Josh Hawley Faces Backlash After Declaring Support for “Christian Nationalism”

 Josh Hawley Faces Backlash After Declaring Support for “Christian Nationalism”

Photo: Mark Schiefelbein

Republican Senator Josh Hawley found himself at the center of controversy and ridicule from his own constituents after openly advocating for “Christian nationalism” at a gala on Monday night. Speaking at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington D.C., Hawley declared, “Some will say I’m calling America a Christian nation, and so I am. Some will say I’m advocating Christian nationalism. And so I do.”

Christian nationalism, which has been labeled the “single biggest threat” to religious freedom in the U.S. due to its condemnation of the LGBTQ community and links to neo-Nazis, quickly drew ire from Hawley’s Missouri constituents. On Tuesday morning, a state Reddit group shared his statement with the question, “What do you call Josh Hawley?”

The responses were swift and scathing, with over 400 comments in just a few hours. “I met him at an industry event right after he was elected the first time,” wrote AnxiousLeisureSuit. “He told us he believed in our cause and would fight to support us, then voted against our bill just a few weeks later. Also, I shook his hand and it felt like a cold, raw chicken breast.”

Another user, This-Dragonfruit-810, added, “The man says whatever people in front of him want to hear and then does the opposite when voting in the Senate. I’m genuinely shocked more people aren’t outraged at the BS he’s pulled.” Insults directed at Hawley included “Christofascist traitor,” “Virginian con artist,” and “sycophantic fascist coward.”

One user, SlothfulKoala, remarked, “Christian Nationalist is Nazi terminology. So I’ll go with Nazi.” A self-identified conservative also condemned Hawley’s comments, writing, “I am conservative, but I also understand that one of the main principles that the US was founded on is the freedom of religion. In fact, forcing religious beliefs onto people is what the people on the Mayflower were escaping when they came here.”

This isn’t the first time Hawley has sparked outrage. In 2020, it was revealed that he was registered to vote at his sister’s Missouri address while owning a $1.3 million house in northern Virginia, where he may have lived full-time. Hawley’s remarks on Christian nationalism also drew national criticism. New Republic writer Hafiz Rashid called his comment “terrifying,” while Yale Review editor James Surowiecki described it as “historically inaccurate and ethically repulsive.”

“Hawley claiming that rationalist deists like Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison were ‘Christian nationalists’ is an embarrassing attempt to rewrite American history to suit his revanchist, ideological zealotry,” Surowiecki added. “Hawley should read Washington’s letter to the Jewish community of Newport, which says that religious freedom in the US is not a matter of Christians indulging non-Christians, but rather an assertion that the only thing required to be an American is that people be ‘good citizens.'”

With reelection looming in November, Hawley faces a strong challenge from Democrat Lucas Kunce, a Marine veteran. His recent remarks have only intensified the scrutiny and debate surrounding his political future.

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