Editor’s note: This letter was written by Richard Harris, Executive Director at the Truth & Liberty Coalition, in response to Logan Davis’ column, published by the Colorado Times Recorder on January 31, 2024, titled “Christian Nationalism is Turning Into Something Even Worse.” Davis’ response to the letter is included below.
In a recent article released on January 31, 2024, Colorado Times Recorder investigative journalist Logan Davis wrote about so-called Christian Nationalists. While he does not say it explicitly, it is apparent Davis is using the term as a pejorative label to malign the tens of millions of conservative evangelical Christians who are involved in the public square. Due to the fact Davis mentions Andrew Wommack Ministries (AWM) by name, we believe it is our right to defend ourselves against such condemning allegations.
Davis implies Christian Nationalists are racist, calling them, “overwhelmingly white, evangelical, and Republican.” He claims, without factual support, that conservative Christians in America are akin to Hindu nationalists in India that have, “subjected the country’s 200 million Muslims to hostility, threats, and violence.” The unsubstantiated allegation that conservative Christians in America want to destroy democracy, religious freedom and somehow put people in danger is utterly false and shockingly irresponsible.
It has become a common tactic for journalists to lump Christians of all types (Davis mentions “Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists” and even some “Catholics”) into a nefarious group who seemingly desire to aggressively take over the world.
Davis mentions that Colorado has had to “contend with,” specifically, “Andrew Wommack Ministries, Charis Bible College,” (and others) though it is not clear what supposedly awful thing Coloradans have had to contend with.
AWM and Charis provide worship services, are significant charitable contributors to their community, are always looking for opportunities to volunteer, and are among the leading employers in their hometown.
Claims by the reporter of widespread racism among conservative Christians is untrue and does nothing but foster divisions and fear between fellow Americans. Davis seems to base this divisive smear on the fact that most conservative evangelical Christians are white and do not agree with the leftist narrative that America is systemically racist. Being white and refusing to see the world through race-based class warfare does not make one racist. In fact, the opposite is usually true.
Serving God is AWM’s mission and racism has no place there, and never has. Andrew Wommack has publicly taught that racism is a sin, an opinion that is shared by all at the ministry.
Furthermore, Davis alleges that conservative, evangelical Christians are a threat to religious freedom and democracy. His contention is fearmongering at its worst. Andrew Wommack and other leading conservative Christian organizations are vocal proponents of religious freedom and the principles of freedom and equality upon which our nation was built. Andrew agrees with Earl Warren, the former Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, who said,
“[N]o one can read the history of our country without realizing that the Good Book and the spirit of the Savior have from the beginning been our guiding geniuses … Whether we look to the first Charter of Virginia … or to the Charter of New England … or to the Charter of Massachusetts Bay … or to the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut … the same objective is present: A Christian land governed by Christian principles.”
Although it differs from ours, we appreciate Mr. Davis’ outlook. America is filled with differing thoughts and opinions and we are thankful we live in a country where contradictory viewpoints can be openly shared, and respected.
Response from Logan Davis
Two weeks ago, I was invited to speak to a crowd in Woodland Park about the issue of Christian nationalism. A few days before the speaking engagement was scheduled to be held, members of the group hosting me became aware of plans by the local Andrew Wommack-affiliated organizations – Truth & Liberty, Charis Bible College, and Andrew Wommack Ministries – to protest that event.
By the time I showed up in Woodland Park that evening, 30-50 of Wommack’s followers had crowded into the local library for the occasion. Mr. Harris – who ranks prominently in Wommackworld and wrote the above letter – was among them, and occupied a front row seat for my presentation. When time came for the Q&A portion of the evening, I gladly called on Mr. Harris to ask the first question.
As in the letter he has written above, Mr. Harris’s question seemed completely divorced from anything I had actually said or written. Rather than isolating and addressing any of my actual contentions, Mr. Harris said I had implied that Andrew Wommack Ministries engaged in $48 million worth of political expenditures in 2020 (a figure I had actually accurately represented as the organization’s revenue for that year, per its own tax filings), and that I had done so in an attempt to paint his organization as nefarious.
The above letter is strikingly similar, hinging entirely on the premise that I have called the entire body of professing Christians “racist,” and that I have done so without evidence. Neither assertion is true. To the first point, I claimed in my column that American Christian nationalists are “overwhelmingly white.” I also claimed in my column that there is a “strong correlation” between American Christian nationalism and anti-Black racism. Neither of those claims asserts that “Christians are racist;” both address a specific subset of American Christianity. To the second point, I did not originate either of the above claims: the overwhelmingly white makeup of American Christian nationalists comes from Pew survey data, and the correlation between Christian nationalist beliefs and anti-Black racism came from a dataset produced by the Public Religion Research Institute, PRRI.
Mr. Harris’s letter makes another contention: that the term “Christian nationalism” is a slur against Christians, rather than a sociocultural identifier attached to an observable phenomenon for the purpose of discussing that phenomenon. As I noted in my column, a number of Christian writers, thinkers, and organizations have been at the forefront of the movement to resist Christian nationalism. Are we to believe that the Baptist Joint Committee is part of a godless plot to demonize conservative Christians? I find that a hard sell.
After a raucous 90 minutes of Q&A at my Woodland Park event, dominated by participation from Wommack’s followers, I exchanged kind words with Mr. Harris. We talked about getting lunch together some time, and I’d still really like to do that. I do not have to agree with Mr. Harris to want to understand him better. And I do, earnestly, want to understand him better. He is the executive director of a large and prominent political organization which promotes a worldview I oppose; he is sharp and shrewd, and we disagree on nearly everything: why wouldn’t I want to understand him better? Mr. Harris and I both have visions for the world, and those visions are not compatible, but neither of us is well-served by operating based on a caricature of the other.
I appreciate Mr. Harris engaging in this exchange; it’s one I would gladly continue. Richard, if you’re ever interested, lunch is on me.
Logan Davis is a columnist for the Colorado Times Recorder.