Trump slept with the enemy – in the name of Jesus!
Pauline Bauer, Stephen Baker and Jenna Ryan were among the thousands who descended on the Capitol in protest of what they falsely called a stolen election, including some who saw themselves engaged in a spiritual war. For many, their religious beliefs were not tied to any specific church or denomination — leaders of major denominations and megachurches, and even President Donald Trump’s faith advisers, were absent that day. For such people, their faith is individualistic, largely free of structures, rules or the approval of clergy.
Many forces contributed to the attack on the Capitol, including Trump’s false claims of electoral victory and American anger with institutions. But part of the mix, say experts on American religion, is the fact that the country is in a period when institutional religion is breaking apart, becoming more individualized and more disconnected from denominations, theological credentials and oversight.
That has created room for what Yale University sociologist Phil Gorski calls a religious “melee, a free for all.”
“There have been these periods of breakdowns and ferment and reinvention in the past, and every indication is we’re in the middle of one of those now,” he said. “Such moments are periods of opportunity and creativity but also of danger and violence.”
Some scholars see this era as a spiritually fertile period, like the ones that produced Pentecostalism or Mormonism. Others worry about religious illiteracy and the lack of supervision over everything from theological pronouncements to financial practices.
Even before Jan. 6, some sociologists said the fastest-growing group of American Christians are those associated with independent “prophets” who largely operate outside denominationalism. Less than half of Americans told Gallup in March that they belonged to a congregation, the first time that has happened since Gallup started asking in the 1930s.
Many Christians at the Capitol on Jan. 6 were part of more conventional, affiliated faith, including pastors, Catholic priests and bused-in church groups. But what researchers studying Jan. 6 find remarkable are the leaderless, idiosyncratic expressions of religion that day. Among them are those of Bauer, who wrote to a judge last month that she’s a “free living soul” and an “ambassador of Christ,” and of Jake Chansley, the “QAnon Shaman” who prayed to Christ at a dais in the Senate and calls himself a “multidimensional being.”
“Those who are unmoored to a local church body are subject to the danger of allowing politics or business or sports or any other matter to become an inordinate focus of their lives. This problem is compounded by the effort to ‘bless’ such actions with a religious patina,” Adam W. Greenway, president of Southwestern Baptist, one of the seminaries of the Southern Baptist Convention, told The Washington Post of the trend of DIY Christianity. “Pastors help their members keep matters in perspective and avoid Lone Ranger Christianity in which they are unaccountable to fellow believers.”
Some have found in recent years a growing overlap between White Americans who put a high value on individualism and libertarianism and those who embrace Christian nationalism, a cultural belief that America is defined by Christian identity, heritage and social order and that the government needs to protect it. They are now looking at the way Trump’s presidency united disparate groups — largely White — under the umbrella of Christian nationalism.
But Christian nationalists are not necessarily religious by conventional metrics, such as going to church, being part of a religious organization or scripture reading. Several studies in recent years have found differences between Christian nationalists who are religious and those who are less so.
Kim Hafner and the Hafners, played into the hands of Russian Trolls. I have to consider if Kim was paid money. She launched a cyber-attack against me when she contacted my daughter. Kim is a cyber-bully. I see her as a Psychic Deadener, a five hundred pound Psychic Muffler that smeared – with lard – my third eye. I am famous for having a dream about the Oakland Fire, four days before it broke out. I have battled Russian Trolls on the web going back three years ago. The point is ANY obstacle you can put in THEIR WAY, is a help. If they believe I have psychic powers, then I can mess with their heads.
The other possibility is the Hafners are pro-Putin Evangelicals. I suspect this is the case. They are helping Putin defeat our secular Democracy. Kim went ballistic when I mentioned Herbert Armstrong, who made prophecies…
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