In a recent House Oversight Subcommittee hearing focused on global religious extremism, Democratic Rep. Maxwell Frost criticized comments previously made by Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert regarding the U.S. Constitution.
The subcommittee, which covers National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs, hosted several witnesses, including Amanda Tyler, the executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. Tyler emphasized her concerns about Christian nationalism, suggesting it’s the most significant threat to religious liberty in the U.S. today.
Some conservatives, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from Georgia, have shown support for Christian nationalism. Greene has openly identified herself as a Christian nationalist in the past.
During the hearing, while addressing Tyler, Frost underscored the dangers Christian nationalism poses to democratic principles. He cited Greene’s previous commendations of the ideology, pointing out its infiltration into Congress.
Frost further highlighted a past statement by Boebert, made during a speech at the Cornerstone Christian Center in Basalt, Colorado, in June 2022. Boebert had stated, “The church should guide the government. I’ve grown weary of this separation of church and state notion.”
Elaborating on Boebert’s comments, Frost mentioned, “By ‘junk,’ she was referring to the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”
Boebert, in her speech, was referencing an 1802 letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association, advocating the separation of church and state. However, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution strictly prohibits Congress from enacting laws that establish a religion or hinder its free exercise.
Political experts, including Andrew Seidel from Americans United, have previously criticized Boebert’s stance. Seidel warned about the risks of disregarding the church-state separation principle.
Moreover, Boebert has come under scrutiny from segments of the Christian community in the U.S. for making remarks interpreted as wishing harm to President Joe Biden. An online petition by the Christian group Faithful America labeled Boebert as someone who manipulated religion for political gain and noted that her comments about Biden were especially concerning.