James Garfield is the answer to a fascinating trivia question. In addition to serving as the 20th president of the United States, he was also an ordained minister in the religious movement that would become the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). That makes him the only occupant of the Oval Office to also be a member of the clergy.
As a member of a Disciples congregation, I am proud that my denomination took this stand. For too long this subject has been minimized by many Christians who easily accept the presence of the flag on the United States in their sanctuary. Indeed, when I grew up that flag along with the Christian flag was displayed prominently near the pulpit. Every summer at Vacation Bible school the students pledged first their allegiance to the nation's flag, then the Christian flag and then the Bible. Funny we never pledged allegiance to the teachings of Jesus. We as Americans condemn other nations for comingling their religion with the government and their persecution of their citizens. However, this is exactly what the Christian nationalists are wanting. The religious wars in Europe showed the dangers of the secular government and religious authorities conspiring together. In fact those wars were one reason our country's founders wanted to avoid the injection of religion into government. In recent history we only have to look to Nazi Germany and the mingling of the church with the Nazi regime. The very existence of Christianity and the teachings of Jesus are at stake.
Thank you for sharing this article! I am a member of the Disciples of Christ clergy and proud of our denomination for passing this resolution condemning (White) Christian Nationalism!
I am also proud of our denomination for passing a resolution condemning those government bodies that have passed or proposed legislation that outlaws gender affirming care to those transgender and gender diverse. Our denomination also affirmed the transgender and gender diverse individuals.
May our denomination lead the way “to recognize and affirm the sacred dignity is all peoples as all are made in the image of God and deserving of respect and honor”
Thank you for this article and your upcoming book! I am so grateful for the DOC for leading the way and addressing the biggest issue for the church to address.
Thanks for the excellent overview of how this crucial issue (white nationalism) was addressed at General Assembly. I feel and think it was an excellent gathering!
I am so grateful for this news. I will seek a Disciples church to attend. I had been puzzled, alarmed and disillusioned. Sadly, I decided to drop church attendance. For quite a while I had been searching for answers which eventually lead to several sources of information on Christian Nationalism as well Separation of Church and State. Thank you for reporting this encouraging development.