Monday, January 26, 2009

Fugate's 2002 Patriotic Rally

On Jeff Fugate's 2002 patriotic rally, from this website:

"On July 2, a patriotic rally was held here in Lexington at Applebee's Park, with its Jewish patron Alan Stein and his wife, State Rep. Kathy Stein, and their family present and unknowing what was to come. The program included numerous politicians and patriotic speakers, a fly-over by Black-Hawk helicopters from the Kentucky National Guard, a color guard from the four branches of the Armed Forces. I doubt few people present noted the irony in the singing of "My Country 'Tis of Thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing."

"Near the end of the rally, the pastor of the Clays Mill Road Baptist Church which sponsored the event, Jeffrey Fugate announced that non-Christian immigrants "should leave their religions, their bibles [sic], and all the other things back where [they] came from. [Lexington Herald-Leader, July 14, 2002, page A1, "The Truth As He Sees It, by Frank E. Lockwood]. Blasting what he called "politically correct" Americans, Fugate, who has no college degree, and was educated in a church-based school from the 6th grade onwards, said: "You're a thief and a liar if you change American history and leave God out of it…You cannot separate God from America without forming another nation." [Lexington Herald-Leader, July 3, 2002, page B1, "Faith in America", by Frank E. Lockwood]

"Fugate's blending of patriotism with his evangelical fervor to save people for Christ, and his deep conviction about the inerrancy of Scripture are not unusual. All across the United States, people who share his theological beliefs were outraged by the 9th Circuit Court's ruling on the Pledge of Allegiance, largely because they believe also that America was founded to be a Christian nation. Just this past Sunday, in surfing cable TV, I came across Pastor Fugate again, preaching to his congregation and saying that his "patriotism was not founded on pluralism, or cultural diversity," but on truth; not tradition, but on the very "Word of God." His patriotism, he said, was based on the fact that the founders of this great nation came here to propagate the gospel.

"In one respect, he is not wrong: many of the early settlers from Europe who came to America, from Christopher Columbus on, did so seeking an opportunity and space to propagate the gospel as they understood it and wanted to practice it, in addition to a desire to free themselves from the shackles of European economic and political constraints of the time, and to find new ways to generate wealth for themselves and their benefactors.

"Fugate's mistake comes in his logic: just because many of the early immigrants to these shores were Christian, and came to practice their religion free from state religion of Europe, just because the leaders and educated among them frequently quoted the one book they were likely to possess-the Bible, one cannot make the inference that they decided to make the nation constitutionally Christian, once they got around to that task. It is a non sequitur."

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