Religion or Democracy? You Can’t Have Both!

By Frank Schaeffer | 10 January 2020

(Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels)

I was raised to be the sidekick of an Evangelical evangelist in the 1970s and 80s. My father, Francis Schaeffer, went on to become one of the founders of the anti-abortion movement in its Protestant context that eventually took over the Republican Party, making abortion a litmus test that has divided our country, and has destroyed the Republican Party by opening the door for Donald Trump to play the “pro-life” game, the same way Ronald Reagan did, by the way, who legalized abortion in California, then “changed his mind” to get the Evangelical vote.

That’s an introduction to something I want to say in light of us assassinating an Iranian General, them shooting some rockets at us, and now an airplane being apparently shot down because of all the ensuing chaos.

Here’s the point, and I’m afraid this won’t make me any friends: Religion has no place in Civil Authority or Government.

What does Iran teach us? Taken over by the Mullahs after their revolution after they overthrew the despotic regime of the Shah, nevertheless became more despotic themselves under their Ayatollahs, and their Mullahs, and their Revolutionary Guard, et al.

What does Saudi Arabia teach us, murdering and dismembering journalists in their embassies around the world?

What does Israel teach us, annexing the West Bank while America moves the Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem?

They teach us the same story as the Evangelical takeover of the Republican Party in our own country, where U.S. Attorney General William Barr is using his office to shill for nothing less than Theocracy, talking about America being taken over by “secular humanists” and “liberals,” and how we have to “push back” and “reclaim it for God.”

Because my family was involved in just this kind of effort back in the 1970s and 80s, and because when I left that world, the New York Times said that I was a “traitorous prince to an Evangelical Royal Family,” that family being the Schaeffers, I have been on the inside of this movement for a very long time, so please listen up when I say; the greatest danger to the world right now, aside from climate change and rising oceans and temperatures, is the creeping takeover of democracies around the globe by white nationalist, and/or other nationalist, religiously-based movements.

Reprinted with permission from the author.

Frank Schaeffer is a New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen books, including “Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God” and “Letter to Lucy: A Manifesto of Creative Redemption—In the Age of Trump, Fascism and Lies”, an Interactive, Multi-Touch Book available exclusively on Apple Books and Kindle Fire. He has been a frequent guest on the Rachel Maddow Show on NBC, has appeared on Oprah, been interviewed by Terri Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air and appeared on the Today Show, BBC News and many other media outlets. He is a much sought after speaker and has lectured at a wide range of venues from Harvard’s Kennedy School to the Hammer Museum/UCLA, Princeton University, Riverside Church Cathedral, DePaul University and the Kansas City Public Library.

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