The Banned CDC List is Religious Right Terrorism

Donald Trump has reportedly banned the CDC from using the following words in their policies, budgets, and communications:


This is not exactly true.

This is not Donald Trump’s handiwork.
He is not the author of this list.
He isn’t smart enough to come up with a combination of words so perfectly synchronized to hurt and silence marginalized people.
Only Evangelicals can do that.

As a Christian and twenty-year pastor, one who’s served for much of that time in the American Bible Belt—the list is eerily familiar.

It’s the extreme Evangelical Christian Right’s signature mix tape, the careful curated playlist they’ve had on heavy rotation in their indie gatherings for the past 60 years—only now it’s getting wide release, thanks to the monster they’ve aligned with; one who’s perfectly happy to disseminate it to keep their union intact.

Every sick, perverse Right Wing religious line of attack is there within those words:

A disregarding of scientific fact in favor of necessary religious mythology.
The unrelenting demonizing of the LGBTQ community.
The hyperbolic vilifying of those defending a woman’s right to choose.
The neglect of the poor and marginalizing and coddling of the wealthy.
Open contempt for people of brown skin, foreigners, immigrants.
Historic misogyny and raging white supremacy.

The list is a bulleted seven-point Sunday sermon outline, the kind that’s been given every weekend in pulpit pounding churches by spitting, sweating, furiously angry white men—who tell people the sky is falling and assure them only a vengeful white God can hold it up. They’re a list perfectly designed to leverage the fear Bible Belt Evangelicals work specifically and almost solely in.

These seven words are not the work of Donald Trump. He can barely craft a coherent Tweet, let alone compose a brilliant bit of subtle violence like this. This list is a wicked witch’s brew, crafted by the preachers and pastors and religious universities who’ve sold their souls to this President in order to get the market share that their extremism wouldn’t allow naturally. These words are written in the unmistakable hateful hand of the Pences, the Falwells, the Dobsons, the Grahams, the Southern Baptists, pro-lifers, and Family Values crusaders—and they’re tailor-made to legislate the Evangelical’s elevation of cisgender, white, wealthy Americans. It is mass murder without truck bombs and AK-47s. It’s domestic terrorism, just with less obvious weapons.

And it’s the kind of thing that would make Jesus turn over damn every table in sight, were he able to stop vomiting long enough to do so.

America is not a theocracy but it soon will be, unless people of faith and those who hold no spiritual tradition who recognize and abhor such religious extremism—oppose it loudly and continually. That this kind of forced compliance is the antithesis of the life and teachings of Jesus, as well as the Constitution. Both argue loudly against what’s happening here.  

We cannot allow faith-based bigotry to become the law of the land here or we no longer need claim this nation a place where Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness matter. We can give up that whole Land of the Free, Home of the Brave garbage. 

This CDC list is not random, it’s not impulsive, and it’s not the work of a bumbling, unintelligent, fraud like Donald Trump.

It is a deliberate, careful-crafted, dangerously precise work of white Evangelicals who aren’t going to watch their faith tradition die without taking out a whole lot of innocent people as it does.

This is what terrorists do.

And it’s what good people need to stop them from doing.


Order John’s book, ‘A Bigger Table’ here.

118 thoughts on “The Banned CDC List is Religious Right Terrorism

  1. this massive movement is the most frightening thing that has happened to our country since Pearl Harbor and nobody seems to care ….we sound more like Saudi Arabia thanthe United States of America …. frightening

  2. Thank you, John, for saying this “stuff that needs to be said.” I’ve been fuming about this ever since I read it this morning. Shades of 1984. And then I read that 45 hosted the NRA at the White House on the 5th anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre. Regardless of party, we *have* to get involved in these issues somehow. This is beyond politics. I’ll get off my soapbox now, but wanted to assure you that you are far from the only one who is furious about this stuff, and far from the only one who is doing what they can to stop it every level we can. I’m more involved in it now than ever before. Baby steps, I know, but doing what I can and urging others to do the same. Indiana has a mid-term election coming up and we’re doing everything we can to get good candidates elected. Keep the faith, brother.

    • Former Baptist Preacher Mike Huckabee was on some TV show tonight ranting and raving about how the FBI and Robert Mueller are in the process of conducting an unjustified coup d’etat against a legally elected President of the United States. He may have been duly and legally elected, but if he has committed federal crimes, then the U.S. Constitution says that the deal is off—if the U.S. Senate says it is by removing him from office. The FBI has more than just a little reason to believe that President Trump may be a crook—and that is why they are investigating him, his family members, and his associates. The real shame here is that former Baptist preachers and current Baptist preachers are attaching themselves to the Trumpian sleaze and defending it. Roger Williams is in no doubt spinning in his grave at these fat bellied, polyester bedecked, wives-dressed-by-Wal-Mart morons who bow down to this evil and then dare to call themselves Ministers of the Living God.

  3. Here we go. Stupidity and too many babies being born and not cared for is the direction in which we are headed.We must stop and talk about what happens when contraception is not the FIRST and most important talk that ALL parents must have with their children, when they reach puberty.There is nothing racial about children getting pregnant, but teenagers WILL have sex, no matter what the church thinks they should or shouldn’t do, and being safe and careful is NOT that complicated. We gotta teach both girls AND boys that they can say NO.But, if they are gonna do it, then they better wear prophylactics and consider pills. It’s a must.

  4. There’s a typo, you meant to say anti-abortionists in one of the paragraphs but you said pro-abortionists.
    Otherwise completely on point, this is totally Pense’s handiwork.

  5. I fear this reaction because it attempts to answer a subtle ground attack (think Ukraine) with a loud air raid of fury. We need an analytical response that traces the roots of each of those prohibitions back to the Evangelical play and demonstrates that lineage with inescapable logic. (Don’t tell me this is obvious, because it isn’t to everyone – believe me!) This piece doesn’t do that – it merely explodes with wrath. Sorry, John, I know you are angry (and I love you for that anger!) – time to channel that anger into a seething logic that cuts through the bullshit and exposes the inherent hatred of these choices.

  6. Thank you.
    Thank you for being a voice of reason in the faith-based community.
    Thank you for saying what needs to be said.
    Thank you for being unafraid to speak out.
    Thank you for reminding those of faith that what is happening is not based in any faith, but in the bastardization of that faith.
    I am an agnostic bordering on atheist feminist pro-choice about as far from following the blog of a preacher as you can get.
    Thank you for writing one I can get behind.

  7. Why do you so adamantly support the right of an abortionist to kill a fetus (or embryo)? I cannot take your claims of compassion seriously so long as you exclude so much of humanity, simply because they are inconvenient, and then excuse it by claiming it is some kind of “right.”

    • It is probably the same reason the United Methodist Church and many other churches have no problem with abortion—the Bible does not specifically prohibit it or state that it is a sin. The anti-abortion people, including the Roman Catholics, have taken on the same role as the Scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23—which is to throw God the old middle finger and create their own new morality around abortion. The wonderful thing about it though is that most Americans favor abortion and are not about to allow you to end it. However, it is fun to see you guys out their all worked up over nothing and twisting in the wind by the dangling ropes from which you are hanging on this issue.

      • So you’re telling me that God thinks defending life in the womb is evil and killing it at your abortion mills is good?

        Tell me where Jesus said killing little innocent babies in the womb is a good thing to do.

        His Church knows it’s evil and preaches that it’s evil.

        Jesus didn’t say rape is evil, either. Because there are no “red letters” in your Bible prohibiting something doesn’t mean that it’s not evil or not a serious sin. Look the Church who delivered the words of Jesus to you.

      • The Bible is not the be-all and end-all of Christianity. What does the Church who delivered your New Testament to you say about killing innocent life in the womb?

        Have you looked at what remains after an abortionist has done his or her job? And you say those body organs, hands and feet, brains, and a beating heary are “nothing”? Wow. It doesn’t take a “pharisee” to speak against that. It doesn’t even need an authoritative Church. Just half a brain and an ounce of compassion is sufficient to see the evil of abortion.

        You don’t consider the victims of abortion because of selfishness and that your politics and what you hope to gain by them has blinded you to this injustice. Probably it was the same for those who wanted to own slaves. They were in denial too about basic human rights.

      • BTW, where in the Bible does it say sexual harassment in the workplace is a sin? Or snorting cocaine? Do you think silence implies approval?

        Mother Teresa:

        I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.

        By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And, by abortion, that father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. The father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.

        Many people are very, very concerned with the children of India, with the children of Africa where quite a few die of hunger, and so on. Many people are also concerned about all the violence in this great country of the United States. These concerns are very good. But often these same people are not concerned with the millions who are being killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today — abortion which brings people to such blindness.

    • While I cannot speak for the author, here is your answer. Many of us want abortion at the lowest levels possible while supporting the rights of women to keep you from destroying their live. The main truth is that you are wholly uninterested in abortion. You and your fellow false Christians are merely interested in preventing women from having sex that is non-procreative. This is at the root of the Culture War, and your waging of it has supplanted the gospel of Jesus Christ. And unless you repent of it, you will burn.

      The horrible and evil Christian Right wages war on women, reproductive rights, contraception, women’s health care, sex education, children, adoption programs, and the poor. And because of this endless war, almost all efforts to reduce unwanted pregnancies, which is the main driver of abortions, are blocked at any level that would do anything.

      Your horrible immorality increases abortion. Your terrible criminal politics drives abortion. You enable abortion and you then wish to ruin the lives of women. And then your filthy leaders blame the other side and get to use the issue as a political football. Your comment illustrates this in that you have been made so fully deceived that you have been crated into their greatest weapon: the single-issue voter. You’d vote for a Republican criminal than for your neighbor, because you think they are baby killers. When, that fact of the matter is that it is primarily driven by you. You could care less about fetuses and are interested only in childbirth. You could care less about children, given that your horrible leaders just cancelled CHIP and have put 8.9 million children off of their medical care. Your sin has few bounds.. Few people in this country are as terrible, criminal, corrupt, sinful, and so full of cruelty as the Religious Right. And the punishment that is coming shall leave the world gasping. Now repent, get converted, and stop enabling evil.

      • You can’t read my mind or my heart.

        The fact is that if you had your utopia of the State running our lives, you would still defend the right of an abortionist to kill a baby.

        However, for the sake of argument, let’s say your lies are the truth. How does that make your position of supporting the killing innocent life in the womb acceptable?

        You say you want “low levels” of abortion, but that would still involve thousands and thousands of lives snuffed out unjustly for the sake of convenience.

      • You’re unsidedown regarding morality.

        Does abortion unjustly kill a human being? That’s where we should start.

        We can work together regarding social justice if you will agree that abortion is evil and potential victims must be protected by the law. Only then can you claim to be compassionate. Otherwise you allow for the destruction of innocent life because it is inconvenient, which is not very compassionate.

        Who has the better chance of burning in Hell? The nun praying outside of Planned Parenthood that women entering don’t let them kill her baby, or the politicians who fund and support those killers?

    • Its obvious that you are pro-birth. When you provide for the education, healthcare, and a living wage when said children reach adulthood then you will have earned the right to call yourself pro-life. Until that time I will proudly claim the title of Pro-Choice. Children should be born from love, not a broken condom.

      • Wow, using that logic you ought to blow up ghettos to prevent people from living in misery.

        Yes I’m “pro birth” just like your mother was. What’s wrong with that?

        And believe it or not, not wanting babies to be assassinated by abortionists does not mean that it logically follows that I want them to die after they are born. Your tortured logic does not justify your position of defending such an evil and heinous act.

      • The human person exists at conception. A “broken condom” is not an excuse to selfishly and viciously terminate the life of an inconvenient human being.

        What if you were born of lust and not love? Does that make you less of a person? What if you were conceived “accidentally”? Does that make you less of a person?

        I can’t provide for every person who is born until they reach adulthood. That’s the responsibility of parents. Though I’m not opposed to some state help and private help as well. We have places to help those in crisis situations.

        Turning the tables on the pro-lifers doesn’t magically turn injustice into justice. It doesn’t really matter what they are personally as far as whether abortion is objectively evil or not.

        But what about people who are financially secure and who could raise a child? Do we have some common ground there? Should abortion be illegal for them since they don’t have any excuses for killing their babies?

  8. Well said… I am not a Christian but the loons make critics out to be anti-Christian when we are, in fact, only anti-fascist.

    I would put my life on the line to defend what you believe — whatever you believe — but oppose your right to force your beliefs on others. The attempt to impose a belief gives the intended victim the right to evaluate that belief. I do not see why anyone would invite that; none of us wants to be in a theological discussion with people we don’t trust.

    These are wise words, John, and as spoken by someone within the tradition, they are also courageous. Defending the language of science against those who would bring down the adumbra of dark ages on that light, is a defense of our children’s future.

    Thank you.

    Joey Tranchina

  9. tThis is a word list that frightens a lot of far-right religious zealots. The Trump administration just published the prohibition against the Centers for Disease Control’s use of those words. I agree that the prohibition of such use is a scary thing. It openly admits that the administration wants us to not use our brains for anything but the recitation of out-dated dogma and the denigration of those with whom they might disagree. It leads us toward slavish obedience to authority, and it is further evidence of governmental use of a wholly corrupt religious position for the purpose of controlling the population.

  10. Thank you, John, for saying what needs to be said in such an intelligent, eloquent way.
    Just want you to know that many of us are with you. . .signing petitions, sending money to organizations, and trying to stay positive.
    And just like you, we get tired, angry, and discouraged. But we keep on. Again, thank you for doing what you do. You are an inspiration.

  11. This is an excellent and pointed summation of what’s happening here, and it’s terrifying. We are living in a precarious time … skittering along a precipice, beneath which is the gaping maw of a dystopian nightmare that is too bleak and cruel to be believed. We are marching right into the world of the Handmaid’s Tale, 1984, and the Hunger Games.
    Thank you for giving me something to share that conveys my feelings about this heinous act. On a personal note, if I may, I know you qualified the label with the term “wicked,” but I would love to see a cease and desist on the popular use of the word “witch” to describe an inherently evil person or thing. Being someone who lives outside the traditional religious categories, it saddens me to see a term that should be associated with wise women and healers always used in a negative way. Thanks for your consideration, and thank you for all the hard work you do putting these pieces out. Your words definitely strike a chord.

  12. John, thank you for the hyperlink to the Washington Post article which talks about these words which have been banned, citing their references. Unfortunately we live in an age where we should not believe something just because it sounds true, and especially if it resonates with our own beliefs. Therefore, it is a service to us, your followers, to provide those links so that we can verify for ourselves that your claim is properly corroborated.

  13. I hear you John and agree the violence of selective politics must stop.
    It will only stop when the forces of good present an alternative that sounds, looks, smells and tastes and truly is refreshingly better.
    Who better equipped to form the way forward to sweetness and love of a beautiful life of inclusion than someone like you???
    It is time to put away the gun of hatred and word violence which is just another form of hatred and put on the cloak of love and a path to follow which brings peace.
    Start the movement John, and we will join in the millions. Spreading out over the land proclaiming what many of us know, believe and want to help others see the light.
    Someone must take the lead. Someone must provide leadership, someone must take the high road – the low road of ineffective word wars doesn’t create a cause to join. Someone must find the emotional trigger that resurrects the life of inclusion that Jesus taught.

    • How so? A private school is a private school and it doesn’t necessarily need to be religious. I sent my two children to a private school AND paid for them to go to public school without using their services. How fair is that? Besides, the public school system indoctrinates children in the false religion of the Left.

  14. There is plenty of blame to go around here. The media too afraid to distinguish between social conservative Christians and almost every other christian. The public not understanding just how important a vote is and also not being aware of social conservative Christians, or thinking it won’t affect them, so who cares. Problem with that is the rule of these kinds of Christians affects all people including other Christians.

    I have been posting consistently for at least 20 years warning about the christian right, but most didn’t take me seriously, calling me paranoid, saying they could not possibly gain enough power to take over this country.

    I hate to say I told you so…. But they have been preparing for this for 40 years that I am aware of and I’m almost 70 years old.

    They have been playing the victim of the very people they have demonized for centuries, both glbt and women, and minorities.

    The have been electing their people into every office all over this country, and all they needed was a president to make their dream of dominance a reality. Just look at all of Trump’s appointments, and the agencies they were appointed to.

    You are right, Trump wasn’t smart enough to know who should do what. The christian right is now running this country, NOT Trump. And Trump told they he would give them more power than they every had and so far he is keeping that promise, but only because Trump has no clue what he is doing, he just knows how to get what he wants out of it.

    Pense is their back up plan but he was really who they wanted in the first place. And Pense knows that and is just waiting for Trump to screw up enough to get his job.

    Any one who has followed the christian right knows what is happening here, but most Americans do not.

    I have no idea how this can be stopped, it’s not just what they can do to our freedoms, such as they are, but what they can do to the environment in the process, because they don’t give a hoot about that either.

    We ultimately pay for being blind followers of anything, especially religion.

  15. I agree with you but am truly confused by your inclusion of “pro-abortionists” as coauthors of this list of words. Did you mean anti-abortionists? I fail to see how the exclusion of the word “fetus” would be helpful to pro-abortionists. Please explain the reasoning to me if I have missed something here.

  16. The irony here is that the CDC is science based, and one will never find any language banned in science, because science is the search for truth.
    Belief is the quest for comfort, science is a quest for the best possible explanation of the natural world, your personal feelings be damned.
    Astrology became astronomy, alchemy became chemistry, only when beliefs were discarded, religion is as religion is, because in religion, belief, right or wrong, is more important than truth.
    Our country exists in large part because of the enlightenment, because intelligent men were no longer threatened by the power of the church.
    Turning the clock back to the 16th century is no way to “make America great” again.
    This madness will not stand.

  17. You have a typo {bracketed} in this paragraph John:
    These seven words are not the work of Donald Trump. He can barely craft a coherent Tweet, let alone compose a brilliant bit of subtle violence like this. This list is a wicked witch’s brew, crafted by the preachers and pastors and religious universities who’ve sold their souls to this President in order to get the market share that their extremism wouldn’t allow naturally. These words are written in the unmistakable hateful hand of the Pences, the Falwells, the Dobsons, the Grahams, the Southern Baptists, {pro-abortionists}, and Family Values crusaders—and they’re tailor-made to legislate the Evangelical’s elevation of cisgender, white, wealthy Americans. It is mass murder without truck bombs and AK-47s. It’s domestic terrorism, just with less obvious weapons.

  18. Yes, this ban is ridiculous, but I think there’s an arrogance in saying what Jesus would think, especially about abortion.

  19. Yes, I can plainly see the hand of SATAN THE DEVIL AND HIS MAIN MINION; DUMB DRUMPF AT PLAY HERE

  20. Every day a new low.
    The depth of depravity and hate coming from this administration is stunning.
    Thank you, John, for continuing to speak truth to power.

  21. I just wanted to tell you how much your writings mean to me. These are terrifying times we live in, and it is good to know that there are still people like you who are aware of the truth, not the outright lies by the fake president, his fake news network, and most of the fake Congress. I usually do not like to use the actual words which describe the things I am seeing, much like some members of the Democratic Party, but now is not the time to be subtle.
    Bottom line is, the GOP, Trumpy and his news channel are fake, and liars. Full stop.
    Maybe people will realize this before even more harm will be done to our country, our values, and our collective soul.
    Please don’t lose your voice.

  22. This is very well said, and completely on-point, John. I agree with your statement wholeheartedly. My question is, do you know and can you divulge who might have been responsible for bringing this to Trump’s attention? We who love and fear for this country might have a better chance of countering this perverted, xenophobic poison if we could more closely identify the enemy we shall have to engage.

  23. John said:

    “And it’s the kind of thing that would make Jesus turn over damn every table in sight, were he able to stop vomiting long enough to do so.”

    I would add to that:

    • Your Jesus loves that you kill babies. What a Jesus you have. My Jesus is overturning the tables of the abortionists and letting the babies live.

      • Wanna decrease abortions? Make sure birth control is available and affordable. Provide support for those that keep their children (via child care, medical care, and supporting living wages) so that they don’t get stuck in poverty. These things will do a lot more to reduce abortions than outlawing it will.

        • What’s wrong with outlawing it too? If something is illegal there will be less of it.

          BTW, women who were using contraception in the month they conceived account for half the abortions.

          Christians at least cannot promote the evil of contraception as some kind of solution.

          We need to value morality and we need to value a human being beginning at conception.

            • That’s impossible. Joe Catholic can’t post anymore. His hardcore Catholicism threatens the sensibilities of the anything goes immoral progressives.

              • Joe Catholic used about two dozen aliases to get around rules of conduct here and took advantage of me letting him back here again, by continuing to drop murder rhetoric comments about pro-choice commenters. Sorry that “hardcore Catholicism” isn’t allowed.

  24. This action, these #SevenWords are indeed the work of egotistical men (mostly) masquerading as God’s elect. And it will be supported by the Roy Moore voter type of Christian who sneers at Muslim theocracy but loves the idea of a Christian theocracy here because Jesus………

    As a nation, we continue to support this kind of tomfoolery because we believe (entirely foolishly) that these acts will constrain others and ensure their conformity to a set of rules we have determined all should follow. But the reality is that if you vote for others’ harm, you are ultimately voting for your own harm. We are slow to get that memo. It’s coming tho. Soon, soon come.

    Every time we tacitly approve of a policy – or language – that otherizes our neighbors (or co-inhabitants of the planet) – we tell our politicians that we’re ok with the day when they come for us and the things we hold dear because it’s expedient. White Christian supremacy (or rather this thing that masquerades as Christianity) has blinded us to this truth.

    Niemoller was right.

  25. This is not “The unrelenting demonizing of the LGBTQ community.” It is the demonizing of Trans. This is an “All lives matter” argument. There are plenty of L, G, and B people who side with the talibangelicals and Trumpists against Trans. This is a specific attack. Name it as such.

  26. HOW do we stop them? These “values” seem so ingrained, and I can’t imagine how we are going to change all of the “hearts” that support this? That doesn’t mean I’m doing nothing. For years (decades), I’ve spoken up, spoken softly, asked questions, shared personal stories, and tried to reach the minds and hearts of the people in my path. But what’s happening now seems systematic, organized. What can I DO?

  27. This is perfect! Exactly what I was yelling into my phone at 6am while reading this article. Thank you!

    I can’t tell if you’re part of WordPress? If you are, I’ll follow you there.

    Thank you
    Jfish on Twitter
    Robin White
    p.s. Also been ministering for 30 yrs in an Assemblies of God Church! Wow! Do they love our President?! I am in Chicago though, not in the Bible Belt. Up here they’re just as “righteous.” I do believe the separation of the sheep and the goats is quite simple to see.

  28. Thank you for this, John. I think a backlash against Evangelicals is inevitable, and when that occurs a lot of good, yet misguided, people are going to be very upset at having been led down a path completely at odds with their core faith.

  29. These people are not “pro-life”. They don’t care if a pregnant woman has health care or a child has food. They are pro-birth. Nothing else.

      • What is in the uterus is a fertilized egg, a zygote, and MIGHT become a life. The uterus itself is part of a living, breathing human being who has a right to determine what happens to her body. SHE has that right. Not you, not a bunch of politicians or preachers. If you don’t like abortion, don’t have one. PERIOD. But you DON’T get to call yourself “pro-life” when all you care about is forcing a woman to give birth with no regard to her ability to receive and afford health care and food, or the ability of that potential life to receive health care and food. Fund CHIP, SNAP, WIC, PP, Medicaid, low-income housing, etc. FIRST, then tell me how you’re “pro-life.”

        • We have a zillion government programs and private resources as well.

          What’s wrong with being “pro birth” btw? Are you “anti birth”?

          When a woman goes to Planned Parenthood to abort, they are not killing her “zygote” are they? They are killing an embryo or fetus. Why are you being so deceptive? Abortion stops a beating heart. Wouldn’t you say that’s a little more development than the zygote stage?

          Would you at least be “pro birth” for financially secure couples? Do you have any excuse for them for killing their inconvenient baby?

  30. The extent to which 45 gives credence to that rabid branch of evangelicals truly terrifies me. Thank you for speaking up, John, it’s a relief to know that it isn’t just me (an atheist and ex-born-again) who finds this highly disturbing.

  31. These are frightening times. I can’t understand my church nor my country. Therefore I can put my faith in neither, only in the teachings and example of Jesus Christ and His unfailing gift of the Holy Spirit. My thanks to you John for your timely and cogent analyses.

  32. I couldn’t agree with you more. I really do fear the direction the US is heading in. Once a beacon of hope, the US now seems more like a side-show of intolerance, greed and bigotry. Luckily, I live in Australia. I really hope the good people of the USA wake up to what is happening before it is too late.

    • We did wake up. We voted to drain the swamp. We voted against the status quo and the liberal elites. We dodged Hillary Clinton, thank God.

  33. I have been saying for several years that some of the laws being passed by conservative Evangelicals were encroaching on my 1st amendment rights. Most pooh poohed me. I thought that might be a way to work around them. Hasn’t happened. Not enough have heard the call.

  34. Thank you for this excellent article, which is spot on, though I believe a small clarification is in order. The people referenced in your article aren’t actual evangelicals, but instead have co-opted the title of “evangelical.” Let me refer you to a source, because I’m not an evangelical (I’m an atheist). The following piece recently came to my attention:

    Of particular note are the following points: #3 (Not everyone who calls himself an evangelical is an evangelical), #6 (Evangelicals love LGBTQIA people), #8 (Evangelicals are pro-science), #9 (Evangelicals value quality education for all) and #10 (Evangelicals are diverse and tolerant).

    I find zero of these ideals (or any of the others on the list) in the behavior of, as you so aptly put it, religious terrorists. IMO, this is more like the Tea Party, an original group that was co-opted and turned it into the prosperity crap that led to even more extreme right-wingers in our politics.

    Isn’t there some way we can expose the fake evangelicals for who they really are? I often wonder if people knew what real evangelicals stood for, would they support phony ones?

    • I’m not so inclined to take #6 at face value – the wording is highly ambiguous.

      “6. Evangelicals love LGBTQIA people.

      We are not homophobes. We are homophiles. Our churches welcome LGBTQIA people with the same message we present to all others: ‘Come as you are . . . but leave transformed.'”

      “Leave transformed” has a lot of wiggle room to mean “change your sexuality.” I have learned the hard way that one can never trust any Christian’s words to mean what they appear to mean on the surface. The well is so polluted that it takes time to determine which Christians are to be trusted, which ones actually DO welcome you as you are with no demand to change. It’s too dangerous to merely take the Christian’s word for it.

      • You want a church that accepts adulterers and fornicators as they are? You want a church that accepts sinners AND condones their sins? That does what to make the sinner holy?

    • Dear Melanie,
      Is there a place you trust me to contact you? I just wrote a response, and it turned into a book chapter. I wasn’t sure if John needed me to use that much space on one response. Can you follow me on Twitter? Jfish, have an email that is more public? Part of WordPress? Messenger? Let me know. I think you’ll find it interesting.
      In the meantime I’ll ask John about long replies.
      I just thought you deserved a real answer.
      IF you find me on Twitter I’m not sure how I’ll know it’s you. I know you’ll be creative.
      You should understand what’s happening to my religion.
      I’m as John, I’ve been ministering, actually teaching for close to 30 yrs. I hope to help.
      p.s. If you’re part of WordPress my address is (an acct is free if you just wanna visit).

  35. I think the religious right is destroying our country and it’s destroying Christianity and what Jesus has done it’s a disgrace with the Christian Coalition has done to this country up to the faith of Jesus Christ twice

  36. The Christian Coalition is not the body of Christ it’s a right wing of the Republican Party and it’s destroying our country let the people of faith lying about Jesus Christ and the love he has for everyone judge the people in the church we’re not supposed to charge the people outside the church damn you Christian Coalition

  37. so true! they warn against Sharia laws being imposed on us but they are busily working to impose “Christian Sharia” bit by bit. i don’t believe Trump is capable of composing such an insidious plot on his own.

  38. I do so agree with this. Before I even read this, I had also decided Trump was not intelligent enough to even pronounce the words on the list, much less be the creater or writer of the list.

  39. The judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift… resulted in justification. For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. — Romans 5:16-17
    Christ’s death saved us from God’s wrath. We now live with hope of eternal life rather than under the curse of death. We rejoice in God who, in His Son, atoned for our sins. Our justification is complete and irrevocable; there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. And Paul confidently wrote that “he who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). What a marvelous gift!

    I dont think it really matters , since the lies are flying high and the deception is great in america.
    Keep your eyes on Jesus Christ , the author, and finisher of Faith , God is Still in charge
    Mankind is being or getting ready for judgement for rebellion against God.

  40. Would like to know why the U.S. have such large swaths of extreme right wing evangelicals. We do have such sentiments in Canada ..but people tend to hide them or it’s in rural areas where journalists /writers aren’t writing about it.

    Horrible as it may seem, it’s better still such extreme views are out in the open for everyone to hear.

    My best wishes in your work with communities.

  41. If you ARE a pastor, as you say you are…then SHAME ON YOU! Insulting OUR president in such an ignorant manner. For if you have read your Bible, you would know that Romans 13:1 states that the authorities exists by God’s appointment! Thus deserving our respect!

    • The “authorities” are not specific people. they are “positions” of leadership. These positions are sometimes occupied by extremely evil men like Trump. Just because Trump occupies a God-established “position,” it does not mean that God put him there and it does not mean that God is the author of his evil.

      Quit trying to defend evil incarnate.

    • Respect is earned. So is contempt. 45 is contemptible beyond words – and to say he is installed by god makes your god equally contemptible.

    • Pauline,

      Strange. I don’t remember this Scripture being quoted by evangelicals when Bill Clinton was impeached or Barack Obama was called “Not My President!”

      I guess you also believe the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War were contrary to God’s will, since George III was appointed by God. Also, the Second World War, since Hitler was appointed by God. Or maybe St. Paul forgot to say that it only applied to democratically elected rulers. Or do we perhaps pick and choose who to apply Romans 13 to, according to our politics?

      But finally, Romans 13:1 doesn’t say that we have to agree with our rulers, or even to respect them, just to “be subject to them”. I don’t believe John P is advocating any illegal activity.

    • Pauline,

      I’ve just thought of some even better examples: the Old Testament prophets who railed against the corruption and idolatry of the kings of Israel and Judah, even though they were literally the Lord’s anointed ones. I doubt John P would accept the title of “prophet”, but I see him as fulfilling a similar ministry: speaking truth to power.

      Now, I grant that you probably don’t accept that most of what John says is “truth”, and that’s your right; but if so, I suggest you make your argument in those terms, rather than using Romans 13 to discredit discussion of the actual issues.

  42. It’s Newspeak! It’s Thought Police controlling American speech, or attempting to do it. Don’t let them get away with it, no even a little bit. It all begins with one small step, and eventually leads to total repression.

  43. Wow…As a 50 year old Black man who no longer believes in the Christianity, I can say with all my heart this article is the root of why I walked away. The hypocrisy and white supremacist underbelly became so painfully obvious with the election of Pres Obama. I had people..
    Friends who for years professed, “We are brothers and sisters of Christ” Yet the cognitive dissonance they showed was world shattering for me. I was so confused…here was a Man doing all the things Jesus told us to do, yet he was called the Anti-Christ. The open racisim by pastors I respected as Generals in God’s Army crushed me. I took all of those attacks very personal. Then when I saw 12 years a slave my whole perspective of how Africans where indoctrinated by their Opressors with that same bible to make them worship their god and by default worship them….crushed everything in me. It all came full circle. At that point I mustered up the courage to take a Religious Studies class. I was as if the blinders came off. But I had been prepared for the once considered evil alternative source if information and facts. …..I don’t know how much longer true followers of the spirit of the teachings of Jesus can or will be allowed to be associated with the term Christian. …..Guess I have a whole new level of empathy for “Moderate Muslims ” you know we are all expecting them to police the Jihadist with their Religion and come down hard on them as we associate those terrorists with them. Our chickens have come home to roost. Thank you sir for your courage…. This is not going to end well.

    • Allen

      I’m so sorry you had this experience. As a white man, I can’t claim to have experienced as much cognitive dissonance as you did.

      However, I have experienced alienation from six different conservative churches, and walked out of them, usually because the pastor cut off communication with me, in some cases after insulting me, just because I challenged some of their assumptions or asked them awkward questions.

      I’ve written over 450 pages covering my points of disagreement with conservative Christianity, but I know that God is bigger than all their ideas, so I haven’t given up on him. Now I attend a church, probably much like John Pavlovitz’s, where I feel very much at home, where I’m not tempted to reply to sermons with complaints about self-contradiction, or political bias, or any number of hot-button, controversial, and divisive opinions, or where orthodoxy is held up as more important than love. I sometimes wonder how God sees those conservative pastors. If someone known to hate me was spreading lies about me, probably people wouldn’t believe them; but if someone who claimed to be my friend was doing so, I’d be pretty mad.

      You’re right: “Christian” and “Christianity” have acquired such negative connotations that we tend to drop these labels. I realize it may be too late for you to reconsider the claims of Jesus, but know that there are still good people trying to follow what he taught.

  44. The American Taliban has come under many guises since they landed on our shores prior to the Founding Father’s decided to create a secular non-theocratic society. Pilgrims, Conservatives, Moral Majority, Religious Right, Puritans, Family Research Council, etc. They are the most predictable group of people, more than any other group. Characteristics include: conservative, majority rule, theocracy, xenophobia, nationalism, racism, authoritarian, pro-military rule, censorship, martyrdom, and resemble dictatorships. Basically, all things the Founders DID NOT want the US to be. These people are Anti-American

  45. All these bizarre accusations – not one iota of evidence for your outlandish claims.
    The only hyperbole is from the “author” of this piece…not piece of journalism…piece of something extremely stinky!

  46. And now will come the people telling you to sit down and shut up because you don’t agree with them. They’ll quote selected bits of Scripture to justify their hatred of anybody not white, cisgender, heterosexual, and Christian.

    • It’s a matter of choice, we can please man and go with what the world thinks is right or we can believe in what God’s word says. I believe in God’s word, my desire is to please him . People, do not be led astray by false ideas, read your bibles and find real truth. The true church does not “hate” people of different races, homosexuals, transgender, and different religions. That is a lie! There is a big difference between right and wrong, there are those who would rather believe lies because the truth offends them, thus the false accusations are on display.

  47. While I agree with the gist of this article, we need to stop calling everything terrorism. Overuse and misuse of the word simply waters it down until it becomes, ho-hum, terrorism. Terrorists purposely injure and kill people to further their agenda.

  48. The ban of these 7 words is part of a bigger plan to push marginalized groups out. This, the repeal of net neutrality, the attack on free speech/ freedom of press, the attack on birth control, is all part of the Right Wing agenda. They cloak their discrimination in “biblical values” to get Christians to vote for them and endorse their platforms, all so they can continually strip away the rights of Black and Brown people, LGBTQ people, women, children, poor people, and anyone else who does not fit the Right White. We all have to be vigilant to stop these atrocities before it is too late. As the saying goes, you are doomed to repeat history if you do not learn from it.

  49. Hey John,

    I just wanted to give a couple of links here. I am no fan of this admin, and long for the day when we can wakeup and get rid of it, but I would rather our stance against it be made of stronger stuff and not easily debunked things. The CDC “ban” is only suggestions for budget narratives, nothing else. And, unfortunately, it is a common practice even among non-dictatorships in the making (such as France and England), for a lot of different reasons.

    Keep up the fight! Resist, and get the rest of us to wakeup! But, let’s make sure our reasons are unassailable.

  50. Pingback: Banned CDC List is Religious Right Terrorism –

  51. I wonder if it is possible that if we all spoke up against this and our leaders refuse to listen. What happens when what we say is ignored and twisted to suit those in power because they feel immune to our protests? Beating Roy Moore is one thing but to bring down an incumbent is a totally different thing. Have we reached this point yet?

  52. Since the list wasn’t true are you going to issue another post? No one ever banned any words. This is why we must find the truth before we jump on a bandwagon.

  53. Right on all accounts but.. one exception if you please its not a “witch’s brew” of evil, as no self respecting Witch would do such a thing… Harm none is the law. Not to mention, that Karma is real and it remembers your name. May Karma find everyone involved in this travesty.

  54. You are always bad-mouthing Evangelicals and I don’t like being put down. I am a member of the ELCA and we are nothing like you describe us. We are open-minded, welcoming to all races, and don’t discriminate against the LGBTQ. Those you mention by name are not like us.

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