Getting heated over hell 15

Now about our enemy on the Right …

This is from Wall of Separation, a web page belonging to Americans United for Separation of Church and State:

US Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) saw fit to hold an impromptu inquisition on Capitol Hill yesterday.

Gohmert and his colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice were supposed to be discussing the state of religious liberty in America. But Gohmert, a staunch Religious Right ally who has said that his faith guides his political activities, used his allotted five minutes to grill Americans United [for Separation of Church and State] Executive Director Barry W. Lynn on his personal theological views.

“I’m curious, in your Christian beliefs, do you believe in sharing the good news that will keep people from going to hell, consistent with the Christian belief?” Gohmert asked.

We will not pause now to unpack all the nonsense in that question. It speaks sufficiently for itself to all but Gohmert’s fellow bigots.

Lynn responded: “I wouldn’t agree with your construction of what hell is like or why one gets there.”

So Barry Lynn believes in some sort of hell consistent with his Christian belief.

Lynn, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, was invited by subcommittee Democrats. He spoke on behalf of religious minorities and non-believers who are so often oppressed by fundamentalist Christians in this country.

He spoke for us non-believers? No. We think not. But what we are most concerned with here is this Republican, Louie Gohmert and his sort.

And yet he was attacked on a personal level by Gohmert, who decided an official hearing was an appropriate place to drag Lynn into the theological weeds.

Gohmert continued to press Lynn: “So, you don’t believe somebody would go to hell if they do not believe Jesus is the way, the truth, the life?”

Another portmanteau of nonsense which we will pass for the present with no more than a grimace of distaste.

Lynn explained that someone’s failure to embrace “a specific set of ideas in Christianity” did not guarantee a ticket to hell. Gohmert didn’t much care for that answer, so he pushed on with his surprising line of questioning.

“No, not a set of ideas,” he said. “Either you believe as a Christian that Jesus is the way, the truth, [and] life or you don’t.” …

The hearing was designed primarily by Republicans to give right-wing Christians an opportunity to ask for more special treatment from the government

O-oh! Red light flashing.

At least Lynn is insisting on the wall of separation. Or we hope he is.

Lynn and Gohmert … may soon sit down to hammer out their differences.

Christians have been trying to do that among themselves ever since their St. Paul invented Christianity, with very little success. What end can there be to arguments over fictions? It’s not as if an experiment can be designed to establish the truth.

At least they don’t kill each other over their differences of opinion as often as they used to.

After the hearing, the two talked about the possibility of getting together to discuss theology sometime. Lynn said he’s up for it.

Whether or not that discussion ever takes place, Gohmert has already proved why church and state must remain separate. Lynn and Gohmert’s disagreement over what hell is and how one ends up there is one of many, many ideological divides that exist within Christianity.

“Many, many” indeed. As many a “many” as would cover a mile would not be sufficient to indicate the number of disputes that Christianity has given rise to within itself.

But then comes this:

Other groups have similar disagreements, be they believers or non-believers.

Again, and emphatically, no. There are no shades or degrees of non-existence. There can be no disagreement about non-belief among non-believers. 

But then questions are asked which makes sense:

The US  government could never accommodate all faiths and belief systems through policies that favor [any particular] religion. Who would be accommodated? Who would decide? It would be an absolute mess that would surely result in oppression.

That’s why church-state separation is best for everyone – even Gohmert.

(Hat-tip Frank)

  • Facebook User

    Looks like Gohmert must be sleeping with his mother again. As someone with a college degree in Theology and Religion, it is always embarrassing and disgusting to see a pathetic waste of skin like Gohmert open his big mouth and pervert the Christian religion and the US Constitution. Of course, anytime these tea billies, right wing extremists and tea baggers say anything, they make the entire religion of Christianity look bad. It is doubtful that any of them are actually Christians. Whether it is this loser Gohmert or Michelle Bachman or the guys from Duck Dynasty, they are all living, walking proof that it is possible claim to be Christian and be anti-Christian. Scripture is pretty clear about how to spot real Christians…..”by their fruits you will know them”. There is a commonality among all these people and their respective extremist groups. Their fruits are not that of the Holy Spirit. Not to make a sermon out of this but….true Christian believers do not conduct themselves like Gohmert, Bachman, Republicans, many Evangelicals and Tea Billies. True Christians do not lie, deceive, pervert truth, hate, twist perceptions or conduct themselves in such self serving ways. True Christians would find such conduct to be very repulsive and would immediately admonish such evil conduct. However, Gohmert, Bachman, Republicans, Right Wing Extremists and Tea Billies conduct themselves this way on a daily, moment by moment basis. These are not Christians. These are simply self servants who made their way into positions of public service and they represent a very dark and evil part of American Society. They represent the lowest common denominator of a classic statement….”In a democracy, people get the government they deserve”, These hate groups that want to perpetuate the lie that separation of church and state is some left wing conspiracy love to wear stupidity like a badge of honor. And those who vote for such human garbage really should be ashamed of themselves. But…dumbed down and ignorant is the way Republican politicians like their voters. That is why they speak to voters using the language of 8th graders. And these hate mongers like Gohmert represent an evil seed that was cultivated within the Republican Party and Evangelical groups starting back in the 1980’s. They are the Christo-Taliban movement within this nation. And hate, ignorance, lies and stupidity are what they feed on and feed to each other. These people are more Satanic then they will ever realize.

    • We cannot be certain, Facebook User, whether you wrote this in all seriousness or satirically, but we thank you for providing such a distinct illustration of our general statement: “As many a ‘many’ as would cover a mile would not be sufficient to indicate the number of disputes that Christianity has given rise to within itself.” The contempt and hatred Christians have for one another is writ small as well as large. Here you have written it small – a personal declaration of loathing. We value it as a useful contribution to our website.

  • Bruce

    Ugh. People like this give conservatives a bad name. It annoys the heck out of me when liberals claim that people like Gohmert are an example of all conservatives. And the Tea Party is actually starting to annoy me. I thought it was supposed to be “Taxed Enough Already”, not “Not Religious Enough”. I really, really wish the Libertarian Party had more pull, or could take over the Republicans. In the US, we seem to be faced with a choice between loony Keynesian Marxists and equally loony Religious Crackpots who think the “creator” mentioned in the Constitution is explicitly the Christian god.

    • liz

      Yes, I just came from a Republican meeting in which a local candidate spoke, suggesting that instead of asking people if they are Democrat or Republican, we should ask if they believe in God (as a way of determining if they are conservative.)
      This person seriously did not see anything wrong with that. No concept whatsoever of keeping religion out of politics. Religion and conservatism are completely conflated in their minds.
      As far as they are concerned, if a person is not a religious believer, they cannot be conservative.
      Believers appear to have been steadily regressing since the separation of church and state was established.
      At this rate they’ll soon be re-instating laws against atheists holding office.

    • We agree, Bruce. Except about the Libertarian Party. We like libertarianism. But most libertarians in the US are under the illusion that they can ignore the rest of the world. (Please put me right if I’m wrong about that.) There is a war being waged against us, and ignoring it will not make it go away.

      • Bruce

        I don’t like their isolationist bent myself. I’m of the belief that, to steal a quote from Fallout, an armed society is a polite society, and that extends to the international level. A nation does occasionally have to use force to make it’s will manifest, if only for the reason to show others they are willing and able to do so. My response to 9/11 wouldn’t have been to go after Iraq, for example, but to go after Iran, the true seed of terrorism in the middle east. And if a few rich Saudis who’ve been funding Al-Quaida needed new ventilation shafts in their skulls to fully remedy the issue, I’d not have been opposed to that either.

    • Don L

      Hi Bruce!

      I like your thinking, but do agree with Jillian’s comments about libertarians. IMO they are correct that it has been American adventurism that has ignited many flames of hatred against us. Intervention in Iran’s society gave us the theocracy now developing nukes.

      Most Libertarians are like Ron Paul: ‘irrationalize’ the problem away –ignore it as it will be OK. This is a terminal risk. What if it’s not OK?

      As for the Tea Party: I attended many of the first few rallies here in Phoenix, AZ. Three in-a-row turned out to be christian revival meetings rather than platforms to reinforce limited government, tax reform and free-market principles. Now, there’s only a fourth principle; family values … too much Sarah Palin, and her ilk, influence.

  • Don L

    Now add a Prez Cruz. Imagine the hearings Gohmert will hold with a fellow Texan and similarly born again as the christian-in-chief. Onward christian soldiers takes on a whole new meaning when the Cruz is in command. Just saying …

    • REALBEING

      This one is a known Dominionist! Hes better than an Obama, but not as good as an Ayn Rand!

      I do not understand how these Religionist types cannot allow ordinary folks to be content in their own freedom of choice. They must be driven by their biblical mandate to “Go forth and teach all nations!”

      The question seems to be will Cruz keep his biblical roots to himself, as it should be, or will he be moved to inflict them on the country?

      If he chooses the latter, look out, United States!
      I just want to scream to these folks sometime “Stop already imposing your Religionist dogmatic trash on the population!
      Don’t call us………we’ll call you!!!”

    • liz

      I know, but he’d still be better than another stinking communist.

      • REALBEING

        I know, I know………its just that at sometime in the future before I die, I’d like to see an Ayn Rand-type in the White House.

        Just to see the changes in the way this country does it’s business, and look on Al Sharpton’s face, I could then die happily……..

        • Don L

          ahmen! LOL

        • liz

          Yes, that would be a dream come true, which I’m sure won’t happen. Nice to imagine, tho!

  • REALBEING

    I don’t know…………just where do I begin??? Who do these “faithful” seem to think they are anyway?

    Even if there were such a person/god as a Jesus Christ, instead of him only being a belief, is this the way that these Christian antagonist’s believe that a “Jesus Christ” would act towards another human whose beliefs are just as sacred as guaranteed by our Constitution, EVEN if they happen to be Atheistic, and free-thinking in content??

    Apparently Gohmert feels himself motivated by his own personal inspiration of ‘faith’ to put himself into place as judge, jury, and executioner……………all rolled up in one! Meet the modern-day Torquemada, everyone!!!

    I’ve had just about enough from the religious right, left, center, bottom, and top!
    Please let us as an interested public get on with the important duty of re-centering the country back to the way it was founded………..free, and non-discriminatory in all human endeavors that do not infringe upon one another’s ideas of how to live right!

  • Frank

    It is once again proof that people deserve the government they elect. You’ve seen the mindset of Louie Gohmert. Now imagine the mindset of the people who elected him.