Apologize for your Christian nationalist speech, FFRF asks Sen. Josh Hawley

Josh Hawley conference remarks image

Sen. Josh Hawley should be ashamed of the erroneous and ignorant Christian nationalist rant that he recently delivered to a gullible audience, contends the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

The junior U.S. senator from Missouri gave a speech at the National Conservatism conference in Miami in which he sought to portray the bible as the center of the founding of the United States and its culture and argued that modern politics hinges on its influence and impact: 

We are a revolutionary nation precisely because we are the heirs of the  revolution of the bible. … This was a revolution that began with the founding of the nation of Israel at Sinai and continued with the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth in the days of ancient Rome. … Without the bible, there is no modernity. Without the bible, there is no America.

FFRF is appalled at Hawley’s gleeful propagation of a specious narrative perpetuating The Big Lie that “American is a Christian nation.”

“Your remarks were a capricious mixture of false history, dubious theology and extreme hypocrisy, which we’re sure fit in well at a conference that included a talk titled, ‘How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Christian Nationalism,’” FFRF Co-Presidents Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor write to Hawley. “But as a United States senator, you should know better.”

America’s secular government is what makes it America, FFRF underscores. The constitutional principle separating religion from government was the uniquely American vision of our revolutionary Founders. They deliberately and purposefully adopted the first constitution in history excluding any mention of a deity. Every reference to religion in the U.S. Constitution is exclusionary, including prohibitions on religious tests for public office. The United States was first among nations to invest sovereignty not in a deity, but in “We the People.” 

The proscription against religion in government has served our nation well, with the U.S. Constitution now the longest living constitution in history, and our nation spared the constant religious wars afflicting theocratic regions around the world, FFRF reminds Hawley. Keeping religion out of government has in fact allowed religion to flourish on our continent, because it protects freedom of conscience. 

“Surely it’s not unreasonable to expect that a United States senator would have actually read the U.S. Constitution he took an oath ‘to support and defend,’” FFRF admonishes the senator. Had he ever sat down and read it, he would have noticed some omissions: No reference to a deity, Jesus of Nazareth, the bible or the nation of Israel. FFRF suggests it likewise appears that Hawley has never read the bible, for if he had, he would realize that, thankfully, there are no biblical principles in the U.S. Constitution. The bible contains no democracy, no right by the people to vote, no “consent of the governed,” no individual liberties. In fact, the First Commandment, warning “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” is the antithesis of the First Amendment, which guarantees true religious liberty. 

Finally, Hawley’s suggestion that America’s founding and development is based on the bible is not only at odds with our country’s history and laws, but stigmatizes and marginalizes many of his own constituents. Nonreligious Americans are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population by religious identification — 37 percent of Americans are non-Christians, and this includes the nearly one in three Americans who now identify as religiously unaffiliated.  Hawley represents all Missourians, including those who do not share his personal religious beliefs.

 “As a U.S. senator, your duty is to support the U.S. Constitution, which is godless and entirely secular, and to protect the rights of all citizens regardless of their religious or nonreligious beliefs,” FFRF’s letter to Hawley concludes. “Your support and advancement of Christian nationalism is insulting and demeaning to nonreligious and non-Christian citizens, and a betrayal of your oath of office to the U.S. Constitution.”

You can read FFRF’s letter to Sen. Josh Hawley in its entirety here.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with more than 38,000 members across the country, including nearly 500 members in Missouri. FFRF protects the constitutional separation between state and church and educates about nontheism. 

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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