A woman holds her autographed copy of the children’s book “The Plot Against the King” by former Trump administration official Kash Patel during the ReAwaken America Tour at Cornerstone Church in Batavia, N.Y., Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. The tour acts as a petri dish for Christian nationalism and pushes the idea that there’s a battle underway between good and evil forces. Those who are evil include government officials and Democrats. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Kari Lake’s defeat in Arizona marked another demise for ​Donald Trump-backed, election-denying candidates​, many of whom ​espoused Christian nationalist beliefs in this election cycle.

The downfall of these politicians — Pennsylvania’s Doug Mastriano, Maryland’s Dan Cox and Illinois’s Darren Bailey among them — promising to make Christianity the law of the land was proof enough that Democrats still have a chance to save our democracy from Christian nationalism. But the “Holy War” ​that politicians like Mastriano are waging is only just beginning. A high-profile midterm loss isn’t going to stop their well-funded and well-organized campaigns to spread Christian nationalism.

While Democrats held off a red wave during the midterms, a number of right-wing candidates still managed to win, including “proudly” out Christian nationalist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.). In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) triumphed by a landslide, flipping Miami-Dade County for the first time in 20 years. Though he hasn’t embraced Christian nationalism, the 2024 Republican presidential front-runner has flagrantly courted the movement’s followers with religious rhetoric about suiting conservatives up with “full armor of God.”

Too many politicians aren’t afraid to talk about religion. And they’re not afraid to use it as a divisive tool, bending the teachings of the Bible to justify their political ​or authoritarian agendas. Indeed, since extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol in a violent attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election and American democracy itself, Christian nationalism has gained a significant foothold in the Republican Party. …

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