"There is a remarkable... irony in the theological habits of the Christian right, which is entirely lost on the secular and religious media, but which I wish to note here: Every time we hear the voice of the Christian nationalist, or the claims, implicit or direct, that God is on our side, or such boasts as... 'America is a Christian nation,' we are in fact hearing the voice (unwittingly, perhaps, but unmistakably) of the Protestant liberal tradition...
The story of Protestant liberalism begins with this momentous adaptation: Metaphysical reality, the doctrines and beliefs of the church, are meaningful only as lessons that help organize human experience... As for being descriptions of the triune God, the one who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who on the third day raised Jesus Christ from the dead, and all the rest -- the doctrines and beliefs of the church are empty of objective meaning.
Thus, the liberal Protestant tradition, inasmuch as it claims that the knowledge of God must be based on some mode or dimension of human experience, leads to a theological dead end. Indeed, it leads to the conclusion that God is but an extension of human experience, a projection of human need and longing... The liberal theologians tried so hard to accommodate the gospel to the modern world that they ended up surrendering the faith 'to the patterns, forces, and movements of human history and civilization...' (Karl Barth quote)
When the conservative religious elites speak of the Christian nation, Christian principles, Christian values, or Christian prosperity in quasi-theological language, they are standing firmly in the tradition of Protestant liberalism. In this way, the conservative Christian elites have become the new Protestant liberals: Christ is the projection and guarantor of our values, ambitions, and power..."