Metaxas’s public relations people offered The Atlantic an interview and Green bit. I have mixed feelings about these kinds of interviews. On the one hand, they give some level of legitimacy to Metaxas’s ideas about election fraud. On the other hand, Metaxas has a large following and his views need to be exposed. Green pushes him in the piece, but Metaxas, in all his smugness, tries to control the narrative in a way that will make his supporters cheer.
Here is Green’s intro:
The PR pitch was brazen: Eric Metaxas, it declared, is “America’s #1 Bad Christian.” The Christian writer and radio host has been promoting doubts about the legitimacy of the 2020 election, including ata prayer rally he emceed on the National Mall in December. Metaxas has tweeted “martial rhetoric” in defense of former President Donald Trump, his publicist wrote cheerfully. He even appeared ina New York Times article about Christian extremism. Oh, and by the way, he has a new book out.
Metaxas told me he didn’t know that this is how he’s being pitched to journalists, but he doesn’t hate it. “That’s hilarious!” he said when I described the email. “I take that as a high compliment.” He has leaned into his reputation as a staunch Trump defender. During a November episode of Metaxas’s radio show, Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano put Trump on speakerphone. “I’d be happy to die in this fight. This is a fight for everything. God is with us,” Metaxas told the president.
Metaxas sees himself and other evangelical Trump supporters as part of a long line of Christians who stood up against grave wrongdoings in history: William Wilberforce, the slavery abolitionist and evangelical; Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Lutheran theologian who was arrested and later hanged for his dissent against the Nazi regime. Metaxas has spent his career writing books about these figures and has a tendency to describe current events in dramatic historical terms. “If this isn’t our ‘Reichstag Fire’ I don’t know what is,” he tweeted on January 27, commenting on the Department of Homeland Security’s warnings about the potential for domestic terrorism following the Capitol attack. In 1933, Hitler’s government used a fire at the Reichstag, which housed the German Parliament, as a pretext to consolidate power and suppress dissent. Metaxas’s tweet suggested that he thought the Biden administration was using the Capitol attack to do the same.
Read the rest here.