Christian Nationalism and Gun Control

Rod Waddington is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

It permeates across religious divides.

A substantial number of U.S. residents lose their life due to shootings, and this happens almost every day.

As per logic, the availability of guns should be tightly controlled. On the contrary, many Americans are firmly opposed against any kind of gun control. Researchers went through 1,648 responses spread across the United States to comprehend why it is so. All respondents were questioned about their opinions on whether Washington should bring into force tougher gun laws. The questions were made to measure the intensity of Christian nationalism.

Christian nationalism is a name given to a specific ideology which promotes a permanent bond between U.S. civil society and Christianity. The ramifications go much beyond the acknowledgment of a few religious commitments mentioned by the founders of the United States of America. Those who believe in Christian nationalism hold the view that the U.S. always has and must compulsorily have a distinctive Christian character. This must permeate the nation's identity, public policies, and sacred symbols. The historical statements made concerning human liberties in the form of the First Amendment and the Second Amendment have literal, absolute, and sacred meaning.

To a Christian nationalist, the debate concerning gun control is not solely about guns. It concerns a God that provided the right to bear weapons. Any tries to restrict this right is akin to denying the basic liberties granted by the Almighty. These Christians hold the belief that attempts to fix social problems like gun control will not be effective. This is because governments cannot fix the heart of a bad person. To them, the sole method to protect the nation from the gun violence menace is to solve the so-called "moral decline" of the United States.

Researchers found that Christian nationalism is so meshed to gun control that it can be safely said that an overwhelming majority of Christian nationalists are blindly opposed to gun control. The relationship is extremely strong and is seen even if other factors are shepherded into the equation like religious identity and political ideology. It even trumps socio-demographic factors. It means Christian nationalism has spread across traditions. Conversely, people belonging to the same religious demographic but not a Christian nationalist support gun control more than their religious and Christian nationalist families and friends. This is uniform across mainline Catholics and Protestants.

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