‘Without the Bible, there is no America’: Josh Hawley goes full Christian nationalist

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‘Without the Bible, there is no America’: Josh Hawley goes full Christian nationalist
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‘Without the Bible, there is no America’: Josh Hawley goes full Christian nationalist

MIAMI — Republican politics may be about to get a lot more churchy than they already are. On Monday, the second day of the National Conservatism conference here, conference organizer Yoram Hazony, chair of the Edmund Burke Foundation, called on conservatives, repeatedly, to “repent.” This chastisement was focused in large part on what Hazony — also the author of “The Virtue of Nationalism” and the recent “Conservatism: A Rediscovery” — considers excessive squeamishness on the political right to discuss what he sees as the Christian roots of the United States.

This might come as a surprise to many Americans who have watched the increasingly overt and forceful alliance between the Republican far right and Christian nationalism. But Hazony envisions something on a broader societal level: the restoration of Christianity as the “public culture” of America, meaning that Christian values and observances are assumed to reflect the will of the majority, and while non-Christians should not face active discrimination they also should not expect to see their values reflected in the public square. Hazony himself is Jewish, but has argued for the past several years that only such a restoration of public Christianity — through things like a return to Bible instruction in public schools — can stave off the threat of “woke neo-Marxism.” Toward that end, he argued, Republicans need to be even more explicit than they already are.

“When politicians come and stand on this stage,” he asked, “do they mention the Bible? No, never.” He continued, seeming to directly reference a quote from the speech that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had delivered on the opening night of the conference: “Do they mention God? Yes, yes they do. They’ll always say the same thing: ‘Well, our rights come from God, not government.’ OK, fair enough. Can you tell me, when did God give you those rights?” There was an answer to that question, he continued: “We got these rights from God in the Bible.”

An hour later, when Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley took to the stage, he eagerly obliged, delivering a speech that might as well have been a sermon.

In 2021, when Hawley last spoke at NatCon, he drew nationwide headlines for his declaration that “the Left” sought to “unmake manhood” and create “a world beyond men,” and widespread mockery for his contention that feminist critiques of masculinity had led to a generation of young men addicted to video games and pornography.

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