Christian Nationalism and Opposition to Science

Abstract
Numerous studies show biblicist Christianity, religiosity, and conservative political identity are strong predictors of Americans holding skeptical attitudes toward publicly controversial aspects of science, such as human evolution. We show that Christian nationalism—meaning the desire to see particularistic and exclusivist versions of Christian symbols, values, and policies enshrined as the established religion of the United States—is a strong and consistent predictor of Americans’ attitudes about science above and beyond other religious and political characteristics. Further, a majority of the overall effect of political ideology on skepticism about the moral authority of science is mediated through Christian nationalism, indicating that political conservatives are more likely to be concerned with particular aspects of science primarily because they are more likely to be Christian nationalists. Likewise, substantial proportions of the well‐documented associations between religiosity and biblical “literalism” with views of science are mediated through Christian nationalism. Because Christian nationalism seeks to establish a particular and exclusivist vision of Christianity as the dominant moral order, adherents feel threatened by challenges to the epistemic authority undergirding that order, including by aspects of science perceived as challenging the supremacy of biblicist authority.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/socf.12619

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A lot of things are perceived as “challenging the supremacy of biblicist authority” these days. It’s not just evolution and climate change anymore, it’s social justice, women preaching, public health orders asking churches to be safe. It all gets tied up together like spaghetti.

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Please keep the discussion focused on the relationship between specific views of the Bible and anti-science ideologies and don’t get caught up in Republican/Democrat debates.

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Yes, good reminder. I was throwing it out there just as an FYI kinda thing.

The takeaway for me is that the anti-science mindset is predicted more by “Christian nationalism” than political ideology, biblicism, or religion in general. I think Christian nationalism resembles a cult in that it wraps up every issue as a complete package and labels it a “worldview.” It’s hard to change beliefs about science because they’re enmeshed with beliefs about everything. Someone has to be willing to jettison all that stuff before they’ll let go of one little bit of it.

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I think that the main thing that just needs to be focused on is anti theocracy. We should not force the world to submit to Christianity by the sword or pen. But I believe that each church needs to be free to operate how it sees fit. Keep church out of the state and even more importantly keep the state out of the church.

Also I did not mean to direct at that just you. I accidentally clicked it as a response to you I guess.

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My main disagreement is that nationalism is by nature not Christian. Patriotism, maybe, but nationalist places country above God and is idolatry.

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I have threatened to read this book in other threads, but have yet to do so:

The conflict between religion and science has an interesting and complex history, especially here in the US.

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You are right but Christian nationalism is still a thing, like American Exceptionalism. Not good things, but still things.

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Any religion does that.Not christianity exculsive im afraid

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Looks like a good read. It appears to have held up well, despite being written nearly 60 years ago. I’ve been reading Scotch Irish. A Social History by James Leyburn, as they include at least myth paternal linage, and the emphasis of that group on freedom and independence to the detriment of community and intellectual pursuits seems to be consistent with Hofstadter’s observations.

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The Pledge of Allegiance has always given me idolatry vibes, but maybe that is just me.

Ties between Christianity and nationalism are found throughout European history. How many wars were fought between Protestants and Catholics? How many governments derived their power through the RCC and the Vatican? America’s founding fathers tried to separate us from those mistakes, but we seem intent on repeating them in some form or another.

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Not with the same economic power by an order of magnitude.

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Everyone seems to want God on their side when they go to war. Institutionalized religion seems to always turn out badly, especially for religion. You would think people would learn, but maybe that is where we link in to the anti-intellectualism post…

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American Exceptionalism is pretty much identical to Christian Nationalism. The same scholars who wrote the paper in the OP also did a poll where a great number of evangelicals and even more Christian nationalists said the Constitution was divinely inspired. Hmmmm. You mean like the Bible?

I’d say the nationalist confuses God and country. They become virtually identical.

True.

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As a side note on such things, in driving around near where I live, there are more houses that still have campaign signs.
And yes, “Christian” nationalism is a depressingly common attitude where I live.–I got rather tired of hearing about the “stolen election” (or about how everything’s gone wrong since prayer was taken out of public schools) within a few days, let alone the four months that some people were mentioning it seemingly every time I met them.

(Edited by moderator for political content.)

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Let’s stay away from partisan politics, not that you are advocating a position there, but just want to nip it in the bud.

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Nationalism definitely isn’t a disease limited to nations with a Christian heritage, but Klax may be right about the economic disparity between majority Christian nations and nations where the predominant religion is “other.” I’d venture a guess it might be closer than you think, taking the growing economies of China and India et al. into account. Brazil, Mexico (larger economy than Russia), Nigeria, S. America and other parts of Africa probably tip the scale in favor of Christian economies. Maybe not by an order of magnitude, though.

3 of those arent even “Christian” countries.Russia is trade partners with Saudi Arabia.Wanna talk about money and religion?Ask the Muslims of the wealthy countries in the middle east.They could buy the pope if they wanted to.

And what economy might be in Africa lol?Corruption and exploitation has gotten the best from them .Same with Greece unfotunately which is also a “Christian” country.

Also none of these are in favour of the Christian church.None .

Yes, I know. China and India are examples of large economies that aren’t predominantly Christian. Russia is a plurality Christian (47%) but not a majority. Russia and Saudi Arabia got into an oil feud about a year ago. The Saudis taught the Russians a lesson by flooding the market. Covid shutdowns and fewer drivers shortly after tanked demand. That’s why gas prices in the US last summer were half what they are now.

Nigeria is a majority Christian and will soon be one of the most populous nations on Earth. Despite its present flaws, I expect it to become one of the most rapidly growing economies in the world soon.

But now we’re in danger of running down a rabbit hole. Back to the subject …

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Sure.I was just stating that the statement our friend Klax made is basically indifferent.

In your own words ill agree that

Not even close to it i might add

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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