Last month, Rep. Trent Franks appeared on a conference call with Virginia pastor and failed lieutenant governor candidate E.W. Jackson to discuss dangers to America’s survival, where they both agreed that the separation of church and state is bringing the country down.
Jackson asked the Arizona congressman about the “profound threat to Christianity in general and to our Christian foundations in this country,” which he said comes from President Obama and the “drumbeat of atheism that attacks everything, ‘get the cross down,’ ‘don’t show a Bible,’ ‘don’t wear a cross,’ ‘don’t say God bless you.’ It just seems like every day we’re hearing some new effort to try to shut Christians up and shut us down.”
“The litany that you listed there is so right, dead-on,” Franks responded, before warning that ISIS may succeed in committing violence against Christians because “the secular left” in America is diluting the country’s Christian heritage. He said that ISIS may rise into power just as the Nazis did even though at one point they were just “a bunch of idiots riding across France [sic] in their brownshirts.”
Franks later claimed that there is currently a legal challenge to crosses in Arlington National Cemetery, but as many fact-checkers point out, such a lawsuit does not exist and is merely a rumor. A similar story of a lawsuit against religious symbols at a military cemetery originated from a satirical website.
I think this president almost wants us to take a vacation from history, but, bishop, if we look historically, the political leaders had a profound impact on the religious communities. I don’t have to go back to the days of Adolf Hitler but the bottom line is there was a time when the Nazi Party was a bunch of idiots riding across France [sic] in their brownshirts, they had a horrific, evil intent but they had no capacity to do anybody any harm. But that philosophy that they had germinated into the intelligentsia of Germany and it grew and, my God, we had 50 million people killed as a result. Six million Jews and 50 million people died in that horrifying tragedy and yet today in the Islamic State, ISIS, we have a group that is literally as evil as the Nazis were, if not more, and they have no regard to their own lives, they are more intent than anything I’ve ever seen. If somehow this ideology that they are putting forward begins to take root in the Islamic world of 1.3 billion people, the threat that that represents to Christianity and to the world is almost impossible for me to articulate.
But as you said and as you said so wisely, it’s always the water on the inside of the ship that sinks it. Our greatest danger to religious freedom, I believe, is within our own country where we’re doing as you said, ‘take those crosses down.’ I used to say that the secular left would never quit until they said that we needed to start taking down the stars of David and the crosses of Calvary out of the tombstones out in Arlington National Cemetery. People thought that was an outrageous statement but just in the last two weeks there’s a group now that wants us to do that. It’s the water on the inside of the ship that sinks it, God help us to be salt and light while there’s still time because our faith is at risk. And if our faith in this country is destroyed, then I believe that the very foundation of the nation is destroyed and America will be remembered rather than recognized in the present.