In a rant designed to appeal to the Christian Persecution crowd, Pastor Shane Idleman of Westside Christian Fellowship in Leona Valley, California argued earlier this month that “people” — he means our culture in general — were trying to suppress voices like his. At one point, he also argues the problem is government.
That’s news to all of us who are convinced the entire White House only includes voices like his.
“I’m so sick of this politically correct culture that can’t offend anyone — except believers,” said Idleman, charging that the culture is trying to silence the church and “the voice of truth.”
Waving his Bible, he said, “I’ll give you this when you pry it out of my cold, dead hands.”
“The pulpit sets the tone for the nation, not Fox News and CNN,” he said, arguing that Americans should look to the Bible for answers about immigration, guns, gay marriage, and other issues. But, he said, “they” want to “silence the pulpit. ‘You just do your little church stuff, let us control the world. Let us control the United States.’”
“Let us control the United States”? His people are running the government! The White House is run by a Republican moron who surrounds himself with right-wing evangelicals. They’re supported by propaganda on FOX News, whose anchors are also right-wing Bible thumpers. The administration members running various agencies have hurt the environment, pushed for faith-based discrimination, practically shut down the immigration system, ignored gun violence, all while exhibiting their personal brands of managerial incompetence, and the worst offenders (Scott Pruitt, Ben Carson, Jeff Sessions, Betsy DeVos, etc.) are known for their Christian beliefs.
He also says we should look to the Bible for guidance on immigration, guns, gay marriage, and more. But there are progressive Christians who will say the Bible commands them to welcome foreigners with open arms, who point to Jesus turning the other cheek as a call for stricter gun control, and who will tell you Jesus never said a word about homosexuality.
Idleman isn’t really worried about the government because his people are in charge of it. His problem is that his form of Christian bigotry is no longer acceptable to large swaths of America — the people who will hopefully vote in huge numbers in 2018 and 2020 — and he’s sick to death of people calling him out on it.While we’re at it, no one’s prying the Bible out of his hands, either. We don’t want it. We have better books to turn to for wisdom and guidance.
Later in the sermon clip, Idleman quotes Christian pseudo-historian David Barton as he longs for the good old days when Jews and atheists couldn’t hold office.
“If you wanted to run for office in our nation, you had to profess a faith in Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, to even run for office,” Idleman said.
That’s not true. In fact, that violates everything the Constitution says about there being no religious test for public office.
The point is that this is a man who parrots Christian Right talking points without doing a bit of research to learn why everything he says is wrong. His congregation falls for it because he’s confident and angry, and their own critical thinking skills are nowhere to be found. Even worse is how Christian publication Charisma is promoting the rant and something worth watching.
By the way, Idleman is so well-known for pushing the usual conservative Christian tripe that an atheist group raised money for charity last year during one of his sermons “proving” the existence of God. For every fallacious argument he made — and they had a running list of 30 possible options — participants gave $5 to a good cause.
(via Right Wing Watch)