Just recently an op-ed in the New York Times railed on the Trump family for being grifters in using the White House as a personal profit machine. Another bunch of stories this weekend pilloried Trump for complaining that he cannot be dictator because of the Constitution’s checks and balances that prohibit a tyrant from running the Executive Branch.
Of course none of these kind of stories are surprising and if anyone who’s been conscious over the past year-and-a-half says they’re shocked, then they’re likely lying. Everything going on, or just being revealed, within the Trump administration was predicted and warned was coming even before the corrupt liar won the election. One item continues being ignored by the main stream and independent media and it is still a mystery why no-one, save a few people, are reporting on the evangelical theocratization of the government.
Trump has been really, really good and extremely generous to the religious right thus far in giving them unprecedented power and authority over the people by government fiat. He appointed a raging evangelical who claims the Separation Clause in the U.S. Constitution is “unconstitutional” as the attorney general. He chose a “Christian supremacist” running mate as evangelically extreme as he is a liar second only to Trump. And he tapped a filthy rich Christian whose brilliant plan is running the Education Department like an evangelical ministry to “confront the culture and advance god’s kingdom.” Add to that the weekly prayer meetings and bible lessons for Trump’s Cabinet, the House and Senate with an uber-extremist Christian preacher so extreme his own church disowned and disavowed him. One challenges any know-nothing, liberal or conservative, to dare claim the theocrats in Trump’s administration are not a threat to the people.
After promising to give churches tens-of-billions of taxpayer money and the freedom to campaign for religious Republicans from the pulpit, one wondered how Trump would force taxpayers to fund evangelical extremist’s propaganda campaign against women’s autonomy over their bodies and lives. Well the Trump came through and appointed a raging evangelical extremist as the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) assistant secretary of public affairs; the person in that top public affairs office is responsible for shaping communications efforts for the entire agency.
The woman, Charmaine Yoest, is a senior fellow at American Values and the former president of Americans United for Life (AUL). AUL’s website advertises that the group offers religious Republican state lawmakers 32 different pieces of model legislation to restrict access to abortion. And it proudly characterizes Charmaine Yoest as “public enemy #1” for abortion rights organizations. A more apt description is Yoest is public enemy #1 for a woman’s right to control her own body and reproductive health.
Yoest’s current gig is with American Values that boasts its vision “is a [Christian] nation that embraces life, marriage, family, faith, and freedom.” Yoest’s claim to fame among evangelicals at American Values has been leading the war against women’s choice. That war primarily entails advancing anti-women’s choice legislation in the states to restrict access to the constitutionally-protected legal medical procedure.
Now this religious fanatic holds a high-level position with a mandate to provide scientifically accurate and factual information to the public. Make note that this woman wouldn’t know factual and accurate information if mythical Jesus materialized and slapped the religion off her evangelical face. Now that religious face and its extremist anti-woman agenda is going to have a federally-funded HHS forum to spread the AV, AUL, and Catholic-driven personhood movement as propaganda.
Senator Patty Murray issued a statement, a fairly mild statement, but one that needed to be made.
“Ms. Yoest has a long record of seeking to undermine women’s access to health care and safe, legal abortion by distorting the facts, and her selection shows yet again that this administration is pandering to extreme [evangelical] conservatives and ignoring the millions of men and women nationwide who support women’s constitutionally protected health care rights and don’t want to go backward.”
The Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood, Dawn Laguens said:
“It is unacceptable that someone with a history of promoting [religious] myths and false information about women’s health is appointed to a government position whose main responsibility is to provide the public with accurate and factual information.” (author bold)
As a profile in a 2012 New York Times article by Emily Bazelon noted about the newly-crowned HHS evangelical propaganda minister:
“Yoest’s opposition to legal abortion leaves no room for exceptions in the case of rape or incest or to preserve the health [or life] of the mother. She believes that embryos have legal rights and opposes birth control … that she thinks has life-ending properties.”
This evangelical crusader now has the full authority of the federal government increasingly under the sway of an extremist evangelical administration. And she will undoubtedly use her new position to provide the public with sheer nonsense founded on lies and absurd Catholic dogmata – and taxpayer’s will fund the evangelical propagandist’s anti-women’s rights campaign.
Look, this is another distressing development that likely wasn’t even Trump’s idea. Remember, it was widely reported that Trump said his job was CEO of making America great and it would be the vice president that set domestic and foreign policies. With a lying evangelical fanatic in the number two position, an attorney general who believes the Separation Clause is unconstitutional, an education secretary who wants public schools to advance god’s kingdom, and now an HHS communication’s chief renowned for attacking women’s rights on religious grounds, no-one can say this country isn’t being taken over by evangelical theocrats.
If all of this had happened suddenly and with no indication it was on the horizon, it is possible, but not likely, that this author would not be in a raging fit. Horrified yes, but not angry. What is so vexatious is that for over 17 years, warning Americans about the creeping theocratic takeover has been an important and frequent topic of many, many opinion pieces and commentary in print and digital media. Throughout that period and continuing unabated it was considered taboo, and a near-mortal sin, to use the word “theocracy” or dog forbid; state the fact that religion is behind most of the anti-everything Christian agenda of the Republican Party.
It is a sad fact of life that despite the warnings, and chastising the media and Democrats for not alerting Americans to the religious intent driving Republican “social policy” legislation, the government is now under the complete control of evangelical theocrats. And, as this column often states, if any American thinks they are immune from the danger of allowing maniacal evangelicals to take over the government, then they are ignorant imbeciles.
History is replete with examples of the danger of religious fervor and zealotry under the best of circumstances. But with the full weight and force of the United States government behind the Christian crusaders, they pose an existential threat to every American’s freedom. And, that threat exists, in no small part, because Democrats and all manner of media are too cowardly to ever cite the real source of the threat to Americans’ freedom – evangelical fanaticism.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.