December 14, 2023

A Lefty Atheist’s Anti-Christian Nationalism Documentary

Is it a serious commentary, or merely leftist fearmongering and Christophobia?

There is a new documentary in the works by atheist and leftist filmmaker Rob Reiner entitled “God and Country.” This film ostensibly seeks to explore the existential threat of so-called Christian Nationalism in America. Thus far there has only been a trailer, but it is troubling enough.

First of all, how does Reiner define “Christian Nationalism”? From the trailer, it seems that the definition is a range — from militant J6 rioters to regular everyday Christians whose political decisions are informed by their faith. Granted, there are extremes to Christian Nationalism, defined first by its nationalistic fervor that then justifies extreme positions with Christianity. Hardcore Christian Nationalists stake out positions like “Trump is a prophet” or “Trump sits on the right hand of God” (i.e., he’s practically the second coming of Christ) or “America is the next Israel/has replaced Israel.” This particular group numbers extremely small and isn’t a particularly powerful presence in the grander political landscape. But if Reiner is lumping in Christians who use the Bible and the historical teachings of the church to influence their political decisions, that is a bad-faith attack — we might even call it Christophobia.

Christophobia is a blatant attempt by the Left to demonize Christians who use their faith as moral guidance when they discuss and decide on political ideas. It’s also worth pointing out that our Founding Fathers built the ideas and framework for this country based on Judeo-Christian morality. Attacking Christians for being guided by their faith in political matters is in a very real sense an attack against America and by extension the West. The Left, particularly its radical flank, doesn’t really like America and its values and has been seeking to undermine it at every turn, especially on the cultural issues.

And if Reiner is pointing out the one fringe group covering itself with Christianity to justify extreme nationalism, how about the other extreme of Christian Statism wherein leftists have co-opted Christianity and the secular humanism of this age? That religious syncretism is a veneer of religious piety to cover the political and alternative morality. Christian Statists have much more political power and sway.

It’s also troubling to see well-known Christians David French, Phil Vischer (of “Veggie Tales” fame), and others put their names and reputations to this project. Particularly when it is likely espousing values that are not from a Christian worldview. Did these Christians understand what they were doing when they agreed to take part in this documentary?

Not the Bee writer Peter Heck points out that perhaps these Christians were unaware of what perspective they were undergirding:

Prominent Christian commentators like Skye Jehtani and Phil Vischer of the Holy Post podcast, David French of The New York Times, Russell Moore, and a handful of other professing Christians all agreed to sit for interviews and participate in the making of this film. Facing backlash, both Vischer and author Kristin DuMez have claimed they didn’t know an atheist radical was the one masterminding the project. Though evidence has now surfaced that Reiner was attached to the making and financing prior to their involvement, I’m willing to believe their claim of innocent ignorance.

The last question that should be considered is this: What is Reiner’s intended takeaway for audiences? Is it to intimidate Christians and further push them to the edges of society? Or is it to force them into the heretical perspective of religious syncretism in order to be more liked by the Left?

When considering that Reiner is both an atheist and a left-wing activist, the latter is more likely. In a recent episode of Allie Beth Stuckey’s “Relatable” podcast, she interviewed John Cooper from the band Skillet. Cooper had this insight: “The movement to destroy America, to destroy western civilization, at it’s root is against Christianity. And what I think that some people don’t understand is they’re not against us because we believe that Jesus is God. They don’t really care if you believe that Jesus is God.” He goes on to paraphrase German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche, who was virulently against Christianity. Nietzsche instructs his acolytes to attack Christianity at its moral base. He understood that if morality itself can be undermined, then men are “free.” Hello, moral relativism and all its poisonous fruits.

This heightening attack against Christianity by those on the Left should surprise no one.

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