Acting in the Name of God: Sessions Commissions Religious Tyranny Task Force

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Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

Almost a quarter of a century ago the late Senator Barry Goldwater observed something that is now coming to full fruition. He remarked to John Dean:

“Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.” November, 1994, in John Dean, Conservatives Without Conscience.

They were always up front about who they are and what they believe and they galvanized Christians to follow Republicans for one purpose and one purpose only: to seize control of the government. Gary North was one of the intellectual leaders of the movement. Quiet and less known than the more prominent pastors and televangelists, North has been a long time adviser to Ron and Rand Paul and numerous other GOP leaders. North wrote:

“The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise. Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church’s public marks of the covenant–baptism and holy communion–must be denied citizenship, just as they were in ancient Israel.”

Well they did and have made common cause with a President that under any other circumstances they would never have anything to do with and with his unwavering support are about to launch the biggest campaign of government sponsored religious discrimination and persecution ever seen in this country. It began early in the administration picked up a measure of legal empowerment by a with the issuance of an Executive Order by the President in May.

Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the formation of a Religious Liberty Task Force at the Department of Justice. The goal is to protect the ability of conservative Christians ability to discriminate on people based on “sincere and strongly held religious beliefs.” The sole object of this task force is to support religious zealots with the full police power of the government. This will be wielded mostly at LGBTQ people as the administration and the Justice Department have signaled their intention to roll back civil and legal protections for LGBTQ people having determined that that there is “no basis for these protections.” Be assured it will not stop there. The grossly satanic intertwining of Church and State is exactly what our founders warned against and exactly why the the great Virginia Baptist John Leland fought for the wall of separation between Church and State. Leland proclaimed:

“The notion of a Christian commonwealth should be exploded forever. … Government should protect every man in thinking and speaking freely, and see that one does not abuse another. The liberty I contend for is more than toleration. The very idea of toleration is despicable; it supposes that some have a pre-eminence above the rest to grant indulgence, whereas all should be equally free, Jews, Turks, Pagans and Christians.”

Thankfully his friends Thomas Jefferson and James Madison agreed. Today many of the theological descendants of Leland are in the forefront of the ideas that he believed protected all Americans, not just Baptists.

Likewise, George Truett, the great Southern Baptist Pastor who served as President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary wrote in his book Baptists and Religious Liberty in 1920 about the decidedly negative effect of when the Church became the State religion:

“Constantine, the Emperor, saw something in the religion of Christ’s people which awakened his interest, and now we see him uniting religion to the state and marching up the marble steps of the Emperor’s palace, with the church robed in purple. Thus and there was begun the most baneful misalliance that ever fettered and cursed a suffering world…. When … Constantine crowned the union of church and state, the church was stamped with the spirit of the Caesars…. The long blighting record of the medieval ages is simply the working out of that idea.”

Under Trump todays “Christians” have thrown in  their lot with a modern Constantine, a man with no conscience, no empathy, and even less faith than the Roman Emperor.

There will be dark days ahead for all of us and we will have no one to blame but the so called conservative Christians who like Esau have throw out their faith for bowl of rancid porridge. They will given the chance tear down the wall between the separation of church and state and drive a dagger into the heart of the First Amendment.

God help us because these “Christians” will not. I know, because one in my own congregation tried to get me charged and court-martialed because he disagreed with my sermon. These people are not going to stop until they crush anyone that gets in their way. They must be fought from the pulpit, the polling place, and the public square.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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9 Comments

Filed under christian life, civil rights, culture, ethics, faith, History, leadership, LGBT issues, News and current events, Political Commentary, Religion

9 responses to “Acting in the Name of God: Sessions Commissions Religious Tyranny Task Force

  1. Carmen

    I don’t know if you’ve read the piece about Pence in the New York Times yet, Pastor Steve, but it is also a scary thought. Now, more than ever, the people on the Religious Left need to be asserting their views. Thank you for taking the time to do that.

  2. Carmen

    Here’s the link:

  3. Visiting and reading from Robert’s The Secular Jurist Steve. 🙂

    I am utterly astonished by the BLATANT ignorance of these politicians, equally their constituents, of our Founding Fathers, our DoI, our Constitution, and the overall marrow of the three as ultimately establishing a Secular form of governing, biased to none! At the very least from secondary education Americans SHOULD HAVE LEARNED thoroughly the purpose and concept of the Separation of Church and State! This is very basic, very critical for our civil responsibilities and duties! How in the HELL did all this get lost over the last 2-6 decades!!!??? 😲 (that’s kind of a rhetorical question, btw)

    If this direction continues, the USA is not going to be much different than any Islamic nation which employs Sharia Law. Why do radical fundy-evangy Christians not recognize that? And if their reply is elitism, superiority, discriminatory, or divine providence in any fashion… there is a vast, potent, repertoire of dismantling, debunking, disproving of EVERY aspect of Christainity’s origins, history, scriptural canonization, and theology that with every passing year further destroys any foundation the religion/faith might hopelessly cling to. Period. Christianity, as a whole, is pure folklore and fairy-tales.

    Great post Steve. Bravo!

    • padresteve

      Thank you so much. Their ignorance is astounding.

      • Indeed it is. It almost reaches the depths of tRumpsky’s intellectual depravity — at least some of the crazies have a much higher vocabulary than our President’s 8th grade level vocabulary. 🙄😖

  4. maryplumbago

    I’ve always thought…be careful what you wish for in a trump impeachment….you’d get Mike Pence and talk about Christian Sharia law! Of course, it may happen anyway with the Supreme Court replacements.

  5. Scary stuff and frightening times, indeed.

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