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November 14, 2004

Infiltrating the TNPG

LeftHandedMan conducts remarkable participant observation within the religious right. [dKos]:

Infiltrating the TNPG (Tuesday Night Prayer Group):

Prayer groups and bible study groups are important all across the evangelical spectrum, the flock will tell you, because prayer and knowing your bible is the most important thing in a believer`s life. If you are in an evangelical institution you are going to get asked why weren't you in church, why you didn't come to last Tuesday's prayer group, why weren't you in bible study this week by the people that you come to know. But here is the thing: as you get closely involved in the prayer meetings... you soon discover that actual prayer and bible study is less than a quarter of what is actually going on week to week. The rest is politics, planning for political action, and pushing/selling products that have to be purchased to `understand` Christ's will. This was how Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ was 'cocoanut telegraphed' into its success. Preachers didn't call from the pulpit to see the Passion nearly as much as we thought they did, that is a misunderstanding of how the evangelicals operate based on remembering TV evangelists ranting on a screen. Its much more sophisticated and tailored than that, but rather they showed videotaped movie previews of the film in the more intimate setting of their prayer groups. It's a spiritual Tupperware party. [...] Read the whole thing

Thanks to Nick Simmonds for the tip.

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Comments

Er, heh. That's "Nick" and "Simmonds", but thanks for the nod.

Sorry. Spelling mistakes fixed.

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