(RNS) — When supporters of former President Donald Trump rallied close to the White Home on Jan. 6 2021, a boisterous pocket of younger males waving “America First” flags broke right into a chant: “Christ is King!”
It was one of many first indications that Christian nationalism can be a theme of the Capitol assault later that day, the place insurrectionists prayed and waved banners that learn “Proud American Christian.”
The mantra additionally introduced the presence of followers of Nick Fuentes, the 24-year-old white supremacist and Christian nationalist chief who dined Tuesday night (Nov. 22) with Trump and the rapper Ye, also called Kanye West, at Mar- a- Lago, Trump’;s house and resort in Florida.
Fuentes’ look at Trump’s desk has introduced criticism for the previous president, who had solely per week earlier than formally launched a brand new marketing campaign for the White Home. The dinner apparently prompted embarrassment within the Trump camp: Hours after reportedly saying that Fuentes “will get me,” Trump now claims he didn’t know who Fuentes was.
Fuentes’ notoriety has been rising because the then-18 12 months previous Boston College scholar attended the 2017 Unite the Proper rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the place neo-Nazis and different white supremacists marched to protest the removing of Accomplice statues from the town’s public areas. On the time, Trump mentioned there have been “good folks on either side” of the clashes that adopted, by which a counter-protestor was killed.
Fuentes claimed that he had acquired loss of life threats on his return to Boston, and he left school to start a media profession because the host of “America First with Nicholas J. Fuentes,” a livestreamed TV present that always echoed Trump’s anti-immigrant fulminations.
However whereas Trump sees the “America First” motion largely by way of defending U.S. commerce and guarding the nation’s borders, Fuentes explicitly requires the preservation of European American energy. A Catholic, Fuentes has celebrated the thought of “Catholic Taliban rule,” and in March of 2021, advised an viewers at his America First convention that america, which he referred to as “a Christian nation,” will stop to be America “if it loses its white demographic core and if it loses its religion in Jesus Christ.”
Fuentes has additionally denied the Holocaust on his America First livestream, and has mentioned that, as non-Christians, Jews haven’t any place in Western Civilization. West, who not too long ago misplaced a licensing contract with Adidas after he issued an antisemitic tweet, was mentioned to have introduced Fuentes alongside to Mar-a-Lago as a advisor to his personal as-yet-unannounced. White Home bid.
Although Fuentes was subpoenaed by the Home committee investigating the Capitol assault, and an individual carrying an American First flag was noticed in the Senate chamber throughout the revolt, there isn’t any proof Fuentes entered the Capitol himself on Jan. 6. However Fuentes’ channeling of non secular fervor within the title of right-wing extremism has performed no small half in conserving Christian nationalist ideology alive within the aftermath of the revolt.
All through the pandemic, Fuentes and his supporters, referred to as Groypers, have been one faction in a big and amorphous community of anti-vaccine protestors and anti-abortion demonstrators. At 2022’s March for Life on the nationwide mall, Fuentes’ Groypers held crucifixes aloft.
By his America First conferences, Fuentes has distinguished himself by luring institution figures, together with elected officers to his trigger. Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, the keynote speaker at Fuentes’ America First 2021 convention, tweeted “Christ is King” the identical day the congressman posted a extensively condemned animated video that depicted him killing New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Greene spoke in February at this 12 months’s convention. “My title is Marjorie Taylor Greene, I’m the daughter of the king, the one true dwelling God, the Alpha and Omega, our Father in heaven, and I’m a forgiven sinner, washed within the blood of our Savior Jesus Christ,” she mentioned in her remarks earlier than the group.
When attendees started chanting “Christ is king,” she responded, “Amen — Christ is king.”
Each Gosar and Greene have since distanced themselves from Fuentes and his group. Now it’s Trump’s flip to deflect an affiliation with Fuentes.