FFRF condemns Arkansas politician’s countrywide Christian Nationalist push

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Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert, who championed an unconstitutional Ten Commandments megalith on the Capitol grounds, is going national with his sectarian agenda.

In forming the National Association of Christian Lawmakers, Rapert is encouraging other legislators to follow his lead and abuse their public office to promote their personal religion. Rapert writes in the invitation, “Our national motto is ‘In God We Trust’ and it is time that our lawmakers start honoring the Judeo-Christian foundation of our nation.”

“‘In God We Trust’ is a johnny-come lately motto adopted by Congress during the Cold War,” FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor has countered. “The motto, to be accurate, would have to be worded, ‘In God Some of Us Trust,’ and that would be very silly.”

Facts and inclusivity are not Rapert’s strong suits. He’s a Christian nationalist who relies on historical revisionism and division. FFRF, along with other individuals and groups, filed suit immediately after his Ten Commandments monument was erected at the state Capitol.

Rapert is not content with unconstitutional monuments. Now, he wants to target women and LGBTQ citizens. He explains the purpose of his new club:

The goal is for lawmakers to come together in support of clear biblical principles and do our best to ensure that our nation lives up to our national motto “In God We Trust”. There are two central issues burdening our nation at this time that must be addressed by lawmakers to restore the honor of God in our country - abortion and same-sex marriage clearly violate biblical principles.

The Constitution is the “supreme law of the land,” not the bible. Rapert wants to flip that. Women have a right to choose, but Rapert thinks his bible says abortion is wrong so he wants to violate women’s rights. (Rapert should read his bible; he’ll find out that the bible says nothing about abortion, though it does approve of infanticide in several places.) 

Rapert wants to take America back to a time when religion ruled, back to the Dark Ages. But America is going in the other direction. More and more people are leaving religion behind, partly because of the nauseating anti-gay, anti-woman vitriol spewed by Rapert and his ilk. This year, the first Freethought Caucus formed in Congress, marking an important milestone and a blow to Christian nationalists.

Rapert specifically mentions FFRF in his invitation, claiming that groups like ours are targeting him. His Christian persecution complex is misplaced; we correct Rapert because he so regularly violates the Constitution. If he showed a fraction of the reverence for the true meaning and intent of the Constitution that he shows for his bible, he’d be a far better legislator.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation — with its 32,000 members all over the United States — will be keeping a close eye on Rapert’s proposed cabal of theocrats.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational charity, is the nation's largest association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics), and has been working since 1978 to keep religion and government separate.

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