Monday, June 24, 2024

#2786: Ralph Drollinger

Ralph Kim Drollinger is a wild-eyed fundie extremist, Christian nationalist, former professional basketball player, president of the organization Capitol Ministries (which aims to “evangelize elected officials and lead them toward maturity in Christ”) and leader of the White House Bible Study Group during Trump’s presidency. The WHBSG was an insane Taliban offshoot group that was sponsored by people like Mike Pence, Ben Carson and Betsy DeVos and which held weekly meetings with the Trump administration. Though Drollinger nominally accepts what he calls an “institutionalseparation of Church and State, he believes that the Church should still “influence” the State, or in other words: Drollinger rejects the separation of church and state. It is, however, crucial that the church exerting influence on the state is the right type of church; Drollinger has denounced Catholicism as “one of the primary false religions of the world”; stated that the Social Gospel, a major strain of 20th century American Christianity, is a “perversion” or “corruption” of the Bible and “not Christianity whatsoever”; claimed that Islam is “enemy territory, spiritually speaking”; and emphasized that God only hears the prayers of “righteous” Christians (indeed, he has explicitly said that prayers from Jewish people are “worthless and go unheard”). And it is, according to Drollinger, crucial for righteous Christians to work to ensure that people in power – be it government, Congress or the judiciary – are “righteous”; i.e. shares his (Drollinger’s) faith (elections are a “spiritual battle), and that those in power have an obligation to hire only “righteous” employees, so as not to “compromise biblical absolutes in his policies or interactions with others.” Here is a commentary on one of his ‘guides’ to lawmakers.


He is also, like so many fundies, on record as anti-LGBTQ, anti-women's rights and anti-immigration. As for women, Drollinger is an advocate for the Separate Spheres ideology and is in particular opposed to women preachers: “There is a prohibition of female leadership in marriage, and female leadership in the church. And those are clear in Scripture… it doesn't mean, in an egalitarian sense, that a woman is of lesser importance”.


Gay people, on the other hand, are “illegitimate; “Homosexuality and same-sex ceremonies are illegitimate in God’s eyes”; and “not only is homosexuality and same sex marriage voided by God in His Word, but biology as well castigates homosexuality and same sex marriage: The ultimate outcome is the discontinuation of the species since homosexuals cannot procreate. For sure one cannot be a homosexual and an evolutionist at the same time.” Drollinger, of course, is a creationist, and as such pathologically unable to distinguish a descriptive scientific theory of how things are from a normative moral theory of how we should act. In general, though, there really isn’t, as Drollinger sees it, any debate to be had over marriage equality, and no arguments are necessary: scripture “crushes the same-sex marriage debate” and pro-LGBTQ Christian leaders are “Satan’s pawns.” Elected officials should accordingly not debate marriage based on “personal happiness” [or reason or ethics, we presume, but reason and ethics don’t really ever figure anywhere in Drollinger’s mind] but on “theology.”


As for scientific issues other than biological ones, Drollinger is a staunch climate change denier, as anything else would be somewhat trickier to integrate with his political views – according to Drollinger, “God is a capitalist” and as such opposed to environmental regulations that have had the consequence that “the economic benefits God intends from private property ownership have been greatly diminished” (God is opposed to economic relief provisions, too). More importantly, it is unbiblical to “think that man can alter the Earth’s ecosystem – when God remains omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent in the current affairs of mankind” (yep, God both can and will protect us from the environmental consequences of our actions, just like He has consistently done in the past): Because the Bible promises that God would not again destroy the Earth in a great flood, says Drollinger (more local droughts, hurricanes, floods or forest fires are … well, it’s unclear), “we can all rest assured and wholly rely on God’s aforementioned promises pertaining to His ability and willingness to sustain our world’s ecosystem”. Moreover, “to allow fish to govern the construction of dams, endangered species to govern power plants, flies to govern hospitals, or kangaroo rats, homes, is to miss the clear proclamation of God in Genesis.” Drollinger was also influential in warning Scott Pruitt of the danger of the shift from Christianity to the false religion of Radical Environmentalism.”


Indeed, according to Drollinger, “environmentalists” and other people with “depraved minds” are igniting "God’s wrath." So in March 2020, for instance, Drollinger linked the COVID-19 pandemic with God’s wrath over such groups, including, of course, those who have “a proclivity toward lesbianism and homosexuality” (so much for man’s inability to cause damage, we suppose). When that didn’t go over particularly well with the public, he backtracked; i.e. claimed that he was misinterpreted: when it comes to God, Drollinger imagined, there is a “panoply of wraths”, so although homosexuality causes one type of Godly wrath (wrath of abandonment), it’s a different type than that which gave rise to the coronavirus (sowing and reaping wrath). Drollinger’s theological stances seem eminently malleable (not surprising given that they are nothing more than depraved nonsense used to channel his own hate and anger), insofar as in the original post, he stated thatthose individuals who are rebuked by God’s forsaking wrath are largely responsible for God’s consequential wrath on our nation” and those susceptible to “forsaking wrath” are explicitly gays and lesbians, who are “given over” by God to “degrading passions”, as well as environmentalists, since “clearly indicative of God’s forsaking wrath is when the abandoned serve the creature rather than the creator”.


And it’s not like it was the first time Drollinger linked gay people to God’s wrath; he has earlier proclaimed thatOUR NATION’S OBEDIENCE OR DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD’S LAWS IN TERMS OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE REPRESENTS A TIPPING POINT WITH ENORMOUS, ENORMOUS CONSEQUENCES”, although he was careful to add that he didn’t advocate executing gay men by stoning (if you feel that you need to point that out, you should probably take the hint).


But for being such a drooling madman, Drollinger’s influence is immense. Not only did the vice president and a number of member’s of Trump’s cabinet attend his weekly meetings to listen to his deranged theocratic rants, those cabinet members would also actively provide support for his organizations: for instance, in February 2018, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and several members of Congress appeared as featured speakers at a fundraising dinner for Capitol Ministries, and a slew of representatives and senators have endorsed or sponsored the organization or even actively helped it expand. His groups also have international branches and projects (often targeting LGBT rights) in e.g. (but not limited to) Romania, Ukraine, Nicaragua and Honduras.


Diagnosis: Raging, hateful fundie. Extremely influential, and extremely dangerous.

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