On today’s NYT opinion page, Sarah Posner brings attention to the growing presence of QAnon among evangelicals. Posner makes several important points in this piece. One is that the QAnon conspiracies are recycled stories floating around evangelical circles for many years. As an old-timer, I recall one world government worries and the satanic cult fears going back to high school days. The Clintons have lived rent free in evangelical heads since they came on the scene out of Arkansas.
With the advent of Trump, the various stories have morphed to form Trump as the Savior archetype in the QAnon narratives. Only he can save us. Furthermore, Trump is the bridge between the delusional and the deceived. He is the gateway drug for many from irrational support of a man to a world of make believe.
As I say in the article, those not quite yet in the QAnon snare will latch on to QAnon messaging if it helps make Trump correspond to the archetype of savior president. It doesn’t matter where it comes from or who spreads it. Christians appear to be some terrible offenders since, for many of them, Trump is the one defending their faith. Since there is only one Defender of our faith, this is a significant problem for Christianity. The Christian nationalist heresy in combination with the QAnon delusion is a powerful drug.
Go read Sarah’s op-ed and engage in the discussion in the comments.
Yesterday, Terry Mattingly at Get Religion blog began a post about the NYTs coverage of India and Compassion International like this:
If you have followed news in India in recent years, you know that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party – commonly known as the BJP – has continued its efforts to promote “Hindutva,” or Hindu-ness, which essentially argues that Hinduism is an essential component of what it means to be a citizen of India.
Thus, it’s goal is to defeat secular pluralism and the recognition of a valid role for other faiths in public life. The side effect has, in many cases, been a crackdown on many of the activities of other faiths in India – especially ministries linked to foreign groups.
For discussion’s sake, let’s Americanize these observations:
If you have followed news in the United States in recent years, you know that the Republican party – commonly known as God’s Own Party (GOP) – has continued its efforts to promote “Christian nationalism,” or Christian-ness, which essentially argues that Christianity is an essential component of what it means to be a citizen of the USA.
Thus, it’s goal is to defeat secular pluralism and the recognition of a valid role for other faiths in public life. The side effect has, in many cases, been a crackdown on many of the activities of other faiths in the US – especially the construction of new mosques and activities of foreign groups.
If you read the NYT’s article, you will get some insight into conditions in India where Hindu nationalism appears to be on the rise. Christian journalist Mattingly properly locates opposition to Hindu nationalism in human rights. When the government or a political party takes sides in religion, eventually freedom of conscience suffers.
Christians don’t like these policies in other countries but seem to be oblivious to the same or similar rhetoric and actions here. We should oppose religious nationalism even when the perceived winner is our team.
Worth reading from the New York Times: Abundance Without Attachment
The formula for a good life, he explained, is simple: abundance without attachment.
Simple but often hard.
The 5 star monk had known plenty before poverty. Does this make it easier to leave it all behind and become a monk?
Mark Oppenheimer in the New York Times writes about World Magazine’s news reporting on Mark Driscoll. I appreciate Oppenheimer’s mention of this blog as well. Of course, there are other outlets which provided coverage of the Mars Hill story (e.g., Wenatchee the Hatchet, Religion News Service, CT, CP, etc.). With some help, I am working on a timeline which should bring together the events and important stories of the past year.
The article was online last night and is in today’s print edition.
The World folks present a compelling rationale, to me at least, for Christians in journalism and for me as a blogger. I like writing about a variety of topics and in this case the subject matter has had broad public interest.
NYT is on the case with an article by Michael Paulson.
Tim Keller weighs in with some tough words for Mark Driscoll.
The article references a certain “blogging psychology professor” with several links to the blog.
Mars Hill in the form of Anthony Ianniciello spoke to the NYT and issued a statement saying that the charges will be examined by “several governing bodies.” I have no idea what he is talking about. The by-laws require the formation of a Board of Overseers to examine the charges. Current elders have informed me that the charges were not being taken seriously until they were released to multiple sources.
The article confirms that Driscoll is slated to “update the church” on Sunday. Stay tuned…
UPDATE: Paulson’s article on Driscoll is on today’s (8/23/14) front page of the print edition.