On May 8, a group called Come Pray With Me plans to hold a prayer service in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol.
This is kind of a big deal. Statuary Hall isn’t some sort of public facility that anyone can use. Groups have to get permission from the congressional leadership to hold events there, and it’s not often granted.
So what is Come Pray With Me, and why does it merit this honor?
I’ve been looking into that. The organization was founded by a man named Dan Cummins, pastor of Bridlewood Church in Bullard, Texas. Come Pray With Me is described as an organization that exists to encourage people to pray for the country and its leaders. That sounds harmless enough. Americans pray for their nation all of the time.
But, as is often the case with the Religious Right, there’s more going on here. When I visited Come Pray With Me’s website to get information about the May 8 event, I immediately noticed that all of the speakers are far-right zealots.
They include Jim Garlow, a California pastor active in Republican politics who has openly endorsed candidates from the pulpit; Bishop Harry Jackson, a Maryland preacher known for anti-gay activism; Alveda King of the extreme anti-abortion outfit Priests for Life and David Barton, the Religious Right’s favorite pseudo-historian.
Then I watched a video of Cummins speaking in Tyler, Texas, in April of 2011 and noticed that it was the usual combination of Religious Right fringe politics mixed with fundamentalist theology. Cummins’ rant was a bizarre cocktail of crazy, mixing assertions that America is a “Christian nation” and attacks on legal abortion and marriage equality with assaults on the Supreme Court’s school prayer decisions and topping it all with a dose of birtherism.
I noticed that Cummins had written a book titled The Church: In a State of Separation. It was available for free on the church website, so I downloaded it to take a look. Let’s just say it was “enlightening.” In fact, my brain is still spinning from this kooky tome.
Here are some of the things that are in this book:
* King Saul from the Old Testament was a socialist.
* The Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the 2008 stock market crash and the 2011 earthquake in Washington, D.C., that damaged the Washington Monument were warnings from God, who is angry and trying to warn Americans to “turn from our evil ways.”
* The Americans with Disabilities Act is an example of government overregulation because it mandates where people can park their cars.
* Pastors who talk about political issues in church can be jailed.
* Separation of church and state is a communist concept. People who call themselves “progressives” are really communists. (For all his talk of communism, Cummins’ research leaves some things to be desired. He reprints a list of alleged “communist goals” that was debunked years ago.)
* The early church councils that hammered out the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church were in fact promoting paganism, and they might have been under the control of Satan.
* Satan will appear as a politician; he will establish a one-world government. Satan also endorses separation of church and state. And oh, he is also “the ultimate [George] Soros, the puppet master, the Great Oz, pulling all the strings” mostly of a certain political party. (Guess which one.)
* President Woodrow Wilson advocated “Fabian socialism.” This concept, along with the theory of evolution and false teachings about the end of the world, might have been “part of a three-pronged attack by Satan upon America to separate the Church from the State by hitting church, education and government all about the same time.”
There’s more; I had to stop before my eyeballs exploded.
Here’s what amazes me about guys like Cummins: They claim to love America and make a big show of their alleged patriotism. It’s always flag waving, the Pledge of Allegiance and “God Bless the U.S.A.” with this crowd.
Yet even a glance at his book shows that it just drips with contempt for this nation and the people who live in it. We’re all a bunch of dupes for the communists and the Fabian socialists who can’t wait to tear down the nation; we’re “evil” and easily misled. We’ve turned our backs on all that is good and decent. Ultimately, we’re so stupid we’ve been sucked into doing Satan’s bidding – even some of our churches are in on it!
At one point in his book, Cummins blasts the Democrats for entertaining “such a diverse immoral circus under its liberal big top.” After reading his hateful book, I’ve concluded that the only guy with a circus is Cummins. He’s its chief clown, and I see no reason why he should receive an invitation to set up his sideshow tent in the U.S. Capitol.
Speaker John Boehner, do the right thing and kick these birds out of Statuary Hall.