Calling All Rebels

Are you ready?

From the Scientific Revolution to the Age of Enlightenment and into the Modern Era, the scientific method gave humanity a common framework with which to distinguish fact from fiction. It allowed us to characterize the physical laws that describe our natural world, rather than attributing supernatural explanations to things we cannot understand. It allowed us to embrace uncertainty, rather than deny it because we fear the unknown.

But as we know all too well, the empire always strikes back. For every scientific and social development that threatens the Church’s narrative, there is a corresponding backlash, typically wrought with a severity and vindictiveness meant to dissuade any future thoughts of defiance.

It is time to hold organized religion accountable for more than a thousand years of oppression.

The rebellion begins as soon as we acknowledge that faith is not fact. But for it to take hold, our younger generations must vote en masse to ensure that those four words are enshrined and upheld at every level of government and within any institution receiving government funding. The rebellion must continue until all our laws and public policies are based on logic and reason and not supernatural speculation.

As will become clear, scientific rebellion is not a campaign against religious beliefs or believers. To the contrary, those who identify as religious or spiritual are as essential to this rebellion as those who see themselves as agnostic, atheist, or humanist.

The tie that binds us together as rebels is critical thinking. For this reason, I advocate for all organized religions to display a statement, similar to a Surgeon General’s Warning:

“While we believe our doctrine to be divinely inspired, we acknowledge these beliefs to be personal and subjective. It is called faith for a reason. Faith is not fact, and our doctrine must never be considered objectively true nor used to condemn or oppress others.”

If every inclusive church that values social justice were to confidently post this statement, I believe they would be the vanguard in the rebellion and their membership numbers may actually improve.

Embracing faith is not fact does not diminish an individual’s religious freedom; it preserves it by ensuring that no religion or supernatural claim can be used to dehumanize and oppress others.

It does not claim that any religion is false, for we can no more prove the non-existence of an undefinable deity than we can prove its existence.

It does not stop anyone from worshipping as they please, but it does stop them from making false claims and weaponizing those claims to persecute others and to destabilize our government institutions.

The time for half measures is over. Unless we enshrine those four words in our practice of government, we will always be susceptible to the weaponization of religion. We will always be one election cycle away from the rise of some form of Christian nationalism and its opportunistic demi-God. We will witness life imitating art, as The Handmaid’s Tale becomes prophecy.

The odds may not be in our favor, but there is power in taking that first step of defiance. It is the power in Rosa Parks saying ‘Nah’ to giving up her seat. It is the power in taking a knee, rising up, and never backing down. It is the power in unleashed rebellion.

Join us.

This is Peter Tchoryk. Welcome, to the rebellion.


The time for rebellion is NOW

In her recent book The Power Worshippers, Katherine Stewart chronicles her decades-long investigation into Christian nationalism. The sobering reality is that Christian nationalism represents a clear and present danger to democracies everywhere. It is a worldwide network of evangelical and like-minded religious organizations funded by a dark web of extremely wealthy, powerful, old-money conservative families.

Christian nationalism exploits conservative churches, primarily white evangelical and Catholic churches. In that respect, it’s a parasitic movement that relies on host churches to spread its message and mobilize its voting base. Exposing it is a necessary first step, but stopping its influence is difficult because it is an amorphous, decentralized political movement that exists outside of any specific denomination.

Today’s Christian nationalist movement evolved from the Religious Right and Moral Majority, movements created by televangelists and conservative power brokers. In that respect, Trump seems biologically engineered to unite the religious right, with a televangelist’s gift for showmanship and a pathological lack of conscience. This is also what makes Trump infinitely more dangerous than his conservative rivals.

Trump expertly preys on his followers’ deepest and darkest fears about immigrants and white replacement. He validates their generational malice toward Black Americans and people of color. He exploits their misguided views on science, religion, and other cultures. And he manipulates their Christian faith to demonize anyone who supports women’s reproductive rights and L.G.B.T.Q. identities.

Through his nearly continuous attacks against democratic principles and anyone who challenges him, Trump has effectively normalized tyranny. Hannah Arendt described this normalization as the banality of evil. It results in populations becoming desensitized to the erosion of their civil and human rights as oppressors commit greater and greater atrocities.

Christian nationalism, by its very nature, relies on an ambiguous Christian narrative to both spread its message and deceive the uninitiated. This makes it difficult to confront without offending Christians who don’t subscribe to it or may not understand its true intentions. It is not just another Christian denomination with a different opinion on spirituality, it was created specifically as a political weapon.

Christian nationalism seeks to create a Christian American Kingdom that is best described as a theocratic fascist state. Unlike in 2020, they are well prepared to hit the ground running if Trump is elected. For starters, P.B.S. reports that the conservative Heritage Foundation is leading Project 2025, a transition plan that would replace around 50,000 civil employees with an “army” of employees loyal to Trump.

This is the Trump Effect. It is real and it is powerful. Combined with the wealth and influence of the Christian nationalist movement, it presents a clear and present danger to our country. And it is precisely why we must rebel.

This is Peter Tchoryk. Welcome, to the rebellion.


Feeling rebellious yet?