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

Pastor burns copy of The Founding Myth

Vol. 36 No. 10 December 2019
Pastor burns book                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Oblivious to the disturbing connotations of his act, a pastor on Oct. 23 on social media burned a copy of a FFRF attorney’s new book on Christian Nationalism.

After Pastor Greg Locke vehemently denounced FFRF’s freethinking ad featuring Ron Reagan during a Democratic primary debate, Seidel sent Locke a copy of his book The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism is Un-American for his edification. Locke chose to respond to Seidel’s gesture by denouncing it in an ignorant video rant (“there is no history of America without God,” he opined). He then torched the book in a perhaps inadvertent homage to the dystopian classic Fahrenheit 451. The final shot in his video is that of The Founding Myth burning on the gravel in, presumably, his driveway.

FFRF is appalled but not completely surprised at Locke’s over-the-top act.

“Locke fails to understand something that FDR explained some 80 years ago: ‘Books cannot be killed by fire,’” says Seidel, FFRF’s director of strategic response. “Locke may have burned a copy of The Founding Myth, but he admitted that he cannot comprehend the basic history and facts in the book.”

Seidel’s new book asks a simple question: Did Judeo-Christian principles positively influence the founding of the United States? Seidel argues that America was not founded on Judeo-Christian principles and that this is a good thing because Judeo-Christian principles, especially those central to the Christian Nationalist identity, are thoroughly opposed to the principles on which the U.S. was built.

“Seeing my book burned — a book I spent eight years researching and writing — brought on an odd mix of feelings,” adds Seidel. “Certainly, I experienced the revulsion and horror any thinking person has when witnessing a book burning, but I’ll also admit to a touch of pride. I set out to write a book that destroys the Christian Nationalist identity, and this Christian Nationalist recognized the threat . . . without even reading it.”