Jesus Guns ’n’ Babies

Barry Dredze
5 min readJun 9, 2022
Kandiss Taylor, a conservative running for governor in Georgia, has hit the road in a new campaign bus. And people are certainly surprised by how it lays out her platform points. In a photo posted to her Twitter on Thursday, Taylor debuted her campaign ride, which bears a picture of her on the side, flanked by her bulleted platform points: “Jesus, Guns, Babies.” None of the points has additional descriptors or explanations. (Photo from Twitter via The Wrap)

The GQP is an un-American fascist death cult, and the conservative majority of the US Supreme Court that it built is about to reward decades of domestic religious fundamentalist terrorism in the form of bombings, arson and murder. But how are they polling…?

While it is tough to get a handle on exactly how many white Christian nationalists are running for public office in Republican primaries during this mid-term election year, the issues they tend to run on are driving the narratives in the wider public discourse. The Pennsylvania state senator who led a “Stop the Steal” hearing featuring Rudy Giuliani, retired Army colonel Doug Mastriano, dominated the field in the Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial primary on a healthy dose of right-wing resentment and grievances infused with religious symbols and rhetoric. “But scholars generally define Christian nationalism as going beyond policy debates and championing a fusion of American and Christian values, symbols and identity,” reported the Associated Press. “Christian nationalism, they say, is often accompanied by a belief that God has destined America, like the biblical Israel, for a special role in history, and that it will receive divine blessing or judgment depending on its obedience.”

Reporting on the campaign of Kandiss Taylor in the five-way race for the Republican nomination for governor in Georgia, NBC cultural critic Noah Berlatsky wrote:

“Jesus Guns Babies” is not a joke and not a sign of confusion. It’s simply a summation of one powerful strand of religious belief in the United States, which stretches from John Marshall to Bob Jones University to Trump himself.

The good news is that Kandiss Taylor was soundly beaten in the Georgia race for the Republican nomination for governor and, while noting her dismal showing in polls leading up to the primary, Berlatsky continued:

But the theology she embraces retains outsize cultural and political influence. And as long as it does, Christianity in the U.S. will unfortunately, for many, symbolize not mercy and love, but violence and power.

While it all comes with a twisted pivot on polling data for media preening:

“Ignore guns, talk inflation,” one such memo, written for a top-tier GOP Senate candidate, succinctly reads, citing polling…

Barry Dredze

Just another mortal, tweaking my cognitive map on the fly.