Wednesday, October 4, 2023

#2689: Todd Coconato

Todd Coconato is a Tennessee-based rightwing conspiracy theorist, fundie, pastor and host of The Remnant News and Remnant Godcast podcast. His shows consist of a predictable mess of rightwing politics and religion, delivered with the expected fervor, incoherent threats and SPAGging. So for instance, Coconato warns that God will punish those responsible for the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago and the persecution of Donald Trump: “Their crimes have reached the courts of heaven and a guilty verdict is coming down soon! Listen to this oh wicked and unruly people: Anything you do against the people of God or His anointed will boomerang back on you! If you indict, YOU [unless you’re Coconato, of course] will be indicted. Whatever you attempt to do against Gods people, or His anointed, will be done to you! If you arrest, you will be arrested. You are cursed by your evil doings.” Yeah, that kind. And he doesn’t care if you call him a conspiracy theorist because he knows that all the pedophiles, Satanists, and critics will eventually be cut down by God anyways. 


So as Coconato sees it, God is doing his (Coconato’s) political work. Unfortunately, there are people who disagree with him, and that they disagree with him (God) means that they’re in league with demons and Satan, and feel threatened to respond violently – such as whenthe devil and forces of darkness” targeted Florida with Hurricane Ian because “this state has stood during the plague and did not bow to Nebuchadnezzar. The Governor has taken a stand against wickedness, against the push of the demonic and the cancel culture & Baal ideology.” And in 2023, he predicted that the deep state will fake an alien invasion in order to “discredit God, discredit the Bible” and “discredit Christianity.” 


Indeed, Satan has rigged the entire system: Trump was, for instance, unfortunately unable to steal the 2020 election becauseour institutions systematically failed us one by one” through the application of the oppressive tools of transparency, accountability, facts, the Constitution, democracy and the rule of law. Of course, as Coconato sees it (or wishes it to be – the distinction between wishes and beliefs is unclear for Coconato especially given his pathological tendency to confuse his wishful thinking with God tells me), Trump won the election “by the biggest landslide in the history of our country.” And God Coconato is downright outraged that conservative Christians are being criticized for supporting Trump, given that “the alternative is a baby-killing, Luciferian, demonic agenda of darkness and communism.” Yep, anyone or anything he doesn’t like is Satan. 


Unfortunately, “most Americans are blind to what is happening” because they “believe a media that is 90% owned by 6 corporations who spew talking points from the same woke corporations that are pushing that there are 68 genders and who are telling us we are racists and full of hate because we love our country and stand for our flag  and will possibly “sleep walk right into UN Agenda 2030 with no resistance at all”. “All we have to do is study history,” says Coconato, who has decidedly not studied history. Fortunately, all Christians see through the deception; they don’t, for instance, believe that Biden is president since God’s “mantle of anointing” remains on Trump. Coconato has talked to God about the matter, and “I’ll tell you what God said to me was kind of shocking”, namely that “just like David, President Trump has the mantle of leadership” or, in other words, precisely the non-shocking answer Coconato gets whenever he asks his own fevered mind what it wants to be the case. But he is confident that when God finally gets around to overturning the 2020 election results, “it’s going to be such a miracle and sign and wonder” that it will convert all the atheists working against him: “even the godless, even the atheists, are going to look and say, ‘Wow, look at the God that they serve! Look at the God that they serve!’ .”


Despite the patent lunacy of his ravings, Coconato is not a nobody on the US far-right circus; he’s got followers as well as political connections, such as Tennessee governor Bill Lee. 


That said, Coconato did at one point stream a video on his Facebook page – on his way to a gig at Clay Clark’s ReAwaken America tour – in which he dismissed the legitimacy of QAnon and told MAGA activists to stop spreading the false claim that Trump is still the president and in charge of the U.S. military. He quickly deleted that video, of course, but it does suggest that Coconato is just as much a fraud as he is a loon. In 2021, Coconato praised actor Jim Caviezel for spreading the Qanon conspiracy theory that “elites” are torturing children to harvest adrenaline from them, saying “this is real stuff. It’s not conspiracy” because asserting that it is real makes it real.


Diagnosis: If you’re confused, angry, paranoid and dense, using religious fanaticism (and SPAGging) to close the gap between what you believe is the case and what you wish were the case, is a familiar adaptive technique. For Todd Coconato such distinctions – not only between beliefs and wish but between God and his own addled mix of wishes and beliefs – are decidedly blurry. Though if you nevertheless go on to assert things with sufficient confidence, rage and hate, a certain type of people will apparently listen; Coconato’s influence is far from negligible even if his ability to convert anyone not already deeply lost down the rabbit hole is doubtful.

1 comment:

  1. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Thank god I'm an atheist!