As Christians seem to gain more control over the United States, their beliefs appear to grow closer to the edge of insanity. Here are a few examples:
Fundamentalist Christians are always fond of interpreting a constitution written by men who believed in separation of church and state. This month, American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer wrote that the First Amendment applies only to Christians, giving states the right to persecute other religions. His ire was specifically directed toward the Orange County School District where the Satanic Temple decided to hand out its own religious materials because conservative Christians were distributing Bibles and other Christian materials. The school decided to keep all religious groups from passing out their information. According to Fischer, “the purpose of the First Amendment… was only to protect the free exercise of the Christian faith.”
Christians are convinced that all support of homeless and hungry people should be through religious groups. This is the way that one of them operates. The City Union Mission shelter in Kansas City (MO) refuses to allow same-sex families to stay together and requires transgender people to dress according to their sex at birth rather than their gender identification.
For at least one Houston church, it’s all about the money. Pastor Walter F. Houston refused to provide a funeral for 93-year-old Olivia Blair, whose wish has always been to be buried by A member of the Fourth Missionary Baptist Church for 50 years, Blair failed to tithe during the last two years because she had been in a nursing home or hospital for the past two years. She was in a coma for the past few months.
Moses is white, according to Fox’s Exodus: Gods and Kings, Ridley Scott’s version of the flight from Egypt. Almost every other main cast member is also very white. Stars include Christian Bale as Moses, Joel Edgerton, Arron Paul, John Turturro, Ben Kingsley, and Sigourney Weaver. The blacks in the film are slaves or servants. Director Scott defended his choice of characters by saying that he couldn’t get funding for the film if he said “that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such.” CEO of 21st Century Fox, Rupert Murdoch, didn’t even bother to assume that the casting might have been wrong. He tweeted, “Moses film attacked on Twitter for all white cast. Since when are Egyptians not white? All I know are.”
Pat Robertson has repeated his claim that Ouija boards are dangerous. The televangelist said:
“The spirit is causing that little needle — it goes around to letters and spells out words and so you feel like [it’s] some dead person, but actually it is communicating with demonic spirits. It is a dangerous thing and I strongly urge people not to get involved in it.”
In the past he had referred to chants as “prayers in Sanskrit to various Hindu Gods who are in turn demons, and you are saying something you don’t understand when in essence you are praying to a devil to come to you.”
An Oklahoma man has a solution for anyone involved in witchcraft. Isaiah Marin said that his “strong Christian beliefs” made him stop anyone from practicing “magic”; that’s why he stabbed and almost decapitated 21-year-old Jacob Andrew Crockett with a large black sword. Marin’s brother, Samuel, described Isaiah as a “religious zealot” and “heavy drug user.”
Killing is also on the mind of Donnie Swaggart, evangelical pastor and son of disgraced televangelist Jimmy Swaggart. On a program called Frances & Friends, he claimed that LGBT activists are like ISIS because they both want to chop off the heads of Christians. After Right Wing Watch posted the video on YouTube, Swaggart forced them to remove it, but the video is still available here. Two years ago, Rick Santorum accused President Obama of changing the United States into France during the French Revolution, warning that Christians would be sent one by one to the guillotine.
Bryan Fischer, a leader of the American Family Association, does suggest that ethnic cleansing of indigenous peoples in the Americas was appropriate because god was punishing them for their sins. He compared it to the “rules of warfare in Deuteronomy when God commanded t he Israelites to kill, enslave, and rape “the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you.” According to Fischer, God wanted the Native Americans to be killed “to exercise his sovereign control over this land” because of “the immorality of those nations that were exercising sovereign control at the time.”
Cindy Jacobs has the answer for indigenous people: they should renounce “any animus [sic] … and repent for the generational iniquity” before they can deal with the “Leviathan spirit” that brings division and strife. Evidently all Native Americans need to do to be happy is to reject the past. Jacobs also believes that listening to God will make your shoes last a long time as proof that God provides “supernatural provisions.”
Christian belief is the reason that David Van Vleet of Tacoma (WA) gave for requesting full names and addresses of all the strippers in his area. When he filed for the information under the state’s Public Records Act,” he said, “I would pray for those dancers by name. I’m a Christian. . . . We have a right to pray for people.” Although a federal judge blocked the request, he might still get the information because current law is not clear on this matter.
Halloween is also a Christian holiday, according to former Growing Pains star, Kirk Cameron. He maintains that early Christians dressed up in devil, goblin, and witch costumes to show that Jesus had vanquished these evils. “The costumes poke fun at the fact that the devil and other evils were publicly humiliated by Christ at his resurrection.” Real anthropologists, however, believe the holiday’s pagan origins are connected to harvest festivals.
Robertson also has a distorted view of history. On the 700 Club, he connected LGBT activists, “radicals and … extremists,” with terrorists and the Spanish Inquisition. “No Christian in his right mind would ever try to enforce somebody against their belief or else suffer jail. They did that during the Inquisition, it was horrible, it was a black mark on our history, but it isn’t being done now.” He also said, “If the gays want to go out and do their gay sex, that’s one thing, but if they want to force you to accept and solemnify it by marriage, that’s another matter….” So Robertson thinks that gay sex is okay?
People are entitled to their beliefs, no matter how wacky. The problem with fundamental Christians, however, is that they can destroy the lives of their children with their narrow, inflexible approach to thinking and they try to destroy the lives of everyone else in the country. The far-right Christians will control Congress for the next two years; let’s see how successful they are.