Thanks to commenter Mr. Kite for flagging this tweet storm from Jared Yates Sexton, an escapee from Christianist white identity politics.
Among other things, I learned this:
All right. Let’s get weird.
Reagan believed the Founders were unwilling to sign the Declaration of Independence until God sent an angel to give an inspiring speech.
Truly. Reagan believed that. An angel. At the Declaration of Independence. . .
Reagan was introduced to the myth that America was god’s chosen country and the Declaration of Independence myth by a guru named Manley P. Hall, who was an extremely popular figure in New Age California.
He lectured to huge crowds, sold a ton of books.
Manley P. Hall is a complete trip.
His work was obsessed with Atlantis and conspiracies among the ancients to raise up America as a new continent of reason and power. It is white supremacy personified, but also just as bizarre as you can imagine.
Reagan bought it.
HERE’S A FUN FACT!
Reagan’s first CPAC speech actually mentioned Manley P. Hall!
He said he’d been told by an expert about an angel give an inspiring speech to save the Revolution.
He tied Manley P. Hall directly to the Shining City rhetoric. At CPAC!
Woah Nellie as Keith Jackson used to say.
Sexton has a book coming out, which, if this twitter thread is any indication, is going to be both fun and useful.