Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. FFRF.org

Overheard (Sept. 2018)

Vol. 35 No. 7 September 2018

The bond between America’s Christian nationalists and the Russian government goes back a long way, long before anyone conceived of the possibility of a Trump administration. . . The Religious Right thinks that it’s using Mr. Putin to advance its aims. But a far more plausible interpretation is that he is using them — to infiltrate, divide and weaken our country.

Katherine Stewart, in her column “What Was Maria Butina Doing at the National Prayer Breakfast?”

New York Times, 7-18-18


Consider this your semi-regular reminder that Jeffress, Fox News’ go-to religious authority, is among the city’s most divisive voices.

Robert Wilonsky, being quoted in a Dallas News article about how a Dallas billboard proclaiming “America is a Christian nation” by Robert Jeffress was taken down after drawing criticism and being labeled divisive.

Dallas Morning News, 6-21-18


According to Michael D’Antonio’s book [The Shadow President: The Truth About Mike Pence], Pence sees himself and fellow Christian warriors as a blessed but oppressed group, and his “hope for the future resided in his faith that, as chosen people, conservative evangelicals would eventually be served by a leader whom God would enable to defeat their enemies and create a Christian nation.” . . . Heaven help us.

Frank Bruni, in his column, “Mike Pence, Holy Terror.”

New York Times, 7-28-18


With its relative lack of diplomatic protocols and press coverage, the prayer breakfast setting is ideal for foreign figures who might not otherwise be able to easily get face time with top American officials, because of unsavory reputations or a lack of an official government perch.

Journalists Kenneth P. Vogel and Elizabeth Dias in the article, “At Prayer Breakfast, guests seek access to a different higher power.”

New York Times, 7-27-18


All bishops resign.

Banner unfurled during Mass at the Cathedral of Santiago in late July in front of Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, who’s denied covering up accusations of abuse in Chile under congressional investigations into 104 potential victims of the church’s “culture of abuse.”

New York Times, 8/1/18


Have you any idea of what Christianity has tolerated in this country? Supporting Vladimir Putin’s puppet is a trifle compared to the  enormous mechanism of horror that religion in America has enthusiastically endorsed, not for a few years, but for centuries.

Neil Steinberg, in his column, “Frederick Douglass reminds us: Christians supported far worse than Donald Trump.”

Chicago Sun-Times, 8-7-18