Home Christian News How the Capitol Attacks Helped Spread Christian Nationalism in the Extreme Right

How the Capitol Attacks Helped Spread Christian Nationalism in the Extreme Right

Extremists have typically operated at the fringes of American politics, and calls for parallel societies sound as if these groups want to be left alone to believe as they like. Holt said Torba’s talk echoes calls for “a national divorce,” conjuring a country in which conservative Christians “might need to form their own communities apart from this broader society that they believe has been corrupted,” he said.

Andrew Torba in a 2018 interview. Video screengrab via Youtube/PAHomepage

Andrew Torba in a 2018 interview. Video screengrab via Youtube/PAHomepage

But some extremist Christian nationalists are forging ties to establishment figures, including elected officials. Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, the keynote speaker at Fuentes’ America First 2021 conference, tweeted “Christ is King” the same day he posted a widely condemned animated video that depicted him killing New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Gosar has sought to distance himself from Fuentes’ views, but after being disciplined by Congress for the video, the congressman encouraged his supporters to join Gab. One of the first people he followed on the platform was Fuentes, who he has since lauded as a “young conservative Christian” who is a victim of “political persecution” by the House committee investigating the Capitol attack.

“We will take back our country, and we will save America from the haters, the incompetents and the ones so intent on making us a godless nation,” Gosar wrote in a recent Gab post.

Meanwhile, as Fuentes prepares for the 2022 iteration of his “America First” conference, Torba announced in late January that Gab would be an official sponsor of the event.

“Everyone who will be going is a member of this website, promotes Christian values, openly proclaims the name of Jesus Christ, and promotes America First political objectives, candidates, and members of Congress,” Torba wrote on Gab. He added that he believes the event brings together “Christian thinkers” who are “the future of the right wing in this country.”

And while extremists may live on the fringe ideologically, Butler said, an unsettling aspect of Christian nationalism is that radicalized devotees often rub elbows with everyday believers.

“That person is sitting next to you in the pew,” she said.

This article originally appeared here.