As many of my longtime friends and readers know, during my freshman year at the University of North Carolina, I was suckered into joining an abusive and cultish hypercharismatic campus ministry. Whenever I spoke out about this outfit’s deceitful and hurtful tactics, my former “brothers” and “sisters” claimed my problem was that I was too willing to listen to man rather than God. They claimed my attacks on them were driven by my flesh at best and by the devil at worst.
This is why the religious right’s ham-handed efforts to make evangelicals worship Donald Trump often send a chill down my spine. For the better part of three years, they have insisted that God hacked the 2016 election for Trump, not Russia. Therefore, the opposition to Trump is driven by witchcraft and demons.
Faced with that kind of drumbeat, one has to wonder if Trump’s otherworldly support among white evangelicals–over 73 percent, per an NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll taken this past summer–is inflated. After all, if you’re told day in and day out that those who oppose Trump are being played by the devil, it’s natural to think twice about burning or shredding your MAGA hat–especially if you live in an area where Trump still walks on water.
Well, it looks like the most rabid Trumpvangelicals are trying to silence those who would dare speak out against those who are working to keep us bowing and praying to the orange god they helped make. One of the most rabid and obnoxious of them all is warning against calling him out–and explaining that doing so is a sign you’re driven by demons.
During the 2016 campaign, retired firefighter Mark Taylor rose to fame when he revealed he’d gotten a “word from the Lord” that Trump would become president. Never mind that he got this “word” in 2011. Never mind that any competent reading of that “word” shows that Taylor was foretelling that Trump would unseat Barack Obama in 2012. As we know, that didn’t happen.
But that hasn’t stopped Taylor from becoming a darling among the most deplorable of the deplorables. He has used this fame to serve up a steady diet of conspiracy theory. For instance, he insists that the mainstream media operates on the same frequency used by the devil. He also claims that one big reason a lot of Christians oppose Trump is that their worship teams aren’t tuned correctly. More recently, he claimed Hurricane Dorian was cooked up by the deep state to keep us from learning about a pending wave of mass arrests.
What if you call out Taylor on this lunacy? Well, to hear him talk, if you dare speak against him, there’s a lightning bolt with your name on it. Apparently enough people didn’t get the message, because Taylor googled down on it when he sat down with fellow Christianist conspiracy merchant Chris McDonald on Monday. People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch got a clip.
Taylor claimed that there are a lot of people who are “obsessed” with going after him. He wondered how that’s possible. To his mind, there’s only one explanation–they’re driven by the spirit of Jezebel.
It’s Jezebel. Every bit of it is Jezebel. Jezebel was obsessed with taking down Elijah. Period. And it’s to shut the true prophetic voice up.
This sort of talk is all too familiar to anyone who has been in an abusive church, especially a hypercharismatic one. One of the most common kicks in the groin used by these churches is to accuse critics–especially female ones–of having a Jezebel spirit.
Taylor claimed that whenever someone dares to attack multiple people, it’s a “red flag,” because that person is being driven by a Jezebel spirit. He warned McDonald’s audience to watch whom they follow on social media, because the people who are attacking him and his compatriots are “driven by demonic forces.”
Wait a minute. So if we point out that you’re retconning a prophecy from 2011, we’re driven by demons? If we criticize your efforts to dress up conspiracy theory as prophecy, we’re driven by demons? Sounds like the truth hurts–and Taylor knows it.
When I first saw this, I was reminded of an encounter I had with one of my former “sisters” in my junior year. She irately demanded to know why I was saying things that I supposedly knew weren’t true. She then answered her own question by trying to cast a “spirit of lying” out of me.
That experience was positively Orwellian–just like this screed from Taylor. When your response to people who are calling you out is to accuse them of being driven by spirits of rebellion and lies, it only proves how small you really are.
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