Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #EmptyThePews

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1. Now that the 4chan-to-FOX fueled right-wing frenzy over the #ExposeChristianSchools hashtag has faded, it should be easier to have a needed public discussion about the deleterious impact of certain types of parochial schools on American society and politics.
2. I am a product of K-12 Christian schools--that is, evangelical schools, which usually call themselves "Christian schools" or "Christian academies." Hence, when I coined the hashtag #ExposeChristianSchools, I did not anticipate Catholic schools being a part of the discussion.
3. That point was lost when the hashtag became conflated with the Covington story. It's perfectly fine to expand the #ExposeChristianSchools discussion into one that includes not only fundamentalist/evangelical schools, but also Catholic and mainline schools, of course.
Read 30 tweets
1. Long before coining the hashtag #ExposeChristianSchools, I began researching the authoritarian practices of evangelical colleges toward faculty and students who rock the boat, particularly relative to LGBTQ equality. Here’s my latest

feature.politicalresearch.org/the-struggle-f…

#ThursdayThoughts
2. To get a fuller picture, I recommend reading my earlier work on this topic as well. I wrote my first evangelical college expose for @RDispatches:

religiondispatches.org/special-report…

#Exvangelical #ExposeChristianSchools #ExposeChristianHomeschooling #EmptyThePews #Resist
3. Back in September, I revisited the topic for @Playboy.

playboy.com/read/want-to-k…

I then worked through the fall and winter gathering more material, conducting more interviews, etc., in order to produce my newest piece on the topic for @PRAEyesRight. #ExposeChristianSchools
Read 6 tweets
BTW, if you think this is an anomaly, I'm sorry to disappoint you.

It is very commonplace.
Want a blatant white supremacist who defends the slave trade as godly?

I can do that.

twitter.com/i/moments/8407…
Wanna connect big name Evangelicals to pastors who protect sex predators and silence their victims?

Easy.

natesparks130.com/2016/01/31/inj…
Read 9 tweets
You mean the racist who openly promoted white supremacy and segregation?

Never forget, the fight against "liberalism" many early white evangelicals claimed was very commonly about preserving white supremacy.
Note the justification presented for Machen leaving Princeton and founding Westminster Seminary here:

wts.edu/history/
Now read the excerpts presented here from personal correspondence.

Now tell me Machen didn't found Westminster to preserve his own views on race.

Read 7 tweets
1. Here's the thing, @davidmweissman. Radical evangelicals love to brag about how much they (supposedly) give to charity, but according to them, when the state does it, it's "idolatry." They don't care that needs will go unmet #ExposeChristianSchools #ExposeChristianHomeschooling
2. After all, what they want is to be in control of whose needs get met and how. This is authoritarian paternalism, and this paranoid fear of the state, which Reagan was happy to fuel, has direct roots in Christian Reconstructionism, though they can be traced back even further.
3. In fact, we can see the seeds of contemporary arguments about preserving "the family" (read: nuclear, "traditional") and "the Church" against supposedly illegitimate encroachment from the state in the nineteenth century:



#ExposeChristianSchools
Read 22 tweets
“We’ve also laughed at the ridiculousness of our great-great-grandparents being monkeys. The kids get a kick out of that.”

OMG I remember doing this. Of course this is defiantly ignorant of how evolution actually works.

#ExposeChristianSchools #ExposeChristianHomeschooling
More, straight from the horse’s mouth:

“Our children have explored the universe at JPL and the Griffith Observatory, and they see design and intelligence; God creating order from forces that otherwise lead to disorder.”

#ExposeChristianSchools #ExposeChristianHomeschooling
Then shit gets fully theocratic:

“These obligations are the basis for our laws and government and a political theory that says that man is not subservient to government, but that government is instituted by God, and that we ought to respect it as such.”

#ExposeChristianSchools
Read 4 tweets
Yes, they do! BUT fundamentalists are notorious for treating Bible verses like magical conduits of divine communication that don’t need any literary, historical or social context. So they have extraordinarily bad, heavily reinforced reading/interp habits. 1/n
They also see conversion of unbelievers as the most important thing in life. They don’t debate to learn, they debate to “win” and are generally fine with leaning on emotion, rhetoric, proof texting and sensationalist examples to achieve this.
Many fundamentalists are highly authoritarian and thus prone to extreme black and white thinking and out-group aggression.
Read 13 tweets
Unfortunately, as someone raised ultraconservative Catholic. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Hospitals chose to put women in jeopardy/have them die over unviable fetuses. #HowToCatholic #EmptyThePews #LeftTheFold #ExRosarySquad #CatholEx #ExCatholic
Catholic Hospitals can literally kill you. google.com/search?client=…
They had denied women critical care based on religious ideology. aclu.org/blog/reproduct…
Read 7 tweets
1. Florida State Senator Dennis Baxley is an elder at The Vine Community Church, a Southern Baptist Convention affiliate in Ocala, Fl. His consistent advocacy for this type of legislation shows how nakedly dishonest evangelicals are—and we let them get away with it. #Exvangelical
2. What do I mean by referring to the naked dishonesty of (the vast majority of white/conservative) evangelicals in this context? Note Baxley's demand that public schools teach "different worldviews" on topics such as climate change and evolution. It's clearly disingenuous.
3. And we know it's disingenuous not just because there is a long established pattern of evangelical behavior in this regard, although there is, and actions speak louder than words. We also know it from what evangelicals have said and written, and that term "worldview" is key.
Read 35 tweets
Maybe it's just me, but it seems like #ExposeChristianSchools is getting more & higher-profile pushback than things like #EmptyThePews or #ChristianAltFacts -- and I wanted to explore some reasons that might be.
I grew up in evangelical-land during the 70s and 80s, and left the church in the 90s, so my experiences were before a lot of the other people who share their #Exvangelical stories on here.
I ~saw~ these changes happening in the church -- the move toward right wing politics, Christian patriarchy, anti-demonic paranoia, etc. -- but I saw a lot of them in their early, nascent forms
Read 17 tweets
1. Baptist pastor rants against #ExposeChristianSchools in an op-ed dripping with sarcasm—color me shocked. Scratch just below the surface, though, and you see how he exemplifies what we’re criticizing, even apart from the shittiness of deflecting criticism and mocking survivors.
2. Straight off the bat, Pastor Bo goes to Proverbs 22:6. "Train up a child in the way he should go" is a verse that is weaponized against kids in evangelical subculture. It doesn't just serve to "justify" corporal punishment, although it does do that (along with "spare the rod")
3. Note the end of the verse, "and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Kids are expected to conform exactly to rigid white supremacist patriarchal norms in evangelical subculture. Obedience is emphasized at the expense of curiosity and openness. #ExposeChristianSchools
Read 32 tweets
I was adopted at birth by evangelical Christians from Kentucky. I have spent my adult life unlearning something so fundamental to my being that I was unable to identify it until almost a decade into therapy … [Thread] #ExposeChristianSchools #Exvangelical #EmptyThePews
My mother and father are, to this day, deeply entrenched in the Reformed Presbyterian church & school I grew up attending. My father designed the building, my mother led groups, and I was supposed to be their shining example.
This church's doctrine hinges in part on the concept of Predestination, which is "the divine foreordaining of all that will happen, especially with regard to the salvation of some and not others.”
Read 12 tweets
@SimonWDC YES!! Simon, this is the culmination of a 50+ years, long-term, plan of the GOP. They're trying to destroy the federal govt from within. Once it's accomplished, they'll blame trump & ditch him 4 Pence. Pence was their preferred POTUS all along.
@SimonWDC Are you familiar with Council for National Policy? Everyone, but trump, is a member/affiliated with the group. IMHO this is a revenge presidency for Nixon. Republicans hate liberals/Democrats. I heard it in church during 15/16. Please look at this. 2/
@SimonWDC #Exvangelicals, like me, have been trying to get the media & others to listen to us. Did you know that the evangelical charlatans ran a HUGE data operation to elect trump? The GOP has been taken over by religious zealots that want theocracy by 2020. #ChristianTaliban
Read 5 tweets
This phrase “positive Christian attitude” deserves unpacking. There’s a lot of ideological baggage there. Evangelical subculture is Christian supremacist. Since we were supposed to be better than everyone else, there was a lot of pressure to appear happy. #ExposeChristianSchools
The connection to obedience is also not accidental. Your entire life’s purpose, according to the authoritarian “Christian worldview,” is found in obeying God. Freedom is slavery, as it were. And if you were truly “freely” obeying, you’d be happy about it. #ExposeChristianSchools
Needless to say, human psychology does not actually work this way. Internally you don’t feel “like you’re supposed to,” but there may be consequences for a lack of “cheerful obedience,” so you fake it. #ExposeChristianSchools #Exvangelical #EmptyThePews
Read 8 tweets
Found these old teacher evaluations from seventh and eighth grade at Colorado Springs Christian School. Guess who was assessed as “obedient” and exhibiting “a positive Christian attitude”?

#ExposeChristianSchools #Exvangelical #EmptyThePews
So, about that history class with Mrs. Parks in eighth grade at Colorado Springs Christian School? We used white supremacist, fundamentalist materials from A Beka and Bob Jones.

#ExposeChristianSchools #Exvangelical #EmptyThePews #Resist
The eighth-grade Bible class here is the one where we were taught the racist view that people of African descent originated with Noah’s cursed son Ham. I tweeted earlier that was seventh-grade Bible, but it was definitely with Mr. Brohmer. #ExposeChristianSchools #EmptyThePews
Read 4 tweets
No sex education (instead we had abstinence week) in high school. Between it and the 1 day of required anatomy in 6th grade, I somehow get the idea it was possible to accidentally put a tampon in the wrong hole. Didn't use tampons until college.
Speaking of no sex ed, I've been told my Christian high school had one of the highest abortion rates in the area, because you can't be pregnant and go there but don't get any education about safe sex.
Read 31 tweets
NEW on #NotYourMissionField - "What's Wrong with Karen Pence Teaching at an Anti-LGBTQ Christian School? #ExposeChristianSchools Has Your Answer"

chrisstroop.com/2019/01/20/wha…

Shout-outs: @andyherndon @julieingersoll @rklein90

#Exvangelical #SaturdayThoughts #EmptyThePews #Resist
If you appreciate content like this and have the means to pay a little something for it, monthly @Patreon pledges of any amount are greatly appreciated and help make this work sustainable for me:

patreon.com/cstroop

Thanks so much to those of you who already support me!
CC: @MarkRuffalo, possibly of interest
Read 3 tweets
Guess where we are on this scale of genocide?
genocidewatch.org/aboutgenocide/…
The distance between the March for Life location (National Mall) and the Lincoln Memorial is about a 30 minute walk.
Google maps:
tinyurl.com/ydyvwz3v
Ya'll, this has me so steamed, because so much of the #prolife movement is about #whitesupremacy

Theme this year? "#UniqueFromDayOne: pro-life is pro-science!"
Read 32 tweets
This appalling display by Covington Catholic High School @CovCathColonels students is like a PSA for @C_Stroop's #ExposeChristianSchools and #EmptyThePews initiatives & Gillette's toxic masculinity ad.

Smug, belligerent boys reeking of unearned privilege.
Let's see how they enjoy the notoriety.

Local high school gaining national attention for incident at Indigenous People's March in DC: Covington Catholic HS @CovCathColonels students filmed harassing Native American elder wcpo.com/news/national/…
Covington Catholic @CovCathColonels faces backlash after video of students mocking Native Americans at DC march goes viral wkyt.com/content/news/V…
Read 8 tweets
Friday night #Exvangelical thread

"The Remedy For Racism"
~or~
"Christian Supremacy Fixes White Supremacy, Amirite"
I have some new followers thanks to kind boosts by @JTReese89 and @c_stroop, so I'm going to reintroduce myself.

I'm an #exvangelical agnostic Christian (I follow Jesus and I'm comfortable being uncertain whether there's a God or gods).

I write about evangelicals in politics.
Specifically, I write about one relatively-unknown Evangelical with an outsize influence in politics: Ralph 'Ralphie' Drollinger, founder of "Capitol Ministries", a #Christofascist organization aiming to convert elected officials to fundamentalism, both US & worldwide.
Read 26 tweets
Speaking with @chriskratzer for our podcast and he made a great point: so much of evangelicalism is little more than religious addiction cycles. #

How it works: go to church, get revved up for another week to "partner with Jesus" to live a successful Christian life.

1/
During the week (of course) you fail to live up to the standards the preacher told you God expected of you, so you feel bad about yourself. You're a worm, a miserable failure.

Come Sunday, though, you're back in church, ready to get revved up and do it all over again.

2/
Religious hype ensues in the worship.

So it's an addictive religious cycle. This is not only how they keep people under control, they have to come back each Sunday (and all the other activities in the week) to get their "fix" and keep going.

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews
Read 3 tweets
De facto evangelical businesses include not just mom and pop places but also franchises. I call the closest McDonalds to where I now live “the Jesus McDonalds” b/c it has all these signs about faith up and plays contemporary Christian music. It’s creepy. I am not making this up.
Last time I went there I enjoyed listening to “Stairway to Heaven” while going through the drive-thru. If there’s one transferable skill you get out of growing up evangelical, it’s expert level passive aggression.

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews
Here’s a picture of the sign you see when you head out of the parking lot of the Jesus McDonalds.
Read 3 tweets
1. I amplify a lot of fundraising requests. I know this may annoy some of my followers, but I want to take a moment to talk about why I do this. I considered snarking the screenshot posted below with a "Men On the Internet" tweet, but I think I should do this in a serious way.
2. I'm an advocate for the #Exvangelical community, which consists of people who have escaped fundamentalist/evangelical Christianity, an authoritarian and damaging form of Protestantism that upholds white supremacist patriarchy:

chrisstroop.com/2018/06/14/esc…

#EmptyThePews
3. We exvies were mostly indoctrinated as children, and many of us are still relatively young and not yet economically established. Or at least the latter. If you haven't lived abusive, authoritarian religion, you don't know how hard it is to leave:

chrisstroop.com/2017/06/07/whe…
Read 34 tweets
If you watched "Deconstructing My Religion" or read "5 Key Moments from the Year of the 'Exvangelicals'"and would like to help our #Exvangelical community continue to expose evangelicalism, supporting people like @NateSparks130 who contribute so much is a great way to do it!
And in case you missed those things, you can watch the @CBSReligion "Deconstructing My Religion," written and produced by @lizkineke, here:

cbsnews.com/video/deconstr…

You can also find it on YouTube, but for some reason, the YouTube video doesn't work in Canada. #EmptyThePews
And here's my #2018InReview piece for @RDispatches, "5 Key Moments from the Year of the 'Exvangelicals.'"

rewire.news/religion-dispa…

#ThursdayThoughts #Exvangelical #EmptyThePews
Read 4 tweets

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