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Jesus and John Wayne and Changes in Evangelicalism


theotherelise

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I struggle with calling it an « imposter » Christianity.  Jesus may have taught otherwise but most of the OT and several thousand years of Christian history and tradition would put violent power trips square and center.  I would argue that has always been more the norm in Christianity than not. 

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8 hours ago, 47of74 said:

Samuel Perry, a professor of religious studies at the University of Oklahoma who is authority on the ideology, calls it an "imposter Christianity."

I get where he's coming from but these Christians are completely real and are not imposters. 

I used to talk about "fake Christians" myself but after reading Crissy Stroop's thoughtful comments from a few years ago, I've stopped. These people are real Christians. What we need to do is quit giving Christians & Christianity a pass or the presumption of always being good. The media has to quit treating Christians and Christianity with kid gloves and subject them to as much scrutiny as any other faith. No more Christian privilege.

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On 7/24/2022 at 9:23 PM, hoipolloi said:

I used to talk about "fake Christians" myself but after reading Crissy Stroop's thoughtful comments 

I've also been following Chrissy Stroop and her take on "well they're not MY kind of Christians."  She's been consistently making this point on Twitter every time the topic pops up.  

On 7/24/2022 at 6:28 PM, treehugger said:

I struggle with calling it an « imposter » Christianity.  Jesus may have taught otherwise but most of the OT and several thousand years of Christian history and tradition would put violent power trips square and center.

Yes, the US history of slavery and genocide of Native people and the horror visited on the Americas by Catholic explorers and the priests who accompanied them. 

The Pope visited Canada yesterday to apologize to First Nations people for the abuse that took place in Catholic boarding schools. The idea of the schools themselves was a form of abuse; it separated children from their families in order to destroy culture and language.

The US also had boarding schools. They were not specifically religious but definitely underpinned by a Manifest Destiny mindset. Abuse flourished there also. 

 

 

Edited by Howl
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On 7/26/2022 at 7:28 AM, Howl said:

 They were not specifically religious  

It may not have been part of the name, but converting the students to Christianity was a key aim of these schools. 

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If anyone is interested, there are two excellent podcasts on Canadian residential schools, both done this year.

Connie Walker focuses on St. Michael's School in Saskatchewan, where multiple members of her family -- including her father -- were forced to attend and endured extensive abuse. Native journalist Duncan McCue focuses on Kuper Island in BC and goes in depth into the stories of families whose members endured extensive abuse there.

In both cases, the schools were run by the Oblates, a RC missionary order that ran many of the residential schools in Canada. They have not been very cooperative or forthcoming about providing personnel records.

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3 hours ago, hoipolloi said:

They have not been very cooperative or forthcoming about providing personnel records.

I know zip about Canadian tort law; are they perhaps scared sh*tless that they will be sued into oblivion?  

Can the Canadian courts "encourage" them to be more forthcoming?  Will they then claim those old records have been purged? 

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23 hours ago, hoipolloi said:

Native journalist Duncan McCue focuses on Kuper Island in BC and goes in depth into the stories of families whose members endured extensive abuse there.

Kuper Island was one of the worst, from what I've read. It was called "Alcatraz" by some former residents.

I recommend A Knock on the Door: The Essential History of Residential Schools from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Edited and Abridged if anyone wants to read up on the experience of indigenous children in residential schools and the ongoing aftermath from a national perspective. I also recommend any Canadians read the TRC calls to action. As always with government investigations, I've found the investigation itself to be fairly well received but the government to be almost entirely unresponsive to its recommendations so it left a bitter taste in the mouths of many indigenous people.

For other learning: 

  • A Heritage Minute on the death of Chanie Wenjack, a child at a school
  • A documentary about Chanie Wenjack called The Secret Path. This is part of a multimedia project including a book, an album, and teaching materials for schools which was led by Gord Downie in conjunction with the Wenjack family. Gord Downie was an iconic Canadian rock singer with the band the Tragically Hip who used his fame to bring a lot of attention to this project in the last years of his life.
  • A list of memoirs from survivors

A professor I once had told me a story about an indigenous man, now passed away, who was hidden by his community while the rest of the children were taken. He was specifically hidden to learn all their knowledge, their way of life, their religion, their teachings, their language - but it also meant he was entirely isolated from anyone his own age and from most of the community, since he was kept so secret. It was a lot of pressure to put on a kid but he rose to it and spent his life sharing everything he was responsible for knowing. I can't remember his name or the Nation he was from, but it was a Coast Salish Nation

Sorry to kind of hijack the thread but I feel pretty strongly that people need to know about this stuff.

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2 hours ago, NQJasmine said:

A professor I once had told me a story about an indigenous man, now passed away, who was hidden by his community while the rest of the children were taken.

It's my understanding that Navajo families tried to hide at least one child to be raised in a traditional way when the rest were taken away to schools. Some communities tried to completely avoid the agents who came for their children.  These schools were going on for a long time (until the 1970s?) so I don't have a time frame for when that was happening. 

One thing to remember about boarding schools -- it created generations of children who were never parented and who didn't know how to parent their own children. 

Powerful words from a Diné (Navajo) woman who was sent to a boarding school.  For More Than 100 Years, the U.S. Forced Navajo Students Into Western Schools. The Damage Is Still Felt Today

 

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  • 1 month later...

Such a powerful post this morning from D.L. Mayfield.   She has a book coming out soon: Unruly Saint: Dorothy Day's Radical Vision and Its Challenge for Out Times

"White evangelical Christians are the single biggest threat to the flourishing of all people in the United States. And they believe God only wants them in power, and they will do anything to get and keep it."   Boom!   Full text of thread below the tweet. 

Full text of thread: "Evangelical Christians are killing us. In literal ways (opposing gun reform, denying COVID-19, promoting a fascist like faith in the cops) and also on a heart level. I’m so exhausted by their seemingly endless capacity for deceit and casual cruelty. 

I think the exhaustion is a part of the plan, by the way. So I’m trying to fight back by getting healthy. But I’ve been on a long journey of grappling with the cognitive dissonance, trying to enact change within the group, and now I will fight them as I am able to. 

Their ideology is not redeemable. Their theology is not redeemable. They as individuals are, of course, but they are responsible for their actions. And their beliefs have devastating consequences for our society. 

White evangelical Christians are the single biggest threat to the flourishing of all people in the United States. And they believe God only wants them in power, and they will do anything to get and keep it. 

They operate like a cult and so many people who are a part of it feel awful about certain aspects but stay in because it’s their entire world—family, community, career, identity. They prime people to ignore their own conscience and push forward for “the greater good/the gospel.” 

(The greater good is them being in power, by the way.) and everything that white evangelicalism teaches primes people to accept and even embrace authoritarianism if it promises to protect their best interests. Everything. Their theology, their music, their books.

They are killing us. And they will continue to up their rhetoric and encourage more violence and explicitly tell their people to only vote for right wing authoritarians. But we have to accurately name it. White evangelical theology is deadly, in so many ways.

I know it doesn’t seem like I have tempered my thoughts on white evangelicals the past few years. But honestly, I have. Because of pressure from my family. Because for so long I thought if I brought up the hypocrisies in a calm enough way things could change from the inside.

But I renounce white evangelicalism and all of its works. The racism, homophobia, denial of COVID-19, the obsession with winning at all costs, the unshakable belief that they are superior to every people group throughout all of human history, the faithful chosen few.

Sorry for the typos but I think y’all get the gist. I’m happy to fight back with so many of you. I’m happy to be out. But I’m very worried for the future, because we have no reason to believe white evangelicals will suddenly stop trying to establish their authoritarian regime.

I’m truly excited for the day when I don’t have to think about them all the time. But both personally and on a social/political level, I don’t have that luxury. So for now I just do the slow work of healing and naming what I have experienced as accurately as I can."

 

Edited by Howl
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Relevant tweet from psychologist Nick Carmody, a psychologist who deconstructs the  psychopathology underlying MAGA Trumpism. He's infamous for nested tweets referring to nested tweets in previous threads, so I'll just post the meat of what he's saying relative to D.L. Mayfield's tweets referenced above: 

"...collective narcissism occurs when an exaggerated, inflated, and unrealistic view of the in-group compensates for creeping feelings of loss of dominance and declining importance, while also displaying a hypersensitivity to any out-group threats to the in-group’s image. 

Demagogues have incited people to fear minor 'threats' to status (collective narcissism), wealth, and lifestyle. As a result, 'threats' to a white, Christian, unregulated gun-owning society is equated to a literal existential threat to survival."

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  • 2 weeks later...

This book has gained influential traction with a number of members of the Jan. 6th Committee . 

Quote

Raskin has publicly acknowledged the role Christian nationalism played in fueling the insurrection, as has fellow Jan. 6 committee member Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, himself an evangelical Christian who has condemned the ideology by name. Raskin, who told RNS in May of last year that he read the book “Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation” to better understand evangelical support for Trump, was also among a group of lawmakers who attended a virtual briefing in March led by activists and scholars on a report detailing Christian nationalism’s outsized influence on Jan. 6.  

However, Christian nationalism has not been directly mentioned during the Jan. 6 hearings themselves, with lawmakers instead often highlighting the faith of those negatively impacted by the Capitol attack. Meanwhile, few Republican lawmakers — aside from Kinzinger — have condemned or distanced themselves from fusions of God and country amid calls from Greene for the GOP to become the “party of Christian nationalism.”

Even so, Ali said Raskin’s affiliation with the event is important, given the congressman’s role as “one of the folks who has been sounding the alarm about our national security threats.” More attention should be paid to Christian nationalism because, Ali argued, it will likely outlive Trump’s time on the national stage — especially as governors such as Gregg Abbott of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida embrace the ideology alongside others popularized by Trump.

“People say when Trump is gone, the spread is gone. Nope — Trumpism is here to stay,” Ali said. “It will just create a new avatar. That avatar right now is DeSantis, Abbott and Marjorie Taylor Greene.”  https://religionnews.com/2022/09/28/interfaith-group-hosts-hill-briefing-on-christian-nationalism/

 

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I definitely have Jesus and John Wayne on my reading list. I also recommend "Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism is Unamerican" by Andrew Seidel. It is a great read and is really eye opening in how Christian Nationalism is trying to infiltrate the nations policies. He just released a second book called "American Crusade: How the Supreme Court is Weaponizing Religious Freedom".

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