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Tag: qanon evangelicals

Poll Shows Devout Evangelicals More Likely To Join QAnon Cult

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Although QAnon isn't a religious movement per se, the far-right conspiracy theorists have enjoyed some of their strongest support from white evangelicals — who share their adoration of former President Donald Trump. And polling research from The Economist and YouGov shows that among those who are religious, White evangelicals are the most QAnon-friendly.

The Economist explains, "One prominent theory is that Americans who have no religious affiliation find themselves attracted to other causes, such as the Q craze. Another, posited by Ben Sasse, a Republican senator from Nebraska, is that modern strains of Christian evangelicalism which 'run on dopey apocalypse-mongering' do not entirely satisfy all worshippers — and so, they go on to find community and salvation in other groups, such as QAnon. Using The Economist's polling with YouGov, an online pollster, we can test both of these theories."

Sasse's willingness to call out "dopey apocalypse-mongering" among some white evangelicals shouldn't be taken as a criticism of religion in general. The conservative Nebraska Republican draws a distinction between extremists and non-extremists within Christianity. And the Economist/YouGov poll underscores the fact that among Christians, one finds a variety of opinions where QAnon is concerned.

"From July 10 to July 13, 2021, YouGov asked Americans their racial and religious affiliations, whether they thought of QAnon favorably or unfavorably and whether they believed in a variety of popular conspiracy theories," The Economist notes. "Those theories included old stand-bys, such as whether the moon landing in 1969 was faked."

The Economist continues: "According to YouGov's recent polling, which we combined with an earlier survey from March to obtain a larger sample size, Americans who attend church the least are also the least likely to have a favorable view of QAnon. Among those who say they 'never' go to church, just nine percent who have heard of the QAnon conspiracy view it favorably. Fully 92 percent of these respondents view it unfavorably — a net favorability of minus 83 percentage points."

According to The Economist, "The rating among people who attend church the most — once a month or more — is minus 52 points."

"We ran a statistical model to control for potential links between attitudes towards QAnon and other demographics — such as race, age, gender, education, party affiliation and vote choice in 2020," The Economist notes. "Our model confirmed that the relationship between church attendance and QAnon was not a statistical fluke: adults who attended church at least once a month were eight percentage points more likely than we predicted to rate QAnon favorably."

The Economist didn't find that QAnon is universally loved within Christianity by any means, but it did find that among Christians, white evangelicals are the most likely to be QAnon-friendly.

"White evangelicals, the most religiously devout group among those surveyed by YouGov, are particularly susceptible to supporting QAnon and believing other conspiracy theories," The Economist reports. "They also tend to attend church frequently. Twenty-two percent of evangelicals who know about QAnon view it favorably, according to YouGov's numbers — compared with 11 percent among the rest of the adult population. At the other end of the spectrum, 24 percent of evangelicals rate QAnon as 'very unfavorable,' compared with 58 percent among other people."

QAnon believes that the U.S. government has been infiltrated by an international cabal of child sex traffickers, pedophiles, Satanists and cannibals and that Trump was elected president in 2016 to fight the cabal. And as extreme as QAnon's beliefs are, some of their supporters are serving in Congress. Republican QAnon supporters who have been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives include Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado — and Michael Flynn, who briefly served as national security adviser under Trump in 2017, was a featured speaker at a QAnon event in Dallas.

Among white evangelicals, The Economist observes, a fondness for conspiracy theories isn't limited to those promoted by QAnon.

"White evangelicals are 34 percentage points more likely than other Americans to believe that 'millions of illegal votes' were cast in the 2020 election," according to The Economist. "These adults also tend to be more conservative, and vote for Republican politicians more often than non-whites and members of other religious groups do. Evangelicals are influenced by the official party line on issues of the day — even if they are conspiratorial. And adoption of one wild theory, perhaps made more persuasive by a politician's avowals, tends to lead to the adoption of others."

Evangelical Pastors ‘Alarmed’ By QAnon’s Growing Sway In Their Congregations

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Those who had been warning that the QAnon conspiracy cult was dangerous were reminded just how dangerous when QAnon supporters — along with members of the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, the Three Percenters and other extremist groups — attacked the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6. Some QAnon supporters identify as Christian fundamentalists, and journalist Mike Allen discusses the inroads QAnon has made among white evangelicals in an article published by Axios on Memorial Day 2021.

Allen explains, "QAnon conspiracy theories have burrowed so deeply into American churches that pastors are expressing alarm…. Russell Moore, one of America's most respected evangelical Christian thinkers, told me he's 'talking literally every day to pastors, of virtually every denomination, who are exhausted by these theories blowing through their churches or communities.'"

Allen reports that a poll taken by Ipsos in March for the Public Religion Research Institute and Interfaith Youth Core found that 15 percent of Americans join QAnon in believing that "the government, media, and financial worlds in the U.S. are controlled by a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run a global child sex trafficking operation."

Kristin Du Mez, a historian at Calvin University and author of the book Jesus and John Wayne, told Axios, "For those who hope that the events of January 6 are in our past, I think this data gives little in the way of assurance."

That poll found that 26 percent of Hispanic Protestants and 25 percent of white evangelical Protestants were more likely to agree with QAnon than other groups.

Du Mez told Axios, "There's also an emphasis in certain circles on deciphering biblical prophecies that bears some similarities to decoding QAnon conspiracies — the idea that there is a secret meaning hidden within the text that can be discerned by individuals who have eyes to see. This isn't just a problem for faith communities, of course. It is deeply troubling in terms of the health of our democracy."

Natalie Jackson, research director at PRRI, told Axios the poll doesn't mean that 15 percent of Americans "are spending their entire lives only paying attention to Q.... but it does mean this group is amenable to believing these conspiracy theories."