Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Poll Analyses
Share on Facebook 35 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 12/30/19

Zealots in High Office

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   1 comment
Author 514931
Message James A. Haught
Become a Fan
  (2 fans)

This piece was reprinted by OpEdNews with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Megachurch
Megachurch
(Image by Silly Deity)
  Details   DMCA

Daylight Atheism

Back in 2003, in a top-secret international phone call, President George W. Bush urged French President Jacques Chirac to join America in invading Iraq on grounds that Christian nations must thwart the Satanic forces of Gog and Magog. Chirac was baffled by such crackpottery. A few French newspapers wrote derisive sneers about the born-again U.S. leader.

Today, it's de'jà vu all over again. Religious kooks in high office are an absurd facet of the Republican Trump administration.

Vice President Mike Pence is a hero of the evangelical Religious Right. He opposes the teaching of evolution in biology classes (even though evolution is a bedrock of biology). As Indiana governor, he signed a notorious "religious freedom" law to let fundamentalists treat gays cruelly. His wife teaches at a born-again Washington-area school that sends students to a Creation Museum which teaches that Planet Earth is just 6,000 years old and humans coexisted with dinosaurs.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is a fundamentalist who thinks doomsday is coming. In a 2015 church talk, he said "politics is a never-ending struggle" until the rapture." In 2014, he told a church group that "Jesus Christ as our savior is truly the only solution for our world." Yet he's in charge of American foreign policy to billions of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews and secular people.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos once told a gathering: "Our desire is to confront the culture in ways that will continue to advance God's kingdom." She advocates vouchers to funnel public money to fundamentalist schools.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry declared on Fox News that God "ordained" Donald Trump to be president that Trump is a divinely "chosen one."

Attorney General Bill Barr gave a Notre Dame University speech espousing "God's eternal law the divine wisdom by which the whole of creation is ordered."

Barr said "the Founding Generation were Christians" which isn't quite true. Many of the Founding Fathers were Deists, an early version of non-Christian Unitarians.

The attorney general warned that "over the past 50 years, religion has been under increasing attack," and has suffered "steady erosion". On the other hand, we see the growing ascendancy of secularism and the doctrine of moral relativisim." He blamed the retreat of religion for America's upsurge of unwed pregnancy.

Evangelist Ralph Drollinger leads what is called the "White House Cabinet Bible Study Group." The right-wing, born-again meetings include Pence, Pompeo, Perry, DeVos, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and NASA Director Jim Bridenstine, plus former cabinet members Ben Carson, Jeff Sessions, Alex Acosta and Scott Pruitt.

Religion is vanishing rapidly in America. White evangelicals the heart of the Republican Party have fallen to just 16 percent of the populace, according to Pew Research. Yet Trump gives them a gigantic role in his government.

Congress soon will decide whether the vulgar, shallow, obnoxious president should be impeached. I wonder if grounds for impeachment might include putting too many fundamentalists into high office?

(Haught, longtime editor of West Virginia's largest newspaper, The Charleston Gazette-Mail, is a weekly contributor to Daylight Atheism.)

----------------------

 

Rate It | View Ratings

James A. Haught Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

James A. Haught is editor emeritus of West Virginia's largest newspaper, The Charleston Gazette-Mail.  Mr. Haught has won two dozen national news writing awards. He has written 12 books and hundreds of magazine essays and blog posts. Around 450 of his essays are online. He is a senior editor of Free Inquiry magazine, a weekly blogger at Daylight Atheism, (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Megachurch Mess

Feeding 7.7 Billion

Religion-Tinged Politics

deadly labor struggles

The Dreams that Stuff is Made Of

Coal Mine Wars

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: