I would just like to take this moment to congratulate myself for managing to get the still of Sloan laughing at the ‘Daughters of Jihadi Excellence’ phone call. It took quite a few attempts let me tell you.
Their belief in Jesus gives them an indefatigably sympathetic confidant, assuages their fear of death and bereavement, wards off existential angst, assures cosmic purpose, and aligns them with the good guys. So handsome are the psychological pay-offs of belief that many, perhaps most, devout orthodox Christians are impervious to all countervailing logic and evidence. Their will to believe vanquishes every disquieting fact, every contrary line of reasoning, no matter how compelling to an impartial eye. Psychologists have a frightening arsenal of terms for the mental habits designed to preserve cherished beliefs: dissociation, absolutist thinking, dichotomization, object permanence, nominal realism, phenomenalistic causality and worse.