Stephen BrodenPeriodically I’m accused of being paranoid or of lying, when I say that there are Christians in the US who want to dispense with the government we have, and establish a new, Christian-theocratic, one. Ordinarily I’d be one of the first to be skeptical about something so ridiculous and insane-sounding. However, the dominionist and Christian reconstructionist movements are all too real, and they are quite active in American politics. Of course, most of the time they’re circumspect about what they want, and they present an often-credible-seeming facade of reasonability.

But once in a while one of these Christofascists blurts out what it is they actually want … and this happened recently with a Republican Congressional candidate in (you guessed it!) Texas. Making this a bit worse is that the candidate in question is also a Christian minister, by vocation! The Dallas Morning News reports on his alarming but clear admission (WebCite cached article):

Republican congressional candidate Stephen Broden stunned his party Thursday, saying he would not rule out violent overthrow of the government if elections did not produce a change in leadership.

In a rambling exchange during a TV interview, Broden, a South Dallas pastor, said a violent uprising “is not the first option,” but it is “on the table.” …

In the interview, Brad Watson, political reporter for WFAA-TV (Channel 8), asked Broden about a tea party event last year in Fort Worth in which he described the nation’s government as tyrannical.

“We have a constitutional remedy,” Broden said then. “And the Framers say if that don’t work, revolution.” …

Watson asked if violence would be in option in 2010, under the current government.

“The option is on the table. I don’t think that we should remove anything from the table as it relates to our liberties and our freedoms,” Broden said, without elaborating.

First of all, “revolution” is most certainly NOT a “constitutional” remedy. There is no description in the Constitution of how a revolution is to be conducted, and no procedure for beginning one. The possibility of “revolution” is not mentioned anywhere within it. Any “revolution,” then, can only be decidedly extra-constitutional. Second, that the Founders had to resort to revolution was because the regime under which the Colonies existed was not one that could be altered by any legal means. Our present Constitution, on the other hand, does provide a means for changing the government (via Constitutional amendment). So long as amendments are possible, revolution is unnecessary.

The local Republican party tried to distance themselves from Broden:

[Broden’s comments] drew a quick denunciation from the head of the Dallas County GOP, who called the remarks “inappropriate.”

That said, however, they haven’t truly disavowed the idea of revolution; instead they’re painting it as a “marginal” comment, nothing more:

Jonathan Neerman, head of the Dallas County Republican Party, said he’s never heard Broden or other local Republican candidates advocate violence against the government.

“It is a disappointing, isolated incident,” Neerman said. He said he plans to discuss the matter with Broden’s campaign.

Ken Emanuelson, a Broden supporter and leading tea party organizer in Dallas, said he did not disagree with the “philosophical point” that people had the right to resist a tyrannical government.

Clearly, Broden’s local GOP is triangulating here … appearing to denounce him just enough to make themselves not look like raging lunatics, but not really disavowing the principle he laid out.

Way to go people. It would be laughable, if not for the fact that these people are fascists who want to destroy the US government and remake it into a dour Christian theocracy. They’re against “tyranny,” except when they set themselves up as tyrants.

As for religious reactions, I haven’t yet seen any stories that mention any reaction from his congregants (at the Fair Park Bible Fellowship in Dallas), or from any of his fellow pastors. They’re running silent on the matter, it seems.

Update: KXAS-TV in Fort Worth, TX reports that Broden lost his bid to unseat incumbent Eddie Bernice Johnson (cached article). I’m not sure that’s too good for the country, though, since Broden marches as a member of Glenn Beck’s “Black-Robed Regiment” of militant Christian pastors and theologians who are spoiling to go to war over their theocratic vision for America. That he won’t be doing this from inside the House of Representatives isn’t much comfort.

Hat tip: Religion Dispatches.

Photo credit: Wikipedia.

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