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The English Oxford Living Dictionaries defines a fanatic as one who exhibits “excessive and single-minded zeal, especially for an extreme religious or political cause.”

So what’s a theocrat? According to Mirriam-Webster, it’s “one who rules in or lives under a theocratic form of government,” which is defined as government of a state by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided.” In other words, a theocrat is a religious fanatic who wants to make sure we all defer to his God and jump to order when he legislates what he believes to be his God’s preferences.

An example of a wannabe theocrat here in Missouri is our current Attorney General and Republican Senatorial candidate, Josh Hawley.

Many have noticed that Hawley is just a bit uninspired when it comes to his regular duties as AG – such as fulfilling promises that he would fight against Jefferson City’s culture of corruption. But Hawley doesn’t always run on empty; what gets the the boy’s blood primed is any perceived slight to the power of the state to insist that we we all defer to his brand of Christianity.

Hawley calls it defending religious liberty. Others have pointed out his religious liberty amounts to repression and a license for bigotry. But judge for yourself; here’s a few examples of our AG’s religious crusades:

  • Hawley’s current bête noire is the Johnson Amendment which he wants to eliminate. so that churches can make official political endorsements and still retain tax-free status. He seems to believe that it violates his and like-minded folks religious liberty and freedom of speech if I, a nonbeliever, don’t have to subsidize their political views via a tax exemption for their politicized churches – a point of view, by the way, with which most Americans and numerous religious bodies disagree. And, of course, GOP candidates like Hawley are salivating over all the dark money that will be funneled into campaigns via donations to churches once the Johnson Amendment is history and the total politicization of religious life – along lines they favor – has been achieved.
  • Hawley, while running for AG, advocated for state legislation to “ensure that churches and businesses will not be compelled to “participate” in same-sex marriages” – a bit bizarre since the Fist Amendment clearly protects churches from such coercion already, and, since Missouri does not provide anti-discrimination protection for LGBT people, there could be no possible legal grounds to try to force the issue. He may have finally figured this out since, so far as I know, we’ve not heard about it since he won the AG race.
  • Hawley also claims credit for his somewhat nominal participation in the famous Hobby-Lobby case which gave “closely-held” businesses permission to refuse to provide their female employees with insurance that paid for birth-control if doing so clashed with the owners religious or “moral” beliefs.
    • He attributes his support for this decision to his belief that “abortion is not a right,”[… .] It is a violent act against the defenseless. It violates every principle of morality and should be barred by American law.” Immoral? Yes. Because Hawley’s believes his God says so.To hell with my God.

What are the implications for regular people if their AG – or, God forbid, their senator – is a religious zealot? Consider the following:

A 34-year-old painter is suing Dahled Up Construction, a company based south of Portland, Ore., for allegedly firing him after he refused to join a Christian Bible group for employees. [… .]

Coleman told The Washington Post that when he explained to the company’s owner, Joel Dahl, that he had different beliefs, Dahl said: “If you want to keep your job, everybody needs to attend. If not, I’m going to be forced to replace you.”

Where do you think AG Hawley would come down? Do you trust him to understand what we’re supposed to be in America?  Theocrats want the power of a specific religion to be pervasive and all-encompassing – and bear in mind that the desire of persecuted religions – those not endorsed by the ruling theocrats – to escape theocratic rule is one of the reasons that our country exists.