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WEEK IN REVIEW: "Christ will reign" in Idaho, says religious extremist candidate
Canada punts on prayer, non-sincerely held religious beliefs, the pastors shocked by MAGA cultism, and more!
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Christian nationalists are not subtle about their theocratic fantasies. Take Janice McGeachin, the current Lt. Governor of Idaho who’s running to become governor. She may be best known outside the state for this picture of her holding a Bible in one hand and a gun in the other. (Just like Jesus wanted.)
In a recent interview with a far-right outlet, she said very bluntly, “God calls us to pick up the sword and fight, and Christ will reign in the state of Idaho.”Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin is not subtle about what she envisions for the state if she becomes governor: "God calls us to pick up the sword and fight, and Christ will reign in the state of Idaho."
It’s a full-blown cry for Christian theocracy in a state that’s already overwhelmingly Republican. It’s a warning from a candidate who claims to love the Constitution but who clearly hasn’t read it.
I don’t know how many times I have to say this, but Secular Americans are the real “moral majority,” no matter how often conservative Christians like Rachel Hamm claim otherwise:
Conservative Christians aren’t subtle about what they’ll do after Roe v. Wade is officially struck down either. Arizona U.S. Senate candidate Blake Masters said on his website that, if elected, he would only support judges who wanted to overturn Griswold… the case that gave people access to birth control. He soon backtracked, but his biggest mistake appears to be giving away the Republican game plan too early.
With cryptocurrencies having a fairly horrible week, there’s no better time for Christians to jump in and take advantage of people before it’s too late.
While we’re on the subject of Jesus ruining things, I’ve been following the total collapse of a “pro-life” bank over the past year. What is the (horribly-named) “ProLifeBank,” you ask? It started in opposition to pro-abortion banks… which aren’t a thing at all. And from that lie, two people who have no actual experience in the banking world have continued leading gullible Christians on a wild journey.
This week, they issued an update. They didn’t admit they’re failing… But they continued to lay the groundwork for a future email that says “God had other plans.”
It’s so convenient when a so-called “prophet” freely admits he can’t predict anything but just makes up interpretations after the fact:During a discussion about the prophetic significance of the Kentucky Derby, self-described "prophet" Johnny Enlow said he can't predict the future. He just interprets results from major sporting events after the fact... which is very, very convenient.
Johnny Enlow has a habit of wacky interpretations, like when he insisted, in January of 2021, that the final score in the college football championship game was a sign that Trump would remain president…Right-wing pastor and QAnon conspiracy theorist Johnny Enlow says the final score of the college football national championship game contained a prophetic sign that Trump will remain president.. bit.ly/38LGods
… Or when he said a *month later* that a game-sealing interception in the Super Bowl was a sign Trump would come back to the White House... because the player wore #45.QAnon conspiracy theorist and supposed "prophet" Johnny Enlow says the game-sealing interception by Devin White of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Super Bowl was a prophetic sign that Trump will return to the White House ... because White wears #45. bit.ly/3tEg6m8
… Or whatever the hell this was supposed to be:
Last year, 12 women sued Liberty University for enabling sexual abuse. Their stories were absolutely horrifying. That case was officially settled out of court this week. Usually, that would mean Liberty doesn’t have to admit any wrongdoing and the victims receive some cash payment; in exchange, they promise to keep their mouths shut.
But one of the victims refused to play along. She rejected the settlement offer and therefore doesn’t have to be silent. She says Liberty offered her $5,000—later bumped to $35,000—both of which were embarrassingly low numbers for the kind of abuse she says she suffered. You can’t blame other victims for taking the money as a way of getting some kind of closure, but the end result here is that a Christian school with plenty of financial assets was able to wipe away years of negligence for a paltry sum.
Canada had a chance to eliminate the (Christian) invocation prayer that opens sessions of the House of Commons… but decided it was easier to kick the issue down the road while pretending to be shocked that it was even up for discussion… than do the right thing and face the wrath of religious zealots.
Mark Driscoll, the emotionally abusive pastor who famously called women "penis homes," is still dispensing horrible advice.Pastor Mark Driscoll says sex and gender are binary, that sex is exclusively for marriage between a man and a woman, and if everyone followed this there'd be no need for abortion, sexual assault victims would be eradicated, there'd be no more STDs, and more. cc:
It’s not just that side spreading misinformation. Here’s famed “skeptic” Michael Shermer suggesting teachers can “nudge” kids “into being LGBTQ”… which is not how anything works.
Last year, an atheist in Kirksville, Missouri convinced the city council to eliminate its invocation prayer and replace it with a moment of silence. It was wonderful activism followed by a responsible vote. But a new council member (who’s made no secret of his Christian nationalist tendencies) wants to change everything back because he has no understanding of the problem.
This week in non-Christian religious extremism…
The Supreme Court ought to stop taking religion so seriously. As law professor Linda Greenhouse writes in The Atlantic, “sincerely held religious beliefs” aren’t always sincere. Without a way to assess how seriously people take their beliefs, it’s a bizarre and dangerous way to circumvent justice.
It’s always projection when Republicans accuse liberals of trying to indoctrinate students in the public schools.Just another reminder that the religious right wants nothing more than to take control of the education system and use it to indoctrinate students with their own conservative Christian worldview.While the right is screaming that liberal teachers are "groomers" who are indoctrinating students, the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins is urging conservative Christians to become teachers and treat "the public schools as a mission field." https://t.co/bqJrUfuedD https://t.co/2FJVBsvQvMRight Wing Watch @RightWingWatch
A decade ago, fundamentalist megachurch preacher Jack Schaap was fired, then imprisoned, for grooming and sexually abusing a teenage girl. He told her that the two of them having sex was "exactly what Christ desires for us." He even took her across state lines to hide his actions.
He wasn’t supposed to be released until next year… and yet he’s now a free man.
The Southern Baptist Convention is losing members —over a million people in the past three years —and the pandemic is only one of the reasons for the decline. (Personally, I think there’s a non-insignificant number of believers who stopped going to church during the beginning of the pandemic, who have since realized their lives are no worse off by staying at home.)
For the life of me, I still can’t understand why conservative Christian pastors are surprised when their churches became havens for MAGA cultists. That was the focus of multiple mainstream media articles featuring right-wing pastors who are no longer right-wing enough for their congregations.
I elaborate in more detail here, but when you belong to a religion that tells you to dismiss logic and reason in favor of faith and obedience, it’s not that big of a leap for worshipers to accept a difference kind of mythology. When you’re taught from a young age to avoid challenging authority and told to keep critical questions to yourself (or to “just have faith”), why would anyone be surprised when you fall for the flimsiest of conspiracies?
The pastors in those articles are not heroes. They sure as hell aren’t victims. They’re people who purposely spread misinformation about a whole host of topics, including sex, LGBTQ people, science, abortion, etc., only to be cut loose after they chose not to spread misinformation about other topics.
One of the more well-known anti-abortion activists in the country, Abby Johnson, wants to see abortion doctors executed. This is what “pro-life” means when you don’t actually give a damn about human beings.
It’s not every day that you hear good news about church/state separation coming out of Kansas. But in the city of Haven, local officials called on the Police department to stop using its vehicles (with “In God We Trust” decals) and Facebook page to promote Christianity… and the police chief complied without an argument.
Want a new car? Step 1: Think about it. Step 2: Be a wealthy pastor. Step 3: Profit.
Even when Christian pseudo-historian David Barton doesn’t have to lie, he does anyway… and no pastor in his vicinity has the knowledge or guts to call him out on it.
Atheists are the most liberal “religious” group in the country. Well done, team.
Despite plenty of attempts, preacher Gene Kim has not improved his Satan drawings.
Fundamentalist Christian grandmother Lori Alexander, a.k.a. The Transformed Wife, has no clue what will happen if abortion is banned:
And now for your weekly dose of fundie insanity:Christian hate-preacher Jonathan Shelley wants the government to execute abortion doctors. "We would slay them. We would kill them. Because I don't want God to be mad at me!"Christian hate-preacher Jonathan Shelley knows exactly why many women aren't giving good advice to their sons.
Weeks ago, I heard about a *very* disturbing ritual done in the name of Jainism, which is typically a religion known for non-violence. I talked about my concerns in this video:
This week in Atheist Bible Study? We're moving on to Numbers 1! The Books of Numbers begins with a giant census of the tribes. Because the writers will do anything to avoid talking about slavery.
I spoke with my co-host Jessica Greiff about many of the stories in this newsletter during this week’s podcast:
Finally, Christians really need to work on their arguments.
That’s it for this week! Stay safe. Get vaccinated. Get boosted. Please become a full subscriber or share this with someone who may enjoy it. It would mean a lot to me :)