The Southern Baptist Convention recently expelled two churches who chose women to serve as pastors.
The convention also amended its primary doctrinal document to make it clear that Southern Baptists believe that it is not right for women to hold pastoral leadership positions.
Donald John Trump – the twice-impeached, thrice-divorced, adjudicated sexual predator, former U.S. president and current candidate for the 2024 Republican Party nomination for president – was recently arraigned on 37 felony charges for mishandling classified information, obstructing justice and making false statements to federal investigators.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently sent 42 migrants from Venezuela, Honduras, Guatemala, Haiti and China – including 15 youth and three babies – from Texas to Los Angeles, California.
Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders – who served as Trump’s chief White House spokesperson before she resigned to return to Arkansas and campaign for election as governor – recently held a closed door meeting with leaders of a state commission in what appears to have been a breach of state open meetings laws.
News outlets recently reported that the Florida Department of Education, apparently acting to further the views of Florida governor and Republican Party presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, sent a letter to the College Board (a non-profit entity that runs the Advanced Placement college preparatory academic program).
The letter directed the College Board to review all AP courses to determine if they comply with a Florida law and education department regulation aimed at restricting instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Considered together, the actions by the Southern Baptist Convention, Trump’s latest – but probably not last – criminal indictment, Abbott’s “despicable stunt,” Sanders’ clandestine meeting with a state commission, and the DeSantis administration’s attempt to shut down education about sexual orientation and gender identity are the latest omen about the evil that people, politicians and politics associated with what I call “the Hateful Faithful” pose to democracy, justice, peace and truth.
The SBC decisions are public demonstrations of sexism, patriarchy, misogyny and sex discrimination by the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. Sacralized evil was embraced in broad daylight in the 21st century against women by the same entity white men created to sacralize enslaving Black people in 1845.
Trump’s effort to turn his indictment into a political fundraising operation is the latest evidence of his sociopathic character and history of commercialized evil marked by greed, deceit, bigotry and violence.
Abbott’s stunt at the expense of vulnerable migrants exposes the evil of xenophobia.
Sanders’ clandestine meeting with leaders of a state commission shows an evil disregard for transparency.
DeSantis not only shows that he is determined to infect public education in Florida with his bigotry against LGBTQI persons, but also that he will try to poison education throughout the U.S. if he is elected president.
“Hateful Faithful” people, politicians and their politics are an omen of a growing neofascist evil that is sacralized, politicized, commercialized and spreading like metastatic cancer throughout the United States.
For the same reasons, people dislike thinking and talking about the outcome of metastatic cancer, we pretend that the SBC, Trump, Abbott, Sanders, DeSantis and others among the “Hateful Faithful” will go away if we don’t talk about them and their politics. We pretend they are not an omen of approaching death. However, we cannot hide from metastatic cancer.
Eventually, the cancerous impact of “Hateful Faithful” attitudes, politicians and policies on life in the United States will become untreatable. A society that swears allegiance to its flag by proclaiming belief in “liberty and justice for all,” yet elects politicians whose views are racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic and transphobic is out of touch with its metastatic cancerous reality.
People in denial about metastatic cancer can refuse to admit their prognosis is grim. They can change their schedules, wardrobes and makeup to present an appearance that they are not terminally ill. They can even reject therapeutic treatments that might slow the spread of the disease and prolong their lives.
That has been happening concerning public policies for democracy, justice, peace and truth in the U.S. for decades.
Civil rights laws enacted during the 1960s to outlaw racial segregation, sex discrimination, violence against women, and voter intimidation and suppression were therapeutic treatments.
Court decisions that affirmed the freedom of women to make reproductive choices and the freedom of same gender-loving people to marry (Roe v. Wade and Obergefell v. Hodges) were therapeutic treatments.
Diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in education, business and government were therapeutic treatments.
Efforts to boycott, divest and impose sanctions against the South African and Israeli apartheid regimes were therapeutic treatments.
Efforts to end state-sanctioned killing of unarmed civilians by law enforcement agents were therapeutic treatments.
“Hateful Faithful” voters, politicians and judges opposed those therapeutic treatments for the racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, capitalist and militarist cancer that pervades U.S. public policies.
People in the United States did not heed warnings from religious, civil rights and political leaders. Consequently, the U.S. is not recovering from the cancer that defined its origin. U.S. policies are, instead, being fashioned and implemented that will help its cancer metastasize wider and faster.
Recent events are omens about the metastatic cancer of sacralized, commercialized and politicized injustice caused by “Hateful Faithful” voters, politicians and policies and the impact of that cancer on the U.S. empire.
The empire is in terminal condition. The question is not whether the cancer of “Hateful Faithful” bigotry will kill it, but when will we realize that death is inevitable.
Pastor at New Millennium Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, a retired state court trial judge, a trustee of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, author of one book and three blogs, a consultant on cultural competency and inclusion, and a contributing correspondent at Good Faith Media.