Is the U.S. headed for more seasons of Queer Eye, or will that be illegal Under His Eye? I’m Francesca Fiorentini, and in this episode, we’re talking about the growing Christian nationalist movement in the U.S. and how it’s tearing down the separation between church and state. This super-right-wing version of Christianity has crept into all branches of government, and they have a lot of thoughts on who’s in your bed, what’s in your uterus and which God you pray to. Beyoncé, if you must know. Newsbroke has looked at right-wing evangelicals in America before, and how much their walking seven-deadly-sins of a president is ironically a messiah for their anti-gay, anti-choice, Jerusalem-for-the-Jews-to-start-a-war-in-which-they-die-or-convert agenda. Watch those episodes after you finish this one. 70 percent of white evangelicals still support the president, because, as one Christian activist who worked for Ted Cruz and the RNC explains, glaring hypocrisies are also a gift from God. I won’t say, you know, Tump, Stormy Daniels—all the scandals that’s been going—what he did with porn, uh— are—Fine, that’s really bad—reprehensible. But what he has done with Israel with cause God to bless the nation. What he has done with pro-life will cause God to bless the nation. What he has done with righteous judges. God will use flawed people to do the right things. Yes, Trump is the perfect vehicle for evangelicals, kinda the way rats were the perfect vehicle for the bubonic plague. They’re both brainless, tiny-handed creature determined to bring about the end of the world. And while we’re been distracted by this administration putting kids in cages or sparring with North Korea over nukes, right-wing Christianity in the U.S. has been hard at work carrying out the agenda of Christian nationalism. Think of Christian nationalism as if the worst form of patriotism and the worst sect of Christianity made a baby. It would look like… Well, it would look like Steve Bannon. Let’s look at how Christian nationalists have been systematically pushing their conservative beliefs at the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government. See, religious liberty—the freedom of Americans to worship ANY god and be free from having any religion imposed on them—is enshrined in the Constitution. And yet while religious liberty cases used to mostly help religious minorities, they’re now being reconfigured by the dominant religion as the right to discriminate, especially against the LGBTQ community. They’re the kind of state laws that allow adoption centers to discriminate against same-sex couples, or last year’s court decision that upheld a Colorado baker’s right to not bake for a gay couple. And don’t forget the ruling that gave that one craft store permission to deny contraceptive healthcare coverage to its employees. Although that one I kind of get, ’cause there’s only so many women you can watch buying yarn to crochet another costume for Meowloween before you’re like, “Girl, you need a baby.” Today, “religious liberty” is basically a way to insulate businesses and people from anti-discrimination laws by claiming that to not discriminate would be against their religious beliefs. Which is kind of like telling your partner that NOT cheating would be the real cheating ’cause you’d be cheating yourself out of Brandon from yoga. See how that makes sense? Most recently, religious liberty was used to pass the so-called Save Chick-Fil-A bill in Texas, because Texas has nothing if not strange priorities. The governor signed the bill after San Antonio barred the fast food chain from opening a location in its airport. In case you missed it, Chick-Fil-A’s CEO is a documented homophobe and the company has donated millions to anti-gay groups that promote things like conversion therapy. The Save Chick Fil-A bill prevents any government entity from taking any steps that would adversely affect a business over the company’s so-called religious liberty. Just listen to one gay Texas state representative plead with her colleagues to not pass it. I’m tired of this… Because this bill is gonna pass—let’s face it—it’s been cloaked in religious freedom. But the genesis and the nexus of this bill is in hatred.” Yeah. The entire premise of this bill is to make sure that the government is forced to embrace a company that advocates for discrimination. But that gets twisted in the absurdity of religious freedom laws, captured in the defense of the restaurant by right-wing boy wonder and every ’80s teen villain Charlie Kirk. Chick-Fil-A happens to have a belief in traditional marriage—not anti anything—but traditional marriage, and somehow that gives the left a license to discriminate against them. Can you hear how he distorts who the real victim of discrimination is? Also “traditional marriage?” How code is that for “not gay?” Apply that to anything else: “Just ’cause I happen to believe in traditional skin color doesn’t mean I’m a bigot.” “I just don’t want to watch the new Little Mermaid.” “I’d rather stay home and re-watch Snow Traditional.” Christian nationalism has also infiltrated the executive branch. The Trump administration recently decided to bar health clinics that give or refer people for abortions from receiving any federal funding, even though there were already restrictions in place to keep federal money from funding abortion itself. This move led to Planned Parenthood losing $60 million dollars in funding, even amid a spike in syphilis and gonorrhea in New Hampshire. ’Cause Trump likes his swing states itchy. Trump’s decision was directly aided by the right-wing Christian group, Alliance Defending Freedom, whose former head wrote the book “The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today.” Though, to be fair, the Homosexual Agenda was the runner-up name for the new season of Queer Eye. Can you believe!? Also, remember Jeff Sessions? Small fella, full of hate. As attorney general, he set up a religious liberty task force to make sure the government interprets religious liberty as broadly as possible. He claimed it was necessary because, quote: “One group can actively target religious groups by labeling them ‘hate groups.’” But if you’re claiming “religious liberty” to denounce people you don’t agree with as inferior or sinners whose very existence threatens your own morality, you are a hate group that often instigates hate crimes. Or are we calling them “faith-based” crimes now? To make sure we take this Handmaid’s Tale global, Trump appointed Sam Brownback to be head of the Office for International Religious Freedom, which monitors religious persecution worldwide. So it was alarming that at his confirmation hearing, Brownback was stumped by this very direct question: Is there any circumstance under which criminalizing, imprisoning or executing somebody based on their LGBT status could be deemed acceptable because somebody asserts because they’re religiously motivated in doing so? I… I don’t know what that would be, in what circumstance, but I would continue the policies that have been done in the prior administration and working on these international issues. I… I.. I really would expect an unequivocal answer on that. And I would really expect the Senate not to confirm that guy. But they did, ’cause ♫ Oooh, hell is a place on Earth… ♫ Then there are the courts. Trump has appointed two Supreme Court Justices and 129 district and appeals court judges. As of April, 90 percent of Trump’s nominees were white and 75 percent were men, because of course. And he’s still got dozens more judicial appointments to make, vacancies he’s delighted by: You know, when I got in, we had over 100 federal judges that weren’t appointed. I don’t know why Obama left that. It was like the gift from heaven.” No, it was the gift from Mitch McConnell. “Heaven” is the tattoo inside of his neck fat. ♫ Oh Heaven is a place on Mitch ♫ Trump’s Supreme Court Justices, Neil Gorsuch and Beer Kavanaugh, were huge victories for Christian nationalists that are paying off. The court ruled that Christian-backed crisis pregnancy centers that deliberately mislead women about abortion could freely operate, they allowed the ban on transgender people serving in the military to go into effect, and they’ll soon rule on whether LGBTQ people are still protected under title 7 of The Civil Rights Act, which if overturned could mean employees could be fired for their sexuality or gender identity. On the bright side, the vibranium supplements that are keeping Ruth Bader Ginsburg alive are all being administered by non-binary queer wakandans so… that’s rad. Ruth Bader Ginsburg forever. Also, why are we re-ruling on sh*t that was already ruled on? Do we need to end every Supreme Court decision with “No takesies backsies?!” What about the religious liberty of other religions? Have they been more protected? No. Back in February, a Muslim death row inmate in Alabama was denied having an imam by his side at his upcoming execution, a move he said violated his First Amendment rights. The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, disagreed, and said the execution could proceed without the imam present. Justice Elena Kagan called the decision “profoundly wrong,” which is SCOTUS speak for [censored] With [censored] Other Trump-appointed judges have records that include upholding a law that forces transvaginal unstrasounds before an abortion, and saying gay families were “lesser” than straight ones. With this hard-right turn of the courts, powerful evangelicals are now poised to push new laws at the state level. Meet the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation and their initiative, Project Blitz, which funnels religious bills to state lawmakers all across the country. There are 20 model bills, and these bills very intentionally are chipping away at religious liberty and religious freedom for all. That’s their declared design. These are cookie-cutter Christian laws. They run the gamut, from making Bible literacy a requirement in public schools, to banning gay adoption. But the ones that have been passed in six states already are the “In God We Trust” bills, which mandate that that slogan go up in public schools. One Florida lawmaker even sponsored a verbatim version of one of those In God We Trust bills, and she introduced it a week after the Parkland school massacre. It is not a secret we have some gun issues that need to be addressed. But the real thing that needs to be addressed are issues of the heart. And I ask you to stand with me today in support of this bill that’s so simple, just saying put a poster up, to remind our children of our foundation of this country. Sure, it’ll be a comforting last thing children see while hiding under their desks. And she probably calls herself pro-life, huh. The scariest part about Christian nationalism is the way that it preys on the fear that Christianity is somehow going away. In fact, according to one study of the 2016 election, quote “Voting for Donald Trump was for many Americans a Christian nationalist response to perceived threats to that identity.” But the U.S. is still about 70% Christian, and yet just as with immigration, the perception that Christianity or “whiteness” as a
race are under attack fuels a hate-based agenda. And that has led to real threats and fatal attacks on religious minorities. White supremacist mass shooters have targeted synagogues, a Sikh temple, and ok, there was an attack on Christian church… but they were Black. There’s a reason we separate church and state in the U.S.—America’s entire founding happened because a religious minority was persecuted… for wearing too many buckles or whatever. The premise of our country isn’t rooted in the Bible, it’s on the Enlightenment, reason, democracy, religious tolerance, [under breath] slavery. Not only are Christian nationalists hijacking the nation, they’re hijacking Christianity. As the best/worst former cabinet member, Omarosa reminded us about Vice President Pence: He’s extreme. I’m Christian. I love Jesus. But he thinks Jesus tells him to say things that are like… I’m like, “Jesus ain’t say that.” God, I love that quote. So yes, I do think we should build the wall. The one between church and state. ’Cause that border is porous, and I would look terrible in a bonnet. [shudder] Thank you so much again for watching Newsbroke. Follow me @franifio on Twitter and Instagram, and Follow Newsbroke on Facebook Watch, and AJ+ on YouTube Share this video right now, and let me know in the comments how religious liberty laws or other Christian nationalist laws are affecting you where you live. Next week we’re talking about billionaires. ’cause… it’s time.