How come so many Christians fall for conspiracy theories?

 

Progressive Christian blogger Joe Forrest has a great piece up on Medium about conspiracy theories, that begins with the story of how he convinced his sixth grade class that the moon landing was faked. He rounds up plenty of thoughtful links, quotes, and observations about these dangerous beliefs in general, but also how they seduce and appeal to those who worship Jesus.

Maybe it’s because, from a young age, many of us were taught the “scientific establishment” was out to destroy our belief in the Bible.

Or maybe so many of us were convinced by the Left Behind books that a satanic one-world government was on the horizon, it just makes sense we need to be as vigilant as possible right now.

Or maybe because we’ve already been conditioned by our own belief system that there exists a hidden spiritual reality that making the leap to a hidden “shadow government” reality isn’t all that big of a deal.

And it’s important to note that a lot of Christians share conspiracy theories out of good faith. They believe they’re “exposing the truth.” But most conspiracy theories are rotten at the core. It’s obvious they’re rooted in fear, insecurity, and loneliness. And they’re often designed to give us more reasons to loathe our ideological enemies.

Forrest's faith is clearly one of radical empathy, not of evangelical self-persecution, which gives him a unique perspective. He's clearly familiar with all kinds of Christian life, and writes with that audience in mind. Read the rest

Christian mom infuriated, tearful after hearing Hip Hop song, which she then recites in full (Update: remixes!)

"Music isn't the same nowadays. Not at all. ... The cuss words were bleeped out, but I'm not stupid."

Then she breaks down in tears at the memory of Vince Staples, whose "Norf Norf" she then recites.

If someone doesn't do a Christian Mom remix/cover of Norf Norf by the weekend the internet is over.

Wise words from Vince himself:

UPDATE: JPosition delivers a straight-up, sadly not very catchy Mom cover:

But here is a more sonorous remix, by Maurice Spears. Reminder: so many bad words.

Read the rest

Convicted Christian con artist Jim Bakker now just literally selling buckets of Bibles on TV

Behold, how the mighty have fallen. Read the rest

Trump's Prosperity Gospel backers say Jesus makes you rich, cures Ebola, resurrects chickens

That weird meeting between presidential candidate Donald Trump and a number of so-called Prosperity Gospel evangelists sounds weirder the more we learn about who was there, and what they actually say they believe. Read the rest

The “Amen!” Game: 1970s Christian board game, scanned online for you to play

Bible trivia version of Bingo from 1973.

Internet preacher: Because SCOTUS gay marriage ruling, Putin will destroy America for Jesus

You heard it here first.

[via Christian Nightmares] Read the rest

Nightmarish Christian birdsong album

Enjoy this genuinely nightmarish visit with Ralph Platt in God's great outdoors, where he joins the birds of the forest in giving song to the pipe organ music of Lorin Whitney.

The full album was recently posted online by Fuji Puzzle Box, who warns that a Volume 2 of this exists somewhere out there.

...an album of pious Christian dirges so lugubrious they practically go all the way around and turn giddy. Made famous by the Firesign Theatre, who created so many dearly beloved batshit radio performances using this record as underscore.

UPDATE: "Hi Rob, Taylor here, archivist for Firesign Theatre and the guy behind Fuji Puzzle Box. Thanks for the post! There was indeed a volume two, and here it is"

Read the rest

Stephen Fry lets gay-"curing" doctor explain himself badly

Stephen Fry interviews Dr. Joseph Nicolosi of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality. Nicolosi's beliefs are so flatly pseudoscientific and Victorian (Homosexuality caused by parental neglect and emotional trauma, etc) that it'd be easy to make a fool of him--Fry, however, being Fry, lets him make a fool of himself. [Video Link via Gawker] Read the rest

Set theory, Christians, and parody

Last week, I wrote a piece for BoingBoing about fundamentalist Christian objections to the mathematical idea of set theory. Those objections are, apparently, real—sourced to math textbooks produced by publisher A Beka. And, if you understand the cultural mindset, it even makes a weird sort of sense. But it's also ripe for parody. Read the first comment to this story at The New York Times. At first, it looks like a real world example of the stuff we were talking about last week. But it's not. The commenter is Stephenson Billings, a pseudonymous contributor to the parody site Christwire. I fell for this myself. Thankfully, Twitter user UCSD_Nanomed pointed out what was really going on. Read the rest