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Theobros, Patriarchs, Dominionists, Christofascists et al.


Howl
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Free Jinger tends to be personality driven, we snark on fundy families and patriarchs and their beliefs and foibles.  However, I've been wanting a thread that puts this into the context of the larger beliefs and cultural movements that influence the people we follow and snark on.  Yes, there is  crossover with politics, but I think  it's important to view this as religion driving politics and not pure politics, so in the snark thread and not in the politics thread. 

I came across this astounding and brilliant twitter thread by Scott Foley this morning that prompted me to go ahead and do it.  I hope it will point you all towards what might be posted on this thread. 

Thread unrolli for non twitterati:  There’s a lot of overlap among evangelicals who dismiss social justice...

or just read it here!

Spoiler

There’s a lot of overlap among evangelicals who dismiss social justice (or “wokeness”) as Marxist, those who embrace patriarchy, and those whose theology borrows heavily from the thinking of men who claim biblical support for chattel slavery and segregation. 

The overlap isn’t coincidental: all of these commitments flow from an authoritarian outlook that organizes people into a divinely ordained hierarchy, based largely on innate physical characteristics, and conceives of morality as a matter of obedience to one’s natural superiors. 

They all hold that God has designed some people to exercise authority, and God has designed others to practice submission to authority. Moral order is achieved when we inhabit our God-ordained place in the hierarchy; and apart from that hierarchy, there is no morality. 

According to this paradigm, there’s no inconsistency in holding a church gathering that violates public health mandates, and then invoking Romans 13 to admonish those who protest U.S. immigration policy or the rate at which our government kills and imprisons African Americans. 

The men who embrace this conception of morality don’t even seem to understand the tension: by all appearances, they believe that Romans 13 is addressed to those for whom God has ordained submission—the disenfranchised and dispossessed—not those in authority, like themselves. 

In their view, laws and public policies that crystalize inequity are evidence of God’s design rather than a consequence of human depravity: systemic inequality is an expression of moral truth rather than a transgression against it. 

I don’t mean to suggest that fondness for patriarchy is identical to racism, or that all patriarchists are racists—rather that the push for gendered hierarchy and the push for racial hierarchy are animated by the same authoritarian impulse. 

Moreover, once we’ve embraced the authoritarian’s premise that God has designed some people for dominion and others for submission, the line between gender-based subjugation and race-based subjugation is morally arbitrary. 

The patriarchist might tell himself that he has Scripture to support his position while the racist does not. But as the quoted material in this post demonstrates, the racist can match the patriarchist for biblical proof-texts, in both quantity and purported clarity. 

Racists and patriarchists within evangelicalism don’t merely share an ideology, they fish in the same streams. 

Whether it’s organized by race or gender, authoritarian theologians baptize their preferred social hierarchy in biblical proof-texts that they alone have the authority to interpret and deem sufficiently clear to bind the conscience of all believers. 

The conservative evangelical conscience will remain fragmented as long as we attempt to derive morality from a curated collection of biblical proof-texts, tailored by men in power to justify the established order.

Original article related to this thread:  Racism & Patriarchy: Two Strands of the Same Authoritarian Theology

I'll try to track down two more articles.  One is about Dominionism and Abortion.  Another discusses how some fundamentalist American Christians are being bamboozled into supporting...Russia? 

 

 

 

 

 

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Just glimpsed something on FB about the parallel between slavery based on race and suppression of women. 
 

“Separate but equal” doctrines, the poster accurately pointed out. 
 

Will read the conversation soon. Thank you! 

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I may have posted a tweet on another thread that noted that complementarian beliefs as espoused by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood are just Jim Crow repackaged Christian misogyny. 

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3 hours ago, Howl said:

I may have posted a tweet on another thread that noted that complementarian beliefs as espoused by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood are just Jim Crow repackaged Christian misogyny. 

You did, and it’s on my to-read/listen list, when I find it again. 

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‘To Rule History With God’: The Christian Dominionist War On Abortion, Part I

Snip: 

Spoiler

Christian dominionism is a religious and political movement that began in earnest during the 20th century and includes a cross-section of various denominations. Many who subscribe to it do not self-identify as dominionists, though, Clarkson noted.

“Not everyone is going to say, ‘Hey, I’m a dominionist. I’m all about theocracy.’ Not many people are going to say that, but this body of theological thought has been percolating throughout the evangelical world for decades,” he said. “If you think that America should be a Christian nation, well, what should that look like? And that’s where the dominionist agenda comes in. It’s not just any conservative thinking.”

Dominionist goals reach far beyond abortion, he said.

“While abortion and Roe and Dobbs are what we’re looking at in the heat of the moment, this is just one battle in a larger war for the world,” Clarkson said.

‘God Selected This Case’: The Christian Dominionist War On Abortion, Part II

Part III is on the way. 

These are not short articles, but worth a read. 

Edited by Howl
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6 hours ago, Howl said:

Yes, there is  crossover with politics, but I think  it's important to view this as religion driving politics and not pure politics, so in the snark thread and not in the politics thread. 

Yes! I have a lot of thoughts on this that I need to sit with and organize, but lately it seems like the lines between "be separate from the world" extremists and "destroy worldly systems" extremists are more or less gone. The anti-abortion activists and the militia guys and the Qanoners and the Quiverfullers are one in the same. I was reading something the other day that about how the wave of book-banning and anti-mask fury ties back to people who think that public education shouldn't exist at all, and remembering how one of the most influential, if little-known, crusaders against public education is Paul Dorr, father of 11 whose sons are now big-name grifters in gun nut circles. Or I'll check in on Matt Trewhella, who I know about from his ties to more "lifestyle" centered fundies like the Mortons, and see that General Flynn is promoting his book to conspiracy nuts. It's impressive how many of the people I've heard of from being on this board and clowning on someone's homemade prairie dresses turn out to be connected to groups that are now causes for major concern in our political climate. Makes me feel a little like I've got a big board covered in red string.

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35 minutes ago, NachosFlandersStyle said:

It's impressive how many of the people I've heard of from being on this board and clowning on someone's homemade prairie dresses turn out to be connected to groups that are now causes for major concern in our political climate.

I've always thought this. I started following online fundie shit in the mid-2000s and noticed immediately what small circles they all travel(ed) in -- attending the same home school & other conferences, consuming the same media, having the same hobbies and fundie-approved careers (being Daddy's assistant or wedding photography), and of course courting/marrying within those circles, if possible. 

Re: abortion and fundies. Frank Schaeffer has said for many years that making abortion into a talibangelical issue was a highly deliberate and political choice, one that his late father and he were part of back when it started in the late 1970s or early 1980s.

Thanks for those articles, @Howl. Bookmarked for later reading.

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BIBLICAL INERRANCY’S LONG HISTORY AS AN EVANGELICAL ACTIVIST FOR WHITE PATRIARCHY

some snips from the article: 

Quote

Segregationist Christians made their preferred racial-economic hierarchy seem natural by presenting it as biblical, and they maligned anti-segregation Christians by critiquing their biblical exegesis and questioning their commitment to Christian truth.

and  

Quote

Patriarchy is a related arena of inerrancy’s activism, which makes sense since historians of America have long pointed out that White Supremacy was about reproducing hierarchies with white men at the top. This brings us to the story of inerrancy unfolding right now that captures my interest as a scholar who focuses on the gendered politics of how evangelicals talk about their Bible. 

 

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That first Twitter thread is really insightful about how so much of the toxic layers of patriarchy dominionism, misogyny, and fundamentalism overlap . Theobros and ”masculinity” creep into every denomination too, so even though we see the personalities here on FJ, I recognize it in the corners of my mainline Protestant denom. Some are disguised more sophisticatedly as traditionalists or whatever, but it is the same old fundamentalism and I find it increasingly revolting that there’s a sort of brash swagger about it. 

This bro blew up Christian Twitter yesterday. Not sure if it entirely fits here, but I’m still pissed off about it, so here you go. It is gratifying how badly he got ratioed, though, and even Adidas tweeted them their new boob ad as a response.

Glad the Pastors are hard at it demanding all women everywhere that their bodies and life events should revolve around a fundie man’s sexual issues. 

Edited by neuroticcat
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I found FJ in the early 2000s after finding a Vision Forum catalog in a friends mail and getting very weird vibes from homeschool groups (I home schooled my girls). I literally had a big board with red strings, an association matrix on how these “fringe” groups intersected with political figures. I was scared as hell. My (then) husband thought I was nuts.

 

Now I have second generation free jinger kids watching, and we obviously aren’t nuts. The ties run deep.

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3 hours ago, frumperlicious said:

I found FJ in the early 2000s after finding a Vision Forum catalog in a friends mail and getting very weird vibes from homeschool groups (I home schooled my girls). I literally had a big board with red strings, an association matrix on how these “fringe” groups intersected with political figures. I was scared as hell. My (then) husband thought I was nuts.

 

Now I have second generation free jinger kids watching, and we obviously aren’t nuts. The ties run deep.

I was a few years behind you, but Vision Forum was what got my "this is weird" hackles up, too.

A family from the Reformed Baptist church I grew up started making weird cult-speak posts on FB and referencing Rushdoony.  A little Googling got me here where I also learned about Gothard and a ton off other lunatics and had to sort them all out.  I wish I had done the yarn bulletin board thing, though!

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15 hours ago, frumperlicious said:

I literally had a big board with red strings, an association matrix on how these “fringe” groups intersected with political figures.

Iʻd love to see something like that.

It would also be a great tool to use with media because they donʻt know enough to see or dig for the bigger picture. Plus, they continually give Christians a pass, so all of the hate, misogyny, and vileness get ignored.

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The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty (BJC) and the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) released a report on 9th February called "Christian Nationalism at the January 6, 2021, Insurrection". It's not pleasant reading.

The contributors (text copied directly from the website) are:

  • Professors Andrew Whitehead and Samuel Perry, authors of Taking America Back for God: Christian Nationalism in the United States;
  • Katherine Stewart, author of The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism;
  • Dr. Jemar Tisby, historian of race and religion and author of How to Fight Racism and The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism; 
  • Amanda Tyler, executive director of BJC and organizer of the Christians Against Christian Nationalism initiative; and
  • Andrew L. Seidel, a constitutional attorney at FFRF and author of The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism is Un-American.

I'm not sure whether this fits here or not, but it seems to be in the ballpark.

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25 minutes ago, Katzchen24 said:

Andrew L. Seidel, a constitutional attorney at FFRF and author of The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism is Un-American

I’m reading this. It’s very good. 

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On 2/11/2022 at 6:56 AM, Howl said:

 

Interesting thread.

I stumbled across the 6-month old article about the controversies and scandals and Bethlehem Baptist Churches and Seminary, although this is CT so the story is presented as "mistakes were made" by varying sides with no recognition of power differentials and such. It was the first time that I have encountered the idea of "empathy as sin." 

I am too disillusioned and frankly uninterested in figuring out how they reconcile this with the "weep with those who weep" teaching. Evangelicalism threw away the gospels from the get-go but now it would seem the book of Romans too?  

(I had a fascinating and disturbing conversation with a fundamentalist during the early days of the pandemic. He was arguing for every butt in the pew every Sunday regardless of law. I was scratching my head because, among other things, how was that supposed to work for people working in the jails and ICE detention facilities. Our local ICE facility was sleeping the women head toe in order to get 6' of space. No masks, no cleaning products with alcohol.  The risk of workers carrying covid inside was very real. When I asked about the Romans verse of "remember the prisoners as if you are there with them," his response was that Christians could and should fulfill that responsibility by writing letters. It was a disturbing piece of mental gymnastics.)

Scott Coley's interpretation that this kind of theology is the natural result of believing in a divinely ordained pecking order makes sense to me. The corollary would be the (white) men holding up the hierarchy also have to come up with some explanation for their refusal to protect the vulnerable and/or work for a more just world. That's where the theology gets extra special. In the case of Bethlehem, it seems they have progressed to making it a sin to be deeply involved with any sort of marginalized group.

 

 

 

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DO any of these motherfucking morons realize they worship a homeless. itinerant JEWISH teacher? Do they understand that He preached to 5000+ people and FED them too? Do they understand that He never, ever asked if someone was "worthy enough" to be healed? He visited friends, he played with children, his message at the time was scandalous..."Love one another as I have loved you", "Love your neighbor as yourself", "if you hurt any of these little ones (children), it would be better for you to be drowned with a millstone around your neck", "if you lust after a woman, you've already committed adultery in your heart. Better to gouge out your eyeballs than to look at a woman with lust". Paul was a world-class arrogant son of a bitch, drowning in self-righteousness until God got hold of him on the Damascus road. He became a "bi-vocational" preacher. When he was in a city, he'd support himself by making tents. Now, that's some classy-ass work...

Ok, I think I screwed up by actually READING the entire NT. 

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2 hours ago, feministxtian said:

DO any of these motherfucking morons realize they worship a homeless. itinerant JEWISH teacher? Do they understand that He preached to 5000+ people and FED them too? Do they understand that He never, ever asked if someone was "worthy enough" to be healed? He visited friends, he played with children, his message at the time was scandalous..."Love one another as I have loved you", "Love your neighbor as yourself", "if you hurt any of these little ones (children), it would be better for you to be drowned with a millstone around your neck", "if you lust after a woman, you've already committed adultery in your heart. Better to gouge out your eyeballs than to look at a woman with lust". Paul was a world-class arrogant son of a bitch, drowning in self-righteousness until God got hold of him on the Damascus road. He became a "bi-vocational" preacher. When he was in a city, he'd support himself by making tents. Now, that's some classy-ass work...

Ok, I think I screwed up by actually READING the entire NT. 

See, I do think they realize this. 100%.

But, they also believe in a hierarchical world order:

Male > Female

White skin > Brown or Black skin

Pastor or theologian > congregation

American > other nationalities

Military or law enforcement > civilian

Part of the belief is that the hierarchy MUST be maintained. Which means any teaching of Jesus that contradict the hierarchy are given a pass. 

 

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Interesting book to look forward to: 

and yes, this is the same Scott Coley whose tweet I used to start this thread! 

 

Edited by Howl
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I did a search to see if this is being discussed somewhere already and didn't see it..... if it is though, mods, feel free to delete. I saw this thread and thought it might fit.  Do we (FJ as a collective) know this guy?   

 

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3 hours ago, The Mother Dust said:

I did a search to see if this is being discussed somewhere already and didn't see it..... if it is though, mods, feel free to delete. I saw this thread and thought it might fit.  Do we (FJ as a collective) know this guy?   

 

He’s been discussed somewhere but only in passing. I’m sorry I can’t offer any more info than that. 

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4 hours ago, The Mother Dust said:

Do we (FJ as a collective) know this guy?   

That's Greg Locke. He has come up recently in this FJ thread, thanks to this very thing.

The speculation on Twitter is that the "six witches" may actually be six women in his church who are accusing him of sexual harassment or worse, so this rant from the pulpit is really an attempt to get ahead of their allegations.

Given Locke's history as summarized in that Baptist News Global article, I wouldn't be surprised.

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4 hours ago, The Mother Dust said:

I did a search to see if this is being discussed somewhere already and didn't see it..... if it is though, mods, feel free to delete. I saw this thread and thought it might fit.  Do we (FJ as a collective) know this guy?   

 

This guy is a first class Qrazy. He's been responsible for a recent book burning, conducted huge services (masks forbidden) throughout the Covid pandemic, espouses violence against anyone who doesn't do his brand of Jesus and is absolutely convinced that God ordained Trump to win the election in 2020. I'm not too sure where he stands on that now, but the guy is a terrifying nut job. 

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17 hours ago, The Mother Dust said:

I did a search to see if this is being discussed somewhere already and didn't see it..... if it is though, mods, feel free to delete. I saw this thread and thought it might fit.  Do we (FJ as a collective) know this guy?   

As @hoipolloi mentioned, he gets brought up from time to time over in the Prophets of Trump thread. :pb_smile:

Edited by Cartmann99
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