Bishop Harry Jackson, who earlier claimed he prayed a gay newspaper out of existence, wants churches to become “prophetic voices.” In a four-minute video, he now tells the faithful to pray for their local churches to “speak to us and give us direction; they need to tell us who to vote for.”
Watch the video from Right Wing Watch:
I want to encourage you to pray for the local church and for the radio and television ministries around our nation; we need to pray that they become prophetic voices to our generation. I believe especially in this election season they speak to us and give us direction. They need to tell us who to vote for. Who has a the prophetic mantle of god upon them? in other words, who is carrying out god’s will in our day?
Not only is this a blatant call for illegal activity on the part of churches, it is an invitation to chaos. What happens when different churches produce different prophetic wisdom? Is Jackson forgetting that in 2008 God chose Sarah Palin, the new Esther? Or that Sarah Palin, as God’s chosen, assured America that God would do the right thing for America?
You know that she wasn’t talking about an Obama victory.
Has Jackson forgotten that each Republican candidate in 2012 announced that God had directed them to run? Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann, in particular, acted like messiah wannabes. If God can’t even make up his mind in direct communication with these little messiahs, who are churches supposed to do any better as intermediaries?
Even if it is denominations that decide – and yes, humans will decide, not whatever God Evangelicals think they are praying to – there are many denominations. And here is a big conundrum for “especially this election season”: Mitt Romney’s Mormon god is not the Christian god in the mind of most Christians (it was not in mine during my brief experience with Mormonism once I found out he was a dime-a-dozen godling and not the Supreme Being I’d been brought up as a Lutheran to believe in). How could the Evangelical god tell his faithful to vote for another god’s candidate?
The politics of heaven are pretty messy in 2012.
But those are problems for America’s fundamentalist crazies. There is a bigger problem for the rest of us: what happened to the First Amendment? What happens when you have a Catholic candidate, a Protestant candidate (or several), and maybe a Jewish candidate and a Muslim candidate and other religions put forward their own candidates? It is an invitation to religious strife.
The Founding Fathers lived at the end of a long era of brutal religious wars in Europe: Catholic vs. Protestant strife had reigned since the Reformation. All Englishmen were aware of the violence on their island that was the result of these differences. Seeking the endorsement of churches is exactly what the Founding Fathers hoped to save America from.
Yes in 2012 we saw the Republican platform written by the likes of David Barton and Tony Perkins and other religious extremists. The influence of these religious extremists have never been higher than in 2012. If you think about how frighteningly close America came to theocracy under George W. Bush, you won’t be able to sleep for thinking about what will happen on Romney’s watch.
A concomitant effort is under way by Rick Scarborough to pray the “ungodly” out of office:
In the course of the next forty days, we’re going to pray for every member of Congress by name, every member of the Senate by name, the President, the Vice-President and the Attorney General every single day and also every member of the Supreme Court every single day. But we do want to call out, cry out, for these major leaders for our country and forty days from now we want to be able to report to them that thousands of people called their name to Heaven and asked God to give them wisdom, and if their heart is hardened, to remove them from leadership so that godly people can take their place.
We have seen the reintroduction of forbidden religious tests too. These are naked power plays by the Religious Right. They have, over the past decade or so, made a mockery of the First Amendment. Theocracy is their goal and they get closer every year.
Look at how Billy Graham’s son, Franklin Graham interprets our system of government:
Americans must remember that while our nation was founded upon godly principles, we do not have a state religion; rather, our Constitution provides for the freedom to worship without interference from government. Our forefathers shed their blood to win this right. We must be committed to electing leaders who will protect this liberty and uphold the Constitution as one nation under God that ensures God’s moral laws will not be violated by man’s ever-changing laws.
In other words, the American revolution was all about establishing a nation and a government for Christians. The government can’t interfere in religion but in some bizarre way government exists to serve the best interests of Christianity and “God’s moral laws”, whatever those are. I think our forefathers would be shocked by this. There is certainly nothing in their writings to suggest that this was behind their thinking.
In recent days, former President Clinton said that President Obama “has a plan to rebuild America from the ground up,” but God-fearing Americans have no desire to see America rebuilt — but rather, restored. To “rebuild it” would be to create a new nation, perhaps without God or under many gods. This was never the intent of those who shed their blood for the freedom to worship as “one nation under God.” I pray that all Americans who love and fear God will put aside labels and vote for principle — God’s principles — that for many years resulted in His blessing upon our nation.
Going back to my earlier question, “How could the Evangelical god tell his faithful to vote for another god’s candidate?” Graham makes an argument for the Mormon Romney, saying that “an evangelical Christian [can] vote for a Mormon.” His reasoning is this: “If a biblically faithful evangelical could only vote for a candidate who was perfectly aligned theologically, he or she would be unable to cast a vote for president on November 6 — and that poses another problem for the believer; citizenship in God’s kingdom and in this country demands that we participate by voting and praying for those who govern this earthly kingdom.”
Apparently, close counts not only in horseshoes and hand grenades, but in religion. Romney will indulge them in their desire for a Bartonic fantasy America. The Religious Right is eager to define this election as a clear-cut choice: Mitt Romney and the Bible or Barack Obama and the Constitution?
The Religious Right is generally wrong but they got this one right. I’d say that’s a pretty clear-cut choice for the rest of us too. America was founded on the ideals not of the Bible but of the Constitution, which does not mention God, not the Christian God nor any other God. Those who believe in the very secular Enlightenment ideals embodies by the IUnited States Constitution must vote for Barack Obama.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.