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Hi and welcome back! I saw a meme today about Critical Race Theory (CRT) that got my thinker thinkin’, so to speak. That meme really speaks volumes about exactly why evangelicals oppose certain things, even when that opposition flies in the face of everything Jesus directly ordered them to do and be. Today, let me show you why that CRT meme’s message is so important.

(Thomas de LUZE.) Credit: Thomas de LUZE / Unsplash

(Today is a short overflow post so Disqus doesn’t cause issues for commenters. Overflow posts are always off-topic wonderlands.)

What Authoritarians Understand About CRT.

My husband sent me this meme today. It reads:

Republicans are not afraid of Critical Race Theory. They don’t even know what it is.

They’re afraid of theories critical of racists. They know who they are.

And that meme sparked one of those whoa, dude moments for me.

Of course, the meme isn’t completely correct. It deals with Republicans, when really it should be dealing with evangelicals. The overlap between the groups is nearly complete, with very few evangelicals stepping out of tribal lockstep on elections (or, really, much of anything else). I’m not willing to pretend that this is purely a political-party situation and not the studied opinion of the biggest-name evangelical leaders.

Either way, the people who snarl the most vehemently against CRT demonstrate repeatedly that they don’t understand it at all. They hate this thing they don’t even understand. They hate it to their bones and sinew and marrow — and yet they don’t know what it actually is. Nor do they care at all to find out.

They don’t need to. You see, they already know what they need to know. They know what CRT could potentially do to their power.

And the one thing authoritarians like them know is power.

Power is the one language they speak fluently. It is also the only thing they really care about in this entire world.

Authoritarians’ Snarl Words Lead Us Straight to Freedom.

I do love seeing evangelicals use snarl words against their enemies. These are dismissive epithets that evangelicals deploy to attack their enemies so viciously and so thunderously that they imagine there’s no room for a counterattack. When they fling these snarl words, that’s supposed to end the argument.

Very little demonstrates evangelicals’ utter lack of supernatural power than their sheer hatred for so many enemies.

And hooboy, do these folks have a lot of snarl words ready at hand. Here’s a short selection of the ones I’ve heard lately out of them:

  • Feminist
  • Liberal
  • Marxist
  • Communist
  • Satanist
  • Atheist

I guess CRT-Believer is their next big addition to this ever-growing list.

Authoritarians like evangelicals use snarl words because they don’t have any other way to dismiss their enemies. They can’t do it on the basis of facts, because they’ve never had actual facts to support anything they do or believe or want. So they must win their many squabbles through bluster and emotional manipulation.

But look carefully at these words, and you’ll see a trend:

Every one of them represents a rejection of evangelical control and dominance.

CRT and Evangelical Dominance.

For a long time now, evangelicals have embraced a lie: that racism happens when individuals are sinful. Thus, racist people must accept evangelical dominance so their sin is lessened, and that will totes solve racism forever. Evangelicals up and down the ladder of power insist that nothing else will work to end racism except the solution they offer.

(They also act like it’s just some strange coincidence that their solution also involves forcing everyone to play along with their massive Happy Pretendy Fun Time Game. No no, they don’t want power over us because they’re authoritarian asshats! It just looks that way! They really just want to help us all by becoming our Designated Adults!)

Coincidentally, evangelicals’ non-solution to racism also ensures that nothing can possibly change. The only way to fix racism is for absolutely everyone in America to completely Jesus the Jesus Jesus 24/7. And that will never happen, as they themselves know and admit. Racism thus becomes a forever problem that they simply cannot ever solve, only forever try to solve.

CRT’s Thumbed Nose.

Then along comes CRT to say no, actually, racism is a complicated situation that has been helped along by many institutions that long ago ensconced racist ideals into their core rules and systems. Racism has little at all to do with individual sin really. Thus, our society can certainly tackle racism without evangelicals’ input or control — and moreover, we can examine evangelicals’ own power structures to find their own entrenched systemic racist ideals.

In other words, CRT asks us to work on the game, not the players, with the idea that once the game is set aright the players will follow along.

That whole process flies in the face of evangelicals’ claims. It also slaps away their greedy little hands from power over the rest of us.

So obviously, evangelicals hate CRT. They must. Accepting it means accepting that they’ve been wrong about racism for many years. It also means accepting that Jesus isn’t the answer here (or anywhere, but I’m really getting ahead of myself).

Why Evangelicals Hate CRT, LGBT Rights, Etc.

Yes, yes they are.

Long ago, I realized why evangelicals despise the things they do.

Feminism declares that evangelicals’ cherished ideas about men and women’s divinely-designated roles are wrong. Instead, people of any gender can handle any role that they’re qualified by skills to hold. Thus, feminism threatens evangelical men’s sense of superiority and dominance over women.

Equal marriage, similarly, declares that any consenting adults can marry. They can divvy up marital roles according to temperament and skills, too. Thus, equal marriage destroys evangelicals’ claims about how to best conduct a marriage relationship. It also destroys their sense of superiority over other kinds of marriages. (For example: These two Australian dipsticks.) Marriage equality also reveals evangelicals’ bigotry as harmful, making them the baddies here.

Trans people declare to the world that gender actually exists along a continuum, rather than being decided at birth and forever set. The categories aren’t as cut and dried as evangelicals pretend. Trans people’s existence flies in the face of evangelicals’ claims about gender itself. Their existence also refutes evangelicals’ other claims about their god’s role in assigning people their genders — and thus their biological fates.

Now we have CRT, which declares that evangelicals themselves have had more than a little role in creating misery for millions of Americans for centuries. Instead of being humanity’s Designated Adults, they are the baddies. Instead of being the parents helping white Americans unlearn and transcend racism, evangelicals become the very villains ensuring the perpetuation of racism. 

CRT also threatens white evangelicals’ imagined superiority over people of color (POC) — and worst of all, it demands changes to white evangelicals’ existing power structures.

So: Look at what evangelicals hate. Look at what they snarl most about. You will behold these authoritarians’ biggest fears of obsolescence and powerlessness given form.

Evangelicals hate and snarl about CRT because CRT holds one of the keys to society’s freedom from their dreams of dominance.

NEXT UP: Two quadrilaterals — and the fight for the future of evangelicalism. See you tomorrow!

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This is an overflow post. Overflow posts are always OT wonderlands. Enjoy!

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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,...