A second Donald Trump presidency will impose Christian nationalism and wage war on undocumented immigrants and sundry other undesirables.

“There is no canonical manifesto of Christian nationalism and no single definition of it,” The New Yorker explained. It is “a minority movement, espousing a claim that might not have seemed terribly controversial a few decades ago: that America is, and should remain, a Christian nation.”

Sociologists Andrew L. Whitehead and Samuel L. Perry, concluded, based on surveys, that the label describes those who advocate declaring the U.S. a Christian nation with Christian values, affirming that America’s “success” is due to God’s will and permitting religious symbols in public spaces and prayer in public schools, The Washington Post reported.

A majority of Americans – 63 percent — are Christians but researchers with the Public Research Institute and the Brookings Institution reported that 21 percent of Republicans believe the U.S. should embrace Christian nationalism and another 33 percent sympathize with its views, according to NPR. Nationally, however, those percentages are only 10 and 19.

Calvin University history professor Kristin Kobes Du Mez told NPR that Christian nationalist ideas “have been widely held throughout American history and particularly since the 1970s with the rise of the Christian Right.” That has been “mostly a reaction to changing demographics, as well as cultural and generational shifts in the U.S,” Du Mez said. The believers want to hold on to their cultural and political power at a time when, NPR pointed out, “the country has become less white and Christian.”

They found a leader in Trump, who pledged fealty to a newly re-energized constituency willing to ignore his many obvious character flaws. Trump as president gave the Christian nationalist cause its biggest boost when he appointed three Supreme Court Justices with the connivance of then U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The conservative majority responded by overturning the federal right to abortions and now seem to be favoring Trump in his bid to stave off his trials on 91 felony charges.

Trump posted a three-minute video on his Truth Social on January 14 which, The Independent reported, showed a photo of him as a child and proclaimed him “a holy infant” at birth destined to be a divine “shepherd.” God said, according to the video, “I need somebody who can shape an axe but wield a sword, who had the courage to set foot in North Korea, who can make money from the tar of the sand, turn liquid to gold, who understands the difference between tariffs and inflation, will finish his 40-hour week by Tuesday noon and then put in another 72 hours.” So, “God made Trump.”

If some of that sounds familiar, it is. A similar posting last November promoted Ron DeSantis’ presidential candidacy. It did not work for the Florida governor but will undoubtedly help Trump, who won 84 percent of the votes of “white evangelicals” in 2020. His allies seem much better prepared this time.

Most notable among them, according to Politico, is Russell Vought, Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget who now heads the Center for Renewing America (CRA). That think tank is part of what Politico called “a conservative consortium preparing for a second Trump term.” Vought, who is said to speak to Trump at least once a month, is committed, among other things, to the principle that “freedom is defined by God, not man” and to making Christian nationalism a focal point in a second Trump administration.

Politico reported also that Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom group will spend $62 million to register and turn out evangelical voters, “texting and calling supporters, and door-knocking,” It expects to distribute “30 million pieces of literature in 125,000 churches — many of them in battleground states.”

Also, Trump’s first presidency, and its aftermath, appears to have emboldened those who have been chafing under constitutional and other constraints on presidential power. “The effort to imbue laws with Biblical principles is already underway in some states,” Politico reported. An example is the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling that frozen embryos are living children with full rights. The chief justice, Tom Parker, wrote that human life “cannot be wrongfully destroyed without incurring the wrath of a holy God, who views the destruction of His image as an affront to Himself.” He based his opinion not on the state or U.S. constitution but on the Bible.

Two practical imperatives are apparently driving that trend.

The Nation, citing a Gallup survey, reported, that 70 percent of Americans belonged to a place of worship in 1999 but only 47 percent in 2020 – “the first time in nearly 100 years of polling [that] worshipers were the minority.” The Nation added, “This changing environment helps explain the militance that is one of the defining features of Christian nationalism.”

And the Guardian, citing the “Socioeconomic Contribution of Religion to American Society: An Empirical Analysis,” put the economic valuation of religion at $1.2 trillion a year. The survey took into account “the value of religious institutions, including healthcare facilities, schools, daycare and charities; media; businesses with faith backgrounds; kosher and halal food markets; social and philanthropic programs; and staff and overheads for congregations.”

As for immigration, the plan includes not only closing the border but also deploying the military to deport the estimated 11 million undocumented foreigners living in the country. That step was contemplated during Trump’s presidency but the Pentagon “headed off” any implementation, The Post reported.

Stephen Miller, a senior immigration adviser in Trump’s administration, declared on a recent podcast, “I don’t care what the hell happens in this world. If President Trump gets re-elected, the border’s going to be sealed, the military will be deployed, the National Guard will be activated and the illegals are going home.”

Miller had said last November, on another podcast, “So you go around the country arresting illegal immigrants in large-scale raids, you have to have somewhere to put them. So you create this efficiency by having these standing facilities where planes are moving off the runway constantly – probably military aircraft, some existing [Department of Homeland Security] assets – and that’s how you’re able to scale.” That would mean arresting and deporting 2,750,000 people a year, 229,000 a month, 57,2300 a week, 8,178 a day, 341 an hour round-the-clock over four years.

But, in 2018, undocumented immigrants paid $20 billion in federal taxes and $11 billion in state and local taxes, earned $249 billion and had $217 billion in spending power, New American Economy, a bipartisan immigration research organization, reports on its website.

More than eight of every 10 had lived in the U.S. more than five years. Deporting them would cause a 6.4 percent decline in the labor force, a 5.7 percent economic contraction and a $1.6 trillion hit on the GDP.

But, if they are allowed to stay, with a path to legalization, state and local tax revenues will increase by $68 billion in a decade, the federal coffers will receive $116 billion and the GDP will grow by $1.4 trillion.

Still, the Christian soldiers are “marching as to war,/With the cross of Jesus going on before,” to quote Sabine Baring-Gould’s 1865 hymn. They are marching against dark-skinned people whom the inscription on the Statue of Liberty calls the “tired … poor … huddled masses yearning to breathe free … the wretched refuse of your teeming shore … the homeless, tempest-tossed” following the light of the “lamp … beside the golden door!” Trump also plans, as he says on the campaign trail, to “demolish the deep state,” to “cast out the communists, Marxists and fascists” and to “throw off the sick political class that hates our country.” He adds, “We will rout the fake news media, we will drain the swamp and we will liberate our country from these tyrants and villains once and for all.”

At least he is not shy about it,