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Certain segments of the alt-right are targeting evangelical Christians, according to Religious Left scholars who spoke at a recent conference at Georgetown University. But they don’t target Christians for persecution, as evangelicals are quick to suppose. No, they believe they can convert evangelicals to their racist way of thinking.
While it’s difficult to pin down a one-size-fits-all definition of the “alt-right,” it usually refers to the groups that gathered at Charlottesville, and not to right-wing conservatives in general. The conference speakers generally followed this convention, and used the term for fringe groups seeking to turn America into a “whites-only” ethnically-“pure” nation-state. The alt-right’s various groups rarely agree on anything else, but communicate privately over the internet.
Conference - Speakers - Groups - Religion - Form
The conference speakers noted that many alt-right groups were strictly secular, disapproving of religion in any form. Other groups embraced pre-Christian paganism, such as worship of the Norse god, Odin. I was surprised to learn that these groups are rehashing the same arguments that Augustine refuted over 1600 years ago (that Christianity was weak because it came out of Judaism, and that it destroyed the virility of Western civilization). Both of these types of groups see Christianity as the enemy.
However, another brand of alt-right is more politically-savvy. They recognize their goals require majority approval and that the majority of Americans are, at least nominally, Christian. Therefore, they are willing to put aside their hatred of Christianity to achieve their policy goals. Several conference speakers agreed that the politically-savvy alt-right activists specifically targeted white evangelicals that voted for Trump as likely converts.
Blush - Danger - Impotent - Speakers - Baptists
At first blush, this danger seems far-fetched and impotent. After all, as speakers noted, many evangelical leaders—particularly Southern Baptists, the largest evangelical group in America—have condemned the alt-right. Additionally, the racism of the alt-right does not square with evangelical teachings about the value of all human...
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