Fri Jul 12, 2013
The seditious rumblings are getting louder on the Christian Right. Over the past year or so, we have heard important conservative evangelical and Catholic leaders describe the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) generally, and its provisions for contraception coverage in particular, as "tyrannical." These claims have sometimes been accompanied by warnings that civil war is possible. We have heard the same things regarding marriage equality.
One does not have to believe that a revolution could be seriously mounted (or that if it was, that it could succeed) to recognize that those talking about these things are serious, and that there are people who are influenced by these leaders.
Indeed, in recent weeks, we have seen prominent GOP political operative David Lane call for religious war, and author Peter Leithart call for Christian martyrs at the blog of the prominent neo-conservative journal, First Things.
Now comes Pat Robertson, adding to the rumbling. In a broadcast of his 700 Club program on the Christian Broadcasting Network on July 10, for an Egyptian-style popular uprising and military coup in response to the Affordable Care Act.
"You know they revolted in Egypt against the oppressive actions of the Muslim Brotherhood, and this example of state socialism is something that Americans should rise up against,"
It could be argued that Pat Robertson has for years been a self parody and that things he says should not be taken seriously. It is certainly true that the 83 year old broadcaster is no longer the national figure who ran in the GOP primaries for president and founded the once-powerful Christian Coalition. But of course, he is in fact the man who did those things and he remains an elder statesman of the Christian Right. There are many who do still take him seriously, and that he has joined in the call for revolution is a not insignificant development.