What the Religious Right Wants

The answer to the question What does the Religious Right want? is easily answered: control. Since the Religious Right became the right-wing evangelical voice for the GOP the agenda has remained the same: "If any political movement should have been able to change the country by implementing its agenda, it was the Moral Majority," writes former Religious Right advocate Cal Thomas, regarding the Moral Majority of late Jerry Falwell infamy, an organization which began as a religio-politico attempt at solidifying segregation (link). Falwell &c. believed that the time was near "before our nation would be restored to what we wanted it to be."1 Sound familiar? They wanted to Make America Great Again.

Cal Thomas and Ed Dobson confess that, not only did their methods fail and the GOP via Ronald Reagan betrayed the interests of the Religious Right, but the country became worse as a result.2 Ed Dobson (not to be confused with James Dobson of anti-LGBTQ Focus on the Family) comments: "Twenty years have passed," given that the book was written in 1999, "since conservative Christians burst on the political scene. They are now part of the political landscape, but there is still mistrust of them and their agenda in the secular corridors of power and influence."3 More than forty years has passed now and "the secular corridors of power and influence" are not the only ones who distrust the Religious Right.

Little by little some believers are beginning to see for themselves the corrupt nature of the Religious Right. Men like Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Mike Pence, Ben Carson, Gary Bauer, Eric Metaxas, Jerry Falwell, Jr. and Jay Sekulow have willingly sold their souls to the Republican party in the hopes of advancing their right-wing agenda: control the political scene in order to forward a cultural war to which Christ never called them. Our business as Christians is to make disciples, not wage war with the culture, and certainly not to legislate morality -- an impossibility if ever one existed. Our problem is not a desperate need for stricter legislation but an innate depravity that needs regeneration.

JAY SEKULOW

Ed Dobson insists that the Religious Right is "doomed to fail unless it changes its behavior"4 and, yet, we all know that a leopard cannot change its own spots (Jer. 13:23). You see, admittedly, the Religious Right typically does not care about "racial injustice or world hunger or speaking in favor of civil rights for homosexuals," confesses Dobson, rather, "we worked hard to defeat gay rights issues and pressed for action on the issue of abortion."5 Yet, Cal Thomas admits, "Abortion is not the cause of our social problems; it is a reflection of them."6 Hence change, true change, only occurs on the inside -- from the heart and from the mind.

Do you appreciate the picture of apostate and false teacher Pat Robertson (below), jokingly bowing before Donald Trump, a filthy and immoral man self-professingly in no need of God's forgiveness (link)? Figures like Pat Robertson, Eric Metaxas, Jerry Falwell, Jr., and Pat Robertson's protégé and Trumps' new lawyer Jay Sekulow (founder of the ACLJ, the American Center for Law and Justice, a bigoted answer to the ACLU) still believe in the already-failed efforts of the political Religious Right that Sekulow is now defending. Who is Jay Sekulow's primary enemy? LGBTQ people.

DONALD TRUMP WITH PAT ROBERTSON

Jay Sekulow and his ACLJ, the Board of which multi-million-dollar organization includes Sekulow's wife, brother, sister-in-law and two sons, were predominantly involved in advancing the criminalization of homosexuality in parts of Africa (link). What does that inform you about the agenda of the Religious Right? If such were legal, they would criminalize homosexuality in this country, and such is demonstrated when they fight every known freedom act, non-discrimination law, and equal rights amendment presented to them. If they fought to criminalize homosexuality throughout parts of Africa, what makes anyone think that they would fail to do the same here, should the opportunity be granted to them? They fight tooth and nail in the political arena for control.

I will fight them tooth and nail until the Lord brings me Home. I will continue insisting that the grace and love of God stretches to every person ever to exist; that Christ died and was risen for the same; and that the Spirit of God is active in the hearts of all toward the goal of bringing the same to faith in Christ. I refuse to render Jesus a Republican, an Independent, or a Democrat. Yet I distinctly reject the Jesus crafted in the Republican hue of the Religious Right. He is an abominable false god. What is refreshing about the political Religious Right is that there are many conservative evangelicals who, although they remain Republican, they reject some of the attitudes and agendas of the Right, my family and friends among them! I am personally grateful for them.

The Jesus of Scripture never called His people to wage culture wars, oppose civil rights, or protest in the streets. He never even demanded that His followers fight for their own specialized rights. Quite the contrary, He insisted that His followers relinquish their rights (Matt. 5:11, 12, 38-42; 20:25-28; cf. Rom. 12:14, 17, 18; 13:8-10; 1 Cor. 6:7). This is how I know that the god of the Religious Right is a false political god that reflects in contradistinction the image of Christ found on the pages of Scripture.

Anyone harboring hatred and bigotry and prejudice in his heart is not a regenerate Christian (cf. Matt. 5:38-42, 43-48; 23:13, 15, 23, 25, 27, 28; Mark 12:28-33; James 2:1-13). Such is obvious from even a cursory reading of Jesus and several authors of New Testament scripture. Even if the Religious Right render LGBTQ persons their enemy, Christ, at the very least, demands that the Religious Right love their enemies, yet they refuse to do so (Luke 6:27-36). Confront the idolatrous Religious Right, yes, and help them toward embracing and advancing the Mission of Jesus (Matt 28:19-20; cf. Luke 14:23). But be warned: they will treat you as harshly as they treat liberals, Democrats, "abortionists" and LGBTQ people. If they cannot control you, they fear you, and they must conquer you.

__________

1 Cal Thomas and Ed Dobson, Blinded by Might: Can the Religious Right Save America? (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1999), 23.

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid., 29-30.

4 Ibid., 31.

5 Ibid., 40.

6 Ibid., 24.

ABOUT WILLIAM BIRCH

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My name is William Birch and I grew up in the Southern Baptist tradition but converted, if you will, to Anglicanism in 2012. I am gay, affirming, and take very seriously matters of social justice, religion and politics in the church and the state.