Trump, QAnon and Fox News: Body and Soul Snatchers of My Christian Friends

Christians got their judges and tweets and promises, but what is the cost of their mulligans?

The Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a science fiction horror movie where the aliens that invade Earth are a race of gelatinous creatures that first invade the plant life in the cities.  These plants run filaments to humans at night through which they spawn a rapidly growing clone identical in appearance and gait to their human host, killing and disintegrating their human host before they awake and when they are done.  Very few humans notice this body snatching that expands exponentially.  These clones march in the same direction in total conformity, but when they detect a true human walking down the street among them they bulge their eyes, point their fingers, and let out a high pitch screech warning all aliens around them, as is seen in this horrifying clip:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTP_SdjD5ms

Why do I feel like I, nearly alone, am living in a spiritual version of this body and soul snatching dystopia?

Whenever I talk to my white Christian friends and tell them that I am a socialist liberal Democrat; that I support the social justice Catholic position so passionately advanced by Pope Francis; that Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, AOC, George Soros, Tom Hanks, and Hilary Clinton are not QAnon bogeymen kidnapping children; that I am both pro-life and pro-choice, with reservations, and am not pro-death; that Black Lives Really Do Matter deeply; when I tell them this and more, they bulge their eyes, point their fingers, and let out a high pitch screech screaming: Snake!  False Teacher! Satan’s servant!  Liberal!  Communist! Trump hater!  Baby killer!  Murderer!  Democrat!

Whenever I talk to my black Christian friends, and lately I have been avoiding most of my white Christian friends, the topic is often the same.  Why are their other white friends so clueless?  Why do they not fear or realize that this country has been sliding back into its Jim Crow mentality during the Trump presidency?  Why do they seek to trivialize the Black Lives Matter mentality?

Ever since Trump won the 2016 election I feel like my life has turned into a dysfunctional alternate reality where the bodies and souls of my fellow white Christians have been snatched, not overnight as in the movies, but over many decades by the far-right wing media who prey on the darkest fears, and darky fears, slowly turning them, layman and clergy alike, to the dark side, as if the Christian world has morphed into a massive Milgram experiment that has gone horribly wrong.

Many whites feel that these fears are justified.  Everyone wants their children to be always feel safe at school as well as in their neighborhood.  We all read the local newspapers; we all can see that many of the vicious crimes are committed by black youths who grew up in grinding poverty.  Are vicious crimes by white truants underreported?  Definitely, but neither of these realizations should not keep us from racial reconciliation.

Many blacks justly fear that every time they are pulled over by a white policeman that they really need to mind their P’s and Q’s, lest they get shot.  Many whites, myself included, have been surprised during the public debate on Black Lives Matter this past year how our black brothers live their lives in quiet fear of rogue white policemen.  Prosperous black can now move into prosperous neighborhoods, but we keep hearing of the unlucky few prosperous blacks who are arrested on suspicion of breaking into their own homes, the prosperous black jogger who was murdered jogging in his own neighborhood by a white man who suspected he might be running away from a crime somewhere.

What is not justified is allowing these deep-seated fears to fester into hatred.  Instead, this dysfunctional cycle must be broken by everyone consciously striving to become better people, trying to make our society a better society.  We must love our neighbor.  If we do not love our neighbor, we do not Love God.  Who are our neighbors?  Our neighbors are our friends, our neighbors are our enemies, our neighbors are both black and white, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, as this country song teaches us:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLCuhwHuEvU

Black lives do matter.  Police brutality is real.  Too many black people are shot in the back by policemen.  Regardless, we must remember that a primary cause of police brutality is criminal brutality.  Police risk their lives literally every time they answer calls on domestic violence and traffic accidents.  There is very little discussion of this dilemma, this is the only intelligent discussion of this topic I have heard so far.  Halfway through this podcast Maya Wiley tells of her experiences as a citizen member of a New York City internal police board:
https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/msnbc/the-oath-with-chuck-rosenberg/e/70481358

The Capitol riots on January 6th and the STOP THE STEAL movement to declare Trump the victor have fueled by QAnon:
https://www.insider.com/capitol-riots-qanon-protest-conspiracy-theory-washington-dc-protests-2021-1

QANON IS SNATCHING THE SOULS OF CHRISTIANS AND REPUBLICANS

You, Gentle Reader, may be skeptical that aliens are surreptitiously invading by running plant filaments to humans at night through which they spawn a rapidly growing clone identical in appearance and gait to their human host, killing and disintegrating their human host before they awake and when they are done.

Actually, this is not quite correct, in the current invasion these filaments are being run, mostly at night, from aliens who inhabit the QAnon website who are intent not only on snatching your body, these aliens desire to snatch your soul as well.

Gentle Reader, you may ask, what exactly is this gelatinous QAnon?  Wikipedia explains it best: “QAnon is a far-right conspiracy theory that alleges that a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles is running a global child sex-trafficking ring and plotting against President Donald Trump, who is battling against the cabal.  Q of QAnon has accused many liberal Hollywood actors, Democratic politicians, and high-ranking officials of being members of the cabal.  Q also claimed that Trump feigned conspiracy with Russians to enlist Robert Mueller to join him in exposing the sex-trafficking ring and preventing a coup d’état by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and George Soros.”  The fact that George Soros is involved proves that the QAnon conspiracy is true, after all, don’t wealthy Jews control everything in the world?

I was having the rarest of discussions with a well-educated Republican friend whom I respect, an honest discussion of how you can both be Christian and vote for the Democratic Party, and I was dumbfounded by this bizarre accusation that somehow top Democrats and Hollywood stars are somehow soft on child traffickers, and my response was, how does this accusation even make any sense?  They did not mention the Jeffrey Epstein case, which also makes sense, since Trump has had some rather embarrassing photos with Epstein at his young girl parties.  And I might add that most informed liberals will also concede that it makes sense that Trump broke with Epstein after many members of his country club complained about Epstein prowling after their teenage daughters.  The accusation that Democratic or Republican leaders and Hollywood stars have this secret cabal trafficking young children makes no sense, and is explained only by the possibility that QAnon is infiltrating the Christian world and FoxNews and the rest of the right-wingnut media outlets.

There is a poll that has been recently released that confirms that this must be case:
https://today.yougov.com/topics/politics/articles-reports/2020/10/20/half-trump-supporters-believe-qanon-theory-child-s

When Trump supporters are asked whether Democrat leaders are involved in elite child sex-trafficking rings, 50% say YES, 33% say they are not sure, and only 17% affirm that this charge is NOT TRUE.  We know that in his town-hall he refused to denounce QAnon, claiming that “I know nothing about QAnon” and went on to say that he knows that “they are very strongly against pedophilia and I agree with that.”  Anyone who can see YouTube videos knows that Trump must have noticed the droves of his supporters that have been wearing the QAnon “Q” shirts and hats and memorabilia sold at his campaign rallies this past year.

Indeed, QAnon is snatching the souls of many Christians, warns Ed Stetzer, a leading evangelical leader affiliated with Wheaton College, as expressed in this USA Today article, and a follow-up article in Christianity Today, the leading magazine for evangelical pastors and informed laymen, that warns us all: “The challenge for pastors is when will we begin to speak up.”

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/09/04/qanon-and-evangelicals-its-time-address-qanoners-column/3446756001/

https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2020/september/qanon-conspiracies-disciple.html

QAnon is slander, QAnon is hateful, QAnon is all about conspiracies, and conspiracy theories are slanderous, QAnon is not Christian, regardless of how often they misquote Scripture to try to justify their crazy conspiracy theories.

QAnon is turning into a virtual cult.  QAnon may even be turning into a weird religion similar to Scientology.  Stetzer says that “some talk about QAnon as if some messianic figure is at work. Similar to the ancient heresy of Gnosticism in the early church, it lures people with promises of secret knowledge. It provides a sense of identity and belonging with code phrases like: ‘Where we go one, we go all.’ Many people, including active church members, are being drawn in.”

Stetzer advises Christians that they need to use social media wisely, that Christians need to be discerning about what they read, that we should realize that anyone on even a small budget can generate an impressive looking website, and you should hit PAUSE before you screed some really hateful response in anger to an internet flame war.

Christianity Today has several additional articles in the past few months warning us about QAnon, “QAnon is a Wolf in Wolf’s Clothing,” with the subhead, “There is nothing sheepish about this insidious internet demon.”  The author warns that when parishioners allow QAnon to snatch their soul that pastors will be totally unable to reach them with sound biblical, compassionate preaching:
https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/august-web-only/qanon-is-wolf-in-wolfs-clothing.html

And in these past few months Christianity Today references these two podcasts warning Christians about QAnon.  This podcast includes some practical tips on how pastors should direct their flock gently away from the spiritually harmful web of QAnon conspiracy theories:
https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/september-web-only/qanon-evangelicals-global-conspiracy-theory.html

This podcast discusses QAnon and conspiracy theories in general:
https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/may-web-only/conspiracy-theories-qanon-bible-christians-jesus.html

Recently, a Lutheran PhD pastor who teaches seminary classes also posted this excellent reflection on how QAnon can construct a world view that is hostile to Christianity, endangering the souls of the QAnon adherents:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAuBM_7-e9g

Atlantic Magazine has a reputation for in-depth and well-researched reporting, this is their article of QAnon and its origins:
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/06/qanon-nothing-can-stop-what-is-coming/610567/

In this article we read the sad story of Edgar Welch of North Carolina who before his QAnon inspired incident was a fine upstanding husband, father, employee and church attending Christian.  When he read on his QAnon blog that the Democratic Party cabal was trafficking young children in the basement of the Comet Ping Pong Pizza parlor in Washington, DC he grabbed his AR-15 and hopped in his Toyota Prius and drove to where Google said this den of iniquity was located.  People who were playing ping pong waiting for their pizzas were interrupted by this enraged crazy man who insisted on searching the premises while firing several bullets into the walls of the establishment.  He apologized and surrendered to the police when he realized that there was no basement.  Parole is a possibility in a few years.

HOW ABOUT THEM BOOGALOOS?

Intertwined with the QAnon movement is the Boogaloo movement of the Second Amendment right-wingnut movement.  These amateurs like to drive to protests, usually out-of-town, and “protect” everyone from looters and antifa with their AR-15 sub-military grade assault weapons.  How can anyone even pretend that this is good idea?
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2020/07/american-boogaloo-meme-or-terrorist-movement/613843/

Some of these boogaloos intimidated the state legislators and protesters in Michigan mask protests.  Some of these boogaloos who were brandishing their AR-15 sub-military grade assault weapons in the gallery of the Michigan state legislature, intimidating the legislators while they were in session, were the same boogaloos who have been charged with plotting to kidnap, torment, and execute Governor Gretchen Whitmer:
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/whitmer-conspiracy-allegations-tied-boogaloo-movement-n1242670

Trump denied that his tweets to LIBERATE MICHIGAN, stirring up these protests, and his misogynist tweets against Governor Whitmer, had anything to do with this, and he has showed no sympathy towards her plight whatsoever:
https://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/10/08/gretchen-whitmer-kidnapping-plot-donald-trump/5932007002/

What is scary about these right-wing militias is their fondness for recruiting law enforcement officers and ex-military personnel:
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/11/right-wing-militias-civil-war/616473/

This is very concerning, during the Redemption and Jim Crow era many local sheriffs were members of the local Ku Klux Klan chapters:
http://www.seekingvirtueandwisdom.com/post-civil-war-reconstruction-and-redemption-history-yale-lecture-notes/
http://www.seekingvirtueandwisdom.com/american-civil-rights-history-yale-lecture-notes/

Also, the fascist street gangs of Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany also recruited heavily from the veterans of World War I:
http://www.seekingvirtueandwisdom.com/christians-coping-under-fascism-in-wwii-warnings-for-christians-under-trump/

POPE FRANCIS AND SOCIAL MEDIA

Pope Francis also warns us that Christians need to be careful in Gaudete ET Exsultate that we use social media with care, that what we say in social media should further love for neighbor in both ourselves and our neighbor, as I discuss in this blog:
http://www.seekingvirtueandwisdom.com/pope-francis-mentions-abortion-in-gaudete-et-exsultate-with-a-prayer-from-pope-benedict/

QANON IS A CULT

QAnon is a cult for many, QAnon is almost like a religion to many adherents, QAnon has led to multiple incidents, some involving murder and violence, many involving aggressive intimidation, many are listed in Wikipedia.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QAnon

QAnon is slanderous, when you spread the QAnon lies, you are guilty of slander.  Many Christians have been deceived that somehow it is okay to spread these QAnon lies.  Whenever the right wingnut media complains about the influence of George Soros, often this is an anti-Semitic trope.  Not always, as George Soros likes to contribute to many liberal and democratic causes.  Also, claiming that Democrats are not Christians is another trope.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/06/qanon-nothing-can-stop-what-is-coming/610567/

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/september-web-only/qanon-evangelicals-global-conspiracy-theory.html

 

About Bruce Strom 152 Articles
I was born and baptized and confirmed as a Lutheran. I made the mistake of reading works written by Luther, he has a bad habit of writing seemingly brilliant theology, but then every few pages he stops and calls the Pope often very vulgar names, what sort of Christian does that? Currently I am a seeker, studying church history and the writings of the Church Fathers. I am involved in the Catholic divorce ministries in our diocese, and have finished the diocese two-year Catholic Lay Ministry program. Also I took a year of Orthodox off-campus seminary courses. This blog explores the beauty of the Early Church and the writings and history of the Church through the centuries. I am a member of a faith community, for as St Augustine notes in his Confessions, you cannot truly be a Christian unless you worship God in the walls of the Church, unless persecution prevents this. This blog is non-polemical, so I really would rather not reveal my denomination here.

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