The Republicans want to take over the United States, and the first thing they might do with control is to make the nation a Christian theocracy—if they decide to please their constituency. According to a Public Policy Polling survey, 57 percent of Republicans “support establishing Christianity as the national religion” while 30 percent are opposed. Another 13 percent said they were not sure. Those 57 percent are most likely the ones who like to refer to themselves as “Constitutional Conservatives,” ignoring the First Amendment that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”
This past week, an Idaho county Republican party pushed a resolution to make the state a “formally and specifically declared a Christian state.” A local activist said, “We’re a Christian community in a Christian state and the Republican Party is a Christian party.” The county is in northern Idaho heavily populated by white supremacist groups like Christian Identity and the Aryan Brotherhood. Although the resolution was defeated by the state GOP, it received support.
U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Hluchaniuk does understand equal access. In Michigan, he ruled that the city of Warren would have to allow a “reason station” at the city hall if it has a “prayer station.” Without any reference to “freedom of religion” or “separation of church and state,” he ruled that in “the reason station will be allowed to operate on terms not less favorable than the terms granted to the prayer station.” Hluchaniuk also ordered the city of Warren to pay the ACLU $100,000 for costs and attorney fees. In his denial to atheist Douglas Marshall for the reason station, Mayor James Fouts had written, “To my way of thinking, your group is strictly an anti-religion group intending to deprive all organized religions of their constitutional freedoms or at least discourage the practice of religion.” For the past six years, Warren had allowed volunteers to distribute religious material, offer to pray with passersby, and discuss their religious beliefs. Marshall wanted to offer philosophical discussions with passersby who express an interest in a secular belief system.
The American Family Association was so outraged that it put the win for freedom of religion second on its list of anti-Christian bigotry. The first one is “Anti-Christian SPLC admits their hate misdirected” after the organization removed Ben Carson from its extremist watch list despite his hatred of LGBT people.
Last month, June Griffin, a “longtime crusader for Christian values,” gave the opening prayer for the Tennessee Senate, starting by asking the Lord to protect the people of the state from Medicaid. She wanted to “let the people know that our coverage is the same as with Moses and the children of Israel when they went through the wilderness with only the divine providence of almighty God.” In the past, she had stolen a Mexican flag from a grocery store, saying that the flag was an “act of war” and it “insulted my citizenship.”
According to Bryan Fischer, torture is a “Christian principle,” and terrorists deserve to be tortured because Americans value Christian values. Despite the Eighth Amendment, which prevents legal torture, he says that neither the U.S. Constitution nor the Geneva Convention protects terrorists from torture.
In South Carolina, a first-year state representative Jonathon Hill issued a survey with 30 questions to judicial candidates including their “personal relationship” with the “Supreme Being,” whether they would perform a gay marriage, and how they would rule if a woman sued for equal pay. The South Carolina legislature selects judges. Staffers emailed candidates to tell them that they didn’t have to answer most of these questions. Hill said he would do a better job next year.
A mentor program receiving Ohio taxpayer funding from “Community Connectors” requires that the schools partner with both a church and a non-profit business. Gov. John Kasich’s spokesman, Rob Nichols, said, “The governor believes faith-based organizations play an important role in the lives of young people.” The law does not mandate the religious involvement—but the governor does.
According to Rev. Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, the White House and governments in Europe have been “infiltrated” by Muslims. His claim was made on Bill O’Reilly’s program who has been highlighted for several of his lies in the past week, including his explanation that seeing photographs of killed nuns is exactly the same thing as seeing the dead nuns themselves. In a segment about the “persecution of Christians” by ISIS, O’Reilly asked Graham why the world is reluctant to enter a holy war in the Middle East. Graham explained that the reason is that Muslims are advising President Obama. At least O’Reilly asked for names of the advisers, but Graham needed to “get those for you, Bill.” He said he has been told about this by a number of people, the same answer that is becoming increasingly common when people make outrageous claims that they cannot support.
The growing popularity of “Christian homeschooling” gained some unwanted media coverage when 19-year-old Alecia Pennington created a viral plea for help to prove that she really existed. Her parents had refused to get her a social security number, a birth certificate, or any form of medical history; technically she is undocumented, despite having been born in Texas. She can’t get a job, she can’t attend college, she can’t rent or buy a home or car. She managed to escape her home with the help of her grandparents. Her mother, Lisa Pennington, writes extensively about homeschooling and speaks at conferences. In her blog, she blames Alecia for taking advice from a “godless woman.”
Jennyfer Austin had a similar experience. Adopted by a fundamentalist Christian family, her birth certificate and Social Security number were hidden from her. Her parents forbid her from dating, and she couldn’t even hold hands with a boy. She was forced to wear long skirts and blouses with high necklines and long sleeves. She recalled, “Even my swimsuit went down to my knees and had sleeves.” Her parents told her that she had been “sold” to a man twice her age, something that she and her friends call commonplace in her community. The parents asked only $25,000, half the average price, because she was “damaged goods” after being molested as a child. Refusing to marry the man, she was ordered to pay the would-be husband his $25,000. Austin fled her home at the age of 27 after finding the hiding place for her documents. The AHA Foundation has uncovered at least 3,000 cases like that of Austin in the past two years.
Imagine what the Fox network would have done if a Christian church had received the following:
“We are praying for civil war so we can start shooting you slime bags” — “We can’t wait until it’s ok to start bombing you f***ers and your kids so we can reduce the number of slime bags being born into this world, of ours” — and “You like your radical relatives serve no positive purpose on earth. Keep you (sic) eyes open.”
There was no publicity, however, because the letter was sent to a mosque in McHenry County (IL).
What do Christians do when they encounter alternative opinions? Roland Hesse, a student at Billy Graham’s alma mater Wheaton College, threw an apple at another student, Philip Fillion, who questioned the theological consistency of the school’s position against homosexuality and threatened him with “destruction.” The altercation happened during the same week that another Wheaton student at the religious school was arrested for allegedly secretly filming a female Wheaton student in her shower since October 2014.
One blogger has written about a woman accosted by a Christian evangelist with the typical speech about persecuted Christians and the need for more God in schools, government, etc. The woman responded, “If God needs government to defend Him, doesn’t that make him pretty weak?” As the blogger wrote, “How omnipotent is a Supreme Being whose influence will wane without His glory being touted daily in public schools?” The conclusion: “[No conservative] wants to be seen worshiping some lame-ass, welfare-moocher, 47%ish, taker God.”