“Christian Fascism Online and Off: The Proud Boys, The Big Lie, and The Great Replacement” – Jessica JOHNSON

The Revealer, February 3, 2022

Devotion to Trump was not the primary motivation for the white terrorism of January 6th, but rather the excuse

My introduction to the American televangelist and prosperity gospel preacher Kenneth Copeland, a member of former President Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board, was not through his sermons but through his laugh. The original video clip of Copeland mocking news outlets days after Joe Biden was declared President-elect went viral before the Big Lie that the election was stolen. After Trump supporters—including members of the far-right, all-male, loosely-knit organization the Proud Boys—stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, the wealthiest pastor in the United States became a hit on the social media platform Telegram, through the channel “Proud Boys Uncensored” (later renamed “The Western Chauvinist”).

In a masterfully edited ten-second mashup, Copeland manically laughs from a pulpit in a suit and tie to a doom metal soundtrack, until a close-up of his face seamlessly morphs into a shot of Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker feverishly laughing. A splotchy white face with greasy green hair and MAGA red lips sloppily painted into a funhouse grin quickly flashes onscreen then back to Copeland. This feedback loop of frenzied laughter returns to the Joker just before the entire sequence ends and the GIF replays from the beginning… [+]