A Republican congressional candidate from Georgia claims Islam is not a religion and that the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty does not apply to Muslims.
GOP candidate Jody Hice is running for Congress in Georgia’s 10th Congressional District as “a stern defender of the First Amendment and religious freedom.” The only problem, the First Amendment only applies to Christians, according to the Baptist minister and conservative talk-radio host.
Hice, a Baptist Minister running against Mike Collins to replace Rep. Paul Broun, wrote in 2012 that
“Although Islam has a religious component, it is much more than a simple religious ideology. It is a complete geo-political structure and, as such, does not deserve First Amendment protection.”
Warning of a global Islamic agenda, in 2011 Hice said:
“Most people think Islam is a religion, it’s not. It’s a totalitarian way of life with a religious component… it’s a totalitarian system that encompasses every aspect of life and it should not be protected [under U.S. law].”
Hice went on:
“This is not a tolerant, peaceful religion even though some Muslims are peaceful. Radical Muslims believe that Sharia is required by God and must be imposed worldwide. It’s a movement to take over the world by force. A global caliphate is the objective. That’s why Islam would not qualify for First Amendment protection since it’s a geopolitical system.”
Hice is well known for his Biblically based rants. Previously Hice blamed the Sandy Hook shooting on America’s “kicking God out of the public square;” warned that homosexuality “enslaves” people, compared being gay to alcoholism, drug addiction, “tendencies to lie” and “tendencies to be violent;” and had no problem with women entering politics – as long as they asked their husbands first.
While the threat of Islam is a legitimate concern, the threat of Christian extremism is also a legitimate concern. Yet it is clear that the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, as well as freedom from religion, for all Americans, including Islamic extremists and Christian extremists. For a potential congressman to claim otherwise is a failure of tragic proportion.