A photo of Charles Lavine labeled secularist of the week, and a photo of majorie taylor green labeled theocrat of the week

‘Theocrat’ Marjorie Taylor Greene urges repentance while ‘secularist’ targets archaic law  

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Marjorie Taylor Greene is FFRF Action Fund’s “Theocrat of the Week” for claiming that the recent solar eclipse and East Coast earthquake meant “God is sending America strong signs to tell us to repent.” While Greene is stuck in the superstitious dark ages, our “Secularist of the Week” is bringing the Empire State into the Enlightenment by persuading the New York Legislature to at long last repeal the state’s archaic adultery law.

FFRF Action Fund lauds New York Assemblymember Charles Lavine, representing the 13th District, for introducing A 4714 to revoke a state law that classifies adultery as a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine. Although rarely enforced, the law in the past has targeted women and LGBTQ individuals. His bill quickly progressed through the New York Legislature and now awaits action from Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Lavine, who noted that he’s been “happily married” for 54 years, explained why repeal is needed: “Any criminal law that penalizes intimate behavior between consenting adults does not deserve to be on the books.” Lavine warned that the right to privacy is under assault in the United States, citing the Alabama Supreme Court ruling on frozen embryos and the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

“We are all in danger of losing our rights. Those most likely to be prosecuted for this crime, not only in New York, but throughout the United States and even worldwide, are women,” said Lavine. “I think it’s time for our state legislatures throughout the United States to stand up for human rights — and women’s rights are human rights.” 
 
Lavine characterized the bill’s few critics as “religious nuts.” He stated, “This is not the first time that I will have been called a heretic. You can’t punish one person’s personal view of what is moral, and that’s all this law does.” 

By contrast, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, representing Georgia’s 14th District, is doing her utmost to promote Christian nationalist hysteria. After the rare earthquake in New Jersey and New York, Greene posted on X, “God is sending America strong signs to tell us to repent. Earthquakes and eclipses and many more things to come. I pray that our country listens.”

She doubled down on her absurd claims after a backlash, writing, “Many have mocked and scoffed at this post and even put community notes. Jesus talked about that in Luke 12:54–56. Yes eclipses are predictable and earthquakes happen and we know when comets are passing by, however God created all of these things and uses them to be signs for those of us who believe.” 

Greene ignorantly referenced Jesus prophesying the end times in the Gospels and warning of “great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.” Instead of recognizing these events as natural phenomena, which humans have studied for thousands of years, Greene utilizes them for political and pandering purposes.

Last year, Greene absurdly likened Donald Trump to Jesus because both were arrested and persecuted by “radical, corrupt governments.” Just this week, Greene despicably said on Steve Bannon’s podcast, “The Ukrainian government is attacking Christians. … Russia is not doing that; they’re not attacking Christianity. As a matter of fact, they seem to be protecting it.” This is irresponsible and factually incorrect, just like much of what Greene says. 

“We’re grateful to ‘heretical’ legislators such as N.Y. Assemblymember Charles Lavine for being voices of reason amid the growing din of Christian nationalism that Greene unfortunately has become a mouthpiece for,” comments Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF Action Fund president. “Now it’s time for the more than dozen states that still have adultery laws on the books to follow New York’s example and repeal these archaic laws that are based on biblical morality.”

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.