Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

Rev Micah Beckwith wants theocracy but lacks the guts to admit it

If you oppose someone who wants his or her religion to take control of our government, you do not oppress or deprive the rights of that someone. Your opposition is electoral self-defense. If they accuse you of oppression, they are playing pAssive/agressive.
“Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them.”
Those aren’t my words, but the words of the late Senator Barry Goldwater who is viewed by many as the key figure in the modern GOP conservative movement. His words describe Rev Micah Beckwith.
Rev Beckwith, one of my opponents in May 5's GOP primary for Indiana’s 5th Congressional District, advocates theocracy, government “by those who are believed to be or represent that they are acting undeer the immediate direction of God or some other divinity.” Black’s Law Dictionary, 10th ed., 2014, p. 1706.
Rev Beckwith says he understands “Biblical history and American history and I addressed the faith of our Founding Fathers and God’s call on every believer in America to be engaged in our Constitutional Republic.”
First, “biblical history” and American history are not synonymous. The King James edition of the bible was published in 1611, long before the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Rev Beckwith’s ignorance of such distinctions is no barrier to his claims of expertise.
Second, this is scary: in another video Rev Beckwith opines morality only is based in scripture and that atheists, agnostics, Hindus and Muslims cannot be moral. That implies that, eventually, we do not deserve equal rights.
Third, the “founders” of this country consist of more than “fathers.” Only white, male landowners were able to vote for delegates to the 1787 Convention. The delegates viewed their role as framers of a structure for government.
A “founder” is “a person who founds or establishes.” Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed., 2001, p. 756. The “founders” includes everyone who was here who toiled and died to build this country.
“Founders” includes people held in involuntary servitude (a/k/a slaves), indigenous peoples (mistakenly called “Indians” by European settlers) and women (who had hardly any rights).
Fourth, when Rev Beckwith refers to the “faith of our Founding Fathers” and implies that, somehow, there was an intent this country should be a theocracy, at best he misleads. The religions being practiced in this country in 1787 were many and varied.
Indigenous peoples and people held involuntarily in servitude had many ways to view themselves and the universe and what they viewed as a god or gods. The Framers were hardly all of the same beliefs as Rev Beclwith.
Amongst The Framers - the 55 delegates who, at one time or another, attended the 1787 Convention - a dominant belief was deism, a philosophy not so easily explained as Rev Beckwith might prefer. .
A clergyman wrote: “Deism is what is left of Christianity after casting off everything that is peculiar to it. The Deist is one who denies the Divinity, the Incarnation, and the Atonement of Christ, and the work of the Holy Ghost; who denies the God of Israel, and believes in the God of nature.” David Holmes, “The Faiths of the Founding Fathers,” 2006 ed., pp. 39-40, citing.
A discussion of deism necessarily includes reference to the Enlightenment, the Reformation, the Hundred Years War, and notions of spiritual equality and reason. Rev Beckwith seems more comfortable with simply alleging all the “founders” believed just like he does.
Rev Beckwith’s claim of expertise in matters related to The Constitution and American history are, charitably, exaggerations. His assertions as to the religious underpinnings of this country simply are lies.
Fifth, when Rev Beckwith refers to a supreme deity’s “call on every believer in America to be engaged in our Constitutional Republic,” Rev Beckwith does not speak for everyone in the Christian faith.
One may reasonably infer, especially if one has lived in Indiana and attended fundamentalist services, that even some sectors of the Christian faith are immoral in Rev Beckwith’s view. He, and others like him, presume to speak for what they perceive as the supreme deity.
Years ago I heard a preacher make demeaning comments about people who were not “true” Christians because they believed only “sprinkling” and not complete immersion, was sufficient for baptism.
I am not sure when we begin to argue over how we crack a hard-boiled egg - from the side or from the top. Right-wing religious extremists such as Beckwith want to control the government and force their beliefs down our throats or into other parts of our anatomies.
Rev Beckwith has expressed joy at the prospect of a debate, on the campaign trial, with me. He brags that he counters other arguments before others can bring those arguments. I have said I welcome the opportunity for a debate.
I am Mark Small. I am a candidate in the GOP primary for Indiana 5th Congressional District. It is time to stop political oppression of people like Rev Beckwith. I approve of the content of this blog - hell, I wrote it.

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