“Just because I’m paranoid,
doesn’t mean they are not after me”
“Just because it’s a conspiracy theory,
doesn’t mean it’s not true”
This article’s focus is deliberately narrow: to explain to myself and perhaps to others how it is that so many politically and theologically conservative Christians entertain so many conspiracy theories. Following are a discussion of what’s so bad about Christians being conspiracy-theory prone, a definition of “conspiracy theory,” a short list of conspiracy-theory candidates, and a two-prong argument to explain the Christian proclivity.
The Christian Label and its Discontents
Several years ago I stopped calling myself a Christian, but not because I stopped believing in Jesus. On the contrary, I love Jesus but was being weighed down by the cultural and historical baggage of Christianity and the label “Christian” (initially a word meaning “little Christ”). More than ever, I’m glad I no longer need defend the indefensible baggage many Christians tote around, one of the largest and most perplexing bags being the one packed with conspiracy theories.
That said, many of my friends do call themselves Christians and in varying degrees tote the conspiracy baggage. Many are untroubled by all this baggage and do an admirable job holding onto their faith in Jesus and being kind to their neighbor. While these Christians may be power lifters, they are doing a great injustice to the gospel with its commitment to truth. Continue reading “Christians and Conspiracy Theories”
We’ve got God on our side
We’re just trying to survive
What if what you do to survive
Kills the things you love
Fear’s a powerful thing, baby
It’ll turn your heart black you can trust
It’ll take your God filled soul
Fill it with devils and dust
(Bruce Springsteen, “Devils & Dust”)
Update 1/6/21: the storm has broken. Early this afternoon, the House and the Senate were carrying out their 12th Amendment duty of counting the certified electoral votes. Thousands of protestors had gathered outside the Capitol to protest what President Trump frequently described as a fraudulent election, where he lost both the popular and the electoral vote. Around 2:20 p.m., protestors broke though metal barriers at the foot of the stairs to the Capitol. Police sprayed tear gas. Around 2:30 PM, a large number of protestors, some violent, some carrying weapons, forced their way into the Capitol. “Protesters could be seen marching through the Capitol’s stately Statuary Hall shouting and waving Trump banners and American flags” (Associated Press Timeline of events at the Capitol
). The building was locked down, but not before one woman was fatally shot by the police. Three other people died from currently unspecified medical emergencies.[§]
Congresspeople were eventually escorted out of the building. Around 8:30 p.m. the Senate resumed the electoral vote. Several Republicans withdrew their objections in light of the siege.
(The following was published October 6, 2020)
For the first time, I’m doubting the general welfare of the US after an upcoming presidential election. In the past, the new or renewed president would be uncannily like his or her predecessor or opponent, and I knew there would be segments of our society, usually marked by their low incomes or stature, who would continue to suffer discrimination in various forms. The losers might be bitter and the winners might gloat, but the fabric of society would remain the same for better and worse. Continue reading “Perfect Political Storm”
Oklahoma voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Trump (about a 2:1 ratio). Accordingly, I provide a short guest post from Charles Anderson on Trump supporters. This might be useful where I live: some of my friends in Colorado have never knowingly met a Trump supporter.
Continue reading “Man from Oklahoma on Trump Supporters”
Although the President of the United States is an idealized office that has less power than the emotional tide leading up to an election suggests, I am concerned about what I see as a train wreck with two possible outcomes: the train stays on the track or the train leaves the track. In either case, the train isn’t the little democracy that could, but is instead the fact that, as Chris Hedges stated, “We do not live in a functioning democracy, and we have to stop pretending that we do.”
Continue reading “Cost of Voting One’s Conscience”
As often is the case, the attempt to correct one ill in society creates a second ill. To point out the second ill, of course, is not to minimize the one ill, but, rather, to prevent a perpetual reciprocity of ill for ill.
In this case, the critique of white privilege as the cause of economic and racial inequities in the US may ultimately reinforce the problems the critique attempts to resolve. At least that is the point of David Marcus’ “How Anti-White Rhetoric Is Fueling White Nationalism” (May 23, 2016). He writes, “In reducing all phenomena to a question of race, both the alt right and the progressive left ensure the dominance of racial resentment as the lynchpin of our society.” He argues that the more white guilt is stressed, the more likely whites, who are trying to ignore race, become sensitized to it, with the result that some of them are drawn into the polarization that the critique intended to dissolve.
Continue reading “Anti-white, No-deal Rhetoric”
A non-partisan note on presidential nominations and elections. Am I the only one who evaluates candidates in part on the sound of their voice? Not an expert of all the current voices, I do know the big three or four (Trump, Sanders, Cruz, and Clinton in reverse alphabetical order).
Continue reading “Voices and Voting”
When my dad decided to forego “maintenance therapy” for his health condition, knowing that the therapy would thoroughly impoverish his ability to live a productive life, he told the health care professionals, “I want to die and receive the new body Jesus came to give me.” He had an exit strategy.
Continue reading “Exit Strategies”