Michael Harvey
Rabbi | Advocate | Educator

Alabama is a Microcosm of Christian Nationalism

Recently, as many know, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that embryos are “children.” They cited the Bible in their ruling, as the ruling has absolutely nothing to do with science or fact, but simply a Christian belief system. The Alabama Chief Justice openly subscribes to the idea that America should be a Christian country, not a free country. This is just one of the many symptoms of what occurs when a government of any size attempts to rule with Christian Nationalism, and a Christian theocracy.

Alabama is a state of five million, with only 36% of the state being college educated. That means that 64% of the state has only up to a GED or high school education. This is prime real estate for Christian Nationalism, as facts, science, logic, and higher learning are all dangerous to its existence. So what are the other wonderful symptoms of a Christian Nationalist state?

Alabama ranks 44 out of 50 in education. Meaning that 43 states in the United States have a better education system and only six states have a worse one. Again, prime real estate for Christian nationalism.

Alabama ranks 44 out of 50 in health care. This means that when people get sick in Alabama, they cannot get the health care they need, they cannot afford it, or find it. People get sick more, they die more, they are not given the care of a first-world country. Vaccine deniers are rampant, old diseases spring up, children and mothers die, and people who could very well live die anyway.

Alabama ranks 47 out of 50 in Natural environment. A Christian Nationalist state cares little for the environment. Why? Because the Christian Nationalist state believes that this world is temporary, and cares only about their believed afterlife, meaning that they plan to do nothing to help improve this earth, because what do they care? They’ll be living it up with Jesus while the world burns.

Alabama ranks 40 in Crime out of 50 state, meaning that it ranks 35 out of 50 in public safety. A Christian nationalist state is a dangerous place to live. 384/100k residents are incarcerated. 90/100k juveniles are incarcerated. 454/100k are victims of violent crime. Why? Because poverty and fundamentalism breed violence and crime. And yes, poverty is rampant in a Christian Nationalist state. The median income in Alabama is only $34,925. The majority are masses, peasants, living in poverty and under the poverty line going to churches to give money to their rich pastors and attempting to pray away their problems caused by the Christian Nationalism itself.

The Alabama Aryan brotherhood is an active white supremacist group which features images which could include the initials AB, SS lightning bolts, a swastika, an Iron Cross, or a shamrock. Sometimes the numbers 14 and 88 (a reference to 14/88) appear flanking the shield.

Racism, antisemitism, anti-immigration are all symptoms of a Christian Nationalist State.

And now, in addition to the total abortion ban in Alabama (Alabama law does not include express constitutional or statutory protections for abortion. To the contrary, state constitution declares that the state “acknowledges, declares, and affirms that it is the public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life,) the Supreme Court has just ruled that those trying to get pregnant can’t.

Those who have not learned history are doomed to repeat it. Christian states and empires fail. They bring disease, poverty, violence, crusades, inquisitions, pogroms, plagues, war, and above all, death.

This is the future of America unless it is stopped.

About the Author
Michael E. Harvey is a Reform Rabbi, ordained by the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in 2015. After leading multiple congregations across the United States, Mike proudly served as a hospital chaplain at IU Health during the height of COVID-19. Mike is passionate about social justice, interfaith cooperation, and bringing deep Jewish learning to the lay public. He has followed these passions in serving his communities, including founding and directing interfaith councils and sitting on multiple boards, locally and nationally. In 2022, Mike wrote and published his first book, Let’s Talk: A Rabbi Speaks to Christians, which became an Amazon Bestseller. Mike's current projects include finishing his second book, and completing his doctorate degree at Spertus Institute of Jewish Learning and Leadership. His new book "From the Gospels to the Gas Chambers: How Christian Scripture Inspires a Pattern of Genocide" is in production and is in need of a publisher.
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