In this study, I conducted ethnographic participant observations and semi-structured interviews at two evangelical congregations in central Florida, Free Baptist Church (FBC) and Cornerstone Church (CC), to explore how Christian nationalist ideas (CN) are negotiated, embraced, and/or rejected in church messaging and among congregants. I collected notes from eight sermons at each church and interviewed a total of 14 congregants regarding their concerns and lived experiences as Christians in the U.S. and their opinions on racial injustice. Expanding on previous research on CN, I incorporated Critical Race Theory (CRT) as an analytical framework to understand CN as inextricably connected to White evangelicalism, White supremacy, settler colonialism, and other systems of oppression. According to my findings, both FBC and CC operated as White heteropatriarchal institutional spaces being led exclusively by White men and adhering to complementarian doctrine which favors male headship, heteronormative marriage, and the subjugation of women and children to men's authority. The messaging in Sunday sermons at FBC and CC also contributed to the fostering of White, heteropatriarchal hegemonic ideals among congregants. Main themes included topics like boundary-making, the spiritual warfare, transcendence of social problems through a future global Christian Kingdom, "law and order" based on Christian principles, support for border control, and opposition to reproductive rights, affirmation of LGBTQ+ people, and racial justice initiatives such as Black Lives Matter and CRT (particularly among White participants). Ultimately, such messaging contributed to CN views among the majority of congregants I interviewed. This study is significant as it applies a CRT lens to provide a foundation for future research on CN that will extend beyond understanding CN as a distinct cultural framework and point scholars back to the White, heteropatriarchal social structure that sustains it.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Rivera Ramos, Marina I., "Christian Nationalism Among Evangelical Christians Through a Critical Race Theory Lens" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1645.