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Back in August of 2002, almost exactly twenty years ago, I happened upon an AOL message board where people were discussing Roy Moore’s rock. Are you old enough to remember that? The large marble ten commandments monument that disgraced Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore refused to remove from the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building in defiance of a federal court order to remove it?

On that old AOL message board, people were discussing American history — or, rather, there was an argument going on over whether or not America was founded as a Christian nation, with one side posting revisionist history, most of it from David Barton, the king of Christian nationalist history revisionism, and the other side telling them that what they were posting was a pack of lies. I jumped into this argument, and having a pretty good knowledge of American history and a knack for research, was soon posting lengthy, detailed rebuttals of the lies, complete with footnotes, and, to make a long story short, after a bit of urging by some people on this message board, I began writing my first book, Liars For Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version of American History, Vol. 1, which I released in August 2006.

Meanwhile, 2,000 miles away in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a man named Mikey Weinstein, extremely disturbed by the virulent anti-Semitism that his sons were being subjected to at his alma mater the United States Air Force Academy, and further discovering that this brand of institutionalized Christian supremacy that existed at the Academy was not confined to the Academy but was present throughout the entire U.S. military, was leaving a lucrative career as a corporate executive/lawyer to go to battle against this scourge, forming the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) in 2005 to do so.

Shortly after I released Liars For Jesus in August 2006, I was asked to write on the blog Talk2Action, which I started doing in early 2007, and in May of that year, after being tipped off that there was an adaptation of a David Barton essay saying that separation of church and state was a lie in the Junior ROTC’s core curriculum American history textbook, I wrote a piece titled The Department of Defense Bringing Historical Revisionism to a High School Near You. That piece caught the attention of a supporter of Mikey Weinstein and MRFF, who introduced me to Mikey, and I’ve been working for MRFF ever since.

Also during this time period, I found Michelle Goldberg’s excellent book Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, which had come out in May 2006. “Christian Nationalism!” That’s what this was, I thought as I immediately regretted using the outdated term “Religious Right” in the title of my book. These people wanted a Christian nation. They were Christian nationalists!

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And what MRFF was fighting was also Christian nationalism, but when we began using that term it was met with derision not only from our enemies but to a lesser degree from some of our supporters. Our detractors, of course, would accuse us of being hyperbolic and making up this threat we were warning of. They didn’t want a Christian nation. They weren’t trying to turn our country into a theocracy. But even some supporters said we are exaggerating. Our country couldn’t be transformed into a theocracy. We have a Constitution! We have a separation of church and state!

Well, fast forward fifteen years. “Christian nationalism” is becoming a household phrase, thanks to a recent wave of mainstream reporting in which the term has been used. It seems as if Jan 6, with its Christian nationalistic crosses and Jesus banners on display for all to see, was what it took for the media and much of America to wake up and see how truly sinister and alarming this many-decades-old Christian nationalism movement really is. An excellent article comes from The Week,What did Christian nationalism have to do with Jan. 6?” CNN’s July 24 article “An ‘imposter Christianity’ is threatening American democracy” reports on the “burgeoning White Christian nationalist movement,” as if this were a new movement that is just now starting to “burgeon.”

By now most people have seen Marjorie Taylor Greene’s unabashed embracing of the term, proclaiming in a recent interview that the Republican Party should be Christian nationalists.

Is Greene just some deranged outlier in today’s GOP? Well, deranged maybe, but certainly not an outlier when it comes to Christian nationalism, as this opinion piece on notes.

I’m glad to see so many in the media waking up and calling Christian nationalists what they are, but there is a part of me that is very angry and just wants to scream “WE TOLD YOU SO!”