(RNS) — Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, that state's controversial Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, has a long record as a religious right zealot.
Moore has been suspended twice from the state Supreme Court, for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments statue from state grounds and for refusing to obey the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriages.
Because of his beliefs and actions, Moore has been labeled a theocrat. But I prefer a different and more precise term — “Christocrat” — to describe Moore and other politicians who share similar views.
A Christocrat believes America was once “the shining city on the hill” but has in recent decades lost its moral, political, cultural and religious moorings.
Christocrats believe a radical transformation is necessary for the United States to fulfill its God-ordained “manifest destiny” and be saved from the evil secular humanists who seek to destroy “Christian America.”
A Christocrat distrusts the people and leaders of urban America and is threatened by the rapid demographic changes taking place throughout the U.S. Christocrats idealize the “purity” of our nation’s rural areas whose residents are overwhelmingly white Christians. A central Christocratic belief is that God’s laws (of course as Christocrats define them) represent the ultimate authority in a Christian America.
Many Christocrats are willing to sacrifice historic American freedoms and rights for a greater good: God’s plan as revealed to Christocratic leaders who alone have the spiritual and political credentials to define and enforce what is good and godly for America.
For Christocrats, the sovereignty of God transcends the supremacy of the Constitution. People who do not share this view are frequently tarred with two epithets: anti-faith and anti-Christian.
Christocrat enemies include elitist globalists and the United Nations, two powerful adversaries that, they believe, seek control of American society. To combat these twin evil forces, nothing less than a total political, cultural and religious change within our country will suffice. Not surprisingly, the Christocratic “diagnosis” comes at a time when the United States population is increasingly multireligious, multiracial and multiethnic.
Christocrats seek control of all areas of American society. Once that goal is achieved, a truly Christian republic will be established, a political reality far different from anything ever seen before in the history of the United States. In such a society, Christocratic religious and political leaders would act as America’s true guardians, and a new Christocratic party would rule the country.
What are the specific targets of a Christocratic revolution?
Sexual behavior heads the list. Obsessed by what takes place in America’s bedrooms, Christocrats seek to single out and punish LGBTQ people. In their eyes, a recent Supreme Court ruling that makes same-sex marriages legal — Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) — must be overturned.
Another goal is the dismantling of “government schools,” the derisive term for America’s public schools, and their replacement with publicly funded “Christian academies.” Christocrats oppose the teaching of evolution and they seek the removal from school libraries of textbooks and other teaching material they deem “anti-religious.” Recently, a Biloxi, Miss., school district removed Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird” from an eighth-grade reading list because the classic novel “makes people uncomfortable.”
A major target is abortion. If I could awaken Christocrats at 3 a.m. and ask them: “What is the most pressing domestic issue in America today?” I am certain the immediate, albeit groggy, answer would be “Stop all abortions!” For Christocrats, the never-ending battle to ban legal abortions is their Gettysburg, the turning point in the war they are waging. It is their overriding passion and for them, a fight to the finish.
Another target is the courtroom. There is an unceasing campaign to remove “liberal judicial activists” from the bench and replace them with jurists who reflect Christocratic legal views.
Court decisions would have to pass a religious test, including such questions as “Is the law in line with ‘traditional Christian biblical principles’?” If Christocrats can place enough like-minded judges in the nation’s complex court system, the effort to impose a Christocratic agenda upon the country will not be so dependent upon sometimes-unpredictable judicial election results. Packing the courts with Christocratic-leaning judges is essential.
A chief target is the media. Christocrats have in recent years established their own print, electronic and social media platforms that are hostile to “one worlders,” “globalization,” “cosmopolitans” and “coastal elites.” Prime targets include NPR and PBS.
Public libraries are also on the Christocrats’ hit list. Because they recognize the need for public libraries, Christocrats' goal is to gain control of them by claiming libraries foster universalism and provide anti-Christian reading and teaching environments.
If local library boards and staffs can be cowed into submission, Christocrats can then exercise authority over acquisitions and the hiring of professional personnel.
Another target is public space. Christocrats have mounted strong efforts, like Moore’s, to dominate the public square. The intent is to weaken the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty, destroy the traditional wall of church-state separation and establish their form of Christianity as “America’s religion.”
Christocrats have publicly repeated their intention to permanently change America. Their campaign is there for all to see. We have been warned.