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Are there “strong Christian women” on Capitol Hill?

Are there “strong Christian women” on Capitol Hill? December 2, 2021

Some of the Christian women in Congress are a real piece of work.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) is cheerful, engaging and bold. She stands her ground; she packs heat and tells us she is not afraid to pull the trigger.

And she self-describes as a “strong Christian woman.”

Boebert has been caught several times recently, making Islamophobic comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) – suggesting Omar is a terrorist and using deliberately provocative language – including “black-hearted” and “evil” (she also called her a “Hamas sympathizer,” which is a whole different issue).

Boebert couldn’t have been surprised when her comments surfaced. She made them in public, and everybody has a smartphone these days. She also knew her words were offensive when she said them – and when she planned to say them (they were not spontaneous).

She also knew she’d be criticized, but she obviously made a deliberate choice to say them anyway.

When Boebert refused to make a public apology, Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) was mildly critical (Mace lists as “nondenominational Protestant” but apparently does not publicize her Christianity – she is also politically to the left of many of her Republican colleagues).

boebert
“Washington DC – Capitol Hill: United States Capitol” by wallyg is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

When Mace refused to support her colleague’s racism, Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) made what Slate called a “Kool-Aid-Man-busts-through-the-wall entrance.” Greene tweeted that “Mace is the trash in the GOP Conference,” and suggested that she “go hang with your real gal pals, the Jihad Squad.”

Marjorie Taylor Greene is, of course, a self-proclaimed Christian.

Like Boebert, Greene knew full well that the words she was tweeting were rude and antagonistic, but she went ahead with them. Certainly she knew there was trouble ahead, but she didn’t care, at least not enough to stop herself.

So, what’s going on here? This isn’t just a couple of catty Republican women. These are women who call themselves believers in Jesus, publicly displaying very un-Christian behavior.

How do they not suffer from cognitive dissonance?

The answer may be in Jesus and John Wayne, a history of white evangelicalism which traces American evangelicals’ decades-long efforts to “replace the Jesus of the Gospels with an idol of rugged masculinity and Christian nationalism” – only these gals (can we call them the God Squad?) are modeling rugged femininity.

Their heels are high, their makeup is always just so, but Boebert carries a gun and MTG is a straight-up badass.

Jesus and John Wayne recalls how, when evangelicals in the 1960s were virtually the only supporters of the Vietnam War, they did not reconsider their position. Rather, they saw themselves as the “faithful remnant, America’s last great hope,” and “assumed the role of church militant.”

That is, among pacifists, these Christians were willing to fight. They called it “redemptive violence” – the idea that war brings peace, might makes right.

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The Congresswomen are definitely in fight mode against what they see as evil – abortion, immigrants at the southern border, Critical Race Theory, evolution, and Islam (including Muslim women who advocate for the oppressed).

So Lauren Boebert’s little story about being in the elevator with Ilhan Omar, thinking she might be carrying a bomb, was a joke but also a statement of Boebert’s fierceness.

Marjorie Taylor Greene’s attack on Nancy Mace, and even more, her very public, ten-minute rant at a crowd of Democrats, were demonstrations of courage in the face of evil.

The church militant. Storming the gates of hell. Weaponizing religion. Lovely.

Haven’t we forgotten someone?

Ilhan Omar. Remember how this story used to be about her?

As the white girls keep trying out-trash-talk each other, Ilhan Omar patiently carries her burden as the most conspicuously Muslim woman in Congress. Omar was verbally attacked with racist language, then denied a proper apology – and today she plods on in relative obscurity (well, except for the death threats).

Mind you, Ilhan Omar is herself an agitator – but she advocates for immigrants, Muslims, and Palestinians. She identifies with, and fights for, the oppressed and the underrepresented.

Now, doesn’t that sound like Jesus?

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FEATURED IMAGE: “Washington DC – Capitol Hill: United States Capitol” by wallyg is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


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