Why some Christians don’t believe in gun control: They think God handed down the Second Amendment

Why some Christians don’t believe in gun control: They think God handed down the Second Amendment

(Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post) We’re now at a point when Americans are killed or injured in a mass shooting almost every month ; by some definitions, almost every day . Despite this, resistance to gun control in the United States remains fierce. As researchers of religion, we know the power of religious identities and beliefs. And so we wondered: How does Christian nationalism influence Americans’ attitudes toward gun control? In our newly published and freely available study, the connection between Christian nationalism and gun control attitudes proves stronger than we expected. It turns out that how intensely someone adheres to Christian nationalism is one of the strongest predictors of whether someone supports gun control. One’s political party, religiosity, gender, education or age doesn’t matter. You could be a mainline Protestant Democratic woman or a highly educated politically liberal man — the more you line up with Christian nationalism, the less likely you are to support gun control. But what is Christian nationalism? Christian nationalism is an ideology that argues for an inseparable bond between Christianity and American civil society. It goes beyond merely acknowledging some sincere religious commitments of the Founding Fathers. [ Singing the national anthem in church? Some Christians are debating the mix of God and country. ] Rather, Americans who subscribe to Christian nationalism believe that America has always been ― and should always be ― distinctively Christian in its national identity, sacred symbols and public policies. What’s more, for adherents to this ideology, America’s historic […]

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