Boff argues that progressives should not use the same logic of Bolsonaro’s campaign, with “demoralization, mockery, despise for the other and fake news.”
“One should respond to those attacks with facts and truth, maintaining a civil manner. We cannot play the same game they play. We have to be coherent,” he told Religion News Service.
Bolsonaro’s campaign reacted to the freemason photos with more religious attacks. A few days later, neo-Pentecostal Pastor Damares Alves, Bolsonaro’s former minister of Women, Family and Human Rights who was elected to the Senate in the Oct. 2 election, released a video of her testimony during a church service. She graphically described a supposed network of pedophiles in Marajó Island, in the Amazon, which was trafficking Brazilian children to other countries.
In the clip, Alves said that 3- and 4-year-olds have their teeth taken out so “they won’t bite during oral sex” and that they only receive semi-solid food “so their bowels will be clear for anal sex.”
“Bolsonaro said: ‘We will get all of them.’ And hell rose against this man. The war against Bolsonaro waged by the press, waged by the Supreme Court, waged by the Congress, believe me, is not a political war. It is a spiritual war,” she continued.
Required by federal prosecutors, Alves failed to provide evidence of what she said. Analysts pointed out the similarities of her rhetoric with the U.S. Q’Anon conspiracy theory.
“In fact, it is part of the Brazilian evangelical tradition. It is based on the idea of a world dominated by evil and that only the spiritual community of the church can protect someone,” said Francisco Borba Ribeiro Neto, the director of the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo’s Center of Faith and Culture.
The exploitation of such ideas for electoral results, however, was imported from the United States, he argued.
To great effect, according to Chesnut.
“In the country that is arguably the epicenter of global Christianity today, it comes as little surprise that presidential candidates are compelled to prove their Christian credentials while demonizing their opponents,” he declared. “The victor of the electoral holy war will very likely be elected Brazil’s next president in the upcoming second round of elections.”
This article originally appeared here.