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Episcopal bishop decries Christian nationalism

By Jack Jenkins

Religion News Service

A broad constellation of activists, elected officials and citizens is pushing back against far-right politics in Idaho and surrounding states, including Episcopal Bishop Gretchen Rehberg, whose Diocese of Spokane stretches from eastern Washington state across North Idaho and into western Montana, reports Religion News Service.

Recalling her childhood in Moscow, Idaho, Rehberg told RNS she remembers locals speaking out as extremists — particularly white nationalists — attempted to establish enclaves in the past.

But recent years have seen a renewed influx of Christian nationalism to the area, particularly among some fleeing liberal politics in California and other blue states. The latest groundswell has unsettled Rehberg, in part because she sees modern Christian nationalism as overlapping with older forms of white nationalism.

“I’ve been very concerned at what I see as the very deliberate, intentional recruitment of folks into North Idaho that support a white nationalism, Christian nationalism viewpoint,” she said. 

Things came to a head last September, when news broke that the ReAwaken America tour, a traveling roadshow featuring self-declared Christian nationalists and prominent members of former President Donald Trump’s inner circle, was planning an event in Post Falls. As the date neared, Rehberg published a scathing editorial in a local newspaper, RNS reports..

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