A Christian organization aired two commercials during Super Bowl 57. In response, at least one politician described the sponsors of those ads as fascists. Is there any truth to that claim? Are conservative Christians fascists? The following is not intended to be a defense or critique of He Gets Us or its advertising. Instead, this is a direct response to claims being leveled against He Gets Us with the intent to defame all morally conservative Christians.
No, Christianity is not fascist. To start with the obvious, Christianity predates fascism by 1900 years. To equate fascism with Christianity is to ignore nearly two millennia of Christian teachings which have nothing whatsoever to do with fascist ideas. Christianity and fascism do not share any important philosophical ideals. Fascism is clearly defined and well understood by students of history. A short description of fascism is that it is a militant nationalism which is often connected with racism and tyranny. A fuller explanation of the tenets of fascism can be found in any reputable encyclopedia.
Anyone who is familiar with history will know Christians are not fascists. Certainly some Christians have followed fascist regimes. The German Lutheran Church in the 19030’s and early 1940’s is one clear example of Christians and churches who promoted fascist principles. However, the German Lutheran Church during the time of Hitler is noteworthy because it is a clear example of the abandoment of Christian principles for political convenience. When the Lutheran Church in Germany began to uphold fascist ideals, it ceased to be Christian.
The upholding of conservative Christian morals is not fascism, Christian Nationalism or an attempt to turn America into a theocracy. Biblical Christianity is not racist, hateful or militaristic. All those things can be found among professing Christians and Christian groups, but not one is an integral part of Christianity. Racism and hatred of others are plainly contrary to what the New Testament teaches is basic Christian behavior. Any thoughtful reading of the New Testament will show that Christianity is utterly contrary to the ideals of fascism.
Christianity declares all people are created in the image of God (James 3:9) and all people share the same parents (Genesis 3:20). Consequently, racism is repugnant to those who practice the second great commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39) Jesus commanded Christians to show love to all people, including their enemies, to bless those who curse them and to pray for those who persecute them. (Matthew 5:44) Such a loving response to different and difficult people is not compatible with fascism. This response of Christian love also applies to those who would call Christians fascists. Christians are to love the very politicians who would slander and malign them.
Christianity teaches submission to all governing authorities, but denies that any government is the ultimate and final authority. All who are in power have been given that authority by God. (Romans 13:1) Every government and world leader stands beneath God. The Christian should always ready to “obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29) Civil disobedience must always be done with respect to the King, President, Governor or Fuhrer, but such respect in no way weakens the believers commitment to obey God no matter how earthly powers may threaten or demand total obedience. Fascism cannot co-exist with a commitment of ultimate allegiance to God alone.
Christianity is not fascist, but denies key tenets of fascism. To declare any Christian group fascist because it opposes homosexuality and abortion is ridiculous. Such a statement shows a willful misunderstanding of history and a deceitful attempt to inflame the emotions of others. This is not new. Equating Christians with fascists has been a popular response to Christians speaking about issues of abortion, homosexuality or transgenderism or to Christians expressing their desire for more Christians in state and federal leadership. Christians must answers these false claims with lives and testimonies that show the love of Christ while faithfully opposing that which the Bible declares to be evil.