'MAGA and Christian nationalism' are 'bigger threat' to US than Hamas column triggers debate, furor

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Far-right Make America Great Again theocrats are the most dangerous threat to United States, a columnist has written in Salon, the liberal American news and opinion website, triggering comment, criticism, and threats to the author.

The U.S. House of Representatives under Speaker Mike Johnson is a "discount version of the apocalyptic orgasm the holy rollers have dreamed of for years," CNN political analyst and the former senior White House correspondent for Playboy, Brian Karem, warned.

Karem drew media attention for clashing with White House press secretaries in the Donald Trump era, Fox News reported citing a Nov. 2 piece from Salon.

The latest piece was headlined, "MAGA and Christian nationalism: Bigger threat to America than Hamas could ever be."

Karem says the column, which discusses avowed evangelical Johnson, drew death threats to a degree he hasn't seen since Donald Trump was president, The Wrap reported the day after the article appeared.


Karem, tweeted with a link to the piece, and said it "kind of proves my point about the extremists." He also pointed out that Fox News, Meghan McCain and Marjorie Taylor Green had written about it or "complained about it."

According to Encyclopaedia Brittanica the MAGA movement, in full, the Make America Great Again movement, is a "nativist political movement that emerged in the United States during the 2016 presidential campaign of its putative leader, Donald Trump.

Its name is derived from Trump's 2016 U.S. presidential campaign slogan "Make America Great Again," that became a rallying cry for many Trump supporters during his candidacy, and presidency (2017–21), and beyond.

The MAGA movement was founded on the belief that the United States was once a "great" country but has lost this status owing to foreign influence, both within its borders (via immigration and multiculturalism) and without (via globalization, or the increased integration of multiple national economies).

In the U.S. lower legislative chamber, the House, those would likely include newly appointed House Speaker Mike Johnson took on Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate minority leader directly, pushing to unlink aid to Israel from aid to Ukraine.

"While the world burns, Johnson and the MAGA wing of the Republican Party — which seems to have swallowed the evangelical movement while also embracing it...

It "is embracing the darkest verses of the Bible, apparently pushing for apocalypse with an enthusiasm only rivaled by Saul's slaughter of Christians before he changed his name to Paul," wrote Karem.

He said that the House of Representatives, which is now run by Johnson, "offers a discount version" that some Republicans have dreamed of for years.

"They've renewed the Inquisition and seem determined to convert the U.S. into a theocracy run by people who will thump you with the Bible, but haven't read much of it," wrote the Salon author.


Karem wrote, "Lord, how they love to preach fire and brimstone. But the Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes? Forget it. Matthew 25:40: 'Whatever you did it for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me'? Not a chance. They've embraced only the Old Testament angry God and the apocalyptic parts of Revelation brought on by ergot poisoning."

Karem compared Republicans to Hamas terrorists less than a month after the horrific terror attacks in Israel, observed Alexander Hall for Fox News.

In his Salon article Karem noted that the Age of Enlightenment, following hundreds of years of bloody crusades, led to society giving up on state religions and was a direct inspiration for the US. Bill of Rights,.

He said, "Modern Republicans seem hellbent on returning to the Middle Ages, driven there by the first Christian nationalist House speaker.

"The First Amendment's establishment clause prohibits the government from making any law "respecting an establishment of religion." That not only forbids the government from establishing an official religion, but also prohibits government actions that unduly favor one religion over another," wrote Karem.

He quotes, Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, a constitutional scholar, saying there was a solid reason for this much-debated and carefully written clause:

"The framers taught us that the biggest threat to religious freedom comes from theocrats who try to establish their own sect over everyone else. That's why we have two religion clauses in the First Amendment," of the U.S. constitution, Raskin is quoted saying.

CNN's Ronald Brownstein wrote an Oc.t 31 analysis that Johnson has been "a virulent warrior for conservative cultural causes" throughout his career, and has closely identified with far-right Christian nationalists seeking to tear down the separation of church and state.


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