon Baum, a far-right Lutheran leader who co-founded the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens, described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “a virulently racist group.” Griffin says he joined the CCC, as well as the white nationalist League of the South, because both groups embody the elements he views as integral to his faith: They are “pro-white, pro-Christian, pro-South.”
Richard Spencer is gone now.
Russell Moore is gone now too.
The Alt-Right fizzled out and collapsed. We have soldiered on.
The train has only just left the station though on the sort of quasi-red pilled White evangelical that we saw coming back in the day. Just a few years ago, I was assured that Christians would never embrace nationalism and that Christianity was incompatible with White identity and racism.
Note: We’ve all seen the polling on support for political violence and secession. It is mixed up with anxiety over the Great Replacement and Christian nationalism and the belief that Joe Biden is an illegitimate president. It is truly amazing how far we have come in like seven or eight years.