A couple of months ago, an image of a politician’s campaign van began making the rounds online. Kandiss Taylor, a Georgia gubernatorial candidate, began her Republican primary campaign by listing her three priorities: Jesus, guns, babies. (Presumably ranked by order of importance.)
You knew she was batshit crazy from the outset. She was rightly mocked over that campaign platform, too. Jesus had nothing to do with the office she wanted to hold. Guns, of course, are the only things Republicans ever seem to care about. And babies were on there, at the bottom, because Republicans don’t care about people once they begin talking and forming opinions. If that was meant to represent her anti-abortion views, so be it, but it’s not like she cares to address any of the social problems that often lead people to choose abortions in the first place.
Now she’s doubling down on Jesus being at the top of her agenda.
During a speech delivered to the Georgia Republican Assembly last week, Taylor fantasized about living in a theocracy and made it clear Christians should be calling all the shots. Video of her speech went viral over the weekend after it was shared by the account @patriottakes:
My slogan’s “Jesus, guns, and babies.”
Jesus because that’s our First Amendment right. It’s the right to worship Jesus Christ freely. It’s why we have a country. Don’t talk to me about separation of church and state. Church and state was written because the state has no business in our church. But we are the church. We are the church, and we run the state, and Georgia’s sovereign, and we’re running the state with Jesus Christ first.
The good thing about the First Amendment is, if you’re a Jew or you’re a Muslim or you’re a Buddhist, you still get to worship your god because you’re in America. But you don’t get to silence us! I’m sick of political correctness. It’s gonna stop. I will not bend my knee.
I will not take Jesus out even when people say, “Kandiss, you shouldn’t say ‘God.'” No! I’m going to say Jesus! He’s my savior. He saved me.
Just to state the obvious, no one’s prohibiting her from being a Christian or worshiping however she wants to. No one cares, frankly, what kind of superstitions she believes in. Separation of church and state doesn’t prevent Christians from practicing Christianity.
The problem is that she believes her religion, and her religion alone, should dictate public policy.
Christian nationalists like Taylor always want the government to stay out of their way while demanding that the same government mandate for everyone whatever their particular churches believe. It’s a kind of deference that no other religion, or even other strains of Christianity, would ever receive.
She’s not interested in representing all the people of Georgia. She wants to be the State Priest, and non-Christians and progressive Christians can just stay in their homes for the next four years.
She added later in that same speech that she would fix the state’s problems “with patriots who believe in Jesus.” Intelligent Muslims and policy experts who happen to be atheists would have no seat at the table in a Taylor administration, apparently. What else would you expect from someone who earned a doctorate from Pat Robertson’s college?
Imagine a non-Christian politician saying anything like this, at any level of government, and right-wing propaganda outlets would never stop complaining about it. But when conservative Christians brag about taking an oath on the Bible in order to uphold the Bible because the church and state, to them, are synonymous, it’s barely a blip in the news.
My concern isn’t that Taylor will win the Republican nomination here; she earned less than 1% of the vote during Georgia’s special election for U.S. Senate in 2020. It’s that even the other Republican nominees aren’t treating this like the emergency that it is because they need the same insane voters to support them.
It’s not just that Taylor, who lacks any political experience but has the ego to think she’d make an ideal governor, would be incompetent in this job. It’s that she eager to shut out everyone who doesn’t share her brand of mythology. That may be fine if she wants to run a church, but instead, she thinks this is the path that’ll help her defeat the presumptive Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams.
For someone whose party treats the Constitution like it’s the second most perfect document ever written, Taylor doesn’t understand a damn thing about it. No wonder Republicans haven’t run her out of the party. She’s one of them. She’s a Christian extremist who represents the GOP mainstream.
She may not win the race, but whoever does won’t be all that different from her.