Beneath the surface developed a cultic evangelical conservative doctrine which *celebrated* the willingness to sell out one's family - ostensibly in service to Jesus, who functioned as an empty vessel into which could be poured the required marching orders.
2) And, I do not say this in speculation. Here's the late Doug Coe, longtime head of "The Fellowship" which the National Prayer Breakfast:
3) In that clip, Coe gives several examples - the complete loyalty of Hitler's original band of Nazis, to each other, and also the fanaticism of Mao's young Red Guard who, during the Cultural Revolution, were willing to cut off the heads of their own parents, for the movement.
4) Coe's idea was truly part of an elite insider doctrine. Here's Rick Warren espousing more ot less the same, by celebrating the utter devotion to Hitler shown by the Hitler Youth. If only we could be so devoted to Jesus, he…
5) I've collected, over the years, a surprising number of such examples from the top reaches of elite conservative evangelicalism. To my mind, the very fact that it is possible to find these indicates to me that the idea is so well entrenched that these leaders have lost sight...
6)...of how abhorrent this doctrine is, for most people.
7) In the comments attached to those examples of Rick Warren espousing the doctrine, a number of Christians asked me, "so, what's wrong with that level of devotion" and I had to explain to them that, for 1 thing, the examples from Coe & Warren were drawn *not* from Christianity..
8)..but from some of the most violent and brutal revolutionary political movements of the 20th Century. But there *are* within Christianity examples of non-violent total dedication to a cause. One such example would be the French village of Le Chambon:…
9) Another, of course, would be the leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr., who was just one out of clerics from several different religious traditions willing to put their lives on the line for the civil rights movement.
10) The fact that leaders such as Coe & Warren ignore these nonviolent examples of complete Christian dedication indicates to me that the point isn't Christianity or Jesus at all - it's naked, absolute political power. Nothing more, nothing less.
11) I have traced the evolution of this doctrine to the early decades of the 20th Century - when conservative evangelical leaders looked to the growing international communist movement, and envied of its revolutionary zeal. In its early incarnations it was comparatively benign...
12) In a September 28, 1958 sermon, Billy Graham stated, "I believe that one of the problems among teenagers today is that they need something to believe in. They need a cause, they need a challenge, they need a flag to follow...
13) "..They want a master. They want someone to control them, just as Hitler was able to get the youth of Germany, and Mussolini was able to get the youth of Italy, and the communists were able to get the youth of Eastern Europe..
14) "..I believe that Jesus Christ can capture the youth of America. Let's march under His flag and under His banner, giving ourselves completely to Him without reservation."

But by the time of Coe & Warren, this idea had accrued some additional, truly sinister meaning...
15) One of the instances I found of Rick Warren expounding the doctrine (it's in one of his books too) was in 2005, in a baseball stadium, before 1,000s of his church followers, who at a pre-arranged signal held up signs, in unison, "Whatever It Takes"...
16) Warren openly commented on how impressed he was, to see 1000s of his followers holding up these signs, declaring their fealty to "whatever it takes". Warren said the objective was to take the world, for Jesus.

The world.
Whatever it takes.

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More from @brucewilson

31 May
"The modern evangelical movement has about half-a-million full-time workers, and every year sends out around three million short-term workers; it has over 4,000 subsidiary agencies, an elaborate, highly developed, and tightly-integrated global management structure...
2) "..a close partnership with the West’s most powerful governments, and the backing of the world’s largest corporations; and it has at its disposal at least $400 billion in liquid assets, a fleet of 200 aircraft, and over 300 million computers worldwide...
3) "..with an intelligence system that has data-banked information on every community on earth down to the smallest village."

- Ian Buchanan, author of "The Armies of God - A Study in Militant Christianity"
Read 4 tweets
31 May
This is important news. But what media outlets reporting it will invariably miss is that anti-democratic far-right evangelicals have been using coercive methods to spread their ideology in the US military for, quite literally, decades.
Here is Colin Powell's former Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson talking about his decision to joint the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which fights the effort towards an evangelical ideological takeover of the US military:
3) Back in '07, for MRFF, I recorded an active duty B1 bomber pilot talking about his expectation that, one day, he would face a choice between his duty to the chain of command (& his oath) and his fealty to Jesus.
Read 7 tweets
19 May
Correct. Of course, conflation of the left & the devil goes back centuries but the 1960s counterculture provoked a massive recrudescence of this type of paranoia. And the charismatic movement, starting in the late 1950s, was the seedbed of the 70s Christian backlash.
And, the Charismatic movement traces back, in turn, to the dual [faith] healing and renewal (or revival) movements of the late 1940s, within American Christianity. One thing that's very striking about magazines from the Healing movement - they were obsessed with UFOs.
Both movements were characterized by outbreaks of mass hysteria, which makes all the more sense given the bottled up stresses of the great depression followed by WW2, then the nuclear age (of anxiety) and the Cold War.
In context, hysterical release wasn't so unreasonable.
Read 6 tweets
17 May
Amy Coney Barrett's People of Praise cult has literally claimed its members can learn to raise the dead - as in magically reanimate corpses. This screen shot is from the People of Praise website, 2008
2) Barrett has been identified as Catholic, but that's misleading, based on this archived web page. The Catholic Church does not promote these ideas. They come out of the 3rd Wave (of the Holy Spirit) movement, a hyper-charismatic variant of Christianity estimated, by 2000...
3) encompass some 295 million believers globally. Out of the 3rd Wave has arisen the New Apostolic Reformation movement, which is an effort to organize the anarchic 3rd Wave tendency.

There's something else you should know too...
Read 5 tweets
13 May
Trump's ability to assert obvious lies -through ceaseless repetition, in the face of obvious evidence to the contrary- resonates so strongly with American Christian religious zealots because it is the apotheosis of "presuppositionalism"; let me tell you about this very fancy word
This big, obscure word is *essential* to understanding what's been happening, in politics, to America over the last 4 decades. Here's what it means (there are 2 branches of definitions of the word. We'll follow the Cornelius Van Til definition...
3. Van Til was a somewhat prominent theologian (to the extent a theologian can be). I can can guarantee his ideas have touched you life, if you know it or not. To quoth Wikipedia, Presuppositionalism means, "that the Christian must at all times presuppose...
Read 19 tweets
12 May
This is part of an historic pattern going back many decades, in which certain US military personnel (retired & current) have promoted conspiracy theories that undermine & attack the legitimacy of the US government.
In the 60s, General Edwin Walker was fired by Kennedy for indoctrinating his troops with John Birch Society propaganda. In the 1980s, anti-government propaganda helped launch the militia movement. In the 1990s, Colonel (Ret.) E.H. Ammerman promoted the idea that the Clintons...
3)..were in the Illuminati (Hillary outranked Bill) & in league with Satan. They were going to sign over US sovereignty to the UN, after which Chinese, German & UN troops would enslave the American people & Mexicans would rampage across the border raping & killing.
Read 8 tweets

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