I have kind of an unhealthy fascination with the cultishness of Christian Nationalist American Evangelicals. I was raised Catholic; before I went to high school, my mom actually worked at the local church, and later taught "family and life skills" at a private Catholic school. But she was always more interested in the Dorothy Day and Mother Teresa side of Catholicism. Later, in life, a family friend and child of Irish immigrants replaced his drug addiction with a Jesus addiction, and exposed us to a whole new world of hellfire-and-brimstone American Authoritarian Christianity that sharply conflicted with the Jesus I'd grown up with.
That family friend has now blocked me out of his life after I called him on his xenophobic and Islamophobic bullshit one too many times. But not before he tried one last time to get me to convert and accept his version of Jesus as my personal savior; apparently, my Agnostic view of "Idunno just be a good fucking person, and if there's Heaven, then you're set" is not enough for that wrathful, vengeful, Old Testament God that these people believe in.
But I thought of as I listened to a recent article from Rolling Stone written by a recovering Evangelical named Alex Morris. Morris dives deep into the ways that Trump has specifically courted the Christian Nationalist base, and why they fail to see any moral conflicts with his language, behavior, or beliefs. Over the course of 45 minutes (via Audm), she effortless weaves this political story with her own personal narrative of growing up in, and ultimately escaping from, this cultish movement:
Read the rest
For the God-fearing evangelical, gay marriage, abortion, and the evils of socialism — as opposed to racial injustice, family separation, or income inequality — put America squarely in the path of the wrath of God.
Yes, this is real. Someone actually made a first-person shooter for the New Testament. From the game's Steam page:
"I am Jesus Christ" is a realistic simulator game inspired by stories from the New Testament of the Bible. Get into old times and follow the same path of Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago. Game is covering the period from Baptizing of Jesus Christ and to Resurrection. Have you ever wondered to be like Him - one of the most privileged and powerful people in the world?
Check if you can perform all famous miracles from the Bible like Jesus Christ. It is a simulation game and you can try to save the world as He did. Are you ready to fight with Satan in the desert, exorcising demons and curing sick people? Or calm the storm in the sea?
I have a lot of questions. Like, why is it possible to beat the game without dying? Can you change the outcome of Bible stories, or do you just have to recreate it step by step? Does that mean you get to kick the crap out of a bunch of greedy bankers in the game? Do you actually get to fight Satan, too? Like physically? Does that mean Jesus has attack skills? Are there power-ups to boost the abilities with which you've already been divinely bestowed? Why is Jesus taking Polaroid pictures of everyone he helps? Why isn't Jesus shaking his Polaroid pictures to help them develop before placing them in the Bible? Read the rest
An 81-year-old gentleman from Tennessee was showing off his gun in a Tennessee church during a "gun-violence at houses of worship" chat, when he accidentally shot himself and his wife. A woman in the church kitchen heard the gunshot and called the police thinking they were under attack, causing local schools nearby to go into lockdown.
According to Reuters:
The man removed the magazine and cleared the chamber to show the pistol to the others. He then reloaded it, put a round in the chamber and put it back in his pocket, Parks said.
When another person asked to see the pistol, the man took it out of his pocket and his finger accidentally hit the trigger. The bullet struck his right hand and then went through his 80-year-old wife's abdomen and right forearm, according to the police chief.
Fortunately for the gun-toting man, who had told the other churchgoers, "I carry a weapon with me everywhere," he and his wife got lucky and are in stable condition at the hospital.
Image: Max Pixel Read the rest