The lobbying arm of the Freedom From Religion Foundation is asking a member of the North Dakota Legislature to apologize for his bigoted and Christian nationalist social media posts or to step down.
N.D. state Rep. Brandon Prichard has made several recent disturbing postings on his official social media pages denigrating LGBTQ-plus Americans and advocating for Christians theocracy. On Oct. 1, the first day of LGBTQ History Month, he posted, “All schools should have LGBTQ history taught and lesson one should be Sodom and Gomorrah.”
He then posted:
Every conservative state should put into code that Jesus Christ is King and dedicate their state to Him. Force RINOs to say no to Jesus and then brutalize them in elections. We need a government of Christian, not fakers.
He also posted:
The US Senate and House should have a fitness test every year. Very simple. Every member of Congress must do 5 sit-ups, 5 push-ups, 1 pull up, and submit to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. How many would make it?
Prichard’s postings show brazen support for Christian nationalism and blatant disregard for the separation of state and church, in betrayal of his oath of office to the entirely secular U.S. Constitution.
“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,” FFRF Action Fund President Annie Laurie Gaylor writes to Prichard. “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.”
Prichard’s advocacy for Christian theocracy is fundamentally un-American, FFRF emphasizes. His assertion that Christians should take over our government is anathema to America’s founding principles and the views of most Americans, including Christians. Anyone who respects American values must oppose Christian nationalism, as the two ideologies are fundamentally at odds.
Prichard’s Christian nationalist ideology is not only at odds with our country’s history and laws, but stigmatizes and marginalizes many of his constituents. Nonreligious Americans are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population by religious identification — 37 percent of Americans are non-Christians, and this includes the nearly one in three Americans identifying as religiously unaffiliated. Prichard represents all of the constituents in his district, including those who do not share his personal religious beliefs. His posts convey that he considers non-Christians second-class citizens simply because of their religious identity or nonreligious identity. That, too, is un-American.
“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,” FFRF Action Fund’s letter concludes. “You have shown that you are unfit for this responsibility. You owe an apology to all non-Christian and nonreligious citizens of your district, or you should resign.”
You can read the entire FFRF Action Fund letter to state Rep. Prichard here.
FFRF Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) organization that develops and advocates for legislation, regulations, and government programs to preserve the constitutional principle of separation between state and church. It also advocates for the rights and views of nonbelievers, endorses candidates for political office, and publicizes the views of elected officials concerning religious liberty issues. FFRF Action Fund serves as the advocacy arm of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which has more than 40,000 members and works to keep religion out of government and educate the public about nontheism.