President Obama talked to Politico’s Glenn Thrush about “the degree to which the Republican rhetoric and Republican vision has moved not just to the right but has moved to a place that is unrecognizable.”
He wasn’t kidding neither, folks.
This unrecognizable place has never been more apparent than in recent headlines:
- Kim Davis telling us God sent her to fight marriage equality (funny, he sent Jesus too and Jesus never said a word about it!);
- Trump saying if he is president, ‘Christianity will have power’ in the US;
- Another major presidential hopeful, Ted Cruz, condoning the view that marriage equality is a sign of the ‘End Times’ (Christian views of which have been far from consistent over 2000 years);
- Former Representative Michele Bachmann claiming to David Barton Congress can’t never pass laws that violate “God’s law” – the Ten Commandments – because it “degrades the greatness of a nation.”
We could point to the Constitution’s First Amendment which states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” but we would be foolish to think they would care. The First Amendment prohibits Donald Trump from giving Christianity power and it certainly prohibits legislating the Bible.
Trump talked Saturday about the alleged war on Christianity taking place – invisibly apparently – all around us. Echoing Kim Davis’s claim that Christians are “being mashed down, literally,” he said,
“I’ll tell you one thing: I get elected president, we’re going to be saying ‘merry Christmas’ again. Just remember that. And by the way, Christianity will have power, without having to form.
“Because if I’m there, you’re going to have plenty of power. You don’t need anybody else. You’re going to have somebody representing you very, very well. Remember that.”
Never mind that Christianity has, and has always had, all kinds of power in the United States. They still do, even though they’ve recently lost the ability to dictate to the rest of us who can and cannot be married.
Trump made other ludicrous claims, the most laughable of which was that he would have “less difficulty” banning Christian immigrants than Muslim:
“If I said that about Christians, and if I said ‘banned,’ I’m telling you I would have had less difficulty. And that’s pretty sad, because we’re Christians. I’m Protestant. I’m Presbyterian.”
Actually, early Christian colonists loved banning each other right and left. As Sir Francis Bacon wrote in 1612, at the time these early colonists were beating each other about the head and shoulders in the name of God, “the true God hath this attribute, that he is a jealous God; and therefore, his worship and religion, will endure no mixture, nor partner.”
It was the very liberal American Revolution and it’s secular Constitution to put an end to such shenanigans for all time on these shores. Or or so we thought. But then again, we thought the Constitution prohibited proposals Republicans are now making nearly every day.
Ted Cruz is no better, and probably worse. He is the candidate of choice of the Religious Right and his father has all but proclaimed him the messiah.
Meanwhile, Michele Bachmann assures us that if Congress passes laws which are not in line with “moral law” it “degrades us as a nation, it degrades our liberties and it degrades the greatness of a nation and that’s what God understood from Old Testament times: The greatness of a nation is built up by His law.”
That is her vision. It was clearly not the vision of the Founding Fathers. Those men could have given us a theocracy if that was what we had wanted. But nobody wanted that.
The Founding Fathers gave us a liberal democracy instead – the world’s first – and even without reading all the things they said, we should assume they gave us what they wanted to give us.
And their words do support it. Nobody got everything they wanted. There was a great deal of compromise. People argued, people voted, the states debated and ratified. By and large, America got the government it wanted.
The Constitution of which does not mention Trump’s or Bachmann’s God, Bible, or Ten Commandments. The Constitution is based on English common law. And as Thomas Jefferson said in 1764:
“Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law.”
Which explains why you don’t see it in the Constitution. Which is why Donald Trump and Michele Bachmann and Ted Cruz and Kim Davis are all wrong, and not only wrong, but dangerously wrong.
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.