The Freedom of Religion Foundation is investigating participation by numerous government officials in a recent week-long religious event at the Museum of the Bible hosted by Capitol Ministries.
Capitol Ministries is a Christian Nationalist organization whose stated mission is to “evangelize elected and appointed political leaders and lead them toward maturity in Christ.” The group is well-known for promoting its radical agenda to the Trump administration during weekly White House bible studies.
Several cabinet-level government officials, including Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, former Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta, former Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue, attended and participated in a panel at this week-long religious event in December. FFRF has requested public records from each department to investigate the extent of governmental mingling in this program. See thinks to open records requests at end.
Capitol Ministries has boasted that attendees “heard from White House cabinet members, U.S. senators and representatives about the importance of teaching God’s Word to people in political power and how the Washington D.C. bible study they regularly attend impacts their lives personally and professionally.”
FFRF called it very disturbing that pious politicians appear to be spending taxpayer-bankrolled time preaching their personal religious beliefs using their public offices. Religious freedom depends on governance based on shared, secular values rather than on a lawmaker’s personal religious preference.
Capitol Ministries’ founder and president, Ralph Drollinger, teaches homophobic, misogynistic, xenophobic bible studies to politicians across the country, asserts FFRF. Drollinger’s access to high-level officials with what he calls his “para-church ministry” is concerning, especially when his draconian views are examined:
Quoting from the bible Drollinger says, “Homosexuality is a sin. It is an abomination in the eyes of God.”
Drollinger says mothers who work outside the home are sinners: “Women with children at home who either serve in public office, or are employed on the outside, pursue a path that contradicts God’s revealed design for them. It is a sin.”
Drollinger was the likely inspiration for then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions citing Romans 13 to justify the administration’s family separation policy. This same biblical passage has been used for centuries to justify otherwise indefensible laws, including slavery.
FFRF is committed to exposing the misuse of public resources to promote religion, and this recent example continues a troubling string of government officials pushing a dangerous Christian Nationalist agenda.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with more than 30,000 members and several chapters across the country. FFRF’s purposes are to protect the constitutional principle of separation between church and state, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism.