By Sharon M. Kennedy
Regardless of how Tuesday’s election went, if you’re not aware of the roadshow Ret. Gen. Michael Flynn is putting on, you should be. It hasn’t received much media attention, but if ever there was a mockery of Christianity, this is it. As Flynn and his band of devotees hit the road, they lead their audiences in a prayer that the “Angel of Death will visit Trump’s critics and reign vengeance upon them.” If you’re familiar with the Old Testament, you know such a curse smacks of the God of Wrath, not of Jesus who spoke of love and forgiveness.
Christian Nationalism has been around for a long time, but never has it been more vocal in its hatred of the truth and outright rage against Democrats. If the concept is new to you, it’s an ideology promoting extreme right-wing political views that declare the foundation of our country is rooted in Christianity. Jefferson and other Founding Fathers might disagree. Some believed in Deism considered a philosophical “ism” relying on human reasoning to solve a nation’s problems. Some were atheists. And yes, some were Christians. However, that whack job, Marjorie Taylor Green and the organizers of the ReAwaken America Roadshow Tour, Flynn and Clay Clark, shout apocalyptic politics as attendees are baptized, their cash is gathered and the daylights are scared out of them. The event is as dramatic as any put on by evangelist Joel Osteen and his gang of thieves.
According to a recent Pew Report, 45% of respondents think the U.S. should be a Christian nation but disagree on exactly what that term means. According to Pew Research:
“A growing number of religious and political leaders are embracing the ‘Christian Nationalist’ label and some dispute the founders wanted a separation of church and state. Others, including leaders of many Christian churches, are pushing back against the movement calling it a ‘danger’ to the country.”
Amanda Tyler, Executive Director of the Baptist Joint Committee which advocates for religious freedom for all, said, “Christian Nationalism undermines and attacks foundational values in American democracy. The ReAwaken cause is a partisan political tour to spread misinformation, perpetuate the Big Lie and to have a different result in the next election.”
If you want to learn more about this movement, here’s a link to get started: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/michael-flynn-reawaken-america-tour/. You’ll be amazed at what you see and hear. It will literally make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Things once thought strange, such as the handling of snakes in some Appalachian churches, will pale in comparison.
Because I was raised Catholic, I’m aware that fear is the ultimate weapon for obedience. When God is seen as a wicked master who must be obeyed under pain of mortal sin and hellfire, I understand the necessity to frighten people into believing things that are not true. Much of what I was taught from my Baltimore II Catechism was dependent upon church dogma, not the St. Joseph Catholic Bible. So when I listen to self-anointed preachers like Flynn and Greene who stir crowds into frenzies, I know the intent of their “Christian” agenda is questionable. It seems clear their goal is to steer mainstream Christians away from the teachings of Jesus and back to the curses of Deuteronomy if God’s law isn’t followed to the letter. A violent minority sect is pushing extremist beliefs on people who are being scared witless by liars. Where do you stand in all of this?