What is the origin of the narrative term “Christian Nationalism” come from and why is it deliberately being used against Americans who are Christian and love their country?
UA President Stephen Coughlin was one of the speakers at a PRAY|VOTE|STAND Townhall about this issue that was held by the Family Research Council and the Regent University School of Government on October 12, 2022.
Other speakers included Michele Bachmann, former US Congresswoman and Dean of the Robertson School of Government at Regent University; Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council; Gary Hamrick, Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Chapel, Leesburg, Va.; and Dr. Mark David Hall, Author and Professor, George Fox University.
Excerpted here are Coughlin’s talk and his participation in the panel (transcripts below):
Stephen Coughlin’s Presentation:
Thank you very much. It’s a pleasure to be here.
What I’d like to say before anything else is I was in Louis Gohmert’s office a couple years ago and he has a little thing that memorializes the treaty between America and Britain at the end of the Revolutionary War. And, you know who the witness of that document was? In writing? The Holy Spirit.
So the question that people have to ask themselves is, I think we all grew up with: God and country. When did that stop being the rule and why did it stop being the rule and how did it get so far?
What I do in Unconstrained Analytics is today we take a look at issues from a political warfare perspective. This is not going to be a political analysis. You get that from people better than me at that. We’re not going to look at it theologically because that’s not my area here at all. But we are going to say if we are looking at this like we looked at a foreign country, how would define it? And we’re going to run with it.
Political warfare is the Maoist Insurgency Model. Our position is that is the dominant form of the Left that occupies the United States right now.
As it relates to this discussion, what I really want to point out is that one of the things that exist, if you read the books at colleges or universities about critical race theory or intersectionality, you read too much. And what we want to do is get people to understand it’s much more simple. But if you really understood how simple it was, you would simply know how to fight back.
What is intersectionality?
That is to take a value, a value that is held in a culture and they’re going to create, make up a phony term. And then they’re going to give that term every negative attribute they can come up with that they’re focusing.
So patriotic Christians, we call now Christian nationalists, and it will be defined negatively. The point will be in the media to collide the one with the other in what would be called in the language of Marxism Mitigation.
And it’s as simple as that. What they do is they create these Intersectional Lines of Operation: Black Lives Matter. What does that do? It attacks on race. LGBT says that we demand that you accept our metaphysical claim of gender over the scientifically verified fact and biology of sex. That’s what this is all about. It’s all about intimidating people.
They don’t care that they get their fellow travelers to say LGBTQ and let their children go to a litter box in a school. They have won in their mind when they got YOU to accept it by not doing anything about it.
What I’m going to do is instead of overengineering all of this, I’m just going to take things that they have said. I’m going to focus on Jemar Tisby and Bob Roberts, Jr. [two prominent Christian leaders] because they’re some of the leading voices in this. And I want you to know how they define it in their own words, which I’m going to show.
Christian Nationalism is an information campaign designed to synchronize with the January 6 narrative.
Reading these Twitter feeds, three things will emerge.
One, they say what they think. So you really don’t have to assess what they’re saying at this level of analysis.
Two, they’re broadcasting it openly through Twitter and in the media, we’re seeing that.
And three, the little political warfare point is they are so confident that they’re in charge, they’re engaging what’s called open communication. They’re not worried that you underheard what they said because they’re reasonably confident that even if you understood what they said was not right, you’re not going to know quite what they meant.
[NOTE: Coughlin begins to show screenshots of tweets for the audience to read and he comments on the tweets. Please watch above video to see them.]
So here’s one on Jemar Tisby, and I’ll just let you read that it has to do with January 6, and now we’ll move to the next one.
It directly attacks American Christians for being American Christians, for being politically active. As such, it’s an attack on identity. It denies your right to say that you’re an American, that you’re a Christian. Think about it.
LGBT says you’re not allowed to call yourself a woman if you’re a woman or a man if you’re a man. When you add up all these Intersectional Lines of Attack, they have destroyed your ability to call yourself a person. And that is the objective.
Christian nationalism is also designed to synchronize with the New York Times 1619 project. The objective to alienate and disenfranchise Christians from their own history. Do you think that’s kind of happening? You now have to take classes in a place like the church to find out what your American history is anymore.
Your kids are being told something that gets them so spun up you can’t even talk to your kids. That is an outcome. Whether directly or indirectly, the Christian Nationalism narrative is designed to tie into Marxist critical race theory efforts that identify all American institutions as racists. As noted, it’s an Intersectional Line of Effort.
And of course, these are their own words.
The narrative is delegitimizing along Christian lines.
Reverend Roberts and his Multifaith Neighbors Network has powerful international tie-ins (WEF). Roberts likens American Christians to a grifting class of money changers at the temple.
The goal is to see what they’re saying in their own words. Suggesting that Christians who defend themselves, the institutions they created, their values and their way of life is unchristian for that reason.
Suggesting that Christians do not have a right to defend themselves in their way of life. Implying maybe with cause, that Republican leadership is just as anxious and alienated from its own base as is the Left.
After all, Reverend Robert’s Multi Faith Neighbors network appears to have Lincoln Project tie-ins. We had to break this graphic into two. So there’s Ambassador Holladay and here he is with the Lincoln Project.
And not just a little support from the White House.
For Tisby, “the people who created the American Republic are America’s greatest threat to America’s Republic.” Precisely because they don’t want to make it a Democratic by which I mean Marxist republic.
America’s Christian roots are being reduced to mythologies, a first step in delegitimizing a people’s history and furtherance of disenfranchising them from it. Remember the total separation of you from your own identity.
Gaslighting the values of American Christians based on assumptions that are then turned into facts and then declared erroneous. Watch the kind of the weasel language perceived. We perceive that they do this, but the rest of the sentence is treated as if it’s a fact to attack you. “Appears to be unmoored from traditional Christian ideals”. Do you see that at the bottom of Tisby’s attacks?
This is Jemar Tisby. They’re really gaslighting campaigns. There’s nothing to them.
Accusations based on manufactured perceptions, consequentialists. What do they mean by that? They’ll do anything to win.
“Clearly, America’s Christians are dangerously untethered and are tilting to extremism a clear indicator of downstream terrorism.” This feeds into the violent extremism narrative that was put into place going way back that we had many battles with. Do you remember that? This is how the violent extremism narrative is going to come into play. It won’t be used against Bin Laden and Iraq. It’s designed to be used against YOU.
When Christians mobilize politically to defend their constitutionally protected way of life, it’s described in covert conspiratorial terms. Again, gaslighting.
And lest the gaslighting campaign is not clear enough, “beneath every Christian nationalist is a seething racist seeking to seek revenge upon an unsuspecting population”. I had to break this into two so you see that Tisby’s message was about a little child who wants to grow up and shoot people. Of course, that’s just the message.
I just think it’s really important for you to get a sense of how these people communicate this in their own words, so you can get a feel for it because it’s a little slick. You can easily say, well, I was only talking about perceptions. Maybe I’ll change my mind. And what he’s really saying is I’m going to have to up my game.
With that, I would like to thank everybody for your time and I hope this was helpful.
Coughlin’s remarks during the panel discussion
Steven, I want to go to you for a moment as Michele was talking about the church played a very influential role in the elections because we gather together. And when you have pastors who preach about the issues in the Bible and how it applies to the world in which we live, Christians act on that. But we see something happening. It’s not just the Left that is marginalizing or using these labels. We see it coming from the media as well. We’re seeing that there is this effort to cut off national discussion from certain segments of society. How do we deal with that and what is their ultimate objective?
I think one of the things we’re trying to build out is everything we’re seeing is NOT random. It’s not in the air.
There’s something called semantic Marxism, and part of semantic Marxism is something called discourse theory. Discourse theory has a large explanation, but basically, at the end of the day, it means: “we get to get up and say what we want and we get to turn the mic off on you”.
I think that we have to understand that that is specific Line of Attack and that we have to organize to push back that attack.
One of the things I thought was very interesting is I think it was right before Biden talked about the MAGA conservatives were the most dangerous threat to America. A certain faux chair (Liz Cheney) of the January 6 hearing had her dad (Dick Cheney) say the exact same thing. But what we do know is that when Cheney said that the MAGA Republicans were the greatest threat to America, within a week we saw the raid at Mar-a-Lago. I just can’t help myself thinking that we’re looking at something just a little more synchronized, a little bit bigger than just the Left. Although I think that that’s an extremely bad thing.
Michele, you have thoughts on that?
Well, I’d like to just add to what Steve was saying. I was actually at the Capitol on January 6. I was there with a group of believers. We were praying. We were just out on the lawn. We were praying that day, and it was probably one of the happiest days. It was like a family reunion. It was like a picnic. The people were so happy. It wasn’t angry, it wasn’t violent. It wasn’t any of those things. And I remember distinctly thinking when I was there that this was planned, that this was insurgents that were in here. This is in real time. That’s what I thought, because we were just praying for peace. We were just there praying, praying for the nation because the nation was in an uproar.
I distinctly remember that thinking this was a branding exercise because we just had a very popular president get more votes in 2020 than he got in 2016. He got more votes. People went out and voted en masse, and his agenda was wildly popular. Gasoline was $1.89 a gallon. That was pretty popular. So this was a rebranding exercise to label the President himself a terrorist or an insurrectionist. It was meant to label his followers or supporters as insurrectionists and the Make America Great Again agenda as a terrorist agenda. And that’s a little bit what I was hearing from Biden in that speech.
So this is continuing. This wasn’t just a one-off. That’s how you knew that January 6 wasn’t random. This was intentional. And we’re seeing it still today. And that’s part of what I think we need to know from this tonight is just be forewarned. This is going to continue. They’re not going to give up. Because when a prior president (Obama) said, we’re going to “fundamentally transform” the United States of America, they meant it. That wasn’t a political phrase. They want to transform. And what they see standing between their goal to turn this country into a completely different nation is believers. Believers are the epicenter because we’ll stand for something. Something is more important to us than politics. And that’s what the Bible says. And we will stand for biblical values no matter what.
. . . .
This next question comes from one of our viewers says the term Christian was originally derogatory in the Bible. Can we not adopt the term Christian nationalism and turn it to good?
I tend to think that when you have a term that is created for the purpose of attacking you, that it doesn’t become real until you respond to it, and then once you respond to it, you’re captured by it.
So everything from that going forward–there’s actually a methodology involved in this–it’s not just an opinion when I say that. The minute you respond to critical race theory, now that’s all you’re talking about. And now it’s a series of defenses where the entire narrative doesn’t admit your right to have a defense.
My take on it would be you don’t engage at all. You recognize that it’s an information campaign designed to delegitimize you.
And the very response to it–in that narrative in any way–is itself a defeat. And now you’re managing the defeat.
. . . .
Dr. Coughlin, I want to go back to you from something you were talking about with critical race theory. From the standpoint of critical race theory and how that has mobilized a lot of Americans because they realize what their children were being indoctrinated with. And I mean, right here in Virginia is really kind of the epicenter that battle over public education. So I want to be clear, you’re not saying we shouldn’t educate ourselves on what the Left is doing with this term Christian nationalism. It’s just that we shouldn’t adopt their labeling, just as we wouldn’t adopt CRT as a good curriculum for our children.
I think you would say if I respond by saying, “I’m not a racist” in the critical race theory, now you’re in a defense. That’s what I’m talking about. It takes a little time to figure out how to maneuver this space.
The other way of saying it, “Critical race theory is just an attack narrative. We’re not going to engage in that, and I’m going to tell you why it’s an attack narrative. It comes from this source. The source only exists to delegitimize the people they are going after.” You build on that.
The phrase that’s used in that type of intersectionality attack is reify.
‘Critical race theory’ meant NOTHING when they wrote about it. It ONLY meant something when YOU responded to it.
And then the game was on. But you’re now in quicksand. Can you win? You maybe, but you’re in the quicksand, and they’re not.
And the other important part about it is they just made it up. So if they lose, they’ll go home for a year, come back with a new phrase, and they’ll do the same attack.
. . . .
I think the state we’re living in right now is the phrase is liquefied reality. There’s been an entirely enormous effort to get you to be confused about everything. And in that state of being confused by everything, the Marxist call that a demoralization campaign, and people feel demoralized. But it’s only a perception, and you’re allowing it to govern how you feel.
I think that Christian nationalism is an attack on your identity. It seeks to destroy your identity along with other things.
There’s a patch for the Army basic training, and it says, “This We Will Defend”. And sometimes you have to take your staff, put it in the ground, and say, “This we will defend.”