Heidi Przybyla apologizes for her comments about Christian nationalism

Heidi Przybyla
Heidi Przybyla | Screengrab/MSNBC

After igniting a firestorm of controversy, Politico reporter Heidi Przybyla has apologized for admonishing Christians who believe in God-given rights, having claimed that such a worldview is tantamount to “Christian nationalism.”

In a piece in Politico on Thursday, Przybyla addressed comments she made during an appearance on MSNBC’s “All in With Chris Hayes” last week. She asserted on the cable news program that Christian nationalists “believe that our rights, as Americans, as all human beings, don’t come from any earthly authority.”

Przybyla added that based on this line of thinking, rights “don’t come from Congress, they don’t come from the Supreme Court, they come from God.” She further asserted that the “problem with that is that they are determining — man, men, and it is men — are determining what God is telling them.” 

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She also identified the concept of natural law as a “pillar of Catholicism” and suggested that while “it’s been used for good and social justice campaigns,” such as the push for racial equality and civil rights, there is an “extremist element of conservative Christians who say that this applies specifically to issues including abortion [and] gay marriage.” She lamented that “it’s going much further than that, as you see, for instance, with a ruling in Alabama this week that judges connected to that Dominionist faction did.” 

The Alabama Supreme Court decision mentioned by Przybyla ruled that embryos created through in-vitro fertilization are human beings protected by state law.

Responding to the backlash over her comments on Christian nationalism, Przybyla insisted, “Due to some clumsy words, I was interpreted by some people as making arguments that are quite different from what I believe. ... Reporters have a responsibility to use words and convey meaning with precision, and am sorry I fell short of this in my appearance.”

“Among the passages that caused confusion was my attempt to draw a distinction between Christians and the small set of these people who advocate Christian nationalism,” she added. After reiterating the comments she made on air, she concluded that they did not amount to “a good definition of Christian nationalism.”

Przybyla specifically addressed the main criticisms of her remarks by stressing that “many people have views about our rights as Americans that would coincide with those of many of our nation’s Founders.” She noted the proclamation in the Declaration of Independence that all people “are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights, that among those are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Przybyla’s comments about Christian nationalism on MSNBC invited a host of criticism, including from Bishop Robert Barron of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Winona-Rochester in Minnesota. In a video posted to X last week, he condemned her remarks as “one of the most disturbing and frankly dangerous things I’ve ever seen in a political conversation.” 

“It is exceptionally dangerous when we forget the principle that our rights come from God and not from a government,” he said. “Because the basic problem is, if they come from the government or Congress or the Supreme Court, they can be taken away by those same people. This is opening the door to totalitarianism.”

Przybyla’s comments about Christian nationalism come as the term has attained increased prevalence in American politics. Just a week before Przybyla’s remarks on MSNBC generated outrage, prominent American movie director Rob Reiner’s documentary titled “God and Country” that defines Christian nationalism as “the idea that America was founded as a so-called Christian nation, and that our laws should be based on the Bible” hit theaters. 

“God and Country” claims that the ideology of Christian nationalism “distorts not only the constitutional republic, but Christianity itself.”

In a 2022 interview with The Christian Post, Christian Post Executive Editor Dr. Richard Land suggested that the increased use of the term amounts to a “tactic by the Left and their toadies in the media to suppress patriotic beliefs and to suppress the idea that America is a unique country.” 

Land told CP that “pejoratively, they want to tie Christian nationalism to racism and to prejudice, and I reject those labels.” He maintained that based on the thinking of the Left and the media, “if you believe in any sense that America has a unique role to play in the world, and that God in His providence has had something to do with the United States, then you’re a Christian nationalist.” 

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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