Hand placing a piece of pager into a clear ballot box in front of the United States flag

North Dakota poll paints picture of how GOP voters feel about Christian nationalism

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Mike Moen

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(Prairie News Service) Ahead of the 2024 election, an undercurrent of Christian nationalism is lurking.

GOP voters in North Dakota were recently polled about the dynamic between government policy and Christianity. The new poll from North Dakota News Cooperative found 71 percent of Republican voters in the state feel U.S. laws should be based on Christian values.

PROMO 64J1 Map - North Dakota State Map - iStock - dk_photos

© iStock - dk_photos

Amy Jacobson, executive director of the watchdog organization Prairie Action ND, feels some respondents are expressing their desire to have the core elements of Christianity reflected in how the government serves the public. But she worries politicians deemed extreme use the results to whip up constituents into a moral panic.

"What is sometimes happening is that universal values of love and compassion and caring for our neighbor, Christian nationalists are trying to almost own that solely," Jacobson pointed out.

While respondents embrace the values being linked with policy, a smaller majority, 54  percent, said the U.S. government should be declared a Christian nation. Political analysts link the movement's recent growth to white evangelicals and their support of former President Donald Trump. They define the ideology as being a "real" American but opponents contended it helps fuel hate.

The growing calls for Christian nationalism come despite the First Amendment saying the U.S. should have no official religion. If poll results pave the way for some sort of official action, Jacobson warned an enormous loss would be felt.

"Religious freedom, that is probably the largest (loss) because then we have a place where we're dictating our policies based on a single view of Christianity, which can be dangerous," Jacobson contended.

Meanwhile, the Center for American Progress warned Christian nationalism can be used as a tool to scale back protections for LGBTQ+ populations, women and religious minorities.