a nighttime scene of downtown boise
Reading Time: 7 minutes (Alden Skeie.) Boise downtown, with Capitol Building lit up. I love my hometown, but dangit, I really wish the Nazis would leave it tf alone.
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Recently, a bunch of literal Nazis got themselves arrested for various domestic-terrorism-related charges. It was a downright terrifying situation all the way around, since this clutch of degenerates apparently targeted Black Lives Matter leaders. In the middle of all the horrifying details that have emerged about the case, the father one of those literal Nazis turned out to have a very curious connection to his son’s new interests. Today, I want to show you this connection — and what it means for Christians’ claims about their religion.

a nighttime scene of downtown boise
(Alden Skeie.) Boise downtown, with Capitol Building lit up. I love this town, but dangit, I really wish the Nazis would leave it tf alone.

(I don’t like lightly throwing around accusations of Nazism. When used as hyperbole, I feel such accusations can cheapen the evils of this ideology. So if I call someone a Nazi, it’s because that person is, in fact, actually a Nazi. Also, I’m not actually blaming this particular Nazi’s dad for turning him into a Nazi. The fault of wrongdoing rests with the person committing it.)

Everyone, Meet Jordan Duncan — and His Dad Frank.

Jordan Duncan is a 26-year-old former Marine. He and three other men stand charged of plotting to illegally sell and manufacture guns.

I’m amazed that’s all they got charged with.

After all, prosecutors have a transcript of Jordan Duncan talking to one of the other three numnuts about shooting Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters in Boise, Idaho. His goal, as he himself stated it: “the end of democracy.” Those prosecutors also have video of Jordan Duncan and his pals flashing Nazi-style salutes while wearing masks sporting the imagery of a neo-Nazi group. They were regulars on various Nazi forum sites, The Sun has reported.

In the lead-up to their trial, Jordan Duncan’s attorney argued that his mad lad of a client should get out on bail. Naw, he totally wasn’t any kind of danger to anybody! Nope, not this little lambkin!

Jordan Duncan’s daddy even showed up to the hearing to support his wayward prodigal son. Yes, Frank Duncan told the judge he’d totally let his boy stay at his place before the trial. Ain’t he grand.

This is where my ninja whiskers perked forward:

His daddy turned out to be the Southern Baptist pastor of a large, prosperous-looking church.

I Just Don’t Get It…. (/s)

Frank Duncan works as the pastor of Paramount Baptist Church. It’s just a standard-issue Southern Baptist affiliate. Google Maps shows that their October 13 sermon was called “Divine Reckoning: Luke 16:19-31.” Hooboy.

(If you’re wondering, Luke 16 has Jesus telling a story of a rich dude who went to Hell and begged for water but didn’t get it cuz he’d had a nice comfortable easy life already and now needed to suffer for his implied disobedience. Yeah. These really are just standard-issue fundagelicals.)

Predictably, the church supports every one of the failing denomination’s disastrous culture wars. Frank Duncan himself sounds like pure distilled Southern Baptist-ness, right down to his biography blurb using a logically-fallacious quote from C.S. Lewis that we might talk about later if we get time.

His church’s mission statement includes this rather creepy declaration:

  • Aggressively proclaiming the gospel message to our community.

If you’re wondering what “aggressively proclaiming” entails, check out their “Neighborhood Blitz” program. Apparently, they regularly go out to personally pester every single resident living within a mile of their church building. They also walk around ostentatiously praying in public, exactly like Jesus forbade.

(Also, Frank Duncan’s godling is so incredibly weak he can’t tell his followers what he wants directly. So during these walks, they also try to figure his orders out through divination. Since absolutely no success metrics are posted in the writeups of these two programs, we may safely assume both have been largely unsuccessful at recruiting new members. That’s normal. Like Beach Reach and short-term mission trips, evangelicals’ outreach programs usually exist to tighten leaders’ bonds with volunteers and enrich their creators — not to make actual sales.)

So really, the father of this literal Nazi has been Jesus-ing super-duper hard for decades now.

A Detail about Jordan Duncan That His Dad Missed.

Frank Duncan got saved right about when I was at my most fervent: 1992. In fact, he’s just a bit older than I am. He married shortly thereafter, and li’l Jordan came along shortly after that.

Naturally, Frank Duncan claims to be just as fervent now as he was back then. Such a claim plays very well with the flocks. However, to someone like me it means he’s compartmentalized his mind even harder than evangelicals normally do, all to avoid noticing that absolutely nothing in his religion works like Christians say it should.

So yes. I can almost taste the purely-authoritarian atmosphere around Frank Duncan’s kids while they were growing up — and the cognitive dissonance attacking their developing minds every waking hour. Even if he was the nicest, most involved and kindhearted dad on the planet, evangelicalism is downright malevolent — especially to the children of their pastors.

Somehow, while li’l Jordan was growing up, his pastor daddy never ever noticed that his kid was turning into one very racist, anti-Semitic little prick. Even more strangely, Jesus didn’t intervene to reprogram Jordan’s developing mind — or at least tip off his dad.

In that KTVB article (relink), Frank Jordan lamented:

“I’ve heard a lot of detail today. [. . .] Probably more than I wanted to.”

I perfectly understood what he meant. Evangelical families live behind masks normally, and pastors’ families doubly so. His son had wrecked the illusion for them all.

Jordan Duncan: A Marketing Disaster.

Of course, Jordan Duncan is coming up on 30 in a few years. His malfunctions can’t really reasonably be laid at his parents’ door. He’s had plenty of time to get the help he needs to join the rest of us in the real world. I don’t even know if he still utilizes the label of evangelical to describe his ultra-authoritarian leanings.

As well, I don’t even blame his dad for turning out a literal Nazi for a son. Yes, evangelicals lean hard on very authoritarian parenting styles. If this guy’s church statements are any indication of the matter, then yes, he fully embraced them — but we don’t know and it doesn’t matter anyway. While authoritarianism certainly can lead people in some unpleasant directions, even the most authoritarian-raised kids ain’t gonna grow up to join Nazi groups or threaten the lives of their ideological enemies.

Unfortunately for Frank Duncan, alas, he belongs to a tribe that believes that properly and correctly “training up a child” results in an obedient, law-abiding TRUE CHRISTIAN™ for life. This belief comes straight from the Bible:

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Also unfortunately for Frank Duncan, it’s just one of many claims evangelicals make about Christianity that just isn’t factually true. Plenty of evangelical parents raise children who turn out very differently than their Dear Leaders’ marketing promises.

At the very least, evangelical groups are losing tons of young adults who grew up in fervent evangelical households. “To train up a child” doesn’t even ensure that kids will remain Christian for life — not anymore.

A Dissonance Dilemma.

So this gung-ho, ultra-Jesus-y pastor now has a serious dilemma on his hands.

He can believe the evidence of reality:

My son’s magical Jesus upbringing failed spectacularly. Hm, what else might I be completely wrong about?

Or he can believe his Bible, reconciling Bible verses with any number of rationalizations.

Dude would probably rather tear out his own toenails with rusty pliers than deal with that dilemma.

I don’t envy him that emotional struggle, either. I’ve been there. It’s no fun.

Unfortunately, if his antiprocess shields are strong enough, he’ll whisk through with little trouble. Evangelicals have evolved a zillion ways of hand-waving away the serious disconnects between their own marketing and the truth behind all of their false claims.

Their favorite hand-waving, of course, involves blaming parents for having raised their wayward kids incorrectly. That’s not gonna be a good look for a pastor.

I’m betting he takes “sin nature” for $200, Alex.

Hiding a Shameful Truth.

Reality won this skirmish, at least for now.

As I mentioned earlier, Jordan Duncan’s lawyer was trying to get him released from custody before his trial. That lawyer claimed his client was a lamb who would never hurt anybody to escape his trial, nor ever try to flee. And Frank Duncan, of course, showed up to support his son and offer to house him until the trial.

Well, the judge refused to release Jordan Duncan. I get the feeling that his dad’s utter ignorance of his son’s antics played a role in that refusal. Stars & Stripes describes the situation like this:

A federal magistrate judge refused Thursday to release Duncan from custody after hearing a prosecutor describe the former Marine as a potentially violent man whose parents didn’t know about his white supremacist and anti-Semitic ideology.

“You effectively hid this side of your life,” Judge James Gates concluded.

I’m not surprised that Jordan Duncan “hid this side” of his life. But I’m even less surprised that his dad never noticed his son heading that direction. Evangelicals are past masters of perceiving only what they want to perceive.

So no, I wouldn’t want Frank Duncan to house his son until the trial. Who even knows what else he’d completely miss.

I Wonder as I Wander.

One wonders when Jordan Duncan decided that the cause of human rights was his enemy. When he decided that white male supremacy — his own imagined prerogative and diminishing privilege — was worth murder to defend. How he rationalizes his god’s approval into this mess, if indeed he even does.

And now, I wonder how his father will deal with this stunning contradiction to evangelical leaders’ own marketing.

I hope he does grapple with it, though.

There’s a powerful lesson here to be learned.

I hope Frank Duncan learns it, even if his son can’t.

NEXT UP: Speaking of the Southern Baptists, tomorrow I wanted to take a quick look at their 2020 Annual Report. (Spoiler: It ain’t good news for them.) Also, we’ll meet their new Dear Leader and maybe check out what’s going on with his predecessor Thom Rainer and that whole lawsuit thing. See you tomorrow!

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(To get ANY SBC Annual Report, use this URL, substituting the year you want for “2020.” As far as I can tell, you can get pretty much any year you want this way. To find their main metrics in these reports, do a word search for “baptisms.” That eventually gets you to what you need. In 2020’s case, you want page 64. And now, I wonder how many non-Christians keep track of their metrics like I do?)

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ROLL TO DISBELIEVE "Captain Cassidy" is Cassidy McGillicuddy, a Gen Xer and ex-Pentecostal. (The title is metaphorical.) She writes about the intersection of psychology, belief, popular culture, science,...