On Monday, former Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia E.W. Jackson, a black Christian, responded to an anonymous letter which he understandably took to be a threat against him. He suggested that people who threaten him and stoke hatred against him are demonic. Because the letter’s author said he or she was “monitoring” Jackson, the former candidate performed an on-air exorcism, finishing with a loud laugh.
Then Right Wing Watch, a project of the left-wing group People for the American Way, reported on the exorcism, tweeting that Jackson “may have tried to perform an exorcism on us over the radio yesterday.”
Jackson was lamenting the trend of liberals demonizing dissent from their agenda on abortion and LGBT issues. “We are constantly accused of hating people, we Christian conservatives,” he said on the radio. Indeed, sociology professors George Yancey and David Williamson painstakingly documented the presence of bias against conservative Christians in their book So Many Christians, So Few Lions: Is There Christianophobia in the United States?.
Groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) institutionalize this hatred by accusing mainstream conservative and Christian groups of being “hate groups” on par with the Ku Klux Klan.
The letter Jackson interpreted as a threat merely included a picture of the mask from V For Vendetta (2006), a film in which a vigilante blows up the British Parliament as a protest against an oppressive government enforcing conservative Christian morality. The letter included only two words: “Monitoring you.”
We are constantly told that conservatives are hateful. I cannot speak for every conservative, but those I know, do not…
Now, this letter may or may not have been a threat. While the vigilante who used that mask resorted to violence against conservative Christians, the mask has become a general symbol of resistance to authority in general. It has been adopted by the online group Anonymous. That said, it was not unreasonable for this black conservative Christian to take the letter as a threat, especially at a time when TV shows like The Handmaids Tale routinely demonize conservative Christians.
“I say to myself, these people are stark raving mad,” Jackson responded to the letter. He insisted that no conservative Christian he knew could send a threatening letter like this. While conservative Christians are accused of “hate,” they would not do such a thing.
Later, he said, “They’re monitoring the program anyway.” After an ad break, the former candidate returned to the issue, suggesting that anyone who resorted to such threats must be inspired by demonic hatred.
“What is wrong with these people? What is wrong with them?” Jackson asked. “What’s wrong is they are filled with the devil. That gets them going, too, whenever they say they’re demonic. But that’s really what’s wrong. Look, I don’t say that to disparage them, I just say that to truthfully describe their problem, and in the name of Jesus, the devil needs to be cast out of them.”
Then Jackson turned directly to the kind of people who would send a threatening letter to him.
“So if any of you are monitoring the program right now and if you are out there on the left hating me and encouraging people to hate me and all of that because I’m telling the truth according to the word of God, I say, ‘In the name of Jesus, Satan come out of them now! In Jesus’ name! Hallelujah,'” Jackson declared.
He broke out laughing, and went on. “Folks, I can see demons trembling right now, not because it’s me but because I invoke the name of Jesus and there is power in the name of Jesus. All of heaven and hell trembles at the mere sound of that name. Glory to God.”
In the Bible, Jesus cast out demons frequently, and even encouraged His disciples to do so. While the practice of exorcism has many important rules in Roman Catholicism, non-Catholic Christians have also attempted to cast demons out of people.
Jackson’s laughter after the attempted exorcism may have suggested that the exorcism was at least partly tongue-in-cheek. When Right Wing Watch reported the exorcism, it made no reference to the laughter.
Jackson concluded this part of the segment by returning to the demonization of Christians and suggesting that leftists are projecting when they accuse Christians of hate.
“Every time a leftist points the finger at a Christian, at the president, at anybody that they think is behaving or acting contrary to their Marxist view of life, whatever they say about that person is really them,” he said. “You’re anti-gay! That means they’re really anti-Christian!”
When Right Wing Watch identified itself with the people from whom E.W. Jackson attempted to cast demons, the organization was arguably admitting that they “hate” this black Christian and that they are “encouraging people to hate” him.
We're not sure what is going on, but we think that E.W, Jackson may have tried to perform an exorcism on us over the radio yesterday. pic.twitter.com/oRZRMB7KnU
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) April 30, 2019
Right Wing Watch did not respond when PJ Media asked if it was confessing to spreading “hate” against Jackson.
Are you confessing to stoking "hate" against him? He addressed those "on the left hating me and encouraging people to hate me," and you seem to think he was referring to you.
— Tyler O'Neil (@Tyler2ONeil) May 1, 2019
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.