2014 in Quotes: The Real War on Religious Freedom

by Dan Quinn

Our review of what we heard from the right in 2014 continues. Today: religious-righters continued their attacks on separation of church and state and other protections for religious freedom throughout the year. Click here to read more quotes from the right in 2014.

“But it was to be a one-way wall, where the state would not dictate to the church. But the church would certainly play a role in the state.”

— U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, redefining separation of church and state.

“This is a Justice Department that has indicted corporations for forming intent to commit a crime. [I]f you can as a corporation through your directors and officers, form the intent to commit a crime, then you can certainly, through your officers and directors form an intent to have religious beliefs.”

— U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), arguing that corporations like Hobby Lobby can — as a legal principle — believe in God and practice a religion.

“When we took the Bible out of schools, violent crime increased 694% since that point in time. Wow.”

— Religious-right leaders and discredited, revisionist historian David Barton, spouting one of his absurd “facts” during a speech at Victory Christian Center in Austin.

“Is it not the same then when our government continues to perpetuate laws that lead citizens away from God? The only difference is that the fraud of the Germans was more immediate and whereas the fraud of today’s government will not be exposed until the final days and will have eternal-lasting effects.”

– Newly elected Texas state senator, Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, comparing conditions in America today to the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II.

“It sounds crazy, because you ask, ‘where is the separation of church and state?’ You tell me. Where is separation of church and state? It’s not there. Somebody is determining the values of this culture and they are determining the values of those who hold public office, that are determining the future of your children, grandchildren and you. If the people in this position, as pastors and as Christian leaders, refuse to say anything, who is going to determine the perspective by which everybody lives, breathes and acts? The secularists, the humanists, the socialists. These are not empty words. This is what’s taking place.”

– Mark Keough, a successful Republican nominee for a Texas House of Representatives seat north of Houston. Keough also served as an official state reviewer of proposed new social studies textbooks for Texas public schools this year.

“[T]he words ‘separation of church and state’ is not in the U.S. Constitution, but it was in the constitution of the former Soviet Union. That’s where it very, very comfortably sat, not in ours.”

– Former Republican senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum, calling church-state separation a communist idea.

“If atheism or humanism are religions themselves, and public schools decide to teach the tenets of those religions while excluding the tenets of other theistic religions, then that is discriminatory treatment in and of itself.”

Liberty Counsel attorney Harry Mihet, claiming that atheists, who sued Kentucky federal court over the tax-exempt status of religious groups on grounds of discrimination, may have opened the door for challenges from Christians and other faith groups in the future.

“I guess it was deemed insensitive to atheists. I kind of thought it was the job of a chaplain to be insensitive to atheists.”

— Texas Senator Ted Cruz, speaking to parents and home-schoolers at the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators

“That’s what’s great about America: that our freedom of religion allows me to interpret the Bible exactly how it fits my worldview already.”

— Stephen Colbert, agreeing — tongue in cheek — in an interview with former President Jimmy Carter that from the 36,000 verses in the Bible, a person can easily find justifications for their specific views.

“Buddha didn’t create us, Mohammed didn’t create us, it was the God of the Holy Scriptures.”

Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court, arguing that the First Amendment applies only to Christians.

“It’s obvious that there is a deliberate attempt to snuff out the holy root that has produced all this wonderful Christmas-time fruit. I think it’s about time someone spoke out and made a movie about this.”

– Actor Kirk Cameron, star in a film about the mythical “War on Christmas.”

“We know those laws, those laws are the fundamental laws of mankind, and here in the United States, the Ten Commandments that God gave to Moses is the very foundation of the law that has given happiness and the rise of the greatest prosperity that any nation has known before.”

— Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, in her farewell speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, arguing that Ten Commandments are the foundation for all of our laws. Religious-righters use such a claim to promote their claim that the founders intended to create a Christian nation with our laws and society based on the Bible.

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Gregorio Casar

It’s like I’ve been saying. @GregAbbott_TX and @RepDennisBonnen care more about attacking our local democracies than actually improving living conditions for Texans. You don’t even have to take my word for it, Bonnen’s clearly happy to say the quiet part out loud. twitter.com/wellsdun…