Christian Nationalist House members who voted ‘Nay’
The following is a representative sampling of the Christian Nationalist views of some of the 138 House members who voted unsuccessfully to nullify the will of the electorate on Jan. 6.
(Alabama’s 4th District)
Aderholt, serving his 13th term, is the evangelical son of a Congregationalist lay minister. As a member of the secretive Christian Nationalist organization known as “The Family,” which organizes the annual National Prayer Breakfast, he reportedly traveled to Romania and met with a local Holocaust denier.
He sponsored a House bill, the “Ten Commandments Defense Act Amendment” in 1999, to permit the display of the Ten Commandments in schools, despite a Supreme Court decision to the contrary, and in other public buildings. He issued a press release applauding the court dismissal of a lawsuit FFRF and others had taken challenging “In God We Trust” on U.S. currency. He and 40 other members of Congress joined an amicus brief filed by the American Center for Law and Justice (run by Jay Sekulow, later serving as President Trump’s personal attorney) against the lawsuit. He also signed a letter in support of coach Joseph Kennedy, after the Bremerton School District, Wash., took action against the proselytizing coach following an FFRF complaint.
(Georgia’s 12th District)
Allen, elected in 2014, is an active member of Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church. Following the mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Fla., in 2016, he read bible verses from Romans 1:18–32 and Revelations 22:18–19, which say homosexuals are “worthy of death,” to the House Republican Conference. When called on it, he said, “Well, I’m imperfect. And I consider that we are all imperfect and we all fall short of the glory of God, which is why we need a savior, by the way.”
Allen issued a press release for National Bible Week, “God’s Word Can Heal our Nation,” recognizing “the importance of honoring God’s word.” “I made a covenant with God, and that covenant was to put Him first . . . . If we debated what the scripture says about these issues [that divide us in this chamber], we would all come to agreement that God is correct and that His way is the only way.”
Allen, like Aderholt, signed a letter in support of Joseph Kennedy after the Bremerton School District in Washington took action against the proselytizing coach following an FFRF complaint. Among the 47 members of Congress who signed on were Reps. Paul Gosar, Louie Gohmert, Barry Loudermilk and Tim Walberg (see their entries).
(Texas’ 36th District)
Babin, first elected to the House in 2014, is a member of the First Baptist Church of Woodville, where he is a deacon, Sunday School teacher, choir member and member of the all-male Gideons International. “Pro-Life” is a “key issue” on his official website, where he lists that he is a member of the House Pro-Life Caucus, favors permanent defunding of Planned Parenthood, and would prevent taxpayer funding of abortion altogether. He condemned the Obergefell Supreme Court decision allowing same-sex marriages. He has accused the “radical Left” of “vandalizing/destroying churches.”
Babin withdrew an op-ed, “Religious freedom is at risk in a Biden administration,” after the Washington Examiner edited his references casting doubt on the outcome of the 2020 election. After nonreligious constituents complained about receiving sectarian Easter and Christmas emails from Babin, FFRF sent him complaint letters for using his official office to proselytize and endorse religion.
(Arizona’s 5th District)
Biggs, elected in 2016, is Mormon. As state representative in 2013, he was tied to the religious advocacy group United Families International, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled an anti-gay “hate group.”
Biggs is chair of the House Freedom Caucus, a reactionary congressional group. Biggs “was seen by leaders of the Stop the Steal movement as an inspiration,” and spoke at a 2015 event where a member of Oath Keepers called for hanging Sen. John McCain.
Ali Alexander, the man who says he came up with the idea to hold an insurrection, claims Reps. Biggs, Brooks and Gosar (see separate entries) were co-planners. Says Alexander: “We four schemed up of putting max pressure on Congress while they were voting so that who we couldn’t lobby, we could change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body hearing our loud roar from outside.” Biggs denies any involvement, but two of his brothers subsequently wrote a public letter calling for Biggs’ removal, saying he is “at least partially to blame” for the deadly assault.
(North Carolina’s 9th District)
Bishop, elected in 2019, identifies as “Christian.”
As a state legislator, he reportedly threatened to sue media outlets if they broadcast an ad about his 2017 investment in Gab, a website frequented by white nationalists, after the neo-Nazi violent rally in Charlottesville. He authored HB2, the notorious 2016 “bathroom” bill that discriminates against transgender people and others. The Charlotte Observer opined that he had a decade-long “history of discrimination.” Bishop reportedly compared LGBTQ activists to the Taliban and said “I don’t fear man. I fear God.” He sought “the Lord’s help and your prayers” in passing the bathroom bill.
(Colorado’s 3rd District)
Boebert, who just took office, says she became a born-again Christian in 2009. Boebert has had skirmishes with the law, and is primarily known as a gun-rights activist who slings a pistol on her hip, and for refusing to open her bag for Capitol police after it set off a metal detector. She promised to remind “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Squad and the rest of these left-wing lunatics” in Congress “that our belief in God, Country and Family are what built the United States of America into the greatest nation the world has ever known.”
(Alabama’s 5th District)
Brooks, a six-term member of Congress, converted to Mormonism in 1978, but now considers himself a nondenominational Christian, citing his wife and “Jesus Christ” as his greatest influences. Brooks derided last summer’s Supreme Court case ruling that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act extends to LGBTQ citizens.
He is facing House censure for an incendiary speech at the Jan. 6 Save America rally near the Capitol, where he said: “Today is the day that American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.”
In defending that action, he said: “I make no apology for doing my absolute best to inspire patriotic Americans to not give up on our country and to fight back against anti-Christian socialists in the 2022 and 2024 elections. I encourage EVERY citizen to watch my entire rally speech and decide for themselves what kind of America they want: One based on freedom and liberty or one based on godless dictatorial power.” [Emphasis added.]
FFRF has written him letters, on behalf of complaining nonreligious constituents, over his promotion of religion over social media and participation in a National Day of Prayer event.
(Texas’ 26th District)
Burgess, elected in 2002, is a Reformed Episcopalian. He infamously said in 2013 that because the hands of the male fetus sometimes appear to be gripping its genitals, abortion should be banned at least by 15 or 16 weeks.
(Alabama’s 1st District)
Carl was just elected. He is a Southern Baptist whose campaign website describes him as “a devoted Christian and deacon at his church who is saved by God’s grace.” In supporting Israel, Carl said: “It has nothing to do with converting Jews to Christianity. When my Jesus comes back, he’ll come back to where he wants to come back.”
(North Carolina’s 11th District)
Cawthorn, newly elected, identifies as Christian. The part-time preacher has tried to convert Jews and Muslims. In response to a question on state/church separation, he replied: “I always think of that question as just so silly.” “[Religion] is the basis of all of my experience and everything I’ve learned, everything that I believe in, how I’ve formed all of my worldview. My family is a bunch of true frickin’ believers.” Cawthorn maintains that “Life begins at conception.”
He visited “Eagle’s Nest,” Hitler’s holiday home, in 2017, where he took selfies and posted them on Instagram. He stated that Hitler’s retreat had been on his “bucket list.” Cawthorn has reportedly referred to Hitler using the honorific of “Führer,” named a company SPQR, a term popular with white nationalists, and displays an early American flag in his home that has been appropriated by far-right extremists.
After the November election, FFRF sent an educational letter to Cawthorn correcting his constitutional misconceptions.
(Texas’ 27th District)
Cloud, who assumed office in 2018, is a graduate of Oral Roberts University and formerly was communications director at Faith Family Church.
(Tennessee’s 4th District)
DesJarlais, who took office in 2011, attends an Episcopal church.
The anti-abortion public official reportedly supported the decision of his first wife to have two abortions and testified that he slept with six women during his first marriage, including two patients. A taped phone call has the doctor reportedly offering to take his patient/mistress to Atlanta to have an abortion. Now remarried, DesJarlais maintains he is “a consistent supporter of pro-life values,” and that God has “forgiven me.” The Tennesssee Board of Medical Examiners fined and reprimanded him for having sex with patients.
(South Carolina’s 3rd District)
Duncan first assumed his House office in 2011 and is a member of the First Baptist Church of Clinton, S.C. He routinely uses social media to promote his religious views: “I’m a Christian, I believe in intelligent design,” he said in support of tapping offshore oil reserves. He gave a “Being thankful to God” speech on the floor in 2011, and stated, “My relationship with Jesus Christ is the most important thing in my life.”
FFRF sent him a complaint letter last April over an official email he sent out to constituents that read in part: “On this Easter weekend, please take time to reflect on the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ” and promoting the use of a “public prayer line” run by Miracle Hill Ministries.
(Florida’s 1st District)
Gaetz was elected in 2016, and is a member of the First Baptist Church of Fort Walton Beach. He advocates for tougher abortion restrictions and for federal funding of faith-based pregnancy centers. He has said: “It is my sincere hope that Roe v. Wade will be overturned as a consequence of President Trump’s transformational changes to the federal judiciary and our Supreme Court.” He invited Holocaust denier Chuck Johnson to be his guest at the State of the Union.
As a state representative, Gaetz condemned a lawsuit by FFRF and the American Humanist Association to challenge a large Latin cross in a public park in Pensacola: “America will always be a friendly place for the cross and we won’t be taking any down in Northwest Florida.”
From the House floor after the insurrection on Jan. 6, Gaetz spread a lie that members of antifa were in the mob that attacked Congress, which was picked up by Fox News and shared on Facebook. He offered to resign his congressional seat in order to defend Trump at his impeachment trial, calling the “cancellation of the Trump presidency and the Trump movement as one of the biggest threats” to his district.
(Texas’ 1st District)
Gohmert first took House office in 2005, and attends Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, where he has served as a deacon and Sunday school teacher for many years. “He now frequently speaks or preaches at churches throughout his district and around the country,” according to his official House bio.
During a House Judiciary Committee hearing on religious liberty in 2014, Gohmert said: “Either you believe as a Christian that Jesus is the way, the truth, the life, or you don’t,” and if you don’t, you go to hell. He reportedly warned of same-sex marriage leading to bestiality marriages, and blamed the 2012 shooting rampage at the movie theater in Aurora, Colo., on “attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs” and too few guns.
He gave a House floor speech in 2013 insisting: “No country has ever fallen while it was truly honoring the god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob . . . Because when a nation’s leaders honor that God, that nation is protected. It’s only when it turns away that it falls.”
(Arizona’s 4th District)
Gosar, serving his fifth term in Congress, is a Roman Catholic. “As a conservative Republican, a medical provider, and a father, I strongly support the sanctity of human life. Nothing is more precious. I believe that life begins at conception,” according to his official government website.
He uses social media to promote religion, including this tweet on June 22, 2020: “Shit is gonna get real if you mess with Jesus.” He has reportedly followed several Twitter accounts pushing racism.
MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE
(Georgia’s 14th District)
Greene was elected in 2020. Her official governmental website puts “Protecting the Unborn” as its first link, even before “About” or “Contact.” “Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene’s number one policy goal is to end abortion in America.” She reportedly promoted the online QAnon conspiracy theories in a 2017 video, but later backtracked.
She has expressed racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim views, including accusing the liberal Jewish philanthropist George Soros of collaborating with the Nazis. Facebook scrubbed her post on Sept. 4, 2020, where she held a rifle next to images of Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez below the words: “We need strong conservative Christians to go on the offense against these socialists who want to rip our country apart.” Twitter temporarily locked her account on Jan. 17 over continued voter fraud allegations.
She was removed from two committees following a House vote because of her past statements and actions, including videos that have surfaced showing her claims that mass shootings have been staged, and a pattern of online activity showing approval for the notion of executing Democratic leaders and federal agents. These include Greene “liking” a Facebook post in January 2019 that said “a bullet to the head” would be a quick way to remove House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Another video surfaced in which Greene films herself leading a group through the halls of congressional office buildings ranting about how Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar are “not really official” because “they swore in on the Quran.” The group’s plan was “to let them know what our law says, that you can’t swear in on the Quran . . . it has to be the bible” and to “go ask them to swear in on the bible.” Of course, no law requires anyone to take an oath on the bible, but this kind of disinformation is a cornerstone of Christian Nationalism.
(Ohio’s 4th District)
Jordan, serving since 2007, is considered an unspecified Protestant. When the Supreme Court approved marriage equality in 2015, Jordan issued a release saying: “I am also concerned that this ruling opens the door for discrimination against those who believe in traditional marriage.” His House website notes: “I am proud to stand and defend the lives of the unborn.” He was the keynote speaker at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Fall Dinner and Rally in 2018.
Jordan was one of 67 Congress members to sign an amicus brief against FFRF’s historic challenge of the National Day of Prayer. FFRF called on the IRS to investigate the American Family Association in 2018, after it sought to influence members to support Jordan to run for House Speaker, in violation of the group’s tax-exempt status.
(Georgia’s 11th District)
Loudermilk, elected in 2017, is a Southern Baptist, who was endorsed by Christian Nationalist propagandist David Barton, whose “scholarship” has been roundly condemned. Loudermilk was part of a group of evangelical Christians who conducted a barnstorming tour of Georgia to promote “biblical citizenship” and “restoration of biblical values and constitutional principles” as part of Georgia’s runoff election for two U.S. Senate seats. “The tour is headlined by Rick Green, founder of the Christian Nationalist Patriot Academy; conservative Christian author and activist David Barton; and his son Tim, a minister who runs the activist group WallBuilders with his father,” the Washington Post reported.
Loudermilk compared the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision to the Dred Scott opinion upholding slavery. And he portrayed the racist massacre of nine Black churchgoers by a white man in Charleston in 2015 as motivated by anti-Christian persecution rather than racism.
(California’s 23rd District)
McCarthy, elected in 2012, is a Baptist. After winning House Majority leadership in 2014, he told Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition that he’s “proud to be a Christian” and thanked “my Lord and Savior for his grace, his strength and for never leaving me.” McCarthy was accused of “personally twisting arms on the floor,” to defeat a bill to deny contracts to federal contractors who discriminate against the LGBTQ community.
(Texas’ 22nd District)
Nehls, just sworn in, is a graduate of Liberty University, founded by Rev. Jerry Falwell. He attends Faith United Methodist Church.
When sheriff of Fort Bend County, he suggested churches should choose some members to “pack a heater” while attending Sunday services, following a massacre in a Texas Church. “I would encourage the church congregation to pack their heaters concealed.”
(Alabama’s 2nd District)
Moore, elected in 2010, is a Southern Baptist and a Sunday school teacher and deacon at Hillcrest Baptist Church in Enterprise. He campaigns as having a “true love for God and country.” He is a “strong supporter of Israel” because “The bible is very clear — those who bless Israel will be blessed. That’s one of the things that’s fundamental to my faith.”
He posted a meme that appeared to support Kyle Rittenhouse, charged with killing two protesters of police violence against Black Americans in Kenosha, Wis. He deleted his Twitter account after attention was drawn to two comments with racial overtones.
(Florida’s 8th District)
Posey, serving his fifth term, is a United Methodist.
Posey released the following statement in recognition of the 2012 National Day of Prayer:
“America is rooted in a Judeo-Christian faith. George Washington said, ‘It is impossible to govern the world without God and the bible.’ We are one nation under God — Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD. The Mayflower sailed through uncharted waters to an unknown land — a land that was claimed ‘for the glory of God and the Christian faith.’ — Mayflower Compact, Nov. 11, 1620. Today America is once again on uncharted waters. We need to return to America’s roots and founding principles.”
(Louisiana’s 1st District)
Scalise, in office since 2008, is Roman Catholic. Scalise gave a speech at a white nationalist convention hosted by a group founded by David Duke, later apologizing. He bills himself as fighting to promote traditional marriage and the right to life.
In a speech before a prayer breakfast in 2019, Scalise credited “faith, heroes and miracles” for surviving after being shot in a 2017 attack against GOP members of Congress practicing for an annual baseball game. He said the United States is based on a “deep belief” in God. “There’s this misconception these days that there is a separation of church and state as if there should be no involvement of God in government,” he stated.
(Michigan’s 7th District)
Walberg, elected in 2006, attended Moody Bible Institute, Taylor University, which is evangelical, and Wheaton College. He spent nearly a decade as a pastor, before being elected to the Michigan State House. He attends Element Church. He’s been an outspoken anti-abortion proponent: “And every life deserves a chance to realize their God-given potential, even the most powerless.”
A critic of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency pandemic restrictions, he tested positive for Covid-19.
(New York’s 1st District)
Zeldin, first elected in 2014, is Jewish. He joined a friend-of-the-court brief asking the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, one of 168 House members who signed on. He supports the First Amendment Defense Act, an anti-gay bill, and opposed President Obama’s transgender bathroom directive.