In the category of just plain, breathtakingly stupid, televangelist Jim Bakker, who says Christians in this country are persecuted despite being a privileged majority, claimed that if parents tried to recite the Lord’s prayer at graduation that “they would threaten to mow you down with a machine gun.”
That’s right. Jim Bakker says Christians will be mowed down with machine guns for doing something Jesus told them not to do. You would think Bakker would be more worried about what Jesus thinks than what the government isn’t ever going to do outside of his fevered imaginings.
Watch courtesy of Right Wing Watch:
“So what happens if in that graduation most of the parents stand up and recite the Lord’s Prayer?” guest Rick Wiles, who recently claimed that we have been taken over” by Muslims, asked Bakker.
Sweet baby Jesus in a co-opted Pagan spring fertility festival basket. Can we stop the bleeding here? No, we can’t stop the bleeding here. Man up and read on:
Wiles: “What are they going to do? Is the judge going to come over and arrest you? Let’s get an uprising going.”
Baker: “They would threaten to arrest you, they would threaten to mow you down with a machine gun.”
Wiles: “So what if they did? They’re going to come in and shoot 500 parents at a high school graduation for saying the Lord’s Prayer?”
Bakker: “Not right now. But eventually they will if we don’t stop it.”
Right. Because this is happening every day all across America, right? It is difficult to say what is more pathetic, these clowns pretending their prurient fantasies are fact, or all the deluded old white people in the audience nodding their heads and clapping.
Bakker said that “We can’t preach the Bible anymore“ and blamed this imaginary persecution on “political correctness.” He’s wrong. He can go into his church and preach the Bible all he wants. That’s what churches are for. He can do it at home too, or in his friends’ homes. He can do it in all kinds of places. He just can’t do it in a public school.
Heck, if Christians were persecuted, they wouldn’t be in a position to foist all these so-called “religious freedom” laws – like the heinous new Georgia bill, HB 757 – on the rest of us to force us to do what they want.
And actually, of course, limits of preaching are due not to “political correctness” but rather to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, which prohibits the establishment of a state religion and protects the religious freedoms of all Americans, not just bigots like Bakker and Wiles.
Meaning no, you can’t preach in public schools anymore and you should never have been allowed to.
But here is the bigger issue for Bakker and Wiles, as alluded to above: Jesus said to pray in private, not like hypocrites in public.
“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:5-6).
Oh dear. This is a problem, isn’t it? Nope, not to the Religious Right, which consistently ignores the teachings of the guy they pretend to worship.
So far, no Religious Right figure has justified their stance on public prayer. None ever will. This is just another one of Jesus’ many commands that are daily ignored by the Religious Right while they try to shove things Jesus never talked about, like “traditional marriage,” and abortion and contraception bans, down our throats.
As you can see, Jesus’ command here was nonnegotiable. It has no exclusionary clauses. He states unequivocally that you must go into your room and shut the door to pray. Period. End of story.
Why, it’s just like those commandments they ignore!
Let’s have some discussion about that, Jim Bakker and Rick Wiles. We’re waiting for you to talk about what’s actually IN the New Testament, and not merely your own prejudices.
That will be the day the Religious Right accepts our shared reality and surrenders in its war on America.
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.