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24 Feb 2024
Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D.

NextImg:Leading Bishop Blasts Politico Reporter's Critique of ‘Christian Nationalists’

ROME — A prominent U.S. Catholic bishop has blasted a Politico reporter’s commentary on Christian nationalism, calling it “one of the most disturbing and frankly dangerous things I’ve ever seen in a political conversation.”

Robert Barron, bishop of the Diocese of Winona–Rochester and founder of the Catholic ministerial organization Word on Fire, took issue with reporting by Politicos national investigative correspondent, Heidi Przybyla, who claimed Christian nationalists are dangerous because they think human rights come from God rather than government.

In an appearance Thursday on MSNBC’s All In, Przybyla said that Christian nationalists “have a lot of power in Trump’s circle.”

The one thing that unites all Christian nationalists, she continued, is the belief “that our rights as Americans, as all human beings, don’t come from any earthly authority. They don’t come from Congress. They don’t come to the Supreme Court. They come from God.”

Przybyla underscored that belief in the divine origin of human rights is not shared by ordinary Christians but is a defining mark of Christian nationalism, which is “very different”:

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In response, Bishop Barron posted a video message on X (former Twitter), noting that Przybyla was deeply mistaken in attributing the belief in the divine origin of rights to Christian nationalist “weirdos.”

“First of all, it was Thomas Jefferson who made that claim,” he observed. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights.”

“It is exceptionally dangerous when we forget the principle that our rights come from God and not from the government,” the bishop insisted. “Because the basic problem is if they come from the government (or Congress, or the Supreme Court) they can be taken away by those same people.”

“This is opening the door to totalitarianism,” Barron added:

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“This is not some kind of religious nationalism or sectarianism,” the bishop continued. “It is one of sanest principles of our democratic governance: that our rights come from God. Yes, government exists to secure these rights — the Declaration says — not to produce them.”

He went on to say that going down this road is “exceptionally dangerous” because rights would lose their grounding in something transcendent and become subject to the whims of our rulers.

“In their enthusiasm to go against Christian nationalism, they’re actually going against the foundations of our democracy,” he cautioned.

This is further evidence of the left’s “extreme hostility” toward religion, he stated.

“As an American, I want to hold that my rights come not from something as vacillating and unreliable as Congress and the Supreme Court; they come from God,” he concluded.

Thomas D. Williams is Breitbart Rome Bureau Chief and author of The Coming Christian Persecution.