VICE Contributor & Grand View Professor Accuse Christians of Fascism
Micah Sample, Wokepedia News Article, July 7th, 2022.
Memes & Propaganda, Oh My.
On July 5th of 2022, VICE News released an article entitled “Christian Fascist Propaganda Is All Over TikTok.” According to the article, video edits that incorporate various memes and scenes from movies about the Crusades constitute actual “fascist propaganda.” The word “fascist,” of course, evokes mental images of concentration camps and firing squads, and the word “propaganda” suggests the notion of top-level political strategists carefully crafting pamphlets, posters, and films with calls to war and action.
While it is absurd that any news outlet would equate mere TikTok memes with real propaganda, the obvious intention behind the article is to deceive readers into believing that there is a sudden uprising of young, violent Christians conspiring to dominate the world via social media. This suggestion is so baseless that the intelligent reader cannot help but find it humorous. Laughter is great medicine for a case of baseless claims, after all. Beyond the over-the-top ridiculousness of the title, though, this Vice article reveals a deeper loathing of anything that resembles a Biblical worldview.
Christian Nationalists, or Just Christians?
The article states that “Christian nationalists believe that their country’s policies and laws should reflect evangelical Christian values, and culture war issues like LGBTQ rights, ‘critical race theory,’ or immigration are regarded as signs of moral decay that imperil the nation’s future.” So far, the description is accurate. Biblical Christians should take God’s Law seriously and seek to effect changes to state and national legislation to match God’s own legislation as revealed in Scripture.
It was not all that long ago, after all, that most Western governments (especially the United States) based their laws on such passages as the Ten Commandments. Delaware’s state constitution, for example, stated in Article XXII: “Every person shall be chosen a member of either house, or appointed to any office or place of trust… shall… make and subscribe the following declaration, to wit: ‘I do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine inspiration.”
Gunning Bedford, a Delaware signer of the United States Constitution, agreed to this profession and its enforcement. Moreover, John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, wrote that “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
This phenomenon that VICE identifies as “Christian Nationalism,” then, is nothing more than the reintroduction of basic societal values that were widely accepted at the time of America’s founding. (And that’s not to mention the Christian nationalism that existed in virtually every European country for nearly a millennium or more.) Christian nationalism is part and parcel of what it means to be a Westerner. Christianity is an evangelistic religion, so it should not come as a surprise to anyone that Christians want to evangelize not only in private affairs, but all the more in the affairs of the people– that is, politics.
You’re All Christo-Fascists (According to Tess Owen):
But the Vice article doesn’t stop at Christian nationalism. The article continues on to portray “Christo-fascism” with a vague, broad-sweeping brush. “Christo-fascists take that one step further,” says author Tess Owen, “and believe that they’re fighting primordial battles between West and East, good and evil, right and left, Christians and infidels. These two labels, however, sometimes overlap.”
Readers should be careful to note that Owen’s description of “Christo-fascists” applies to virtually every Biblical Christian who has ever existed. While she fumbles over her words by claiming that Christo-fascism is about West vs. East (ironically, many of the people she’s describing are Eastern Orthodox Christians), she identifies Christians who believe that there is a battle between good and evil, right and left, or Christians and infidels as “Christo-fascists.” Any Bible-believing follower of Jesus has to assent to the existence of a battle between good and evil, and insofar as the Left promotes intolerance of Christianity, of course believers must recognize a battle between the right and the left. As for Christians and infidels, every Christian recognizes the reality of spiritual warfare between servants of Christ and servants of the devil. What room does Owens leave for any Christian to wiggle out of this “Christo-fascist” label? None. Christians who reject the political ideology of fascism can’t even escape her category. This is a prime example of deliberate misrepresentation.
In an attempt to justify her hopelessly flawed accusation, Owen writes that “On TikTok, ideologues from both ends of the spectrum are weaving together a shared visual language using 4chan memes, Scripture, Orthodox and Catholic iconography, imagery of holy wars, and clips from movies or TV featuring toxic male characters.” (Notice the radical feminist insinuation that “toxic masculinity” is a real thing.) “Many of the videos, on their face, are innocuous enough, but they exist in close proximity to disturbing, violent, or explicitly white nationalist content.” Here, readers witness Owens commit the error of assuming guilt, not only by association, but by proximity. That is a new one. If a Christian’s TikTok video happens to pop up on a user’s feed right underneath a disturbing video, or a violent video, or a white nationalist video that has inherently nothing to do with the Christian video, then the Christian video-maker is still guilty of Christo-fascism. There’s no escaping Owen’s all-encompassing brush.
Lutheran-Associated Professor Lecaque: Young Believers Are Christo-Fascists!
Of course, Leftist media hitpieces against entire swathes people would be incomplete without a professorial opinion interjected throughout to attempt to bring credibility to the claims at hand. For this purpose, Owen brought Thomas Lecaque aboard to contribute his thoughts to the article. Lecaque is an associate professor of history at Grand View University in Iowa, and his primary focus is on “apocalyptic religion and violence.” Founded in 1896, Grand View University is associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, but given Lecaque’s vitriol towards Biblical Christians, it appears that the ELCA isn’t keen on associating with Biblical Christians.
Apocalyptic religion and… violence. That word “violence,” like the words “fascist” and “propaganda,” brings to the imagination all sorts of horrifying thoughts of brutality and cruelty. The reader is supposed to believe that meme-related, pro-Christian-nationalist TikToks made by young followers of Christ are on par with direct calls to violence, or actual threats. That is the message that Owen sends to Vice’s audience by bringing a supposed expert on the subject of “violence” to speak about Christian memes on the Internet.
What did Lecaque have to say about Christo-fascism on social media? “You build your audience with a young demographic, and then you spread your ideas that way. This is how you build the next generation of fascists.”
Building an audience with a young demographic is an eerily familiar tactic, reminiscent of the radical Left’s own recruitment methods. In a sense, it’s true that building an audience with a young demographic provides a platform to spread one’s ideas exponentially. The question is not “Are young audiences are being influenced?” but “Who does the influencing?”
For Christians, training children is commanded in the book of Proverbs, which instructs believers in chapter 22, verse 6: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it…” (NKJV). While Lecaque’s description of these TikTok videos is erroneous (obviously the definition of “fascism” is dangerously skewed), the principle of training young people to be Christians is one that ought to be embraced and encouraged. Young men and women are exposed to plenty of Leftist, anti-Christian content on various social media platforms every day. Lecaque’s suggestion that Christian content is inherently “fascist” is nothing more than an attempt by the Left to further monopolize those platforms.
VICE: ChristPill + God’s Will = Dog Whistle:
Sometimes, people should be forgiven when they make wrong assumptions because they’re unfamiliar with a foreign language. However, Tess Owen and her expert witness Thomas Lecaque are clearly hell-bent on misinterpreting Latin to suit their political purposes. “Deus Vult” is a rallying cry for Christians who wish to see the will of God accomplished. It was a popular catchphrase for many Crusaders, who fought against hordes of Muslim tyrants throughout the Medieval Period (from c. 1096-1291 A.D.). It means “God wills it!” in Latin, and it is purposefully reminiscent of Christ’s example prayer: “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…” Of course, anyone can misuse a phrase like that, but Owen and Lecaque imply that it necessarily implies unjustified violence. “[These references] are use in a way to showcase the idea that they’re the kind of Catholics who would happily kill for their faith,” Lecaque insists. (Nevermind the fact that not all people who use the phrase “Deus Vult” are Catholics– many Protestants and Orthodox believers use the phrase, as well.) “It’s a way to signal Islamophobia and holy war, in the worst way, while still giving them space for plausible deniability.”
Of course, what Lecaque does not point out is that the Crusades were waged after Muslims conquered and subjugated vast swathes of people from the time of Mohammed to the time of the first crusade. (Readers are encouraged to peruse the work of Dr. Andrew Holt, an historian and professor at Florida State College, for an accurate and balanced understanding of the Crusades and their positions as defensive wars. In particular, I suggest reading Seven Myths of the Crusades, co-authored by Dr. Holt and Dr. Alfred J. Andrea, to dispel commonly-believed falsehoods about that period of history. Not all views expressed therein are endorsed by Wokepedia, but it is an informative read, all the same.) Rather than being a sign of “Islamophobia,” the phrase itself is a sign of obedience to the will of the Triune God, especially as opposed to the will of God’s enemies. No fear is involved in the phrase “God wills it!”
Deep down, Owens knows that catchphrases and symbols of Christianity aren’t inherently violent, nor are they even particularly partisan. That’s why Owens admits that “… even Crusader symbols, like the red cross on a white background, aren’t exclusively associated with the far-right…” Lecaque, ever seeking to frame everything in a Leftist manner, says that “They have the dual utility of being an open dog whistle and a religious symbol.” The idea of the dog whistle– unheard by human ears, but heard by dogs– is as fantastical a concept as any other covered thus far in this article. The notion that the phrase “Deus Vult” is Christo-fascist, or that the cross itself is a symbol of Christo-fascism, is so obviously false that they have to resort to pretending that, somehow, these things both are and aren’t Christo-fascist symbols, depending on… well, the subjective judgment of Owens or Lecaque, the reader is left to assume.
Traditional Christian Marriage Is… Misogynist?
For any Gen Z-er who’s been on the Internet within the past year or so, the “Trad Wife Wojak” meme often represents the traditional woman whose heart is set on raising a family that honors Christian values and roles. However, Owen lambasts this popular meme as “misogynist and reductive,” noting that it is “rife within the #ChristPilled community on TikTok.”
Any Biblically-minded Christian will instantly recognize the error in Owen’s position– namely, that the role of women in Christianity is honored and cherished. The position of a mother in her child’s life is irreplaceable, and the importance of a wife to a husband is vital. God made them in His own image– male and female He created them.
For Owen to assert that the traditional Christian position on femininity “misogynist” reveals a deep-seated, deliberate ignorance of the Christian view of women. The idea of the traditional wife is a Biblically sound one, rooted in the expansive goodness of God’s intended design for the sexes, and it upholds the true value of women.
Owen also indicates in the article that she supports the murder of unborn children. (Need I say more?)
Christianity Stands Tall Despite Leftist Labels:
Despite VICE’s insistence to the contrary, Christianity transcends whatever labels its opponents try to throw at it. Whether it’s “Christo-fascist,” or something equally derivative, the faith of Christianity stands firm. To be sure, there are some wild cards on social media who might occasionally misunderstand or misuse Christian concepts, but that doesn’t give Tess Owen or Mr. Lecaque the moral right to pin as a “fascist” everyone who believes that Christianity is the guide to spiritual warfare, or that Western Christian tradition is worth upholding.
What is the proper response to VICE’s accusations, for the believer? One TikTok user put it this way: “Christians are not to have fellowship with unbelievers. Your propaganda outlet is blatantly antichrist and we seek no part in it.” There is no need to entertain VICE’s deliberate lies with arguments, because VICE’s intention is not to have a rational conversation. Instead, the wise Christian will laugh at VICE’s ill-founded attempt to insult the Church and soldier on.