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Juanita Berguson

Juanita's Twitter Avatar

Juanita’s Twitter Avatar

Despite first coming to prominence as an outspoken supporter of Sarah Palin, during the 2008 US Presidential election campaign Juanita Berguson began her career as an advocate of Kingdom Capitalism, selling low-cost imports of generic audio visual equipment from Asia and China to independent churches, by rebranding them with her Kingdom.com trade-name. The equipment on offer ranges from microphones, wireless receivers and PA equipment to “pre-filled” packets of communion wafers. *Several attempts have been made to secure a quote from Berguson on why some of the equipment on sale via her website is considerably more expensive than like-for-like products available elsewhere. None was forthcoming.

A strong advocate of the Fox News approach to political journalism, her incendiary and largely fact-free tweets, and posts to her Kingdom Insight forum, usually centre around various conspiracy theories popular amongst Christian evangelical conservatives.

One conspiracy theme which appears regularly is that surrounding the democratically elected leader of the United States, who just so happens to be black, being in-fact a socialist atheist Muslim from Kenya.

She also believes that science can make human embryos grow in the stomach of cows, because… …abortion, and that reading any article or book which explores the extreme rightwing origins of this kind of misinformation is ‘ungodly’; to the point that she also has a deep mistrust of journals, books and articles written as a warning to Christians by other concerned Christians, about the dangers of the rightwing conspiracy. To Juanita, these publications — many of them internationally acclaimed bestsellers — are merely yet more proof that, quote, “liberal Christians are godless – honoring God is not in their center, their standards are not very different than the un-churched.”

Berguson, in common with many evangelical conservatives, believes that evidence itself is a godless concept. As such, anything which can be presented as evidence of her own mistaken beliefs, even if it is contained within her own words, is fair game for post-hoc editorial, censorship and deletion.

For example, when every single twitter update she had ever posted which contained the word ‘Obama’ or ‘Muslim’ mysteriously vanished from her public timeline, she stated that a possible reason for this was her general disinterest in talking about Obama. As of 6th February 2013 her own blog returns 24 separate uses of the word ‘Obama’, in two articles. All comments are disabled.

Juanita also regularly removes posts to her Kingdom Insight forum which ask for citations, evidence, links, quotes and generally anything which questions her view of how Christians should think, behave and preach to a non-religious audience.

Because of this she is able to both believe in a wide range of ideas which are simply not true, while characterising anyone who points this out as being ‘godless’; a term which she defines as “…the movement from a standard that honors [sic] God to a godless, secular standard” — that, in other words, anything which depends upon facts, evidence and reason is ‘godless’ — and therefore should have no bearing on how ‘true Christians’ form their worldview.

It would be easy to mistake Juanita’s methods for deliberate slight of hand; since much of what she says in dressed in the same vocabulary as that of the well known charlatans and confidence tricksters detailed elsewhere on this site. In reality she is as much the victim of these profiteers for Jesus, as she is a salve for the snake-oil salesmen whose ranks she aspires to join.

Thanks to this, and aside from her self-confessed deliberately confrontational persona on social networks, out of character she is a surprisingly engaging and ostensibly well-meaning person, who just so happens to have fallen hook, line and sinker for the extreme rightwing agenda, which increasingly dominates conservative political dialogue in the United States news media.

To the debating skeptic or activist atheist, she is therefore best approached not with a request for the evidence upon which she asserts some of her more offensive beliefs, but in a way which instead demonstrates a great deal of sympathy for those who do not posses basic critical thinking skills, and so cannot decouple their religious beliefs from the Christian vocabulary in which this brand of extremism is written.

It is, in other words, important to remember that from her point of view, anyone who isn’t the right type of Christian, isn’t worth listening to, or talking with; and picking apart the social, cultural and emotionally charged reasons for why someone would want to view the world in such absolutist terms, isn’t as straightforward as simply ridiculing the bad ideas which stem from those views — despite how tantalisingly easy this is.

http://twitter.com/JuanitaBerguson
http://juanitaberguson.com
http://www.facebook.com/juanita.berguson

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