Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) addresses supporters during a primary election watch party on May 24 in Rome, Georgia.
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Back in 2015, I interviewed presidential hopeful and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee for C-SPAN’s “Book TV.” His newest book at the time, “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy” was a chicken-fried paean to all the “Bubbas” of the American heartland.
The god-fearing superiority of Bubbaville over the folks in coastal “Bubbleville” was Huckabee’s schtick, and he came by it naturally.
The interview was returning an odd favor. Though I was and am an atheist, I’d previously written a book defending Christian America. He’d written the forward for my book, and now asked the atheist to interview him about his book celebrating religious America.
I say all this as a point of illustration: There was in fact a time when Republicans had a sense of humor about God.
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Somehow, in 2015, “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy,” though soapy and somewhat cartoonish in its populist portrait of American believers, didn’t feel confrontational, menacing or even all that exclusionary. (When pressed by Jon Stewart on whether Huckabee believed that “the Bubbas are better than the Bubbles,” Huckabee said, “No, different.”)
In contrast, the new right’s variations of “God and Guns” bumper stickers, T-shirts, yard signs and rallying cries can feel today like an actual threat, one that sometimes even implies violence.
The insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 was in many ways a Christian nationalist event. Crosses, Christian banners and signs reading “Jesus is my savior, Trump is my president” were unavoidable. Michael Sparks, charged by the FBI for entering the Capitol through a broken window, wrote on Facebook that “Trump will be your president four more years in Jesus’ name.” Many touted Jesus — and Trump — as their reason for being there.
The “QAnon Shaman,” having breached the Senate chamber, led a group in prayer thanking “Heavenly Father” for allowing them to “send a message to all the tyrants, the communists, and the globalists that this is our nation, not theirs.”
The threatening rhetoric has permeated parts of Congress, where posing with guns, often in the name of Christianity, has become de rigueur for far-right electeds and candidates. Last year, Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie and Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert traded Christmas cards on Twitter with their arsenals of firearms.
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Source:: Chicago Sun Times
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