Maybe they should rename themselves the ‘Christian Party’?

I knew that Eric Cantor was Jewish and that his defeat resulted in the loss of one of the highest-ranking Jews in congress. What I had not realized was that he was the only non-Christian among all the Republican members in the US Senate and the House of Representatives. In other words, when it came to religious diversity in that party, Cantor was pretty much it.

It is not as if even with him the party had a good reputation for being welcoming of non-Christians. Its strong alliance with Christian fundamentalists has been long standing and deep. But the highly visible presence of Cantor had the effect of softening the edges of its Christian triumphalism, even in a token way. Now it will have not have even that minimal restraint and we can expect to see even more things like this Congressional hearing where congressman Louis Gohmert (R-Crazy Town) repeatedly questioned a witness as to whether he believed that belief in Jesus was necessary to go to heaven and whether those who reject Jesus will go to hell.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) on Tuesday repeatedly confronted a faith leader — who also happens to be a noted church-state separatist — about his Christian beliefs during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on religious freedom.

“Do you believe in sharing the good news that will keep people from going to hell, consistent with the Christian beliefs?” Gohmert asked Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.

It was amusing to hear Gohmert say that of course people were free to believe what they wished because, as he says, god gave people the choice whether to believe or not believe, although of course they would go to hell if they chose not to believe.

Now that the Republicans don’t have to even look around to check if Cantor is in the room before they unleash their Christian id, maybe we can expect to have Benghazi-like hearings on whether Hillary Clinton was in some way responsible for Jesus’s crucifixion and require people who give congressional testimony to swear that they accept Jesus as their lord and savior.


  1. Kevin Kehres says

    I give Lynn a lot of credit for keeping his cool.

    I’m afraid I would have totally lost my shit. WTF is a congressman doing proselytizing for his religion in a Congressional hearing, FFS?

  2. colnago80 says

    If one reads the comments posted on articles in the Israeli press, one sees a common theme there, namely most of the commentors decry the fact that some 70% of American Jews vote for Democrats, including President Obama who the commentors consider the worlds greatest antisemite. Perhaps they should consider the 100% Christian Republican representatives in the House and Senate. If anyone thinks that the attacks against Obama on Fox News are over the top, rest assured that the comment sections of even a left wing publication like Haaretz are worse. Comparisons of Obama to Frankenberger are legion.

  3. says

    @colnago #2 Isn’t the reason the christian right are so pro-israel because they want to see jesus come again and (as a side-effect) kill all the jews? Seems rather stupid to be supporting a bunch of gomers who want to see you all killed, but I guess short-term “friends” are better than no friends at all.

  4. colnago80 says

    Re Marcus Ranum @ #3

    Well, Winston Churchill, a life long anti-Communist was perfectly willing to get into bed with Joe Stalin, who certainly wished ill for the British economic system and the Empire, in order to stop Schickelgruber, who he considered a worse short term menace. Thus, If Hitler invaded Hell, I would at least make a favourable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons

  5. astrosmash says

    It dawned on me recently that the Republican Party is no loger an actual ‘party’ but a very narrow special interest group.

  6. says

    @colnago -- Yeah, I can see the value of such short-term thinking. But it seems foolish to cuddle up to anyone who is ideologically bent on your destruction. Especially when they know you know it.

  7. Artor says

    Jws1, he actually left the correct name in a quote at #4. That’s a major improvement.

  8. anat says

    Marcus Ranum, the Israelis (mostly right wing) who seek the support of the US right-wing Christians appear to think that since Jesus is never coming back Israel is in no danger from the Christian right. They might even feel smug for having tricked Christians to support their cause with no need to do anything in return.

  9. Chiroptera says

    Artor, #8:

    I have to admit, if he had put an asterisk on Hitler’s name in the Churchill quote and then in a footnote wrote “Schickelgruber” or “Frankeburger” I would have laughed out loud.

  10. colnago80 says

    Re anat @ #9

    Not entirely accurate. Most religious Jews consider that the Messiah will show up some day so the only difference between them and the Christians is his identity. Obviously, it he were to turn out to be Yeshua, religious Jews would have to reconsider their position. If he turned out to be someone other then Yeshua, the Christians would have to reconsider their position. It’s the atheists who think that he never existed or if he did he ain’t coming back.

  11. Trebuchet says

    It dawned on me recently that the Republican Party is no longer an actual ‘party’ but a very narrow special interest group.

    Actually, two very narrow special interest groups. With utterly conflicting goals, though one is to stupid to realize it.

    The first group is the religious right / Tea Party. Not 100% overlap, but pretty darn close. Most of these folks are older, less well educated, and more rural than the population as a whole. Many are part of Romney’s 47% via Social Security and Medicare, though they don’t see that.

    The second group is the 1%. They’re pretty much everything the first group isn’t, except that both are overwhelmingly Republican. Their god, by and large, is Mammon. They have for many years been consciously using the first group to further their own ends. Many of them are also in the 47%, via various tax schemes.

    The second group, having supported and encouraged the first, is having more and more difficulty controlling it, hence the defeat of Cantor, as well as the current tenuous Democratic control of the Senate which is due solely to the nomination of a couple of Wingnut candidates in races the Republicans could have won.

  12. doublereed says

    This reminds me of when Eric Cantor implicitly expressed that there was notable anti-semitism in the Republican Party. It’s a very loud silence.

  13. moarscienceplz says

    @#13 doublereed

    Listening to Cantor’s southern accent makes me think of that scene in Driving Miss Daisy where they travel to another state and have an uncomfortable encounter with state troopers, and as they are pulling away one trooper says to the other something like, “That is one sorry sight -- a nigger and an old jewess.” Cantor apparently was unaware that as a Jew in the GOP he was reenacting the old limerick about the Lady from Niger.

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