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White Christian Nationalism is the current threat to transgender people and the USA. There. I said it. Yes, this is going to be political. The stakes are too high for otherwise.

What is it?

Whitehead and Perry (2020) define Christian nationalism as “a cultural framework—a collection of myths, traditions, symbols, narratives, and value systems—that idealizes and advocates a fusion of Christianity with American civic life” (p. 10)


Here’s an easier definition.

“Recent work suggests that White Christian nationalism coalesces around several core assumptions:

(a) that the United States was founded as a Christian nation and is divinely chosen and blessed by God;

(b) that a rigid and clearly defined societal hierarchy should be maintained under the dominion of this Christian God (e.g., males above females, adults over children, Whites over other racial/ethnic groups);

(c) that preserving God-given freedom is of paramount importance, but only for the White Christian men atop the hierarchy; and

(d) that for all others, authoritarian and, at times, violent forms of control and governance (rather than deliberative democracy) are needed to maintain proper, God-given order in families, communities, the nation, and the world.” (Burke et al, 2023, p. 286.)

Any of this sound familiar? It should.

My journey to the topic of White Christian Nationalism (WCN) started from “who is coordinating all of these almost identical anti-transgender bills?” This led me to two groups ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) and the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation (CPC), otherwise known as Project Blitz. Both create template bills which are sent out to GOP legislators in the states, where they are modified to fit the laws of each state. The Family Research Council (FRC), the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), and Heritage foundation also funds these efforts.

Project Blitz has changed its name a few times, but it’s still part of the CPC, which means its federal level.

After Roe was overturned (see ALEC and FRC above), the various “Family” and “freedom” groups (especially the Heritage Foundation) needed a new “boogeyman” for their followers to attack, and from which to raise donations. After casting about a bit, they settled on transgender women- a small group with “ick factor” (Barney Frank said that) that wouldn’t have the resources to fight back. Anti- trans bills skyrocketed from 143 in 2021 (18 passed) to 600 (87 passed) in 2023. In 2024, there have already been 539 bills (20 passed) and we’re only 1/3 through the year. (https://translegislation.com/)

So, ALEC, ADF, CPC, FRC, and the Heritage foundation- all but ALEC have “fundamentalist Christian” roots. All of them aid and fund Project 2025. The purpose of Project 2025 “is a collection of policy proposals to reshape the executive branch of the U.S. federal government in the event of a Republican victory in the 2024 U.S. presidential election. Established in 2022, the project seeks to recruit tens of thousands of conservatives to Washington, D.C., to replace existing federal civil service workers which Republicans characterize as the “deep state”, to further the objectives of the next Republican president.  Although the project cannot promote a specific presidential candidate, many contributors have close ties to Donald Trump and the Trump 2024 presidential campaign.  The plan would perform a swift restructuring of the executive branch under a maximalist version of the unitary executive theory — a theory proposing the president of the United States has absolute power over the executive branch — upon inauguration.” (Wikipedia

In short, they’ll eliminate checks and balances to allow the president to do whatever he pleases, which will coincidentally be what the WCN wants him to do. The Heritage Foundation announced Project 2025 the day Roe was overturned.

Project 2025 has made no secret of itself- Google it and you’ll find so many references. They produced a Mandate for Leadership, which is on their website. Summaries are easily found online. It’s the usual WCN shopping list which includes the elimination of the department of education and the elimination of LGBTQ rights- including the “eradication” of “transgenderism” (Michael Knowls, CPAC, March 2023). They have an easily accessed website as well.

In addition to all of this, for my work at the Center, I’ve been researching the last major conservative transgender purge, which occurred in Weimar Germany in May of 1933 (I wrote about this previously). On May 10, after months of Nazi “othering” and brutalization, Nazis looted the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft (‘Institute of Sexual Research’), which had opened in 1919 under Magnus Hirschfeld. It was the world’s first known institute studying LGBT, especially transgender, issues medically. They destroyed everything and took all the research and library and burned it publicly (the famous pictures of Nazi book burnings are of this incident.) Soon after, known LGBT people (especially transgender as they were ‘visible’) were jailed and eventually sent to concentration camps, some of which they were forced to build so they would be ready for “the final solution” when fully enacted. An interesting discussion appears here:  Cambridge University Press.

I fear this will lead to the same horrible conclusion as in 1930s Germany. . . unless enough people are informed, educated and ACT, especially by voting.

This leads me to a question. The WCN has a well oiled 40 year old propaganda network, well placed officials, active recruitment on college campuses with organizations such as Turning Point USA, Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) (both here at PSU) and many others. They also have groups of militias and foot soldiers such as the Proud Boys ready to go- and they are ALL armed with guns. How do we fight them?

As this isn’t a paper, I haven’t cited everything here (for brevity), but citations are available upon request.  There are other articles on this topic here at TGF. I recommend you find them and read them. Like THIS and THIS.

Selected Sources:

Burke, K. J., Juzwik, M., & Prins, E. (2023). White Christian nationalism: What is it, and why does it matter for educational research?. Educational Researcher52(5), 286-295.

Whitehead A. L., Perry S. L. (2020). Taking America back for God: Christian nationalism in the United States. Oxford University Press.

Christians Against Christian Nationalism.

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Category: Transgender Opinion, Transgender Politics


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