We are a week away from the 2020 Joke-A-Thon, and I find myself wondering about a whole lotta stuff I never really wondered about before. Not that I haven't thought about the separation of church and state...I have...but never before have I considered the ramifications of losing that separation in this country. Now, I wonder if we are on the cusp of exactly that.
From the Washington Post:
This is a Patriot Church, part of an evolving network of nondenominational start-up congregations that say they want to take the country back for God. While most White conservative Christian churches might only touch on politics around election time and otherwise choose to keep the focus during worship on God, politics and religion are inseparable here. The Tennessee congregation is one of three Patriot Churches that formed in September. The other two are near Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., and in Spokane, Wash., and Peters says he is talking with several more pastors of existing churches who want to join them.
The 50 or so people in attendance may identify as born-again or just as generic “Bible-loving” Christians. Peters’s flock is not affiliated with a specific denomination, but it does have a distinct identity. The Patriot Churches belong to what religion experts describe as a loosely organized Christian nationalist movement that has flourished under President Trump. In just four years, he has helped reshape the landscape of American Christianity by elevating Christians once considered fringe, including Messianic Jews, preachers of the prosperity gospel and self-styled prophets. At times, this made for some strange bedfellows, but the common thread among them is a sense of being under siege and a belief that America has been and should remain a Christian nation.
From his lectern during the worship service, Peters rails against perceived attacks on First Amendment freedoms, decrying government mandates and calling masks “face diapers.”
Having launched the Patriot Church outside Knoxville, Tenn., on the weekend of Sept. 11, he declares that the Christian faith in America is “under attack.”
"One nation, under God," was controversial enough in 1954. It was certainly not a foregone conclusion that this was designed to be a "Christian" nation in the first place. A good example of the devolution of the separation of church and state is pretty well documented in the Pledge of Allegiance:
Eisenhower made the change to under God official on Flag Day, June 14, 1954, signing it into law and saying: