IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.
A voter heads to the polling station in the Kansas primary election at Merriam Christian Church
A voter heads to the polling station in the Kansas primary election at Merriam Christian Church in Merriam, Kan. on Aug. 2, 2022.Kyle Rivas / Getty Images

The rise of theocracy among conservatives: Meet the Press Reports

Politicians and groups nationwide are starting to embrace Christian nationalist ideas in their public speaking and public policy.


In one Idaho college town, the struggle between liberalism and Christian nationalism is in the spotlight.

NBC News' Anne Thompson sat down with Doug Wilson, the pastor at Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho to discuss his mission to make Moscow a Christian town for Meet the Press Reports.

Wilson told Thompson that he hopes to establish Moscow as a place that abides by Christian laws and principles. "Our rights come to us from God, not from the government," Wilson has said in a video blog.

And he told Thompson that, ideally, gay marriage would not be legal in Moscow. "No, no marriage," Wilson told Thompson, "but there would be same-sex couples."

Wilson is part of a new theocratic movement that has, to a degree, been taken up by some candidates up for election in November.

Prominent among them is Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, the Republican nominee for governor in that state. Though Mastriano doesn't call himself a Christian nationalist, he has previously said that the separation of church and state was a "myth."

Another Republican official who has echoed certain themes present in the Christian nationalist movement is Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., who earlier this year said she was "tired of this separation of church and state junk."

“The church is supposed to direct the government. The government is not supposed to direct the church. That is not how our Founding Fathers intended it," she said at a religious service in Colorado in June.

In some states, Christian nationalist themes aren't just being verbalized by candidates, they're creeping into public policy, too.

In South Dakota for example, Republican Gov. Kristi Noem announced new social studies standards in public schools that treat Jesus as a divine historical figure and claim the Founding Fathers believed in an "eternal God."

"[These standards] feature a true, honest, and balanced approach to American history that is not influenced by political agendas," Noem wrote in her press release announcing the new standards.

For more on the rise of theocracy and Anne Thompson's interview with Doug Wilson, check out the latest episode of Meet The Press Reports.