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The Trump Revival

To a growing contingent of right-wing evangelical Christians, Donald Trump isn’t just an aspiring two-term president. He’s an actual prophet.

There’s a new entry in the warm-up material at Trump rallies, sandwiched between the classic-rock anthems and the demagogic diatribes of various local political leaders. It’s a two-minute video that Trump posted to his Truth Social account just prior to the third anniversary of the January 6 insurrection. Called “God Made Trump,” the campaign spot is brazenly messianic in tone and substance alike, directly paraphrasing the “So God Made a Farmer” speech made famous by the conservative radio personality Paul Harvey.

At the center of this transformation is a new ideological upsurge of activism on the evangelical right, sparked by the rapidly growing revivalist campaign known as the New Apostolic Reformation. The NAR is rooted in a long-standing alliance of charismatic worship and business-driven grievance politics, dating back at least to post–World War II.

The spiritual insurgency of January 6 also underlined another defining trait of the NAR movement: Its interest in democratic governance, like its interest in other features of political and cultural life, is purely instrumental—and once a democratic result defies prophecy, as it did in 2020, that outcome gets instantly discredited as another show of demonic strength.

“It’s fascinating,and it explains how they’re different as an interest group,” says Washington State University historian Matthew Avery Sutton, who specializes in American prophecy belief. “For them, the idea of democracy and majority rule doesn’t matter. It’s not part of any equation for us to expect them to concede an election—it’s not thinkable. You can’t have majority rule when the devil rules the majority. You can’t negotiate; you can’t compromise.”

Read the full story:
The Nation

What life was like when Kennewick was a “sundown town”

From the early 1940s, legal segregation and the attitudes of the Tri-Cities community made Black people feel unwelcome, according to Robert Bauman, a history professor at WSU Tri-Cities.

“Kennewick was a sundown town…,” Bauman said. “There were some African Americans who worked there, not a lot. And Blacks could come to Kennewick to shop whatever during the day. But the understanding was you had to be out by sundown.”

At that time the only place Black Americans were allowed to own a home was east Pasco, according to Bauman.

Bauman said the sundown town practice wasn’t something city officials tried to hide, citing an interview by the Washington State Board Against Discrimination.

“One of the times they interviewed the police chief who said, yeah, this is, you know, we don’t allow Blacks to live here and if people are here after sundown, we remove them,” Bauman said.

It took years of persistence for civil rights organizations and community members to change the way things were with marches and even individual actions, according to Bauman.

Watch the video and read the full story:
KNDO Tri-Cities

American Evangelicals Await the Final Battle in Gaza

For most observers, the war in Gaza is a horrifying escalation of tensions in the Middle East, pitting a heavily armed Israeli state in a self-styled “existential” crusade against a stateless civilian population, bringing a brutal toll of casualties and the prospect of permanent displacement. Yet for many in the American evangelical world, the news out of Gaza is a crucial foretaste of redemption—the prelude to the final battle for earthly power, to be followed by Armageddon and the Rapture.

American evangelicals have long prided themselves on their undeviating support for Israel—but the basis of this alliance is not a standard convergence of diplomatic interests, and it’s certainly not a flourish of faith-based solidarity with the Jews. Instead, it’s a matter of the opportunistic choreographing of the foreordained final act of history.

Donald Trump’s 2016 election helped to move the evangelical right into the vanguard of Republican politics—while Trump brokered key points of contact between American evangelicals and Likud leaders, such as the embassy move and the failed diplomatic framework of the Abraham Accords.

“The reason for Netanyahu to realize how important evangelicals are is clear, since their political influence has done nothing but grow in the last 20 years, especially within Congress,” says Washington State University historian Matthew Avery Sutton, author of American Apocalypse, a study of modern prophecy faith. And as the pronouncements of Hagee and his son make clear, the evangelical right, unlike many other religious Americans, has zero interest in a negotiated settlement to the Israeli occupation. “In their ideal world, there would be no two-state solution, no Palestinian state,” Sutton notes. “The idea is that Jews should control the entire land that King David controlled.”

Read the full story:
The Nation


FBI’s secret search for lesbians in Manhattan Project revealed

In 1943, thousands of workers began arriving at remote outposts in Washington, New Mexico and Tennessee where American ingenuity would be pressed to its limit in a secret and frantic push to build the first atomic bomb.

One particular group of eight women at Hanford in Eastern Washington and Los Alamos in New Mexico would have been among the forgotten, if not for the FBI’s feverish hunt for private details about their lives. The government that had recruited them to the elite Manhattan Project was now trying to strip them of vital security clearances by proving they were lesbians.

Declassified FBI records and Atomic Energy Commission memos reviewed by The Seattle Times chronicle the women’s experiences trying to live their authentic lives while staying ahead of the FBI in a chase that stretched from Los Alamos to Hanford and spanned a decade.

Robert Franklin.

“The [Atomic Energy Commission], in saying these people are going to be security risks, they’re damning them. You’re also lumping them in with groups that might wish the U.S. and its allies harm,” Robert Franklin, assistant professor of history at Washington State University, Tri-Cities, and assistant director of the Hanford History Project, told the paper. “They’re not enemies, but the fact is they could be compromised just because of who they are.”

“It’s deeply unsettling and really should be a cautionary tale,” he added. “They wouldn’t have been a risk if we had been able to accept people for who they are.”

Find out more:
The Seattle Times
The Advocate