God’s self-anointed fanatics attack American democracy

By TheCriticalMind | 6 November 2022
Daily Kos

Women display their banners on 6 January 2021. (Credit: Gregory Starrett, CC BY-ND 4.0)

“Every one that God admits into the paradise will be married to 72 houries (wives) who are beautiful and virgins, with whom they can have eternal physical satisfaction.” — Hadith.

“I’m a Christian, and I say it proudly, we should be Christian nationalists.” — M.T. Greene

There is nothing more dangerous to democracy than rabid zealots convinced they are doing God’s work. Fanatical Muslims strap on bombs and blow up the innocent in their quest for God’s approbation and 72 virgins. Fundamentalist Christians lie about the Constitution to argue that the Founders intended religious bigotry to guide America.

Take Lance Wallnau. He is a self-described prophet who says whatever he wants and then claims he is channeling God. He loves to brag that God told him in 2015 that He had anointed Trump. When Trump eventually won the presidency, propelled by a wave of evangelical hypocrisy, Wallnau pleasured himself with a huge “I told you so.” That is the nature of prophecy. When one of these guessers gets one right, they will not shut up. And when they get one wrong, they say nothing — except to deny reality.

So when Biden crushed Trump in 2020, those who had bet on the wrong horse claimed, “we wuz robbed.” The lack of evidence did not impede their blatant mendacity. Why would it? These people think facts are a liberal plot and proof is a satanic value.

Wallnau was too dedicated to his crusade against America and her institutions to sit back. In 2022, he has been on the road, finding the worst of the worst and celebrating them as American saviors. We can judge Wallnau by the company he keeps. As the Washington Post reports,

“In July, Wallnau prayed over Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) before a cheering Atlanta arena audience. By early September, he was at a conference outside Colorado Springs with Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.). And, a few days after that, here he was in the suburbs of Harrisburg, Pa., for GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, whom he compared with George Washington at Valley Forge.

Now there’s another Christian colonel who is in charge,” Wallnau told the crowd of hundreds standing in a suburban restaurant parking lot. “They may out-gather, they may outmaneuver, and in my opinion, they may know how to out-cheat. But they cannot outflank us if we move as one. … The whole country will be affected by what happens in Pennsylvania.”

The prospect chills the soul. Should these sinners gain control, we are doomed. If these are God’s choosen, He has lost His marbles. And it is past His time to hang it up and enjoy His retirement. No one is more poorly qualified to helm the ship of state than these clueless energumens. Or, to paraphrase P.J. O’Rourke, “Giving money and power to these demented cultists is like giving whiskey and the car keys to teenage boys.”

I grew up in the Church of England, an Anglican sect that demanded little of its adherents. There was not much talk of hell and damnation. And Britain was well into its post-colonial existence and felt little need to track down the natives in undeveloped continents and tell them they were barking up the wrong religious tree.

Abortion did not send zealots to the ramparts, and the religious authorities had taken the LGBTQ+ community off the ‘going to hell’ list. Bible studies featured Jesus more than the Old Testament God and His excesses. Religious scholars dismissed His rampant sadism and anger management issues as allegorical. They viewed stories about the Great Flood and the Parting of the Red Sea as something Cecil B. DeMille dreamt up — not mass murder and miracles.

Most importantly, religion stuck to its lane and was never the reason for bad government policy. Political excess and failure were the temporal faults of second-rate people. And no one thought God should have a vote.

American conservative evangelicals are cut from a different cloth. They believe they are on God’s team, doing his smiting for him. And that they are executing Divine commands that no one else can hear. If Jesus is alive and witnessing this band of ravening squirrels, he must wonder why they cannot follow his instruction manual. After all, the language is clear, and the message crystal. Take care of your neighbor. Love thy enemy. Look after the stranger. Pay special attention to the needy, the old, and the prisoner.

Nowhere does he talk about abortion or recommend kicking the non-heteronormal, gender-fluid citizen in the head. He had little to offer on science — as scholars had little science to offer at the time. And the only people doing it were non-Christians. The message then was thus: God created everything, and this is all you need to know.

The human race has come a long way since then. Most Christians believe in science — sometimes with an added shoutout to God. Take the Catholic position on evolution as an example. The Church accepts evolution as currently described by the scientific community — and I will grant you there are arguments at the edges. Catholic dogma just puts God in at the beginning as the prime mover. So be it. As long as Catholicism does not deny students scientific literacy, these young learners can adapt God into their lives in any way they see fit.

And there ends sanity. On the other side of the line of reason are the so-called Christian nationalists who believe what they believe with no evidence. And worse, they would subject the rest of us to their rules. These zealots are a grunting fusion of power-crazed fascism and unfathomable ignorance. Next Tuesday, we will learn whether the voters have kept them on the margin. Or if the citizens and rampant Republican election rigging have given their anti-democratic authoritarianism free rein.

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