Christofascism in America

The Window of Vulnerability: A Political Spirituality

If there was any doubt before, I believe the issue is now settled. Christofascism in America is here.

What sealed it for me was something the presumptive Republican nominee said at one of his rallies recently. “If I took this shirt off, you would see a beautiful beautiful person. But you would see wounds all over. I’ve taken a lot of wounds I can tell you. More than I suspect any president ever.”

While some elements of social media focused on the potentially disturbing sight of the 45th President unclad, what was more troubling was the reference to the stigmata, the wounds that Jesus received during the crucifixion. And instead of being booed offstage as a heretic, djt was cheered.

It is a common theme: he’s running for YOU. He’s taking on the evil, secular world for YOU. THEY are after HIM, and he stands in the way of them coming after YOU.


The term Christofascist is not new. From Odyssey: “The term was first coined by Dorothee Steffensky-Sölle, a leftist Christian theologian who used this portmanteau to describe her opposition to Christian fundamentalists of the variety with which we associate the Westboro Baptist Church here in the States.

“While her ideas on God are heterodox in most theological circles, her political naming of those Christians who have wed themselves to the image of an angry, vengeful God who despises black folk, immigrants, LGBT peoples, and aspires for the United States to be His instrument on Earth is a useful distinction.”

Here’s a paragraph from her 1990 book, The Window of Vulnerability: A Political Spirituality:  “The third value in the new Christofascist civil religion is the family and, within it, the role of the woman. Being religious means keeping women in the place ordained for them by God. A patriarchal ideology of the family complements an attitude of extreme hostility toward labor unions and a rejection of all social measures.

“Reagan was a master at playing on the deep-seated anxieties of people caught up in massive technological change. He exploited their fear of inflation and of the loss of jobs and turned it toward a different point–namely, sexuality. It is not the nuclear bomb that threatens our survival; it is love between two men or two women that endangers everything we have achieved! The moral scandal of our time is not the starvation of a million children in the Third World, thanks to our masterly economic planning, but the abortion of unborn life!”

But it’s related to a rapture doctrine, which goes back to the mid-19th century by white evangelicals who opposed the Church of England.


The Economist ran a recent article entitled: Donald Trump has finally got it right about the January 6th insurrectionists. They were “warriors”—that’s the problem.”

It starts off:

Here is a thought experiment. Try to put politics and the presidential race out of your mind and give Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt about the attack on the Capitol on January 6th 2021. Accept that he believed the election was stolen and that he meant it when he told the crowd that day to march from the White House to Capitol Hill “peacefully and patriotically”. Accept that he believed none of his supporters was carrying weapons or intended violence of any sort. Accept that he has since come to conclude, as he has claimed, that Nancy Pelosi, then the speaker of the House, somehow “caused” the violence, that the police “ushered in” the crowd, that they were “a loving crowd”, indeed, “patriots” who have since become not just “victims” but even “hostages” of a weaponised system of justice.

Then ask yourself this: after embracing all of those assumptions and assertions, why would you celebrate the rioters as “warriors”, as Mr. Trump did during a rally earlier this month?

I surmise it’s because they see themselves as warriors for Christianity. And by “Christianity,” I don’t mean feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and turning the other cheek. Those are liberal talking points!

No, they mean REAL Christians, who ban books, threaten women’s health care, create anti-LGBT legislation, and do so with a Christofascist flair. With the Speaker of the House and much of the Supreme Court on board, not to mention dozens of governors, state legislatures, and local officials on board, those damn liberal Christians – of which I count myself as one – seem to be threatening.

What type of Christian

I receive emails from Mike Huckabee, plugging the My Faith Votes agenda. He writes, “Christians in America are ready to step up and stand strong for biblical values in a world that wants to shut Christians out of the public square. I don’t necessarily disagree. But I believe it’s the Christofascists who are sucking up a lot of the oxygen.

The Biblical values I would embrace are tied to Matthew 25.

“When we welcome others, we welcome Christ; when we bring together people who are divided, we are doing God’s reconciling work. We are called to serve Jesus by contributing to the well-being of the most vulnerable in all societies – rural and urban, small and large, young and not-so-young. From affordable housing to community gardens to equitable educational and employment opportunities to healing from addiction and mental illness to enacting policy change – there is not just one way to be a part of the Matthew 25 movement.

“Make no mistake, Jesus is calling us to perform ordinary acts of compassion in daily life. In so doing, we continue Christ’s work of proclaiming release to captives and good news to the poor — the good news of God’s righteousness, justice, and peace for all.”


Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

2 thoughts on “Christofascism in America”

  1. As a lifelong Christian (mainstream/progressive), it makes me SO SAD to see some people co-opt the name and trappings of the faith. I’ve opined at times that I need to start calling myself something different – I don’t know what – to avoid being lumped in with a group that many of my friends hate.

    I wonder if this will be what kills Christianity as anything but a few oddball fringe people? Already most of the people I know are “nones”

    (And I HATE it to see people online rejoicing over “the death of Christianity”)

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