FFRF analysis of Christian Nationalist members of Congress featured in Religion Dispatches

1AndrewSeidelPresskitAndrew L. Seidel, FFRF’s director of strategic response, has written an op-ed for Religion Dispatches about the way Christian Nationalism is dividing our country in the wake of the Capitol insurrection. Seidel explores the division by looking at two stories from this week in a piece titled, “Blinken and Blinkered: Two Oath of Office Stories Capture a Divided America.” Seidel compares a recently unearthed video of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene ranting about how oaths of office must be taken on a bible with footage of our new secretary of state, Antony Blinken, taking his oath of office on the Constitution. Seidel begins:

America continues to divide and migrate toward opposing poles, one in which democratic government is a value and the other in which it’s a barrier to power. Christian Nationalism contributes to this division. The dichotomy floated across my digital timeline recently. I saw, in quick succession, a sober image of a new cabinet official taking the oath of office on the Constitution, followed immediately by a U.S. representative ranting in a selfie-video about how oaths of office must be sworn on the bible.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken took his oath of office on a copy of the U.S. Constitution on Jan. 27, and Vice President Kamala Harris administered the oath. That’s remarkable twice over: first, because Harris’ vice presidency is historic on so many levels, and second, because most officials opt — some by default, some from personal piety — to place their hand on a bible when taking an oath of office. Those who use a different book are newsworthy; some presidents have used other books and documents, as have some senators and representatives.

Whatever one swears on is virtually meaningless relative to what that oath promises to protect. Who could forget Rep. Jamie Raskin’s immortal retort when testifying against a proposed amendment to the Maryland Constitution in 2006? Sen. Nancy Jacobs, a Republican, asked “Mr. Raskin, my bible says marriage is only between a man and a woman. What do you have to say about that?” To which he replied, “Senator, with all due respect, when you took your oath of office, you put your hand on the bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. You did not put your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the bible.”

Seidel then explores the Greene video, which really captures “the essence of Christian Nationalism” and ties that to FFRF’s analysis showing that the 147 members of Congress who voted to overturn the election were not only disproportionately Christian, but largely Christian Nationalist. Read the whole article on Religion Dispatches.

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