Source: The Assembly
North Carolina Lt. Gov Mark Robinson has made headlines repeatedly during his time in office, rarely for anything other than the hateful rhetoric he espouses. Robinson has become widely known for his anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, his anti-Semitic remarks, and his claims that the United States is a “Christian nation.” Dishearteningly, the Lt. Governor most often makes these statements from the pulpit of whatever church he’s visiting that day.
When faced with scrutiny from the public, Robinson has consistently claimed that his personal views – particularly his anti-LGBTQ+ views – somehow remain separate from his actions as an elected official. However, once he’s back on stage speaking at another church, he claims that these views come directly from God.
Robinson employs what some scholars call “proof-texting”, or the act of using a biblical text to justify a theological position without regard for the context of the passage. He has frequently picked passages from the Bible that support his claims, but only if you ignore the rest of the book and squint a little. Recently The Assembly published an article that included analysis from scholars and ministers regarding Robinson’s view of the scripture, here’s a summary of some of their findings.
‘Led By Men’
“We’re called to be the Christians that God has called us to be. And we are called … to be led by men. God sent women out … to do their thing. But when it was time to face down Goliath, He sent DAVID, not Davita. DAVID! When it was time to lead the Israelites out of [Egypt], He sent MOSES! Not Mama Moses, Daddy Moses.
See, God knew what He was doing when He made men big and hairy and ugly. Because you’re supposed to scare away predators, whether they’re in the woods or standing in front of your kids in elementary school.” — Robinson at Freedom House Church in Charlotte, May 22, 2022
In his claim that God sent men to lead and not women, Robinson ignored several key parts of both the New and Old Testament, according to the Assembly.
Ellen Davis, a professor of the Bible at Duke Divinity School, explained that Robinson conveniently left out the fact that women saved both David and Moses, the men serving as Robinson’s “proof”. David was saved by his wife, Michal, and several women helped baby Moses survive.
“And if [Robinson’s] point is that in moments of combat, it’s only men, that’s not really true,” Davis told the Assembly, pointing to the Book of Judges, which prominently features Deborah, a leader and prophet in ancient Israel, and Yael, who helped deliver Israel from the Canaanite army by hammering a tent peg into the temple of one of its commanders.
Rev. LaTonya Penny, who pastors Belonging Fellowship, a Baptist ministry in Mebane pointed to one of the most prominent figures in Christianity, Mother Mary.
“Jesus is the walking, breathing, living Word, but Mary brought him forth,” Penny told the Assembly. “It took a woman to do that. It did not take a man’s participation … This was God choosing her.”
“There’s a lot of people that like to say that this isn’t a Christian nation. But, hey, take a look around you. Every good thing that’s ever come up in this nation, every problem that we’ve ever needed solved—it’s all been solved by people who believed in Jesus Christ.
“That’s where the real solutions are in this nation. They always have been. And there’s always going to be a regimen of people in this nation who call themselves Christians and believe in the tenets of Christianity. And so this is a Christian nation.”— Robinson at Cross Assembly, Wake County, Oct. 10, 2021
Robinson claims that the US is a Christian nation because he believes that that is what the Founding Fathers intended it to be; three out of four Republicans agree with him, according to the Pew Research Center.
However, scholars interviewed by The Assembly disagreed.
“The Founders were very clear: They did not want the United States tethered to one religion at all,” Randall Balmer, a professor at Dartmouth College and historian of American religion, told the Assembly. “That’s why we have the First Amendment. And none of the Founders, with the possible exception of John Witherspoon, would be considered as members in any of the churches [Robinson] is talking to.”
It’s also worth noting that the main author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, was a Deist – someone who believes there’s a God that created the world but does not influence human lives.
Furthermore, Robinson doesn’t just make the claim that this is a Christian nation – he also vehemently wants people who disagree to leave. In a 2021 speech with the North Carolina Faith & Freedom Coalition, Robinson said he’d pay the plane, train, or automobile fare out of the country for anybody who didn’t like that this is a Christian nation.
“Considering how the United States was stolen from indigenous people and how the United States has built itself on the backs of free human labor, I don’t know if I care to label that Christian,” said Rev. Amantha Barbee, pastor of Charlotte’s Quail Hollow Presbyterian Church. “What I believe a Christian to be is the antithesis to that.”