There is a sect of Christianity in America that borders on treason and heresy. Last Sunday the leaders of this unholy alliance gathered at First Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC for an event dubbed Star Spangled Sunday in honor of the 200th anniversary of our National Anthem.
The luminaries of the Christian Right were all there, Tony Perkins, Mike Huckabee, the moron twins Ted and Daddy Cruz and a host of others who are foaming at the mouth to turn America into a theocracy ruled by their straight and narrow interpretation of the bible. As someone who has actually read the bible in its entirety I can tell you the folks at Star Spangled Sunday do not understand Christian theology.
One of the highlights of this charade was a video feed of Steve Green and Anthony Hahn of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood respectfully, the men behind the Hobby Lobby decision handed down by our dysfunctional Supreme Court. Green and Hahn explained that they had to sue the federal government because the mandate in the Affordable Care Act that requires employers to provide contraceptives for employees violated their deeply held religious beliefs. These folks view abortion as murder, and they view certain forms of birth control as abortion. It is a matter of the sanctity of life and they as Christians cannot condone killing.
The only time the religious right cares about the sanctity of life is when it regards abortion. Judging from social media and public speaking most of the folks on the religious right support the death penalty and the military industrial complex as if they were chiseled in stone by God himself.
These preachers of hate and anarchy are encouraging Christians to oppose the US Government. They stand in churches festooned with oversized American flags and perpetrate the notion that our duly elected president is somehow an enemy of the state, and that as Christians they must oppose him. This preaching of politics from the pulpit should disqualify the tax exempt status these “churches” enjoy. They are not churches but private clubs for the anti-government fanatics on the right.
As I said previously, they are dead wrong in their interpretation of the bible. Nowhere in the scriptures does the bible instruct Christians to oppose the government of the land. In fact, it says the exact opposite. Let’s look at some of the New Testament writings to see what the Bible says about believer’s obligation to government.
Romans 13 New International Version (NIV)
13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. …. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
So as we see, the Apostle Paul commands Christians to obey the government and rebellion against that government is rebellion against God. The writer of 1st Peter echoes Paul’s writing.
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. (1st Peter 2)
This is another example of how the modern Christian right has perverted the theology of the early church and become more and more akin to the legalistic religious leaders whom Jesus saved his most vitriolic condemnation for. They are, as Jesus said, nothing more than whitewashed tombs, clean and shinny on the outside but on the inside full of dead men’s bones.
What the Bible does teach in both the Old and New Testaments is to feed the poor, clothe the naked, heal the sick and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. I look forward to the day these Star Spangled Christians begin to live out the teaching of their Holy book.
Watch Green’s comments below.