The Republican National Committee (RNC) has just announced the hiring of a Tea Party Southern Baptist to strengthen its ties with the Evangelical community, Chad Connelly. Connelly, 49, is a motivational speaker and until his resignation to work for the RNC, was the chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party. The Southern Baptists (SBC) are perhaps among the most anti-gay of all Christian sects, and represent about 16 million Americans, the second-largest group of Christians in the U.S. after Roman Catholics. Connelly, who has been described by a local South Carolina paper as “a chronic liar,” and reportedly believes America is a Christian nation, there is no separation of church and state, and somehow only one person died on the Mayflower — “a sailor who cursed and mocked the Pilgrims’ efforts” — will be the RNC’s director of evangelical outreach.
When I think of “evangelical outreach,” in my own unique, naive way I’m thinking Christians trying to do something to make the world a better place. You know what I’m talking about, right? Leading a Christ-like life, feeding the poor, healing the sick, that sort of thing. Turns out I was WAY off base, at least when it comes to the Republican National Committee, who probably wouldn’t recognize the Gospel if Jesus Christ his own self handed them a road map and a flashlight.
And doesn’t it just figure that the man the RNC would hire to coordinate their “evangelical outreach” is a man with a (not so very) stellar reputation for (a lack of) integrity and (dis)honesty. Because nothing says “I love Jesus” like having a tenuous relationship with the truth and even less of a relationship with the teachings of Jesus Christ.
The RNC’s choice to lead their “Evangelical outreach” (And since when are they having trouble with rabid Christocrats?) tells me is that it’s not at all about honesty, integrity, or devotion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. No, as ever, it’s about political power, and they’ve chose someone who outwardly cloaks himself in the mantle of Christianity, but just below the surface lies a Machiavellian lust for power. My Sunday School days may be long behind me, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that being a chronic liar is hardly Christ-like. Neither is willfully twisting history and the intent of the Founding Fathers in order to justify your desire to turn America into a dominionist theocracy.
Rather than caring for the least among us, Chad Connelly represents a wing of the GOP whose only concern is a lust for power. It’s not about the teachings of Jesus Christ, it not about attempting to follow the example of the man they profess to worship and revere. It’s about using their faith as camouflage to hide their efforts to seize political power and create a political system in which the Bible is the ultimate authority. Their self-interested and self-righteous interpretation of the Bible, that is.
And people wonder why I don’t believe in God….