Men of God in the City of Man
Men of God in the City of Man is a nine part series about a narrative virus that infected the charismatic and Pentecostal churches in the United States. It isn't a story about Christian Nationalism. It isn't a story about January 6th. It isn't a story about why people voted for Trump. It is a story about a story. It is a story about the language that created a self-sustaining movement defined by its unwavering belief in a fundamentally corrupt electoral system.
For more focused discussion directed toward those other topics, we highly recommend Matthew Taylor's Charismatic Revival Fury podcast series and the scholarly research of Paul Djupe at Denison University.
The Full Series
This is a story about a virus and the gain-of-function research that produced it.
It’s not what you think.
Every virus needs carriers to spread. Even a narrative virus.
We can learn a lot from what they have in common.
In the same way that genetics governs how physical viruses reproduce within a host, memetics governs how narrative viruses reproduce within a culture.
And the memes which govern our narrative virus are powerful.
Every narrative is built on memes that have evolved and adapted to human culture over centuries.
But some environments change the way that those memes are expressed. The effects can be explosive.
Men of God prophesied as early as 2007 that God would make Donald Trump the President of the United States.
Our narrative virus gave these predictions fertile ground to take root.
Surprising outcomes in reality world that seem to confirm a narrative often produce explosive growth in its scale.
But also in its scope.
Narrative viruses are not immune to events in reality world – especially when we have made those narratives part of our identity.
And when a narrative becomes part of our identity, it changes what we need to be true.
Physical viruses sometimes jump from one species to another.
Narrative viruses sometimes jump from one culture to another.
All it takes is the right virus and a susceptible host.