Episode

7/8 Extremist White Christian Nationalists Prepare For War; & Biden Digs In? w/ Brad Onishi

July 8, 2024

Happy Monday! Sam and Emma speak with Brad Onishi, writer, co-host of the Straight White American Jesus podcast, and founder of Axis Mundi Media, to discuss his recent book Preparing for War: The Extremist History of White Christian Nationalism – And What Comes Next. First, Sam and Emma run through updates on Biden’s tight grasp on his candidacy, major defeats for the right wing in the UK and France, Iran’s presidential election, the Lancet report on Gaza’s 180k+ death toll, ceasefire negotiations, Project 2025, anti-administrative attacks on trans care, Boeing’s plea deal, and the passing of Jane McAlevey, before diving a little deeper into the ongoing conversation about the future of Biden’s candidacy. Brad Onishi then joins, diving right into the pivotal moment of the 1960s-70s social and electoral movements – from Civil Rights to the ERA – that brought the aggrievement of the “religious right” in the US back to the fore, and saw the return of a true Christian Nationalist movement in US politics. Stepping back, Onishi looks at his roots in the birthplace of this US Conservative Christian movement – Orange County, California – and the major role this county played in offering an escape for southern and midwestern “implants” from “urban diversity” (Black people), as myriad conservative-driven industries boomed in post-WWII SoCal. Expanding on this era’s particular distillation of Christian Nationalism, Brad walks Sam and Emma through the proliferation of America-first rhetoric in the burgeoning Mega Church and Evangelical communities, with hyper-Americanism and theocratic rule fusing in a cogenerative movement to reclaim the country from “fake” Americans that could not be trusted with socio-political power, a perspective deeply ingrained in the modern day conservative movement. After expanding on the contemporary manifestation of this movement’s proliferation (Donald Trump, Jan 6th, the overturn of Roe v. Wade, etc), Onishi wraps up by expanding on his connection to this movement, what we can learn from much of his community’s escape-from-evangelism, how to organize the left against this threat, and the role traditional catholicism plays as a guiding force for this movement.

And in the Fun Half: Emma and Sam watch NC Gubernatorial Candidate Mark Robinson speak in front of the cross about the innate American desire to kill some folks, parse through the unsurprising yet wildly devastating Lancet report on the drastic undercount of deaths in Gaza, and unpack Hamas’ acquiescence to a temporary ceasefire. They also expand on the conversation about Biden’s future, including CNN’s recent report on Biden’s underperforming polling, and where it leaves other electoral races, before watching Dave Rubin build up his expectations for the conservative contagion’s performance in Europe before it all comes crashing down in front of him, plus, your calls and IMs!

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