See if this makes any sense to you: At the annual gathering of the Southern Baptist Convention, with an estimated 15,000 attendees representing more than 47,000 churches, with Vice President Mike Pence scheduled to speak to the crowd on behalf of an administration that bows down to the Religion Right and a Congress in which more than 90% of the members are Christians, Texas Governor Greg Abbott told everyone they were being silenced.
In a speech designed to anger the crowd and get them pumped up about midterm elections, Abbott insisted that people are trying to “silence the faithful and remove God from the public square.”
The only way that would be more ironic is if he said it while holding a megaphone.
“Our country was founded on religious liberty, but America is at a time of crisis as some try to silence the faithful and remove God from the public square,” said Governor Abbott. “Texas has faced a great deal of adversity, but we’ve relied on our faith to overcome those challenges, which has brought us closer to God. In the midst of challenges against people of faith, Texans have adopted the attitude, ‘pray as if everything depends on God, but work as if everything depends on Texas.’”
What challenges do people of faith face that the rest of us don’t? (And let’s admit, by faith, he only means Christians, because the GOP has never given a damn about people outside that bubble.)
As an atheist, I would love to have #ChristianProblems. So would Muslims and Jews and every other non-Christian group in the U.S.
Abbott’s concern isn’t that Christians are shut out from the public square. He’s worried Christianity doesn’t always get special treatment in the public square.
This is the same governor who saw an atheist display next to a Nativity scene in the State Capitol and demanded that it be removed. (The atheists sued and Abbott lost.)
This is the same governor who appointed a fundamentalist Christian woman to the State Board of Education even though her history with the public schools involves home-schooling her kids before later sending them to a private school.
This is the same governor who responded to Hurricane Harvey by urging everyone to pray to, presumably, the same God who sent the hurricane to destroy Texas.
The point is: No one is silencing Christians. Christianity is everywhere — and we’re worse off because of it. And in the cases where atheists say Christianity has gone too far, the goal isn’t the eradication of religion from the public square but rather an enforcement of government neutrality on the matter.
Abbott doesn’t understand that. Neither do the people who belong to the SBC.
Maybe they can’t hear the voices of reason because they’re too busy drowning out the sounds of all the women abused and ignored by Southern Baptist leaders.
(Screenshot via YouTube. Thanks to Brian for the link)