By Tom Boggioni
In a column for ten Religion News Service, Christian author David Dark called out religious institutions that turn a blind eye to high-profile members of their congregations who are not only ‘”abusive” but also threaten or incite violence.
According to Dark, there are far too many political leaders who are using their Christianity as a shield as they make outrageous claims and preach hate in the name of Donald Trump, and the leaders of the churches that they ostensibly belong to should be calling them out and disassociating themselves from them.
To make his point, Dark singled out highly controversial, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) who has whole-heartedly embraced “Christian nationalism” and recently attacked the FBI after agents searched Mar-a-Lago for stolen documents.
“In recent weeks, as elected officials who once tweeted ‘Back the Blue!’ now target federal law enforcement while also tweeting Bible verses, my mind has turned to some of the public arrangements that make this publicly abusive behavior possible. There are of course political parties, donors, voters, but there are other institutions just as essential (if not more so) to successfully winning and wielding office. I refer here to churches. It’s time to think and speak more specifically about the behaviors they normalize,” he wrote.
The author of, “The Possibility of America: How the Gospel Can Mend our God-Blessed, God-Forsaken Land,” then focused his ire on Taylor Greene.
“In the case of Marjorie Taylor Greene, we have an elected official who spreads myriad forms of disinformation and who was also baptized at North Point Community Church in 2011,” he reported. “Most interestingly, North Point pastor Andy Stanley has been outspoken concerning Christian nationalism and polarization (see his most recent book ‘Nothing Divides Like Politics’). If baptism is to have meaning as a moral or communal commitment, I think North Point would be right to draw a line between what its public witness is, and is meant to be, and Marjorie Taylor Greene’s violent antics.”
Pointing to Taylor Greene and two other Republican lawmakers, he accused, “But if, in fact, they’ve been given, by their churches, a free pass to terrorize, I’d argue they have yet to be properly catechized. Like their constituents, they have been very poorly served,” before adding, “An American church organization is an arrangement within and in relation to other arrangements that make up cities, states and the whole of American culture. In the heady days ahead, we need to think harder and perhaps speak more candidly about what we’re abiding — what we’re normalizing — in these arrangements. We become what we normalize.”