An in-depth report on QAnon in The Atlantic’s June issue closes with the suggestion that QAnon could become the latest in a series of “thriving religious movements indigenous to America.” But research from a Concordia University doctoral student, Marc-André Argentino, shows the church of QAnon already exists and seems poised to spread. Argentino attended an online QAnon church where, he reports, two-hour Sunday services with several hundred attendees consist of prayer, communion, and interpretation of the Bible in light of Q drops and vice versa. The leaders’ goal, Argentino says, “is to train congregants to form their own home congregations in the future and grow the movement.”
It’s not inconceivable that they’ll succeed, especially after pandemic restrictions ease and in-person gatherings resume. (The pandemic, of course, fits neatly into the QAnon narrative as a plot to oust Trump before the mass arrests and executions of cabal members can begin.) Many QAnon members express a desire for community, describing how they try to convert loved ones to their cause and browse QAnon hashtags to make like-minded friends. QAnon church would fill that need, as religious gatherings long have done.
That’s what makes me think the church of QAnon may be a portent of things to come: Traditional religiosity is declining in America, but humanity will not cease to be religious.