Grifters gotta grift

That Catholic reactionary, Michael O’Fallon, is running another “Sovereign Nations” conference. It’s very important you know.

The funny thing is that their #2 speaker, after O’Fallon himself, is James Lindsay, the regressive atheist buddy of Boghossian, who is so desperate for attention that he sells himself off to endorse a religious organization with religious goals.

Double irony: if you look at that twitter thread, it’s got angry Christians complaining that the conference includes a liberal atheist, with O’Fallon insisting that no, it’s entirely secular, when all the other speakers are Christian ministers, and the blurb describing the con is this:

The Christian Church finds itself societally in interesting times; times of rapid change, uncertainty, and division, where all that was our sure objective standards seem to be melting into air.

Also indicative is that there are no women speakers, although there are an awful lot of truly secular events that also forget the womz.


  1. hemidactylus says

    Wasn’t Helen Pluckrose at one of these events last year? Apparently no Boghossian either. Given all three attended once could be interpreted as one-off fluke, but Lindsay coming back for more seems a disturbing pattern.

    The Lindsay/Pluckrose book wasn’t as horrible as I expected. It was informative and even somewhat charitable toward its target in parts, but seemed to go overboard lumping so many activist groups and ideologies under the overarching umbrella of critical theory and pomo. They at least distanced themselves from the “cultural Marxist” canard.

    I just fail to understand the bogeying of grievance narratives as the newest Big Threat that brings secularists and religionists together as common cause. Culture Wars are marketable, at least to a niche group no longer enthused by debunking religious faith claims?

  2. says

    I sure hope I’m not going to be sitting here some time down the road watching an American civil war break out between the right wing Catholics and the right wing Protestants. If they get enough power sooner or later one side will decide the other are no longer needed as allies.

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    Ooh, it’s in Florida! Thursday through Saturday, almost three weeks away!

    I wonder what their COVID-19 liability waivers say…

  4. PaulBC says

    I’ve gotta admit it pisses me off to see so many Irish names associated with the alt-right. My ancestors came from the the “original shithole country” Ireland and if I had to pick living in South Sudan or being magically transported to potato famine Ireland right now, South Sudan would win. I realize it’s in sort of poor taste to identify as a “hyphenated American” but for crying out loud, these are people who have forgotten their roots as an oppressed people and it really gets me angry.

  5. chrislawson says


    Unfortunately, the hardline Protestants and Catholics will only turn on each other once they’ve already dismantled the secular state.

  6. chrislawson says


    Sadly, this seems to be part of the human psychological power cycle and I wish I knew what we could do to break it. Catholics fleeing English oppression? Ten generations later they’re lining up to oppress American underclasses. The Jewish people get their own nation as a result of the Holocaust? Four generations later they’ve turned a large chunk of Palestine into a ghetto. Christians persecuted by pagan Rome? Within one generation of the empire converting to Christianity they were persecuting pagans with much greater fervour than the Romans had ever done to Christians. I’m not saying this to put particular moral blame on those people, just to point out that being a previously oppressed group seems to do little to prevent that group creating its own oppressions as it rises in power.

    It is especially disappointing to see evangelicals striving to dismantle secularism since the equivalent of evangelicals in 1776 fervently supported it. They had lived with religious oppression and wanted to eradicate it from their new nation. But now that modern evangelicals see the opportunity to be the oppressors rather than the oppressed, they want to wind it all back. Surely if anyone could understand why it’s good to have a secular state, it’s the people who see themselves as the moral descendants of religious refugees from Europe. But no…

  7. PaulBC says

    @7 On the more general subject of disappointment with what we’ve become, it also saddens me to think of Pennsylvania, where I grew up, voting for Trump. It is as far as I know the only colony founded on the principle of religious tolerance (rather than finding a play to flee oppression and oppress others). Not only Quakers but Anabaptists (now the Amish) found a home there, and Benjamin Franklin wrote that the “Mufti of Constantinople” would have been welcome to speak in Philadelphia. There was also a strong abolitionist movement.

    Even in the Philadelphia area, which thankfully is not Trump country, I feel like most of this heritage is lost. Heritage is in one sense kind of a stupid thing–what you do matters, not what your ancestors did. But it seems like the good heritage is forgotten while the bad and fake “heritage” (the flag of Army of Northern Virginia) never lets up.