LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Two western Massachusetts communities were targeted by a White Nationalist group earlier this week, and Wednesday night, a special discussion about who exactly these groups are, and their impact on American political culture.

Yale Professor and author Philip Gorski held that lecture this evening at the First Church of Christ in Longmeadow. Gorski explained that white Christian Nationalism is an old ideology and an ethno-tribal identity, with a belief that America was founded by conservative white Christians, and that it should be kept that way.

He also explored how this differs from authentic patriotism and Christianity, and how it could threaten a multi-faith and multi-racial democracy, “It’s a group that feels like its threatened, that its status in American society is threatened and its willing to do at this point just about anything to maintain its status and its place in American society even if that means it threatens American democracy and the Constitution.”

Wednesday night’s discussion was based off of Professor Gorski’s book “The Flag + the Cross: White Christian Nationalism and the Threat to American Democracy.”

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Kristina D’Amours is a reporter who is a part of the evening 22News team. Follow Kristina on X @KristinaD_WWLP and view her bio to see more of her work.