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Why do some Americans believe weird things?

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  • Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
    [ATTACH=CONFIG]48099[/ATTACH]

    Linking Q to evangelicals now? What a pathetic waste of electrons...
    Wasn't that John DeLancie?
    q.jpg

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Faber View Post
      I took my wife and kids to the second National Sword Conference on Revival and Soul Winning at Cobo Hall in Detroit in 1977. Were you there by any chance?
      I would have been there more like 71-72. And a Youth Worker's Conference led by Jack's son, in whom he was well pleased.
      "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
        From the country that put humans on the moon, has some of the leading universities in the world, and has been at the forefront of much of the technological development of the past 70 years comes an amusing and interesting article by S Jonathan O'Donnell

        Demons of the deep state: how evangelicals and conspiracy theories combine in Trump’s America

        Are demons active forces in American life and politics? That is what a large number of evangelicals in the US believe and are increasingly vocal about.

        Since the 1980s, growing numbers of evangelicals have given the fight against demons a key role in their spirituality and their politics. Known as “spiritual warfare”, this views demons as central actors in world politics and everyday life. While often seen as fringe, belief in spiritual warfare is common across denominational lines, including among evangelicals close to Donald Trump such as Robert Jeffress and the president’s spiritual advisor, Paula White.

        A key idea in spiritual warfare is that demons don’t only attack people, as in depictions of demonic possession, but also take control of places and institutions, such as journalism, academia, and both municipal and federal bureaucracies. By doing so, demons are framed as advancing social projects that spiritual warriors see as opposing God’s plans. These include advances in reproductive and LGBTQ rights and tolerance for non-Christian religions (especially Islam).

        In a recent article published in the journal Religion, I explore how these ideas about demons combine with the wider Christian nationalism shown to be prevalent among Trump’s support base. Through a survey of conservative evangelical literature, articles, and television and radio broadcasts released between 2016 and 2018, I analyse how their authors used discourses of spiritual warfare to navigate the changing political reality, and Trump’s victory and presidency in particular.

        The evangelicals whose works I analyse vary in their attitudes to Trump, from ardent advocates to reluctant supporters. Yet even the reluctant supporters interpret his presidency in terms of spiritual warfare, framing Trump’s victory as a divine intervention against a demonic status quo.

        Trump’s alleged battle against the “deep state” here adopts cosmic meaning, as not only the US government but undocumented immigrants and Black and LGBTQ people are cast as agents of demonic forces.

        Divine intervention

        The deep state has become a watchword of the Trump era, a term used by his supporters to depict Trump as an outsider fighting a corrupted political system. The deep state is central to the conspiracy movement QAnon, which depicts Trump as at war with a “deep state cabal” of devil-worshipping cannibal paedophiles.

        QAnon has many overlaps with spiritual warfare and its practitioners. It uses similar ideas of religious revival and donning the “armour of God” against unseen foes.

        Not all spiritual warriors engage with QAnon. But even for those that don’t, the deep state has come to represent broader ideas of demonic control, as demons are imagined as a “deeper state” working behind the scenes. Demons become the source of economic and environmental regulations and of social welfare programmes. The deregulatory ambitions that former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon called Trump’s “deconstruction of the administrative state” become imagined as a project of national exorcism.

        For many spiritual warriors this project began on election night 2016. Trump’s improbable victory stoked narratives of divine intervention. Comparing the red electoral map of Republican victory to “the blood of Jesus” washing away America’s sins, one evangelical framed the election as overthrowing “Jezebel”, a demonic spirit often depicted as behind reproductive and LGBTQ rights.

        Banning abortion is central to conservative evangelical politics. Spiritual warriors often go further, framing support for abortion and same-sex marriage as both causing and caused by demonic control. They portray evil spirits and sinful humans as creating reinforcing systems of beliefs, behaviours and policy agendas. The deep state has become a key representation of these systems.

        This spiritual war against the deep state can be understood as part of post-truth politics. While sometimes seen as a politics which delegitimises truth itself, post-truth can also be understood as a destabilisation of mainstream narratives about society. One that allows new narratives to be pushed.

        In spiritual warfare, this new narrative is one where God is retaking control of the US from demonic forces. One where God’s truth is being reasserted over competing truths, which are reframed as demonic lies. Spiritual warfare here becomes a struggle over competing narratives about what America is, or should be. Dismantling the deep state is part of this struggle. But it is not the only one.

        The demons at work

        Spiritual warfare has also come to frame evangelical reactions to ongoing protests. Demonic opposition to Trump has been positioned by spiritual warriors as being behind events from the 2017 Women’s March to the 2020 protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd. Stances on immigrants and refugees are also included.

        Conspiratorial claims that both the protests and migrant caravans were funded by the investor/philanthropist George Soros or the deep state close the circle. They cast demonised groups – such as “nasty” women, Black protesters, refugees and undocumented migrants – not just as agents of corrupt deep state forces but avatars of the demonic deeper state behind them.

        Spiritual warriors are often keen to separate the demons they battle from the people they claim to be saving from them. But today such deliverance from evil has been shown to never just be about the spiritual salvation of individuals, if it ever was. It has profound and lasting material consequences for both those individuals and the nation.

        By imagining demons behind social welfare, economic and environmental regulations, or legal protections for marginalised groups, spiritual warriors frame the dismantling of these systems as ridding the US of demons. More than this, they frame the people and groups they see as benefiting from those systems as agents of evil incarnate. Only after such people are removed can there be a national rebirth.


        The "Trump Prophecy" video clip is well worth watching. Who believes this nonsense? It is straight out of the twelfth century?

        https://theconversation.com/demons-o...america-144898
        If you were to say why do humans believe weird things, I would say it's because they are weird to you. History is full of people who believe weird things.

        There are even people who don't think their weird things are weird things, they think they are normal, and everyone else is weird. It's the darndest thing.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
          And beyond that, she was unmarried, which makes sexual relations even more unlikely given the culture.
          Yeah, we have other euphemisms for virgin such as maiden, which means a young unmarried woman but used to also mean a virgin. They even used to call the hymen the maidenhead. IOW, HA's obsession with the technical definition of a word rather than understanding that the Bible is full of euphemisms is misplaced. For instance, saying that a man "knew" a woman did not mean that he had met her and was familiar with her but rather that they had sexual relations in the same way that saying today a man went to bed or slept with a woman doesn't mean that they rested together.

          I'm always still in trouble again

          "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
          "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

          Comment


          • Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
            HA! Little do you know.

            I mean everyone knows that everyone back then spoke Early Modern English, specifically what is known as "Jacobean" although many erroneously think it was "Elizabethan" (after all, it is the King JAMES Bible, not the Queen Elizabeth Bible )
            Amusing although your attempted jibe might be you should not mock.

            I have encountered someone [and I do not think they were a POE] who posted to another site for several years and who, apparently, sincerely believed that seventeenth century English was the language spoken prior to the Tower of Babel etc. This language, according to this contributor, was then lost and rediscovered in seventeenth century England.

            However, this individual also alleged that he [and he always identified as male] had fought in Vietnam, so possibly the experience of war, or the ingestion of too many hallucinogenics during his tours of duty, had left him mentally affected.
            "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

            Comment


            • Originally posted by oxmixmudd View Post
              ( re the bolded first sentence ) No, it's not. in the old testament text,
              The Septuagint uses the Greek word parthenos - virgin in Isaiah 7.14 διὰ τοῦτο δώσει Κύριος αὐτὸς ὑμῖν σημεῖον• ἰδοὺ ἡ παρθένος ἐν γαστρὶ ἕξει, καὶ τέξεται υἱόν, καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ ᾿Εμμανουήλ [my emphasis] It is that word that the later Greek writer of Luke's gospel [or the writer of the first two chapters of Luke's gospel] turned into the phrase not knowing a man. That is the nub of our exchange.

              However, as I have illustrated the Greek word παρθένος [i.e. virgin] did not necessarily carry the same meaning [i.e. to be without any sexual experience] within Judaism at the time.

              Clearly the Greek writer of the gospel of Luke assumed [based on his reading of the Greek Septuagint word παρθένος] that Mary was virgo intacta and had never had any sexual intercourse. However, as I have previously pointed out, "virgin mothers" were not unknown within first century Judaism.
              "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

              Comment


              • Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                Yeah, we have other euphemisms for virgin such as maiden, which means a young unmarried woman but used to also mean a virgin. They even used to call the hymen the maidenhead. IOW, HA's obsession with the technical definition of a word rather than understanding that the Bible is full of euphemisms is misplaced. For instance, saying that a man "knew" a woman did not mean that he had met her and was familiar with her but rather that they had sexual relations in the same way that saying today a man went to bed or slept with a woman doesn't mean that they rested together.
                It's generally her way of derailing a thread. Seems to have been successful here.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post
                  It's generally her way of derailing a thread. Seems to have been successful here.
                  It is her thread and I'm the one who brought up virgin birth smug.jpg

                  I'm always still in trouble again

                  "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                  "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                    Amusing although your attempted jibe might be you should not mock.

                    I have encountered someone [and I do not think they were a POE] who posted to another site for several years and who, apparently, sincerely believed that seventeenth century English was the language spoken prior to the Tower of Babel etc. This language, according to this contributor, was then lost and rediscovered in seventeenth century England.

                    However, this individual also alleged that he [and he always identified as male] had fought in Vietnam, so possibly the experience of war, or the ingestion of too many hallucinogenics during his tours of duty, had left him mentally affected.
                    I'm well aware that there are KJV Onlyists out there who see that version as the One True Bible™. There have been plenty here and I've met several irl and some of them held extreme takes on it that even raised the eyebrows of their fellow travelers.

                    I'm always still in trouble again

                    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                      I'm well aware that there are KJV Onlyists out there who see that version as the One True Bible™. There have been plenty here and I've met several irl and some of them held extreme takes on it that even raised the eyebrows of their fellow travelers.
                      Well then you know that such peculiarly eccentric individuals exist.
                      "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post
                        It's generally her way of derailing a thread. Seems to have been successful here.
                        It is my thread CD.
                        "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                          It is her thread and I'm the one who brought up virgin birth [ATTACH=CONFIG]48120[/ATTACH]
                          Yeah. As part of a statement of religious beliefs. At that point she'd largely lost the argument of the main thread where she was bashing american and their "weird beliefs".

                          Suddenly she latched onto the definition of "virgin" in the bible and has been spiraling down an irrelevant tangent ever since. Your point was that you believe in a virgin birth, just as cowpoke believes in Communion. The debate about whether the original scripture 2000ish actually made the claim that Mary was a virgin is irrelevant to your belief that she was and the common teaching of the belief. That "muddy" definition from older text is irrelevant to the way its been taught and understood for centuries and is literally a derailment of the point that you and cowpoke were actually making at the time.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                            Well there we are then. You know that such peculiarly eccentric individuals exist.
                            To quote my grandniece here, "well, yeah duh."

                            We've had our share of screwballs including several who were self-proclaimed prophets, IIRC at least one messiah, and of course the guy who thought Yahweh was a real fire-breathing dragon (no, I am not kidding).

                            I'm always still in trouble again

                            "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                            "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post
                              Yeah. As part of a statement of religious beliefs. At that point she'd largely lost the argument of the main thread where she was bashing american and their "weird beliefs".
                              I have not lost any argument. There is a vast swathe of Americans who believe in nonsense and some of that nonsense is now in the mainstream - to wit QAnon - I have yet to read of any Republican senators coming forward and denouncing QAnon as arrant nonsense. Or have I missed it?

                              Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post
                              Suddenly she latched onto the definition of "virgin" in the bible and has been spiraling down an irrelevant tangent ever since. Your point was that you believe in a virgin birth, just as cowpoke believes in Communion.
                              It appears they both believe in a virgin birth. However, what later Christian writers interpreted "parthenos", as it appears in the Septuagint to mean, is not borne out by what we know contemporary Judaism necessarily understood about "virgins.


                              Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post
                              That "muddy" definition from older text is irrelevant to the way its been taught and understood for centuries and is literally a derailment of the point that you and cowpoke were actually making at the time.
                              Your ignorance of the origins of Christianity is duly noted.
                              "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                                Your ignorance of the origins of Christianity is duly noted.
                                What did I say was actually wrong?

                                Comment

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