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A threat to American Democracy

The Abyssinian Baptist Church in the city of New York

Opinion Piece


By Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III – Pastor, The Abyssinian Baptist Church in the City of New York and President Emeritus, State University of New York College at Old Westbury

Edith Everett - Activist/Philanthropist

Our country is moving toward fascism and we must not be silent. When we turn to the Bible for wisdom, we read the words of the prophet Jeremiah who, when he encountered injustice proclaimed: “God’s message becomes a fire burning in my heart, shut up in my bones, and I become weary of holding it in.” (Jeremiah 20:9).

Many of our powerful government leaders have become enemies of democracy and we must say so. Who could have imagined just six short years ago our country, our American democracy, would be on the verge of dissolving. We all witnessed first-hand on television, the Jan. 6th attempted overthrow of the government. What was even worse than seeing it happen in real-time, was our inability to prevent it. How did we get to this place?

Perhaps it was our blind faith in our American and democratic values that brought us to this breaking point. Many of us believed that living a moral and ethical life as people of faith, with respect for the constitution, free and fair elections, and a tri-partite government would keep us from sliding into a fascist nation. However, along came Donald Trump, a man with no moral compass.  He knew exactly how to destroy our faith, by preaching lies and half-truths and methodically undermining the values that are the pillars of our democracy. He attacked the free press, an independent judiciary, free and fair elections, etc., and set himself up as a demagogue, with no regard for law or the constitution. He fashioned himself as the sole person worthy of our trust and became the self-proclaimed savior to millions of deceived followers.

If we are to save the nation and win the crucial 2022 mid-term elections, we first have to recognize the enemy. It is plain to see we are dealing with a fascist Republican-driven conspiracy, dedicated to destroying our democracy and taking over our country. We must be bold and speak out with one voice.

For anyone who saw on television, the Jan. 6th horrific attack on the Capitol, it’s hard to understand how the Republicans in Congress can possibly describe the vicious attackers as “tourists.” Let’s call it what it is, “a fascist Republican conspiracy”  and they are the conspirators. Donald Trump says, don’t believe what you hear with your own ears, and see with your own eyes, just believe me. And they obediently do just that.

One strategy for taking over the country is to make it harder for their perceived opponents to vote. To guarantee victory, they are plotting to install corrupt politicians in every state to count the votes. If the election results are not to their liking, they will do what autocrats do, try to overturn the election. If the fascist conspirators win, our precious freedom is gone. Elections will be irrelevant. We were lucky last time. We can’t count on good luck again.

We need to keep remembering, and repeating, we are dealing with a fascist Republican conspiracy. There is ample evidence.

The fact is, the Republicans have no serious platform. Their goal is simply to obstruct any legislation that would be of help to the American people, thereby creating dissatisfaction among the voters and support for themselves. The people don’t matter. Power and control is everything.

COLOSSAL LIES AND FEAR are the most potent tools of fascists. The theory is, if you tell lies big enough, and scare people enough, you can control their minds and their behavior. You can encourage violence and even insurrection. These tactics work well for dictators. Don’t trust your neighbor (you should get a gun), immigrants are coming to take your job, scientists just want to control us, WE ARE THE ONLY ONES YOU CAN TRUST. This worked well for Donald Trump, the self-styled Savior, whose many thousands of lies ring true for his followers.

The real fear we face is the Fascist Republican Conspiracy. Those who are part of this growing movement want to destroy our democracy, our liberty, and our treasured American values and way of life. We need to do everything possible to vote the fascists out of office.

We have our voices and our votes.  We can and must support candidates at every level: local, state and federal. The way we will win elections is by turning our concerns into action.


Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III
The Abyssinian Baptist Church in the city of New York
[email protected]

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Religion News Service or Religion News Foundation.