By TheCriticalMind | 23 February 2023
First Amendment: “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.”
The American political landscape is littered with sanctimonious hypocrites creating religious organizations dedicated to enacting their Christian absolutism. Yet, despite the abundance of groups lobbying to institutionalize hate, there was a gap in their strategy. A little-known Christian missionary turned Arkansas state senator, Jason Rapert, noticed.
As the Deseret News reported:
“Soon after Rapert took office in 2011, he discovered a gap: There were religious liberty groups doing important work. There were different secular associations for legislators like the American Legislative Exchange Council. But there was no association specifically for Christian lawmakers. Rapert felt Christian legislators from across the country needed a way to connect with one another so they could “work together to restore a more godly nation.”
"They want to return America to its roots.
'Our ultimate goal and intent is that we restore the Judeo-Christian foundations of our government that were intended from the very beginning,' Rapert said."
— Andrew Whitehead (@ndrewwhitehead) July 12, 2021
In 2019, to fill the need, Rapert incorporated the National Association of Christian Lawmakers (NACL). In August 2020, the group held its charter meeting at the Hilton Hotel in Destin, Florida. Twenty-three elected officials were installed as the charter state chairs. And surfing a wave of Christian nationalism, they were off to the races.
According to its website NACL’s mission is to
“bring federal, state, and local lawmakers together in support of clear biblical principles by meeting regularly to discuss major issues, propose model statutes, ordinances, and resolutions to address major policy concerns from a biblical worldview
The NACL’s creation story starts in 2010 when God visited Rapert at the same hotel in Destin and asked,
‘Why are you not sacrificing to serve at home, in the same way, that you serve overseas when your country is in trouble?”
— National Association of Christian Lawmakers (@ChristLawmakers) February 24, 2023
Rapert was so impressed with this Divine visitation he quit his stockbroker job and ran for the Arkansas state senate. He won and served until 2022 when he ran for Lieutenant Governor. God apparently had another candidate in the race, as Rapert lost the Republican primary with less than 15% of the vote.
If there is any doubt about what NACL will lobby for, consider its founder. Rapert may think he is God’s mouthpiece, but unsurprisingly his positions spit in Jesus’s eye. He is a racist with a loathing for America’s first Black President. At a Tea Party rally in 2011, he said
“I hear you loud and clear, Barack Obama. You don’t represent the country that I grew up with. And your values is not going to save us. We’re going to take this country back for the Lord. We’re going to try to take this country back for conservatism. And we’re not going to allow minorities to run roughshod over what you people believe in.”
He believes in a total ban on abortion — including in cases rape and incest. And his position on women’s lives is shaky. Arkansas’s only abortion exception is to save the woman’s life in “a medical emergency.” Rapert has called exceptions to protect a woman’s health
“an open door you could drive a truck through. You could describe anything that way.”
After the Supreme Court overturned Roe he, through the NACL, pushed for a law banning women from traveling across state lines to get abortions. His ‘logic’ was insane. As reported by the Washington Post, he said
“Many of us have supported legislation to stop human trafficking. So why is there a pass on people trafficking women in order to make money off of aborting their babies?”
A lot of right wing tweeters are pretending that no one, anywhere, is even thinking about efforts to target women across state lines.
In fact, this is being discussed at conferences, and groups are *saying this is their intention in plain English.*https://t.co/y6glsLZL6U
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) July 8, 2022
Has he any evidence for these abortion entrepreneurs running women across state lines like Mexican coyotes smuggling immigrants? Of course not. He is pulling it out of his ass.
Rapert is also against some people being happy. In his first campaign for office, he said
“Traditional marriage in our society has always been between one man and one woman. I support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that protects that right now and forevermore.”
NB This raises the question, does Rapert get around on horseback? Has he shunned electricity? Does he wear britches? Or does he only cling to the traditions that hurt LGBT and minorities?
To complete the picture, Rapert is against medical marijuana and for the Ten Commandments. He also believes we should use nuclear weapons on ISIS.
The language of the First Amendment is clear on religion in American public life. Citizens could be as religious as they wanted, but the Constitution banned the state from favoring one variety over another.
Religious totalitarians today do not like that constitutional enshrinement of the Founders’ non-sectarian political philosophy. They ignore it in pursuing their dreams of Iron Age theocratic absolutism. Once, we would not have had to worry. But times have changed.
Previous conservative Supreme Courts have chipped away at 1A. This current iteration of the bench looks willing to go further. The Court has already given religious bigots their way on Roe. And the religious fundamentalists on the bench are eager to shoehorn more of their abhorrent form of Christianity into American public life.
National Association of Christian Lawmakers
Christian Nationalism Appears Ascendant In GOP Politics
The Dangerous New Movement In Right-Wing America | The Mehdi Hasan Show
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