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#MAGA Church: The Doomsday Prophet Who Says the Bible Predicted Trump

A charismatic pastor in New Jersey (who also calls himself a rabbi) leads a church fixated on end times. Before the apocalypse, however, he’s fitting in a trip to Mar-a-Lago.

Every weekend, some 1,000 congregants gather for the idiosyncratic teachings of the church’s celebrity pastor, Jonathan Cahn, an entrepreneurial doomsday prophet who claims that President Trump’s rise to power was foretold in the Bible.

Mr. Cahn is tapping into a belief more popular than may appear.

Matthew Avery Sutton.

Matthew Sutton, a professor of history at Washington State University and the author of “American Apocalypse,” said Mr. Cahn fits a unique American mold. “In key historical moments, religious figures like this find a way to step in,” Mr. Sutton said. “They draw from apocalyptic theology and say, ‘We have this secret knowledge and can explain what’s going on.’ It fosters this sense that God’s judgment is hanging over your head.”

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The New York Times


This American Lie

A WSU professor asks: do facts still matter in the United States?

Stephen Stehr.
Stephen Stehr

Ten years ago, Washington State University political science professor Steven Stehr got involved in a large-scale National Science Foundation project, training doctoral students in the sciences about how their work could affect, or be affected by, public policy. The idea was to create scientists with a toe in the waters of government.

“As an outgrowth,” Stehr says now, “I became interested in the topic of how knowledge gets used in policy debates.”

The timing was right. Stephen Colbert’s The Colbert Report had made “truthiness” — the comedic notion that if a concept feels true, it’s a legitimate foundation for law — into a buzzword, and senior George W. Bush advisor Karl Rove was credited with dismissing journalists and historians as a powerless “reality-based community.” Stehr’s studies grew into “Is Truth Really Dead in America?,” his presentation for the Humanities Washington Speaker’s Bureau. To Stehr’s mind, the devaluation of truth and facts that’s now taking place in American government and media isn’t really a new phenomenon.

“People have strategically used language, for as long as democracy’s been around, to try and make problems look a certain way,” he says. “Because if you can define what the problem is, you have a big leg up on what solution is applied to it.”

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Humanities Washington Blog

Social Issues in Cosplay: Racism

Holly Rose Swinyard, editor of The Cosplay Journal, examines an unpleasant aspect of the cosplay scene – and what can be done to tackle racism in the community

Racism is probably one of the biggest issues in the cosplay community. You’d think with a community that claims to be open, liberal and supportive that this wouldn’t be the case, but here we are.

I’m not going to sugar coat this. This isn’t a “tinge of racism” or a “dusting” of it – the cosplay community, and geek culture at large, has some serious racism embedded in it and is full of racist people. That’s just the case. It is happening. Everywhere.

And it’s not just language or slurs that are commonplace; there are so many people who think that making your skin colour darker/giving yourself more ethnic features (making your eyes look more Asian, making prosthetics to mimic black features etc) is the same as painting yourself blue or green or adding elf ears. Those who do this claim that what they are doing is not blackface or raceface, since, in their minds, what they are doing isn’t mocking people of colour, and yet they are being told over and over again that it is hugely disrespectful to use someone’s race as part of a costume.

David Leonard.
David Leonard

“Blackface is part of a history of dehumanization, of denied citizenship, and of efforts to excuse and justify state violence. From lynchings to mass incarceration, whites have utilized blackface (and the resulting dehumanization) as part of its moral and legal justification for violence. It is time to stop with the dismissive arguments those that describe these offensive acts as pranks, ignorance and youthful indiscretions. Blackface is never a neutral form of entertainment, but an incredibly loaded site for the production of damaging stereotypes…the same stereotypes that undergird individual and state violence, American racism, and a century’s worth of injustice.”

wrote David Leonard, then-chair of Washington State University’s department of critical culture, gender, and race studies, in a Huffington Post essay, “Just Say No To blackface: Neo Minstrelsy and the Power to Dehumanize.”

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Dr. Universe: What are molecules?

Qiang Jack Zhang.A glass of water has more molecules than there are stars in the night sky. That’s what I found out from my friend Jack (Qiang) Zhang, an assistant professor of chemistry at Washington State University.

“Everything around us is made up of molecules,” he said. “And while these molecules may be different, they are all made of the same things.”

Those things are called atoms. Zhang told me we can think about atoms kind of like Lego blocks. Imagine that you have a pile of red Legos, yellow Legos, and blue Legos. Maybe you use them to build a tiny house, or you can use this same set of Legos to build something else like an airplane or a robot.

Just as you can arrange blocks in different ways, atoms arranged in different ways can make up different objects. There are a lot of atoms, but let’s talk about three of them. We can find their names on a big chart called the Periodic Table of Elements.

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Dr. Universe

Winners of 2019 Rosa Park Awards announced in Moscow

Ken Faunce.
Ken Faunce

WSU history professor Ken Faunce was among three people recognized for their service and dedication to human rights during the 26th annual Martin Luther King Human Rights Community Breakfast Saturday in Moscow.

Faunce received the 2019 Rosa Parks Human Rights Achievement Award award because of his commitment, investment, and dedication to the topic of human rights.

“Ken is truly a gifted and passionate leader… He is about making opportunities that speak to the widest range possible,” states his nomination letter.

Faunce led the move to rename Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day in Moscow. He works with high school and university students through the Human Rights Commission, and he’s a member of the Northwest Coalition of Human Rights.

To win an award, indivudals need to demonstrate a record of leadership and accomplishment, as well as “manifestations of special courage and commitment in opposing bigotry and celebrating diversity.”

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Moscow-Pullman Daily News