Christian Right Group Fears a Future Where the President Might be Muslim

In 2008, Focus on the Family released a list of all the horrible things that would happen by 2012 if Barack Obama was elected president.

In 2012, their predictions turned out to be just as far from reality as most of their religious beliefs.

The American Family Association appears to have learned a lesson from all this: When making predictions about the future of Christianity, don’t say what’s going to happen four years from now. Aim higher! Talk about what’ll happen 50 years from now! By then, everyone will forget how idiotic you were.

So they sent out the follow email yesterday (my comments are in red):

What will religion look like in the year 2060?

Conservative Christians will be treated as second class citizens, much like African Americans were prior to civil rights legislation in the 1960s. To compare Conservative Christians (a popular majority, not discriminated against, accepted by society) to pre-Civil-Rights-era African-Americans is just the Christian Martyr Complex in action. They wish they were a persecuted minority just so they could play the underdog card.

Family as we know it will be drastically changed with the state taking charge of the children beginning at birth. The government doesn’t want your children. You’ll still have to take care of them.

Marriage will include two, three, four or any number of participants. Marriage will not be important, with individuals moving in and out of a “family” group at will. Citation needed. Gay marriage underscores the importance people place in family values. That’s not a Christian belief; that’s virtually universal.

Churchbuildings will be little used, with many sold to secular buyers and the money received going to the government. I predict people in the future will still want community, believe it or not. The government will not be taking over churches; if they were, atheists would be opposed to it.

Churches will not be allowed to discuss any political issues, even if it affects the church directly. Pastors can’t endorse candidates if they want to remain tax-exempt. To extrapolate that to mean you can’t have opinion on political issues is crazy. Churches are private groups and they have every right to comment on issues like gay marriage and abortion. No one is stopping them from doing it.

Tax credit given to churches and non-profit organizations will cease. The government wants to encourage the creation of non-profit groups, not discourage them from forming. Maybe a tax credit would disappear. More likely, though, churches will just have to file the same paperwork as other non-profits — that’s the point of the lawsuits going through the courts right now.

Christian broadcasting will be declared illegal based on the separation of church and state. The airwaves belong to the government, therefore they cannot be used for any religious purpose. As long as atheists and other religious groups have the same ability to purchase television time, no one’s declaring Christian broadcasting illegal. (But it probably will damage your mental health.)

We will have, or have had, a Muslim president. And the problem with that would be…?

Cities with a name from the Bible such as St. Petersburg, Bethlehem, etc. will be forced to change their name due to separation of church and state. Unless they’re a mini-theocracy ruled through Biblical law, it’s not gonna happen.

Groups connected to any religious affiliation will be forced out of health care. Health centers get tax money from the state, making it a violation of church and state. This makes it sounds like the government is on a secret mission to kill off all religious people. Talk about conspiracy theory…

Get involved! Sign THE STATEMENT.


Donald E. Wildmon

None of this would be all that important except AFA is a major player in evangelical circles. Millions of Christians agree with them and share their paranoia.

Let’s face it, though. Wildmon’s biggest fear in all of this is that American society will eventually treat Christians the same way those Christians are treating LGBT people and atheists right now.

Thankfully, we have more of a heart, so he has nothing to worry about.

(via Think Progress)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Gavin

    This article’s got me seeing red.

  • Angela I. Blackmer

    Hilarious, really. (But a bit difficult to distinguish AFA items from comments because it’s all in red).

  • Agrajag

    Most of these are nonsense, and the remaining ones aren’t actually negative at all.

    In principle, there’s no reason to insist a marriage must involve precisely two people. But in practice, the only folks wanting a change to this are misogynist religious folks. I’d say the presidential candidate most likely to endorse more than 2 people in a marriage would be Romney.

    Thus it’s fairly amusing to be Obama-critical with *that* as an argument.

    “Let’s elect the mormon, in order to protect the idea that a marriage involves precisely 2 people.” That doesn’t pass the laugh-test. (besides, in practical terms that idea isn’t under threat in USA anyway)

  • Alexander Ryan

    Did you accidentally your formatting because it seems a lot more than the article is Red. Unless it’s Red Day and nobody told me.

  • Greg

    I don’t think that’s entirely fair. There are polyamorous triads who might also want some form of legal recognition. There was one such triad who had a civil ceremony in the Netherlands and another who have had a form of legal recognition in Brazil.

    The main problem with Mormon polygamy is that young women are often coerced into it and can’t really be said to be choosing freely.

  • Agrajag

    Internationally, sure. But it was my honest impression that the mormons are the only reasonably-sized group in USA that’s acceptable and “mainstream” enough to have a credible presidential candidate, and at the same time fairly positive about polygamy. (yes I know the official position changed a century ago)

    The inequality of the womans position in *practice* is my main concern with group-marriages. If all of the involved could truly be said to be equal, and you could talk of real and free consent from everyone involved, then I don’t really see a problem with it.

    But that was never the case in mormonism – and it’s not the case in those other countries practicing polygamy either. (as demonstrated by the fact that they all tend to allow polygamy, while not allowing polyandri)

  • d

    I don’t, in principle, see the problem with more than two people being married to each other, as long as they all give their consent and are aware of the other people in the marriage, and aren’t pressurised into it in some way. To me marriage is a contract between people. I don’t see the problem with someone pledging their support and love to two people instead of one, as long as both those people are okay with it.
    Still I suspect that monogamy will be the preferred option for the majority of people.

    Churchbuildings are too beautiful to stand empty for long. I once went to an indian restaurant inside a church. I’ve also seen a church that had been remodelled into a private home. The windows were gorgeous.

    I think it’s possible that if church attendence keeps dropping, the organizations that own them will be forced to sell them on. The part about the government getting the money is just fearmongering though.

    I thought you already had a Muslim President? a lot of Repulicans seemed to think Obama was it, when they weren’t calling him an atheist communist satanist. And what’s wrong with a Muslim president anyway?

    The radio thing and the city renaming is just paranoid nonsense, or weak satire against people who believe in the seperation of church and state. The ‘second class citizen’ thing and ‘the state will steal your baby!!!!’ is just ridiculous.

    It would be good if churches had to prove a public benefit just like all the other charities. I hope that happens. I doubt they’d take away the tax breaks alltogether; any government who tried would be very unpopular.

    A load of exagerration and whining, really.

  • jdm8

    Google’s copy from the RSS feed looks good, so something probably happened to the formatting tags since the original edit. Some of the bold disappeared too.

    I think it’s sad that this letter doesn’t acknowledge *who* oppressed blacks in the 60′s and before. I’m also surprised they didn’t claim that the US has a Muslim president right now. Maybe they realize that card has been played out and too few people believe it.

  • Emma

    “Marriage will include two, three, four or any number of participants.”

    You mean, like in the Bible?

  • Goldstein Squad Membe

    Given the way people like PZ Myers, Eberhard, and other bigots talk about Christians, I have no doubt they would take it out on Christians if they had the poliical power.

    Fortunately, atheists of that type don’t have the personality requirements necessary to get elected to any higher office.
    By the way, what is you beef with POLYGAMY? If consenting adults want to get married, who are you to stop them?

  • Goldstein Squad Member

    Atheists used Romney’s Mormonism against him.
    And there is historical precedent for concern…whenever atheists have actually had the political power, the have imprisoned, tortured, and murdered Christians.
    And,..yep…they did it because of their atheism because they wanted to elimiante religion.

  • Kari Lynn

    Citation please?
    Romney did not lose the presidency because he’s Mormon, he lost because he is out of touch with reality.
    Genocidal world leaders who happened to be atheist did horrible things because they were horrible people, not because they were atheists. It’s the same thing with religious people. World leaders who are religious who do horrible things do them because they are horrible people. Religion just gives them the excuse to do it.

  • Agrajag

    Your comment is entirely unrelated to my claim. My claim is that it’s funny and hard to take seriously to advocate voting for a mormon instead of a christian in order to support the idea that a marriage must be precisely two people. Because mormons are actually the most serious group to have recently -opposed- this idea in USA.

  • ReadsInTrees

    I won’t have a beef with polygamy once all of the family, social, and mental health experts form a consensus that plural marriages are normal, healthy, and that children raised in them turn out just fine….the way they have with same-sex marriages. Also, proponents will need to lay out a plan on how these marriages will work. Same-sex marriages are easy: the structure is the same, just remove the gender discrimination, and they work the same as a opposite-sex marriage. Plural marriages will obviously be a lot more complicated. Imagine we just have a three person marriage…is person A married to persons B and C, and B and C are also married to each other, or is it A is married to B, and A is married to C, but B and C are not married to each other? And can C also be married to D in a completely different marriage? What happens if A, B, and C are all married to each other, and C decides they want to divorce A, but not B? What if this plural marriage produces children…does everyone have an equal share, or just the biological parents? What if a non-biological parent wants to divorce the other parents, are they still accountable for child support? It’s so confusing!

  • A3Kr0n

    They sure have a problem trusting in their Lord, don’t they?
    BTW: I can’t/won’t read huge amounts of red typeset, whoever did that.

  • Ubi Dubium

    And how would inheritance work? How about employer-provided health benefits? And just imagine what their tax returns will look like!

    I have no problem with non-coercive polygamy, it’s just that we are not even close to working out all the details that legal recognition of it would require. The closest I’ve seen to a workable model is the sort of group marriage that appears in Heinlein’s “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”, but even starting with something that simple would require a huge amount of legal work to figure out all the details. Gay marriage first, once we’ve got that all worked out, then we can start talking about whether and how to recognize multiple-partner marriages.

  • TheG

    “Conservative Christians will be treated as second class citizens, much like African Americans were prior to civil rights legislation in the 1960s.”

    Actually, a worst case would be to say that Conservative Christians will be treated much like Conservative Christians currently treat atheists…

  • A small fuzzy kitten

    Most communists are atheists but most atheists are not communists.
    It’s true that where communist atheists had political power, in many cases they went after religion. That doesn’t mean non-communist atheist will, anymore than we’re likely to sieze private property.
    Personally I think letting people decide for themselves is better than forcing a conversion. I believe in the value of skepticism, of questioning what you’re taught. It’s important that people can speak freely.
    So, try not to worry too much about us.

  • Sven2547

    Somebody forgot to close a tag.

  • allein

    Back around Labor Day, my uncle told me that if I voted for Obama he’d never speak to me again, and that voting for him was voting for the deaths of ourselves and our children (or something like that). Also, we’ll be a third world country by the end of another 4 years. This is the same man who subscribes to the Philadelphia Trumpet magazine, and, when he saw I was reading Dawkins’s “The Greatest Show On Earth,” told me that “evolution is impossible.”

    Luckily, religion doesn’t actually come up too often in my family, because I’ve learned through occasional conversations like that, and via Facebook, that while they are great people and I love them, some of them are crazy.

  • Incognito

    “They wish they were a persecuted minority just so they could play the underdog card”

    I don’t think that’s it. I think they really believe they are persecuted. Because it says they will be persecuted in the bible. Instead of looking at how Christians were persecuted at certain times in history, they have to apply it to today. So, they have to find evidence to support their conclusion. What they construe as evidence of their persecution is any loss of power or inconsistency with Christian ideals.

  • Patterrssonn

    “Fortunately, atheists of that type don’t have the personality requirements necessary to get elected to any higher office.”

    First call them bigots and then you infer that they’re too rational and ethical to ever be elected. Make up your mind.

  • Patterrssonn

    “whenever atheists have actually had the political power, the have imprisoned, tortured, and murdered Christians.” Some did I guess, but then they were communists, all they did was trade one crazy murderous totalitarian ideology (Christianity) for another.

  • allein

    Looks OK to me…

  • ReadsInTrees

    Oh yeah, I hadn’t even THOUGHT about inheritance issues. This is why I don’t feel that the “slippery slope” argument against same-sex marriage is a valid point. Same sex marriage is a simple case of gender discrimination….Allowing plural marriage would be a much more complicated issue.

  • Daniel_JM

    You do realize that Australia has an atheist prime minister, and many of the current politicians in Northern Europe are atheists, right? Unless you think Christians are being tortured and murdered in Australia right now, that country alone disproves your point. Just because some communist dictators tortured people doesn’t mean all non-communist atheists want to murder Christians. Perhaps your comment is sarcastic, but if not it is one of the most laughably uninformed I’ve read.

  • C Peterson

    The ownership of property would be dictated by the marriage contract, defining what is personal and what is communal. That would serve to define an estate, and a will would determine inheritance.

    Ideally, there would be no employer health benefits. That’s an archaic system we currently have, and with a modern health care system there would be no such thing.

    A joint tax return is a joint tax return. It should be no different with two people than with ten. I’d compare it to a corporate return.

    I also have no issue with polygamy. There is no rational reason to oppose it (many successful cultures have utilized it). The reason we don’t have it now is because of tradition, mainly defined by religion. That’s a poor basis for law. I expect that one day we’ll see polygamy treated as a perfectly legal, acceptable social element.

  • C Peterson

    Fortunately, atheists of that type don’t have the personality requirements necessary to get elected to any higher office.

    There is every reason to believe that many of our presidents and other holders of high office have been atheists. After all, such people tend to be of above average intelligence, and most people with above average intelligence are atheists. It’s just that many feel they can’t admit it.

  • Baal

    Excellent comment. I was going to express the same ideas but not as well and in more words.

  • marilove

    And what is so wrong with that, anyway, as long as everyone is consenting? I don’t get the objection to polyamourous couples (which are not the same to polygamous).

  • marilove

    I know a poly triad that have been together for quite a long time. Husband and wife have been married for 12 years now; and the husband has had a live-in boyfriend for around 6 years now (boyfriend is gay; hubby is bisexual). They have a far more harmonous reliationship than most (and I say that even now that I’m no longer friends with them).

  • marilove

    Can we try to make a distinction between the religious “polygamy” which is rooted in the patriarchy, and “polyamoury” which has nothing to do with religion?

  • marilove

    I know a LOT of poly people, man. A lot. There is a huge community here in Phoenix. You’d be surprised.

  • The Goonhongo

    So its confusing. So is Gay marriage…who puts what where and all that.

    If you defend Gay marriage, don’t start Fucking Discriminating against Polygamous marriage.

    We all know none it means anything anymore.

  • wngwonrg

    Citations please?

  • They Live

    But the Prime Minister does not have the political power to carry out such acts.

    Where atheists have had the power, they have used it.

  • ReadsInTrees

    Did you even bother to read what I said? Same-sex marriage is not confusing for paperwork purposes; it’s a simple case of gender discrimination. Plural marriages, on the other hand, are a whole different can of worms.

  • Bad_homonym

    ….and by 2080 we will have a zombie as president!…. Oh wait that’s our guy! A laugh a minute these tards are!

  • John (not McCain)

    Too bad they haven’t had the power more often. The “rapture” can’t happen soon enough.

  • ReadsInTrees

    This is where regular marriages and plural marriages would obviously differ. As it stands now, when two people get married, they’re automatically afforded certain rights to property, inheritance, etc. Everything is already lined up for two person marriages (which is why same-sex marriages are a non-issue). Allowing plural marriages is going to be a lot more complicated. There would be no way to set up an “automatic” system, because of the number of variables with plural marriages. Like, contracts would have to spell out whether or not all partners in the marriage are married to each other, of it it’s just certain people that are married to certain other people.

  • TychaBrahe

    They probably have a better situation economically as well. And if they have children, more options for childcare.

  • akwgnb

    I don’t really bother to read what you say after the first sentence.

    Who cares?

  • swgnwe

    Man boy love will be next…just watch. Some prick will try to lower the age of consent.

  • Vini Marques

    Hey, when AFA dwindles away at least Wildmon can try his hand at writing sci-fi for television or something.

  • GloomCookie613

    As a sci-fi fan, I’m going to have to say: “How about no?”

  • Librepensadore

    Notice that this group is afraid of “Biblically named” places having to change their names. No worry that Catholic names would be affected. They might even demand changes to those place names originally honoring Catholic saints (San Francisco, San Benito, San Antonio, Santa Barbara, San Diego, etc.) It would be so massively impractical as to be impossible.

  • marilove

    “who puts what where and all that.”

    Are you 8 years old?

  • marilove

    Uh, and what makes you believe that? Consenting ADULTS should be allowed to marry. This has NOTHING AT ALL to do with minors, who are not legally able to consent, and there is NO indication that this will EVER change.

  • marilove

    No children :) Wifey had her tubes tied a LONG time ago!

  • coyotenose

    The only arguable objection I could see against poly marriages is the nightmare of paperwork and determination of legal rights that it would create. That isn’t solved by the “Government shouldn’t be marrying anyone” arguments. Property ownership, inheritance, and custody could all become labyrinthine and a source of constant civil cases.

  • Izlude Hyral


  • coyotenose

    Exactly! It’s a bit like how people who don’t experience actual fear and stress will do things that provide similar sensations. They instinctively crave something to be scared of, they crave it, so they invent things to fear.

  • coyotenose

    Another one too stupid to know the difference between being an atheist and being a Marxist totalitarian who is also an atheist.

    Why are you theists so bad at English and reading comprehension?

  • coyotenose

    See my previous response to your OTHER name.

    Also, grow up and own your posts.

  • coyotenose

    Given that you’re too stupid to know that the people you name don’t say the things you want them to have said, and in fact take a stance OPPOSITE to what you dishonestly say they would do, your claims can be dismissed without any further bother.

    Please learn to speak without lying, dimwit. You can’t fool anyone here. You’re embarrassing yourself.

  • marilove

    Legal contracts already exist for inheratance, etc., for families larger than two, you know.

  • coyotenose

    Contracts and wills are not insignificant costs, and would be more complicated and need more updating (and thus be more expensive) with multiple partners involved. I can’t help but feel that this creates a scenario where only those who are pretty well off can afford the marriage. You’re also looking at a big upswing in legal disputes if the practice becomes widespread.

    That doesn’t mean that polyamorous marriages shouldn’t be allowed. It means that the system would need a serious revamping to handle them, and that revamping will be built on the backs of hundreds of thousands or millions of failed marriages, broken homes, bitter children and financial ruination, because we’re idiots.

  • coyotenose

    Your “we” doesn’t include very many people.

  • WallofSleep

    “Wildmon’s biggest fear in all of this is that American society will
    eventually treat Christians the same way those Christians are treating
    LGBT people and atheists right now.”

    Currently, I think their biggest fear is that they’ll lose their privileged status and end up being treated just like everybody else.

    As far as christian broadcasting goes, I’d be perfectly satisfied if programing like The 700 Club were more appropriately rated PG-13, rather than the G rating shows like that currently enjoy.

  • Ibis3

    The PM of Australia is an atheist. Where are prisons and murdered Christians?

  • Godlesspanther

    What, exactly, does the last part mean? “Get involved! Sign THE STATEMENT.”

    Does it mean to sign your name to the document that is concluded with that quote? Does that man that one signs the document agreeing that those things ought to happen? Will happen? Sign what?

    Does Donald E. Wildmon comprehend the concept that if one is to compose a document for publication urging people to “get involved,” the contents of such a document should make some sort of sense?

  • Baby_Raptor

    Back up your bullshit, please. You can’t just come in here and spout stuff and expect it to be taken as fact.

    Also, look at the track record of the Abrahamic religions. Even if your statement were true, you would have no room to talk.

  • Baby_Raptor

    You mean the same way christianists have been taking it out on everyone they disagree with every time they had a majority since they became a thing? Seriously, your hypocrisy completely negates any semblence of a point you could possibly make.

  • pagansister

    If that group was around when JFK was elected, they probably were unset too—after all, JFK was a Catholic and no Catholic had ever been elected before. Everyone would know that JFK would be getting his marching orders from the pope. Now they are worried about a possible Muslim president someday? They just need to get over it already!

  • Rod Fleming

    The American Christian right is clearly barking, but, certainly in Scotland, where I come from, there are plenty of abandoned churches, though many have been converted into homes, theatres, community centres,even shops etc…Yeah, let’s hope that happens in the States too. And I can’t for the life of me see why churches and religious organisations should get tax-free charitable status other than in regard to the charitable work they do, ie things OTHER than preaching. Rest is just scaremongering.

  • Rod Fleming

    You make good points. If coercion can be ruled out I can’t see why a polyamorous arrangement (not necessarily just a triad) should not have legal recognition, and by the same token protection. After all a partnership in the broader sense is not restricted to two people. It protects the rights of all those involved and binds them together in terms of their responsibilities. I don’t think ‘marriage’ is really a suitable word but I don’t see why these should not be civil partnerships, providing for the ownership of property and care of children, and what happens in the case of a dissolution. (I can see the divorce lawyers rubbing their hands already, mark you.)

  • Rod Fleming

    Agreed. Who were these atheists who had power, where and when did they have it, and if they did exist were they persecuting Christians specifically or just as part of general badness? Hitler, Mussolini and Franco were lifelong Catholics and Joe Stalin was an Orthodox; while he publicly abandoned religion there is plenty pf evidence that he did not in private. Actually the greatest persecutors of Christians have been OTHER Christians!

  • Rod Fleming

    Cite your references to back that up or back down.

  • Rod Fleming

    Shockingly poor education. It’s why they still believe in their imaginary sky-god.

  • Rod Fleming

    That is actually an argument in favour. By having a standardised partnership legally recognised (which is what a regular marriage is) then the partners in a polyamorous arrangement agree to abide by predetermined rules regarding, particularly, what happens in a break-up. Because this would be a standardised arrangement, things would actually be simpler than if each polyamorous group either formalised their own pertnership agreement, or winged it and dealt with the fall-out later.

    I actually think children are not so much of an issue, since, were the partnership to dissolve, only the genetic parents would have rights, and their rights would be the same as for other parents. A formal partnership would be more about property and earned benefits.

  • Cathy McGrath

    Polyamoury is just wrong. You shouldn’t mix greek and latin to make new fangled words!

  • Agrajag

    You don’t need law-change for that.

    There’s no law forbidding 3 (or any other number) of consenting adult beings from living together in one household, have sex with each other in whichever combinations suits them, and have and raise children. This happens today – just like preventing lesbians from being able to marry, does not stop lesbians from living together, or from raising children together.

    I think you turn the burden of proof on its head:

    I’m of the opinion that things should be allowed by default – and only forbidden if there’s clear evidence of unacceptable harm. NOT that they should be forbidden by default and only allowed once “all of the family, social, and mental health experts form a consensus that plural marriages are normal, healthy (…)”

  • ReadsInTrees

    Living together is one thing, marriage is another. Marriage comes with a whole bunch of benefits, privileges, and responsibilities. It is a legally binding contract that carries with it a lot of assumptions about paperwork, money, parental rights, hospital visitation issues, etc. The system is already in place for when marriage legally binds you to another person……We’d need to work out a system to manage it when one person marries two people, or when three people all marry each other, or when seven people all marry each other. Surely you see how much more complicated those marriages would be.

  • Agrajag

    True, my point was just that it’s not as if (for example) denying marriage to triads, will have the result that no children grow up with a triad of parents. The practical consequences (good or bad) of such living-arrangements exist independent of what marriage-law says.

  • Johnny Ward

    [Here's something relevant to the discussion of religion that I saw on the web.]

    Harry Reid’s Porn Secret

    by Aaronita Smith

    Mormon Senator Harry Reid has been covering up the hard-core porn
    sketch in the “Book of Abraham” which is Mormon-approved scripture.

    This Book is part of the “Pearl of Great Price” which, along with the
    “Book of Mormon” and the “Doctrine and Covenants,” make up the LDS
    church’s “triple combination” in one volume.
    The porn is found
    in Fig. 7 of Facsimile 2 in the “Book of Abraham” which shows two beings
    facing each other, which were described by Joseph Smith as representing
    the “Holy Ghost” and “God sitting upon his throne,” the latter clearly
    showing an aroused male sex organ.
    After Smith published this
    sketch in his newspaper in 1842, which offended Mormon sensibilities,
    the phallic portion was whited out for more than a century until the
    “restored” LDS church decided in 1981 to restore what had long been
    Equally shocking was the discovery that the “Book of
    Abraham” had nothing to do with Abraham or his God but was really only
    ancient Egyptian funeral documents depicting occultic obscene practices -
    and the original sketches showed an erotic phallus on both beings
    including the one Smith blasphemously claimed was the Holy Ghost!

    For further information see “Book of Abraham” (Wikipedia). Also see
    Jerald and Sandra Tanner’s “Mormonism – Shadow or Reality?” which on 76
    pages reproduces the original Egyptian X-rated drawings and shows how
    Smith altered them and created one of his many frauds. Highlights in the
    classic Tanner work can be seen by typing “Facts From Mormons (By a
    Utah Resident)” and “What LDS Leaders Say” on Yahoo.