Just when you thought the “Religious Right” couldn’t be more “Religious Wrong,” in February of this year, Bible-thumping legislative zealots in Mississippi introduced HB 786, the “Mississippi Church Protection Act.” This bill actually legalizes the ability to kill people while acting as a participant of a church or a place of worship. No joke!
As reference in the bill:
TO AMEND SECTION 97-3-15, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT KILLING A PERSON WHILE ACTING AS A PARTICIPANT OF A CHURCH OR PLACE OF WORSHIP SECURITY TEAM IS JUSTIFIABLE HOMICIDE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
Related purposes? What does that even mean? I mean, could it be any broader of a swath of unaccountability?
This bill was deemed the “Worst State Bill” in America by the Secular Coalition for America. Executive Director, Larry T. Decker added, “The ‘Mississippi Church Protection Act’ is well deserving of the title for ‘Worst State Bill.’ This legislation would put ‘soldiers of God’ above the law, allowing them to act as judge, jury, and executioner.” He continued, “Religious institutions are already exempt from taxation, financial transparency, and many civil rights laws. The Mississippi Church Protection Act would constitute an unprecedented and dangerous next step. Belonging to a church should not afford anyone the same rights and protections as law enforcement. This legislation emboldens extremists by creating a legal means for radical preachers to enlist their congregants into ‘God’s army.’”
Doesn’t that sound fantastic? This unbelievable perversion of the law would allow churches to empower designated members of their congregation as part of a security team with a “shoot to kill” authority equivalent to a police officer but with hardly any governmental checks and balances. The bill contains few restrictions regarding where one may act in this capacity…church picnic? Maybe. Outside an abortion clinic? Highly likely. This would allow a church’s volunteer “security personnel” to exercise this authority in public and private venues outside of the church. Don’t know what ever happened to “God’s will,” but it obviously now includes packing some heat to keep the flames of Hellfire at bay.
You see, this is what happens when religion permeates our legislative branches. Republicans have been hammering “Sharia Law” threats down our throat since 9/11; all the while, they have been imposing their own form of Sharia Law or rather “Christian Law” into all of the bills they are pushing through.
Think that isn’t that case. Let’s look at a side by side comparison:
- Both suggest women should be submissive to their husbands.
- Both see premarital sex as a sin.
- Both believe a woman’s primary duty is to bear children.
- Both condemn abortion.
- Both condemn homosexuality and gay rights.
- Both believe that their version of God should override any of man’s laws.
There has been a slow but steady push to inject Christian religion into all states and into every corner of the law. There’s a reason why you’re sworn in on the Bible. There is a reason why the Ten Commandments have been put into most courthouses. This has been happening since the birth of this country to infuse a religious belief into the fabric of this nation despite measures to allow everyone to worship freely and in their own way.
Iin the 1950’s, “In God We Trust” was slyly put onto paper currency and “One Nation, Under God” was thrown into the Pledge of Allegiance. It has only been recently that other groups, atheists, agnostics, etc., have fought to remove those solely “Christian” or “religious” symbols from our government and this has set of a firestorm of response from in the form of pushing religious beliefs through laws on the state level.
And so this is what we get; armed citizens imbued with the righteousness of God to mete out justice, without responsibility or accountability to anyone other than God Almighty! Why does that sound familiar? Oh yeah…the bloody Crusades! Good times…good times.
I bet this new law would have come in really handy for Dylann Roof when he went into that Charleston church in 2015. I’m sure he could have found a KKK endorsing church to lay hands on him and give him the power invested in him by God to kill all those people and then get out of jail free afterward. Or all those abortion clinic killings where they claimed to be justifiable homicide and in defense of the unborn, giving credence to Christian terrorism as their reasoning.
The United States is losing its identity as a country to be looked up to. We condemn other countries because they put their religion first and saturate it throughout their governmental branches, but I guess if that religion had been Christianity, we’d all be holding hands right now singing Kumbaya because that would have made it all okay.
For right now, all I can say is “Good Lawd!”
Photo credit: Fair Use