Jan 4·edited Jan 4

You are being quite charitable to describe all these efforts as legitimate. The only possible justification for most of this subterfuge would be to have a positive impact on America as a whole, not just to seize power in evangelical churches and networks.

Yet, as you said in the article, 'I think it’s fair to say that this effort has produced no change in American culture as a whole, but it has given the people at the top of those networks immense power over what sociologist Brad Vermurlen called the “evangelical field.” '

The rationalization process in these cases is a well-traveled path: "First, we fight for power, by whatever means necessary. Then, we promise that SOME DAY we will use that power for good, thus justifying the naked struggle for power."

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Jan 4Liked by Aaron M. Renn

"[T]he contagion inside the American Church" - I find this perspective very difficult to comprehend.

I understand that David French et al. came out strongly against Trump in 2016, and that seeing him win first the nomination, and then the election, with supermajority support from evangelical voters, must have been deeply humbling and a challenge to their self-perception that they were important evangelical and conservative leaders. Trump's rise certainly constituted a major event in the life of the Republican Party and a crisis of sorts for the conservative movement. But from the perspective of the church, it was somewhere between a faint ripple and a literal non-event.

I've been part of the same evangelical church for the past twenty years. I suspect that the vast majority of congregants voted for Trump in both 2016 and 2020, some of us reluctantly, others enthusiastically. But the vast majority also likely voted for Romney, McCain, Bush, etc. White evangelicals have on balance been right-of-center and Republican leaning (though never monolithic) for decades. I can't identify anything at church that's changed in the last ten years due to Trump, and I can't point to a single person who joined or left the church because of Trump, or Trumpism, or anything of the sort. And I suspect that my experience in this regard is much more representative that that of French, Moore, etc.

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Russ Moore is undergoing a 'lifestyle' adjustment - learning to live with less - less money and influence - just has MILLIONS OF THE FAITHFUL who no longer trust or listen to him. The difference is the faithful have had this foisted upon them whereas Pastor Knucklehead has invited it not for the Love of Christ but the hatred of patriotic Christians who look past Trumps personal flaws (both many and costly) to the policies his flawed leadership provided the country.

Time and time again - and it is the main point with Alberta - he (as the rest) is only useful and thus worthy of billionaire investment - as the latest ploy to blunt the revival afoot locally throughout America - as those struggling to keep from life on the street as homeless - confronts what for them has been a depression-lite existence under this Biden regime - and the prior Progressive who is really in charge - Obama.

It plays on Morning Joe and sells books. It gets a Andy Warhol 15 minutes on MSNBC & CNN - and sells books. All of which is barely a speed bump on the way to American Restoration - A restoration that is at the core revival to renew our Christan roots as a Republic founded on the Books of Moses and the Hebrew Republic.

Why must they meet in 'secrete'? I just spent four days at the Phoenix Convention Center with fifteen thousand likeminded Americans at TPActions AMERICAFEST - and you know what - over 50% of attendees WERE UNDER THE AGE OF 30. The breakout sessions with folks like Rob McCoy and Victor Marx were open door and filled to the max. Like so many others working with Kirk YOU CAN GET FREE via YouTube or your phone what Alberta and his ilk have to fund via the enemies of Republican self-governance and the Christian values that breathed into life.

Who is acting more as Paul or Peter to spread the message?

The real lesson here is not just that people like Alberta, Moore, and Chang have to take money from godless sultans of Silicon Valley in order to vainly try and undermine and sabotage Christian Revival and America First. Not at all.

We need to take a page out of history and do what our forefathers did a hundred and fifty years ago after the Civil War when faced with similar problems from the uber rich. Then it was Trust busting and reigning in corruption - the same kind of corruption that is international whereas in their day was local (& regional) - State Capitals more than Washington - before post FDR it became a foreign capital.

Taxation for representation is what is necessary - besides expelling the K Street foreign consultants that keep us a nation constantly engaged in war. They know it. That the gravy train under Trump got a taste of derailment - and that the public demands an end to it. That they choose NATION over EMPIRE.

They have tried everything - from destroying our currency to inflating us into servitude - and they are learning the same lesson Hitler & Tojo learned; awaken the sleeping Giant and embrace the suck.

Rather than financing the trillion $$$ projects aimed at Uni-Party power via Californication - they will be forced to eat a 30% haircut - or make good on their promises to move to a bunker in New Zealand like $%&*erBurger or Bloombrain.

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The vocabulary used in the book excerpts -- pollution, infection, contagion -- is really something. They can't imagine populism as anything other than a disease.

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I've really enjoyed the book so far. Well worth the time. I'll be very curious to hear your comments, Aaron, on Tim's objections to your Three Worlds thesis.

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I took a look at the "After Party" that Aaron linked. Honestly, if I wasn't so skeptical about the personalities involved, I wouldn't object to a lot of what they're saying here. In light of the idea that the secular left is funding these guys, I found this remark from a French-Chang exchange interesting:



DAVID FRENCH: We shouldn’t even have to explain this to be honest. But in 2016, many Democrats were quite happy that Donald Trump won the nomination. Some Democrats are already rubbing their hands together in glee at the thought of taking on Trump in 2024. I agree that Trump is easier to beat than any number of other Republican politicians. But what are the consequences of a loss to Donald Trump?

Democrats have been playing with fire. There was a lot of funding that flowed to some very far-right candidates in 2022 who defeated the anti-Trump candidates.


Reading between the lines, the message to secular Democrats would appear to be, "Take those dollars you've been slipping to MAGA and fund us with them instead."

Of course, if these sorts wanted to ever regain credibility, they would have to punch left sometimes. If the left is now actively buttering their bread (and they're in the business of soliciting even more leftist butter), that would seem to be an increasingly remote possibility.

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I have never voted for Trump, but it seems to me there is something wrong with saying it's OK for anti-Trump evangelical Christians to ally with leftist, secular anti-evangelicals to defeat Trump, but not OK for evangelical Christians to support Trump to defeat leftist, anti-Christian secularism. It seems to me that both sides will ally with whomever will help them; and neither side can validly criticize the other for doing what it is itself doing.

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A literal fifth column for progressivism, whether they see it that way or not.

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Didn't know Russell Moore was a Democrat. That explains a lot.

Why did Alberta write this book? Seems like it gives away a lot of information. Is he bragging? Does he have an ego? Does he think talking about this out loud advances the group's goals (and if so why was the group secretive from the start)?

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I will look forward to your review of the book. I have not read it, but have heard from a couple friends of mine that it's worth reading.

Knowing no more about it than what I've read here, I'd say that what Moore, Brooks, et al are trying to do is not only legitimate but also right (as in correct, though I'm not sure about effective). If there is a way to re-disciple white, evangelical Christians "on the question of 'how' Christians are called to engage the culture" they should pursue it.

That said, I'd like to know more about their arrangements with these non-Christian funders as well as their method for re-discipling and what this "curriculum" is. The lack of hierarchy in evangelical churches makes it hard to have a message filter down from on high. Moore's group would have to get the message in the hands of the local pastor, who may or may not be interested in what they have to say. And even if the local pastor wants to try to better disciple his flock, if the message comes "from the desk of Russell Moore" it might be disregarded by the laity. Anyway...interested in hearing more.

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