The Religious Right Didn’t Listen

The Religious Right Didn’t Listen December 1, 2022

I admit it; I’ve been in a state of lament and depression.  Trying to sort through the why’s and how’s, I’ve finally narrowed-down the primary reasons for my current state of depression.  In short, the Church didn’t listen.  The Church didn’t listen to the multiple warnings from the late Billy Graham.  The Catholic Right hasn’t listened to Pope Francis. And the Religious Right didn’t listen to long-respected faith leaders like Rev. Jim Wallis.   The Church married the empire once again just like the Church married the emperor during Constantine’s reign in the late 3rd and early 4th centuries.

Throughout different periods of history, the Church has married itself to the government for the sake of exerting power and control, not doing the work of the Gospel and helping the Greater Good which is to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and care for “The Least of These.”   This is the heart of the Gospel message, especially stated in Matthew 18. Observing the viscous attacks on marginalized people first-hand here in Texas, I finally realized that if the Church doesn’t repent and finally listen to wise faith leaders like the late Billy Graham, our current Pope, Pope Francis, and Rev. Jim Wallis after 50+ years of “bedfellowing” with the right wing, it will not recover her witness to a hurting world.

For decades, the two key issues of abortion and same-sex marriage have been used to malign, harm, discriminate against, and endanger vulnerable people outside the womb.  I will restate what I stated earlier in a previous blog. “I just blindly trusted, went along the Religious Right, and allowed myself to be coerced into voting Republican as a Christian rather than examining how I voted and why I voted the way I did.   Christians of different kinds, many (not all) White Evangelicals, a little less than half of White American Catholics, including myself, and many White High Church Protestants have heavily attached themselves to the right wing of the Republican party. Yes, there is a huge racial component to voting. In short, many White Christians have taken the one issue of abortion and a few others related to religious freedoms and sexuality, and they have used these as weapons to coerce other Christians to vote Republican out of “Christian Duty” to the point of abuse. They have done this in exchange for life-giving services and safety for millions of Americans over 50 years: disability, nationalized healthcare (not socialized), Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, WIC, food stamps, living wages, gun safety, environmental safety, etc….and they call these safety nets and safety precautions “Socialism” or even “Communism” yet we are the richest country in the world who can well-afford to care for the most vulnerable in our society, and we can well-afford to keep our citizens safe. Yet, we discard all of this in the name of fruitlessly saving the unborn and voting against people instead of for people.  Then, these White Christians elected the most abrasive, dishonest, corrupt, hateful, un-Christian bully they can possibly elect in the name of Jesus Christ to “get even” with Democrats (including the most vulnerable) while mimicking his cruel and hateful behavior to others who do not agree with or look like us.”

According to a recent studies from Scientific American and other high-quality scientific sources, Americans and red states have a higher death toll than Americans in blue states.  It’s a growing reality concerning a mortality gap between Republican and Democratic areas, largely stemming from policy choices. No doubt, long-term denial of basic necessities and harming the Greater Good of all Americans has lead to our current state of affairs, a higher and increasing death toll gap between red states than blue states. I believe this is the final consequence of marrying the Church and State and not listening to warning from wise and world-renowned faith leaders. As they do, I believe in the separation of Church and state.



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