While some religious-right politicians, preachers, and pundits are embracing the term “Christian nationalism,” former Rep. Michele Bachmann told a group of pro-Trump prayer warriors earlier this month that they should reject the term.
On Nov. 4, Bachmann appeared on a monthly prayer call hosted by Intercessors for America, a group that was closely aligned with the Trump White House and promotes MAGA ideology and conspiracy theories. Bachmann and IFA’s Dave Kubal prayed for God’s intervention in the midterm elections and urged conservative Christians to help elect like-minded candidates.
Christian nationalism is a political ideology that has received increasing public attention in recent years, especially after the role it played in the Jan. 6 insurrection. Scholars have documented that Americans who hold strongly Christian nationalist views are also more likely to support authoritarianism and to believe that violence may be justified in the pursuit of political goals.
Bachmann called the use of the term “Christian nationalism” a “national smear campaign against believing Christians” that she said is designed to intimidate pastors and suppress voter turnout among conservative Christians. In reality, the increasingly aggressive Christian nationalism of the religious right has sparked significant criticism and resistance from many other Christians.
Bachmann called in during a break from a conference she was attending at the Museum of the Bible. She said a friend of hers had taken the opportunity to visit the Holocaust Museum during her visit to Washington, D.C., and said that Christians in the U.S. are being smeared and scapegoated like Jews were during the rise of the Nazis in Germany during the 1930s. Bachmann urged people not to call themselves Christian nationalists because, she claimed, the term was made up to make people think of Nazis. “This is a made-up lie,” she said. “It’s what Satan does.” Bachmann urged IFA’s prayer warriors to be courageous and prayed that God would “give your people a backbone.”
Bachmann has continued to repeat claims, long after they have been utterly debunked, that the Jan. 6 insurrection was a false flag planned by Trump’s opponents to make him look bad. She repeated that charge again on the IFA call, suggesting that because Trump was so popular, the left had to “rebrand” him as an insurrectionist and terrorist.
Bachmann also made a pitch for listeners on the call to support her day job, which is dean of the school of government at Pat Robertson’s Regent University. She said it’s almost impossible for Regent to find and hire academics who can teach all the disciplines with a “biblical worldview,” so she is trying to start a PhD program at Regent so they can grow their own.