Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #EmptyThePews

Most recents (24)

At the end of the last episode, the preacher sneaker guy says something to the effect of ‘it’s frustrating because the majority of Christians and churches aren’t like this but because Hillsong is so famous…’

My dude… wake the fuck up.
Those former volunteers and students could have literally been talking about any mega church in the US. Because every single one abuses ppls time, and finances and emotionally manipulates in the Same. Exact. Way.
#Hillsong is not an anomaly. It is in fact Best Practices for the rest of white evangelical churches. They wrote the book. They laid the foundation. And every spirit filled, Bible believing church in this country has enthusiastically replicated the same system.
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I'm curious about what he could possibly mean -- how is "ungodliness" measured, in the entire history of our country, really? But not curious enough to listen to his annoying unhinged ranting.
I remember one time @paulcarp13 and I were in my grandma's church and they had a guest preacher whose entire sermon was about how Bill Clinton lied.

This was in, like, 2003.
Read 17 tweets
“Many of these programs now claim to be Christian boarding schools, a classification that means that in half of the country, they are not required to even tell their state education agency that they exist.”

Outrageous and shameful. Christian supremacism results in atrocities
Also, if you know anything about the history of adoption, you’ll have learned that the “Baby Scoop Era” ended in the early 1970s.

What more of us need to realize, however, is that right-wing Christians and their institutions kept right on scooping up and selling babies
Now these are the same people who claim Democrats are part of a demonic global child trafficking cabal??

It’s all projection, and it always has been.

#ExposeChristianSchools #EmptyThePews
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“Most Americans are still under the impression that Christianity equals good, no matter what brand they embrace.”

In this provocative analysis, @BrynnTannehill lays out why this misconception is harming America:…

A few things are overstated here. There’s some conflation of “religion” with Christianity, and “American Christianity” comes across as essentially white and authoritarian. Yes, those kinds of Christians have the most power, but still, no mention of the Black Church?
The nonreligious absolutely deserve more of a voice in the Democratic Party than we have, but we can’t demand that the party ignore its religious constituents, predominantly African-American Protestants. We need to work together. That requires a degree of nuance
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So, the exvangelical movement has now got a Wikipedia page! So far it only mentions @brchastain and myself, and doesn't include hashtags beyond #exvangelical and #EmptyThePews.

Do we have any exvies or keen observers out there who are also established Wiki editors?
Because it would be great to see this article expanded some. I don't know what the norms and expectations are for someone who is mentioned in an article to make adjustments to it and have never made a Wikipedia login or ever done more than a couple edits:…
Obviously #ChurchToo and the people who started it should be included, and I'd love to see the #ExposeChristianSchools episode covered (of course I'm biased on that one), and there are other people and projects that ought to be there. But can I add stuff as an interested party?
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I am so over the faux-feminist rhetoric of right-wing Christian women like Karen Sallow-Prior. Did you think she was a “moderate”? Think again and #EmptyThePews
“The Texas law doesn’t criminalize abortion outright. Rather, it allows private citizens to sue providers and others.”

Hm, who are these “others” 🤔
“It takes a village to make abortion seem like the best choice.”

Tell me you hate @HillaryClinton without telling me you hate Hillary Clinton
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Yes, we owe it to people of Afghanistan to accept numerous refugees.

No, we can’t make that happen by calling evangelicals “not true Christians.”

The critique of hypocrisy doesn’t affect them, but this framing *does* reinforce the very Christian hegemony that lets them run amok
Hand-wringing pundits have been criticizing evangelicals as hypocrites regularly since 2016. Hypocrisy is a baked in feature of authoritarianism, but what so many Americans refuse to acknowledge—it is crucial to face this—is that Christianity is not always or inherently benign
No complex cultural system subject to communal differentiation and internal contestation—and religions are such systems—is benign in its entirety or in its every iteration.

Religious traditions are multivalent.

There’s no “one true way” to do any such complex system
Read 39 tweets
I wrote a thread on this a few years back, but it's even more alarming now. The Right's authoritarian-verging-on-totalitarian approach to education--ban CRT! cameras in classrooms! no thoughtcrimes!--isn't an aberration, nor will it be overcome by an appeal to "the facts." 1/
These laws spring out of the Right's own vision of what "education" really is. Whether it's the fundamentalist homeschoolers, or evangelical church camps and purity culture, or the Young Republicans, they don't attract members so much as take hostages. /2
In this vein, education is really indoctrination. There is "our" correct view (Biblical inerrancy! A Christian Nation! White Supremacy!) and the heresies of "the other." Orthodoxy is rigidly enforced, often by adults who leverage peer influence also. Deviation is shunned. /3
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Thanks for the kind wishes, folks!

If you’d like to do something nice for me for my birthday, maybe buy a copy of my and @laureneoneal’s Empty the Pews: Stories of Leaving the Church for yourself or a friend (or your “favorite” annoying super Christian)?
Here’s the Amazon link for convenience, but you can get hard copies through any bookseller…
The overarching message of #EmptyThePews is not anti-religious or antitheist. The contributors don’t all agree on this, but many of us are ambivalent wrt religious practice and even the idea of god.

The book is a multi-vocal protest against controlling forms of Christianity
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You may be wondering why you see me push back on proselytizing in my mentions so often, instead of just muting or blocking the offenders.

The reason is simple. Conversion attempts *should be* considered tacky and intrusive. Publicly shaming proselytizers reinforces that message
It's well past time for us, as a society, to learn to start setting and enforcing hard boundaries on authoritarian, anti-pluralist, right-wing Christians (like the vast majority of white evangelicals).

As I've said before, coddling them just enables them

And remember, folks, if embracing pluralism is good citizenship, then flouting one's anti-pluralism is bad citizenship.

I'm not saying that anyone can be "forced to be free," but there were some good ideas at the heart of European social contract theory--even Rousseau's version
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Wow, @ConversationUS, this is a remarkably sloppy, irresponsible take. The author admits that many young evangelicals are leaving altogether to become #exvangelical, but then asserts, with no data, that youth-driven real change from the inside is possible and likely. It is not
First off, do you think the people that Russell Moore and Beth Moore (no relation) associate themselves with now, outside the Southern Baptist Convention, are going to just up and vote for Democrats? Hell, Russell still embraces "biblical patriarchy," and Beth won't condemn it
I recently wrote something that provides a more sober and realistic picture of the Russell Moore situation, @ConversationUS, if you care to take a look:…
Read 13 tweets
I’m quoted in @SamuelSokol’s excellent article in @haaretzcom contextualizing Christian Zionist Mike Evans’s antisemitic rant over Israeli election results:…
“Blaming Jews for their own suffering, casting it as part of God’s Providential plan, is a trope that can already be found in Christian Zionism decades before the Holocaust, and it’s come up before among the contemporary Christian Zionists that Trump surrounded himself with”
“As someone who grew up evangelical and was taught to view Israel as a place for fulfillment of Christian prophecy, I’ve long been aware of Christian Zionism’s erasure of Jewish experience.

“Evans’s spectacular meltdown makes that erasure obvious.”

#exvangelical #EmptyThePews
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Everything about this corruption and drama was predictable under the conditions of the success of the “conservative resurgence” that was complete by the early 90s, and that pushed all Jimmy Carter style Baptists out of leadership roles in the SBC.

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews
That Paige Patterson, a leader of the right-wing putsch forced into early retirement due to his callous attitude toward bartered women and sexual abuse, is a behind-the-scenes leader in the anti-ERLC faction makes perfect sense. As does the fact the SBC is losing the youth
I get the sense of filial duty Russell Moore feels. It wasn’t quite dead for those of us born 10 or so years after him, but many have shaken it off, because unconditional loyalty to an institution or faith means complicity in inevitably rampant abuse…
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One of the insights many have drawn from the Trump years is the relationship between individually abusive people and authoritarian politicians. The desire to dominate and control through manipulation and violence can be socially scaled up to the level of a community or government
The same cycles that play out in individuals’ relationships and families also operate at larger social scales. And one of the things I wish more people understood about this is that fundamentalism is the embodiment of a cycle of abuse in a religious social context
In the United States, fundamentalist Christianity of the type one finds among conservative, mostly white evangelicals, trad Catholics, and most Mormons plays an influential role in our politics. In that regard, it is no coincidence that abuse pervades these groups’ institutions
Read 22 tweets
By the same token, you don't defang the "You only left the faith to have sex!" line by trying to prove you're "purer" than that.

You defang it by embracing healthy sexuality and holding hardline Christians accountable for their unhealthy sexual paranoia…
Never try to "prove" anything to Christian apologists, who do not think of you as equal and thus are not engaging in good-faith dialogue. Instead, reject the entire framing of their arguments, and throw the real-world consequences of their harmful views in their faces
This isn't going to win them over. After all, they're arguing in bad faith. Unless they have a sudden moment of clarity and conviction (perhaps as a result of long private conversations with people they're close to), nothing is going to win them over…
Read 7 tweets
Read this important new piece by @MatthewBoedy!

One quibble - linking to an article of mine, Matthew says critics of Christian nationalism often refer to it as Christian supremacism.

I don't see the two as synonymous: CS is broader and deeper than CN…
Let me explain. But first, here's the piece of mine that @MatthewBoedy linked to, which, thanks! As a writer I definitely don't equally like everything I write, but I am still pretty fond of this one, four months after writing it :)…

Now then, what's the difference between Christian nationalism and Christian supremacism/supremacy (either term works in my view)?

Christian nationalism is obviously an expression of Christian supremacy, but CS isn't always so overt or directly ideologically formulated
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Apparently, deconstruction is poison. A poison that @JLSteffaniak narrowly avoided. I'm sure that evangelicals and authoritarian Christians see it as poisonous. Shall we discuss? Thread: 1/…
First off, I'm not going to try not to poke at Jordan's own, personal story of almost deconstructing. As Chrissy Stroop says "Our stories our ours." Jordan's story is his. I do take objection to several of his points, the main one being that deconstruction is poisonous. 2/
Right off the bat, Jordan jumps in and says one of my least favorite things about Ex-evangelicals and deconstruction, which is that we "praise the glories" of deconstruction. "Praise" and "Glory" are two very Christian words to use here, words that many exvies will recognize. 3/ Image
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Looks like the Christian Post is at it again, Starting with this headline that sounds like a joke, “Heckle Christ’s bride at your eternal peril”
This is a republish of an article that originally had a less attention-grabby but equally evangelical-centric headline: “How to Stay When the World Says Leave”
This is a very common framing for evangelicals, that “the world” somehow exists over THERE, while evangelicals are over HERE being “in the world but not of it”

I don’t buy it.
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Almost certainly the case. Meanwhile, my sister's family and at least one of my cousins have begged my parents and aunt and uncle, who are all over 60, not to get vaccinated. They even believe those of us who are can somehow cause them to get sick?

#TuckerVaxxed #TuckerMustGo
The situation is truly horrific. Not only have they ingested wildly false, and harmful, disinformation (and honestly probably more directly from church than from FOX), but they've also done the weirdest iteration of victim-offender reversal in claiming vaxxed people are dangerous
One of these folks even posted a fake science article on Facebook (in a publication with a solid-sounding title that was clearly meant to imitate real peer-reviewed research) claiming that wearing masks causes all kinds of medical conditions

#TuckerCarlsonMustGo #EmptyThePews
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"What this allows her to do, in the guise of practicing history, is attribute to Jesus and Paul what she likes and to everyone else what does not fit her narrative. Blame falls to the Romans and ancient Jews ('Pharisees')." - @JillHicksKeeton…
A lot of historians who are evangelicals or come from evangelical backgrounds frequently slide into doing theology in their historical monographs, sometimes without any textual self-awareness that that's what they're doing. To see a historian push back on that makes me happy
.@JillHicksKeeton, herself from an evangelical background, provides a balanced but necessary critique of Beth Allison Barr's new book, The Making of Biblical Womanhood, in this review…

#Twitterstorians #EmptyThePews
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Closely related to the evangelical taboo on “gossip” is the intense pressure evangelical authorities put on subordinates—incl. parents on children—to be “positive.”

It’s common even among those who don’t embrace the prosperity gospel.

It’s about the church’s “witness,” you see
And this is absolutely part of what was going on at Ramsey Solutions, where even an employee’s spouse mildly questioning a company policy on social media—without even naming the company—was grounds for firing the employee, as @kateshellnutt highlights:…
Of course, as many pointed out on Twitter and as I argue in the article linked below, Shellnutt’s framing of her article in terms of “gossip” will only hamper evangelical efforts to prevent abuses of all kinds…

#wednesdaythought #EmptyThePews
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My alma mater, Heritage Christian School in Indianapolis, recently wrote to parents, alumni, and supporters, asking them to contact their representatives to oppose the Equality Act.

HCS is a 501(c)3 and receives voucher funding 😒

This video also describes @TheElizaRose's experience being told by the physiology teacher, Mr. Stephen Terry, that all women have one fewer ribs than men. She talks about her cognitive dissonance and how she concluded that God did not want her to be a doctor.

I too had Mr. Terry back in my day at Heritage, from which I graduated in 1999. I had him for chemistry, and, wait for it, *AP* biology.

To qualify as an AP class, you have to use an approved textbook. But Mr. Terry refused to teach us the evolution chapters.

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I’m so glad to see that legal action is being taken against right-wing Christian colleges and universities with anti-LGBTQ policies. They should not have federal funding.

I have covered this issue over the years, and it’s been hard to get people to care…
Win or lose, this lawsuit exemplifies a powerful shift in the conversation.

Evangelicals—with their institutional deep pockets and powerful lobbying orgs, many SPLC-designated hate groups—are finally losing control of the narrative.

Those they harm are finally getting a voice
I’m going to highlight my work in this thread, but the students and alumni pushing for change are the heroes: @laurensotolongo @ErinGreenbean @mvsebastian @thatmaddiem @thatlizhunter @Gary2276 @CedarvilleOut and faculty allies @WheelerWorkshop @brianglenney, and many more
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