Ralph Drollinger is no stranger to controversy. The evangelical pastor has drawn plenty of criticism for his outrageous statements since he started leading a Bible study for congressional members in 2010. The far right extremist has called homosexuality an “abomination,” characterized Catholicism as a false religion, and admonished female lawmakers who continue to work after having children.
Now, he has expanded his Bible study to include most members of Donald Trump’s cabinet. As an outside group that holds events inside a Congressional building, they must be sponsored by an elected official. Vice President Mike Pence, Secretaries Betsy DeVos, Ben Carson, Sonny Perdue, Rick Perry, Tom Price, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions are all current “sponsors” of the Bible study.
“Do not be deceived by syncretistic, ‘prayer breakfasts:’ God only hears the prayers of leaders and citizens who are upright, who live righteously through faith in Jesus Christ,” Drollinger’s written Bible study for July 10 reads. “Scripture is clear; those who are at enmity with Him – who passively or actively reject the Son of God – their prayers are worthless and go unheard. And the State suffers for want of His blessing. The righteous leader is a man of potent prayer.”
In other words, only God only hears the prayers of Christians. Jews, Hindus, Muslims, etc need not apply.
Right Wing Watch‘s Peter Montgomery gives us some context on the dangerous rhetoric Drollinger is feeding to our governmental leaders:
Drollinger’s comments about prayer were part of a discussion of separation of church and state. He says that while the Bible supports institutional separation — no state Church — it does not support “influential” separation. This month’s Bible study is all about the church’s obligation to develop righteous governmental leaders. He is dismissive of Christian groups that focus on lobbying for specific policies, rather than winning politicians’ souls or replacing them with people who are “strong in Christ Public Servants.”
And, he writes, public officials have a special obligation to make sure the nation has “God-fearing righteous judges,” not ones who support abortion or “make up rights for the unrighteous”
So if you’re a Jew, Hindu, Muslim, or Catholic, Drollinger has a message for you straight from
God the Austin Lounge Lizards: Jesus loves me, but he can’t stand you.