Houston Rally: Religious-Righters Claim America Is on Nazi Path to Christian Persecution

The religious right’s fear-mongering about threats to religious freedom in America has really jumped the shark. The above clip is from the religious right’s I Stand Sunday event this past weekend in Houston. Right-wing groups sponsored the event, which was streamed to participating churches around the country.

Speaker after speaker railed against abortion, marriage equality for same-sex couples, and laws that bar discrimination against LGBT people. But the common theme was the supposed persecution of people of faith — particularly Christians — in America. The video above includes a clip from a religious-right documentary called One Generation Away, which argues that Christians in America face the kind of persecution that occurred in Nazi Germany. Speaking in the documentary, author Eric Metaxas makes that explicit:

“The parallel today is simply that you have a government, a state, which is getting larger and larger and getting more and more powerful, and it’s beginning to push against the church. There’s a window of opportunity where we can fight. If we don’t wake up and fight before then, we won’t be able to fight. That’s just what happened in Germany, and that’s the urgency we have in America now. And people think that’s incendiary or I’m being hyperbolic. I’m sorry. I wish, I wish, I wish I were. I’m not.”

But it is incendiary and he is being hyperbolic. Shamefully so. To compare America to Nazi Germany is beyond repugnant. It doesn’t just cheapen the real and horrible persecution — including torture and murder — suffered by the Nazis’ victims. It also recklessly seeks to sow irrational fear and paranoia among people of faith in America as a means to promote a divisive and discriminatory political agenda.

Sunday’s Houston event isn’t the only example of this fear-mongering. Last week, for example, former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pennsylvania, who sought the Republican nomination for president in 2012,  also warned that Christians in America may soon face the same kind of persecution that the church faced in Nazi Germany. Santorum argued that the threat to religious freedom comes from government wanting “to tell you how to live your life. You either conform to what the government says you have to believe in, or you’re going to lose certain privileges.” He cited abortion and same-sex marriage as examples.

If anyone wants government to tell people how to live their lives, it’s extremists like Santorum and speakers at Sunday’s Houston event. Santorum, after all, thinks government should have the power to forbid individuals from obtaining and using birth control. He and other religious-righters insist that government interfere in the deeply personal decisions women make about whether and when to have children, whether by limiting (or barring completely) their access to abortion care or even to birth control. They demand that government outlaw any legal recognition for same-sex couples. They opposed the repeal of laws that actually criminalize the intimate relationships of those couples — laws that could send the individuals in those relationships to jail.

They also seek the right to discriminate not just against LGBT people in the public square. (Check out the t-shirt worn by attendees at the Sunday event in Houston: “We reserve the right to refuse service to homosexuals.”) As one Houston minister was forced to admit last spring, they also think they should have the right to discriminate against anyone — even Jews — who somehow offend their religious beliefs.

The Texas Freedom Network stands with the many clergy and other people of faith across the state who reject the notion that barring discrimination amounts to persecution. We stand with people of faith who believe women should have the right to decide for themselves whether and when to have children. We stand with LGBT families who seek equality and the right to live their lives with dignity and in peace. And we stand with all of those who truly support religious freedom — but not with those who use religion as a political weapon to divide Americans.

8 thoughts on “Houston Rally: Religious-Righters Claim America Is on Nazi Path to Christian Persecution

  1. I am sorry Dan. It no longer matters. The real Nazis will take over everything later tonight. I am worn out and tired of fighting them.

    My family goes back to the late 1600s or very early 1700s in Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. As their descendant, I am about as American as they come. However, looking at the conservative Republicans and the Religious Right, how they have hurt my country, and how they will continue to hurt my country from tonight forward, I can honestly say that this country my ancestors came here to found is gone. Because of them, I hate and despise nearly everything about this country and would gladly renounce my American citizenship tonight—and I honestly think 20 generations of my American ancestors would support me in this and join me. This is not the United States of America any longer. This is not the United States of America I was born into, and it is rapidly becoming a nation that is completely foreign to me.

    Jesus warned us about this, and I failed to listen. He told us that the people who dared to care for the same things He cared for in this world would always be in the minority and would be persecuted and overwhelmed by a larger world of barbarians dead set on doing just the opposite—all the while claiming to be followers of God. He also reminded us that there is a high probability that his fate on the cross would become our fate and that we would be led as sheep to the slaughter for his sake.

    Well, so be it. I am throwing in the towel. From this moment forward, I hereby renounce my citizenship in the United States of America. I no longer want it. I no longer value it. I no longer care about it. From this moment forward, I am a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven ONLY. My sole allegiance is to the Holy Trinity, and you will find me in the trenches helping those Jesus referred to as “the least of these” and spreading God’s love in a world that desperately needs it and in a time when the Godless Republican barbarians are doing all they can to harm “the least of these” and spread as much division, bigotry, and hatred as they can among the men and women of this Earth.

    So good-bye Donna Cargill. Good-bye Texas SBOE. Good-bye David Barton. Good-bye Don McLeroy. Good-bye Donna Garner. Good-bye Texas Republicans. I no longer have the will to fight you, so I am turning all of you and what you believe in over to God so He can deal with you where I could not. I feel sure He has plans for you that you could not possibly imagine at this point in time. I could possibly imagine them—but you cannot—and that should give you cause for great concern—but I know your religious arrogance will blind you until the quicksand is all the way up to your necks. Lord Jesus, I hereby deliver every last one of them into your hands right now. Do with them as you please.

    This is good-bye to TFN too. Good-bye Kathy. Good-bye Dan. Good-bye Jose. Good-bye to everyone else. I am out of here as a regular commenter on TFN Insider and as a supporter of TFN. You can continue your political fight, but I have concluded that spiritual warfare is now the only way to fight off the living Hell Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism are trying to establish in this country—and the Holy Trinity is the only entity with the resources necessary fight it and win.

    Where will you find me? A local doctor in my town has just opened up a clinic to deliver free and/or modest-payment healthcare to poor people without health insurance. I think they may need volunteers—and I am going down to volunteer and do other similar things with my life—show a little love to those who most need it.

    Here’s a big HUG for you TFN folks. Peace and love.

    Much love to all of you at TFN. I may come back here occasionally just to say a kind “Hello.” Christmas is coming. Good luck dealing with the fruitcakes. They are all yours now.

      1. Charles, I understand your feelings. I’m 67 years old, and I often think about how glad I am that I have a fairly limited time left on Earth, because I can’t tolerate the way things are going. However, since my children will, presumably, outlive me, and someday there may be grandchildren and beyond, I will continue to vote for and financially support candidates and groups that will work for a better world. I just can’t give up entirely.

  2. Good-bye Moon?

    I love the Nazi references because they are totally irrelevant to the younger generations. Kids in their late 20’s have only a vague notion of Nazis. Get outside of the Boomer generation and, really, who cares?

    However, it would be nice if the Fourth Estate stood up and pointed out the Vatical Concordat between the Catholic Church and the Nazis, and that Hitler was raised Catholic and that every German wore a belt buckle that read “Gott Mit Uns.”

    Inconvenient thing, history, if you know it.

  3. And here, kids, you see a case of subtle dialectics. Nazism is bad because it per- and prosecutes Christians. Proper fascism on the other hand is when the proper Christians (that would be us*) join hands with the state to per- and prosecute the wrongbelievers adn everyone else we do not like. Therefore we stand for the true fascism not the Nazi heresy. But because the sordid commies, the unchained dogs of the Father of Lies (wherefore we aptly name our enemies lieberals) tainted this term, we dare not speak its name aloud (or even among us since there are always rats in our midst with tape recorders, smartphones etc.). So let us carry forth the cross while we wrap ourselves into the flag as we have done since the days of old hoping and praying for the day when we may smite and crush and destroy our demonratic libelral foes by force of state for the We will be the state and be as big as it pleases us!!!

    1. That would be ‘then’ not ‘the’ in the last line.
      And the ‘us’ and ‘we’ is not me but an impersonation of these ‘persecution’-crying guys. I’d rather show them what real persecution looks like for at least some time (although I know it would not help).

  4. Hitler WAS a Christian:

    Despite how often Christian apologists try to argue that Adolf Hitler is an example of the evil caused by atheism and secularism, the truth is that Hitler often proclaimed his own Christianity, how much he valued Christianity, how important Christianity was to his life, and even how much he was personally inspired by Jesus – his “Lord and Savior.” Like many German Christians of the time, however, Hitler saw Jesus Christ in a very different light from what is normally the case.

    In a speech from April 12, 1922 and published in his book My New Order, Adolf Hitler explains his perspective on Jesus Christ:

    “My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter.

    In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross.”

    There are two features here which deviate from what many might expect to find in a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. The first, of course, is the anti-Semitism. While Christians in America today might find this bizarre, it really wasn’t out of place in early 20th century Germany among conservative, moderate, and even liberal Christians. Nazi Christians didn’t abandon basic Christian doctrines, like the divinity of Jesus. Their oddest religious belief was a denial of the Jewishness of Jesus, but even today there are Christians in Germany who object when Jesus’ Jewishness is focused upon.

    Source: http://atheism.about.com/od/adolfhitlernazigermany/a/HitlerJesus.htm

    Hitler’s Christianity is Not Completely Irrelevant: http://www.atheistrev.com/2011/04/hitler-christianity-is-not-completely.html

    Hitler Was A Christian: http://www.squidoo.com/hitler-was-a-christian

    List of books banned in Nazi Germany – Note that Hitler banned books on Darwinism and those which criticized the Christian religion: http://www.library.arizona.edu/exhibits/burnedbooks/documents.htm

    List of Hitler quotes – He sure doesn’t sound like an atheist, does he?: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/09/list_of_hitler_quotes_in_honor.php

    The religion of Hitler – History is being distorted to separate Hitler from Christianity: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/john_murphy/religionofhitler.html

    Adolf Hitler on God: Quotes from Adolf Hitler Expressing Belief & Faith in God – Adolf Hitler had Faith in God that His Agenda was Divinely Ordained: http://atheism.about.com/od/adolfhitlernazigermany/tp/AdolfHitlerFaithGod.htm

    (I have reseaeched this for many years. this is not “he said she said” or jusr claiming to be something to get elected. this is history and youy cannot argue with fact!!! I could provide more, but i am bored now, i learned a long time ago to not converse with uneducated people, in the USA they tend to be conservative Christians, as dangerous as Hitler and Muslim Terrorists. so goodbye for now.)