GOP Religious Tyranny Offers Combined Anti-Democratic Issues For 2024!

By Donald A. Collins | 14 January 2024
Church and State

(Credit: YouTube / screengrab)

As the Presidential campaigns begin to take center stage, the sharp contrasts in argumentation between the Trump GOP and Biden’s admonition that we are deciding whether to pick authoritarianism or democracy suggest citizens better understand how starkly those views will affect them.

First let’s start with the POV I have written about before, namely, that we are now in a new Civil War, reflecting the return of the basis for the 1860 to 1865 conflict over slavery, which surfaced with the Niki Haley answer to a questioner of what caused the Civil War.

In a 1/13/24 Washington Post article entitled “Civil War talk in presidential contest reveals fresh divisions on race–The conflict that ripped the country apart 160 years ago has resurfaced as a campaign issue” begins by reporting,

What started with a single question from a voter about the origins of the Civil War has morphed into a sprawling political clash over a monumental event in American history, making the Civil War a major component of a presidential election for the first time in recent memory and exposing fresh divisions over race, history and progress.

Since former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley did not mention slavery when asked two weeks ago what sparked the conflict that tore apart the nation from 1861 to 1865, every major presidential candidate has weighed in on it. Their commentary sheds light on how each party is addressing long-standing divisions over the legacy of its most divisive period — and what they mean for the current battles over race in America.

Republicans often downplay the worst components of the Civil War era, arguing that the country has moved far beyond its earlier sins and does not benefit from resurfacing them. Democrats, by contrast, see an integral tie between America’s history of racism and its modern-day reality, and draw very different conclusions about what is needed to address that history.

Read the whole story here which reminds us about the falsity and continuing racism of the South after the Civil War in promoting the “Lost Cause” which Haley was echoing in her initial answer to what caused the Civil War:

Now let’s turn to the bundling of false issues that the Trump GOP and the Christian Nationalist are busy selling to undermine a basic principle granted in the First Amendment in our Constitution’s Bill of rights:

First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; of abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the rights of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

That religious tyranny is rampantly growing in its quest for legal verification in arguing for eliminating the separation of church and state which is Constitutional blasphemy!!! Unfit for a secular democracy!!

Such is the position taken by the evangelicals and is fully documented by the 1/12/24 Washington Post article entitled “God & Country’ film spotlights Christian nationalism’s threat to democracy” about a new documentary film.” Created by Rob Reiner who you may recall was Meathead, Archie Bunker’s son in law in Lear’s classic All In The Family sitcom. My son in law James Greene, who made a movie with Carroll O’Conner, told me he was the complete opposite of his Bunker role in his personal political views.

The article reports that,

The 90-minute documentary, directed by Dan Partland, is inspired by the 2020 book “The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism,” by Katherine Stewart. It includes a who’s who of prominent Christians — almost all Protestant or nondenominational — who have in recent years rung bells about growing anti-pluralistic, anti-democratic strains of religion in the United States, and about their symbiotic relationship with Donald Trump.

“Evangelicalism got married with a kind of political activism, and now evangelicalism has morphed into a cultural and political movement that some people are saying is better described as ‘Christian nationalism,’” Skye Jethani, co-host of the “Holy Post” podcast, says in the film.

“God & Country” illustrates this by weaving clips of prominent Christians floating antidemocratic ideas. John MacArthur, whom Christianity Today has called one of the most influential pastors in modern times, says: “No Christian with half a brain would say, ‘We support religious freedom!’ We support truth!”

The film tallies the billions of dollars that advocacy groups have spent in an effort to put their favored version of conservative Christianity in government and quotes longtime political consultant and founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition Ralph Reed telling a gathering of the North Carolina branch of his group how it blanketed conservative Christians with texts, calls and home visits to get them to vote. “I don’t want to scare you, but we had 147 different data points we tracked.”

Phil Vischer, an animator who co-created the formerly Christian-themed children’s video series “Veggie Tales,” says in the film that Christian Nationalism has exploded because many Christians have come to believe that the United States has a special God-ordained role.

“Here’s the thing: If I have decided that America is irreplaceable in God’s story … and democracy gets in the way, well democracy has to go,” Vischer said, describing this way of thinking.”.

In short, as Trump’s VP Mike Pence opined often, “I’m a Christian, a conservative and a Republican in that order”. As the percentage of white Christians in our population declines, that gives rise to the willingness of many evangelicals to seek repressive laws to Christian Nationalism mandatory and encouraging their adherents to vote accordingly.

Then add to this Christian fervor the incentive offered by Trump which makes violence in pursuit of your beliefs okay. As my 1/11/24 op ed argued, “Trump’s Rhetoric Creates Violence Now A Main Trump Campaign Tactic!”

Read my piece again here.

Our founding fathers were trying to avoid the kind of tyrannical repression religious zealots can offer! Example, thanks to Trump, who brags about his role in appointing 3 Justices, the majority of Justices who have taken over our Supreme Court killed Roe in June 2022.

Thus, the worst bundling of tyrannical issues, with Trump’s stated plans for his authoritarian 2nd term, you can be sure these religious types, who are actually non-religious political zealots will try to destroy our democracy as the above quote tells us “‘Here’s the thing: If I have decided that America is irreplaceable in God’s story … and democracy gets in the way, well democracy has to go,’ Vischer said, describing this way of thinking.”

Let’s be very clear. The combination of Trump’s power play and the evangelicals who believe democracy is a white Christians’ legal right to govern are simply racists unwilling to agree that our multinational country has been and is bolstered and bettered by diversity and the talent immigrants have always brought here.

Your call, Folks.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”, “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”, “Vote”, “Can Homo Sapiens Survive?”, “Will Choice and Democracy Win?”, “Can Our U.S. Survive 8 Plus Billion of Us”, “Economic Growth: A Cancer on all Earthly Life” and “On the Precipice of Political Disaster in 2024”.

Hear Nikki Haley’s response to question about cause of Civil War

‘God & Country’ explores rise of Christian nationalism in America

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