Christian Groups Demand Apology For Politico Reporter’s ‘Christian Nationalists’ Comments

Heidi Przybyla made the viral comments on MSNBC.
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) -- Moderator Chuck Todd and Heidi Przybyla, NBC News Correspondent, appear on Meet the Press" in Washington, D.C., Sunday, December 15, 2019. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC)
William B. Plowman/NBC via Getty Images

Two prominent Christian groups sent a letter to Politico on Wednesday demanding an apology for a reporter’s viral comments about Christians that the groups called “deeply disturbing.”

The Family Research Council and Catholic Vote criticized Politico reporter Heidi Przybyla for “trying to demonize the Christian community” with her comment that only extremist “Christian nationalists” believe human rights “come from God.”

The groups said Przybyla’s comments “demonstrated a disqualifying lack of knowledge of the United States of America’s founding documents and a profoundly prejudicial view toward American religious groups.”

Przybyla, Politico’s national investigative correspondent, made the controversial remarks during an appearance on MSNBC last week.

Przybyla said that the “base of the Republican Party has shifted” after former President Donald Trump attracted a “more extremist element,” including “Christian nationalists.”

“The thing that unites them as Christian nationalists — not Christians, by the way, because Christian nationalist is very different — is that they believe that our rights as Americans, as all human beings, don’t come from any earthly authority. They don’t come from Congress, they don’t come from the Supreme Court. They come from God,” said Przybyla.

This is a problem, Przybyla said, because it means “men are determining what God is telling them.”

She went on to say that “natural law” is a pillar of Catholicism and has been used for good in social justice campaigns such as Martin Luther King Jr.’s civil rights movement.


“But now you have an extremist element of conservative Christians who say that this applies specifically to issues including abortion, gay marriage, and it’s going much further than that,” Przybyla said.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Brian Burch of Catholic Vote wrote in their letter to Politico that it is “deeply disturbing” that Przybyla seems “unaware of the opening of the Declaration of Independence or to its references of ‘the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.'”

“Her statements constituted an attempt to spread misinformation about Christians by creating the perception that they hold unique beliefs that pose a distinct and, in her words ‘extremist,’ threat to our country,” the Christian groups wrote. “Setting aside the inaccuracy of her commentary, she was manifestly trying to demonize the Christian community and sow fear through propaganda.”

The letter added that Przybyla’s public platform where she can reach millions of people makes the situation even more disturbing.

Additionally, the groups said Przybyla has a “pattern” of singling out Christian organizations, as evidence by her recent articles.

“Rhetoric like Ms. Przybyla’s, which demonizes religious groups, is profoundly dangerous. It can motivate disturbed individuals who may be predisposed to commit violence against faith communities,” the groups wrote.

The groups said they believe Przybyla’s comments reflect a “pervasive bias” that prevents her from covering religious issues.

“Ms. Przybyla owes people of faith an apology, as does her employer. Politico must confirm that such offensive comments have no place within its organization,” the groups wrote.

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