Evangelical Neurosis Disorder Causes END Times

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Richard Stanley, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. Richard Stanley

    Richard Stanley Administrator

    The following excerpted article is written by an American evangelical, John Fea, providing more psychological context for why 81% of American evangelicals voted for the skeeziest man on the planet. As Fea also provided, it didn't help matters that Trump was faced off against the Clinton legacy.


    White conservative evangelicals in America are anxious people. I know because I am one.

    Our sense of fear, perhaps more than any other factor, explains why evangelicals voted in such large numbers for Donald Trump in 2016 and continue to support his presidency.

    The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and essayist Marilynne Robinson once wrote, “Fear is not a Christian habit of mind.” The great poet of the Jersey shore, Bruce Springsteen, sings, “Fear’s a dangerous thing. It can turn your heart black you can trust. It can take a God-filled soul, and turn it to devils and dust.”

    Robinson and Springsteen echo verses in nearly every book of the Bible, the sacred text that serves as the source of spiritual authority in evangelical life. Moses told the Israelites to “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today.” The Hebrew God told Job: “At the destruction and famine you shall laugh, and shall not fear the beasts of the earth.” The Psalmist wrote: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.”

    The Gospel of John teaches Christians that “there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts our fear. St. Luke writes: “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

    Despite all these scriptural passages, it is still possible to write an entire history of American evangelicalism as the story of a people failing miserably at overcoming fear with hope, trust, and faith in their God. But it is also possible to find evangelicals, drawing deeply from Christian theological resources, who sought to forge an alternative history. ...

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/06/a-history-of-evangelical-fear/563558/

    Fea points out that at every opportunity there is a better 'faith' choice that can be made that will deliver better outcomes for all. Here we know that conservative types are more fear and anxiety prone and are thus more drawn to the perceived surety of religious fundamentalism. Such fundamentalism, for whatever reason(s) seem to always come with a fearsome End Times apocalyptic narrative, which does nothing but further stoke their reactionary, fear driven behaviors.

    As more people are starting to compare Trump to Adolf Hitler, and others complaining that this is not valid, the David Redles book Hitler's Millennial Reich demonstrates Hitler's near identical dynamic with the German Volk, roughly the same demographic as American evangelicals. Perhaps the strongest difference is the absolute depths of the German Volk in the post-WWI Weimar period compared to the relative depths of the American uneducated white proletariat. These latter perceiving their decline in Boomer status and wealth from the post-WWII period.

    As Fea points out, ironically Christian evangelicals are supposed to "fear not" because God will take care of them for eternity in the heavenly afterlife. Perhaps too many of them 'fear' that this pledge is similar to being sold some swampland in Florida. And of course, evangelicals are not of one mind on the whereabouts of the heavenly paradise, with some believing that they will live in eternal paradise on a 'cleansed' planet Earth.

    This is exactly what the Nazis taught in their neoChristian millennial apocalyptic construct, with Hitler as their messiah. We even know from Trump's first wife that he kept Hitler's Mein Kampf on his bedside nightstand.

    Same bat tirades, same bat shit END products.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
  2. Jerry Russell

    Jerry Russell Administrator Staff Member

    Fea has the typical Evangelical conviction that his interpretation of the Bible is the Truth, and that those other evangelicals are reading it wrong. He doesn't understand how his preferred message of love & tolerance, is undermined by the parts of the Bible he prefers to ignore; not to mention the backwardness of those conservative Evangelical churches that he's so ashamed of.

    It also bothers me that with all the hopey-lovey Biblical interpretations, Fea doesn't get that this really is an apocalyptic time. All these Evangelicals are afraid of the wrong apocalypse. They're worried about gay marriage and Monica's blue dress, while anticipating nuclear war as a good thing.
     
  3. Richard Stanley

    Richard Stanley Administrator

    This is true, as the Bible states that "To euery thing there is a season, and a time to euery purpose vnder the heauen".

    We should also be mindful that fear, including fear of the potential loss of one's ticket to eternal paradise, overrides rationality, and that there is also the element of herd mentality at work.
     
  4. Richard Stanley

    Richard Stanley Administrator

    The following excerpts are from a long Paul Rosenberg article critiquing Fea's book, Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump. PR discusses that Fea's analysis is incomplete, demonstrating the evangelical (apocalyptic) tendency to divide their world into an Evil Them versus the Pure (white) US. This is all the complex of apocalyptic aspects that parallel Hitler et al's logical extension of historical Catholic theology into the Nazi's concept of Positive Christianity. Hitler boldly exploited Fear, Power, and Nostalgia amongst Germans desiring a nostalgic return to an imagined past even more glorious than had actually ever existed.

    From https://www.alternet.org/blinded-darkness-heres-why-evangelicals-are-choosing-trump-over-jesus :

    John Fea is an evangelical Christian and a historian. When Donald Trump was elected with 81 percent of the self-described white evangelical vote, Fea was both stunned and surprised. “As a historian studying religion and politics, I should have seen this coming,” he notes. Yet he did not. Which was why Fea ended up writing his new book, “Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump.”

    This article first appeared in Salon.

    On its own terms, the book clearly succeeds in making sense for Fea and others like him, with potential for reaching wavering Trump supporters as well. He identifies and lucidly explores three fundamental flaws in evangelical thinking that have led them to embrace a leader who is wholly unfit by their own once-cherished moral standards, in pursuit of ends they cannot possibly achieve — restoring 1950s America via government action. In a key passage, Fea explains:

    For too long, white evangelical Christians have engaged in public life through a strategy defined by the politics of fear, the pursuit of worldly power, and nostalgia for a national past that may never have existed in the first place. Fear. Power. Nostalgia. These ideas are at the heart of this book, and I believe they best explain the 81 percent.

    ...
    Fear is the subject of the first three chapters of "Believe Me." They’re presented in reverse historical order — first come the 2016 primaries, then the shaping of the Christian-right playbook from the 1970s to the present, then a selective, episodic overview from colonial times to the modern era. The fourth chapter, dealing with power, examines the role of the “court evangelicals” who have come to support Trump, while his chapter exploring nostalgia examines its centrality in Trump’s fatally vague promise to “Make America Great Again.”

    Fea’s first chapter is especially riveting for the light it sheds on how evangelicals came to support Trump when they had so many other superficially better-looking options to choose from. He argues convincingly that other GOP candidates did a superior job of courting evangelical voters by traditional means, after eight years of Obama had brought more change than they could handle — Marco Rubio with an impressive advisory council, Mike Huckabee with a track record and issue positions, Ben Carson with an appealing personal story, but most of all Ted Cruz, who "turned fear-mongering into an art form,” which should have trumped everyone else, especially given his father’s history as a popular apocalyptic preacher.

    But collectively, Fea writes, they succeeded too well.

    Between the summer of 2015 and start of the primary season in early 2016, they were able to diagnose the crisis that the United States was facing in a way that brought great anxiety and concern to American evangelicals. But their strategy backfired. … The evangelical candidates stoked fears of a world they seemed unfit to train. Desperate times call for a strongman, and if a strongman was needed, only Donald Trump would fit the bill.

    ...
    Earlier, I said that Fea’s explanation of Trump’s strong white evangelical support was incomplete. This is true in at least two ways. First, it leaves out the question how Trump became a credible option in the first place, due to his lead role in promoting birtherism, which was equal parts flat-out racism and tinfoil-hat conspiracy theory. Fea makes no mention of Trump’s 2011 flirtation with running against Obama, which the then-president undercut by releasing his long-form birth certificate, after Trump had spent months building up toward a paranoid crescendo.

    Nor does Fea discuss how Republican doubts about Obama’s citizenship actually increased by early 2012, despite that documentary proof. Neither Trump’s means of making himself a credible option nor evangelicals’ means of disregarding unwanted evidence receive the attention they deserve. Birtherism is hardly a lone example of fantastical, conspiratorial thinking in the annals of American evangelical or racist history — a theme whose absence should be noted.

    More broadly, Trump’s omnipresent conspiracy theories meshed with long-standing evangelical responses to modernism and denigrations of professional expertise — which Christopher Douglas at Religion Dispatches has described accurately as “The Religious Origins of Fake News and ‘Alternative Facts’” — as well as older traditions of confabulation and fear, tracing back to colonial America.

    As I discussed here in December 2015, conflicts with Native Americans gave rise to America’s first popular literary genre, the captivity narrative, which the influential Cotton Mather used to connect all his perceived enemies together — including “captivity by specters,” in cases of witchcraft — a master conspiracy-theory prototype. “The Puritans' captivity fears were in some sense a matter of ‘envious reversal,’” I wrote, “a switching of roles of victim and aggressor. It was, after all, the Puritans who were capturing the Native Americans' whole world, the entire continent on which they lived.” ...

    https://www.alternet.org/blinded-darkness-heres-why-evangelicals-are-choosing-trump-over-jesus
     

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