Christian Groups Demand Apology for Politico Reporter’s Viral ‘Christian Nationalist’ Comments

Heidi Przybyla
William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Leading Christian organizations sent a letter to left-leaning Politico on Wednesday, demanding an apology after one of the outlet’s top reporters painted those who believe their rights come from God as “extremists” and “Christian nationalists.”

Politico investigative reporter Heidi Przybyla said on February 23 on MSNBC’s All In that Christian nationalists, not Christians, believe rights come from God, in what appears to be part of a continued crusade from the left to paint Christian values as a “threat to democracy.

Przybyla said:

The base of the Republican Party has shifted. Remember when Trump ran in 2016? A lot of the mainland Evangelicals wanted nothing to do with the divorced real estate mogul who cheated on his wife with a porn star and all of that. So what happened was he was surrounded by this more extremist element. We are going to hear words like “Christian nationalism,” like “the new apostolic reformation.” These are groups that you should get very schooled on because they have a lot of power in Trump’s circle, and the one thing that unites all of them, because there’s many different groups orbiting Trump, but the thing that unites them as Christian nationalists — not Christians, by the way, because Christian nationalist is very different — is that they believe that our rights, as Americans, as all human beings, don’t come from any earthly authority. They don’t come from Congress. They don’t come from the Supreme Court. They come from God.

The problem with that is that they are determining — man, it is men — are determining what God is telling them. And in the past, that so-called natural law is, you know, it’s a pillar of Catholicism, for instance, it’s been used for good in social justice campaigns. Martin Luther King evoked it in talking about civil rights.

But now, you have an extremist element of conservative Christians who say that this applies specifically to issues including abortion, gay marriage, and it’s going much further than that, as you see, for instance, with the ruling in Alabama this week that judges connected to that Dominionist faction in talking about a lot of other issues, including surrogacy, IVF, you know, sex education in schools. There’s a lot in addition.

WATCH — Politico’s Przybyla: Christian Nationalists, Not Christians, Believe Rights Come from God

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and Catholic Vote President Brian Burch slammed Przybyla’s comments in their letter to Politico, calling them “deeply disturbing” and accusing her of demonstrating a “disqualifying lack of knowledge of the United States of America’s founding documents and a profoundly prejudicial view toward American religious groups.”

The letter was addressed to Politico Editor-in-Chief John Harris, Politico CEO Goli Sheikholeslami, and its parent company, Axel Springer.

It stated:

As a National Investigative Correspondent for Politico, Ms. Przybyla is charged with reporting accurately on American government, politics, and law. It is deeply disturbing, therefore, that she appeared unaware of the opening of the Declaration of Independence or to its references of “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”

Equally concerning is Ms. Przybyla’s smearing of the Christian faith reflected in her comments. Her statements constituted an attempt to spread misinformation about Christians by creating the perception that they hold unique beliefs that pose a distinct and, in her words “extremist,” threat to our country.

“Setting aside the inaccuracy of her commentary, she was manifestly trying to demonize the Christian community and sow fear through propaganda,” it added.

Burch and Perkins argued that Przybyla’s statements” are representative of a consistent pattern of singling out Christian organizations and individuals” and linked to an article she recently wrote about activists’ efforts to publicly fund a Christian school in Oklahoma:

Comments like Ms. Przybyla’s can and often do have life and death consequences for faith communities. In 2023, American places of worship experienced more than double the amount of violence than the year prior, according to a recent report on hostility against U.S. churches.

“Rhetoric like Ms. Przybyla’s, which demonizes religious groups, is profoundly dangerous. It can motivate disturbed individuals who may be predisposed to commit violence against faith communities,” they argued:

We the undersigned believe that Ms. Przybyla’s comments reflect a pervasive bias that not only prevents her from accurately and fairly covering issues related to religion and religious communities, but Politico’s silence suggests it condones these attacks on people of faith. Ms. Przybyla owes people of faith an apology, as does her employer. Politico must confirm that such offensive comments have no place within its organization.

In response to critics on X, Przybyla claimed her comments had been taken out of context.

“That is NOT what I said & you know it. Why don’t you play the full clip?” Przybyla said in reaction to a viral post of her comments. “I said men are making their own policy interpretation of natural law. MLK did so w social justice. You’re welcome to as well but you don’t speak for all Christians & certainly not for God.”

“While there are different wings of Christian Nationalism, they are bound by their belief that our rights come from God,” she later added:

If you are Hindu, Jewish etc, this might help you understand the next part of my point, which is they are using this for a man-made policy agenda… which distinguishes this from other Christians who leave these God-given rights at our inherent right to “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” — vs banning abortion, contraception etc.

Politico did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her on X @thekat_hamilton.


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