Democracy & Elections Terrorism & Extremism

The Lawfare Podcast: Preparing for War with Bradley Onishi

Katherine Pompilio, Brad Onishi, Jen Patja
Thursday, December 7, 2023, 8:00 AM
How does  White Christian nationalism in the United States intersect with the Jan. 6 attack?

Published by The Lawfare Institute
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Watching the footage of the attack on the U.S. Capitol on the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, Bradley Onishi thought to himself, “If I hadn’t left evangelicalism, would I have been there?” In his book entitled, “Preparing for War: The Extremist History of White Christian Nationalism and What Comes Next,” Onishi offers a sobering historical account of the origins and development of White Christian nationalism in the United States and its offshoots. From the unique perspective of a former insider, Onishi explains how the decades-long campaign of White Christian nationalism in the United States culminated in the Jan. 6 attack. 

Lawfare Associate Editor Katherine Pompilio sat down with Onishi—a scholar of religion and co-host of the Straight White American Jesus Podcast—to discuss his personal experience as a former White Christian nationalist and how it informed his writing of the book. They also discussed culture wars and the myth of the Christian nation, the elections of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, Jan. 6 rioters and religious symbols at the riot, how Donald Trump fits into all of this, and more. 

Katherine Pompilio is an associate editor of Lawfare. She holds a B.A. with honors in political science from Skidmore College.
Brad Onishi researches Christian nationalism and teaches at the University of San Francisco. His book, Preparing for War: The Extremist History of White Christian Nationalism—And What Comes Next, examines what gave rise to January 6, 2021, and what comes next.
Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.

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