, 7 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
This is correct, but I want to make sure we properly capture what makes much (most?) of US white evangelicalism a cult. There’s a tendency among many to think this is a new development, or that Trump is the catalyst, the personality around which the cult centers.
One of understanding a cult is to see it as blindly following an authoritative personality, and certainly that is the case for some. But Trump could have been someone else and this still would have happened. He was just the man of the moment, not a David Koresh.
The evangelical cult never required a specific personality to galvanize the people, because that is not its defining feature. What defines the cult of evangelicalism is its us-vs.-the world mentality, the sense of opposition between sinful outsiders and redeemed insiders.
This binary, oppositional mentality was cultivated for decades by preachers denouncing evolution, the end of school prayer, abortion rights, women's rights, racial integration, welfare policies, etc.
These were all proclaimed as apocalyptic signs that Christians are a persecuted minority, a remnant of the chosen people. They latched on to martyr narratives from the past and from the global church. How many of us had copies of Foxe's Book on our shelves?
Is it any wonder these evangelicals would eventually see themselves in precisely the same way as a cult that thinks they are oppressed by the state? Is it any wonder they would make common cause with ethnonationalist militias? No. This was all to be expected.
The current cult of US evangelicalism is the result of a century-long catechesis teaching people to see themselves as an oppressed religious minority who alone have the approval of God and access to God's will. END
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