Journal of Religion and Violence

Volume 10, Issue 1, 2022

Losing My Religion: Evangelicalism and the Gospel of Q

Jeremy D. Beauchamp
Pages 17-36

Evangelical Identity and QAnon
Why Christians are Finding New Mission Fields in Political Conspiracy

The presidency of Donald Trump saw the rise of a new kind of conspiracy in QAnon. The internet-assembled meta-conspiracy has grown to include elements of other growing conspiracies such as the anti-mask movement and anti-vaxxers. As it has grown, QAnon has attracted significant support for its beliefs from white evangelicals who also supported Trump in huge numbers in both 2016 and 2020. In this integrative review of literature, I explore the reasons that QAnon has performed so well so quickly, finding justification for conspiracy theory support among evangelicals in the theory of cognitive dissonance. QAnon has found a foothold in evangelical circles during worldwide pandemic, which has left many evangelicals unmoored from their spiritual family and susceptible to other realms of community online. The conspiracy theory has infiltrated evangelicalism by using the language and concerns of Christianity in its messaging and by attempting to justify evangelical support of Donald Trump. Although traditional media are quick to point out the theory’s inconsistencies and failed prophecies, this paper finds that the harm QAnon has done to the evangelical community may only be undone through spiritual connection and practice.