Was Jar Jar Binks a Sith Lord?
A few years ago, one internet user convinced many that this theory was true; this clumsy, witless nuisance was actually an extremely skilled Force user, capable of powerful mind control, and in league with Palpatine.[i]
It was fun to examine the evidence and imagine a world with Darth Jar Jar. It’s so bizarre that it seems plausible—obvious, even. (And the theory wasn’t totally off, for what it’s worth.[ii])
“Darth Jar Jar” may be significant for the Star Wars canon, but outside of that, it has no real importance. Even now you could be reading this wondering what I’m talking about; maybe you’ve never read Star Wars or had any reason to care about it previously.
But other conspiracy theories emerging in our day have serious consequences and implications. We flirt with the idea of such theories being true and what they might mean for our society. They have a gravity to them, affecting real people and real places.
Recently, we’ve seen a slew of various conspiracy theories. The expensive Wayfair cabinets, the dealings of Ghislaine Maxwell and the death of Jeffrey Epstein, the #FreeBritney movement, and of course, our usual helping of conspiracies about our ongoing struggle with COVID-19, the election cycle, and more.
The church is not only affected by these theories; it is often found perpetuating the suspicion. Not only do we peddle these social or political conspiracies, but we even create theories within the Body of Christ. Discernment bloggers, for example, are constantly working to “see underneath” and determine what’s really going on behind the curtain of churches and pastors.
What are conspiracy theories doing to us, if anything? And what place should they have in our understanding of the world around us?