Fidelis Books

Who’s Afraid of Christian Nationalism?: Why Christian Nationalism Is Not an Existential Threat to America or the Church


American Christian nationalism exists and is problematic—but contrary to its many critics it does not pose an existential threat to American democracy or the Christian church.

Since 2006, journalists, activists, and academics have produced a steady stream of books and articles warning of the dangers of Christian nationalism, which they define as “an ideology that idealizes and advocates for a fusion of American civic life with a particular type of Christian identity and culture” that “includes assumptions of nativism, white supremacy, patriarchy and heteronormativity, along with divine sanction for authoritarian control and militarism.” According to sociologists Andrew Whitehead and Samuel Perry, 51.9 percent of Americans fully or partially embrace this toxic ideology.

These critics, Mark David Hall argues, greatly exaggerate the dangers of Christian nationalism. It does not, as they claim, pose an existential threat to American democracy or the Christian church in the United States. Who’s Afraid of Christian Nationalism? offers a more reasonable definition, measure, and critique of this ideology.  In doing so, it shines important light on a debate characterized by unfounded claims, rhetorical excesses, and fearmongering.