“The government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion” - Treaty of Tripoli, signed by President John Adams, 1797
The Taliban are strict fundamentalist Muslims. Their religion animates all they do. Now that they’re back in power, Sharia law is the foundation of whatever government might develop in the weeks and months ahead. To reinforce their stringent beliefs, many Taliban carry automatic weapons everywhere they go, the menacing message being, cross us and you could end up dead.
There doesn’t seem to be much daylight between the Taliban and Christian nationalists here in America, who would love nothing better than to install a theocracy that dictates all aspects of every American’s life, and perhaps enforce it with guns.
The Republican Party’s nutbag caucus certainly sees it that way, and their language is barely veiled. U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, the gun-loving extremist from Colorado, told a Christian nationalist gathering last week, “We are sons and daughters of revolutionaries. They took a stand for a lot less…You have the Lord God Almighty on your side,” adding, government should be run by “righteous men and women of God.”
That could be a Taliban pep talk in Kabul – except for the women part.
If she lived in Afghanistan, Boebert would be wearing a burka and sitting at home. Where not long-ago Afghan women and girls were able to work and go to school thanks to the U.S. intervention, that’s over. But isn’t the subjugation of women and girls part of what Christian nationalists want to see here?
Texas is a harbinger. The conservatives in control recently outlawed abortion after six weeks regardless of rape or incest. At six weeks, most women don’t even know they are pregnant, but the GOP he-men who run the show in the Lone Star State want women to carry the fetus to full term. If that’s not subjugation, I don’t know what is.
And if they try to get an abortion after six weeks, the state of Texas will pay a $10,000 bounty to vigilantes who turn in those women or girls and anybody who assists them.
Then the right-wing governor turns around and tells Texans he won’t mandate vaccines or masks as the Delta COVID variant fills up his state’s ICUs and hospitals order more mobile morgues. So much for the “right to life.” Ironically, the anti-vaccine and mask crowd has adopted the pro-choice slogan, “my body, my choice.”
You can’t make this stuff up.
Oh, and Texas also passed an open carry law, no gun training or permits required. I doubt the Taliban mandates gun training and permits, either.
Boebert and her ilk would be outliers if not for all the many Christian churches across the country wading into politics. I used to believe churches were sanctuaries where congregants receive their spiritual nourishment, not hotbeds of political worship at the right-wing extremist alter.
Pastor Greg Locke is one of many examples. He oversees a church in Tennessee and recently invited congregants who don’t like all the attention he pays to conservative politics in his sermons to leave his church.
“In case you assume I will cease since you need me to, you have misplaced your thoughts,” Locke told his flock. “I am simply now calling out Joe Biden. I am simply now preaching towards the LGBTQ group. I am simply now calling out abortion. I am simply now speaking about (non-existent) election fraud. I am simply speaking out about antifa and Black Lives Matter. I am simply now calling out this depraved nonsense. “
Not all of Locke’s coreligionists agree. A headline in the Baptist News Global said, “Pastor Greg Locke is all over the internet spreading conspiracies; here’s why you shouldn’t believe him.” The first paragraph of the article beneath notes the bellicose Locke divorced his wife of 21 years to marry his secretary. So much for the sanctity of marriage.
But Locke is far from alone using his church as a platform to push extreme political views. It is for this reason churches like his should be taxed if they wish to engage in politics on the American town square. I pay for that privilege and so do you. So should churches that stray from their tax-exempt spiritual ministries and into the secular world of politics to tell us who and what to vote for or spreading political lies as Locke does.
Thus, the Christian nationalist movement is just the flip side of the Islamic nationalist movement that now rules Afghanistan and other Muslim countries, and it’s what the Founding Fathers feared most.