I just finished reading “Jesus Made Me Puke by Rolling Stones reporter Matt Taibbi. It’s a fascinating look inside what goes on during an “Encounter Weekend” put on by the folks at the Cornerstone Church, a megachurch you may recognize as it’s headed by Pastor John Hagee whom we’ve discussed here before. Here’s the ending of the article that should provide enough of a taste to make you read the full thing:
By the end of the weekend I realized how quaint was the mere suggestion that Christians of this type should learn to “be rational” or “set aside your religion” about such things as the Iraq War or other policy matters. Once you’ve made a journey like this — once you’ve gone this far — you are beyond suggestible. It’s not merely the informational indoctrination, the constant belittling of homosexuals and atheists and Muslims and pacifists, etc., that’s the issue. It’s that once you’ve gotten to this place, you’ve left behind the mental process that a person would need to form an independent opinion about such things. You make this journey precisely to experience the ecstasy of beating to the same big gristly heart with a roomful of like-minded folks. Once you reach that place with them, you’re thinking with muscles, not neurons.
By the end of that weekend, Phil Fortenberry could have told us that John Kerry was a demon with clawed feet, and not one person would have so much as blinked. Because none of that politics stuff matters anyway, once you’ve gotten this far. All that matters is being full of the Lord and empty of demons. And since everything that is not of God is demonic, asking these people to be objective about anything else is just absurd. There is no “anything else.” All alternative points of view are nonstarters. There is this “our thing,” a sort of Cosa Nostra of the soul, and then there are the fires of Hell. And that’s all.
If you read the whole thing and aren’t troubled by it then you should read it again. It’ll make you appreciate the more liberal Christians a whole lot more by the time you’re done.
The article itself is an adaptation from Taibbi’s upcoming book The Great Derangement and I’ll be looking forward to reading the whole thing once it’s available.