A recent New York Times article
about the rise of Christian Nationalism in Montana discusses some of our Republican legislators and their supporters. To help combat this, The Montana Democrats are having historian Bruce Gourley do an informational session about the history of Christian Nationalism and the current situation in Montana. More information on Bruce and the session are below!
Bruce T. Gourley (PhD) is a historian of American history who lives near Bozeman and is the author of nine books and many journal articles. He teaches in Montana State University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, is a public speaker, and frequently presents at conferences. In recent years much of his lecturing and speaking has focused on Christian nationalism. Several of his books address Christian nationalism in part. His latest book is a history of Yellowstone National Park, and he is currently working on a book about Christian nationalism, as well as a book surveying American presidents and religion. When he is not otherwise busy, he tends to be out hiking somewhere – often in Yellowstone’s backcountry, or that of some other national park – with his camera. His personal website is brucegourley.com
Christian nationalism is a centuries-long extremist ideology that is rooted in white privilege and dominance, opposed to human equality and inclusive democracy, and prone to violence. America’s colonial theocracies, the Confederate States of America, the KKK, lynchings of Blacks and other minorities, a 1930s-era American Nazi movement, and white opposition to Civil Rights in the 1950s and 1960s are all historical examples of Christian nationalism. In its contemporary expression, adherents believe (falsely) that America was founded as a (white) Christian nation, and many believe violence is warranted to overthrow secular, pluralistic American democracy and install an authoritarian, theocracy-oriented government: the January 6 domestic terrorist insurrection was an attempt to do just that, and insurrectionist fervor yet remains. In our 2-hour Zoom session we will discuss the history and ideology of Christian nationalism and learn how to see and respond to this existential threat that is embedded within our communities and our state, including in our far-right tilted Montana Legislature.