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Right-wing pastor Shane Vaughn of Mississippi’s First Harvest Ministries, who credited Donald Trump with the COVID relief bill that not a single Republican voted for and said more recently that God will overturn the 2020 election results, is going all in on Christian Nationalist rhetoric.

He said in a sermon that America was a church before it ever became a nation… which is neither true nor plausible. But, hey, it’s not like lying never stopped a pastor.

Every signer of our Declaration of Independence — every one of them — were descendants of the tribes of Israel… Every single descendent that signed our Declaration were Israelites. Somebody say it with me, “America was a church before she was a nation!” And how’s your fool [?] gonna separate church from the state when we were born as a church?

In no way was the nation a church. Not metaphorically. Not symbolically. Not anything. Our Constitution is purposely devoid of religion for a reason, and even the Declaration’s mentions of God aren’t intended to imply there’s a national faith.

No amount of David Barton-esque revisionist history changes that. And yet no one in that church challenged him in the moment — and I have no doubt they were silent later as well. That’s what happens when you’re part of a cult that fetishizes ignorance.

(via Right Wing Watch)

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.