The religious right likes to keep up the pretense that all it wants is a place at the table. But occasionally, a prominent religious right leader will let slip what its real agenda is–it wants to push everyone else away from the table. One of those moments came on Monday morning. The host of one of American Family Radio’s most prominent programs declared that those who protested Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal’s “The Response” prayer rally at Louisiana State University came close to committing treason.
Alex McFarland is a prominent Christian apologist who co-hosts “Exploring the Word,” which airs every weekday afternoon on AFR. His day job is director of the Center for Christian Worldview and Apologetics at North Greenville University in Tigerville, South Carolina. On Monday, he appeared on Sandy Rios’ morning show to discuss the Response rally. McFarland was rather peeved that a significant number of LSU students and faculty protested the rally. How peeved? Well, I’ll let him tell you.
“I care about America, Sandy. I care about young people being taught to be good citizens. And even if someone doesn’t ever become a born-again Christian, we still need to affirm citizenship and really, patriotism. And this type of thing, it’s somewhat understandable that an 18-year-old could bite the hook of something like this. But for grownups to encourage it, and for the administration of LSU to have their faculty just being, speaking derision of the governor … this undermines America. This is really–this is borderline treasonous.”
I hope I heard this wrong. I really do. In what world is peaceful protest even close to being “treason”? Last I checked, peaceful protest is a First Amendment right, not an attempt to overthrow the government. But then I looked into McFarland’s background. He has a master’s degree from Liberty University, which as most of us know teaches a dangerously warped view of the First Amendment–including the idea that speaking out against “Godly” leaders is verboten.
Perhaps McFarland ought to explain why he considered this protest treasonous. So far, he hasn’t provided an explanation on his Facebook or Twitter feeds. In the absence of such an explanation, I can only conclude that McFarland has no tolerance for those who speak out against elected officials–or at least, those who are supposedly doing “God’s work,” anyway.