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Christian Nationalism

Donald Trump did not destroy the Republican Party. The Council for National Policy did.

This coalition of Republican operatives, Christian fundamentalists, CEOs, and lawyers have hijacked the GOP. Now they are hijacking our country to accomplish three shared goals: ending equal rights, giving corporations full control of government, and religious dominance over our society.

It's CNP Against Democracy.

The Council for National Policy is a pro-corporate, anti-democracy, Christian extremist group committed to making our government look more like The Handmaid’s Tale.

The organization is often referred to as a shadow network, because of its secrecy and because its work is accomplished through hundreds of public-facing organizations like The Heritage Foundation and The Federalist Society and their partners.

CNP has been around since 1981 and has used its member’s connections, think tanks, media companies, and other organizations to get a monopoly on the GOP, rewrite U.S. laws, and redesign American society.

Operating from the shadows, its members, who would number some 400, spent the next four decades courting, buying, and bullying fellow Republicans, gradually achieving what was in effect a leveraged buyout of the GOP.

Anne Nelson, The Washington Spectator

These corporate executives, political operatives, religious figures, and billionaires could never pull off a government takeover alone. But together, they can take over our government and culture - and they already are.

Their main objectives are full government control for corporate profits and an end to secularism and civil rights. They're accomplishing this already through their control of the Supreme Court, Republican lawmakers, and right-wing media.

We can see it in the abortion bans, books bans, the science denial, legislation that harms LGBTQ+ youth, the implementation of the Bible in Louisiana and Oklahoma schools, the erasure of Black History in textbooks, and restrictions on pornography in states like Indiana. In recent weeks, the CNP / Federalist Society Supreme Court gave themselves the power to block laws passed by Congress. Three days later, they gave the president near-total immunity to ignore checks and balances and the law.

"I know all these people... You don't know how dangerous and how goddamn crazy it is."

James Carville

It's no secret that corporate lobbyists, dark money donors, and shady political groups pay our politicians to pass laws that benefit them.

The Council for National Policy and its members are one of the real and most powerful government influencers, thanks to their grip on our courts and Republican lawmakers, both in Congress and state legislatures.

To fully accomplish their goals and amass the power they have today, the Council for National Policy's founders knew they needed public support. We can break down how they pulled it off in three points.

1. Weaponizing Faith: CNP founder Paul Weyrich stole a page from the KKK's playbook: demonization. The KKK's popularity was built by telling white evangelicals that Black Americans and immigrants were sent by Satan to threaten their God-given destiny. They found that creating a daily, active threat against believers' safety and freedom produced an intense commitment and loyalty to the cause. They could redirect faith in God towards their own mission. Weyrich and the CNP's televangelists used this tactic, directing it at "the leftists, the liberals, the radicals, the communists." Democrats are today's Satan.

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2. Mainstream Ambassadors: Emotionally manipulating people of faith wouldn't be enough. The Council would need to sell their plan to power-hungry media publishers and lawmakers, men and women with a public platform outside of religion who could legitimize the manufactured fear of Democrats and spread it to a wider audience. The plan worked so well that most of us can't remember a time when Christians weren't automatically associated with the Republican Party.

3. The Courts: CNP member Leonard Leo led the charge through The Federalist Society to hijack our courts. They recruited law students, trained them to interpret the Constitution through the "originalist" lens of the Council's white supremacists and Christian Nationalists, and used their agents in Republican administrations (such as Brett Kavanaugh in the George W. Bush administration) to nominate them to our federal courts.

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By hijacking the courts, the Council for National Policy gained the power to weaken our constitutional republic and begin imposing their agenda on the country. As a bonus, the victims of their decades-long propaganda feel a sense of personal victory with every judicial ruling that furthers the CNP agenda. Their loyalty grows stronger.

Donald Trump was the perfect trojan horse for the Council for National Policy.

Trump doesn't care what he has to say or do. He doesn't care about packing the courts with extremists, resetting the clock on women’s rights, or gutting environmental regulations, either.

When Trump made promises on the campaign trail, they weren't for the American people. They were for GOP backers like the Council for National Policy's shadow network.

He only cares about power, and the Council for National Policy has it.

From 2017-2020, Donald Trump and Mike Pence helped expand CNP's power so much that they felt safe to step out of the shadows for a day, inviting Trump to give a recorded speech at one of their super-secret conferences.

We're on a mission to pull them out of the shadows for good and kick them out of our government.

Top CNP Affiliates

Alliance Defending Freedom

American Family Association

American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)

American Values

Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute

Center for Security Policy

The Daily Caller

Eagle Forum

Family Research Council


Gun Owners of America

The Federalist Society

The Heritage Foundation

Hope Christian Church

Institute of the Constitution

Liberty Counsel

Liberty University

Media Research Center (MRC)

National Religious Broadcasters


Operation Rescue

National Organization for Marriage

Pacific Justice Institute

Salem Media Group

Summit Ministries

The Washington Times


In The News

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Read at The Washington Spectator

Read at The Washington Post

Read at Southern Poverty Law Center

The List

A list at of over 1,000 past and present members of the Council for National Policy

The Book

Shadow Network (2019) by Anne Nelson is deep dive into the history and power of CNP.

The Documentary

BAD FAITH (2024) reveals how CNP turned our politics into a modern-day holy war.

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A conspiracy theory is not
the same thing as a conspiracy.

A conspiracy is an agreement of powerful actors to secretly carry out a plan that protects their own interests, often to the detriment of the public good. The mafia is a conspiracy. The drug trade is a conspiracy. White-collar crime is a conspiracy...

Conspiracy theories, on the other hand, are morally neutral and easily accessible. They can be weaponized as propaganda by conspirators, or they can be sincere expressions of the search for truth.

- Sarah Kendzior, They Knew