Christian Nationalists Are Enamored With Putin

Christian Nationalists Are Enamored With Putin

Cody Mello-Klein for Northeastern Global News reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin has found support in an unlikely place: the U.S., writing that Christian nationalists have flocked to the country’s autocratic leader. Using data from PRRI and other sources, Northeastern Professor Sarah Riccardi-Swartz, and her colleagues find that individuals who indicate that America was or still is a Christian nation tend to score higher on favorability of Putin than others. “Even if Christian nationalists are ambivalent to Russia as a geopolitical construct or if they view it as a threat, they are still favorable towards Putin as a political figure,” Riccardi-Swartz says. “This seems to suggest that Americans who subscribe to Christian nationalist ideology are attracted to Putin as a strong man and ethno-nationalist leader just as they were with Trump.”

“Who Is ‘Electable’ — And Who Gets To Decide?

David Lauter for The LA Times reports that electability is a key concern to presidential voters: the belief that Biden was the most electable candidate was key to his win in 2020, and some Republicans are currently seeking to undermine Trump’s chances of getting a rematch, pointing to his potential lack of electability in 2024. PRRI’s research director, Natalie Jackson, Ph.D., stated that “[T]he factionalism within the Republican Party has also been far more disruptive than among Democrats in recent years.” After Biden won the South Carolina primary in 2020, three of his rivals dropped out, which allowed him to rapidly consolidate support. Jackson noted that this process is more challenging for GOP party elites, who may alienate base voters if they promote alternatives to Trump. PRRI’s 2022 American Values Survey shows that just less than half of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (47%) say Trump should be the nominee, while a slim majority say they would prefer someone else (52%).

A Duggar Revisits Her Religious Upbringing

Ruth Graham for The New York Times reports that Jinger Duggar Vuolo, who was one of 19 children on the popular reality show about the Duggar family in Arkansas, is now a 29-year-old married mother of two who has amassed a large following by denouncing her very strict religious upbringing and instead promoting a vision of Christianity that she says is defined by grace and not rules. Duggar’s declaration of independence, Graham writes, is being closely watched as a high-profile example of re-examining one’s own religious upbringing, a process that is widely known as deconstruction. Brian McLaren, a former pastor who helped popularize the term in evangelical circles in the early 2000s, stated that the exercise of deconstruction has taken off in part as wide-ranging discussions about gender, politics, sex and power in evangelical life have prompted many young Christians to ask big questions about the culture in which they were raised. Vuolo refers to her own journey as “disentangling” instead, in which she has separated “the truth of Christianity from the unhealthy version I heard growing up,” describing it as harmful.

New Museum on American Women’s History Is About More Than Documenting ‘The Firsts’

Jennifer Gerson for The 19th News reports that in December 2020, Congress passed legislation enabling the creation of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum (SAWHM) to advance the understanding of women’s contributions throughout American history. Gerson underscores that in art museums across the United States, only 13% of the artists represented in collections are women. Additionally, in K-12 social studies curricula, only 178 women are individually named in state education standards nationwide, and of these, only 15 of these women appear more than 10 times across states. Further, 63% of the women named in school state standards for social studies are white. A recent poll conducted by SAWHM found that 73% of Americans said they would be very likely to visit a museum focused on American women’s history, with 83% of dads and 80% of moms that said this was a kind of museum they would want to visit with their children. PRRI research finds that in 2021, 57% of Americans think there is a lot of discrimination against women.

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