Opinion by Dean Obeidallah
CNN: Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s former National Security adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and was later pardoned by Trump, wants to make it clear that in the United States, “If we are going to have one nation under God — which we must — we have to have one religion.”
Flynn made these remarks in Texas on Saturday as part of the “ReAwaken America Tour,” a conservative conference that features other Trump supporters, like Roger Stone and the My Pillow CEO/election conspiracy peddler Mike Lindell. While speaking at the event, Flynn referenced a passage from the New Testament book of Matthew, saying, “You have to believe this, that God Almighty is, like, involved in this country, because this is it … This is the shining city on the hill.”
That’s when Flynn triggered a wave of backlash with his suggestion America should have one singular religion. “One nation under God, and one religion under God,” he said. “I don’t care what your ecumenical service is or what you are.”
Now imagine if a Muslim or Jewish American leader made the same comment that the United States should have one faith, and that it should be Islam or Judaism. The outrage from the right would be deafening. But with Flynn’s comments, there hasn’t been noticeable pushback from conservatives. In fact, it’s been the opposite. GOP Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel, who is Jewish, appears to see Flynn’s comments as being in step with his own “Judeo-Christian values”: “We Stand with General Flynn,” Mandel tweeted in response to the backlash. “America was not founded as a secular nation.” Politics does truly make strange bedfellows.
In contrast, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, who is Muslim American, tweeted in response to Flynn’s comments, “These people hate the US Constitution.” I don’t know if Flynn and those who support his mindset “hate” the Constitution, but I am certain that they either don’t believe in or don’t understand our Constitution and the freedom of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment.
Suggested Reading by Zia H Shah MD, for the best understanding of personal religion in the 21st century
My main suggestion to the open minded readers is to read on and in the words of Sir Francis Bacon, “Read not to contradict … but to weigh and consider.”