Pennsylvania’s Republican candidate for governor has embraced Christian Nationalism, and now he’s asking his followers to pray for him and his campaign.
Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano has put out a call to his supporters to join him for “40 days of fasting and prayer” ahead of Election Day, in an effort to intercede “for our elections, our state, and our nation.”
On Monday night, Mastriano’s campaign posted on Facebook a photo of two hands under the words “40 days of fasting & prayer” with the dates Sept. 29 through Nov. 8—Election Day—along with a verse from the Book of Isaiah.
“We have a natural aversion to the idea of fasting, since it involves saying ‘no’ to something fleshly we enjoy, such as food. However, we hope you consider something in this plan that will focus you more on praying for the Mastrianos, our state, and the nation,” the Facebook post read.
The post billed the fasting as a way to “restore true liberty, as an integral part of the strategy to win the general election in November.”
While it is not immediately clear what prompted Mastriano to go the 40-day fasting and prayer route in the run up to Election Day, it was recently revealed that Mastriano lags behind Democratic opponent Josh Shapiro in fundraising efforts. Many Republicans, leery of Mastriano’s extreme right stances, have endorsed Shapiro.
The fasting and prayer could also just come down to Mastriano’s embracing of Christian Nationalism, the wrongheaded idea that the US was created as a Christian nation and is now under attack, even as Christians remain, by far, the largest religious bloc in the country. Christian nationalists believe they’re in a battle with secular and satanic forces and want to impose and enforce Christian dogma over the country in political, religious, and social spheres.
While Mastriano has rejected that label, he has spoken at Christian Nationalist events alongside speakers espousing the ideology.