Friday, February 19, 2021

On Christian Support of QAnon

For several months, I've been mulling over -- and extremely concerned -- about the misinformation that abounds in the world today. I'm sure many of you have been concerned right along with me. As a Christian, however, and as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I'm particularly concerned with the misinformation that abounds in Christian churches throughout The United States. I fully realize that what I'm about to say will anger many people, but as I've considered writing this post, I've come to the conclusion that I want my family, friends, and associations to know where I stand. I want my posterity to know what I believe. I also want to write my thoughts down to solidify them and to . . . put them out in the universe. I dunno . . . I just feel impressed to share them.

I'll start by offering an insightful news story from NPR Morning Edition: New Survey Shows 3 In 5 White Evangelicals Say Joe Biden Wasn't Legitimately Elected. I heard the last half this morning as I was dropping the kids off at school. If you know me, you most likely know I don't support QAnon or Donald Trump, so it should come as no surprise that I would recommend this news story, but something about it was different. It struck me much more intensely than so many political articles have these days. It struck me because an evangelical pastor put into words so many of the things I've been pondering.  The pastor is Jared Stacy, previously of Spotswood Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He spoke with Rachel Martin of NPR:

MARTIN: QAnon started to coalesce after [2016], amplifying false ideas about an evil liberal agenda and casting Donald Trump as their savior. Jared Stacy was afraid of what he saw taking root in his church.

STACY: And so I was sitting there as a pastor saying, you know, OK, this is not just about pitting particular issues against each other anymore. This is about a wholesale view of reality, like, what is real? What is true?

MARTIN: Did people you know in your own congregation, were they elevating the idea of sex trafficking of kids, even if it was overblown and being appropriated by QAnon?

STACY: Yeah. Yeah. Sex trafficking, pedophilia, like, globalist or Democrat pedophilia, these are things that . . .

He goes on to say that people are "being given a co-opted Jesus [. . . ,] a Jesus who believed in Q, a Jesus who believed in deep state, a Jesus who automatically voted Republican."

And that was the kicker for me. Because I agree with him. In countless associations, I can see that many protestant Christians and members of my church assume that Christ is a Republican -- that he has conferred truth and justice and power to Donald Trump, who is the savior of our country and the leader who will see us through the evil of the world around us. Quite frankly, it's sacrilegious. It flies in the face of the gospel of Christ. It's wrong.

It's also alarming. According to multiple national surveys (See,, and, and, there is a sizable portion of Americans who believe in QAnon and by extension, believe that Donald Trump is the rightful president. It's not a fringe group, and it's not just the loner who is making it on his own in the plains of Oklahoma or the remote stretches of Montana. It's the smart, kind, and friendly folks we know and love. An American Enterprise Institute study showed that 27% of white evangelicals -- the most of any religious group -- believe in QAnon conspiracy theory.* How can this be? How can so many people supplant Jesus Christ with Donald Trump? What is going on here???**

I have some ideas, and I think they center around the myth that the world is full of evil people who are trying to overthrow Christian ideals. There's a definite Us vs. Them mentality . . . I'm still sorting it out in my mind. In the meantime, I wanted to let people know where I stand.

*I wish I had data on Latter-day Saints. My hypothesis is that the percentage is about the same.

**For the record, I don't think every Trump supporter is also a QAnon follower, and I don't think every person who voted for Trump in 2020 is misinformed.

Thing I'm thankful for: cats curled up on laps