Mastriano opened his remarks by evoking Scripture: “God uses the foolish to confound the wise.” He claimed Pennsylvanians’ freedom would be “snatched away” if his Democratic opponent wins in November, and cast the election in starkly religious terms with another biblical reference: “Let’s choose this day to serve the Lord.”
Mastriano, a state senator and retired Army colonel, has not only made faith central to his personal story but has woven conservative Christian beliefs and symbols into the campaign — becoming the most prominent example this election cycle of what some observers call a surge of Christian nationalism among Republican candidates…
Christian nationalism, they say, is often accompanied by a belief that God has destined America, like the biblical Israel, for a special role in history, and that it will receive divine blessing or judgment depending on its obedience.
That often overlaps with the conservative Christian political agenda, including opposition to abortion, same-sex marriage and transgender rights. Researchers say Christian nationalism is often also associated with mistrust of immigrants and Muslims. Many Christian nationalists see former President Donald Trump as a champion despite his crude sexual boasts and lack of public piety.