Miami Herald Warns That Christian Rhetoric Could ‘Mobilize Fringe Mobs’



Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

The Miami Herald has discovered something about Republican politicians, and boy is it a problem. You may want to sit down for this one.

GOP politicians who are Christians use scripture in their speeches.

GAAAAAAAASP! Grab the fainting couch!


I know. You’re not really shocked or appalled, but this information came as news to the Miami Herald’s Ana Ceballos, particularly when it comes to Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), who Ceballos’ article says is “playing with fire.”

The reporter goes all the way back to February to cite a speech DeSantis made at Hillsdale College to make her point.

“Put on the full armor of God. Stand firm against the left’s schemes. You will face flaming arrows, but if you have the shield of faith, you will overcome them, and in Florida, we walk the line here,” DeSantis said in his speech. “And I can tell you this, I have only begun to fight.”

Now, I wince a little bit at DeSantis using “the left” where the apostle Paul talks about the devil in Ephesians 6:10-18, but I get his point. The left is engaging in a hard push for policies that violate Judeo-Christian morality in many ways, and believers need to engage many of the same weapons of spiritual warfare — prayer, faith, devotion to God’s Word — to aid in combatting these assaults.

But, as Ceballo points out, this is problematic because there’s a slim chance that an extremely small fringe of people might take the spiritual warfare talk literally.

“[DeSantis] and other Republicans on the campaign trail are blending elements of Christianity with being American and portraying their battle against their political opponents as one between good and evil,” Ceballos states. “Those dynamics have some political observers and religious leaders worrying that such rhetoric could become dangerous, as it could mobilize fringe groups who could be prone to violence in an attempt to have the government recognize their beliefs.”

This, in Ceballos’ eyes, is Christian nationalism, which, she claims, “for many conservatives has become a political identity.” The problem with that assertion is that she’s dead wrong.

Christian nationalism is a phenomenon, but it’s a minuscule movement of people who believe that the U.S. is a strictly Christian nation and that the only people who can be Americans must be a particular type of Christian. The vast majority of conservative, Bible-believing Christians don’t subscribe to this notion.

For Our VIPs: Christians Fight Spiritual Battles That the Left Doesn’t Even Want to Acknowledge

That doesn’t stop leftists from slapping the “Christian nationalist” label on Republican politicians. But Ceballos had to go 1,349 miles to find a pastor who was willing to play her game. She quotes Brian Kaylor, a pastor in Jefferson City, Mo., whose specialty is the intersection of faith and politics. A quick perusal of Kaylor’s Twitter account shows that he has major issues with politicians using scripture — when those politicians are Republicans.

“I think, at best, DeSantis is playing with fire,” Kaylor declared in the article. “If asked, I’m sure he would tell you he is not telling people to literally go and fight. But this rhetoric in this political environment is dangerous.”

Kaylor, a Baptist pastor, for crying out loud, accuses DeSantis of being exclusive of non-Christians in the piece.

“If there is any privileging of one faith’s tradition, then you don’t have true religious liberty for everyone,” he claims. “If you don’t believe in religious liberty for all, then you don’t believe in religious liberty at all.”

Ceballos also quotes Yale sociologist Philip Gorski, who wrote a totally unbiased book entitled The Flag and the Cross: White Nationalism and the Threat to American Democracy.

“The full armor of God passage is a favorite amongst certain types of Pentecostals who really do see the world in terms of spiritual warfare,” Gorski informs readers.

Another professor tells Ceballos that DeSantis is using “God talk” and “Christian nationalist talking points” to gain votes.

DeSantis fought back in the form of a statement from Press Secretary Bryan Griffin.

“The governor is a Christian and there is absolutely no issue with him sharing his values or utilizing them in his decision-making as a leader. Questions like ‘What does the governor believe about the Christian nationalism movement that has been getting more attention since Jan. 6, 2021?’ — which are indistinguishable from ridiculous leftist political talking points — are indicative of the problem of overtly biased reporting that plagues the modern media,” the statement read.

Christians know that political and cultural issues are important, worthwhile fights.

“We understand that these policy fights are, indeed, in many cases, moral issues,” said Dr. Albert Mohler of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary about Ceballos’ article. “Otherwise, we wouldn’t be concerned about them.”

Related: Are Christians Being Persecuted in America?

Two things are completely missing from Ceballos’ piece and the quotes from these scholars who don’t want to give any conservative Christians the benefit of the doubt. The first thing is that the use of scripture in political speeches has been part of the American fabric since the founding of the country. Politicians as diverse as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan have invoked the Bible and the Christian faith. Does this make them “Christian nationalists”? Did fringe mobs leap into action from these speeches and statements?

The other thing that Ceballos and her sources miss — or ignore — is that Democrats use scripture, speak in churches, and invoke Christianity all the time. Was it “Christian nationalism” when Hillary Clinton spoke in an African American church and co-opted a black dialect to say that she was “no ways tired” of fighting? Is it “playing with fire” for Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi to invoke their Catholicism, which they often do, or for Stacey Abrams to mention that she’s the daughter of pastors, which she does all the time? Is the fact that Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) is a pastor who fights for unbiblical policies an issue?

Why is it only a problem when the current crop of Christian conservatives invoke scripture? Why does Ceballos think that DeSantis is in the wrong when he talks about spiritual warfare? Why are the other politicians she mentions, including Georgia senate candidate Herschel Walker, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Michigan secretary of state candidate Kristina Karamo, all Republicans?

We all know the reason why. It’s because, in the eyes of Ceballos, everything Republicans do is a problem.