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Jesus and John Wayne and Changes in Evangelicalism


theotherelise

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Is anyone else reading the book Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Church and Fractured a Nation?

Im only 12 chapters in, but it’s really wonderful. A fantastic and concise review of the evangelical movements that created the current environment. 

many of our “favorites” have already been detailed so far. If anyone else has read it, I’d love to discuss!

Edited by Coconut Flan
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Read it 2-3 months ago and have recommended it everywhere & to everyone I can. 

It provides a great context for so much that we discuss here as well as things like the January 6 insurrection & riot and why so many fundie Christians are engulfed in QAnon.

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We're in good company. None other than Audri Botkin, daughter-in-law of crazy Geoff, gives Jesus & John Wayne high marks:

1730903442_AudriBotkinrecommendsJJW.thumb.png.583d6bcd674456275e59f3dc5082ff5c.png

Have to say that I'd consider registering for that discussion myself.

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12 minutes ago, hoipolloi said:

We're in good company. None other than Audri Botkin, daughter-in-law of crazy Geoff, gives Jesus & John Wayne high marks:

1730903442_AudriBotkinrecommendsJJW.thumb.png.583d6bcd674456275e59f3dc5082ff5c.png

Have to say that I'd consider registering for that discussion myself.

I’m so glad those two are making their own path in life. Away from Daddy dearest.

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I'm about half way through. It makes my parents' transition from fairly mainstream homeschooling to Gothard/fundieland seem less abrupt. I do think the author downplays some things. There was a whole lot more racism involved in the stuff from the 70s and 80s than she gives credit for. I most appreciated the trajectory that she follows from the 50s till now. My memories pick up in the 90s, but I had fragmented recollections of the 80s and she helped put them in context.

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3 hours ago, Leftitinmysnood said:

There was a whole lot more racism involved in the stuff from the 70s and 80s than she gives credit for.

I follow her on Twitter and she's said more than once there that she had to cut things & people out of the manuscript -- just way too much for one book. 

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12 hours ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

I’m so glad those two are making their own path in life. Away from Daddy dearest.

Me too, especially as Geoff becomes more unhinged. It’s good that any other siblings will have somewhere safe outside of the family if they need to get out as well. 

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22 minutes ago, Columbia said:

Me too, especially as Geoff becomes more unhinged. It’s good that any other siblings will have somewhere safe outside of the family if they need to get out as well. 

That is such an important point! 

One has to wonder where the Botkinetti fall on the continuum these days. They are still at home though,  drinking the emotional incest kool aid, and only get whatever crazy Geoff is up to -- there is no outside source of info for them.  Internet use monitored, accountability partner, home church, T-Rex arms -- that's how their world is circumscribed. 

I'd say Audri liking the book and its author is major notice that she is officially outside, way outside, the fold!  Audri on twitter can also be a contact point for other women wanting out of fundmentalism.  It's awesome. 

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I tried ordering it from Amazon, but it said it can’t ship to my address. :562479351e8d1_wtf(2):

(I downloaded it from iBooks.)

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Thanks for the recommendation. It's a fairly horrifying listen and I'm only far enough through to be able to say Phyllis Schlafly was a monster.

On a side note, I have always loved the Amtrak Wars series of books by Patrick Tilley. I understand a bit more now why he used so much John Wayne imagery in his representation of the Federation. Being a Gen X'er  and Australian (as well as totally uninterested in his movies) means that I kind of missed the heyday of John Wayne and certainly never understood fully his place in conservative politics.

 

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On 2/17/2021 at 6:16 PM, hoipolloi said:

We're in good company. None other than Audri Botkin, daughter-in-law of crazy Geoff, gives Jesus & John Wayne high marks:

1730903442_AudriBotkinrecommendsJJW.thumb.png.583d6bcd674456275e59f3dc5082ff5c.png

Have to say that I'd consider registering for that discussion myself.

It must be very cathartic for both of them. I’m glad they have something to help them process as they make their own space. 

BE3DD3CB-311F-4D6F-B7B9-0DD37C53531C.jpeg

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2 minutes ago, Columbia said:

It must be very cathartic for both of them. I’m glad they have something to help them process as they make their own space. 

BE3DD3CB-311F-4D6F-B7B9-0DD37C53531C.jpeg

I like that he can have a sense of humor about it. Humor can help when thinking about and processing all the trauma you dealt with over the years. Sometimes you just get so tired of feeling the hurt and pain that comedic relief can go a long way. 

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Good complement to this thread is a Jan. 19, 2021 post on Religion Dispatches by Chrissy Stroop, PhD, a trans woman raised deep in the fundamentalist/Evangelical Christian homeschool movement.  

WHERE WERE THEY RADICALIZED? NO ANSWER IS COMPLETE WITHOUT ADDRESSING EVANGELICAL CHURCHES AND SCHOOLING

<snip> 

Quote

It would be remiss of us to approach the “where were they radicalized” question without addressing how the Christian schooling and homeschooling movement, along with many white churches and other evangelical, LDS, and ‘trad’ Catholic institutions, fostered the subcultures that created the demand for hyper-partisan “news” outlets like Fox News. 

 

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I got it for my dad but I think he's been too busy reading books about how 'Communist China is secretly taking over the world' to read it yet.  Maybe if I tell him that Ben Botkin recommends it he'll be more interested. ;) 

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Might be a little off topic I read the book John Wayne’s daughter wrote and she said he had never been that much into religion when he was alive. 

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I do remember reading that he was taking Catholic conversion classes shortly before he died.

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1 hour ago, smittykins said:

I do remember reading that he was taking Catholic conversion classes shortly before he died.

Depends who one talks to. His BT daughter said no he didn’t convert at the end.  They had a Catholic service for him.  Others would likely say he did convert to Catholicism when he was dying at the hospital. 

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3 hours ago, 47of74 said:

Depends who one talks to. His BT daughter said no he didn’t convert at the end.  They had a Catholic service for him.  Others would likely say he did convert to Catholicism when he was dying at the hospital. 

Regardless, he lived most of his life as a reprobate -- kinda like tRump. 

 

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I’M NOT HERE TO FIX EVANGELICALS, BUT TO SHOW THEM WHO THEY ARE: AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR OF ‘WHITE EVANGELICAL RACISM’

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If asked to recommend only two recent books on conservative, mostly white evangelicals, I would recommend Kristin Kobes du Mez’s Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation, for its unflinching look at evangelicals’ specific inflections of toxic masculinity over the last few decades, and Butler’s White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America, for its likewise unflinching exposure of the systemic and sometimes overt racism that pervades evangelical communities and institutions. 

 

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On 3/8/2021 at 7:36 AM, smittykins said:

I do remember reading that he was taking Catholic conversion classes shortly before he died.

I don't think he was actually taking conversion classes, at least I never see any reference to that whatsoever. Even his kids say he wasn't religious and was none too interested in becoming so. His family was heavily Catholic, and of course he knew it would please them for him to convert, but he wasn't arsed to do it in the 46 years between marrying his first Catholic wife and dying. 

He was rich and famous, so his 'conversion' consisted of telling an archbishop visiting him in his very final days that he sure wanted to be Catholic. I was raised Catholic, but I bet a lot of the adults who've had to endure the RCIA process to convert are slightly annoyed at Wayne being called a convert, lol. 

On 3/8/2021 at 9:16 AM, 47of74 said:

Depends who one talks to. His BT daughter said no he didn’t convert at the end.  They had a Catholic service for him.  Others would likely say he did convert to Catholicism when he was dying at the hospital. 

 The archbishop could have given him the sacrament of confirmation, because he was dying. But it would have been a lower priority, coming after conditional baptism, confession, communion, and last rites. The archbishop baptizing him is what is usually referenced, and I'd guess that actually did happen. Wayne wanted the visit, so I doubt he'd refuse baptism, and that is the only thing required to be a member of the Catholic church. Baptism is considered a gift to the person, a grace from God, the person being baptized is simply receiving, not taking action. Catholic infants, after all, are baptized, and then considered members of the church. 

Confirmation is more of a decisive act by the person: yes, I know enough to commit to the church, yes, I will defend the faith, and various other things. If you are raised Catholic, this is commonly referred to as becoming an adult in the church. Wayne was so weak and near death that it is very unlikely that the archbishop could have raced through four other sacraments and then confirmation, even if he thought it was a good idea. 

It's not really something that has to be in question, though. The Catholic Church keeps records of every sacrament administered, in addition to giving the person a certificate of it. If he was baptized or confirmed, there is record of it. I won't say that there is never a sacramental record that doesn't get filed properly, but it's very unusual and  I promise you John Wayne's is not one of them, lol. So, if he were baptized, a family member would likely have a certificate; if not, there is the permanent record in the church registry. There shouldn't be any mystery to it. If it happened, it can be looked up.   

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Another excellent article by Chrissy Stroop: Christian symbols at the Capitol insurrection ignited a debate among American evangelicals ‘God and country’ has become a toxic mix in the United States. Can they be uncoupled?

Stroop covers a lot of territory in this post.  She references Anthea Butler's White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America, Cindy Wang-Brandt (ex-evangelical and author of Parenting Forward: How to Raise Children with Justice, Mercy, and Kindness), and Beth Moore's tweet from Dec. 12, 2020: “I have never seen anything in these United States of America I found more astonishingly seductive & dangerous to the saints of God than Trumpism. This Christian nationalism is not of God. Move back from it.”  

snip:  

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If “respectable” evangelicals want to engage in good faith with people like me, who have left the fold and who write critically about the Christian education we received, they must grapple honestly with the deeper issues of supremacism, racism, misogyny and anti-LGBTQ animus that underlie the Christian nationalism we all saw at the January 6 insurrection. Even if a large number of evangelical pastors and educators were willing to confront superficial expressions of nationalism in their communities, the deeper biases and supremacist theology that animates these communities would remain. Addressing those issues is going to take more than hand-wringing about white Christian Trump support or giving up the practice of pledging allegiance to the American flag.

 

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