Disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn declared the party calm out loud last week.
Speaking to a Christian nationalist group called ReAwaken America in San Antonio on Saturday, the convicted liar said, “If we are to have a nation under God, what we have to, we have to have one religion. A nation under God and a religion under God.
What he wants is a theocracy. But what this shameless crook knowingly ignores is the First Amendment to the US Constitution: “Congress will not make any law regarding the establishment of a religion, or prohibiting the free exercise of it …”
The ReAwaken America Tour is an operation by conspiracy theorist Clay Clark, whose website tells us he has nothing to sell you (except tickets to his touring events and the link to his “shop here” page) .
“I love Jesus,” Clark adds.
We know exactly what religion Flynn is talking about: Clay Clark’s brand of evangelical Christianity, which has helped propel far-right extremism since adherents started supporting the former guy, who is so far from Jesus- Christ as possible.
Fortunately, there are Christians who see through this masquerade.
“In a brief statement widely circulated in the evangelical world, prominent Christian leaders and pastors affirmed that the social justice movement is a danger to Christians,” Baptist ordained minister Nathaniel Manderson wrote in Salon. Quoting their statement, he writes, the social justice movement is “an attack on dangerous and false teachings that threaten the gospel, twist the scriptures, and lead people away from the grace of God in Jesus Christ.” “
Who was Jesus if not a passionate defender of social justice, to love your neighbor as you love yourself? To feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to care for the sick and inmates, and to welcome strangers? And isn’t that all the conservative extremists reject?
“It’s fascinating to me, in a sinister way, that the very people who claim to cling to the true form of Christian faith are in fact determined to destroy it,” Manderson continued.
He’s right, which is why polls show that many young people recognize hypocrisy and turn their backs on Christianity.
“The truth is that the Christian faith must be used as a shield for the oppressed and a sword against the oppressors,” Manderson writes. “(I) it is time for people of good faith to find new leaders. Preferably among people who want to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, not the teachings of Donald Trump.
An organization called The Christian Left agrees. “If you’re like a lot of others like us, you probably felt lonely there,” his website says. “You’ve probably been told that you can’t be a Christian and a liberal. You have probably been ostracized by churches and conservative Christian friends and family. You have probably sometimes doubted your own point of view… (We) left the hate behind you; leftist prejudice; left insensitive attitudes and followed Jesus… ”
I do not subscribe to evangelical Christianity, but try to follow the teachings of Christ, which I learned in my youth. There are fundamental truths and undeniable power in what he said about our obligations to fellow human beings.
“In recent years, however, this gospel has been distorted by the republican evangelical machine, which now seeks to instill the belief that social justice is the gospel of ungodly socialism and communism,” notes Manderson.
You could respond by saying that my church offers charitable ministries or that I tithe every month. It’s laudable, but all the charitable ministries and all the tithes in America fall short of meeting the needs of the “least of them” in this country.
“Our faith calls for giving every human being a chance to succeed while providing the basic need for forgiveness, grace, mercy and love,” Manderson said.
Michael Flynn and Clay Clark are peddlers of the evangelical Republican machine that Manderson speaks of. They and many others like them are false prophets leading Christians away from the true ministry of Jesus Christ and to a place he would condemn in much the same way he condemned the money changers in the temple.
“My dream is that people of faith and people of conscience, especially if they have a voice, power and influence in our society, begin to align with the idea of equal opportunities”, Manderson concludes. “That would be doing God’s work for real. “