I’m going to provide some history of Neo-Confederate, white-identity, apocalyptic evangelicalism, what I call the Cult of the Shining City.
This is who Donald Trump was messaging yesterday with his bible stunt.
For starters, the Cult of the Shining City is not an organized group. The members, most of them, believe they’re just evangelicals. There are members with power who use them and manipulate them.
But there are millions of them, and they worship Donald Trump like a messiah.
None of this is tin-foil hat stuff. It’s not about smoky rooms. It’s the hidden history of how America’s Right has been coopted into an apocalyptic fantasy that currently threatens our safety and the safety of the world.
This is history, not conjecture. It’s how we got here.
Trump’s photo-op yesterday seemed bizarre to everyone but people who grew up in white-identity, apocalyptic evangelicalism.
This was a choreographed messaged that Trump is engaging in a holy battle on behalf of God and Christians, but also a possible call to violence.
Not every Cult of the Shining City member believes Trump is a messiah, but almost all believe he is a holy man fighting on their behalf.
The beliefs vary, but it is an apocalyptic cult that Trump has used to build his base.
To begin, we have to start with the Confederate States of America. Secession was done, in part, based on the belief that the North had violated God’s racist commandments.
They believed in “an Almighty God” who crowned white people as his champions on Earth.
The Confederate States of America was an explicitly Christian nation, in definition and practice. The society was built upon the idea that God was a white supremacist being who ordered whites to enslave lesser people.
White supremacist Christianity was the CSA’s reality.
Confederate preachers like Benjamin M Palmer warned of “perilous atheists” in the North who sought to betray the racist God’s white supremacy religion.
They preached that slavery and white supremacy were ordained by God and that the North was becoming devilish.
Jefferson Davis and other Confederate leaders blamed the people’s lack of faith in the racist God for their defeats, ordering days of humiliation and fasting in order to get right.
Failure was seen as God’s fury for disbelief in his white supremacist orders.
When the Civil War ended, it was seen as a reunification of culture, but the Confederate Christianity didn’t just go away. Southern preachers continued preaching that God was a white supremacist and that blacks were to be subjugated and enslaved.
It stills exists now.
One of the Southern preachers who believed in God-ordained white supremacy was Jerry Falwell, whose ministry held segregation as a Godly decree and any attempt toward equality the work of Satan.
Falwell called segregation a “line drawn by God” and warned that any attempt to desegregate or dismantle white supremacy was the work of the Devil and would draw God’s anger.
Like Confederate preachers of old.
Civil Rights protests gained the attention of Confederate Christians like Falwell, who charged that protestors were doing Satan’s work and were being “manipulated” by outside forces, including Communists and anarchists. It was a charge of spiritual war.
Despite popular history claiming Martin Luther King was beloved, he was treated like a satanic antichrist, using Christianity for nefarious purposes people like Falwell and segregationists claimed were Communist and devilish purposes.
Falwell aired his suspicions about MLK and disputed his social justice interpretation of the Bible.
To counteract, Falwell and others actively moved their faith toward hidden white supremacy through ideas of power and economic success.
All tenets of white supremacy.
The new Evangelical Right was white supremacist and Neo-Confederate in nature, but hid that prejudice behind the idea of morality and achieving success through the economic world.
Christianity was about power and profit. Fascistic pursuits behind a smiling veneer.
The Deep State conspiracy theory/Qanon is just New World Order, apocalyptic, Cult of the Shining City paranoia
All of it centers around white supremacy, Confederate philosophy, being challenged by evil conspiracies of Jewish interference, traitors, and minority manipulation.
In this fever dream, paranoid reality, Trump is a holy warrior, the last stand against a New World Order coup and the triumph of Satan over God in the holy country of America.
He has played this role to full effect and has been embraced as a faulty messiah.
Trump’s posing with the Bible yesterday was a signal that he is the holy warrior, the “chosen one” that many have called him. It’s to prepare the Cult of the Shining City followers for what they’ll see as a holy war of America, God’s chosen nation, against Satan’s forces.