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How Would Texas Fit Into Trump’s Christian Nationalist Plan?

Former president Donald Trump will make Christian nationalism a priority should he reclaim the White House in the 2024 election. How would Texas fit into that?

The claim comes from Politico, who obtained documents from The Center for Renewing America. It’s president, Russell Vought, was Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget and is now floated as a possible Chief of Staff in the event of a Trump win.

The document does not outline specific policies. Instead, it asserts that America was founded on Christian ideals and should enforce them through state mechanisms. The movement is heavily entwined with anti-LGBT policies, limited immigration, destruction of the social safety net, and an end to public schools. Vought has denied the Politico report, but does have a long history of trying to insert Christian Nationalism into secular politics.

Should Trump take the White House again and incorporate Christian Nationalism into his administration, Texas is likely to take center stage on at least two areas: the border and public schools.

Despite the Bible having very clear instructions to welcome and protect visitors from other lands, Christian Nationalism in America takes a hardline approach to the border. During the recent “Take Our Border Back” convoy, many of the participants sported Christian iconography and declared themselves an Army of God. Robert Agee, leader of the convoy, painted the struggle at the border as a Holy War, where the sanctity of America was being defiled by invaders.

Texas Republican leadership has not echoed these specific sentiments, describing the surge of border crossers in secular terms. However, they have not disavowed the Christian Nationalists that answered Governor Greg Abbott’s call to reinforce the border after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled he could not build his own razor-wire barriers.

Much of the Texas Republican political machine runs on the money of two oil and gas billionaires, Tim Dunn and Farris Wilks. Their political contributions have been driving Texas toward Christian Nationalism for the last two major election cycles. While the actual phrase doesn’t crop up much in the state leadership, the actions clearly make Christian Nationalist feel welcomed and empowered.

The crippling or eradication of public schools is the other avenue where Texas is likely to take a starring role in an overtly Christian Nationalist Trump Administration. Though the state ultimately refused to create a universal voucher system that would let residents use public funds to pay for private, mostly Christian schools, the fight itself has been a potent growth medium for tearing down public schools.

Framed as a war against LGBT and anti-racist indoctrination of Christian children by a secular state, Abbott openly called for clergy to support the measure. He went on a whistlestop tour across the state asking for support, usually by attending gatherings where the measure was celebrated as a way to bring more people into Christianity.

The plan failed when rural Texas House Republicans sided with Democrats to quash the bill, but the resulting backlash has become a conspiracy-ridden campaign backed by the largest PACs that threatens the entire moderate contingent of the Texas Republican Party.

If that campaign succeeds, the Trump is likely to see it as a potent testing ground for a similarly combative push against public schools on a national scale. The state is likely a beta test for how public schools could be defunded country-wide. 

Jef Rouner
Jef Rouner
Jef Rouner is an award-winning freelance journalist, the author of The Rook Circle, and a member of The Black Math Experiment. He lives in Houston where he spends most of his time investigating corruption and strange happenings. Jef has written for Houston Press, Free Press Houston, and Houston Chronicle.


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