Two weeks ago, Mike Lindell, founder and owner of the My Pillow Company, was invited by the president to speak at the Rose Garden at the White House. He began by announcing plans to shift his company’s production to start manufacturing cotton masks to combat the coronavirus in the United States. Then at the end of the speech, Lindell asked the president if he could say several “off-the-cuff” remarks he had prepared. He used this opportunity to encourage the nation “to use this time at home to get back in the Word, read our Bibles and spend time with our families.” He also added that “with our great president, vice president and this administration and all the great people in this country praying daily, we will get through this and get back to a place that’s stronger and safer than ever.”
Following these encouraging and hopeful words from Mike Lindell, criticism and attacks immediately poured out from the mainstream media. CNN Executive Editor Ram Ramgopal put out a tweet featuring a shortened video of Lindell’s call to prayer, and mockingly said, “In case you were wondering what My Pillow is doing in a time of coronavirus.” To the contrary, Lindell had just finished saying he was going to manufacture thousands of masks for nurses and doctors. MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski also said on Twitter, “Is that the my pillow guy?? Do I need to turn the volume up? I was waiting for the doctors.” Moreover, it was reported that during the live broadcast of the press briefing, “CNN abruptly cutaway…the moment Lindell began speaking” and returned when the president began speaking again. Some also said that the speech violated the separation of church and state.
Sarah Reese Jones of PoliticusUSA stated, “My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell says God put Trump in the White House and tells people to read the Bible while standing behind a presidential seal on government property in a clear violation of church and state.” The “conservative” political pundit Ann Coulter even retweeted this statement by calling it “my ‘Quote of the Day.'” Regardless, many reporters, politicians, and others appreciated and praised Lindell’s statements, including Washington Examiner‘s Kaylee McGhee, who said that “faith and family are grounding forces, a source of comfort — especially at moments like this one.”
However, why did some people attack Mike Lindell, even after he said he would provide thousands of masks for doctors, nurses, and others fighting COVID-19? The answer is the secularism of our current society and the problem with the separation of church and state. Although, the phrase of separation between the church and the state was coined by Thomas Jefferson, and later found a home in the American government and system, its roots are found in the Enlightenment thinking of people such as John Locke, Voltaire, and Denis Diderot. Voltaire, for example, not only supported the separation but totally rejected religion. Also, Diderot wrote that “the distance between the throne and the altar can never be too great.” For a more current connection, on April 15th, the “Catholic” governor of New York Andrew Cuomo told reporters that “God did not stop the spread of the virus,” instead humans stopped it. Apparently, according to Cuomo, the millions of prayers from people all around the world for an end to COVID-19 have all been in vain.
What has the separation brought to the so-called enlightened and modern nations which have supported and promoted the thinking of the Enlightenment? For instance, an important question can be raised that had there been no separation between the church and the state, would slavery ever have been allowed in the United States? Most likely not, since the Catholic Church did make a stand against slavery while the rest of the world practiced it.
In 1537, Pope Paul III issued an encyclical titled Sublimus Deus, in which he not only forbade the enslavement of the native peoples of America but also “all other people who may later be discovered by Christians.” Moreover, the document sharply denounces any idea against this as inspired by the “enemy of the human race,” that is Satan. It goes on to state that the Indians are rational beings, who deserve the right to life, liberty, freedom, and the possession of their property, even if they do not convert to the Catholic faith. Compare this to the United States Constitution which declared that when counting the slave population, African-Americans would be counted as three-fifths of a person. Looking back at history had there not been this separation, the church could have prevented any law which allowed slavery, and would work in the government to promote the dignity and worth of every human being.
The attacks on Mike Lindell may not only be based on his Christian beliefs and support for President Trump, but also on his pro-life stance. Back in November of 2018, Lindell gave $1 million in the production of the film Unplanned, and also “played a small role in the film where he bulldozes a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic.” Mike Lindell also told The Hollywood Reporter that, “I’m pro-life and I’m happy to do it.” This could definitely have played a factor in the vicious attacks on Lindell. Thus, with the current president giving a wider voice to Christian and pro-life voices in the country, the entire establishment has only insisted to keep the wall up between the church and the state, which they fear may collapse.