Christian nationalist organizations that are still smarting over the results of last year’s presidential election have hit on a new plan: They’re hard at work trying to disenfranchise millions of American voters.
The New York Times reported on Friday that two prominent Christian nationalist groups, the Family Research Council (FRC) and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), have joined forces with a host of other far-right groups to push voter suppression laws in dozens of states.
FRC, The Times reported, recently sponsored an online rally during which the group’s president, Tony Perkins, told attendees, “We’ve got 106 election-related bills that are in 28 states right now. So, here’s the good news: There is action taking place to go back and correct what was uncovered in this last election.”
ADF President Michael P. Farris also attended the event and remarked, “Let me just say, ‘Amen.’”
As we noted in Church & State recently, Perkins began spreading former President Donald Trump’s lies that the election was stolen days after Nov. 3 election. Perkins alluded to “radical forces out there who will do whatever it takes to stop Donald Trump” and accused wealthy businessman George Soros of “plotting a sophisticated campaign to subvert the election process.”
Perkins offered no proof for these startling claims.
Despite having zero evidence of wrongdoing, Christian nationalists and their allies in state legislatures are targeting mail-in voting, which many progressives used in 2020. Although the U.S. Department of Homeland Security made it clear that the U.S. election last year was secure, religious extremists and others continue to peddle the lie that something fishy went on, and, thus, new laws are needed to ensure “election integrity.”
Here’s what really happened: Millions of Americans were alarmed by Trump’s crass and crude behavior, his radical agenda and, above all, his rank incompetence. They turned out in record numbers to oust him from office. Many of these voters were people of color. For example, 90% of Black voters supported Biden.
Black voters, political analysts agree, turned the tide away from Trump in key battleground states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Georgia. Two months after the presidential election, Black voters played a key role in delivering two U.S. Senate seats in Georgia to the Democrats.
GOP leaders and conservatives could deal with this reality in a few ways. They could, for example, stop relying on racist dog whistles, change their policies or run more appealing candidates. Instead, they’ve decided to do their best to make it harder for certain communities – the ones that tend not to support them – to vote.
The Washington Post called the flock of new proposed voter suppression laws “potentially amounting to the most sweeping contraction of ballot access in the United States since the end of Reconstruction, when Southern states curtailed the voting rights of formerly enslaved Black men…”
Again, let’s be clear what’s going on here: Trump lost. He lost fair and square. He did not lose because someone tinkered with the ballots or manipulated voting machines. He lost because more Americans voted for Biden, enabling him to win enough states to secure victory in the Electoral College. Sore losers like FRC, ADF and others are upset over this result and now seek to game the system, so it doesn’t happen again.
It’s nothing short of galling that these groups claim to champion “freedom” and “American values” even as they work feverishly to undermine the bedrock of our democracy: access to the ballot box. But there’s a sliver of good news: By backing this scheme, Christian nationalists now stand exposed as the fundamentally anti-democratic and un-American extremists we at AU have always known that they are.
America, take a good, hard look at your democracy and what religious extremists want to do to it. Do you like what you see?