“Just because I’m paranoid,
doesn’t mean they are not after me”
We say this with a wink… and then glance over our shoulder
“Just because it’s a conspiracy theory,
doesn’t mean it’s not true”
We say this straight-faced… and then take another sip of Kool-Aid
This article’s focus is deliberately narrow: to explain to myself and perhaps to others how it is that so many politically and theologically conservative Christians entertain so many conspiracy theories. Following are a discussion of what’s so bad about Christians being conspiracy-theory prone, a definition of “conspiracy theory,” a short list of conspiracy-theory candidates, and a two-prong argument to explain the Christian proclivity.
The Christian Label and its Discontents
Several years ago I stopped calling myself a Christian, but not because I stopped believing in Jesus. On the contrary, I love Jesus but was being weighed down by the cultural and historical baggage of Christianity and the label “Christian” (which had lost its original meaning of “little Christ”). More than ever, I’m glad I no longer need defend the indefensible baggage many Christians tote around, one of the largest and most perplexing bags being the one packed with conspiracy theories.
That said, many of my friends do call themselves Christians and in varying degrees tote the conspiracy baggage. Many are untroubled by all this baggage and do an admirable job holding onto their faith in Jesus and being kind to their neighbor. While these Christians may be power lifters, they are doing a great injustice to the gospel with its commitment to truth. Continue reading “Christians and Conspiracy Theories”
As an unworthy follower of Jesus, I have many brothers and sisters, all over the world. A few days ago, I had breakfast with one such sister, whom I’ll call Sue.
Gallop Cafe, one of my favorite eateries in the Highlands in Denver.
Outside, one of my favorite places to eat, anywhere.
Conversation, always enjoyable with Sue, who converted to Catholicism several years ago, during the crest of the child-abuse allegations in the Boston area, a gutsy move on her part. Catholicism works with her: she takes what is meaningful and doesn’t worry about the rest. Continue reading “My Breakfast With Sue”
A novice chess player, I recall beating my son frequently when he was 9 (yes, I was almost 39, finding him too thoughtful to be fooled by a false win). Over the years, he has returned like Aragorn to claim his dominion over his chess subjects (often me). In the process, he pointed me to a couple of online chess sites that offer training puzzles. If I’ve learned anything from these puzzles it is that you leave your opponent with as few (good) choices as possible. As a result, you know your opponent’s decisions before they are made, allowing you to anticipate your future moves.
Continue reading “Chess Puzzles, Life Problems”
Yesterday I had my internet service cut off to avoid distractions from my home projects (writing unreadable novel, reading unwritable novel, and other things). Meanwhile, getting on my bike, I laid my flip phone outside the doctor’s office, on a window ledge. An hour later, I discovered no phone and no way to call my phone with Skype to see if someone had picked it up. As I biked back to the doctor’s office, I pictured the phone gone and my getting that iPhone 5 that my phone company had been offering me for so little money for so long.
Continue reading “Smartphones, Urim, and Thummim”
When my dad decided to forego “maintenance therapy” for his health condition, knowing that the therapy would thoroughly impoverish his ability to live a productive life, he told the health care professionals, “I want to die and receive the new body Jesus came to give me.” He had an exit strategy.
Continue reading “Exit Strategies”