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Tag: Christian Nationalism

Evangelical Mark Robinson, In His Own Words: North Carolinian Republicans Want This Man to Be Their Next Governor

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Mark Robinson, an Evangelical Christian, is North Carolina’s lieutenant governor, and the 2024 Republican candidate for governor.

In his own words, this is the man Republican North Carolinians want to be their next governor:

I am so sick of seeing and hearing people STILL talk about Nazis and Hitler and how evil and manipulative they were. NEWS FLASH PEOPLE, THE NAZIS (National Socialist) ARE GONE! We did away with them. Communist created the Marxist Socialist that CURRENTLY control Europe, fill the ranks of OUR OWN Democratic Party, and control our mass media. Compared with the Communist the Nazis were upstart amateurs in terms of manipulation and MURDER.

Nazis are always the ones who are mentioned when people talk about ‘totalitarian’ governments that commit mass murder, the 100 million plus killed by the Communist are largely ignored and our own government is FULL OF MARXIST SOCIALIST who are hell bent on destroying our Constitution and spreading MARXISM. I’ve grown VERY weary of this. I can plainly see the plan of the Marxist and how they hide behind ‘Hitler,’ whose name is CONSTANTLY on their lips.

[Roots] is nothing but Hollywood trash that depicts the ignorance and brutality of the goyim, and the helplessness and weakness of the shvartze.

There is a REASON the liberal media fills the airwaves with programs about the NAZI and the ‘6 million Jews’ they murdered. There is also a REASON those same liberals DO NOT FILL the airwaves with programs about the Communist and the 100+ million PEOPLE they murdered throughout the 20th century.

Note to liberals; I’ll accept ‘Gay Pride’ when you accept ‘White Pride.

I believe that homosexuality is a sin and that those people who are ‘proudly coming out of the closet’’ are standing in open rebellion against God…………….AND I DON”T CARE WHO KNOWS IT OR LIKES IT!!!!!

Okay here it is and it may make some folks mad, but oh well…… First, let me say that I pray for the souls of all those killed, healing for all those wounded, and comfort for the family members of the terrorist shooting in Orlando. However, homosexuality is STILL an abominable sin and I WILL NOT join in ‘celebrating gay pride’ nor will I fly their sacrilegious flag on my page. Sorry if this offends anyone.

The Rainbow is the beautiful symbol of God’ s promise to man. IT IS NOT the symbol of sickening homosexual perversion!!!!

Dear Transgender crowd, You CANNOT tran-sin GOD’S creation. Sincerely, A Bible Thumper.

Nothing is more disgusting to me than effeminate males who carry purses and have ear rings in their ears. #stomachturningmadness

So apparently, using the British word for cigarettes [fag] violates Facebook’s ‘community standards. “LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!

Why does Facebook think it’s okay to insult God by using His rainbow as a symbol of perversion, but doesn’t think it’s okay to insult homosexuals by calling them fa [gs]…… Oooops. Better watch myself.

They might as well make this [NFL football] “f@g” uh-um I mean, flag football.

We have pushed homosexuality over the top. Mark my words PEDOPHILLA is next, which will be closely followed by the END of civilization as we know it

February is Black History Month. I guess the shortest month of the year is all we need to learn about the separate but equal history of a people who have achieved so little.

Random thought; (after Christmas edition). Kwanzaa is Hanukkah on food stamps.

[When asked if he considered himself part of the African-American community] I told them NO!” They asked me why and I said; ‘Why would I want to be part of a ‘community’ that devalues it’s fathers, overburdens it’s mothers, and murders its children by the millions? Why would I want to be part of a ‘community’ that sucks from the putrid tit of the government and then complains about getting sour milk?

Crime ridden black neighborhood are that way because many of the people who live there would rather fight the police than fight crime.

And this my friends is why ‘the hood’ is steaming pile of human waste.

On the plantations of the southern United States, it was house servants and negro overseers who kept the master informed about ‘trouble makers’, and facilitated the ‘divide and conquer’ that kept the masses of slaves compliant and in control. Those house slaves and overseers did their dirty work for a few crumbs off the masters table and a spot on the floor (like a dog) in the ‘big house’. Today is no different, only now it’s ‘reverends’, and ‘senators’, and ‘rappers’, and ‘actors’, and their payment is fame along with money. They are parasites who love money and seek power. Unfortunately, that money often comes at the the expense of those they claim to be fighting for, and the only real power they have is holding the chains that continue to keep many of those people in bondage. It’s time for PEOPLE, not just black people, ( for these types of parasites exist in all cultures ) to see these bastards for what they are; blood suckers who are sapping the strength out of our people.

Dear Negroes, You are free to be anything you like. (i.e. ball player, rapper, comedian, garbage man, pimp, drug dealer etc..) EXCEPT a conservative Republican. If you are a conservative and run for office or become an outspoken critic of our liberal ideology, we will be forced to treat you like a black man at cross burning, and you know what that means boy. Enjoy the rope burns on your neck. Sincerely, The Open Minded Liberals of America.

I’d like to take this time to say thank you to Dr. William Barber (aka Sambo or is it Quimbo) for his tireless efforts in helping white liberals in there quest to keep blacks in North Carolina poor, dumb, and voting for the people who want them to stay that way.

That whole ‘white privilege’ crap kills me. The red headed slaves of Rome would get a real chuckle out of that term. So would the miners of Ireland in the 1800s and the factory workers of London during the industrial revolution and the pilgrims, and…….”

I’m gonna say this and I don’t give a FROGS FAT ASS who doesn’t like it or what you say about me. I am TIRED of blacks and mexicans running around shouting about being proud of their race but when a white person does it they call them a bigot. Look here people, white folks came here with N-O-T-H-I-N-G and and built the most powerful nation on Earth. And they did it by FORCE OF WILL. I’m not saying that Mexicans and Blacks should not be proud, but who do you think has the most to brag about, the folks who built Mexico, the folks who bulit the Nations in Africa, or the folks who built The United States.

if others can thump their chest and claim pride in their race, so can white people.” 

If it offends you when white people say ‘WHITE PRIDE’ how do you think it feels when you say ‘Black POWER?

Why is it we NEVER EVER hear about anyone protesting against MUSLIMS praying in public. #coulditbefear?

I keep seeing all these t-shirts, bumper stickers, and front plates that say things like ‘Mexico #1’, ‘I heart/love Mexico’ and ‘Viva la Mexico. My questions is; If you ‘love’ Mexico so much, why did you leave THERE and come HERE?!!!! p.s YEAH I SAID IT!!! #mexicomustbe#2causeyouleftupouttathere

Most of the people who are angry about a miserably poor, corrupt nation [Haiti] full of Voodoo worshippers being insulted, are the same people who beam with “pride” looking at a 10 year old drag queen.

Why is it that the nastiest, dirty looking, trailer trash, ghetto, bad breath and teeth having, not washing their hands after using the bathroom, pick their nose, digging in their behinds, nasty house having, funky butt fools ALWAYS be the most picky at work?

AND NOW IT’S TIME TO PLAY…………..How many occult symbols can you spot in the Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies!!!!!!!

Planned Parenthood; Doing the devils work, with liberals support, for the New World Order.

The only ‘fact’ that has come out of this Bill Cosby story is that the Illuminati will destroy you if you piss them off.

I don’t believe the Moon Landing was faked and I don’t believe 9/11 was an ‘inside job’ but if I found both were true…I wouldn’t be surprised.

I am SERIOUSLY skeptical of EVERYTHING I see and have seen on television. From the murder of JFK to 9/11 to Las Vegas. EVERYTHING.

I know this may sound paranoid and crazy, but I truly believe that the ‘judgement’ format of these ‘reality’ competition shows ( i.e. American Idol, DWTS, Chopped, etc. ) is sign of things to come in the REALITY of the New World Order.

Sadly, what we suspect is true. It seems the globalist will stop at nothing to destroy the progress of American Exceptionalism that this PRESIDENT [Trump] promised and DELIVERED.

So what First LADY Melania Trump speaks five languages. First “lady” Michelle Obama spoke five also; female, male, ghetto, anti-American liberal, and wookie.

The Obamas continue to linger, like the stench of human waste that fouls the air and assaults the nostrils.

Kamala was making much more sense during the Democratic Presidential debates when she was calling Joe Biden a sexist and a racist. I’m sure ol’ Putin is shaking in his jack boots worrying about this nit wit. Wow!

Kamala Harris is a leftist idiot who is fearful that the “right” to MURDER the unborn will be threatened if Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed. She’s part of the unhinged and out of touch wing that dominates the Democratic Party. She should quit trying to kill the unborn and go home to California and clean up the mess there.

Hillary Clinton is the epitome of leftist paternalistic racism. Time and time again she has shown her true COLORS. From “super-predators,” to hot sauce in her pocketbook, to “they all look alike,” this witch flaunts her blatant disrespect of black folks with enthusiastic zeal, knowing full well she won’t be called to task for it. But she’s been rejected by America and exposed as a liar and ineffective leader, so in the end….what difference does it make?

Only this hate filled, terrorist supporting radical could get away with what she said. It’s partly because of her skin color, partly because of her sex, and mostly because of her “religion.” It’s absolutely sad that so many people in this Nation have become so weak, cowardly, and BLIND. If we do not stop anti-Semitic, anti-American, pro-terrorist radical monsters like Ilhan Omar our Republic is doomed.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a leftist lunatic who has been possessed by the demon political satanism of socialism. She’s is doing her best to possess others.

The people of the 14th Congressional District sent this brainwashed socialist stooge to our nation’s capital. She is there to help usher in the movement that will “legitimize” socialism within our Government. It seems that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is a mindless buffoon who is clueless as to how capitalism actually works, and blinded to the fact that socialism will bring us to our knees. The fact is she is neither a buffoon or blind. She is well versed in the satanic gospels of Karl Marx and Saul Alinsky, and she sees quite well. She has the same vision as every other socialist, which is to be an elitist who sits on high through the work of those below her who struggle to survive. She understands that in order to bring this nation to its knees she must work to destroy our economy by expanding the welfare state, destroy our sovereignty by opening our borders, and destroy our future by brainwashing our youth with the political satanism of Socialism. The jokes about this “clown” are funny, but lest we forget how other movements in other nations got started, and where and who they led to; Stalin, Hitler, Mao, the Gulags, the Death Camps, The Great Leap Forward. She may look and sound foolish, but she is as dangerous as cyanide in kool-aid. The people of New York’s 14th District sent her, but if we don’t stand against her and others like her, we will all suffer her consequences.

Who is Trailer Shift [Taylor Swift] and why should I care?

Note to Oprah Winfrey; Racism will end when YOU stop being a racist.

ay-Z teaches our young men how to be foul mouthed thugs and his wife teaches our young women how to be hyper-sexual whores…..I guess y’all are okay with that and so is Hillary Clinton.

So is it correct that Beyoncé has been nominated for an award for singing Rock n Roll?” If this is true we have two problems.

First of all she doesn’t sing rock ‘n roll, and second…….SHE’S NOT A SINGER!!!!! #shesabootyshaker

Look at those words Time used. This leftist stooge [Brittney Griner] had all the freedom a human could want in The Untied States of America and literally REFUSED to stand up for it and did not appreciate it. Now locked up in a despotic nation she craves the very freedom she spat upon. I care not what fate she faces. Her poor choice got her locked up, and her arrogant ingratitude gets her no sympathy.

Lindsey Vonn is a CLASSIC liberal. She talks big political smack and when that big talk BLOWS UP in her face she plays the victim. Remember dummy, YOU started it with your anti Trump statement. Now that you lost don’t get mad that people are clowning you. You should have stayed in your lane and concentrated on skiing instead of taking digs at our PRESIDENT. 😂

I disliked and vehemently disagreed with “president” Obama. However, it NEVER made me disrespect this Nation or our FLAG and all it STANDS for. Unpatriotic nitwits like this MORON [Megan Rapinoe] are simply taking their chance to spit on the flag and all it represents. It’s not about PRESIDENT Trump, it’s about arrogance and disgusting disrespect, and the “lady” has that in spades. Perhaps she should have a long conversation with some of the ladies she is playing against. You know, the ones who come from nations without Title IX.

We’re going to defend women in this state. That means if you’re a man on Friday night, and all the sudden on Saturday, you feel like a woman, and you want to go in the women’s bathroom in the mall, you will be arrested — or whatever we got to do to you.

I don’t care how much you cut yourself up, drug yourself up and dress yourself up, you still either one of two things — you either a man or a woman.

It is absolutely AMAZING to me that people who know so little about their true history and REFUSE to acknowledge the pure sorry state of their current condition can get so excited about a fictional ‘hero’ created [Black Panther] by an agnostic Jew [Stan Lee] and put to film by satanic marxist. How can this trash, that was only created to pull the shekels out of your [slur] pockets, invoke any pride?

Half of black Democrats don’t realize they are slaves and don’t know who their masters are. The other half don’t care.

I Absolutely Want To Go Back To The America Where Women Couldn’t Vote.

The only thing worse than a woman who doesn’t know her place,  is a man who doesn’t know his.

We’re called to be led by men. When it was time to face down Goliath, [He] sent David. Not Davita, David.

Feminism was planted in the ‘Garden,’ watered by the devil, and is harvested and sold by his minions.

If I had all the power right now, let’s say I was the governor and had a willing legislature, we could pass a bill saying you can’t have an abortion in North Carolina for any reason.

Once you make a baby, it’s not your body anymore – it’s y’all’s body.

In those [elementary] grades, we don’t need to be teaching social studies. We don’t need to be teaching science. We surely don’t need to be talking about equity and social justice.

Will somebody please explain to me the purpose of homosexuality? … What does it create? It creates nothing.

I remember when children knew their place, and when they got out of place and got sassy, ADULTS would put them back into it.

I’ll tell anybody, I got them AR-15s at home and I like to go target shooting and all that. That’s not what they’re there for. I’m not ashamed to say it, I’m probably not supposed to say it, but I’m gonna say it anyway — I got them AR-15s in case the government gets too big for its britches. Cause I’m gonna fill the backside of them britches with some lead.

We [Robinson paid for his wife’s abortion] allow the murder of the most innocent human beings on earth and we do it with impunity. If we do not purge abortion from our shores for the cause of life the same way we purged slavery for the cause of liberty, this nation will not continue to stand.

God sent women out … when they had to do their thing, but when it was time to face down Goliath, [He] sent David. Not Davida, David. In the Bible, God sent Moses to lead the Israelites. “Not Momma Moses,” he said. “Daddy Moses.”

I have found that women in general don’t like to be out-talked. When you go out in groups, it often comes down to discussions, women on one side, men on the other. And back then, I’d be just hurling it. Often women would get quite angry. They love to be able to talk a man into submission. And with me, it never happens. They can’t do it.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Are Christian Nationalists Real “Christians”?

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A common ploy used by Evangelical gatekeepers — also known as keepers of the Book of Life wherein God writes the names of True Christians® — is to say that certain groups of believers are false Christians or cultural Christians. This subterfuge is used to cull from the Christian herd anyone who doesn’t meet certain theological, political, or social standards. Thus, people who deconvert from Evangelical Christianity are labeled as false or cultural Christians; people who never truly understood the gospel and core teachings of the Bible. Of course, study after study suggests otherwise; that atheists are better versed in the teachings of the Bible than many Christians — especially those of us who were Evangelicals before deconverting.

Presently, Christian Nationalism is in the news, and predictably, Evangelical gatekeepers say that Christian Nationalists are not real Christians. However, a recent article on Baptist News Global about the results of a Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) study on the matter suggests otherwise:

  • 30% of Americans are Christian Nationalism adherents (10%) or sympathizers (20%)
  • 55% of Republicans are Christian Nationalism adherents (21%) or sympathizers (34%), compared to 16% of Democrats
  • Highest states with Christian Nationalist populations: North Dakota (50%), Mississippi (50%), Alabama (47%), Louisiana (46%), West Virginia (47%), Tennessee (45%), Wyoming (45%), Nebraska (45%) Arkansas (44%), South Carolina (42%)
  • Lowest states with Christian Nationalist populations: Oregon (17%), Massachusetts (18%) Maryland (19%), New York (19%), Washington (20%), New Jersey (20%), Nevada (20%), California (22%), Connecticut (23%), Virginia (23%)
  • 66% of White Evangelicals are Christian Nationalism adherents (30%) or sympathizers (36%)
  • Most supporters of Christian Nationalism read the Bible weekly (55%) and attend church weekly (52%)

Robert P. Jones, the president and founder of PRRI, had this to say about this study:

Why should we be worried about this?

There is of course the obvious: The idea of America as a promised land for European Christians — a powerful idea that predates the founding of the country — is fundamentally anti-democratic because it establishes a de facto ethno-religious state. Beyond that, it raises the stakes of political contests exponentially, transposing political opponents into existential enemies.

Politics is no longer understood to be disagreements between fellow citizens of good will but apocalyptic battles over good and evil, fought by agents of God against agents of Satan. Political opponents should not just be defeated in fair electoral contests but should be jailed, exiled, attacked or even killed.

Indeed, this erosion of democratic and civic norms is just what we find in this survey. Christian nationalists are more likely than other Americans to think about politics in apocalyptic terms and are about twice as likely as other Americans to believe political violence may be justified. Nearly four in 10 Christian nationalism Adherents (38%) and one-third of Sympathizers (33%) agree that “Because things have gotten so far off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence to save the country,” compared with only 17% of Skeptics and 7% of Rejecters.

In my recent book, The Hidden Roots of White Supremacy and the Path to a Shared American Future, I made the case that Christian nationalism is best understood as a term describing the new incarnation of an old claim: that America is a God-ordained promised land for European Christians, where they alone occupy the highest positions of power and where laws are judged to be valid based on their particular interpretation of the Bible.

We’ve never fully resolved the contradictions between the regressive fantasy of America as a white Christian nation and the aspirational vision of America as a pluralistic democracy.

This survey illustrates how strongly white Christian nationalism is driving support for Donald Trump and the MAGA movement and how thoroughly it has established itself as an ideological keystone in today’s Republican Party. Until we fully vanquish this dangerous, authoritarian political theology, it will continue to undermine the potential for a truly democratic American future.

No matter how much Evangelical gatekeepers protest and suggest otherwise, most Christian Nationalists are Bible-reading, church-attending Christians; these crazy uncles are every bit as Christian as the gatekeepers (who often have their own Christian Nationalism tendencies, but just hide it better).

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Latest IVF Ruling Reveals What Christian Nationalists Really Want

christian nationalism

Human life cannot be wrongfully destroyed without incurring the wrath of a holy God. The principle itself — that human life is fundamentally distinct from other forms of life and cannot be taken intentionally without justification — has deep roots that reach back to the creation of man ‘in the image of God.


The People of Alabama took what was spoken of the prophet Jeremiah and applied it to every unborn person in this state.

“[Alabamians] have required us to treat every human being in accordance with the fear of a holy God who made them in His image.

— Alabama Chief Justice and Fundamentalist Christian Tom Parker

Forced birthers have spent the past 50 years chipping away at reproductive rights, finally overturning Roe v. Wade two years ago. And they are not finished, not in the least. The recent ruling on IVF in Alabama is yet another reminder that Christian theocrats will not rest until all of us are living under the iron rule of Jesus and the Bible — as interpreted by them, of course. Evangelicals, Mormons, and Roman Catholics now have birth control in their sights. Believing personhood begins when the sperm and egg unite, forced birthers demand that all forms of birth control that “murder” zygotes must be banned. Some of them want ALL birth control banned, saying that God alone opens and closes the womb, forgetting that God himself is responsible for countless abortions every year via ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages. The goal is to return women to the good old days of the 1950s.

Next up on the agenda will be same-sex marriage. Chief Justice Tom Parker had this to say about the Obergefell decision legalizing same-sex marriage:

I’ve written extensively about the judicial overreach in the Obergefell decision, and it is going to be writings like that that the new [U.S. Supreme Court] majority can use to restore what our Founding Fathers intended for America to be.


The relationship of marriage was designed by the Creator; it both predates and transcends civil societies. No civil government was its originator, so none has power to define its essence. Rather, the nature and outer boundaries of marriage are defined only by its Supreme Architect, in His written word and in the natural order. That nature and those boundaries include the original creation of marriage as a covenant relationship by mutual consent between two human beings of the opposite sexes – i.e. one man and one woman.

Theocrats are now in seats of power, places from which they can cause catastrophic harm to our Republic and undermine a hundred years of social progress. They will not rest until all Americans bow their knees and say Allah Akbar, uh, I mean, Jesus Christ is King and Lord Over All!

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Oregon Republican Legislator E. Werner Reschke Says Only Christians Are Qualified to Serve in Government


No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

— Article Six of the U.S. Constitution

E. Werner Reschke attends Calvary Chapel Church in Klamath Falls, Oregon — an Evangelical congregation. Reschke is a Republican politician representing the fifty-fifth district in the Oregon House of Representatives.

On January 17, Reschke appeared on the “Save the Nation” talk show affiliated with the National Association of Christian Lawmakers.

When asked by Evangelical host Jason Rapert why he felt it important for Christians (Greek for Evangelicals) to be involved in government, Reschke stated:

You go back in history, and you look at men and the struggles that they faced, and the faith that they had. Those are the types of people you want in government making tough decisions at tough times. You don’t want a materialist. You don’t want an atheist. You don’t want a Muslim. … You want somebody who understands what truth is and understands the nature of man, the nature of government, and the nature of God

According to Reschke, only Christians are qualified to serve in government.

Secular watchdog The Freedom From Religion Foundation responded to Reschke’s statement, saying:

Dear Representative Reschke:

I am writing on behalf of the FFRF Action Fund regarding your recent statements about Christians being the only people able to effectively govern in this country. The FFRF Action Fund is the legislative affiliate of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a national nonprofit organization with more than 40,000 members across the country, including more than 1,100 members in Oregon. We work to protect the constitutional separation between state and church and the rights of America’s growing population of nonbelievers.

As an elected official, you took an oath to uphold the principles of the constitutions of the state of Oregon and the United States. Despite having taken this oath to represent all of your constituents you made the following divisive, ignorant comments during a recent interview with notorious Christian nationalist Jason Rapert:

“Those [people like George Washington, James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, and Ronald Reagan] are the type of people that you want in government making tough decisions during tough times. You don’t want a materialist. You don’t want an atheist. You don’t want a Muslim. You want somebody who
understands what truth is and understands the nature of man, the nature of government, and the nature of God.”

As I’m sure you are aware, every reference to religion in the U.S. Constitution is exclusionary, including: a direct prohibition on religious tests for public office, an implicit prohibition in the godless oath of office prescribed for the presidency and later, in the First Amendment’s historic bar of any establishment of religion by the government. The Framers of the Constitution made the United States first among nations to invest sovereignty not in a deity, but in “We the People.” The proscription against religion in government has served our nation well, with the U.S. Constitution now the longest living constitution in history, and our nation spared the constant religious wars afflicting theocratic regions around the world.

Christianity and religion in general are inherently divisive. Your comments prove that to be true. Keeping religion separate from government is a fundamental American ideal, essential for true religious freedom, and has been a tremendous asset to our society. Lawmakers should represent their constituents regardless of religious beliefs or lack thereof. Simply put, your advocacy for strictly Christian governance is unAmerican. While the personal religious views of the Founders are irrelevant, because what counts is that they created a secular government governed by a secular Constitution, it’s important to correct the historic record regarding some of the great Americans you mention. It is
especially ironic and offensive that you cite James Madison, the primary architect of our godless Constitution, which explicitly bars any religious test for public office. Madison would consider your philosophy deeply unAmerican.

Most probably a Deist, Madison was an ardent and public critic of religion in government, writing an entire “Memorial and Remonstrance” to successfully protest a scheme to tax Virginians to support religious education. Madison argued that if the state could force citizens to contribute even “three pence only of his property for the support of any one establishment, [it] may force him to conform to any other establishment.” He warned that “torrents of blood have been spilt” when the government seeks to proscribe religious opinion. “During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.” Similarly, George Washington was a nominal Anglican, often criticized for leaving church before communion was offered. He indubitably believed in a deity, and referred to a deity, but his personal views on Christianity have been robustly debated by scholars for centuries. Washington supported the separation of state and church, responding to a letter from Presbyterian Ministers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire who had expressed their disappointment in the absence of “some Explicit acknowledgement of the only true God and Jesus Christ” in the Constitution. Washington replied “that the path of true piety is so plain as to require but little political direction. To this consideration we ought to ascribe the absence of any regulation, respecting religion, from the [Constitution] of our country.” Similarly, Abraham Lincoln, although he grew up in a highly religious family, never joined a Christian church. He was certainly a strong Deist, but his views were unconventional.

Aside from the historic inaccuracies, your assertion that only Christians are capable of serving in our government runs counter to America’s founding principles and the views of most Americans, including Christians.7 Many American Christians respect the diversity of our culture, and understand that their fellow Americans may not share their religious values, as evidenced by groups like Christians Against Christian Nationalism.8 Anyone who respects American values must oppose comments promoting Christian nationalism, as the two ideologies are fundamentally at odds.

Non-religious Americans are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population by religious identification at 29 percent, with 37 percent of Americans overall being non-Christian. You represent all of the constituents in your district, including those who do not share your personal religious beliefs. Your comments convey that you consider non-Christians second-class citizens simply because of their religious identity or nonreligious identity. That too is unAmerican.

As a state representative, your duty is to support the state and federal Constitutions and to protect the rights of conscience of your constituents, not to promote your personal religious views, much less a Christian theocracy. Your oath of office has charged you with great responsibility over citizens, including those citizens who may not or do not share your personal religious viewpoints. You have shown that you are unfit for this responsibility. You should either apologize to all non–Christian and nonreligious citizens of your district, or you should resign.

Very truly,

Annie Laurie Gaylor
President, FFRF Action Fund

Reschke replied, saying that his statement was “grossly taken out of context.” When asked to detail what he meant, Reschke declined to answer.

Reschke, as all Evangelical fascists, said exactly what he meant to say. Remember, these people mean exactly what they say the first time they say it. It’s only when they step in it with both feet that they say they were taken out of context or misunderstood. Trust me, Rep. Reschke, we heard you loud and clear.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

Connect with me on social media:

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Has God Taken His Hand Off of America?

christian nation

When the homosexual comes out of the closet and he is bragging about his activities, demanding not only acceptance, but endorsement, that is a nation that God is taking his hand off of. And that’s exactly who we are.

Rick Scarborough

Jesus, take the wheel
Take it from my hands
‘Cause I can’t do this on my own
I’m letting go
So give me one more chance
And save me from this road I’m on
Jesus, take the wheel

— Chorus for Jesus, Take the Wheel

If you listen to the mainstream media, you might conclude that Christian Nationalism is new; and that Donald Trump and his MAGA faithful are to blame for the rise of Christian Nationalism in Evangelical sects and churches. Mainstream media says, “Look what we found!” However, as someone who spent the first fifty years of his life in Evangelicalism, I can authoritatively say that Evangelicals have always been, to some degree or the other, (white) Christian nationalists. I can’t remember a time when the American flag and the Christian flag didn’t fly together on Evangelical church platforms or flag poles in front of church buildings.

What is new is how Evangelicals now view the separation of church and state. When I began training for the ministry in 1976, most Evangelicals believed that there was a strict, inviolable separation of church and state. Each was a separate sphere of influence; separate, but equal. God ordains both government and church, each with their own duties and obligations. I believed then, and still do today, that government and church need to stay the hell out of each other’s business. The government can and must insist churches follow building and health codes and obey the law, but outside of that, the government should leave churches alone. That’s called freedom of religion.

Many Evangelical preachers now believe that the separation of church and state is a myth; that Christians are duty-bound to capture and control the government for the glory of God. In their minds, Jesus sits on the throne as ruler and king, and the Bible (as interpreted by them, of course) is the law of the land. Their goal is a hostile takeover of the secular state.

Regardless of how Evangelicals view the separation of church and state, most of them believe that the United States is a divinely chosen and called nation — an explicitly Christian nation. In their minds, the United States, much like the Jewish state, has a unique relationship with God; that God has blessed our nation because of our commitment to Christianity. As long as we maintain this commitment, God will bless us.

This “blessing” from God is often described as “God’s hand upon us.” Much like Adam Smith’s invisible hand, many Evangelicals believe that God has ahold of the steering wheel and is guiding us where he wants to go. Culture wars (which are primarily fueled by Evangelicals, conservative Catholics, and Mormons) are God taking the wheel and steering the United States in the direction he wants us to go.

The past fifty years have not been kind to Evangelicals. American culture has largely abandoned Evangelicalism. There are more non-Christians in the United States than there are Evangelical Christians. As a result, Evangelicals lose one culture battle after another. Not having numbers sufficient to win elections, Evangelicals (who are overwhelmingly Republican) have turned to using gerrymandered legislatures to advance their cause. This approach will eventually fail as voters fix the gerrymandering problem through voter initiatives or amendments to state constitutions.

If the United States is a Christian nation, why are we becoming increasingly non-Christian or indifferent towards religious beliefs? Some Evangelical preachers, such as Rick Scarborough quoted above, think the answer to the “why” question is that God has taken his hands off the wheel; that the United States is a driverless car careening down the highway.

How do Evangelicals know that God has taken his hands off the wheel? According to Scarborough, the h-o-m-o-s-e-x-u-a-l-s are to blame. Ah yes, blame the queers. During my high school years in the 70s, I can’t remember a sermon on the evils of homosexuality or abortion. Preachers blamed hippies, draft dodgers, rock music, and short-skirted slutty women for the decline of Western civilization. Today, LGBTQ people are to blame for, well, e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g Evangelicals deem an affront to their deity. In their minds, if LGBTQ people would return to the closet (by force, if necessary), never to be seen again, then, and only then, will God put his hands back on the proverbial wheel.

Of course, even if LGBTQ people disappeared in the Gay Rapture, Evangelicals would not be satisfied. There are always culture wars to fight. There will always be threats of driverless cars speeding down the cultural highway. Evangelical preachers know that congregants need to feel threatened or persecuted for them to be motivated to attend church, and most importantly, give their tithes and offerings. Fear is good for business and keeping God’s soldiers on the battle lines.

The only hands on the cultural steering wheel are ours. May justice, equality, inclusion, and fairness always guide us.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Bruce’s Ten Hot Takes for November 21, 2023

hot takes

Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh is a control freak. Suggesting that Harbaugh didn’t know anything about sign stealing by his staff is ludicrous. He knew, and that’s why he will be in the NFL next year at this time.

Joe Biden continues to remind me of why I didn’t want to vote for him in 2020 and don’t want to vote for him in 2024. His handling of the war between Israel and Palestine leaves a lot to be desired. His speeches border on incoherence, especially his recent speech after meeting with China’s president, Xi Jinping.

Is it a given that I will vote for Biden in 2024? No. I am hoping other credible candidates will challenge Biden for the Democratic nomination.

In 2016 and 2020, over 80 percent of voting white Evangelicals voted for fascist Donald Trump. Eight years of evidence that he is unfit to hold office has changed nothing. Most white Evangelicals plan to vote for Trump again in 2024. This should tell you everything you need to know about Evangelical Christianity.

Evangelicalism is now a hotbed of white nationalism and fascism. I say now, but truth be told, these “isms” have always been a part of Evangelical Christianity. The difference today is that the “cute” baby is now a full-grown monster.

Just remember, if you are a progressive, liberal, socialist, communist, atheist, agnostic, or liberal Christian, your Evangelical neighbors and friends support politicians who want to either throw you in jail or remove your U.S. citizenship. Some of them even want to put you in mental hospitals or kill you.

Polly and I, in our Luddite, environmentalist, back-to-nature days, thought about moving with our family to a Bruderhof — an Anabaptist movement where communities hold everything in common. We loved the “world” too much to do so, but there are days when I wish we had done so.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was injured on Sunday and is done for the year. And all the Gerencsers wept, wondering why God hates them. 🙂

I have concluded that Evangelical leaders are incapable of being honest about why people are deconstructing (or deconverting) and leaving Evangelicalism.

I am preparing for six weeks of being asked if I am Santa Claus. Of course, I am, but then I say, “would Santa really live in Ohio?”

Bonus: Recently, I was diagnosed with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) — a rare disease that affects food digestion. My pancreas does not produce the necessary enzymes to digest food and absorb minerals and vitamins. This has led to malabsorption and malnutrition. This is different from gastroparesis, another rare disease I have that affects how food is processed in my stomach and travels through my digestive tract. It is commonly called stomach paralysis. Neither of these diseases is curable. Left untreated, they will be the death of me (that is, if Polly doesn’t hit me with a Lodge cast iron skillet first). I am currently on Creon for EPI — a $ 3,000-a-month enzyme replacement therapy. I will have to take this drug for the rest of my life. I am hoping to have a surgical procedure (as soon as I can find a surgeon to do it) that will lessen my nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. It is a specialized procedure, so few surgeons can do it.

How do I feel about this? After my gastroenterologist gave me the diagnosis of EPI, I turned to Polly and said, “It sucks to be me.” Over the weekend, I had dinner with several friends of mine. I told them about my latest diagnosis, and then I said, “Just another fucking thing to deal with.” That’s all I know to do — deal with it.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Letter to the Editor: Christian Nationalism

letter to the editor

Letter submitted to the editor of the Defiance Crescent-News.

Dear Editor,

Christian nationalism is the result of an unholy union between Evangelicalism and Republican politics. I pastored my first Evangelical church in the late 1970s. I didn’t know of one preacher who publicly supported Christian nationalism. Preachers taught congregants that there was a strict separation of church and state. As a Baptist pastor, I believed that church and state were two separate God-ordained spheres; and that neither should encroach upon the other.

By the early 1980s, thanks to Jerry Falwell and Paul Wyrich of Moral Majority fame, I began hearing talk of “taking America back for God.” Not any God, of course, but the Evangelical God of the Bible. What was birthed four decades ago has now turned into a full-grown predator, out to capture America for Jesus. There’s no king but Jesus, Evangelicals are fond of saying. What was uttered in an eschatological context is now expected — dare I say demanded — in the present.

Freedom of religion has now come to mean freedom for conservative Christians and submission to their interpretation of the Bible by all others. Never mind the fact that the United States is a secular state. Never mind the fact that the U.S. Constitution does not mention God, and the Declaration of Independence refers to, at best, a generic, deistic God. Christian nationalists want and demand that Americans prostrate themselves before their deity and submit to the teachings of the Bible. Well, the teachings that fit their peculiar theological and political narrative, anyway.

Christian nationalists demand preferential treatment for their religion. Christian nationalists demand teacher-led prayer and Bible reading in public schools, the posting of the Ten Commandments on classroom walls, and the banishment of library books for the positive portrayal of same-sex couples or daring to mention the existence of LGBTQ people. Showing that the word “White” should modify the term Christian nationalists, these soldiers for Jesus demand the removal from history books of any negative portrayal of Whites. In their minds, slavery was just a jobs training program.

Through the front doors of schools have come Evangelical groups such as Lifewise Academy. Their goal is to indoctrinate and evangelize school children. It is clear that Christian dominion is the goal. And if that fails? Civil war, of which the January 6 insurrection was a precursor of things to come if Christian nationalists don’t get their way.

Bruce Gerencser
Ney, Ohio

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Bruce’s Ten Hot Takes for July 24, 2023

hot takes

The greatest disease threat to humans is not wildlife; it’s our fellow homo sapiens.

If states such as Alabama and Texas can ignore Federal court orders without consequence, other states will do the same, upending the rule of law.

Many Christian nationalists and white supremacists are itching for a civil war.

Disgraced ex-president Donald Trump will be indicted in Georgia. If convicted, Governor Kemp will pardon him.

Following Governor Ron DeSantis’ explanation of slavery, I think I’ll kidnap a Haitian teenager, keep him locked up in my garage, and teach him to mow my lawn and trim my trees. One day, after he becomes the CEO of IBM, he will thank me for treating him like a slave.

At the root of capitalism is the exploitation of labor; getting the most work and productivity out of employees for the least possible money.

Terms Republicans can’t define: socialism, communism, critical race theory, and atheism.

The My Pillow guy will go bankrupt by 2025.

Polly heard cicadas last week. Fall is sneaking up in the upper Midwest. Soon a wooly worm will be seen crossing the road.

The Cincinnati Reds will make the playoffs this year if they trade for starting pitching before the August 1 trade deadline.

Bonus: Sex gets better after sixty, but those damn Charley horses sure are annoying.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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I’m In the Lord’s Army

the lords army

Several years ago, I caught up on back episodes of the TV show Tyrant. One episode featured a Muslim cleric telling a group of schoolchildren that they were soldiers in “God’s Army.” These children were later killed in a government attack on a terrorist training camp. This same cleric forgot to tell these children that they would be used as pawns in the war against America and the government of the fictional country, Abuddin. Killed in an attack on the terrorist camp, the dead bodies of these children were filmed so they could be used in anti-government propaganda videos. A horrific scene to be sure, one that is played out time and again in the Middle East.

As I listened to the Muslim cleric tell the children that they were soldiers in God’s Army, my thought turned to the Evangelical junior church staple song, I’m in the Lord’s Army. Everyone now:

I may never march in the infantry,

Ride in the cavalry,

Shoot the artillery.

I may never fly o’er the enemy,

But I’m in the Lord’s army!

Yes Sir!

I’m in the Lord’s army!

Yes sir!

I’m in the Lord’s army!

Yes sir!

I may never march in the infantry,

Ride in the cavalry,

Shoot the artillery.

I may never fly o’er the enemy,

But I’m in the Lord’s army!

Yes sir!

I’m in the Lord’s army!

Yes sir!

I’m in the Lord’s army!

Yes sir!

Video Link

Harmless kid’s song? Sure, but consider for a moment how much time and money Evangelicals spend indoctrinating their children. (Please see Do Fundamentalist Christians Indoctrinate Their Children?) Throw in Christian nationalism, American exceptionalism, Bible literalism, and “Second Amendment remedies” — why, it is easy to see that, in the future, some Evangelical churches will become training camps for youthful recruits for The Lord’s Army. Preposterous? Perhaps, but consider how easily fascist Donald Trump (and Ron DeSantis) turned countless Evangelicals into supporters of policies that could plunge the United States into civil war.

In 2016, armed Christians took over a government building, believing that God wanted them to take a stand against tyranny and attacks on personal and religious freedom. In 2021, armed, militarized Christians took over the Capitol and tried to overthrow the government. So-called Patriot Pastors are now defiantly breaking federal and state laws, believing that freedom of religion is under attack by liberals, secularists, humanists, and atheists. Calling for more “Christian” laws, scores of Evangelicals, Catholics, and Mormons now believe that the Separation of Church and State is a myth. Many of the domestic terrorist attacks over the past thirty-five years have been committed by Christians who have turned to violence to right perceived wrongs. White power groups such as the KKK — once thought to be buried beneath the rubble of the race riots of the 1960s — are drawing new soldiers to their war against multiculturalism and non-whites. These groups are almost always Christian.

Given the right circumstances and motivations, I can envision Evangelical churches, pastors, and parents encouraging children to be soldiers in the Christian God’s Army. One need only watch how Westboro Baptist Church uses children to promote bigotry and hatred. Is it really a stretch to think that rabid Christians could turn to violence to advance their agendas? And even if you think I am out of my mind to believe that such things are possible, consider the fact that millions of American children are taught that there is no greater privilege than to give one’s life for Jesus. Be it in a life devoted to servitude or being martyred, these children are taught, “only one life, twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last” – Only One Life by C.T. Studd. (Please see The Myth of Persecution by Candida Moss, A Book Review) Martyrdom is very much a part of the many Christian sects. What better way to prove one’s faith than to die for it?

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Is Florida the Most Fu*ked Up State in the United States?

ron desantis
Cartoon by Andy Marlette

By Craig Pittman, Florida Phoenix

January 5, 2027

Dear Gov. DeSantis,

Congratulations! You made it to the end of your second term as governor of Florida. I think I speak for everyone when I say, “Phew!”

I know you didn’t want to hang around Tallahassee this long. But it turns out that saying “woke” 29 times in a 40-word sentence is not much of a national platform. Once your presidential campaign nosedived to oblivion the way every other Florida governor has (Askew, Graham, Bush, even Claude Kirk), you had to come back here and stick it out.

I know the last three years haven’t been easy for you. Once all the other Florida politicians figured out you weren’t going to the White House, they stopped bending over backward for you.

That was especially true for the folks whose priorities you’d vetoed. Still, I thought it was rude of them to slip that line into the budget that allows Disney to garnish your wages to pay off that million-dollar judgment against the state.

Meanwhile, the voters have been in an open revolt, to the point of circulating petitions to change the state constitution to allow a recall vote of elected officials. The drive really picked up steam when the organizers dubbed it the “Ditch DeSastrous” measure, but by then you’d nearly completed this second term.

There was even an abortive attempt to mount an insurrection at the Governor’s Mansion, led by members of your own Florida State Guard who were upset that you’d failed to pay them. They were unhappy to learn you’d spent their salary money on the high-priced attorneys you’d hired to defend all your unconstitutional laws.

I’m sure you’re wondering where everything went wrong. How did you fall from being reelected in 2022 by a 19-point margin to being less popular than Sen. Rick Scott, once labeled the least popular man in Washington.

Looking back, I think I‘ve spotted the turning point. It happened on June 29, 2023. Do you remember? About six months into your second term. That was the day when you, with no fanfare whatsoever, signed into law SB 718.

Here was the headline on the website: “Gov. DeSantis signs measure banning local voter referendums on land development.”

“Voters will soon have little say in how the areas around them change through construction large and small, due to legislation Gov. Ron DeSantis just approved,” the story reported.

You probably didn’t think much about this bill before you “quietly signed the measure just before 6 p.m.” It was just another favor for your pals in the development industry, long your strongest financial supporters.

You must have figured it was no different than that $92 million I-95 interchange to help your buddy Mosi Hosseini’s development near Daytona Beach. (By the way, have you figured out yet how to take Hosseini’s golf simulator with you when you leave office?)

But this favor was much, much bigger. It turned out to be a major tipping point for Florida — and thus, for you.

You may be wondering why I zeroed in on this bill. You certainly signed other dopey legislation that year.

There was the bill approving “radioactive roads” to benefit the phosphate industry, for instance. And there was the one pausing for a year any new bans on summer fertilizer use even as toxic algae blooms spread in waterways around the state.

Your approval of the so-called “sprawl bill” got the most attention from the environmental community. Remember that one? The one about how big developers could collect attorneys’ fees from any citizens who dared to challenge their projects? Friends of the Everglades called it “the worst environmental bill passed by the Florida Legislature during the 2023 session” and “a death knell for smart growth in Florida.”

Some of your vetoes sure seemed like the opposite of smart, too, such as the one that rejected a bipartisan bill for buying electric vehicles for the state’s fleet. The veto only made sense in the context of your repeated advocacy of the fossil fuel industry, thanks to its well-known penchant for major campaign contributions.

But this bill, SB 718, had such a troubled history that your staff should have warned you to treat it like those Portuguese men o’war that wash up on the beach from time to time: Look but don’t touch!

Originally it was filed by Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez, who just happens to be senior vice president for government affairs for the Miami Association of Realtors, the nation’s largest Realtors’ association. In other words, she’s as close to the development industry as Darth Vader was to Emperor Palpatine.

So, it was Sen. Rodriguez, R-Dark Side — er, excuse me, Doral — who first proposed ending the voters’ ability to change land-use regulations in a bill labeled SB 856. When she filed that bill, it was referred to three different committees: Community Affairs, Judiciary, and Rules.

Her bill never made it out of its first committee — thanks to Sen. Rodriguez.

“Bill banning public votes on local land use yanked amid lack of support,” reported.

Yes, it’s ironic that a bill to ban voting didn’t make it to a vote. Why did the sponsor pull the bill? Because the committee’s chair was absent. Without that one vote, “it wasn’t going to pass,” Rodriguez said.

That should tell you a lot about this measure that critics were calling the “protect developers from citizens” bill.

Another indicator: One of its loudest supporters was Ocala Sen. Dennis Baxley. He counts among his accomplishments sponsoring both the “Stand Your Ground” law and the “Don’t Say Gay” law, two of the most dysfunctional measures in Florida history.

Baxley also wants to keep Confederate memorials and blocked the construction of a slavery memorial, which gives you an idea of which side of history he’s on. I bet as a kid, when he watched Bugs Bunny cartoons, he rooted for Yosemite Sam.

Baxley called the Rodriguez bill “perfectly appropriate,” because, he said, it “takes people out of a situation (where they’re voting) on something they have no idea what they are voting on half the time, when you throw something that massive on the ballot.”

In other words, Baxley contended that Florida voters are much too stupid to be trusted with anything important. Perhaps he was thinking that that’s how someone like him was elected.

Rodriguez said then that she’d probably bring her bill back at the next committee meeting, but she didn’t. The bill she’d sponsored died, but its provisions moved on. She’d implanted them in a different bill, not unlike the alien in the movie “Alien.”

She slid it into a bill sponsored by Sen. Clay Yarborough, R-Jacksonville. You may recall he also sponsored that idiotic anti-drag show bill you signed that was almost immediately struck down by a federal judge as unconstitutional after a challenge by Hamburger Mary’s.

The Yarborough version of the Rodriguez bill is what finally passed, and that’s what you very quietly signed. Which you should deeply regret.

These land-use referendums weren’t common before you signed that bill, but they sure were important.

A few small communities, like Key Biscayne, had the referendum requirement written into their charters, which meant they had to adapt to state law altering what they were accustomed to. In other communities, though, they were optional — and crucial.

In 2006, for instance, a referendum in Ormond Beach limited building heights to 75 feet, with no exceptions. The referendum drive came from a group called Citizens and Neighbors Devoted to Ormond, or CAN DO for short.

In the runup to the vote, CAN DO was outspent 25-to-1 by an anti-referendum alliance between the city and developers. But CAN DO’s name was like a prophecy. The height limit passed by a margin of nearly 60 percent to 40 percent.

From a land-use planning standpoint, those referendums are, in the words of Jane West of the smart-growth organization 1000 Friends of Florida, “the option of last resort.”

In other words, they were sort of like dropping the atomic bomb. Just knowing it was possible could be a deterrent.

Take what happened in Venice, for instance.

In 2022, the Venice City Council passed 600 pages of new land-development regulations that made developers happy and a lot of the citizens mad.

Five people calling themselves Venice United organized a petition drive to vote on repealing the new regs. The five did this, one of them told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, because “city council pushed this through without listening to the voters.”

Within six months, Venice United had rounded up the necessary 2,228 signatures from registered voters to put the matter on the ballot.

By then, n-n-nervous city officials were ready to work out a compromise. The council did NOT want Venice United to drop that bomb on them.

By May 2023, the council had approved a settlement with Venice United without ever scheduling that referendum vote. The threat had done its work.

“Your voters are passionate about preserving what makes Venice special,” the leader of Venice United, Frank Wright, said then.

That’s what this bill you signed in 2023 killed. In effect, you approved the nuclear disarmament of Florida’s citizens.

Well, you know what happened after that.

Local governments around the state were already inclined to say yes to most anything developers demanded to avoid facing a Bert Harris Act lawsuit. Once they no longer had to fear a voter revolt like the ones in Ormond Beach and Venice, they became even more eager to please the big-money boys.

And there was nothing that upset citizens could do about it. You’d robbed them of their last defense.

The result was easy for West to predict when we talked a week after you signed the bill:

“It was one more step where the Legislature was taking away from the citizens having any control over their communities,” she told me in July 2023

But Florida has a finite amount of developable land and a finite amount of clean water, she pointed out. As a result, she said, “basic market forces are going to start driving the conversation.”

With no one able to say no to development, or to at least hold it to acceptable limits or steer it to acceptable areas, “the whole thing’s going to snowball into one big mess,” she said back then.

Thus, as development ran amok, we wound up with crisis after crisis over the past three years.

We’ve seen maddening traffic gridlock on even smaller roads. The frequency of road rage incidents exploded, including several involving colliding golf carts in The Villages.

School campuses are now full of portable classrooms trying to handle the overflow of students, even at the voucher-fueled charters and religious schools.

Sewer plants started breaking down more frequently. Their repeated spills fueled more and worse algae blooms and fish kills which then drove away tourists who wanted to go fishing or boating. Disney and the other theme parks have continued attracting visitors, but a lot of the other places that depended on tourist money are struggling.

Meanwhile, facing unprecedented demand, a lot of water systems ran out. That’s the point at which the developers revived that 20-year-old Council of 100 idea of transferring water from places where it’s abundant to places where it’s not.

You went along with them, as usual. But the folks in North Florida fought back by forming volunteer militias to guard their springs against anyone stealing the water.

And that’s when people started burning you in effigy, sabotaging construction equipment, and using your campaign merchandise as projectiles to throw at public hearings. Those gubernatorial golf balls really did some damage, too!

You tried distracting everyone with more of your culture war “Ya Got Trouble in River City” song-and-dance routines, but it didn’t work anymore. Everybody was too mad. You ended up hiding in the mansion like you were on a one-man COVID lockdown.

Meanwhile, as resources started to run short, that’s when your push to make guns easier for everyone to carry turned out to be a really bad idea. The crime rate skyrocketed. And with no training requirement anymore, everyone’s aim was really bad!

You dispatched your underpaid Florida State Guard to help out several cities in chaos (only the ones with Republican mayors, of course). But the first time someone took a shot at them, they retreated faster than the Arctic ice sheet facing climate change.

On the plus side, though, Carl Hiaasen had a lot of material for his 2025 Florida novel, “Apocalypse Wow!” People really love the climax where Skink kicks your butt. I hear he’s already working on a sequel.

Anyway, that’s my analysis of where your administration took its most crucial wrong turn. As any student of government could tell you, you can’t close off EVERY avenue of legal protest, or people will turn to illegal means to fight back.

That’s what happened here, and if you hadn’t been distracted by your ill-fated presidential campaign, you might have spotted the danger.

Maybe next week, when you start your new gig hosting “The Anti-Woke Hour with Ron DeSantis” on Fox News, you can warn other politicians not to make the same mistake and underestimate the need for letting citizens have their say.

I mean, assuming anyone’s awake and watching you at 3 a.m.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Bruce Gerencser