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Alabama justice who ruled embryos are people says American law should be rooted in the Bible

By 37ci3 Feb23,2024

On the day Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Parker issued his opinion declaring that fertilized frozen embryos are human beings, dangerous entry of women to in vitro fertilization treatments, he espoused a once fringe philosophy that called on evangelical Christians to reshape society based on their interpretation of the Bible.

during Online broadcast hosted by Tennessee evangelist Johnny Enlow On Friday, Parker suggested that America was clearly founded as a Christian nation, and its Mandate of the Seven Mountains — the belief that conservative Christians should rule seven major areas of American life, including the media, business, education, and government.

“Government was created by God, and it’s heartbreaking that we allow it to be taken over by others,” Parker said in an interview. It was first reported this week by Media Matters for America, a liberal nonprofit media watchdog. “That is why he is calling and equipping people to return to these mountains now.”

Parker published the interview hours before it was published consensus opinion in a case where he and his fellow litigants ruled that frozen embryos have the same rights as living children under the Alabama Wrongful Death Act.

Parker wrote that Alabama adopted a “theologically sound view of the sanctity of life” and that “life cannot be unjustly destroyed without incurring the wrath of a holy God.” To support his legal argument, Parker repeatedly cited the book of Genesis, including a passage that asserts that all humans are created in God’s image.

Parker wrote, “Even before birth, all men bear the image of God, and their lives cannot be destroyed without blotting out His glory.”

Parker did not respond to messages seeking comment. In a written statement, Enlow said he believes the Seven Mountains Mandate encourages Christians to fight for their values ​​in government and elsewhere to help “heal society.”

“It’s not bad to want a voice and relevance on political issues,” Enlow said in 2020 suggested that then-President Donald Trump might impose martial law to stay in office after his election defeat. “I am sure that this is why every citizen takes the time to vote.”

Parker’s statements — both to Enlow and in his written opinion — are the latest examples of Republican politicians and elected officials embracing the Christian nationalist view that American law should be based on a fundamentalist reading of the Bible.

The Alabama chief justice’s adoption of the Seven Mountains Mandate signaled the growing influence of a once-political and religious theology that has spread among certain segments of evangelical Christians in recent years, Matthew D. Taylor, senior scholar. Institute of Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies in Maryland.

“Seven Mountains is not about democracy,” Taylor said educated The role of Christian extremism in efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. “In fact, I would argue that the Seven Mountains itself is an anti-democratic vision.”

Supporters of the ideology have grown in influence and power in the years since Trump’s 2016 election. an unlikely hero Cultural ties to famous pastors who preach the Christian Right and the Seven Mountain Mandate. Parker is the latest in a long line of prominent Republicans to publicly embrace the concept, Taylor said.

Charlie Kirk, MAGA influencer and founder of Turning Point USA, noted Trump’s transformation of the Democratic Party when he told attendees at the 2020 Conservative Political Action Conference, “We finally have a president who understands the seven mountains of cultural influence.”

In 2022, Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado urged attendees to “stand up” and “put God back at the center of our country” at a political conference hosted by a group with a mission to “reform the nation across the Seven Mountains.” “

House Speaker Mike Johnson, the nation’s highest-ranking Republican, there are also gardens To the pastors and activists who preach the Seven Mountains. Johnson, Like Parkerthere is adapted to himself with David Barton, an evangelical activist and self-styled historian, a leading proponent of the idea that America was founded as a Christian nation whose laws should reflect biblical principles.

Barton and other Seven Hills proponents argue that the idea of ​​separation of church and state, considered by many to be the foundation of American democracy, is a myth invented by progressives based on a misreading of Thomas Jefferson’s famous 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists. Any laws or court decisions that limit the influence of religion in schools and government—such as the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1962 and 1963 decisions banning mandatory public school prayer and Bible reading—are an affront to America’s true founding.

According to experts, these ideas are gaining influence not only among propagandists and politicians. In request Last year, Denison University political scientist Paul Djupe found that about 20% of American adults and 30% of Christians said God wants Christians to stand on top of society’s ‘7 mountains.’ government, education, media, etc.”

Before conducting the survey, Djupe expected to find only marginal support for the Seven Mountains concept.

“It turns out,” he said, “that a substantial number of Americans believe these things.”

After Enlow asked the chief justice to comment on the growing expression of “Christian nationalism” among supporters of separation of church and state, Parker echoed Barton’s views on the American founding during an interview with Enlow.

“It’s a vague term that’s thrown around to label people now, and I don’t know what they mean or what they’re supposed to mean by it,” Parker said, later arguing that it was America’s “original form of government.” Based on the Bible.

“It’s the constitution,” Parker said. “This is our foundation.”

Taylor said the Alabama decision regarding in vitro fertilization, or IVF, illustrates what this outlook can look like in practice and how it can affect the lives of ordinary citizens.

After Parker and colleagues made their decision, the largest hospital in the state She stopped her IVF treatments in considering the legal implications of the decision.

Taylor said it was “jaw-dropping” to hear the chief justice of a state uphold a theology he considers anti-democratic while “making very extreme decisions.”

But, he added, “this is the new reality of our politics.”

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