Why is America Obsessed with Outsiders?

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This is a podcast episode titled, Why is America Obsessed with Outsiders?. The summary for this episode is: <p>America loves outsiders. See: Donald Trump, Barack Obama, AOC. But why? In this third installment of our series on celebrity culture, <a href="https://twitter.com/KeithSimon_/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Keith</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/PatrickKMiller_" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Patrick</a> discuss how outsiderism developed in the US and how it's now infiltrating the church. They consider how access to information has led to a loss of institutional credibility, fostering an anti-institutional era and paving the way for outsiders to thrive. Plus, how should Christians respond? Listen now!</p><p><br></p><p><strong>Resources:</strong></p><p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Time-Build-Community-Recommitting-Institutions/dp/1541699270/ref=sr_1_1?crid=SEFJ9E2FYOCN&amp;keywords=a+time+to+build+yuval+levin&amp;qid=1654614210&amp;s=books&amp;sprefix=a+time+to+build+%2Cstripbooks%2C92&amp;sr=1-1" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">A Time to Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream</a></p><p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Revolt-Public-Crisis-Authority-Millennium/dp/1732265143" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">The Revolt of The Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium</a></p><p><a href="https://podcast.choosetruthovertribe.com/public/98/Truth-Over-Tribe-9f32ad1e/eb243425" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Greg Locke: A Jerk for Jesus?</a></p><p><a href="http://info.choosetruthovertribe.com/blog_subscription" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Subscribe To Our Blog</a></p><p><a href="http://info.choosetruthovertribe.com/how-tribal-are-you" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">How Tribal Are You?</a></p><p><br></p><p><strong>Ok, truth time... Did you like this episode?</strong> Tell us by leaving a rating or review! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 If you did, you won't want to miss what's next (so subscribe now!). And help a friend by sharing this with them. Thank you! πŸ™</p><p><br></p><p><strong>Plus, the conversation is just beginning! </strong>Follow us on <a href="https://twitter.com/truthovertribe_" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/ChooseTruthOverTribe" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Facebook</a>, and <a href="https://www.instagram.com/accounts/login/?next=/truthovertribe_/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Instagram</a> to join in on the dialogue! <strong>If you disagree with anything in this episode, </strong>we'd love to hear your thoughts <a href="https://choosetruthovertribe.com/dissent" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">here. </a> <strong>Want to learn more about Truth Over Tribe?</strong> Visit our <a href="https://info.choosetruthovertribe.com/subscribe?utm_campaign=TOT%20Campaign%203B&amp;utm_source=Show%20Notes%20" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">website</a> and subscribe to our weekly <a href="https://choosetruthovertribe.com/?utm_campaign=TOT%20Campaign%203B&amp;utm_source=Show%20Notes%20-%20website" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">newsletter</a>.</p>

Keith Simon: Are you tired of tribalism?

Speaker 2: I think a lot of what the left supports is satanic.

Speaker 3: The only time religious freedom is invoked is in the name of bigotry and discrimination.

Patrick Miller: Are you exhausted by the culture war?

Donald Trump: If they don't like it here, they can leave.

Hillary Clinton: You could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.

Keith Simon: Are you suspicious of those who say Jesus endorses their political party?

Speaker 7: Is it possible to be a good Christian and also be a member of the Republican party? And the answer is absolutely not.

Speaker 8: From certainly a biblical standpoint, Christians could not vote democratic.

Patrick Miller: We trust the lamb, not the donkey or the elephant.

Keith Simon: This is the podcast that's too liberal for conservatives and too conservative for liberals.

Patrick Miller: I'm Patrick Miller.

Keith Simon: And I'm Keith Simon, and we choose truth over tribe.

Patrick Miller: Do you? Before we hop into the episode, I want to give you a little table of contents because we cover a lot of ground in the next hour and a half. If you've been listening along with us, you've caught that we've had a theme for the last few weeks around Christianity and celebrity. In the first part of this series, we talked a little bit about how Christian media creates celebrities. In the second episode, we talked about how many of these celebrities come from outside of major Christian institutions. In fact, this idea of outsiderism, it exists well outside of the church. It's a part of our culture right now. If you want to make a name for yourself, if you want to be a big deal in politics, if you want to be a big deal in the church, one of the best credentials you can have is being an outsider. So in this episode, we want to drill in on that a little bit more, look at how this theme of outsiderism began to develop in the United States, how we're seeing it come to life in the church, both on the left and on the right, in really interesting and tremendous ways. So let's hop in. Hey, Keith. You hear that there's a new church growth strategy out there?

Keith Simon: No, but I'm always interested. Maybe we could use it here at The Crossing.

Patrick Miller: Okay. Yeah, let's see. Let's see. Okay.

Keith Simon: All right. Let's go.

Patrick Miller: It's called act crazy all the time. It's called have absolutely partisan takes all the time. But here's the key to it. Whether or not you are, you have to pretend like you're an outsider.

Keith Simon: Well, it's interesting because I read an article in The Atlantic where a guy has grown his church from 100 to over thousands of people who come now. What he does is he goes on a 15- minute political, cultural rant in the middle of the service not his sermon. He just does this rant and hundreds, maybe thousands of people have started going to this church. So maybe it does work.

Patrick Miller: Oh, it absolutely works. I've read other things as well that are talking about a lot of these churches. Now, of course, in the evangelical world, they tend to be a little more right- leaning, right wing.

Keith Simon: Oh, this is very right wing.

Patrick Miller: That's for sure. We're going to talk about another example in a second, but you can also find examples of this on the left side, progressive churches that are growing. Now, they're not usually growing to thousands, but they're growing from tens to hundreds because-

Keith Simon: Well, maybe it's like blogs or Twitter followers they're growing, right?

Patrick Miller: Absolutely. Tens of thousands of church followers. Now, here's what I think is so interesting is ask the question, why does being an outsider work so well to draw in people to your church, to draw in Twitter followers, to draw in listeners to your podcast? Now, I asked this on Twitter. See what I did there. I got some great answers. This one's from Jason Staples. He's a professor at NC State. This is what he said to me," It's based on a suspicion of authority that grows out of two philosophical commitments. Commitment number one, all are equal. Number two, it's all about power. Combine those two, and it's a short trip to everyone's opinion is equally valid, but don't trust anyone who might benefit from their expertise."

Keith Simon: What's he teach? Because that's very insightful. I couldn't agree more.

Patrick Miller: It's incredibly insightful. He teaches philosophy, so no shock. There it is.

Keith Simon: Makes sense.

Patrick Miller: He also teaches in the religious studies department. But it's a really insightful take. Here's another one. It's from a younger guy who listens. Flint Spencer wrote this," Because we've been lied to by so many institutions. I think it's a dumb phenomenon, but I understand it."

Keith Simon: The dumb phenomenon being that outsiders have credibility?

Patrick Miller: Yes.

Keith Simon: But he understands why we get there because all of us have this deep suspicion right now toward insiders at institutions. So the way you build credibility is to say," I don't have any expertise," which is crazy when you think about it. I'm an outsider. I really don't know much. But it's how Donald Trump got elected. I mean you just follow that pattern for a while now in politics. Mitt Romney was a businessman. He was the guy who ran the Olympics. He was an outsider. Or President Obama, he ran as a community organizer. He was an outsider. Donald Trump, he was so much an outsider, he'd never held a position in government. That's what people loved about him.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. I think it's really true, but let's focus on the church. I want to circle back to how we're seeing this more broadly in culture, but let's start by focusing on the church. I want to start with Greg Locke. You remember Greg Locke, right?

Keith Simon: Oh man, that was one of the favorite. If you haven't listened to the Greg Locke interview, you got to do yourself a favor and go back and listen to it.

Patrick Miller: Can I be honest? There's part of me that's a little bit embarrassed by the interview.

Keith Simon: Really?

Patrick Miller: So here's what I liked about it was Greg Locke is a pastor in Nashville. During COVID, he became CNN's favorite pastor. The reason why was because he refused to close down his church. Well, he did for two or three weeks, but then he said," You know what? We're not staying closed for COVID. People have got to come here." So many people came that he had to build a tent that people could come and worship with him. But here's the other thing that you've got to know about Greg Locke. If you go back two or three years ago, he was just a total ordinary kind of evangelistic dude. He talked about how to pray, how to fight anxiety, how to read your Bible. But starting in 2020, he took the political turn. He started condemning Democrats. He started condemning liberals. And then this fits in with the whole COVID thing. You keep fast forwarding. He becomes a COVID vaccine denier. CNN, they love this guy. When you go to CNN's website, you'll find maybe one story mentioning Tim Keller's name in the last two years. You will find 15 about Greg Locke. They love them some Greg Locke, and he loves CNN. He loves talking about CNN from the pulpit and how much CNN hates him, because guess what? He's an outsider.

Keith Simon: Well, they have a business relationship, much like Trump and CNN did, but it reminds me of that article I told you about because the guy up there in Michigan is named Boland, and his church is outside of Detroit. That's what launched his career from being a guy who was a pastor of maybe 100 people to thousands. It was the vaccine. It was the politics. It was the stop the steal. It's that kind of thing. You present yourself as an outsider because that is what people who are disaffected and they feel like that the country is left behind. They can't trust anyone. They're drawn to that, whether it's politics or in their faith.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. One of the ways that obviously Greg Locke expressed his outsiderism was with vaccine skepticism. Now, he's an anti- vaxxer, period. So he doesn't want his kids vaccinated with anything. It's not just COVID. But when I talked to him on the podcast, I asked him a question. I said," Hey, could I show you any information? Is there anything I could find out there that would convince you or that could convince you that you were wrong?"

Keith Simon: And he said no.

Patrick Miller: And he said no. In fact, let's listen to this clip.

Audio clip: On a scale of one to 10, how confident do you feel about this COVID vaccine, about we should not take it? It is government overreach. There are other real cures out there, and we're just not using them. Would you say yes, I'm a 10. I'm a nine. Where do you fall on that? 10 or nine being what, that I'm against it or that I'm for it. Sorry. Yeah, you're like," Which one is that? You're going to trick me here." One being I am not certain at all. I really don't know. 10 being I am absolutely certain. You could not change my mind. I'm 20. That wasn't an option, Greg. I am way past 10. I'm 10 to the 10th power, bro. Doesn't that alarm you at all? Not at all. Not one bit. It alarms me that so many people are believing the nonsense. That's what alarms me. Huh? This is just me. Now again, I already called myself a cynic. There's hardly anything in my life that I would put a 10 on. I'm not even sure I was born in October 7, 1987. That's what my parents tell me, and it's on a sheet somewhere, but I'd maybe give that one a nine. Well, it's just a matter of perspective. Some people just have a different... just demonstrative in different ways. But I'm way beyond a 10 on this one. So there's no evidence I or anyone else could show you that would change your mind about this? No, I mean I've studied it pretty good. I know a lot of people. I just know there's no way.

Patrick Miller: So there you have it. He's an outsider. He knows the truth. There's nothing. There's no data, no study, nothing that could possibly convince him otherwise. Now, here's what's interesting. During the interview, this is why I said I'm kind of embarrassed by it is part of me thinks he was playing a little bit of a sheep. There's part of him that I think knew how to be charming and kind and generous. But as I've watched what's happened afterwards and, now, maybe he's just gotten crazy in the last year or even more crazy, it seems like, whoa, that's not the guy that I seemed to talk to.

Keith Simon: Well, I remember listening to the conversation that you had with him. I thought you did a good job or he did a good job, maybe you were being sold something, but kind of humanizing him. Remember he had adopted children overseas. He seemed to be a compassionate guy who was maybe misunderstood by the media. I really liked him-

Patrick Miller: I liked him, too.

Keith Simon: ...more at the end of the interview than before. I don't agree with him on three things, but I liked him. I could see that he was kind of human, just an ordinary dude.

Patrick Miller: Let me explain why.

Keith Simon: He'd been to prison, right?

Patrick Miller: Yeah, he'd been to prison. He's got a really interesting story. But let me explain why. The things I didn't know when I was doing the interview, the things that were going to happen afterwards, first of all, he used to have some associations with Baptist organizations, but he had broken those off. This was actually a conversation that wasn't even on the podcast. We were talking beforehand. He said it's because he was changing his understanding of charismatic gifts, spirituality, and spiritual warfare. Now, when he said that, I thought,"Okay, it's some speaking in tongues kind of thing. I don't know." I didn't realize that he was talking about this.

Greg Locke: We got first and last names of six witches that are in our church. You know what's strange? Three of you are in this room right now. Three of you in the room right now. You better look in my eyeballs. We ain't afraid of you, you stinking witch, you devil- worshiping satanist witch. We cast you out in the name of Jesus Christ. We break your spells. We break your curse. We got your first name. We got your last name. We even got an address for one of you. You so much as cough wrong and I'll expose you in front of everybody in this tent, you stinking witch. You were sent to this church to destroy us. You were sent to this church to lure us in. You were sent to this church to cast a spell. Listen, some of you been sick because you befriended that witch. Two of you in my wife's ladies Bible study, and you know who you are. We going to ask you to get out or I'll expose you in front of everybody. We got all six of their names.

Patrick Miller: So Keith, you still like him?

Keith Simon: Well, you can see why CNN loves him. I mean this dude's an entertainer.

Patrick Miller: I'm laughing on one level because it's so outrageous. And yet, he's talking about real people, some of whom were in the room, some of whom-

Keith Simon: Is he talking about real people or is he just making it all up because it's a great show?

Patrick Miller: I read more about it. They kicked two women out of his wife's small group, her Bible study, because he said that they were witches. Now, I don't know the details of what happened. Now, here's what I'm 99% positive about it. Unlike Greg Locke, I'm always open to contradictory information. This is spiritual abuse. Whatever's happening here and what seemed to be the case is that these are just people who don't share their conservative Christian-y whatever- y values.

Keith Simon: So in other words, he took somebody who they disagreed with and he labeled them a witch so he would have spiritual authority to drive them out, a spiritual excuse to drive them out. They wouldn't have to enter into dialogue. They wouldn't have to love their enemy. They wouldn't have to love their neighbor. Instead, they just call them witches. You're bad. Get out of here with your demon thoughts. I like it a lot more when I had it in my head that he had made all this up, and it was just entertainment. He's a showman up there just-

Patrick Miller: Okay. But stop, stop, even-

Keith Simon: ...up there just saying stuff. I don't agree with it. I don't like it.

Patrick Miller: No, no, no, no. Even if it's entertainment, think about how wrong this is because you've got thousands of people in a tent who are now going to go on their own witch hunt. I think that this is true about reality. Again, he's presenting himself not just as an outsider to a cultural conversation as a serious conservative. He's also bringing himself as an outsider to Christianity." Look, I left the Baptist group because I'm charismatic. I see the real truth about these demonic realities that are happening behind us." I mean this is the outsider of outsiders. Here's something else, by the way, I didn't know. I knew that he'd had a divorce.

Keith Simon: Yeah. He talked it about on the-

Patrick Miller: Yeah. And I thought,"That was pretty open, honest." He said,:Hey, it was a both of us issue. I made some mistakes." What I didn't know, and it's come out since, was that he was cheating on his wife with his secretary.

Keith Simon: That's what led to the divorce?

Patrick Miller: Yeah. Who's still working with him in the church. Now-

Keith Simon: Is that his new wife?

Patrick Miller: Yeah, it's his new wife.

Keith Simon: Okay.

Patrick Miller: Now again, he's an outsider. He's tried to vehemently deny these things. But if you go online, you can find very clear proof and evidence of the fact that, yes, this was happening.

Keith Simon: I don't even want to know what the evidence-

Patrick Miller: No, you don't want to know.

Keith Simon: I'm glad you spend your time online, so I don't have to.

Patrick Miller: Here's the thing, Keith, I also feel a sense of responsibility, right? Now, I don't-

Keith Simon: Because you think you platformed this guy. Is what you're going to say? Stop.

Patrick Miller: I don't buy the whole platforming junk.

Keith Simon: Seven people were listening to this back then.

Patrick Miller: Oh man, I don't buy that.

Keith Simon: It hadn't grown.

Patrick Miller: But however, because it was such a humanizing interview for him, I thought if he goes off the rails or shows a different side of his character, I have responsibility to say," Hey, you didn't get the full scoop here." But let's keep going at his outsiderism, okay? He's getting tons of media, tons of followers. His numbers are going up like crazy until he got kicked off Twitter.

Keith Simon: Is he still off?

Patrick Miller: I think he's actually back on now.

Keith Simon: Is Elon going to bring him back, like Trump?

Patrick Miller: Elon will bring him back just like Trump. And then he also, around the same period that I interviewed him was when he started releasing books like crazy. He's released something like three books in the last year.

Keith Simon: You're a slacker. What are you doing? He's releasing books-

Patrick Miller: Well-

Keith Simon: ...and casting out witches. What are you doing?

Patrick Miller: But here's the crazy part. Again, he's an outsider. The big publishers-

Keith Simon: The crazy part's still coming?

Patrick Miller: The big publishers won't publish him-

Keith Simon: Oh, shocker.

Patrick Miller: ...because they're all the insiders. You want to know who's publishing him? Locke Media.

Keith Simon: Himself. They're self- published.

Patrick Miller: And Global Vision Media. You want to know who's probably bringing in a lot of cash through this process? I mean why in the world are you publishing so many books? Now, that's a cynical take. But let's be honest here. It seems like it might be right. He's an outsider though. It gets better and better. When I talked to him, I thought that he had a master's degree from a actual divinity school. But it turns out that those divinity schools, they've all been co- opted by the liberals. So he went to a unaccredited college, which is essentially a pay- for- a- degree program to get a master's degree. These are all things I just didn't know at the time that we were interviewing him.

Keith Simon: I thought he was maybe going to be self- educated or went to the Locke University or something like that.

Patrick Miller: No, he went to a fake college because he's not going to go on the inside. Now, he's such an outsider now that he's also begun burning books.

Greg Locke: But this Wednesday, everybody say,"This Wednesday," we going to have a burning service. Oh, yes, you heard me well. We going to send that mess back to hell where it belongs. We going to have us a burning service. I mean a burning service. Do not talk about," My kids just won't obey. My marriage is just a crap Fest. I come to church and I want to shout, but I got bondage," and you sit around binge watching Harry Potter. I said it. We better get some people standing up where I know whose side you on. Praise God. I said I said it. You better get rid of that Harry Potter mess in your house. That is full- blown witchcraft. It's witchcraft.

Keith Simon: So Patrick, in Acts 19, they burned books, right? They burned all their witchcraft. So you were for it until they got to the Harry Potter or what exactly?

Patrick Miller: Well-

Keith Simon: I've never been to a book burning, by the way.

Speaker 11: I haven't either. Though apparently, these are becoming more common in Tennessee.

Patrick Miller: So you're right. In Acts 19, the sorcerers burned their spell books. So perhaps there really is a place for a healthy book burning in Christianity.

Keith Simon: Do you think that's really the way he talks or do you think he's-

Patrick Miller: No, I do.

Keith Simon: ...playing it up?

Patrick Miller: That's how he talked when he was on the interview. I mean maybe he's right about Harry Potter. I obviously strongly, vehemently think that he's wrong. I don't think a fiction book is teaching children how to do witchcraft.

Keith Simon: I love Harry Potter.

Patrick Miller: I think if you're dumb enough to believe that JK Rowling has somehow snuck real witch spells.

Speaker 11: Real witch spells.

Keith Simon: He does it better than you.

Patrick Miller: No. He's presenting himself as a cultural outsider. He's on the outside of Harry Potter. He can't be for that. He's not for that. Now, here's the most chilling one of him showing himself," I'm an outsider," is what he said about Democrats in a recent sermon.

Greg Locke: I'm to the place right now, if you vote Democrat, I don't even want you around this church. You can get out. You can get out, you demon. You can get out, you baby- butchering election thief. You cannot be a Christian and vote Democrat in this nation. I don't care how mad that makes you. You get pissed off if you want to. You cannot be a Christian and vote Democrat in this nation. They are God- denying demons that butcher babies and hate this nation. They hate this nation. Get mad all you want to. I don't care if you stand. I don't care if you throw tomatoes. Praise God. I'm about to throw a microphone up in this house. CNN can eat my dirty sock. You cannot be a Democrat and a Christian. You cannot. Somebody say amen. The rest of you, get out. Get out. Get out in the name of Jesus. I ain't playing your stupid games, bunch of devils. I'm sick of it. They want to talk about the insurrection. Let tell you something. You ain't seen an insurrection yet. You keep on pushing our buttons, you lowdown sorry compromisers, you God- hating communists. You'll find out what an insurrection is because we ain't playing your garbage. We ain't playing your mess. My Bible says that the church of the living God is an institution, that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. The Bible says that we'll take it by force. That's what the Bible says. That's what the Bible says. It's going to get worse.

Keith Simon: So CNN can eat his sock, his dirty socks.

Patrick Miller: Is that what he said? I mean you and I, we're laughing in part because we're also able to watch. I mean at the end there where he's talking about," You ain't seen an insurrection yet," he's looking straight into the camera. So he's no longer talking to the congregation because you can tell when he's talking to the congregation. He's pointing his finger at the camera.

Keith Simon: But the camera is his congregation.

Patrick Miller: Bingo. Right. So this is the irony of the outsider game. What could be more outsiderish than saying that all the Democrats are demons, then saying that," Oh, you want to see a real insurrection? I'm going to show you a real insurrection." What could be more outsiderish? By the way, what he's saying here is wrong. It's, I would say again, spiritually abusive. It's evil. It's using the Bible to justify terrible violence.

Keith Simon: Yeah. When he talks about at the end about how the Bible says," We're going to take it by force," and the way he says it, it's as if he's justifying what happened on January 6th by saying," This is in the Bible that we take Capitol Hill by force."

Patrick Miller: In John 16:5-

Keith Simon: Of course it doesn't.

Patrick Miller: ...it doesn't say that we shall take the American Capitol by force. He's talking about the kingdom of God. I mean it's an absolutely insane statement. But we got to go back to what he does because he's mugging for the camera.

Keith Simon: Yeah. His authority comes from the number of followers he has. The more outrageous he is, the more media attention he gets and, of course, that drives his follower count. So what he's trying to do is gain a following of people who are watching him online, some of whom come in person, but they are the ones who give him his authority. His authority's not in institutions. It's not in training. It's not in education. It's not in other leaders inside of his church. His authority comes from the attention that he can generate.

Patrick Miller: That's exactly right, Keith. I mean this guy's got over 200,000 followers on Instagram. Now, I realize that might not compare to some people. But in Christian world, that is a boatload of eyes, and that's what makes it so ironic. He presents himself as the ultimate outsider of outsiders. And yet, by any terms of attention and visibility, he is not an outsider. This is a guy saying," I'm on the outside. No one gets me. I'm on the outside of the cultural conversation." When the reality is he's a kind of social media insider.

Keith Simon: Yeah. He's an outsider in what he's saying though. I think it's just that he's an outsider with power. So if what you mean by outsider is that you don't have any cultural power, then no, his claim fails. But if what you're just saying is I'm an outsider in the sense that I'm outside of institutions and, therefore, I am accountable to no one, well, he qualifies.

Patrick Miller: So let me go back to the main thesis. Maybe this is a little bit of my mea culpa on interviewing Greg Locke. Not that I regret doing it, but that there is this level where... Actually, someone responded to me and said," Hey, do you think he was kind of playing a sheep? I do you think you were a little bit taken in." I responded to the person. I was like," On some level, I feel like, yes, because what I'm looking at here is dark. It's destructive." But it fits into a broader pattern that we're seeing inside of our culture, which is that presenting yourself as an outsider is a way of gaining attention. The way that you present yourself as an outsider is being someone who's not just saying that you're being attacked, but you present yourself as someone who wants to burn the existing institutions down. You're here to destroy, and that's where he ends," We're going to take this thing back by force." So I want to look at this pattern in other places because we see it both on the left and on the right. But since we're already on the right, let's just keep going down that path and talk about Fox News. Because if you listen to Fox News, you're going to hear a lot of this language. You're going to hear people talking about them being outsiders or disruptors. You'll hear people talking about the elite, which are, of course, the people who are in control, in their view. In one instance where I thought this was really interesting is an interview with Caitlyn Jenner. It's on Fox News. So you've got a trans woman being interviewed on a right wing news channel talking about Elon Musk. But when she talks about Elon Musk, she compares him to Donald Trump. I just want you to catch how she's describing both these figures and, importantly, celebrating both of these figures.

Caitlyn Jenner: I'm loving it. We got them on the run. This is about money, power, and who's in control of the information flow here in our country. I am 100% behind Elon Musk and what he's doing. I kind of compare him to President Trump because when President Trump was sworn into office, honestly, the media had no idea what to do with this guy. He was a disruptor. He was going to change things from the good old boys club that was happening in Washington, DC. Elon Musk is coming from the outside. This guy builds rocket chips. He builds electric cars. What does he know about the internet, okay? Well, he's a very smart man, number one. He has been affected by what is happening in social media. So he decided," You know what? I'm going to come in here and see what I can do about buying it." I am 100% support of what he's doing. But he is an outsider. Nobody knows what he's going to do. The left is scared to death of him. So that's why they're attacking him.

Patrick Miller: It's an interesting just little segment from something relatively recent in history. But what are Elon Musk's credentials? Well, part of it's that he's intelligent. He's built rockets. Maybe that does have value when you're talking about owning a company like Twitter. But the main one is that he's just like Donald Trump. He's a disruptor, and he's an outsider.

Keith Simon: Does the outsider thing appeal to you? Is there part of you that kind of gets excited about an outsider coming in and bringing some new ideas and changing things up?

Patrick Miller: Yeah. 100%.

Keith Simon: There is something about it to me. I don't know. Is that just American culture I live in? Have I bought into some sort of lie? But I definitely understand the appeal of the outsider who rides in and brings some change to institutions that are kind of full of themselves, institutions that have failed us. I find it appealing.

Patrick Miller: I think anybody who's listening to this has to be honest and say they probably also find it appealing. Now the question is, like you said, is this just some sort of universal American phenomenon? Have we always doubted our institutions and that they would lead us to dark places if we followed them? Of course, you're going to find a strain of that at any point in history. But if you know your history, you'll also know there are times of much, much, much higher levels of institutional trust where you can go back, let's just say, 50 years. You can't imagine someone like Donald Trump, who'd had no political experience, being elected to becoming a president.

Keith Simon: Well, but you could go back-

Patrick Miller: Because he didn't have the-

Keith Simon: ...further than that and find it.

Patrick Miller: Like I said, we've had higher watermarks of institutional trust.

Keith Simon: Correct. But we-

Patrick Miller: So I'm going back to the'50s and'60s.

Keith Simon: Correct. So we've started as a country by overthrowing a king and democratizing the way we ran our country, including knowledge. The revivals we've talked about have overthrown the clergy. So our country was founded in kind of this populism. I agree. There have been seasons in which institutions have thrived and been respected and had a lot of moral authority, but today isn't one of them.

Patrick Miller: No, it's certainly not one of them. People have to understand what we're doing. We're trying to give a meta- analysis, a higher level analysis of why is it that people are losing trust in institutions? Now for us, we really care about churches, but all institutions in general. Why is it that being an outsider is a credential? We can see that there's ways in which that becomes a massive, huge, enormous problem. The other irony of the outsider conversation is that it's often a charade. Elon Musk is one of the wealthiest people in the world. Calling him an outsider, I guess I kind of get what it means. He's not a liberal elite in their worldview and that makes him an outsider, but he is not an outsider by any stretch of the imagination.

Keith Simon: Caitlyn Jenner said all this on Fox, and Fox sets itself up to be an outsider to the media establishment. That's how they gained their credibility is that you have the mainstream media, and here comes Fox along to be disruptors. So that's their whole shtick as well as their hosts'.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. That's how Tucker Carlson has really made his name. He's got tons of evangelical Christians thinking that he's some sort of outsider to the media establishment. He has no power. The cultural elites are controlling everything. Bro, you run the most watched cable news TV show in the world.

Keith Simon: So it shows how-

Patrick Miller: You're not an outsider. You could say lots of things, to say you don't have power, to say you're on the outside, that you're confronting the people who have all the power, those people do have power. I'm not discrediting that entirely. But I'm trying to say, to present yourself as someone who is powerless, on the outside of the system, when you have the most watch cable news TV show in the world.

Keith Simon: Well, Tucker Carlson started back on CNN in more insiderish media and then now presents himself as an outsider. But it sounds to me like you're equating outsider and lack of power, insider with power because I think what Tucker Carlson would say is that-

Patrick Miller: If outsider is just a euphemism for conservative, then just call yourself a conservative. What does outsider mean then if it doesn't mean I don't have power, I think I'm powerless?

Keith Simon: Well, I don't think that Tucker Carlson would say an outsider means you're powerless. I think an outsider in his world is one in which you are not in the majority of opinion in your sphere of influence. So he has a message that is outside the mainstream media's message. I don't think he would deny that he has a lot of viewers. He brags about having a lot of viewers. But they all see themselves as outsiders not being listened to by the elite. I'm not saying they're right. I just think that's how they think about it.

Patrick Miller: I guess what I'm trying to wrestle with here is what do you even mean at that point? I understand what elite means. I've used the term, elite. So I get it on one level. I understand that you can find progressives in the highest echelons of Hollywood, in the highest echelons of government, in the highest echelons of business.

Keith Simon: Universities.

Patrick Miller: Universities. So I grant all that. But to suggest that they're holding all of the cards, that they have all the power and that you're an outsider to their power, it doesn't strike me as realistic because that's not the majority of people.

Keith Simon: So in the conservative world, the term is outsider versus insider. Now, this all happens on the left as well. People who say that they don't have power end up having far more power than you might be aware of.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. So the term on the left that I think has a ton of semantic overlap with outsider in an interesting way, because I actually think outsider's identity politics. That's one of my discoveries in this conversation. That's all it is. I'm just beginning to realize it's identity politics. Because you want to know what it is on the left? Marginalization.

Keith Simon: Is that the same as victimization?

Patrick Miller: Well, I think that, yeah, victim would be someone who's marginalized. But what I mean is that on the left, to say," I'm marginalized." To say," Therefore, I'm not on the inside of power. Therefore, I have a special voice that should be listened to. Therefore, I'm right and you are wrong. Therefore, I'm not the elite. I'm not the one in power. I don't have the wealth. I don't have the cards. I'm marginalized."

Keith Simon: You're going to tell us how this plays out in one particular group, and that's Black Lives Matter. It's specifically in even one of the founders, Patrisse Cullors.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. So it's probably important for Keith and I to say that when this movement started and people talked about Black lives matter, I think both of us were very comfortable with that phrase by itself. Some people got offended," All lives matter," but we understood what they were trying to say.

Keith Simon: Oh, huge difference between-

Patrick Miller: Massive difference.

Keith Simon: ...the phrase, Black lives matter, which I think you should agree with and say," Amen," and the organization behind it, which, in my opinion, has taken advantage of a phrase that should be unifying and made it divisive.

Patrick Miller: Absolutely. So I just want to read something from a Time Magazine exposΓ© on Patrisse Cullors. This is what they said about her," Through these dimensions of Cullors' life, an intimate portrait of Black Lives Matter emerges. It's one of Black women building political power for marginalized people beyond themselves." That word, marginalized, was really common throughout the Time Magazine. Again, it's identity. This is how we identified ourselves. Another example, Cullors says this. She says," Black women are building the power of some of the most marginalized. Black women are centering people, not just themselves, that are being attacked by the right wing government that we are living underneath right now." So you kind of see the outsiderism here. She was obviously writing this while Donald Trump was in office. But she's saying," Hey, we're the marginalized. We're not in power." And then this is from an official BLM statement. It had her picture next to it, so I think she wrote it. But it said this." Since its inception, Black Lives Matter has been a movement aligned to truth and justice. We have functioned as a decentralized, directly democratic community activating and allying with fearless leaders. We have reimagined and begun to create a next normal, one that values, validates, and recognizes humanity's interdependence with and reliance upon Black people and our ability to thrive. We have centered voices and people most marginalized by societies and states." So again, we're seeing something really similar, just like Tucker Carlson said," Hey, we're outsiders. We're on the outside of power." We see a similar narrative happening here." We're marginalized people. We don't have the power, and we're going to center those voices."

Keith Simon: Yeah." Nobody's listening to us. Nobody cares about us. We're victims." Turns out that maybe they have more power than they want you to know.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. So they peaked in their popularity in June of 2020. 52% of Americans were pro BLM. You do start having to ask the question, are you marginalized if 52% of the population gives you a big thumbs up?

Keith Simon: Well, and a lot of the people who are supporting them were people with power themselves, so people in government. But big business and CEOs and Hollywood and sports stars were wearing Black Lives Matter T- shirts, putting yard signs, putting up banners at their offices, coming out and saying that our company is behind Black Lives Matter. So how much of an outsider can you be when the establishment is trumpeting your message?

Patrick Miller: Absolutely. In fact, during their peak month of giving, October 2020, they totaled$ 66. 5 million in giving.

Keith Simon: In just one month?

Patrick Miller: That was one month worth of giving. That was a enormous month for them. Their total amount, I think, was around 90 million in that year.

Keith Simon: In just one month?

Patrick Miller: In one month, they pulled in$ 66. 5 million. Now, I'm not wronging them for raising money. There's nothing wrong with raising money. Now, of course, the question when you're a nonprofit is, hey, how are you going to use these resources? If your job is to center the voices of marginalized people, people who are on the outside of power, I could think of a lot of things you might want to do with that. But what we have discovered since is that during this period, they spent$ 6 million to buy Patrisse Cullors her own house, which she called a box, by the way.

Keith Simon: Box, like it was small.

Patrick Miller: It's thousands of square feet, and it's in California.

Keith Simon: Just a box.

Patrick Miller: But it's just a box.

Keith Simon: Wasn't it in a gated community?

Patrick Miller: It was in a gated community.

Keith Simon: Which I really like that to keep out-

Patrick Miller: Let's just not even.

Keith Simon: ...the marginalized?

Patrick Miller: Yeah. It's just so funny of like," What?" Okay. After that, they ended up buying four additional homes for$ 3. 2 million. What's equally disturbing is that they tried to cover all this up.

Keith Simon: Well, I would, too. If you were taking all this money and then spending it on yourself in a way that wasn't centering the voices of the powerless in whose name you raised all that money, I think I would hide it, too. From what I understand, they've done a really good job of hiding it because people aren't really sure where that, as you said,$ 90 million total that they raised went. People don't know where that went.

Patrick Miller: It gets even weirder. These people who are so marginalized, they used their influence with social media companies and journalists to squash any stories or posts that revealed what was happening.

Keith Simon: So people say sunlight is the best disinfectant. I guess they wanted their germs around because they didn't want it to be cleansed through sunlight, knowledge, information. They didn't want to be transparent. I wouldn't either if I was spending it all on myself. So it makes sense. Who wants accountability? Greg Locke doesn't want accountability.

Patrick Miller: No.

Keith Simon: And neither does the leadership of Black Lives Matter. Nobody wants accountability. Everybody wants to do what they want with their own stuff because they're the outsider. They've got the truth. They don't want to capitulate to the insiders.

Patrick Miller: Absolutely. More importantly, this is a narrative that works. You can bring in big bucks, big views, big attention by presenting yourself as an outsider or as a marginalized person. Now, I know what someone's going to do when they hear this. They're going to say,"Oh my gosh, do you hear them? They're against Fox News." They're going to walk in and say," Oh my gosh, do you hear them? They're against BLM." We actually haven't talked about our opinions on these things. What we have tried to do is a meta, a higher level analysis of how are people communicating and why are they communicating this way? Why has outsiderism become the coin of the realm? Keith, if we want to grow a massive podcast or a huge church or a big movement, you want to know what the key is?

Keith Simon: To say that we are powerless and we're the outsiders?

Patrick Miller: We're powerless. We're powerless. We're outsiders, and we're here to burn this mother down because that's what both sides do

Keith Simon: To burn the mother down?

Patrick Miller: To burn this mother down. So obviously, we find all this interesting. We ask the question, where did this come from? Is this something that's modern? Is this something that's ancient? We said," Look, there's different periods of time where there's more institutional trust and less institutional trust." And yet, I think that what's happening right now is different than what's happened in the past. I think that if we get into the details, we can begin to understand why the public, why everyday people have begun to revolt against these institutions that claim to have so much knowledge, so much authority, and turned out to be, in many cases, as our friend on Twitter said, to be liars, which has then validated the claims of outsiders who say," You can't trust those people. Let's burn them down," without a plan to rebuild anything. So let's try to talk about that.

Keith Simon: Okay. So let's just do a gut check real quick. Where is your emotional state? Because we're thinking that maybe you're upset right now. Maybe it's because one of your sacred cows has been gored. Maybe you are a big Fox loyalist or maybe you're a big Black Lives Matter loyalist, and you feel like we've been critical of them. Now, Patrick already pointed out that we really haven't criticized or affirmed either one. All we've tried to do is show that neither group are powerless, that both groups have a lot of social and cultural power. Are you upset with us because you think that the one that you love, Black Lives Matter or Fox News, really are outsiders or is there something else going on? What do you think, Patrick?

Patrick Miller: I think it's an important moment for you to check your emotions. Because like Keith said, we weren't trying to make a point of pro or con either of those organizations. We are simply pointing out that they both have tremendous power. We're also pointing out that there's a profound similarity in their style of communication and how they try to get things done. What's interesting, what they share in common... I joked with let's burn this mother down at the end of the segment, but that's what they share in common as well, which is a desire to tear down our existing institutions, to build something different, although often it's very unclear, whatever it is that they want to build. I think this is important because we live in a nation that has all sorts of institutions that have actually served us very, very well, in many cases for centuries. When you start tearing them down, there are social consequences. There are collective consequences that you might not foresee.

Keith Simon: I think of a guy named Ian Millhiser, who writes about the Supreme Court for Vox, the online magazine. He said that the person who leaked the draft of the Supreme Court opinion, which as we're having this conversation, we don't know who that was, but the Supreme Court opinion that looked like, at least at the time we're recording this, is going to overturn Roe. But of course, nobody knows. He said that leaker's attitude was," Hey, just eff it. We're going to burn this thing down." That's this-

Patrick Miller: The thing being the Supreme Court.

Keith Simon: Yeah, just the Supreme Court, the patriarchy, the way that the conservative justices were approaching the Roe v. Wade decision. Ian Millhiser channeling the leaker's thoughts said," We're just going to burn it down. We hate institutions. We're nihilistic. We don't really have anything to put in its place, but we're sick of being lied to. We're sick of not having power, so we're going to burn it down." I think what you're saying is that approach is the Fox News approach. It's the Black Lives Matter approach. It's the outsider's mantra that we've come to the party, and what we're contributing is lighter fluid.

Patrick Miller: Or as Greg Locke said," Let's have a good old- fashioned book burning." Was that good? Was that one good? No? Dang it. I got to work on my Southern accent.

Keith Simon: So why are they always in the South? I don't know.

Patrick Miller: Okay. So what we need to do now in this segment is talk a little bit about history.

Keith Simon: All right. So we want to talk about why this anti- institutional moment is happening. Why is it that we've gone from a country that loved our institutions, believed in our institutions, and now want to burn those same institutions down? I think it's because we have access to information that we didn't have before, and that when we didn't have access to all the information, we had a greater respect for our institutions.

Patrick Miller: The less you know, the greater your respect goes up. It's for sure true. So we need to do just a little bit of history. I'm going to elide over a lot of history. There's a lot more thought here than-

Keith Simon: Elide means skip. So public school kids say skip. Private school kids say elide.

Patrick Miller: Okay. As long as we're in private school mode, let's talk about the post Enlightenment era.

Keith Simon: Oh, wow. Wake me up.

Patrick Miller: So in the post Enlightenment era, so we're talking about 1700s, 1800s, 1900s, all the way up to the present. We began to see the formation of all of these knowledge- collecting institutions. So you could talk about universities and academies. You could talk about institutions of science, natural science societies, geological societies, the National Academy of the Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering. You begin to see something similar happen in law as all of these nations are forming constitutions. They're beginning to form institutions like Congress or the Supreme Court or the presidency. You have lawyers whose job it is to argue and defend and create all kinds of case law that envelops the entire system. The point is, all of these systems, they're creating knowledge. It happens in publishing and journalism. You have professional guilds that begin to set standards for journalists. You have the National Broadcast Company, the American Broadcast Company. All of these institutions, whether they're businesses, whether they're legal institutions, whether they're academies, were in the business of gathering knowledge and using that expertise to create new things or to solve current problems. What's interesting is that, during this period, access to information was both expensive and technical and tightly controlled. So this allowed the people who were members of these institutions to project a certain level of mastery. I mean these were the experts. You think about Walter Cronkite and his old sign- off," And that's the way it was." I mean it's a very definitive statement for a journalist to make. But that's the way the world was back then, that people trusted their institutions.

Keith Simon: So all these institutions that you just named, they had an aura of invincibility like they knew what they were talking about. They had the data. They had the information on their side, and we trusted them. They said they were going to lead our nation, that they were highly educated people who knew what they were doing and, by and large, we believed them. They had mixed results, to be frank. But in the moment, they seemed like our best hope to move forward as a country. But then we started getting access to more information, and the credibility of those institutions began to crumble. So for example, the Vietnam War did not enjoy the same kind of support as, say, World War II. Part of that is because we had more information about how that war was being fought, and you started to see the institutions crumble. We had Watergate, and we had more information about the presidency. We saw inside that there were people there who were being dishonest, and institutions started to crumble. Well, then fast forward all the way up into the year 2001. In the year 2001, we had twice as much information as year 0 to year 2000. So you catch that? For the first 2000 years, the information that had been produced and it was available to the public doubled in one year, and all that information began to leak out. The more the public found out, the more the public realized these people don't know what they're doing. These people are lying to us. These people are acting more confident than they really are.

Patrick Miller: So get this. In 2001, humans generated 23 exabytes of information. Now, if you don't know what an exabyte is let me put it this way, that's 140, 000 Libraries of Congress. That's how much information humans produced in a single year. And then it doubled in 2002. Now, our point in sharing this is that the amount of information we have and our ability to access it because of the internet has been growing exponentially, completely out of our control. That means that the public, everyday people, they have access to disconfirming information, information that shows that the institutions that they trusted weren't being honest, that the problems they promised to solve, they actually didn't know how to solve, that even science that they said that they were doing, behind the scenes, maybe wasn't as clear or well- reviewed as it should have been.

Keith Simon: We're going to get into some specific examples about how the elite, the insiders, the institutions lost their credibility, and I find it really, really interesting. But for now, let's just notice how the names of the institutions have changed over the years. So think of the National Broadcasting System, The New York Times. They had this kind of august aura about them, that they were people who were in command and big national institutions. Now we call things Flicker, Twitter, Google, TikTok. What's that show? What are the differences? Well, I think those institutions' names command much less respect, Yahoo.

Patrick Miller: It's funny when you think about it. Yeah. You go from International Business Machines, which is IBM, to Twitter. Now, I promise no one on Twitter's board suggested," Hey, maybe we should name this the National Micro Blog Corporation." No, of course not.

Keith Simon: That'd be funny.

Patrick Miller: No one at Facebook said," The Global Social Network Company." No one at Google said," The International Internet Index Corporation." No one did any of those things.

Keith Simon: They were the outsiders.

Patrick Miller: They were the outsiders.

Keith Simon: They were the outsiders, and their names reflected being the outsiders. People enjoyed Facebook. People enjoyed Twitter, Google because it gave them access to what only insiders had before them. And then they took that information and they used it against the insiders. I totally get it. I have a bit of that in me, too, but in the process-

Patrick Miller: Just a bit.

Keith Simon: ...all the institutions have come crumbling down. You look around and you go," Uh- oh, now what?"

Patrick Miller: Keith, you and I were made for such a time as this because I think both of us are deeply drawn to this kind of outsiderism. We're both a little bit contrarian. We both like being on the outside. That's why I need to talk about this because when you stop having shared institutions, when you stop having shared truth, when you can't rely on a study from Harvard to give you good information... You remember that conversation we had?

Keith Simon: A woman comes into our office and she wants to talk about Black Lives Matter. She wants to talk about that she thinks Patrick and I have been too hard on some of these organizations. This woman would consider herself very left of center. In the course of talking about police violence, I mentioned a guy named Roland Fryer, who was a professor, the youngest Black tenured professor in the history of Harvard, super sharp, super smart, super driven. He was showing all kinds of things about race and education and power. And then he touched on something that Harvard didn't like, and that is that he touched on police violence and how it relates to minorities. It didn't come out like this woman in our office wanted it to come out. I pointed out to her. I said," But you realize that there's this young Black tenured professor at Harvard who's produced a study that shows the opposite of what you're saying." She looked at me and said," Well, you can find a study that'll say anything."

Patrick Miller: You asked her if she would look at it and she said no. And then she explained," Because you could find a study to say anything."

Keith Simon: She got a little bit of Greg Locke in her.

Patrick Miller: Now, this illustrates a point. When you lose shared truth, when you lose institutions you can trust, no longer is persuasion the way you change people's minds because I can give you a study from Harvard and it does not count anymore. It is invalidated. When you don't have persuasive power, the only thing that's left is power.

Keith Simon: Is raw power-

Patrick Miller: It's force.

Keith Simon: ...not persuasive power because there's no agreed upon truth anymore. So now it's just who has the most votes? Who has the most money? Who has the most seats on the Supreme Court? Who can enforce their power?

Patrick Miller: Well, you see this on the no holds barred rhetoric on both sides, whether it's on the progressive side using manipulative language about anyone who's anti- trans being violent or causing the suicide of trans people or you're a racist. Or it's on the other side. You look at the right and what they're now calling anti- grooming laws. Now, these are laws that are trying to keep trans education out of schools in Florida. But here's the point. That language, anti- grooming, I am sorry. Most teachers, even teachers who are for the trans agenda, are not trying to groom children. That's a technical term that talks about people who are trying to pedophilicly rape your child.

Keith Simon: Well, what you have in that situation is people who have grown tired of being called racists, so they're going to turn around and play that game. If you're going to call me a racist at whatever I do-

Patrick Miller: Exactly.

Keith Simon: ...well, I'm call you a groomer. Instead of pursuing truth together, believing the best about one another and trying to get to a better place, now we're just going to use power politics to build our case against you, make you look bad.

Patrick Miller: There's no more persuasion. I can't persuade you. I can't have a reasonable conversation with you. So instead, there's only raw force. There's only rhetorical force. There's no shared truth. There's no shared institution. So now what we have are these extreme groups, think of themselves as outsiders using extreme powerful rhetoric to try to control the situation. But the rest of us, by the way, the vast majority of us standing in no man's land taking bullets from both sides, not sure what to do.

Keith Simon: But the institutions have done it themselves because Roland Fryer, back to him for just a second, there's a documentary out. You should take 30 minutes. I think it's 30 minutes and watch it because it's unbelievable. But he is run out of Harvard because they don't like the story that he's told.

Patrick Miller: Well, he's run out of Harvard for what appeared to be either faulty, maybe even made up, allegations about sexual harassment.

Keith Simon: Well, yeah, I don't want to go down that road. But okay, you brought it up.

Patrick Miller: Well, it's just anybody who knows the story, they're going to say," Well, he got run out because of sexual harassment."

Keith Simon: Yeah. You go watch it and what you'll find is that he got run out of Harvard because his data, his studies, his work didn't fit the narrative. He was a Black man who didn't say what the other Black people in power at Harvard wanted.

Patrick Miller: It's a really sad story. But you're right. The institutions have done this to themselves. So let's do a little lightning round here and talk about some stories of how institutions have wrecked their credibility. This goes back to, again, what Flint Spencer said on Twitter. This was a great insight. He said," Why is it that it's great to make yourself look like an outsider?" He said," Because we've been lied to by so many institutions. I think it's a dumb phenomenon, but I understand it." So let's start with academia.

Keith Simon: One of the institutions that has lost credibility is the university. The way a university had gained credibility is there was essentially which they were going to pursue the truth. You had all these people from different fields with their PhDs and their academic credentials, but they were all working together to pursue objective truth. One of the tools that they used in that process is the peer review process. Peer review means that this study, before it's published, it is going to go through the hands of several other experts. They're all going to look at it and make sure that this study holds water, that it was done well in its methodology, that its conclusions are accurate. So it doesn't mean that it's for sure gospel truth, but it means that it went through a process that you could respect. So when you received that study, you could go," Okay, this is legitimate."

Patrick Miller: Well, and it makes a lot of sense. Why do you have multiple people doing peer review? Well, it's because we know that individual humans are full of air. Individual humans are ideologues. But the peer review process presupposes the existence of independent- minded experts who are actually evaluating the study or the research or the writing based on manageable datasets or based on other credentials. So the idea is if you have enough people looking at it, you might have a few people who let something sloppy go through or who try to stop something that's quality from going through. But gosh, on the whole, if we bring together the collective hive mind, we'll come to the truth.

Keith Simon: And yet, the peer review process is absolutely broken. The brokenness was exposed first in what you might think of as the soft sciences, things like sociology. There are two guys with PhDs, James Lindsay and Peter Boghossian, who wrote absurd articles, absolutely crazy absurd. Here's the title of one. Human Reaction to Rape Culture and Queer Performativity at Urban Dog Parks in Portland, Oregon. They took articles like this and-

Patrick Miller: Well, hold on. I got to explain what's in the articles. They made up all kinds of data. They claimed that they went to a dog park for, I can't remember. It was over a year, every day, and carefully analyzed all situations in which dogs raped other dogs at the, I just can't even say it, at the dog park to draw conclusions about human sexuality and identity, both in humans and dog kind. Now, the entire study was entirely made up. It was absolutely false.

Keith Simon: Yeah. They submitted several of these articles to different journals that were peer- reviewed journals and quite a few of their fake articles, fake studies, fake research were published. So it kind of showed, at least at the soft science level, that the peer review process had been broken. It was more driven by a narrative or by ideology than real science.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. So as long as you said something that fit the ideology, you could get into the journal. In fact, some of their articles were celebrated by people in the journals initially. Now, it's not just in the soft sciences though. There are increasing cases in the hard sciences where you have what one analyst called research cartels, which is where you have a group of people who set the standards. This is what we believe about this topic, and they stifle minority or unorthodox views, which is, of course, the opposite of science. Science is all about dis- confirmation. It's the idea that, you know what, no one has the corner on truth. We might come to some form of knowledge or discover something that proves wrong what we always thought to be wrong.

Keith Simon: So this comes out in something called Climategate back in 2009 where a bunch of emails were released right before a big climate meeting in Copenhagen. These were hacked emails from the Climatic Research Union at the University of East Anglia in Britain. These emails are of imminent climatologists, and what they revealed was pretty unflattering. It was vain, petty, intolerant.

Patrick Miller: Obsessed with media coverage. They didn't like outsiders. Anyone who didn't fit their version of what we should be saying about climate and climatology were critiqued.

Keith Simon: Here's the thing is that their email revealed that the data is messy and really that shouldn't surprise anyone. Rarely does data come to you in a form that's neatly packaged, that fits exactly the narrative that you're saying. What these emails revealed is is that the climatologists were presenting an image that wasn't real, as if the data all led us to one conclusion about climate change. So these emails led to FOIA requests, which are Freedom of Information Act. What you find is that these scientists didn't want to release their information because they knew that they had presented a picture that wasn't completely accurate.

Patrick Miller: In fact, because again, these were preeminent scientists, they were using the peer review process to do two things, one, to make sure that they and all their friends got published in all the best places, quoting each other's work.

Keith Simon: The emails revealed this, that-

Patrick Miller: It shows all of it.

Keith Simon: ...they were working together to squeeze some people out while bring other people in by who got-

Patrick Miller: Who knew who and who fit the narrative.

Keith Simon: Yes.

Patrick Miller: I mean when you read about it, to me, it was honestly really kind of sad because I thought this is not what science should be.

Keith Simon: Well, into this steps a guy named Steve McIntyre.

Patrick Miller: The outsider.

Keith Simon: Now, he's the outsider. He's the enemy because he's an outsider. He doesn't have any position of authority. Instead, what he is is a blogger who's really good at math, just a smart dude out there.

Patrick Miller: I got to pause for a second. That is the credentials of the moment, a blogger good at math who's talking to a totally corrupt institution of science. Let's keep going.

Keith Simon: He's like the barbarian at the gates though, right?

Patrick Miller: Conan.

Keith Simon: If you're sitting in Rome, he's the barbarian at the gates. He's the bully out there that wants to know the raw data, wants to know the information, wants the institution to have to show its work. But the institution's not used to showing its work. The institution is used to being trusted.

Patrick Miller: So he uses his superpowers of blogging and math to do everything that we just said. I mean he's the one who really blew the whistle on this entire thing. Now, what's the important part? What did the climatologists do wrong? Well, obviously, the peer review racket was wrong, but there was something even more fundamental. These institutions, these powerful institutions, they love to project mastery and control and knowledge. We know all the-

Keith Simon: Certainty.

Patrick Miller: Certainty. That was the mistake. The mistake was that they were actually uncertain about what was happening in our climate. In fact, one of the climatologists who looked at this afterwards said," It's not right to ignore uncertainty. But expressing this merely in an arbitrary way allows the uncertainty to swamp the magnitude of the changes through time."

Keith Simon: So here's this image of science that people had of people in their white coats, their lab coats, doing all this research on a quest to find the truth, kind of an Einstein. Einstein looked like he had just woke up all the time. He wasn't somebody that was trying to gain a big following. He just is out there pursuing truth. But all that starts to collapse and science is exposed as being susceptible to the same kind of rivalries, the same kind of self- protection turf battles as any other field out there, and it loses the trust that people had in it. You even see this in how businesses use science. Studies and research are really expensive, so somebody has to fund that. Is it government? Is it universities? Is it big business? So the idea is that you can go out and you can hire scientists to find whatever you want them to find as long as you pay them the right amount of money. So people just get suspicious of it because now we can see that it's not as clear cut as they say, and we don't trust their motives anymore.

Patrick Miller: So why I'm saying something different is happening in the information wave or what Martin Gurri calls the fifth wave, we have so much more access to information that these institutions can no longer hide what's happening behind the scenes. The charade of expertise is falling apart. Another good example of this is what's happened recently with the CDC and the World Health Organization.

Keith Simon: Yeah. If you just replace the Climate Research Union with the CDC, you find the same kind of thing where an institution forfeits its trust, forfeits its authority because they weren't upfront and honest with people. So what did the medical authorities say, the CDC say? Well, they said that masks didn't work. Remember there was a whole thing. We can go out and play clips, but you already know it. From Fauci to your local doctor to everybody in between, they just said," Look, masks don't really stop a virus like this." And then, all of a sudden, everybody must mask all the time. You must double mask. It just didn't make sense. But they didn't show their work. It's fine to change your mind. It's fine to say," Hey, we have new data that showed masks do work."

Patrick Miller: That's called science.

Keith Simon: Then show that. But they didn't. Instead, it just went along with a narrative they were trying to sell. Sometimes they would just come out and say," Hey, that was a noble lie."

Patrick Miller: I mean they flat out said it.

Keith Simon: "Really, we just told you masks didn't work so that we could save the masks for the professionals." Well, just say that. Tell people," Hey, look, masks work, but don't use them until the doctors all have them, the nurses, the medical staff have them." But they didn't. Instead, they told a noble lie. Here's a really, really big one is they told everybody," You have to shelter in place because we've got to shut down this virus." So people had weddings that were called off. They had funerals that were called off. Grandma died alone in the hospital because we were told that we had to shelter in place and you can't go into hospitals to be with Grandma.

Patrick Miller: Social distancing.

Keith Simon: And then George Floyd was killed. You can say murdered. That's fine with me.

Patrick Miller: He was murdered.

Keith Simon: I mean Derek Chauvin was convicted of it. So George Floyd is murdered, and people understandably want to protest. They want to demonstrate. They want to say that we can't have things like this, and I agree with all that. So then people flooded out in the streets, and what did the medical community do? Did they say," Oh my gosh, we should be sheltering in place. You can't be doing this. This virus is going to kill us all." No, they said," Well, it's okay." Because evidently we have a socially justice- minded virus who doesn't spread when you do protests for good things that fit the narrative. Well, so they lost a ton of credibility for that. Instead of saying," Hey, look, this virus is very dangerous and I guess people can do whatever they want to do, but we strongly don't recommend it. We think there are going to be some big consequences to this. But of course, you have freedom to do what you want to do." They didn't do that. They acted like the virus had a social conscience. But guess what? It doesn't.

Patrick Miller: Part of this is living in the information age. The reality is you have all these people sheltering in place. There's the possibility that people could have gone out and protested and people sheltering in place were relatively unaware of it. But of course, they're going to be aware of it because of social media, because they're going to see it on the news. We live in a moment where nothing is done in secret.

Keith Simon: And microphones are stuck in the doctor's faces, Fauci's faces, whoever the medical establishment, the CDC," What do you think about this?" At that point, they had to make a decision, and they eroded trust. They forfeited their moral authority by what they decided.

Patrick Miller: Let's do another one, the World Health Organization. They have also lost all of their moral authority. This has to do with the coronavirus lab leak theory. By the way, I bought into this. I said I like the outsider thing. But I actually, now that I'm talking, realize that there's a lot of ways I'm very prone to trust institutions. So I remember I was on a text chain with some people, and they were all saying," Oh yeah, this thing definitely came out of China." I was offended. Now, I didn't think that they were racist or they were saying it for that kind of thing. I just thought," No, this is stupid. You want to know why?" So I sent them this World Health Organization report that showed conclusively that this thing did not come out of the coronavirus lab in China.

Keith Simon: Well, I know why you didn't think it did.

Patrick Miller: Why?

Keith Simon: Because Trump said it did and you were just being anti- Trump. So Trump said it came from a lab in China and you said," No, I'm not going to go with him." So you went with the establishment.

Patrick Miller: Oh, that's so good. That might have been the case. I wish I could go back into my mind and answer that question with honesty and integrity.

Keith Simon: A lot of people did it for that reason. I don't know about you.

Patrick Miller: That's for sure.

Keith Simon: Probably you.

Patrick Miller: Well, maybe it was. But I remember because I was like,"Oh, that's really curious." I looked into it, and that's where I went. I went to the World Health Organization, and they showed they did the research and knew what they were doing. Well, here's the problem. Do you want to know who funds the World Health Organization?

Keith Simon: The Chinese.

Patrick Miller: The CCP. Thankfully, I also followed the reporting of Josh Rogin, and he was one of the early people that began to say," Hey guys, this lab leak theory, it makes a lot of sense." Because of his reporting, it became more and more evident that this isn't a theory. This is actually what happened. It turns out that when you have a coronavirus leak in the place where there is a novel coronavirus lab-

Keith Simon: Wasn't that the Jon Stewart thing?

Patrick Miller: Yeah. You've got a chocolate flood in Hershey, Pennsylvania, but it was not Hershey's.

Keith Simon: Where did it come from?

Patrick Miller: Where did it come from?

Keith Simon: I mean-

Patrick Miller: Now again, they lost all of their authority and credibility because it turns out that they were just saying what the CCP wanted, and they were not doing science. They lost their authority. That's what's happening in all of these institutions. We'll get back to the episode in just a second. But before we do, I want to encourage you to go and follow Truth Over Tribe on social. It's not because we need more followers.

Keith Simon: Well, I need more followers. Follow me on Twitter to help my insecurities and build my ego.

Patrick Miller: Okay. So go follow Keith to help his insecurities. The reason why we want you to follow Truth Over Tribe is because we love interacting with you and hearing from you. For example, we did an abortion episode a while back and we asked you, what do you think the church should do if Roe versus Wade is overturned? You had so many great ideas. It was fun to chat and talk and hear what you were thinking.

Keith Simon: Yeah. Without you, we can get locked into our own tunnel vision, and you bring so much perspective and different opinions to the conversation. So follow us and participate. Give us your feedback. We want you to help make this show better. Okay. So we could keep going through more and more examples.

Patrick Miller: I really want to do the Italy one.

Keith Simon: They're really good. So the Italy one is that there's a major fault line in Italy. These scientists get together and they say," Look, this is not going to happen. We are not going to have an earthquake here."

Patrick Miller: Definitively, there will be no earthquake. And then there's this weirdo who comes along and has a totally unorthodox way of predicting earthquakes.

Keith Simon: And he almost predicted it to the day. It turns out that the scientists, they knew that it was possible, not likely in their opinion, but possible. But instead of just saying that, they came out all definitive," No, it's never going to happen," because they didn't want to give this outsider any credibility. But guess what? When the earthquake happened, the Italian government, threw those earthquake- ologists, I'm just going with that, in jail.

Patrick Miller: Seismologist, just in case, everybody's wondering.

Keith Simon: Earthquake- ologist is better. I'm public school. So they threw them in jail because they had been so definitive and people died, lost their life. They were like," Well, you weren't honest with us," because one of their earthquake- ologists had said... I'm going to keep doing it until it drives you crazy.

Patrick Miller: This is so dumb.

Keith Simon: I know. They said," Yeah, we are so sure. You can just go and enjoy a nice glass of wine." He even recommended a certain brand, a certain vintage of wine. That's how sure they were that they were right.

Patrick Miller: So the short version of the story is they were very uncertain. They projected absolute certainty. As a result, people believed them, and they died-

Keith Simon: And they went to jail.

Patrick Miller: And then they went to jail. This explains why in this cultural moment where we've gone from the ascendancy of the institutions of mastery who know all, can solve all of our problems, to the point where now we see the lie. We know that they are far less certain than they should be, that they know far less than they've claimed. The new name of the game then is to burn it down. The person to burn those institutions down for all their lies is the outsider or the marginalized.

Keith Simon: This happens in politics all the time. Everybody wants to run as the outsider. Nobody runs for president and says," I'm extremely well- qualified. I've held all these positions within the government. I've been doing this for several decades, and I am the person." Instead, even if they've served in government for decades, they somehow make themselves out to be the outsider because the outsider is the one with credibility. So think, for example, of President Obama. He ran as a community organizer in his first year as a United States senator. He was the outsider who was going to bring hope and change. Or think of AOC, Alexandria-

Patrick Miller: Did you watch the documentary about her and her election run?

Keith Simon: Oh, no. There's a documentary?

Patrick Miller: It's so fascinating. I mean it is hagiography, if you've ever seen it. I saw it at a very liberal film festival, and people were screaming with worshipful joy at the end of this film. I cannot make it up, but that's how she's presented. But here's the story. She's running in New York City, so the real election's the primary.

Keith Simon: Right? She's in the Bronx.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. You know that a Democrat's going to take the spot in the House of Representatives. The person who was running was a leader in the House of Representatives. He was an incumbent.

Keith Simon: An old white man.

Patrick Miller: An old white man. That's the story the documentary tells is how she, AOC, as the outsider comes up against him. She doesn't have money. She doesn't have resources. She doesn't have the background. She doesn't have the qualification. There's no way she's going to win. And then she wins.

Keith Simon: David and Goliath.

Patrick Miller: She pulls it off. She's kind of continued the same game of," I'm an outsider even inside of Congress. I call out my fellow Democrats. I'm the one who will speak the truth." When she goes to the Met Gala, she wears her tax the rich dress, which I think was a way of saying," Hey, I'm not like the rest of these elites out here. I'm saying these guys should get taxed." Now of course, most of those elites would love to get taxed more because I'm sure it would be great for their consciences. They make so much money that it doesn't make a giant difference if you add a few percentage points to their tax bracket. But it highlights a point. She's just like Obama was. She's not really an outsider at this point. But she loves to present herself as an outsider who's coming up against the man.

Keith Simon: Right. She goes to one of the highest society events, the Met Gala, in a dress that tries to speak truth to power. But I think everybody kind of panned it. I think it failed because you're one of the people in power now, so you don't get to criticize yourself. But that's the interesting thing is not only do these candidates run as outsiders even if they're not really, some of them are, but then when they get into office, they govern as outsiders. But you can't govern as an outsider when you're the president of the United States. And yet, that's what Donald Trump did. So remember how he ran. We wanted an outsider so much that we elected someone with no government experience, and that wasn't seen as a liability like," Well, I think he can probably do a good job even though he hasn't had it." It was," No, I support him because he hasn't have any." So the more ignorant, the more uneducated, the more unformed you are by government, the more credibility you have as going to fix government. Now, you wouldn't think that about anything else. Remember a couple episodes ago, we said you would never go pick a surgeon who has never practiced surgery, but we pick politicians who've never practiced a role in government. It doesn't quite make sense. On the other hand, that's where we are.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. When you don't trust the institution to form people you can trust. If it came out tomorrow that you couldn't trust medical schools to train surgeons, then you would stop caring whether or not your surgeon went to a medical school. I think that's the condition that we're in right now. No one trusts government, and so I want to trust someone from outside the government who promises to drain the swamp, to govern like an outsider. Now, Donald Trump, I mean it's fascinating to watch how he governed because he wasn't just an outsider to government. When he gets in, he's an outsider to his own branch of government. The guy is constantly critiquing his branch, people that he put into place.

Keith Simon: I know.

Patrick Miller: He's the outsider." How dare this person who I hired to do this job, do this job the way that they're doing it." But that was the point. Being an outsider wasn't a bad thing. It was the key to success. Let's just summarize the big picture. We had these ascendent institutions. They had control of the information, and they could exude mastery, a sense of knowing. In the information age, where there is more information being created now than in human history, their lies are being shown. It turns out they're not as certain as they said. It turns out they can't fulfill the promises they've promised, and people are angry. The response is to look to outsiders who can burn those institutions down, although there really isn't much of a plan to build anything in its place. This finally takes us back to what we see happening inside of the church.

Keith Simon: All right. So we're back to the church and we're wrestling with how outsiderism, burn this down, has affected the church that we love. A guy named Brad Edwards that Patrick's friends with, I want to be friends with him, but he won't be friends with me, but he is friends with Patrick. I think he's private school. I'm not sure. He said this. I think it's good." Decentralization flips authority structures upside down." So the decentralization of information means that now the barbarians are the one who are in authority, the ones who can get the most attention. They're the ones that are in authority. The people who are used to power because of their institutional position are now on the run.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. So now you think about it as a pastor. What are your credentials? Well, the more you seem like you're on the outside of denominational structures, educational structures, the normal ways that we have historically tried to train and equip pastors to lead, the more reliable and trustworthy and credible you are.

Keith Simon: This happens on the progressive religious left as well as the Christian right, that they both honor outsiders.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. So on the left, this is the heart of the deconstruction movement. It's all the same marginalization stuff. I'm a marginalized person. I'm in the church, and I'm here to burn this down. I'm here to decolonize it. There's an app. It's called the Our Bible App and check out what they say on their website. They say that their app supports the belief that spirituality is a spectrum and that faith is a journey. At its core, the holy texts were written to be inclusive of all God's creation.

Keith Simon: This is not the Bible app, that YouVersion Bible app?

Patrick Miller: No, this is Our Bible App. This is the response to the YouVersion. But check it out. What are scriptures ultimately about? Especially those on the margins. So this is the Bible app for outsiders. They bring in leaders with tens of thousands of followers, people like Michael Gungor and The Liturgists Podcast or Joe Luman, who's an influencer on Twitter. They're teaching classes. They're creating content for this app that's helping people to deconstruct their faith, which really just means burn down everything that they heard in church, burn down everything that the church taught them about theology, about God, about Jesus. There's no vision for what you build in its place. I mean the movement is literally called deconstruction.

Keith Simon: So on the left progressive side, they want to burn down the white colonist, cisgendered, heteronormative, all those words, like the word salad. They want to burn all that down. They don't really have anything in its place. The same kind of instinct sits on the right. On the right, it looks like culture warriors. On the right, it looks like Christian nationalism. By the right here, we mean the extreme hard right, the fringe right, just like you described the fringe left.

Patrick Miller: I don't know if it's as extreme as what you're saying, because we can find these voices in major Christian publishing institutions.

Keith Simon: Such as?

Patrick Miller: Well. Let's start here. First Things, it's been one of the preeminent intellectual Christian news magazines, and it used to be fairly centrist, willing to critique both sides and bring in voices from both sides.

Keith Simon: It was started by a priest, Richard John Neuhaus. If I remember right, he was a man of the left who had moved right over the years, both theologically and politically. It was a Catholic magazine that had a robust dialogue. But it was very institutional. I mean it represented what you would think of as the elite Christian thinkers of the day.

Patrick Miller: Oh, 100% it did. But now we're beginning to see it change because what you're seeing on, again, I don't want to call it fringe right because that's not fringe. I don't want to call it fringe right because you can find it in the PCA, the SPC, these major denominations. That's not fringe.

Keith Simon: It's fringe like Tucker Carlson's fringe.

Patrick Miller: It's fringe like Tucker Carlson's fringe. Here's what they're arguing. There's been a number of articles by James Wood, and he's by far the nicest of the bunch. So I want to give the guy some credit. But the argument is this. The church has, on some level, been acculturated to the left or at least some form of loosey- goosey moderateness. As a result, it won't speak truth to the left. It always punches right and coddles left. There's some truth, by the way.

Keith Simon: I was going to say, it's not all wrong.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. There's some truth, by the way, to some of these critiques. But the argument then becomes that we no longer want anything to do with winsomeness. The cause is no longer to win people over. I think Owen Strachan put this best.

Keith Simon: Owen Strachan is a professor. He was at Midwest Baptist Seminary and now has gone to a startup in Arkansas.

Patrick Miller: He's also on the Council for Biblical Man and Womanhood which, again, is one of these big major Christian institutions, incredibly important. So this is what he said in his tweet. Let me give a little bit of context. He's talking to, honestly, probably people like you and me, Keith, who say," Hey, the solution here is to win people to Jesus. The solution here is to renew our institution. The solution here is to name problems that have existed in the past, but to be willing to rebuild and do the hard work." This is what he says to people like us. It's so bro- ish, but I think that was part of the joke and the point. He says,"Nah, bruh, we're done with this'no bold clarity,' just quiet winsomeness so the God- hating elites like us."

Keith Simon: That's what we're over, right?

Patrick Miller: That's what we're over.

Keith Simon: We're over bold clarity and being winsome to win people to Jesus.

Patrick Miller: Yeah." Winsome so that the God- hating elites like us. We're over that." Because that's what you and I believe." We're over that stuff. We hereby declare that era over, dead, buried. Welcome to the age of bold witness and no fear. Bring matches."

Keith Simon: Well, bring matches tells you everything you need to know. He wants to burn something down. It also tells you that this is what happens when you don't believe in truth because now there's no moral objective authority to persuade people to. Now it's just we are going to get power and we're going to try to enforce our vision of the world onto you. We're going to tear you down if that's what's necessary.

Patrick Miller: Absolutely. We're saying this because when we say winsomeness, we're not talking about being inoffensive. I mean if you listen to this podcast, you have a hard time going there. We're not talking about being unconfrontational. We're not talking about being pro the status quo. We're not talking about being pro elites. That's not what we're talking about inaudible.

Keith Simon: Well, he was criticizing bold clarity. I think-

Patrick Miller: We're pretty stinking clear.

Keith Simon: We're for bold clarity and being winsome at the same time.

Patrick Miller: For us, winsomeness is not about winning over elites. I mean that's just absolutely ridiculous. But you hear the outsiderism. Here's a guy who's a seminary professor, who's part of a major Christian institution, and they're acting. They're pretending as though they're outsiders. It's silliness.

Keith Simon: They want to be outsiders because that's how you gain credibility. Everybody wants to feel like they're losing. You can raise money, and you can generate enthusiasm from your base if you are losing because here's what you tell everybody," Hey, those people out there, they're getting ready to take away something important to you. But if you give me money, if you vote for me, if you come to my rally, then we will defeat them." So if you give your followers a sense that we're winning, everything's okay. Religious liberty is on a winning streak at the Supreme Court, that we have positions of influence within our culture. That doesn't bring in much money or much enthusiasm, much support. So he wants to present himself as, oh my gosh, it's all falling apart. Please follow me so that I can save the day.

Patrick Miller: The people he's taking down, I mean it's Tim Keller, I mean people who just simply don't deserve to have take downs happen from inside of Christianity.

Keith Simon: Now, is that Owen Strachan or is that James Wood that's doing all that?

Patrick Miller: Well, James Wood took down Tim Keller. But Owen Strachan has had his own boatload of tweets critiquing Tim Keller constantly.

Keith Simon: Oh, really?

Patrick Miller: So here's why we're pro being winsome. For us, winsome is a code word for living and acting as though you think Jesus meant what He said on the Sermon on the Mount. That's all it is. It's a code word for saying," I want to try to treat humans with kindness, charity, reasonableness." It's a code word for saying," Hey, I want my life to be characterized by listening, by loving my enemies, by good faith debating." I don't bring matches. I don't bring knives. I don't do any of those things. I don't bring those things to a fight. Winsomeness is the willingness to win a debate without gloating over someone else and name calling or misrepresenting them. It's the willingness to admit that you don't know and to graciously defend what you do know. Winsomeness is curiosity. It's understanding that you don't actually have the corner on the truth and that other people hold their positions probably for reasonable reasons. Winsomeness is the rejection of the hermeneutic of suspicion that if you believe something different than me, I'm going to be suspicious of you. It's a practice of a hermeneutic of love. This is what winsomeness is about. It's self- effacing. It's not taking yourself seriously. It's having a laugh at your own expense. It's taking other people seriously. That's what we mean when we say winsome. I just don't know how you can be against that. That's what I think Tim Keller means when he says winsome. I don't understand how a Christian can stand against this. I don't understand how you bring a match and say," I'm burning that down."

Keith Simon: Well, I think the reason that winsomeness, as you did a great job of defining it there, isn't valued. Instead, we bring matches to win a fight is because we're fighting the wrong battle, that somewhere along the line, we decided that we are trying to save America. Somewhere along the line, we started fighting a political and cultural battle instead of a battle against what the Bible would say are the spiritual forces of darkness. We got suckered into thinking that our enemy is flesh and blood people. If you're going to practice winsomeness, then you can't see other people as your enemy. You have to think," I am trying to build God's kingdom, and I am willing to lose a political and cultural battle in order to win a spiritual kingdom battle."

Patrick Miller: Absolutely. I actually have a lot of sympathy for the James Woods of the world, the Owen Strachans of the world, the Josh Daws, all these people who are in this new anti- winsome," Let's burn it down. We're the defenders of truth against all of you centrist libs out there." I get where they're coming from because progressives, like Joe Luman, who we've already talked about, they have a winner takes all, no holds barred style of rhetoric, which is evil. They are destructive. They are mean. They are unkind. They're destructive with their words. So I understand the impulse to respond in kind. And yet, I have to say, what would Jesus do? Is that how Jesus responds? Does Jesus respond to His enemies with the same violence that they show Him? Of course not. He lays down His life for their sake.

Keith Simon: Doesn't He say to Pilate," If my kingdom were of this world, I'd call down the angels and we could open a can on you right here?"

Patrick Miller: That seems to be what James Wood and these figures, that's what they want. They want the kingdom of the world. It's Greg Locke. Nothing's going to stand against this institution. We're going to take it over.

Keith Simon: But Jesus has a different goal. He's got a different ambition. His kingdom is not of this world. So He doesn't try to defeat His enemies. He dies for them. He doesn't condemn His enemies. He loves them. It all depends on what kingdom you're fighting for and what the goal is and what is it you're really shooting for.

Patrick Miller: That's exactly right. I know some people hear kingdom not of this world and think that we're talking about heaven. That's not what we're saying. Jesus is saying you and me, we are all a part of His kingdom. We are the expression, the living expression of His kingdom. We are not of this world. In other words, we do not buy into the patterns of force, of using power to win the fight. We give into persuasion. We're like the Apostle Paul who went from place to place slowly over time, persuading people, on the Areopagus, persuading people, when he's in jail, persuading people in house churches. That was the model that Jesus gave us. You don't use force. You use persuasion and love and generosity and kindness. So if you want to burn down winsomeness, you are burning down the kingdom. I know what someone's going to ask us. What's the solution here? I think what we're trying to show is that we need to show a little more skepticism towards the so- called outsiders. Number one, they often aren't outsiders, even though that's what they're pretending to be. Number two, the institutions we have have failed us and they have lied to us and they have deceived us. And yet, we still need them. I think that the answer here is renewal and rebuilding and maybe the building of new institutions that can collect knowledge, but do so in a way that actually allows for disconfirmation, do so in a way that allows for uncertainty, do so in a way that is not a insider's club because everyone's going to know. We live in the information age. Everything is going to come out. There's nothing that's going to be hidden. So why not start there with our institutions? Let's live in the light together. Let's renew. Let's rebuild. Let's forgive what was wrong and see what we can build together.

Keith Simon: Thanks for listening. If you found this podcast helpful, make sure to subscribe and leave a review.

Patrick Miller: And make sure it's at least five stars.

Keith Simon: Stop. No, just be honest. Reviews help other people find us.

Patrick Miller: Okay, okay. At the very least, you can share today's episode. Maybe put it on your social, your favorite text chain.

Keith Simon: If you didn't like this episode, awesome, tell us why you disagree on Twitter @ truthovertribe_. We might even share your thoughts in an upcoming newsletter.


America loves outsiders. See: Donald Trump, Barack Obama, AOC. But why? In this third installment of our series on celebrity culture, Keith and Patrick discuss how outsiderism developed in the US and how it's now infiltrating the church. They consider how access to information has led to a loss of institutional credibility, fostering an anti-institutional era and paving the way for outsiders to thrive. Plus, how should Christians respond? Listen now!

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