Resolute Square

If Christo-Fascist Republicans Win In November...

What will our national religion be? Christian Nationalism survivor Andra Watkins writes that what "Christianity" would mean in a Christo-fascist nation would mean is not as obvious as one might think.
Published:June 20, 2024

*Andra Watkins is an award winning author, survivor of Christian Nationalism and an expert on Project 2025. Read and support her important work here: How Project 2025 Will Ruin Your Life

By Andra Watkins

Let’s imagine Christo-fascist Republicans win in November. They capture the Presidency, hold the House of Representatives, and flip the Senate. They also expand their grip on statehouses.

What will our national religion be? The answer to this question isn’t as simple as one might think. Here’s why.

Yesterday, I wrote about Tomás de Torquemada, Spain’s first Catholic Inquisitor, but I didn't delve into the reasons for his aggressive pursuit of non-Catholics. The Catholic Church had been carrying on Inquisitions throughout Europe since the 12th century. Why was Torquemada’s violent, deadly oppression sanctioned by the Spanish crown?

For over a thousand years, Catholicism was European Christianity. It safeguarded the Bible, where monks copied its words into weighty, expensive books and relayed them to congregations. Few outside the church could afford to purchase an actual Bible; fewer still could read one.

The Catholic Church’s power wobbled with the invention of the printing press in 1440.

Books were easier to print in bulk, which made them less expensive and more accessible to the masses. Knowledge previously hidden in monasteries, convents, and Catholic Churches quickly became available for anyone, provided they learned to read.

Once laypeople started reading the Bible, they understood how corrupt and profane the Catholic Church had become. Many of the core tenets of Catholic theology, such as transubstantiation (the transformation of bread and wine into the literal body and blood of Christ), Purgatory and the payment of indulgences, and the baptism of infants were not mentioned in Scripture.

When Torquemada assumed power in 1484, much of Europe was already burning with brushfires of what would become the conflagration known as the Protestant Reformation.

Catholics insisted that Protestants were heretics, that is, Not “Real” Christians.
Protestants like Martin Luther and John Calvin proclaimed that Catholics were Not “Real” Christians because their faith relied on a person’s works, not solely on acceptance of Jesus Christ and his sacrifice.

Unfinished Basilica of St. Teresa. Alba de Tormes.

We will never know how many people died fighting over the question: Who is the “Real” Christian? Catholics? Or Protestants? A rehashing of this history matters for the Christo-fascist government outlined in Project 2025.

In a previous newsletter, we covered the different groups that make up present-day Christian Nationalism. Because we have so many new readers, I provide my recent answer to this reader question “What denominations are Christian Nationalist” below:

Christian Nationalists are a coalition of far-right Catholics and Protestants. They include Dominionists. I grew up independent Baptist (I'd put virtually 100% of them in the CN camp), but definitely Southern Baptists, many Church of God congregations, and more conservative Methodists and Presbyterians. I don't *think* Unitarians and Congregationalists get mixed up in this nonsense, but conservative Episcopalians and Lutherans may.

There has also been an explosion of nondenominational churches since I stopped attending church. Many of those churches also espouse Christian Nationalist views and have personality-cult-type pastors.

Far-right Catholics and Protestants have united behind the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation, steeped in God’s law and Christian views of morality.

But ask a far-right, Opus Dei Catholic if his Protestant brethren will be in heaven. If he can answer off-the-record, he will most likely say his Protestant friends will spend eternity in hell because they aren’t Catholics. They haven’t partaken of the sacraments and therefore cannot be “Real” Christians.

Ask my childhood Baptist pastor what he thinks of Catholics. He will say they will burn in hell because their faith is works-based. Sacraments don’t matter; trusting Jesus Christ and his blood as atonement for sin is the only way to heaven. Therefore, Catholics cannot be “Real” Christians.

If Christian Nationalists ever obtain power, they will fight a holy war over whose faith will be enforced as the national religion. Will it be Catholicism? A strain of Protestantism? Non-denominationalism? Dominionism? (It absolutely WON’T be Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Unitarianism, Paganism, or similar.)

These flavors of Christianity all believe different things, variations of dogma over which they will not compromise.

Catholics base their faith in Jesus’ sacrifice, but they require the performance of the sacraments as an outward demonstration of that inner transformation. Many Baptists believe that once someone says The Sinner’s Prayer, they can never lose their ticket to heaven, while other Protestant faiths teach that one must continually utter that prayer to renew one’s commitment throughout life.

Who is right? God only knows. (I’m trying to get God to weigh in on such questions, but he’s quite busy with his move to Substack. Maybe you can drop him a prayer request.) One needs only to read history to see how often human beings are willing to shed blood over this unanswerable question.

Inside Segovia Cathedral.

How can we use this propensity to claim to be the “One True Faith” to our advantage NOW?

Start asking politicians who profess to be Christians about their faith. Ask specific questions like what are you trusting to get to heaven? and who do you believe is going to heaven? and so-and-so says she is going to heaven; if you disagree, why do you disagree?

This is what journalists should have done in the wake of the recent Dolly Parton controversy. Ask Christian Nationalists to define exactly why Dolly isn’t going to heaven despite her outward Christ-like behavior. That woman is a saint.

Compare and contrast their answers. I guarantee there will be disparities.

Hammer them with questions about those disparities. Which answer reveals who is the “Real” Christian? Why is this person’s answer “wrong?” Mike Johnson said this about “True” faith. Are you saying his faith is “wrong?” Is he really going to hell?

If they start fighting over whose faith is the “One True Faith” in the lead-up to the November election, it could fracture their coalition. They might destroy each other instead of sending our country into a theocratic holy war over whose faith will be the national religion. Because if we learn one thing from history, it is to keep people like them as far from the levers of power as humanly possible.