Mike Pompeo, Trump's Sec State Nominee, Would Like His Jesus-Times Apocalypse NOW
Mike Pompeo loves the Lord. He also wants to be Secretary of State. Generally speaking, this should not be an issue. However, in Pompeo's case, it's looking as though his religious views and favored mode of expressing said views may present one. By which we mean that he has a habit of freaking out his co-workers by all his talk about the Rapture. You know, the thing where Kirk Cameron and whoever get vacuumed up into heaven and we stay here to behead all the Christians who weren't good enough to get raptured so they can get to be saints or whatever.
Michael Weinstein, the founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, told The Young Turks that Pompeo had a reputation for God-bothering around the CIA.
Weinstein told TYT his group has received complaints from CIA personnel about Pompeo’s introduction of overtly religious behavior into the workplace, including Rapture references. “He is intolerant of anyone who isn’t a fundamentalist Christian,” Weinstein said. “The people that worked under him at the CIA that came to us were never confused—they never had time to be confused. They were shocked and then they were scared shitless.” The CIA did not respond to a request for comment from Pompeo.
Weinstein has also expressed his concerns to Foreign Policy:
According to Weinstein, agency employees don’t want to go public with their complaints because of fear of retribution or being labeled as “leakers.” They don’t typically file formal complaints within the government. But certain things are making them especially uncomfortable, such as officials signing off with the phrase “have a blessed day.”[...]
“In the intelligence community, we see supervisors wanting to hold Bible studies during duty hours [and] inviting lower-ranking individuals to their homes for Bible studies,” Weinstein told FP.
Whether it’s pressure to attend Bible study or concerns that the annual holiday party will become a Christmas party, agency employees feel on edge, according to Weinstein. “Our clients at CIA feel extremely isolated in a way they have not felt before,” he said.
And Vox reports that, as CIA director, Pompeo has implied that the he sees the war on terrorism as some kind of battle between Islam and Christianity:
During his tenure as CIA director, and before that as a member of the House of Representatives, Pompeo has consistently used language that casts the war on terrorism as a cosmic divine battle of good and evil. He’s referred to Islamic terrorists as destined to “continue to press against us until we make sure that we pray and stand and fight and make sure that we know that Jesus Christ is our savior is truly the only solution for our world.”
If people wanted to be proselytized to, they would open their doors when the Jehovah's Witnesses or the Mormons showed up, instead of hiding behind the couch and pretending they are not home. They would, at the very least, be proselytized to on their own free time, when they are not at work. It is 100% inappropriate and unprofessional to start talking to one's work colleagues about being vacuumed up into Heaven or inviting them to Bible studies. That creates a hostile work environment.
It is also inappropriate for a Secretary of State or CIA head to have this particular perspective on foreign relations. Magical thinking has no place in these dealings. It just doesn't, and working it in there is dangerous for everyone. Remember, one of the things that Rapture theology teaches is that there needs to be some major battle in the Middle East, specifically in Israel, in order for Jesus to come back and do his Heaven On Earth thing. Having a Secretary of State that looks forward to this is a little dangerous.
There have also been a few other concerns about Pompeo's religious (and non-religious) beliefs otherwise affecting his ability to serve as Secretary of State. During his confirmation hearings earlier this month, Sexy Cory Booker drilled him on his associations with anti-Muslim extremists as well as his views on gay people.
Since then, people like Mommy's Good Boy Todd Starnes and organizations like the Heritage Foundation have been attempting to paint this as Booker suggesting that no Christian could possibly be fit to serve as Secretary of State. Which it is not! Surely, not all evangelical people think that Muslims are inherently seditious -- and if he believes they are, this could certainly affect his ability to interact with majority Muslim nations. Surely, it is reasonable to ask whether or not his views on gay people may impede his ability to push for justice on their behalf.
All of that is bad! As is trying to jumpstart the Apocalypse. It sure would be swell if the Secretary of State were someone who could be trusted to treat people fairly, and also not try to bring about the end of the world. But hey, we're in the era of Trump, so maybe that's too much to ask.
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse