*As Dean of The New Theology School, I’m so proud of my student Dr. Scott Masters’ (The New Theology School ‘s new Professor of Practical Wesleyan Studies) book, Deconstructing the Gospel of Q (Anon).
June 9, 2020
To the faithful.
“If you were an adherent, no one would be able to tell. You would look like any other American. You could be a mother, picking leftovers off your toddler’s plate. You could be the young man in headphones across the street. You could be a bookkeeper, a dentist, a grandmother icing cupcakes in her kitchen. You may well have an affiliation with an evangelical church. But you are hard to identify just from the way you look—which is good, because someday soon dark forces may try to track you down. You understand this sounds crazy, but you don’t care. You know that a small group of manipulators, operating in the shadows, pull the planet’s strings. You know that they are powerful enough to abuse children without fear of retribution. You know that the mainstream media are their handmaidens, in partnership with Hillary Clinton and the secretive denizens of the deep state. You know that only Donald Trump stands between you and a damned and ravaged world. You see plague and pestilence sweeping the planet, and understand that they are part of the plan. You know that a clash between good and evil cannot be avoided, and you yearn for the Great Awakening that is coming. And so you must be on guard at all times. You must shield your ears from the scorn of the ignorant. You must find those who are like you. And you must be prepared to fight.
You know all this because you believe in Q.”
“This eloquently worded bullshit is fuckin’ crazy.” That was my exact thought when I read the above quote in The Atlantic in June of 2020…but that wasn’t the first time I’d had such a response to this type of speak…well written/spoken…but unbelievably dangerous. In fact, the quote took me all the way back to an earlier time…a time when I sat in church service after church service eloquently being told that we must be politically active in certain ways or we would face eternal damnation. Repeatedly, I remember hearing smooth words from the pulpit, “Evil is coming for us. Our very souls demand resistance. If you have any love for Jesus or America, you will…” By that point, most people were so drawn in to what the preacher was saying…they would do whatever came next. After thinking about it for a minute, I realized that this bullshit church-speak was the actual forerunner of QAnon and utilized the same strategy…speak eloquently…create fear…and manipulate people to do whatever you want them to do. In fact, it seemed that QAnon was birthed in the manipulations of the church…and therefore…as QAnon became more and more violent…I realized that the church had a particular responsibility to stop it. But who would go for us? Fast forward two years later…
“I want to write something on QAnon…you know to help people who have been sucked into all of that foolishness.” I about fell out of my chair. As the Dean of The New Theology School, I was interviewing Dr. Scott Masters for admittance to our program. When he said those words, I knew that I’d finally found someone who could push back in a loving way. Over the many months that Dr. Masters has worked to finish his doctoral project, I have been so impressed with his ability to offer a stern…yet deeply compassionate rebuke…of the heresy of QAnon. This text is the culmination of countless hours…not just of writing…but also of prayer. Dr. Masters is first and foremost a pastor. He wrote this text because he cares about those who have been sucked into all of this QAnon bullshit. If you care about those who have been lost to such heresy, I encourage you to share this text. The world…the church…will be better for it.
The Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood
Dean, The New Theology School