4pm PT/7pm ET “Fake news” is rampant in today’s information environment, with real-world implications for public health, democracy, and other important public issues. While other work has shown a relationship between various aspects of religious belief or practice and support for specific conspiracy theories, we do not yet have a sense of which Americans are most susceptible to conspiracy thinking more broadly.
Drs. Brooklyn Walker and Abigail Vetger argue that Christian nationalism, the belief that the United States is a country of and for Christians, and biblical literalism, the belief that the text of the Bible should be taken literally, are both related to conspiracy thinking. They see the strongest effects when the two occur together. Their findings illustrate the continuing importance of particular expressions of religion in shaping Americans’ susceptibility to conspiracy theories.