Texas politician goes viral for blunt takedown of Christian fanatics

James Talarico
James Talarico Photo: Campaign photo

Texas state Rep. James Talarico (D), a staunch LGBTQ+ ally and rising star in the Democratic Party, is not shy. The outspoken politician is candid about his Christianity and the antithetical version that Republicans embrace.

A recently passed state bill would allow public schools to hire priests and preachers as school counselors – even if they have no mental health qualifications. Several school boards across the state have flatly rejected the idea.

In a speech praising the boards for refusing to hire untrained religious chaplains instead of professionals, Talarico took a hard look at Christian nationalists who have infiltrated the GOP.

“We are here to celebrate an important victory in the fight against Christian nationalism,” Talarico said during a news conference at the Texas Capitol. “There was a bill passed in the last legislative session that would allow school districts to replace school counselors with untrained, unsupervised, and unqualified religious chaplains.”

“We had folks speak out against this bill from across the political spectrum, from across different faith traditions, from across different communities,” Talarico said. “We are proud to announce 25 of the biggest school districts in Texas have rejected this policy at the local level.”

Then, he launched into the dangers posed by Christian nationalists and their dangerous ideology.

“Christian nationalism is on the rise,” he began. “Three years ago, Christian nationalists stormed the U.S. Capitol, killing police officers while carrying crosses and signs reading ‘Jesus Saves.’ Two years ago, Christian nationalists on the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, allowing states like ours to outlaw abortion, even in cases of rape and incest.”

“Let me be very clear: There is nothing Christian about Christian nationalism,” he continued. “It is the worship of power — political power, social power, economic power — in the name of Christ.”

“And it is a betrayal of Jesus of Nazareth.”

“Jesus never asked us to kill police officers,” he pointed out. “Jesus never asked us to ban books, silence teachers, or defund schools. Jesus never asked us to control women’s bodies. Jesus never asked us to establish a Christian theology. All he asked was that we love our neighbor.”

“Not just our Christian neighbors. Not just our straight neighbors. Not just our male neighbors, not just our white neighbors, or our rich neighbors. We are called to love all of our neighbors.”

Video of Talarico dismantling a bill sponsored by a rightwing Republican that would require classrooms to display a Ten Commandments poster went viral earlier this year. While interrogating the bill’s sponsor, Talarico questioned her brand of Christianity, pointing out that her bill and line of reasoning for displaying the posters were contrary to Biblical teaching.


“There is nothing Christian about Christian Nationalism.”

♬ original sound – James Talarico
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