It’s Time to Start Calling Evangelicals What They Are: The American Taliban

By J.C. Weatherby | 24 February 2017

(Photo: Ben White / Unsplash)
(Photo: Ben White / Unsplash)

The Council For National Policy” is a Conservative Think Tank, made up of a who’s who of prominent conservatives; Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Reince Priebus, Tim LaHaye, Bobby Jindal, John McCain… the list goes on…

This article, published by the Washington Post, but reported elsewhere, lays out the group’s plan to “restore education in America,” by bringing god into classrooms.

I have said for years and years, the Christian Right is really seeking to establish a theocracy in the United States — at least regionally, throughout the deep south. And this latest effort by the “Council for National Policy” lays further proof to that claim. This is an effort which — in spite of what many Christian leaders say — is NOT supported by the Constitution. The Constitution strictly prohibits the establishment of Religion, as part of the First Amendment, which also guarantees Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press. The purpose of this “Separation of Church and State” is intended to do two things:

1. It protects religious freedom for everyone.
2. It prevents the tyranny of any one religion.

But this fact won’t stop many southern christians, who feel it is their duty — as christians — to make the United States “a godly nation” in their eyes. And they will cite the numerous biblical passages in which god exhorts all nations to be faithful to him and condemns those nations who are not, as the basis for this duty — which they feel is their right.

I grew up in this world, so I know what I’m talking about. As a kid, during the 1970’s, I attended churches in Atlanta with my devout grandmother. I heard Jerry Falwell speak numerous times at First Baptist on Peachtree. I was indoctrinated into the evangelical way of thinking by a fiery minister in Smyrna. I studied my “King James” bible. I feverishly read Ernest Angley’s book about the “end times” that depicted christians being boiled alive by the antichrist. I loved “The Omen” movies, wholly believing they portended something real. Trust me. I’ve been there. Fortunately, I had the sense to give it up. By age 15, at the peak of my adolescent sexual curiosity, I realized that any religion that demanded giving up my basic humanity was nuts.

Of course, not all christian evangelicals share this extreme view. Nevertheless, the extremists always give themselves away with their trademark refrain, “I’ll pray for you,” as if you are possessed by demons and in need of an exorcism. They seem completely unaware of how this statement makes them appear; that they alone understand “truth,” that everyone else is “ungodly” and in need of “redemption,” as they see it; by being “born again,” and baptized, and accepting their world view. This self-righteous arrogant presumption is at the root of all religious extremism.

Evangelicals in churches and state houses across the country support laws and political systems that brutalize and imprison MILLIONS of African Americans, that deny equal rights and protections to LGBT people and tacitly support violence toward them, and seek to deny women the right to govern their own bodies, often with threats or outright acts of physical violence. They seem hell-bent on ejecting science from education and replacing it with their own creationist ideas.

In doing these things, evangelicals are advocating a religious extremism that is no different from muslim extremism, which projects religious authority over all people in their domain, which limits the rights of women, controls and limits education, and enforces strict adherence to a moral code, which naturally rejects and punishes all forms of “decadence,” including; “deviant sexuality,” science, reason, and any questioning of authority. Christian fundamentalists, if given the power, will do the same things.

Evangelical christians in the United States condemn muslim extremism as a threat to the country and their way of life, while clearly endorsing their own form of extreme religious authoritarianism. This form of religion establishes a tribally divisive “us” versus “them” mentality, which places “our” rights and prerogatives above the needs of any other group. And it’s used repeatedly as the basis for denying other people’s rights — particularly their freedom to choose and even their right to exist. It’s worth pointing out that in the south religion buttressed this tribal mentality to force a separation between whites and blacks, who were/are seen as inferior. This tribalism is deeply embedded in white suburban christian thinking, and accepted without question. I shouldn’t have to point out that, in the end, this is not Christian at all.

Religious extremism is religious extremism. Using words like “righteousness” or “faith” or “Christ-given mission,” and hiding behind ideas like “tradition” and “heritage” and “family values” won’t cover up this fact. And it is up to every freedom-loving person, who prefers freedom of choice, freedom of worship, who cares about protecting women’s rights and equality for all, and advancing reason and scientific knowledge, to be aware and oppose it.

I do not suggest that evangelicals should give up their faith. But I strongly suggest they should not trample on other people’s religious beliefs, or insist that people should conform themselves with the evangelical worldview.

If evangelicals hate tyranny, they should be very wary of becoming tyrants. But evangelicals will never see themselves as tyrants, because they are commanded by their faith to be “missionaries for Christ.” This mandate engages them in a zero-sum game to convert the country, indeed the whole world, to their faith. And over the decades they have increasingly reached for more and more political power to achieve this goal. This is exactly what ISIS proposes, by trying to establish a global muslim caliphate. The goal of religious extremists, regardless of faith, is always the same: Dominion.

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the foul of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” ~Genesis 1:28

Evangelicals are The American Taliban. To many, that will seem a garish and inconceivable statement. The entire purpose of this article is to point out that religious extremism also exists in America as it does in other parts of the world, and that it is not just radical muslims who are extreme, it’s also radical christians … and that religious extremism can start with something as simple as, “I’ll pray for you.”

Reprinted with permission from the author.

JC Weatherby (Jan Carson Weatherby — his family and friends call him Carson) is a multi media creator, novelist and filmmaker. He is the creator of “Evocronik,” a cyberpunk animated series. Follow him on Facebook at JCWeatherby.

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  1. "restore education in America,” by bringing god into classrooms.

    that's flat out HERESY- two of the most basic beliefs of christianity doctrines are 1)god is present everywhere ("omnipresent" and god is all powerful. the idea that god has been banned from our schools contradicts both fundamental doctrines. as a christian (united methodist, at lest for now)i am offended by that idea some christians have fallen for

  2. andrea, i'm sorry that has been you experience with all(?) christians, i'm wondering if you live in the south, "bible belt? FWIW, my christian beliefs work for me, and if your wiccan beliefs work for you, go in peace. i believe the "christians who scream at you are creating a bit of hell when they do, and that my "job as a christian is to try to create patches of heaven for folks as i paddle along with life's currents. namaste.

  3. Your understanding of the First Amendment is incorrect. it's funny that you linked to a correct definition of the First Amendment but weren't able to define it correctly yourself. It clearly states that congress shall make NO law…. (Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.) This article is so biased, it leaves out facts.

    • When you use laws to force the Christian God into the public sphere you are establishing a religion. You are also prohibiting the free exercise of religion, which includes the right not to exercise religion. Also, the Supreme Court has ruled on more than one occasion that the 14th Amendment applies the Bill Of Rights to state governments as well as Congress.

  4. I read the article.

    I think a lot of people commenting here are talking the stand that the author is saying ALL Christians are like the Taliban, just like some people think that ALL Muslims are like the Taliban.

    As a (full disclosure) gay man of 68+ years I remember that it was not so long ago that sodomy laws existed and you could be thrown in jail just for having sex between two consenting adults.

    Mathew Sheppard and other deaths may not have been directly caused by the “Christians”, but many of them did not actively condemn the acts either.

    And you have the antics of Scott Lively, Tony Perkin’s and others whose soul representation of Christianity seems to center around anti-LGBTQ and/or “pro-life”. None of the other commandments seem to interest them, and certainly not Matthew 22:39

    My parents were very religious, but also very kind, with not a harsh word coming from their lips. I believe they would not approve of the far-right evangelical movement of today.

    If you look into it much of this movement was driven by various religions.

  5. I somewhat agree_Says this theist.

    Outside U.S. evangelical Protestantism, and Islam:

    Mainline Christianity, and a camp within Catholicism and Orthodoxy since the 1940s – accepting that religious teachings about Creation, the book of Genesis, and scientific theories of Darwinian evolution need not contradict each other. Genesis and evolution are compatible; I think that young-Earth creationism is a slippery slope to anthropogenic global warming skepticism, where in turn the instruction to youth. E.g. the Ark Encounter.

  6. Wanting a moral nation is not anything like executing mothers on a soccer field for teaching their daughters in school.

    The hysteria here is remarkable. I know of no Christians planning to impose specific science ideologies, straight rights, on demand abortions, teach afrocentric policies, diversity contrivances, word gender tyranny, any shaming of your speech, forcing the left out of our churches, creating conservative only safe spaces, requiring the left to pay for my guns, making them pay for my kids private education, et al. There just is no Dominionism coming.m anything like the tyranny currently imposed by the left.

    Further, true then as now …..

    “I challenge any skeptic to find a ten square mile spot on this planet
    where they can live their lives in peace and safety, and decency,
    where womanhood is honored, where infancy and old age are
    revered, where they can educate their children…, where the Gospel
    of Jesus Christ has not gone first to prepare the way.
    If they find such a place, I would encourage them to emigrate thither
    and there proclaim their unbelief.”
    ~James Russell Lowell c1850

    Nearly 200 million have been murdered by state humanistic atheism in the last century. This is well AFTER your vaunted “Age of Enlightenment”.

  7. Can we stop comparing awful US Christians to awful Middle Eastern and Central Asian Muslims? It's tired, unimaginative and, given the Islam-hating nature of American culture (left, right and middle) it reinforces already messed up assumptions Americans have of ALL Muslims (and Arabs). The American Christian cult of destruction is bad, bad, bad all on its own – it needs no comparison to anything or anyone else.

  8. Please correct the spelling of “Right” to Rite…it’s two different things, and the first has bias giving “rightness” to extremism…….
    I totally agree with the author. Has he been reading my mind? It is important for society to discern the misguidance of our country into fascism….
    Maybe we should think about dividing the country literally…. So we can all find a square plot of land and live in peace…

  9. What oart of “rebuke in love” do you not understand? Calling evangelicals Taliban or any other disparaging name only brings further division. Jesus made it clear he is against those who divide the church. Speak the truth, but speak it in love. Unity is not having the same opinions, but being able to talk with a brother or sister without being a jerk.

  10. " hate speech " this days christians are persecuted for their believes, but anything discusting and ugly all around us is fine?

    • Please define persecution….. is it persecution to have to treat all customers alike? Is it persecution to allow your children to learn that there are other ways to exist in a loving relationship than the one that you are in? Or is it persecution to sanction taunting & even death threats of the legally elected representatives of another party? Or to refuse those who do not conform to your religious beliefs to seek employment with your organization, even if they are otherwise totally qualified?

      • It's called standing up to degeneracy without slaughtering you. The word for it is tolerance. We tolerate your degenerate ways bc we are sinners ourselves but that time is coming to a head. Repent, Larry.. God is more forgiving than man.

  11. That smug, smarmy expression "I'll pray for you" eis exactly why I developed Unprayer.

    Evangelicals believe that when they pray, they are speaking directly to their god and that their god will decide (for reasons) whether to intercede or not.

    So, when someone says "I'll pray for you", I respond with "And I'll unpray for you".

    For those few who ask what I mean by that (and it upsets nearly 100% of those it's offered to) I explain that I'll ask their god not to listen to their prayers.

    And "god" will then decide (for reasons) which one of us it'll listen to (if anyone is listened to).

    The logic really screws them up once they start thinking about it.

    • This is the dumbest thing I've read in a while. What are you? 6? It's no wonder someone says it to you.. grow up, Steve

  12. Steve at least with your “unpray” ya believe something. I said a pray for you. Now I believe the Lord Jesus Khrystos answers every prayer regardless. I must admit many times He says NO! But even NO is an answer. Lord be merciful.


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