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E.W. Jackson on an American flag background
Today in E.W. Jackson news, we are reminded once again that this nation's preeminent godbotherers see absolutely no irony in demanding the nation adhere to their own religion while claiming persecution if anyone suggests we, say, not do that.

Jackson, who we must studiously remember really is the actual GOP candidate for Virginia lieutenant governor, was another of the speakers at Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Scam-O-Rama because of course he was—you can't possibly have a convention of politically ambitious theocrats without inviting the newest discovered Republican prodigy on the subject. It was generally the same ol' routine:

“Freedom doesn’t mean ‘Do whatever you want.’ It’s the pursuit of character, integrity, decency, honor. Now we’re being told freedom is license,” he said from the podium at the J.W. Marriott Hotel.

Audience members clapped most intensely when Jackson focused on the rights of parents to lay down rules for their children and on the need to preserve belief in Christianity as the foundation of the United States.

So freedom doesn't mean "do whatever you want," but it does mean you'd better believe in Christianity. Oh, and we'll be passing laws based on it just to make sure.

Apparently freedom also doesn't include the ability to point out that E.W. Jackson has said and done some truly remarkable things in the past, as he later godsplained to Crazy Rightwing Radio Host #2448:

"It's a sad commentary on our media and culture today that anybody that expresses a Biblical worldview is marginalized and, frankly, not too put too fine a point on it, persecuted for doing so. And I think that's a sad commentary. […]

Our Founding Fathers believed that there should never be a religious test and yet that's what we're seeing today. We're seeing people apply a religious test and they're saying anything you believed or said as a minister disqualifies you from serving as Lt. Governor because you hold to these Biblical views."

See, here's the "fine point" E.W. will never quite grasp. People aren't reacting to his past statements about Planned Parenthood and the Klan and homosexuals because they hate Christians. They're reacting to them because those statements show a worldview that they believe is contrary to what American government should be about, and just-incidentally-are-a-wee-bit-crazy. Guess what? They're right. Or at the least, they have every bit as much right to have their own religious or nonreligious opinions as to what governance should be about as E.W. Jackson does. E.W. Jackson thinks America should be run from a "foundation" of Christianity, his specific Christianity, his specific sub-sub-sub-sect of Christianity that includes his one-church empire and precious little else, and there seems absolutely no way of convincing him or the rest of the Faith and Freedom crowd that even other Christians aren't down with their particular set of pronouncements—much less all the other people who have a perfect right to steer clear of all of it.

The Founders, uppercase-to-show-our-devotion, praised-be-their-names, weren't keen on religious tests for office. Were they keener on religious tests for governing the place? On using religious pronouncements are a shield for state-sponsored bigotry or even persecution?

This isn't a point I expect the crowd currently waving a flag and carrying a cross to ever get. Most fundamentalists of any religion are fundamentalists precisely because they do not get it. Having the nation adapt to their sect's pronouncements is the very pillar of the movement, the whole reason the "Faith and Freedom" crowd exists as political entity at all, and they're absolutely convinced that wider America not adhering to those pronouncements is, indeed, persecution. It would be profoundly dangerous, if these people were not so full of hucksters and scammers as to be regularly self-defeating.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by Virginia Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Bryan F. Broadcasting from his sanity proof (11+ / 0-)

    echo chamber

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:34:52 PM PDT

  •  There Is Only 1 True Religion. (9+ / 0-)

    When religion is authoritarian.

    It's profoundly dangerous enough to take down civilization. If not by victorious conquest, by obstruction.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:35:39 PM PDT

    •  American Taliban Tally dah Bananas nt (5+ / 0-)

      I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

      by JML9999 on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:37:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  not hate, fear (0+ / 0-)
      People aren't reacting to his past statements about Planned Parenthood and the Klan and homosexuals because they hate Christians.
      The entitled and powerful like to be hated.  Hate makes them victims, while fear makes then oppressors.

      I don't hate Christians, I fear them.  And it would not be so bad if the Christians to be feared were a sub-sub-sub-sect of Christianity, but they are not, they are mainstream.  When the Christians in Waco murdered all their children, too many blamed the government instead of Christianity.  When religious compounds where children are being systematically molested under the guise of Christianity, too many blame the government instead of religion.  When protestors are outside of planned parenthood complaining that women are recieving effective healthcare, too many say that is their rights as Christians, to determine what health care women do and do not deserve.

      And don't even get me started about the 10 commandments.  I imagine that Christians who believe the words in the bible pass by athiets, and like a serial killer, says I allow you to exist not because you have the right, the first commandment says you don't, but because I am a progressive Christian and give you the right.  I imagine that a women looks at his wife and says i give you more rights than my servent, my ox, my ass not because you have the right but because I am progressive and give you the right.

  •  They don't do nuance (6+ / 0-)

    Only hellfire and brimstone.

  •  I've read a lot of political theory (6+ / 0-)

    and read this a lot, and it never sounds any less crazy to me. Yes, freedom allows people to do things he doesn't want them to, and it also allows people to choose to do things he agrees with. But its all the same freedom.

    ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

    by James Allen on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:41:54 PM PDT

  •  Isn't it sad that (5+ / 0-)

    "persecution" to people like EW Jackson means being called out for your unpopular opinions?

  •  Robert Anton Wilson: (3+ / 0-)

    “The Fundamentalist Christians have told me that I am a slave of Satan and should have my demons expelled with an exorcism. The Fundamentalist Materialists inform me that I am a liar, charlatan, fraud and scoundrel. Aside from this minor difference, the letters are astoundingly similar. Both groups share the same crusading zeal and the same lack of humor, charity and common human decency. These intolerable cults have served to confirm me in my agnosticism by presenting further evidence to support my contention that when dogma enters the brain, all intellectual activity ceases.”

  •  No one marginalizes them (5+ / 0-)

    they do it themselves. They believe things that most do not agree with. No one made them believe that stuff, they chose to believe it.

    When they keep playing "victim" it just makes their message less appealing. Not that it ever was but as long as a person doesn't shove their views on me I don't have a problem. It's their constant insistence that it's us against them which is so damn annoying.

  •  Persecution is having to live in fear... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wonderful world, leftykook, OldDragon

    that these religious fundamentalists will govern America. Stop persecuting us E.W. Jackson.

    Glottal fricative and breathy-voiced mid-low central unrounded vowel, repeated, diphthong ending with a high front vowel.

    by glb3 on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:22:39 PM PDT

    •  I can't tell if it is a smite from God, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      or the work of Satan, but religious fundamentalism is destroying America, one fiery sermon at a time.

      Glottal fricative and breathy-voiced mid-low central unrounded vowel, repeated, diphthong ending with a high front vowel.

      by glb3 on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:49:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Where I live (Mathews County) he has support (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Y

    They simply respond to the frames and tune everything else out.  Measnwhile if you are near us the annual Crab Steam is August 10 and we will being going all out for our slate. Dr. Ralph, this guy's opponent, has been a regular for years and we love him here.  The few of us that are not Tea Buggers, that is.

    Cooch spoke at our favorite Thai restuarant in Glocester so we won't be eating there much any more.

    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:33:46 PM PDT

  •  Best Headline! I am going to use that on people (0+ / 0-)

    In my best Johnny Depp as Hunter S. Thompson voice, I am going to start saying, "Stop persecuting me and do what I say," whenever I encounter any dissension in the ranks.

  •  The problem with these Xist Fundaloons... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tuesdayschilde that they regard "Not giving us everything we want" as "persecution" and "violating our religious free-dumb"...

    This clown is no different than Phred Phelps and the Grifters....

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 09:32:56 PM PDT

  •  He isn't even good with history (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Washington got fined fairly often for not showing up for church, before the Revolution. (He apparently wasn't big on religion, even when he was young. He'd rather be out dancing on Saturday night.)

    (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

    by PJEvans on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 10:16:38 PM PDT

  •  He's right. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tuesdayschilde, ebohlman

    It's a sad commentary when a person goes on the air and expresses Biblical Worldviews like tolerance and charity and is skewered as a Socialist Marxist Anti-Christ who hates America for it.

  •  I concur (0+ / 0-)

    Most fundamentalists are fundamentalists because they don't get it.

    The founders of the US did "get it."

    Jackson is a hack.

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 11:16:32 PM PDT

  •  Religion is like a penis (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon, Brian76239

    It is fine to have one
    It is fine to be proud of it
    But please don't whip it out in public and wave it around
    And Please don't try to cram it down my throat

  •  Christians need to distinguish liberty from (0+ / 0-)

    license, too.

    They need to acknowledge that they live alongside citizens who do not share their rellgious views, and they need to stop proselytizing, damning, and insulting their neighbors.

    Religious tolerance and liberty require that people respect their neighbors and acknowledge difference. If right-wing Christians feel public disapproval, it's because they're refusing to treat their neighbors with respect.

  •  If EW Jackson Feels Bad (0+ / 0-)

    when People Quote Him, He should Consider keeping
    His STUPID Mouth Shut.

    Asking Questions does NOT make People Anti-Christian.

    Just Anti-STUPID.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 08:11:07 AM PDT

  •  Redefinition and reframing (0+ / 0-)

    are key parts of the far right platform.

    “Freedom doesn’t mean ‘Do whatever you want.’ It’s the pursuit of character, integrity, decency, honor. Now we’re being told freedom is license,”
    Without being reminded that they are redefining christianity in their own terms.  Instead of following the teachings of the person they named their religion after (mostly the beatitudes, but other teachings as well), they believe christianity is all about 'look out for number one' and 'impose your will on all others' and 'get rich my the power of belief and indoctrination.'

    When he starts walking the walk, he will get some credibility, but that has yet to happen.

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 08:31:55 AM PDT

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