FFRF Action Fund’s “Secularist of the Week” title is going to Rep. Maxwell Frost for excoriating Christian nationalists Reps. Majorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert while Pastor Dusty Deevers is its “Theocrat of the Week” for his vile comments on in vitro fertilization.
During an October House subcommittee hearing, Frost spoke out against the rampant Christian nationalism promoted by his colleagues. The House heard from witnesses for its proceedings on global religious extremism, including from Amanda Tyler, the executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. During Tyler’s testimony, Frost declared Christian nationalism as a significant threat against democratic institutions and denounced two main culprits.
Frost first lambasted well-known Christian nationalist Greene as a “threat to democracy” for her words, “Christian nationalism is actually a good thing. It is an identity that Republicans need to embrace.” Frost then singled out Boebert for her gross disregard for the separation of church and state. Frost quoted Boebert’s own statement: “The church is supposed to direct the government. The government is not supposed to direct the church. I’m tired of this separation of church and state junk.” Frost pointed out the absurdity of Boebert’s remark by adding: “The junk being the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”
Frost recently became the newest member of the Congressional Freethought Caucus, which champions public policy based on reason, science and evidence and protects the secular nature of the U.S. government. Frost is also the youngest member of Congress and represents Florida’s 10th District.
Frost certainly earns his title of “Secularist of the Week” for combating “the racist, violent and dangerous ideology” of Christian nationalists and ensuring that the vital separation of church and state is protected within the U.S. government.
On the other hand, dangerous and fanatical ideologies are alive and well in the race to fill a vacant Oklahoma state Senate seat. Pastor Dusty Deevers is the Republican nominee for the state Senate District 32 seat and is eager to inject religion into Oklahoma’s body politic.
While recently promoting his campaign, Deevers claimed he was “going to be applying the word of God to every issue that comes up. … We have a Constitution that is, by God’s grace, it’s upholding the word of God predominantly, so we don’t have to have them in competition with each other.”
Deevers has a long history of problematic and dangerous messaging. In a 2022 sermon, Deevers professed that parents who used in vitro fertilization (IVF) were “waging an assault against God.” IVF is an assisted reproductive technology that works to help sperm fertilize an egg and then implant the fertilized egg in a uterus. It is used to help patients struggling with infertility and is a safe and viable option for those wishing to get pregnant.
Deevers claimed, “Millions of our embryonic neighbors, unnecessarily, are being led to slaughter every year by IVF … others are cryo-incarcerated in frozen prisons. We are creating cryo-orphans for the sake of biological offspring.” This stems from an anti-abortion point of concern for the embryos that are not implanted, whether they are discarded or placed in a freezer. While Oklahoma’s current widespread abortion ban, including only one exception for saving the pregnant person’s life, does not involve IVF, the assisted reproductive technology still remains a prominent worry for anti-abortion advocates.
Through his dangerous Christian nationalism ideologies and malignant speech, Deevers has undoubtedly earned his “Theocrat of the Week” title. Christian nationalism will continue to be a perturbation in the upcoming election year, but with advocates like Rep. Frost, we will continue to fight against threats to our secular government.
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.