Aaron Powell:

Much of American conservatism is essentially a victimhood or a persecution movement. It is… I think there’s a kind of person… It’s a personality trait that is, you’re really averse to change and you’re really comfortable in the familiar, and any change is disorienting or scary to you. But the way that that gets spun out in the political arena is change is seen not as just societies change, tastes change, preferences, beliefs and all that, but that it’s a taking, that if things change from what you were used to, it was because someone was trying to take that away from you. You’re a victim of a concerted effort to destroy the familiar. And that motivates a lot of conservative politics.

…in Congress, there is one person who, both in the House and the Senate, one person who identifies as religiously unaffiliated, not atheist, and 88% of Congress is Christian. So about 20 points higher than in the general population. Our government is drenched in Christian imagery, God Bless America is said at the end of every single speech…

But there’s this authoritarian undertone that comes out of this [movie], which is, if the government is corrupt and has been taken over by these progressives, who by definition, because they are atheists, cannot be moral…and we as this persecuted minority Christian community are the only people with access to absolute truth, then we can assert ourselves and should assert ourselves through the state. If we can take it over through… Whatever it takes, because it’s us against an evil world. And that is just a recipe for, in this case, a nationalist, because it’s also clear the only good foreigners in these movies are the ones who give up their foreign‐ness, who give up their culture, who give up their religion, who become obsessive about the American founding and so on. And so it’s this nationalist authoritarian world view that is also… Can’t be reconciled in a liberal way. You can’t have a pluralism with it because, unless you accept these fundamental metaphysical beliefs, you can’t be a good person.

The people who opposed gay marriage and gay relationships didn’t say, “I think we should make this illegal, or we shouldn’t give this this legal stamp of approval because gay marriages are yucky. I find them yucky.” They couldn’t say that. They couldn’t do the emotivist thing. And so instead, they started digging up all this “evidence” about the effects of gay… Same‐sex parents on children and all this other… They turned it looking for evidence to support the underlying this is yucky claim. We get the same thing now with transgender stuff. The people I who oppose a rise of transgender rights are like, “Oh, it’s dangerous for children,” or, “They’re in the bathrooms” or all that, and that evidence doesn’t hold up at all. In fact, it turns out most of the violence is directed at transgender people by non‐transgender people…

Paul Matzko and Aaron Powell help us parse out fact, fiction, fear, and faith in the God’s Not Dead film series.

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