WHY SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED ABOUT  “CHRISTIAN NATIONALISM”?  Don’t we want everyone to know the love of God and Jesus Christ? 

Christians Against Christian Nationalism

Freedom of Religion is a constitutionally protected right provided in the religion clauses of the First Amendment.  It protects adherents of all faith traditions.   Christian Nationalism contends that America has been and should always be distinctively “Christian” from top to bottom – in its self-identity, interpretations of its own history, sacred symbols, cherished values, and public policies.  But the “Christian” in Christian nationalism is more about identity than religion. “Nationalism” is an extreme form of patriotism that includes assumptions of superiority and has little or no room for dissent or disagreement.  It carries with it strongly held ideas about white supremacy, limiting immigration, authoritarianism, supporting the status of men over women, and glorification of the military, many of which were on vivid display at the January 6th Insurrection.

According to multiple academic studies using large, nationally representative surveys, Americans who embrace Christian nationalism are more likely to:

  • Approve of authoritarian tactics like demanding people show respect for national symbols and traditions
  • Fear and distrust religious minorities, including Muslims, Atheists, and Jewish people
  • Condone police violence toward Black Americans and distrust accounts of racial inequality in the criminal justice system
  • Believe racial inequality is due to the personal shortcomings of minority groups
  • Report being “very uncomfortable” with both interracial marriage and transracial adoption
  • Hold anti-immigrant views
  • Fear refugees
  • Oppose scientists and science education in schools
  • Believe that men are better suited for all leadership roles while women are better suited to care for children and the home.

“We need to be aware of two things regarding those who espouse this Christian Nationalist ideology,” said the Rev. John Dorhauer, President of the UCC.   “First, they want nothing less than total control of the United States and its government. They want the Bible to be the template for all laws written. They want only those who espouse a very narrow view of a very conservative theology to be in power. Second, they are far more effective at undertaking this than we assume.

“I seek to engage progressive Christianity in a deep conversation about just what is needed to send these bigots and homophobes and misogynists back under the rocks out from which they crawled when the 45th president took office and brought their brand of Christian nationalism back to the center and put them back in power,” continued Rev. Dorhauer. “The complacency and the decorum characteristic of white Christian liberalism is not going to bring back the justice we seek, nor mitigate the damage being done by those whose brand of Christianity calls them to engage in holy war. Don’t be silent about this.”

The above was borrowed and quoted liberally from the following sources:

https://www.ucc.org/christian-nationalism-an-oxymoron-is-nonetheless-powerful-panelists-warn/

Taking America Back for God: Christian Nationalism in the United
States, by Andrew Whitehead and Samuel Perry (Oxford University Press, 2020)

COLLABORATION WITH MULTICULTURAL BRIDGE FOOD DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM

We are so pleased to welcome staff and volunteers from Multicultural BRIDGE who use our community room every other Friday to gather and distribute healthy, fresh, delicious food to 115 food-insecure families throughout Berkshire County! If you would like to volunteer to be part of this effort, please contact Multicultural BRIDGE or call the Lee Congregational Church office (413-243-1033) for more information. https://www.multiculturalbridge.org/food-sovereignty…

We believe in putting our faith into action. Through the United Church of Christ Global Ministries we participate in an extended ministry to those of special need throughout the nation and the world.  

HOW WE CAN HELP THE PEOPLE OF UKRAINE

Uniting in prayer, action, and giving, we stand as a people of faith in love and compassion with the people of Ukraine and all who are affected, and with our global partners who are welcoming those driven from their homes.”  —  UCC Ukraine Appeal

We are all deeply troubled by events unfolding in Ukraine, and our hearts are deeply touched by the desperate Ukrainians fleeing their homeland.  While there are many worthy agencies doing excellent work to address this crisis, here are two suggestions that you can be confident will use your contributions in the best possible way.  UNICEF has been chosen by the Missions & Ministry Committee for its global relief ministry.  Only 3% of donations to this highly effective organization go to administrative costs.

UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST UKRAINE EMERGENCY APPEAL:

Gifts made to UCC Ukraine Relief Fund will provide shelter, food, and other care to war refugees and internally displaced people. It also will help refugees and asylum seekers from African, Middle Eastern and other countries who had sought refuge in Ukraine and now are twice displaced, as well as other citizens of more than 125 countries living in Ukraine.

UNICEF (UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL CHILDRENS FUND):

UNICEF is working with partners to provide vital humanitarian supplies and to reach vulnerable children and families with essential services, including health, education, protection, water and sanitation.  It’s very easy to make a donation from the UNICEF website and you can designate that you want your donation to go to help Ukraine.

If you would like to contribute to either of these options through the church, you can write your check to the church and designate either UCC Ukraine Appeal or UNICEF in the memo line.  Thank you for your concern, your generosity, and your prayers for Ukraine and its people.

Now, closer to home:

Imagine trying to get everywhere you need to go in Berkshire County without a car–it’s nearly imposWheels for Wellness volunteer transportation servicesible!  Berkshire Interfaith Organizing (BIO) is introducing a new campaign recruiting volunteers (retired seniors ages 59-79) to drive Berkshire residents to medical appointments.  Consider the rewards of becoming a volunteer in this important program.

Besides these campaigns, in our community we offer both financial support and personal participation in programs such as Berkshire Interfaith Organizing (BIO) Construct Inc., Relay for Life, the Lee Food Pantry, UNICEF, the Berkshire Community Diaper Project , Multicultural Bridge and the Not in Our County campaign, and Church World Service. Our building and grounds are also used by many community activities and service organizations including the Lee Farmer’s Market.