Candidate for Roanoke County Board of Supervisors: Religious Freedom Only Applies to Christians

In Virginia, Al Bedrosian is the Republican candidate in the race to win one of the five seats on the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors. There’s no Democrat in the race; he’s running against independent Gary Jarrell.

None of this would be particularly newsworthy outside of Roanoke if it weren’t for this opinion piece Bedrosian wrote for the Roanoke Times nears six years ago, in which he talks about how this country is not only a Christian nation, but one where non-Christians should not be allowed to worship at all:

Al Bedrosian

Freedom of religion has become the biggest hoax placed upon the Christian people and on our Christian nation.

When reading the writings of our Founding Founders, there was never any reference to freedom of religion referring to a choice between Islam, Hindu, Satanism, Wicca and whatever other religions or cults you would like to dream up. It was very clear that freedom to worship meant the freedom to worship the God of the Bible in the way you wanted, and not to have a government church denomination dictate how you would worship.

Once we remove ourselves from worshiping the one true God, all the wonderful qualities of America will vanish.

In fact, the global warming crowd worships the environment as god, the abortionist has the death of unborn babies as their god, and the homosexuals have sexual freedom as their god.

The real battle is keeping the name of Jesus as Lord. The name Jesus is what makes us a Christian people and a Christian nation. This is why we must continue our heritage as a Christian nation and remove all other gods.

This about as far right as a person could get. He’s a theocrat who’s upset that America supports “freedom of religion.” He’s about a step away from suggesting that all non-Christians be deported. (No word yet on how Bedrosian actually plans to “remove all other gods” from our country.)

Roanoke Times reporter Dan Casey caught up with Bedrosian to ask him about his religious views and whether they’ve changed from 2007. Turns out Bedrosian is still sticking to his Christ-or-bust mentality:

“We are a Christian nation. We’re not a Muslim nation,” Bedrosian said. “The Founding Fathers, they knew about Islam. When they came to America, they wanted the freedom to worship, but not the freedom to worship the devil, or Muhammad.”

The problem today, Bedrosian added is “as a Christian nation we’re bending over backwards to allow in every other nation’s religion… and Christians are being pushed out.”

But aren’t Christians still by far a majority in America? I asked. That’s the conundrum, Bedrosian replied.

“We’re being so generous to every other religion that it’s removing our Christianity. And that’s dangerous. Christianity is being pushed to the back of the bus, and every other religion is at the front.

Riiiiight… to paraphrase Jon Stewart, maybe one day, our country will even rise up to elect our first Christian president!

Bedrosian went on to talk about how he plans to commit all sorts of church/state violations, including reciting Christian prayers at City Council meetings, if he gets elected:

If he’s elected supervisor, would he work to put the Ten Commandments in Roanoke County schools? I asked.

Although it’s not an issue he’s specifically campaigning on, Bedrosian replied he would work toward that. “Absolutely, I think it’s a good idea,” he said.

The problem is, overturning the nonsectarian prayer policy and putting the Ten Commandments in Roanoke County schools would almost surely put Roanoke County taxpayers on the losing end of two potentially expensive federal court lawsuits.

Bedrosian said the county could probably get free or inexpensive representation from Christian legal groups. And if it couldn’t, it could cancel the Vinton Library project. That would free up plenty of money to defend itself in a drawn-out legal battle.

What the hell…? He’s willing to let the county get sued for putting up the Ten Commandments up in public schools… only to pay for the lawsuit with money that could have been used to build a new library.

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that Bedrosian doesn’t care about libraries. In his mind, there’s only one book that matters.

Any citizen of Hollins District who votes for this man is just asking for the county’s tax money to be thrown away on the illegal whims of Bedrosian, who says he loves this country but apparently can’t even bring himself to read and understand the First Amendment of the Constitution.

(Thanks to Scott for the link)

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.