American Family Association Radio: Gay Marriage is a Sign of the End Times
Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association is not the only one in that religious right organization with some screws loose. Here’s the AFA’s Alex McFarland interviewing preacher Marvin Sanders, who warns that same sex marriage is a sign of the End Times, and that the nation needs a Christian theocracy more than ever.
As always, we should point out that the American Family Association is no fringe group of snake-handlers; they’re highly connected in Republican politics, and they are one of the co-sponsors of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s “The Response” prayer rally.Youtube Video
At about 23 seconds into the video, Sanders makes an outrageously misleading claim about Thomas Jefferson; he says that as Governor of Virginia, Jefferson “called a statewide day of prayer.”
This is one of the tenets of the pseudo-history now being taught to home-schooled evangelicals; here’s the real-world history of that “day of prayer:” Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer « Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.
While Jefferson was Governor of Virginia, the Continental Congress sent a circular to the state executives recommending a day of public thanksgiving. Jefferson sent the circular to the Virginia House of Delegates which wrote out the actual proclamation and sent it for his signature. Jefferson signed this proclamation for a day of “Thanksgiving and Prayer” to be held on December 9, 1779. It must be remembered that the governor of Virginia at this time was a relatively weak office. The General Assembly formulated policy, not the governor. This proclamation did not establish a permanent annual observance.
So Jefferson did not “call for” a day of prayer at all; he simply passed on a circular from the Continental Congress to the House of Delegates. The House wrote the proclamation, and Jefferson signed it. As the article points out, the Governorship at that time was less powerful than the House of Delegates.
But does this mean Jefferson was in favor of “national days of prayer?” Not at all. In the real world, Thomas Jefferson made his opposition clear (and so did James Madison):
Thomas Jefferson, in an 1808 letter to the Reverend Samuel Miller, wrote “”Fasting and prayer are religious exercises; the enjoining them an act of discipline. Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the time for these exercises, and the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets; and right can never be safer than in their hands, where the Constitution has deposited it.” (3a) In James Madison’s 1817 Detached Memoranda, he expressed doubts about national days of prayer, as “they seem to imply and certainly nourish the erroneous idea of a national religion.”