The American Taliban isn’t perfect; they’re just better Christians

Ralph Drollinger, the minister who leads regular prayer and Bible study meetings with members of President Trump’s cabinet and members of Congress, says in his written Bible study guide for this month, “Do not be deceived by syncretistic, ‘prayer breakfasts:’ God only hears the prayers of leaders and citizens who are upright, who live righteously through faith in Jesus Christ.” Drollinger’s claim is reminiscent of a notorious 1980 declaration by the then-head of the Southern Baptist Convention Bailey Smith, who told a Religious Right political gathering that it was “interesting” to him that political gatherings would “have a Protestant to pray and a Catholic to pray and then you have a Jew to pray.” Added Smith, “With all due respect to those dear people, my friend, God almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew. For how in the world can God hear the prayer of a man who says that Jesus Christ is not the true Messiah?”

I love how the denizens of the American Taliban believe themselves to be the keepers of The One, True, and ONLY Faith ©, and that those who don’t share their beliefs are apostates. The arrogance required to believe yourself to be one of the Chosen is stunning.

Silly me; I thought I’d learned in Sunday School that Jesus Christ was all about humility, tolerance, and acceptance. I may not believe in God, but I know bullshit when I smell it. “God only hears the prayers of righteous Christians?” Really? If Ralph Drollinger is a “righteous Christian,” I’m the Queen of Denmark.

[Drollinger] writes, public officials have a special obligation to make sure the nation has “God-fearing righteous judges,” not ones who support abortion or “make up rights for the unrighteous”:

It is only through righteous lawmakers and law enforcers that a society can have any semblance of justice. Justice stems from righteous, God-fearing individuals who are grown into such by the discipleship priorities of the Church in a composite nation of co-abiding Institutions of Church and State.

Once a righteous person is in power, he says, they have the obligation to hire only righteous employees, and not to “compromise biblical absolutes in his policies or interactions with others.”

If you’re thinking Drollinger is a true Christian, you might want to reconsider that opinion; I’d wager he couldn’t lead a Christ-like life if you spotted him a Bible and a Sherpa.

He does have the self-righteous arrogance gene, though. In spades.

This past April, Brendan O’Connor at Fusion published an in-depth look at Drollinger and his Capitol Ministries. O’Connor reported that Drollinger had proclaimed Catholicism to be “the world’s largest false religion” and “that female legislators who continue working after having children are sinners, and that homosexuality is an ‘abomination.’” A bit more:

He has also written that social welfare programs are un-Christian. “It is safe to say that God is a Capitalist,” Drollinger once wrote, “not a Communist.” In a January radio interview, Drollinger praised then-senator Jeff Sessions, who “hungers and thirsts for the Scripture,” for his performance during his confirmation hearing, when he provided a Biblical justification for his draconian views on immigration. “I’ve had the distinct honor of teaching him on this subject, and many others,” Drollinger said. “There’s nothing more exciting, when you’re a Bible teacher, to see one of the guys you’re working with—to see him or her articulate something you’ve taught them when they’re under the gun.” …

Drollinger also argues that climate change is impossible because God promised after The Flood never to do anything like that again. Drollinger preaches against “radical environmentalism” and that to believe that human activity could have devastating impact on the environment is not just mistaken, but the result of godless pride: “To think that man can alter the earth’s ecosystem—when God remains omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent in the current affairs of mankind—is to more than subtly espouse an ultra-hubristic, secular worldview relative to the supremacy and importance of man,” Drollinger wrote recently. “It follows that we can all rest assured and wholly rely on God’s aforementioned promises pertaining to His ability and willingness to sustain our world’s ecosystem.”

So let me see if I understand Drollinger’s theology:

1) Catholicism is a “false religion”
2) Leaders have an obligation to God to ensure the appointment of “God-fearing righteous judges”
3) Those “God-fearing righteous judges” CANNOT support abortion or “make up rights for the unrighteous”…I’m guessing that’s a thinly-veiled reference to the LGBTQ community
4) Social welfare programs (and thus compassion) are un-Christian
5) Climate change is impossible
6) Believing human activity will adversely impact the environment stems from “godless pride”
7) God wants the right kind (Drollinger’s kind) of Christian to be in charge of the government
8) Entitlements stem from “bad theology”
9) Homosexuality is an abomination
10) Female legislators who continue working after giving birth are sinners

I suspect there’s more where that came from, but I think we’ve established his bona fides, no?

I don’t begrudge Drollinger his Neanderthal religious philosophy. This is still a free country, and he’s free to preach whatever self-interested bastardized Christianity he chooses. People who think as I do are also free to call “bullshit” on his arrogance and self-righteousness.

The truly scary part is that he’s set up Bible study sessions in the White House. He also has more than 50 sponsors in Congress. Yes, the very people charged with defending the separation of Church and State look for spiritual guidance to a zealot who believes his God should be our government.

Ralph Drollinger, more Pharisee than Christian, represents a clear and present danger to American democracy. Left to his own devices, America would undoubtedly look like the set from “A Handmaid’s Tale.” Representative democracy would be replaced by a theocracy indistinguishable from a despotic dictatorship. The teachings of Jesus Christ would be of far less importance than enforcing blind, unquestioning obedience to the leader of a system indistinguishable from fascism.

Government’s primary function would be to advance the interest of wealthy oligarchs. The 99% would be treated as disposable labor, devoid of the right to be treated fairly, to work in a safe environment, or earn a living wage.

The worst part of this scenario? Americans are participating in their own demise by continually voting against their best interests. Swallowing Right-wing propaganda is far easier than thinking critically…and so Americans vote for candidates who care nothing for them once their vote is cast.

Nice work, America.

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