Straight White American Jesus

A podcast on religion and politics hosted by Daniel Miller and Bradley Onishi, ex-ministers who are now scholars of religion.

Monster in the Mirror: Ep. 1 – Christian Nationalism’s Gothic Genesis

Monster in the Mirror is a limited audio series produced by Straight White American Jesus, and created and written by Dr. Lucas Kwong.

Monster in the Mirror is a series about monsters. It’s about how the fantastical beasts who stalk the imagination of contemporary Christian nationalists were birthed in another white God fearing empire. It’s about how Christian nationalism’s past and the clues to its future line, the pages of some of the most popular novels in English.

Christian nationalism isn’t just a set of policies or a material network of influencers. It’s a story, a story that seduces the imagination, one that’s been told over and over, but that is now enjoying a renaissance. And if we wanna trace today’s reboot back to its source material, we have to go back further than the Reagan eighties or even the Billy Graham fifties.

We have to go back to another time and place where the script that MAGA religion has now revived first entered white Christian consciousness, not as an explicit political ideology, but as entertainment. That time and place is late 19th century Britain. Monster in the Mirror explores how at the height of its powers, the British Empire began to suffer nightmares, visions of an apocalyptic future, of a decline.

That in some sense, actually is happening today in our place in time. And we’re gonna see how the monsters that today’s Christian right blames for that decline originated in the stories that the late Victorians told themselves about Christianity’s enemies and protectors.

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