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Please begin with an informative title:

E.W. Jackson on an American flag background
Today in E.W. Jackson news, we are reminded once again that this nation's preeminent godbotherers see absolutely no irony in demanding the nation adhere to their own religion while claiming persecution if anyone suggests we, say, not do that.

Jackson, who we must studiously remember really is the actual GOP candidate for Virginia lieutenant governor, was another of the speakers at Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Scam-O-Rama because of course he was—you can't possibly have a convention of politically ambitious theocrats without inviting the newest discovered Republican prodigy on the subject. It was generally the same ol' routine:

“Freedom doesn’t mean ‘Do whatever you want.’ It’s the pursuit of character, integrity, decency, honor. Now we’re being told freedom is license,” he said from the podium at the J.W. Marriott Hotel.

Audience members clapped most intensely when Jackson focused on the rights of parents to lay down rules for their children and on the need to preserve belief in Christianity as the foundation of the United States.

So freedom doesn't mean "do whatever you want," but it does mean you'd better believe in Christianity. Oh, and we'll be passing laws based on it just to make sure.

Apparently freedom also doesn't include the ability to point out that E.W. Jackson has said and done some truly remarkable things in the past, as he later godsplained to Crazy Rightwing Radio Host #2448:

"It's a sad commentary on our media and culture today that anybody that expresses a Biblical worldview is marginalized and, frankly, not too put too fine a point on it, persecuted for doing so. And I think that's a sad commentary. […]

Our Founding Fathers believed that there should never be a religious test and yet that's what we're seeing today. We're seeing people apply a religious test and they're saying anything you believed or said as a minister disqualifies you from serving as Lt. Governor because you hold to these Biblical views."

See, here's the "fine point" E.W. will never quite grasp. People aren't reacting to his past statements about Planned Parenthood and the Klan and homosexuals because they hate Christians. They're reacting to them because those statements show a worldview that they believe is contrary to what American government should be about, and just-incidentally-are-a-wee-bit-crazy. Guess what? They're right. Or at the least, they have every bit as much right to have their own religious or nonreligious opinions as to what governance should be about as E.W. Jackson does. E.W. Jackson thinks America should be run from a "foundation" of Christianity, his specific Christianity, his specific sub-sub-sub-sect of Christianity that includes his one-church empire and precious little else, and there seems absolutely no way of convincing him or the rest of the Faith and Freedom crowd that even other Christians aren't down with their particular set of pronouncements—much less all the other people who have a perfect right to steer clear of all of it.

The Founders, uppercase-to-show-our-devotion, praised-be-their-names, weren't keen on religious tests for office. Were they keener on religious tests for governing the place? On using religious pronouncements are a shield for state-sponsored bigotry or even persecution?

This isn't a point I expect the crowd currently waving a flag and carrying a cross to ever get. Most fundamentalists of any religion are fundamentalists precisely because they do not get it. Having the nation adapt to their sect's pronouncements is the very pillar of the movement, the whole reason the "Faith and Freedom" crowd exists as political entity at all, and they're absolutely convinced that wider America not adhering to those pronouncements is, indeed, persecution. It would be profoundly dangerous, if these people were not so full of hucksters and scammers as to be regularly self-defeating.


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Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by Virginia Kos.

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