Politics

A Radical Christian in U.S. Congress

Source: Salon.com
Source: Salon.com

U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert (Texas) recently suggested that the U.S. should judge its foreign policy decisions based on a literalist interpretation of prophecies and stories in the Bible.

Scriptural literalism in any religious tradition blatantly denies cold-hard facts such as evolution and encourages naive absolutism in the face of scientific inquiry, among other issues. Interpreting the Bible literally as Gohmert encourages is a major “red flag” and a worrying sign of Christian radicalization in the U.S. Congress.

The founding fathers did not intend for the U.S. to be a Christian theocracy. The First Amendment prohibits the making of any law on establishing a certain religion as the religion of the State.

America is not and never will be a “Christian nation.” The population of the country included Jews and Muslims in the 18th century and today is increasingly diverse and home to Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Scientologists, atheists, agnostics, and so on.

The Christian “God” is not written into the U.S. Constitution. Although most of the founding fathers believed in God, they deliberately left this word out of the text due to their suspicion that religious fanatics would try and turn the U.S. into a fundamentalist state.

Gohmert’s request that Americans vote on foreign policy matters through a radical Christian lens also contradicts Emerson v. Board of Education (1947), the Supreme Court case which drew on Thomas Jefferson’s “wall of separation between church and state.”

Gohmert wants to bring Americans back to the 17th century, a period in which radical Christians from Europe invaded and dominated North America and instilled a stifling and ruthless form of Christianity based on a literalist interpretation of the Bible.

Radical Christians of Massachusetts Bay Colony attacked everything in their path, from Native American communities to the environment. They also condoned enslaving blacks and treating women as second-rate human beings. Catholics, Jews, and Muslims were also despised. All of this was based on a literalist interpretation of the Bible.

Are these the kind of thinkers we really want making our laws on Capitol Hill?

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