Fumbling Prophecy - Word&Way

Fumbling Prophecy

As I was writing the piece below, news emerged of a mass shooting in Kansas City, Missouri, at the parade to celebrate the Super Bowl championship. More than 20 people were hit by gunfire, including eight children. And one person is dead. Our prayers are with all those impacted. But we also need action.

Unfortunately, state lawmakers — who canceled sessions so they could go to the parade — have spent years working to loosen gun restrictions and have even barred Kansas City from enacting life-saving gun reforms. Last week, I testified in a House committee hearing against a bill promoting guns in churches, schools, and public transportation. The committee passed the bill this week. So I don’t want to hear their statements of “thoughts and prayers” unless they’re ready to repent and take action. If they don’t, they’ll prove our real national pastime isn’t football; it’s what happened in Kansas City yesterday.

On Sunday (Feb. 11), Mecole Hardman caught a pass from Patrick Mahomes and then turned and stepped into the end zone to give the Kansas City Chiefs their third Super Bowl victory in five years. Fireworks lit up the sky over Kansas City and sounded throughout the Midwest. Drunk men in California punched their TVs until the game went away. Taylor Swift hugged her friends as the stadium crowd roared. And MAGA conspiracy theorists fumed with anger.

In the weeks leading up to the big game, some Trumpian commentators claimed Swift was in a fake relationship with Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce and the NFL was pulling an invisible string to rig the season for his red team to win so she could endorse President Joe Biden during the celebration of the game as the nation watched. Don’t worry if it doesn’t make sense. It’s one of the dumbest political theories — which is saying something in an era that brought us claims bleach could stop COVID-19, Michelle Obama is actually a man, and there’s a pedophilia ring in the basement of a pizza restaurant that doesn’t even have a basement. Yet, polling shows 18% of Americans — and 32% of Republicans — believe Swift is part of a “covert government effort” to reelect Biden.

Taylor Swift embraces Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce after the Super Bowl game on Feb. 11, 2024, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Julio Cortez/Associated Press)

Apparently, a bunch of MAGA “thought” leaders don’t like a powerful woman (who endorsed Biden in 2020). And they don’t like an athlete who starred in commercials promoting COVID-19 vaccines. But the far-right’s dreams for the season ended in less than five minutes when anti-vax liar Aaron Rodgers went down with an Achilles tendon rupture. Karma? So the MAGA crowd decided to hate-watch “Mr. Pfizer” (Taylor’s Version). This is why we can’t have nice things: conspiracy theories to prop up an anti-hero false god indicted for his illicit affairs and treacherous path.

Sadly, the Swift story isn’t even the worst theory to emerge about the Super Bowl. One of Trump’s leading religious supporters decided to get crazier on Sunday. …Ready for it? To make a long story short, Lance Wallnau, a key figure in the New Apostolic Reformation movement that boosts Trump and helped fuel the Capitol insurrection, filmed videos on Sunday trying to make prophetic announcements about this year’s election based on the game. Really. I’m not creative enough to make this up. The truth is not sweeter than fiction.

Watching Wallnau’s pre- and post-game “prophetic” videos is an illuminating experience. Not because I think God spoke through Wallnau, but because the two videos could not be more contradictory. After getting it all wrong before the game, he decided to shake it off and begin again as if the original prediction never happened. Dear reader, this issue of A Public Witness explores the wildest dreams of Wallnau on Sunday to consider what it tells us about the heretical claims of the MAGAchurch world.


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