The Wall of Separation Blog https://www.au.org/ en It’s A New Day For The Nation -- And For Church-State Separation https://www.au.org/blogs/new-day-America <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">It’s A New Day For The Nation -- And For Church-State Separation</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/95" lang="" about="/user/95" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">boston</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed Jan 20, 2021 - 08:11</span> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rob-boston" hreflang="und">Rob Boston</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/biden%20harris%20greet%20screenshot.png?h=cdf959ad&amp;itok=oY9NycVs" width="1700" height="525" alt="Biden and Harris" title="President Biden and Vice President Harris" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p>When the country changes presidential administrations, you can usually count on hearing political pundits wax poetic about the peaceful transition of power in the world’s greatest democracy.</p> <p>Not this time. Even before any ballots were cast, President Donald Trump refused to say that he would commit to a peaceful transition if he lost. Trump did lose and spent more than two months fomenting hysteria by feeding his diehard supporters lies about how the election had been stolen from him. Despite having zero evidence of voter fraud and suffering a string of losses in court, Trump kept up the drumbeat, culminating in a horrific Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol by a mob he’d whipped into a frenzy.</p> <p>As a result, <a href="https://www.npr.org/sections/biden-transition-updates/2021/01/18/957802213/bidens-inauguration-is-going-to-look-very-different-heres-what-to-know">today’s inauguration</a> of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will take place under heavy military and police presence. It’s unfortunate that Washington, D.C., had to become an armed camp on this day, but it was crucial to protect the nation’s new leaders. It’s also unfortunate that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage our country, requiring a more subdued celebration that doesn’t allow for large crowds of Biden’s supporters. </p> <p>The good news is, we’re likely to see positive change right away. Biden may get rid of Trump’s noxious Muslim Ban as early as today. Biden’s policies on reproductive freedom and LGBTQ rights will be a vast improvement. He’ll take leadership of the <a href="https://www.au.org/tags/protecting-religious-freedom-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic">coronavirus pandemic</a> and institute policies that protect our rights, including religious freedom, while implementing commonsense steps promoted by medical experts to keep everyone as healthy as possible. He supports public education. He actually seems to care about people other than himself.</p> <p>And most refreshingly, Biden will restore decency, decorum and professionalism to the White House. When hate-filled neo-Nazis march in our streets, you can bet Biden won’t claim that they are “good people.” When conspiracy theorists spew their nonsense, Biden will pay them no mind. When Christian nationalists demand repression, Biden will turn them aside.</p> <p>Won’t it be nice to wake up in the morning no longer worrying about what embarrassing things the president tweeted overnight? Won’t it be great to watch a White House press conference and not cringe? Won’t it be wonderful to go about your daily business secure in the knowledge that the government is back in the hands of grown-ups?</p> <p>But that’s not all. Remember, Americans United has prepared an <a href="https://www.au.org/BidenAgenda">Agenda to Restore &amp; Protect Religious Freedom</a>. We hope the Biden administration will embrace it.</p> <p>There is much work to be done to fix the damage of the past four years. Americans United is plunging in, eager and happy to work in the light of a new day that looks so much brighter than even last week. Come along; there’s always <a href="https://www.au.org/become-a-member">room for you</a>.</p> <p> </p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issues field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Issues</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/religious-freedom" hreflang="en">Religious Freedom</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/lgbtq-rights" hreflang="en">LGBTQ Rights</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/reproductive-rights" hreflang="en">Reproductive Rights</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/joe-biden" hreflang="en">Joe Biden</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/kamala-harris" hreflang="en">Kamala Harris</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/donald-trump" hreflang="en">Donald Trump</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/muslim-ban" hreflang="en">Muslim Ban</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/religious-right-0" hreflang="en">Religious Right</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/protecting-religious-freedom-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic" hreflang="en">Protecting Religious Freedom During the Coronavirus Pandemic</a></div> </div> </div> Wed, 20 Jan 2021 13:11:05 +0000 boston 16587 at https://www.au.org On His Way Out The Door, Trump Attempts To Rewrite American History https://www.au.org/blogs/trump-history-commission <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">On His Way Out The Door, Trump Attempts To Rewrite American History</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/95" lang="" about="/user/95" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">boston</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue Jan 19, 2021 - 11:36</span> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rob-boston" hreflang="und">Rob Boston</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/us%20constitution.jpg?h=51a72048&amp;itok=4ZlsiuD0" width="1700" height="525" alt="constitution" title="US Constitution" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p>As yet another parting gift to the nation, the Trump administration has released a document called <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/The-Presidents-Advisory-1776-Commission-Final-Report.pdf">“The 1776 Report”</a> that attempts to rewrite American history by recycling a number of discredited “Christian nation” myths.</p> <p>In September, Trump announced the formation of a commission to “teach our children about the miracle of American history.” Dubbed the 1776 Commission, its members were announced about a week before Christmas. Now, roughly a month later, the commission has produced its report.</p> <p>The 41-page document is notable for what it doesn’t contain: It has no footnotes and cites no references. In fact, it reads more like an extended op-ed than a serious piece of research.</p> <p>The report has many problems, chief among them its refusal to seriously engage the issue of slavery in America. It is also studded with laughable right-wing talking points. For example, it lists the reforms proposed during the Progressive Era, an early 20th century movement that sought to tackle issues like political corruption, immigration, poverty and women’s rights, as a threat to the Constitution alongside communism and fascism.</p> <p>And in the document’s Appendix 2, titled “Faith and America’s Principles,” it really goes off the rails.</p> <p>Anyone who attempts to argue that the government of the United States has a religious basis, as this report does incessantly, quickly runs into a problem: Our Constitution doesn’t say that. In fact, its First Amendment says the opposite.</p> <p>One way Christian nationalists to get around this is by making constant references to the Declaration of Independence, which contains four deistic references to God, and insisting that there is some sort of unbroken line between these two documents. Indeed, the 1776 Report does this repeatedly.</p> <p>But the Declaration and the Constitution are two very different documents that aimed to achieve different things. It’s helpful to think of the Declaration as an announcement to the world that our nation was determined to be free from Great Britain. It lists our grievances and solicits the support of other countries.</p> <p>The Declaration, written by Thomas Jefferson in 1776, says nothing about the structure of our new government; that is not its purpose. The Constitution, on the other hand, is a true governance document. Drafted years after the Revolution (primarily by James Madison), it’s much longer and deliberative and goes into great detail about the structure of the new U.S. government. It replaced the Articles of Confederation, an interim document that proved to be ineffective.</p> <p>In one of its most offensive and ahistorical statements, the commission asserts that the founders sought “neither to weaken the importance of faith nor to set up a secular state, but to open up the public space of society to a common American morality.”</p> <p>This attack on secular government is deliberate; it is a calculated move designed to undermine a key feature of our Constitution.</p> <p>What’s so cynical about this strategy is that it takes the story of the development of religious freedom in America – which is powerful and inspiring – and replaces it with pious platitudes about “one nation under God” that derive not from the founding period but from the anti-communist hysteria of the 1950s.</p> <p>Unlike the 1776 Commission, which promotes the absurd idea that there has been a common American creed that always promotes equality and fairness (a notion impossible to reconcile in a nation that for so long fostered slavery), the real story of religious freedom in America is messy. There were plenty of bumps along the way, plenty of rights were not respected and plenty of mistakes had to be corrected.</p> <p>Yet the story has lots of highlights: It’s the tale of a nation influenced by a small band of theocratically minded Puritan refugees that became a place where people are free to profess multiple varieties of Christianity alongside Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc., or profess no faith at all.</p> <p>That would not have been possible without separation of church and state and its key partner, secular government. We ought to be proud of those features. Instead, the 1776 Commission tosses them aside and in favor of a tale anchored in myths and wishful thinking.</p> <p>I have no idea how President-elect Joe Biden will deal with this report, coming as it does just days before Trump leaves office, but I have a suggestion: toss it in the nearest trashcan.</p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issues field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Issues</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/history-and-origins-of-church-state-separation" hreflang="en">History and Origins of Church-State Separation</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/constitution" hreflang="en">Constitution</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/donald-trump" hreflang="en">Donald Trump</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/joe-biden" hreflang="en">Joe Biden</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/secular" hreflang="en">Secular</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/christian-nationalism" hreflang="en">Christian nationalism</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/thomas-jefferson" hreflang="en">thomas jefferson</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/james-madison" hreflang="en">James Madison</a></div> </div> </div> Tue, 19 Jan 2021 16:36:00 +0000 boston 16583 at https://www.au.org Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, An Advocate Of Church-State Separation https://www.au.org/blogs/remembering-Dr-King <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, An Advocate Of Church-State Separation</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/95" lang="" about="/user/95" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">boston</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon Jan 18, 2021 - 08:46</span> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rob-boston" hreflang="und">Rob Boston</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/MLK.jpg?h=8ca9d0f4&amp;itok=cIY_Jmvr" width="1700" height="525" alt="MLK" title="Dr. King " typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p>Today marks the federal observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. As the nation pauses to remember King and his achievements, it’s a good time to take a look at what this towering American leader thought about church-state issues.</p> <p>First off, King was no advocate of partisan politicking in the pulpit. While King, a Baptist minister, spoke powerfully about issues of racial justice and equality from pulpits, he didn’t see the need to hand out candidate endorsements in church. The late U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who worked with King in the 1960s, pointed out several times that King did not electioneer in church.</p> <p>“Ministers who led the civil rights movement did not select political candidates and operate our churches like political action committees," Lewis <a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/november-2002-church-state/featured/protecting-the-pulpit">said</a> during an Oct. 1, 2002, debate on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. "Although their churches and leaders faced violence and hatred for their efforts to protect human rights and human dignity, they were free and even protected by the Constitution to speak out on these issues. At no time did we envision or even contemplate the need for our houses of worship to become partisan pulpits."</p> <p>King also did not support the Religious Right’s attack on reproductive rights. He was an advocate of family planning. For his work on this issue, King in 1966 was given Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger Award, which the organization presents annually to leaders who support reproductive justice.</p> <p>Accepting the award on his behalf, King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, <a href="https://archive.thinkprogress.org/abortion-opponents-claim-martin-luther-king-jr-would-be-fighting-against-planned-parenthood-today-fc82b18e0771/">read a statement from King</a>, during which he remarked, “Our sure beginning in the struggle for equality by nonviolent direct action may not have been so resolute without the tradition established by Margaret Sanger and people like her.”</p> <p>King supported the Supreme Court’s decisions striking down government-sponsored prayer in public schools. King was asked about this issue during a January 1965 <a href="https://scrapsfromtheloft.com/2018/01/01/martin-luther-king-jr-playboy-interview-1965/">interview</a> with <em>Playboy</em> magazine written by Alex Haley. King not only backed the high court’s rulings, but he also noted that his frequent nemesis, Gov. George Wallace of Alabama, stood on the other side.</p> <p>“I endorse it. I think it was correct,” King said. “Contrary to what many have said, it sought to outlaw neither prayer nor belief in God. In a pluralistic society such as ours, who is to determine what prayer shall be spoken, and by whom? Legally, constitutionally or otherwise, the state certainly has no such right. I am strongly opposed to the efforts that have been made to nullify the decision. They have been motivated, I think, by little more than the wish to embarrass the Supreme Court. When I saw Brother Wallace going up to Washington to testify against the decision at the Congressional hearings, it only strengthened my conviction that the decision was right.”</p> <p>King would have been highly skeptical of the Religious Right’s crusade for teaching creationism and “intelligent design” in public schools. King saw no need for religion and science to fight. <em>Strength to Love</em>, a collection of King’s sermons, contains this <a href="https://blog.ucsusa.org/michael-halpern/science-religion-and-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-222">King observation</a>: “Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals. They are complementary. Science keeps religion from sinking into the valley of crippling irrationalism and paralyzing obscurantism. Religion prevents science from falling into the marsh of obsolete materialism and moral nihilism.”</p> <p>In one of his most famous passages, which comes from a sermon that was also printed in <em>Strength to Love</em>, King reminded Americans that the church "must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state." He called on the church to be critical of the government when necessary but never to become "its tool." </p> <p>Christian nationalists sometimes try to claim King, but he was no friend of their views. Take a moment today and celebrate his true legacy of freedom.</p> <p> </p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/martin-luther-king-jr" hreflang="en">Martin Luther King Jr.</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/george-wallace" hreflang="en">George Wallace</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/reproductive-freedom" hreflang="en">Reproductive Freedom</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/planned-parenthood" hreflang="en">Planned Parenthood</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/official-prayer-public-school" hreflang="en">official prayer in public school</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/pulpit-politicking" hreflang="en">Pulpit Politicking</a></div> </div> </div> Mon, 18 Jan 2021 13:46:15 +0000 boston 16582 at https://www.au.org White Evangelical Christians Sticking With Trump Until The Bitter End https://www.au.org/blogs/white-evangelicals-trump <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">White Evangelical Christians Sticking With Trump Until The Bitter End</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/95" lang="" about="/user/95" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">boston</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu Jan 14, 2021 - 09:34</span> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rob-boston" hreflang="und">Rob Boston</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/VVS%20crowd_0.jpg?h=20513853&amp;itok=eSSPAJTx" width="1700" height="525" alt="VVS crowd" title="Values Voter Summit" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p>President Donald Trump yesterday managed the dubious achievement of becoming the only U.S. president to be <a href="https://apnews.com/article/trump-impeachment-vote-capitol-siege-0a6f2a348a6e43f27d5e1dc486027860">impeached twice</a>.</p> <p>While <a href="https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/trump-impeachment-removal-polls/">polls show</a> a majority of Americans favor impeachment, Trump’s most dogged supporters are furious. Who are these people? In the wake of last week’s insurrection, reporters have been analyzing the mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol. They’re finding a strange mishmash of conspiracy theorists, racists, xenophobes, militia cranks and right-wing populists.</p> <p>But there’s another element of Trump’s diehard coalition that we shouldn’t overlook: white evangelical Christians. <a href="https://religionnews.com/2021/01/12/the-faith-of-the-insurrectionists/">We know they were there</a> on Jan. 6; photos show them hoisting signs bearing crosses and references to Jesus.</p> <p>This isn’t surprising. White evangelicals have been among Trump’s strongest supporters. About 80% of them voted for Trump in 2016, a figure that more or less held steady in 2020.</p> <p>Scholar Ryan P. Burge at Eastern Illinois University <a href="https://religioninpublic.blog/2021/01/13/who-are-trumps-most-ardent-supporters/">analyzed data</a> from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, which surveyed 18,000 Americans in November of 2019. As Burge put it, “They asked a number of questions that can help us start to generate a picture of Donald Trump’s most ardent supporters and may help us understand what factors led to the violent and despicable acts that were perpetrated on the American public [Jan. 6.]”</p> <p>When Burge examined the people who consider themselves “very conservative” and who said they “strongly approved” of Trump, he found something interesting about their religious beliefs: They don’t align with the rest of America. Nearly half of these people identified as evangelicals, while in the general population, that figure is much lower at about 22%.  </p> <p>Burge also found that Trump’s most ardent supporters are more likely to attend religious services than the rest of the population. He observed, “Clearly, Trump’s support is deeply intertwined with religious concerns and devotion to religion and to the 45th president are correlated.”</p> <p>I’ve observed this phenomenon firsthand. During the 2016 campaign and after Trump’s election, I sat in on meetings of Christian nationalist groups and observed members swoon as Trump spewed invective and bile. Over the past four years, I’ve read their websites and publications as they time and again found excuses for his crass behavior. Most recently I watched, disgusted, as they <a href="https://www.au.org/blogs/blame-the-progressives">attempted to absolve him</a> for inciting a violent attack on the very symbol of American democracy.</p> <p>What can possibly explain this behavior? In his conclusion, Burge gets right to the heart of it, pointing out that right-wing evangelicals saw their support of Trump as a <em>quid pro quo</em> arrangement.</p> <p>“Donald Trump, first and foremost, is a showman who loves to reward his supporters who have shown unshakable devotion to him over the last four years,” wrote Burge. “His gift to these people is that he gave them what they wanted – a policy agenda that continued to shift to the right as each year passed of his administration. And in return, the most loyal portion of Trump’s constituency returned the favor by doing exactly what he asked them to do: storm the United States Capitol building to delay the counting of the electoral college votes. …”</p> <p>But at what cost? In just six days, Trump will no longer be president. It will take a long time to remove the stain of his rule from our national psyche. As for the right-wing evangelicals who enabled him, they’ll carry the shame forever.</p> <p><em>Photo: Trump supporters at the Christian nationalists’ Values Voter Summit meeting</em></p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/religious-right-0" hreflang="en">Religious Right</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/donald-trump" hreflang="en">Donald Trump</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/values-voter-summit" hreflang="en">Values Voter Summit</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/evangelical-christianity" hreflang="en">Evangelical Christianity</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/polls" hreflang="en">polls</a></div> </div> </div> Thu, 14 Jan 2021 14:34:49 +0000 boston 16581 at https://www.au.org Top Southern Baptist Official Says Trump Must Go https://www.au.org/blogs/Moore-says-impeach <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Top Southern Baptist Official Says Trump Must Go</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/95" lang="" about="/user/95" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">boston</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed Jan 13, 2021 - 09:20</span> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rob-boston" hreflang="und">Rob Boston</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/trump%20crowd%202%20.png?h=072c3fbd&amp;itok=8b3pDsBb" width="1700" height="525" alt="crowd" title="Trump crowd" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p>This blog has been <a href="https://www.au.org/blogs/blame-the-progressives">highly critical</a> of evangelical Christian leaders who have continued to support President Donald Trump even in the face of his incitement of last week’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.</p> <p>In fairness, we should note that there is at least one prominent figure from this community who has taken a different approach, a man who has condemned Trump and unequivocally called for him to resign or be impeached: Russell D. Moore, president of the Ethics &amp; Religious Liberty Commission, the public policy unit of the Southern Baptist Convention.</p> <p>Moore and Americans United don’t see eye to eye on many issues, but there’s no denying that in this case, he’s taking a principled stand – one that might even cost him his job.</p> <p><a href="https://www.russellmoore.com/2021/01/11/the-roman-road-from-insurrection/">In a recent essay</a>, Moore doesn’t hesitate to call the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol what it was: “an insurrection of domestic terrorists, incited and fomented by the President of the United States.”</p> <p>Observed Moore, “The President invited mobs to Washington – promising a ‘wild’ time – and told them to march to the Capitol. Despite the fact that there was not one thing that Vice President Pence could have lawfully done, the President called him a coward, and whipped up crowds against him who, many of them, then chanted ‘Hang Mike Pence!’ while constructing gallows on the Capitol grounds. An American flag was thrown down and replaced with a Trump flag, while another insurrectionist paraded a Confederate flag through the Capitol. Police officers were attacked. Congressional leaders hid while the doors buckled from mobs seeking to attack them. People are dead. The Capitol is ransacked. Administration officials are resigning in protest.”</p> <p>Added Moore, “If you read nothing else, read this: If you can defend this, you can defend <em>anything</em>. If you can wave this away with ‘well, what about…’ or by changing the subject to a private platform removing an account inciting violence as ‘Orwellian,’ then where, at long last, is your limit?”</p> <p>Moore goes on to debunk several Christian nationalist talking points. He noted that President-elect Joe Biden won fair and square and that the mob that assaulted the Capitol was not composed of antifa infiltrators.</p> <p>Moore doesn’t hesitate to call out right-wing evangelical hypocrisy, writing, “If President Obama tried to overturn an election, and incited his supporters to storm the Capitol, to desecrate the flag, to kill innocent people and to terrorize many others with pipe bombs and hand-ties and weapons, every evangelical Christian would be, rightly, denouncing such with the strongest possible terms (and many would be suggesting that we were in the reign of the Antichrist), and every one of us knows that is true.”</p> <p>Finally, Moore states without hesitation that Trump must go.</p> <p>“If I were the President, I would resign,” he writes. “If I were the Vice President, I would assemble the cabinet in accordance with the 25th Amendment. If I were a Member of Congress, I would vote to impeach. And if I were a United States senator, I would vote to convict. And I would be willing, if necessary, to lose my seat to do so. As a matter of fact, I am willing, if necessary, to lose this seat.”</p> <p>Moore’s essay is written in the context of Christian ethics and cites specific scripture references. This isn’t surprising, given Moore’s audience. In fact, it’s necessary. But no matter what you may believe or not believe about faith, Moore’s important statement is well worth some of your time.</p> <p><em>Photo: A mob attacks the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Screenshot from Washington Post video. </em></p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/donald-trump" hreflang="en">Donald Trump</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/russell-moore" hreflang="en">Russell Moore</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/southern-baptist-convention" hreflang="en">Southern Baptist Convention</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/joe-biden" hreflang="en">Joe Biden</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/religious-right-0" hreflang="en">Religious Right</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/us-capitol" hreflang="en">U.S. Capitol</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/barack-obama" hreflang="en">Barack Obama</a></div> </div> </div> Wed, 13 Jan 2021 14:20:46 +0000 boston 16580 at https://www.au.org Christian Nationalists Are Now Blaming Trump’s Insurrection On Progressives https://www.au.org/blogs/blame-the-progressives <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Christian Nationalists Are Now Blaming Trump’s Insurrection On Progressives</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/95" lang="" about="/user/95" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">boston</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue Jan 12, 2021 - 09:44</span> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rob-boston" hreflang="und">Rob Boston</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/us%20cap%20clouds%20.jpg?h=54d03a78&amp;itok=rP0M_0kL" width="1700" height="525" alt="Capitol " title="US Capitol clouds " typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p>It has been nearly a week since the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Building, and Christian nationalists are continuing their offensive and desperate crusade to find someone other than President Donald Trump to blame for the appalling attack.</p> <p>First, they tried to pin it on antifa, an all-purpose bogeyman for the far right. That failed after the <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/08/fbi-says-no-indication-that-antifa-took-part-in-us-capitol-riot.html">FBI reported that it has uncovered no evidence</a> that antifa activists were present during the assault. A recent <a href="https://apnews.com/article/us-capitol-trump-supporters-1806ea8dc15a2c04f2a68acd6b55cace">Associated Press story</a> also debunks the claim, as do the numerous arrests that have occurred since the failed coup: They’re all Trump supporters. </p> <p>Perhaps sensing this lie has no legs, Religious Right groups are shifting gears and asserting that Trump never wanted to see violence like this, and the attack can actually be blamed on – wait for it – liberal Democrats.</p> <p>“There have been so many Trump rallies over the last several years,” talk radio show host Janet Mefferd <a href="https://onenewsnow.com/politics-govt/2021/01/11/dems-continue-selling-out-america-in-new-impeachment-push">told the American Family Association</a> (AFA). “I don’t think that he had any intention of turning that crowd into a bunch of rioters who would storm the Capitol. Why in the world would he want that to happen?”</p> <p>Anyone who lives in the real world knows why: Trump had spent the prior two months telling his supporters that an election that he clearly lost had been stolen from him. When he addressed the crowd prior to their attack, he made it clear that he wanted the mob to overrun the Capitol in the belief that it would secure him four more years. Today’s <em>Washington Post</em> <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-mob-failure/2021/01/11/36a46e2e-542e-11eb-a817-e5e7f8a406d6_story.html">reports</a> that Trump, while safely ensconced in the White House, enjoyed watching the throng rampaging through the Capitol on live television.</p> <p>This behavior should not surprise anyone. Trump has <a href="https://www.vox.com/21506029/trump-violence-tweets-racist-hate-speech">a long history of inciting violence</a> and egging on the behavior of extremists. Remember, this is the guy who couldn’t even find the words to condemn the neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville, Va.</p> <p>In the same AFA story, another far-right Christian radio host, Alex McFarland, asserts that Democrats are to blame. You see, they made conservatives angry because “for years [liberals] have built their platform on class envy [and] power at any cost….”</p> <p>Let’s unpack this remarkable statement: Some conservatives were upset over things Democrats said and did politically – and in McFarland’s mind, that apparently justified a violent assault on the Capitol during which the mob <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/08/us/brian-sicknick-police-capitol-dies.html">murdered one police officer</a>, <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/07/four-dead-after-pro-trump-rioters-storm-capitol.html">assaulted others</a>, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/07/us/rioters-capitol-building-damage-photos-trnd/index.html">vandalized</a> the seat of American democracy, <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-cyber/laptop-stolen-from-pelosis-office-during-storming-of-us-capitol-says-aide-idUSKBN29D2HA">stole property</a> and, it increasingly appears, <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/capitol-riots-zip-ties-larry-brock-eric-munchel-arrested/">plotted to abduct members of Congress</a>. (And don’t get me started on McFarland’s claim that it’s Democrats who want to hold on to power at any cost in light of the dozens of meritless post-election lawsuits filed by Trump and his allies challenging the results.)</p> <p>Christian nationalists, who are normally so quick to judge others, would benefit from some soul-searching right now. But despite their claims to be the holders of a superior form of morality thanks to their fundamentalist beliefs, they are incapable of any serious form of reflection. Instead, they take their marching orders from the Gospel of Tucker Carlson and look for ways to exonerate Trump and shift the blame for his treasonous acts onto innocent parties.</p> <p>It won’t work. Trump will either be forced from office or leave on Jan. 20. Either way, he’ll depart in disgrace. Sadly, it’s unlikely his deluded Religious Right lackeys will follow him out the door.</p> <p> </p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/donald-trump" hreflang="en">Donald Trump</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/religious-right-0" hreflang="en">Religious Right</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/us-capitol" hreflang="en">U.S. Capitol</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/afa" hreflang="en">AFA</a></div> </div> </div> Tue, 12 Jan 2021 14:44:22 +0000 boston 16578 at https://www.au.org Nebraska’s Legislature Loses A Champion Of Church-State Separation https://www.au.org/blogs/ernie-chambers-nebraska <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Nebraska’s Legislature Loses A Champion Of Church-State Separation</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/95" lang="" about="/user/95" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">boston</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 09:14</span> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rob-boston" hreflang="und">Rob Boston</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/e%20chambers.png?h=47804ddf&amp;itok=cVqP8LTO" width="1700" height="525" alt="chambers" title="Ernie Chambers " typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p>All of the drama swirling around the invasion of the U.S. Capitol, the U.S. Senate elections in Georgia and the certification of the presidential election in Congress last week obscured some other interesting political news of note.</p> <p>Consider this item from Nebraska: State senator Ernie Chambers <a href="https://omaha.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/ernie-chambers-tenure-in-the-legislature-is-ending-again-but-his-devotion-to-his-causes/article_40861684-4bb1-11eb-88bf-332e591472cc.html">has retired</a> (again). You may not know Chambers’ name, but you should. He has had an amazing career – one marked by steadfast support for separation of church and state.</p> <p>Chambers was first elected to Nebraska’s unicameral legislature in 1970, representing a district in North Omaha. He was re-elected for the next 34 years and became the state’s longest-serving senator (as well as the first Black person to win election to that body).</p> <p>Advocates of church-state separation may remember Chambers as the plaintiff in a case that reached the <a href="https://www.oyez.org/cases/1982/82-23">Supreme Court in 1983</a>. Chambers, who has been open about his lack of religious beliefs, sued to end Nebraska’s practice of employing a taxpayer-funded chaplain to lead prayers before the Senate’s sessions. Although he lost the case, Chambers’ valiant battle highlighted the issue and made the question of the appropriateness of “civil religion” in a multi-faith, multi-philosophy society part of the public debate. Thanks to Chambers, we are still having that conversation many years later.</p> <p>During his decades in office, Chambers was a stalwart voice for progressive causes. He bothered some people, as those who speak truths often do. His style was plain-spoken but powerful. In 2016, I heard him speak during a conference sponsored by the American Humanist Association, where Chambers was being given a <a href="https://thehumanist.com/commentary/lifetime-service-celebrating-ernie-chambers/">Lifetime Achievement Award</a>. It was a powerful speech that included some thought-provoking material. Days later, I was still thinking about it.   </p> <p>In 2008, term limits forced Chambers out of office for one term. But he ran again in 2012 and won easily. He has now been pushed out due to term limits again, and at age 83 he’s not sure if he’ll run again.</p> <p>Ernie Chambers’ distinguished career has likely come to an end. The people of Nebraska are poorer for that.</p> <p><em>Photo: Ernie Chambers addresses attendees at an anti-racism rally. Screenshot from KMTV-TV</em></p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/chaplains" hreflang="en">chaplains</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/legislative-prayer" hreflang="en">legislative prayer</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/nebraska" hreflang="en">Nebraska</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/aha" hreflang="en">AHA</a></div> </div> </div> Mon, 11 Jan 2021 14:14:20 +0000 boston 16577 at https://www.au.org Fans Of Public Education And Church-State Separation Won’t Miss Betsy DeVos https://www.au.org/blogs/devos-has-resigned <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Fans Of Public Education And Church-State Separation Won’t Miss Betsy DeVos</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/95" lang="" about="/user/95" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">boston</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri Jan 08, 2021 - 11:41</span> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rob-boston" hreflang="und">Rob Boston</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/Betsy%20Devos%203%20Cropped.png?h=7a8ca430&amp;itok=vAtfyGs8" width="1700" height="525" alt="DeVos" title="Betsy DeVos" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p>We’re still seeing fallout from Wednesday’s abortive coup attempt by a raging mob inspired by President Donald Trump. The incident seems to have been a turning point for some of Trump’s most ardent backers, who are finally jumping ship. The latest to go is Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who<a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/07/politics/betsy-devos-donald-trump/index.html"> </a><a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/07/politics/betsy-devos-donald-trump/index.html">announced her resignation</a> last night.</p> <p>DeVos has been one of Trump’s most loyal backers and stayed with him all four years. During that time, she ignored the needs of public schools and relentlessly promoted school vouchers.</p> <p>When Trump announced he would appoint DeVos to the top education slot after the 2016 election, Americans United was quick to<a href="https://www.au.org/blogs/wall-of-separation/4-things-we-learned-about-betsy-devos-at-her-confirmation-hearing"> </a><a href="https://www.au.org/blogs/wall-of-separation/4-things-we-learned-about-betsy-devos-at-her-confirmation-hearing">sound the alarm</a>. We had been following her career for years and knew that not only did DeVos have no experience working in public education, she was hostile to the very concept. In her native Michigan, she pushed voucher plans incessantly, taking her advocacy of these schemes nationwide through <a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/september-2010-church-state/featured/sneak-attack">a front group</a> she called American Federation for Children. (It originally had a more honest name: Advocates for School Choice.)</p> <p>Sure enough, DeVos spent the past four years acting as a cheerleader for privatization, although she was never able to get a national voucher plan into law. Under her scheme, private schools should be able to tap the public purse yet remain largely unaccountable. She would allow even schools receiving public funds to ignore federal laws that protect students with disabilities, dodge even the most basic forms of oversight and teach junk science and other questionable curriculum materials.</p> <p>Driven by an extreme privatization-at-all-costs ideology, DeVos ignored inconvenient truths. She refused to acknowledge the numerous studies showing that vouchers<a href="https://www.ncpecoalition.org/academic-achievement"> </a><a href="https://www.ncpecoalition.org/academic-achievement">don’t improve student performance</a>, and she simply overlooked the fact that most Americans<a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/january-2019-church-state/featured/the-people-have-spoken-private-school-vouchers-have"> </a><a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/january-2019-church-state/featured/the-people-have-spoken-private-school-vouchers-have">don’t support</a> these schemes and have, time and again, rejected them at the ballot box.</p> <p>In America, 90 percent of our young people attend public schools. Unlike private schools, which have the right to pick and choose among students, our public schools welcome everyone, regardless of race, religion, socioeconomic background or other factors. The best way to ensure success for all is to focus on the public system. DeVos either didn’t know this or didn’t care.</p> <p>President-elect Joe Biden<a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-biden-education/biden-names-former-public-school-teacher-miguel-cardona-for-secretary-of-education-idUSKBN28X01I"> </a><a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-biden-education/biden-names-former-public-school-teacher-miguel-cardona-for-secretary-of-education-idUSKBN28X01I">has nominated Miguel Cardona</a> to be his education secretary. Unlike DeVos, Cardona has had a long and distinguished career in public education. He has been a classroom teacher and an administrator. Most recently, he served as Connecticut’s commissioner of education.</p> <p>At Americans United, we’re hopeful for a new day at the Education Department. Assuming he is confirmed, Cardona will have a lot of work to do to clean up the mess left behind by DeVos and her wrecking crew. Job one will be getting the department’s focus back where it belongs: strengthening, improving and adequately funding the public school system for the benefit of all Americans.</p> <p><em>Photo: Screenshot from C-SPAN</em></p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issues field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Issues</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/taxpayer-funding-of-religion" hreflang="en">Taxpayer Funding Of Religion</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/betsy-devos" hreflang="en">Betsy DeVos</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/donald-trump" hreflang="en">Donald Trump</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/us-department-education" hreflang="en">U.S. Department of Education</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/neo-vouchers" hreflang="en">neo-vouchers</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/public-education" hreflang="en">public education</a></div> </div> </div> Fri, 08 Jan 2021 16:41:55 +0000 boston 16575 at https://www.au.org Christian Nationalists Try To Blame Trump’s Riot On Antifa https://www.au.org/blogs/Religious-Right-blame-antifa <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Christian Nationalists Try To Blame Trump’s Riot On Antifa</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/95" lang="" about="/user/95" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">boston</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu Jan 07, 2021 - 13:59</span> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rob-boston" hreflang="und">Rob Boston</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/trump%20nuts%20.png?h=e29b5231&amp;itok=m8p6ny7z" width="1700" height="525" alt="trump coup" title="coup supporters" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p>Anyone watching the violence unfold at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday had to wonder how President Donald Trump’s Christian nationalist sycophants were possibly going to spin this one.</p> <p>The images were stark: Bands of marauding Trump supporters plowed through barricades, broke windows and forced their way into the Capitol building where they rampaged for hours until police restored order. They did these things in part because, earlier in the day, Trump had delivered an incendiary speech urging his supporters to head to the Capitol and continued to insist, against all evidence, that the election had been stolen from him.</p> <p>How do you possibly put a good face on this? You can’t, so the Religious Right has decided to take a page from Trump’s playbook and construct a “fake news” version of events: Trump supporters were not responsible for the violence at the Capitol, antifa was.</p> <p>Even as events were unfolding, evangelist Franklin Graham <a href="https://religionnews.com/2021/01/06/faith-leaders-react-to-mob-at-capitol-with-prayers-calls-for-end-to-violence/">issued a statement</a> reading, “The people who broke the windows in the Capital [sic] did not look like the people out there demonstrating. Most likely it was antifa.” (Nope – they were one and the same: Trump supporters.)</p> <p>Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, <a href="https://twitter.com/sarahposner/status/1347208198051278850">opined during a radio broadcast</a> that it is “still uncertain as to the full composition of the group that breached security and made their way into the Capitol.” (Not really. They were Trump supporters.)</p> <p>Richard Land, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, implied that a few bad apples got out of control. Land asserted that while law-breaking is always bad, “there are always some of those amongst us ever ready to riot at the first whiff of disorder.” But anyone who watched the videos knows there were many, many bad apples in that bunch yesterday. (And guess what, they're still Trump supporters.)  </p> <p>But it was Sandy Rios of American Family Radio who really went <a href="https://afr.net/podcasts/sandy-rios-in-the-morning/2021/january/congress-accepts-electoral-college-count-and-clare-lopez-discusses-the-events-at-the-capitol-and-around-dc/">around the bend</a>. Listening to Rios recount the day’s events, you had to wonder what planet she was visiting Jan. 6. According to her version of events, 1.5 million people came to the D.C. event – but no media outlet is putting the number anywhere near that high. These are people, Rios said, “who love the country.” They enjoyed Trump’s “inspiring speech” and were angry over “the fraud that took place in their states.”</p> <p>According to Rios, it wasn’t the crowd that rioted but rather the media’s <em>interpretation</em> of what happened that “spun out of control.”</p> <p>Rios acknowledged that there were some Trump supporters in the crowd that stormed the Capitol but quickly added, “in their midst were members of antifa.” She claims to have seen a tweet (conveniently since deleted) that instructed people to dress up like Trump supporters and cause trouble.</p> <p>Said Rios, “I’m telling you, it was incitement. … They were dressed in black with Trump hats.” (What more evidence do you need?)</p> <p>Meanwhile, back in the real world, we all know what happened: A crazed mob of Trump supporters was whipped into a frenzy by his incendiary speech and attacked the Capitol (and, in a very real sense, American democracy) because he told them to and because they believed Trump’s drumbeat of lies, which he has issued incessantly since Nov. 3, that the election had been stolen.</p> <p>These people did not try to hide who they were: They took selfies, made videos and posted to social media even as they rampaged – and when the police collect that material and start arresting the offenders, I’m going to bet there won’t be an antifa member among them.</p> <p>Former Americans United staffer Steve Benen, now Rachel Maddow’s blogger, has handily <a href="https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/right-s-new-conspiracy-theory-blame-left-capitol-riot-n1253250">debunked this nonsense</a>. But it’s already making the rounds on Fox News and is infiltrating social media. It’s pretty clear that “blame antifa” is going to become the white Christian nationalists’ post-truth narrative.</p> <p>This should not surprise anyone. Trump and his enablers began his administration with a litany of lies about the size of the crowd for his inauguration, and they kept the lies coming for four years. Now, at the end of Trump’s term, his supporters are ending it with one more <em>über-</em>lie about the riot they caused but would like to pin on others.   </p> <p>Nice try – but even in the waning days of Trump, facts still matter, and the truth has a way of coming out.</p> <p><em>Photo: Trump supporters converge in Washington, D.C. Screenshot via Washington Post. </em></p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/religious-right-0" hreflang="en">Religious Right</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/donald-trump" hreflang="en">Donald Trump</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/tony-perkins" hreflang="en">Tony Perkins</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/frc-0" hreflang="en">FRC</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/sandy-rios" hreflang="en">Sandy Rios</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/richard-land" hreflang="en">richard land</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/franklin-graham" hreflang="en">Franklin Graham</a></div> </div> </div> Thu, 07 Jan 2021 18:59:29 +0000 boston 16573 at https://www.au.org In The Wake Of Yesterday’s Coup Attempt, Our Nation Needs Accountability https://www.au.org/blogs/wall-of-separation/Accountability-Needed-Capitol-Coup <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">In The Wake Of Yesterday’s Coup Attempt, Our Nation Needs Accountability</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/69587" lang="" about="/user/69587" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">LHayes</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu Jan 07, 2021 - 09:49</span> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rob-boston" hreflang="und">Rob Boston</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/Capitol%20Building%20Ominous.jpg?h=1f767aef&amp;itok=P3ZbsczA" width="1700" height="525" alt="capitol building" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p>Let’s be clear about what happened in Washington, D.C., yesterday: It was an attempted <em>coup d’état</em>, an appalling end to four years of rule by a deranged demagogue whose disconnection from reality has so poisoned millions of Americans that some of them, motivated by his fever dreams of a stolen election, resorted to violence.</p> <p>There’s a lot of blame to go around, and, of course, we must put the brunt of it squarely where it belongs: on the shoulders of President Donald Trump, who prodded protestors to come to the nation’s capital for <a href="https://news.yahoo.com/trump-promises-wild-protests-washington-165055313.html">a “wild” time</a> and spoon-fed them fantasies of how they could overturn the election. The result was a calculated, violent effort to disrupt what is normally a ceremonial vote to begin a transfer of power.</p> <p>Trump will bear the judgment of history for his actions, but his enablers are not off the hook, not by a long shot. The leaders of various far-right groups, including Christian nationalist organizations, knew Trump lost the election on Nov. 3. If they had told him that, if they had reached out to President-elect Joe Biden and acknowledged his clear win, if they had challenged Trump’s stream of lies, things might have turned out differently.</p> <p>They didn’t do that. Instead, <a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/january-2021-church-state-magazine/featured/welcome-to-fantasy-island-donald-trump">they poured gasoline</a> on the fires that fuel Trump’s unhinged visions. They told him that he really won. They fed his delusions. And in doing so, they betrayed democracy and enabled yesterday’s display of domestic terrorism.</p> <p>Yet they continue to pose as patriots. They continue to pose as defenders of the democracy that yesterday they tried to tear down. They continue to say that they love a country that they’ve spent weeks since Nov. 3 plotting to destroy.</p> <p>Yesterday they showed us exactly what they think of this country and its institutions. When all of this is over, there will be no going back to business as usual. Everyone who had a hand in this disgraceful chapter must be held accountable by the law, by public opinion and by the rules of simple morality.</p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/donald-trump" hreflang="en">Donald Trump</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/christian-nationalism" hreflang="en">Christian nationalism</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/congress" hreflang="en">Congress</a></div> </div> </div> Thu, 07 Jan 2021 14:49:43 +0000 LHayes 16572 at https://www.au.org