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I Don't Speak German

Aug 17, 2021

With - once again - apologies for the gap between episodes, here is a very special edition in which Daniel plays host to Kristin Rawls and Jeff Eaton of the excellent Christian Rightcast podcast, to chat about the areas where their work - on the Christian Right, if the name of their show didn't tip you off - intersects with ours.  Lots of laughs in this chat about depressingly awful people.

Content warnings.

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ADDENDUM by Kristin:

"...[S]omething I was trying to get out yesterday didn't come through about the Reconstructionists, which is that... Yes, they think of themselves as the intellectuals of the Christian Right, but we aren't really agreeing with their assessment. And it's partly that they think charismatic/pentacostalism is "fairly tale nonsense," which is a direct quote from Rushdoony. Yes, that's racialized. But it's partly also that he thought he was better and more intellectual than institutions like Liberty because, like, he actually read books and was steeped in classics (this is where the pseudo-intellectual sheen of it comes from, which is a big thing that Wilson has carried on in starting the classical Christian school movement and a Great Books college). Those colleges are of course dead white man studies and nothing more than that, but it's kind of unusual in the Christian Right to actually read books. Which is to say, if there is any way in which their self-assessment is accurate, it's because the entire Christian Right is fundamentally anti-intellectual. This makes them unique for reading Plato.

"So, it's partly that they're anti-charismatic in racialized ways (although the huge charismatic megachurches like Hillsong that get a lot of their scorn are VERY white). They also think Liberty and similar institutions are embarrassing, and they're embarrassed by "red state America" even though Wilson said "it's all we've got right now." This is about their pseudo-intellectual veneer and also has to do with classism and stereotypes about red state rednecks. It's all of a piece. They think they're better than the rest of the Christian Right and are heirs to some great Christian culture that they're going to rebuild by reconstructing all of life under "God's law." All of this is why they dovetail so easily with IDW people and racist defenders of "Western civilization.""