Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #Exvangelical

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So here's the thing. I've spent since 2015 talking to my MAGA friends and family, trying to initiate dialogue about how 45's whole ethos is the opposite of what they say they stand for as #Christian #evangelicals and #fundamentalists. (A thread.)
What they *say* they believe - love for humankind, protection of the most vulnerable, honouring marriage, intact family units - is so very clearly NOT what this administration stands for.
I've lost touch with many of these people because I won't shut up in the face of what they are endorsing. I've tried appealing to their better natures, discussing spiritual ramifications, trying to build bridges. Trying to understand them.
Read 14 tweets
1. What are the ways that #EvangelicalismKills?

Conservatives love to say that ideas have consequences, but somehow they never want to examine the consequences of right-wing ideologies.

So let’s do that with this new hashtag coined by @Ashadahya.

#MondayMorning #EmptyThePews
2. Asha started the hashtag in connection with Renee Bach, an evangelical missionary in Uganda who, acting on a “calling”—rather than training and preparation—performed medical procedures only doctors are qualified to perform. And children predictably died.

2-a. If you haven’t read this on Bach’s story, do:…

#MondayMorning #EvangelicalismKills #EmptyThePews
Read 23 tweets
Missed me live on @FFRF's Ask an Atheist program with Elizabeth Cavell and @AndrewLSeidel this morning? Not to worry--the episode is already up on @YouTube!

I give shout-outs to @brchastain and @laureneoneal on the show.

#WednesdayWisdom #EmptyThePews
@FFRF @AndrewLSeidel @YouTube @brchastain @laureneoneal We discuss my background, #exvangelical community building, and the reasons it's important to push back against the Christianization of our public sphere, as laid out in my recent @Playboy article "The Gospel According to Mike Pence":…

@FFRF @AndrewLSeidel @YouTube @brchastain @laureneoneal @Playboy We also talk about the anthology @laureneoneal and I co-edited that's coming out December 1, Empty the Pews: Stories of Leaving the Church, and the value a project like this has in our current moment. You can pre-order the book here:…

Read 5 tweets
“While they would contend that to give up their views would lead to a destructive nihilism, it’s their inability to trust their own moral compass that leads them into a violent and ultimately nihilistic politics.”

My latest for @RDispatches
“While more and more abuse scandals break within evangelical spaces, conservative evangelicals consistently refuse to look inward for solutions to their problems, instead looking to “the culture” for factors to blame that reinforce their pre-existing beliefs.”
“These beliefs—that difference is a thing to be afraid of; that refusal to believe in the right-wing Christian version of God will result in severe punishment; that allowing frequent violence is preferable to a government solution—are expressions of an authoritarian ethos.”
Read 6 tweets
Oppose reprehensible behavior in a way that doesn’t presume Christian moral superiority.

Also, it’s not my position that anyone saying they’re a Christian is one. Communally mediated interpretation and praxis help define religion. White evangelicals have those.

I grew up in a white evangelical enclave community with the type of Christians who adore Mike Pence abs became Trump’s base. You’d better believe we read our Bibles and regularly had “devotions” or “quiet time.”

#exvangelical #EmptyThePews…
Sit in on an evangelical church service sometime and look around. Note how many people—women in particular—assiduously take notes on the sermon outline the ushers provide.

And remember: regular church attendance is an indicator of *higher* Trump support among white evangelicals.
Read 4 tweets
1. So, everybody’s been reading @Peter_Wehner’s article “The Deepening Crisis in Christianity” in @TheAtlantic, and quite a few people have asked for my take. Taking it easy in Spokane the last couple of days I’ve been able to give it some thought.

#SundayThoughts #EmptyThePews
2. The article itself is eloquent and worth reading, though I share neither Wehner’s remaining deference to evangelicals (he finds their persecution complex to some degree justified) nor his concern for “the Church.” Also I pretty much hate St. Augustine.…
3. But it’s interesting to me that, in what is essentially yet another critique of conservative/white evangelical hypocrisy, Wehner emphasizes the damage to “the Church” and to evangelicalism itself in terms of people leaving Christianity, which he apparently finds a BAD THING.
Read 34 tweets
1. For those not aware of the struggles of LGBTQ students for inclusion in evangelical colleges and universities and the pattern of administrative crackdowns, I’ve published several exposés.

Here’s the most comprehensive:…

2. Evangelical colleges are as a rule quite authoritarian institutions. Here I argue that if you want to understand how the Christian Right wants to run the country, you should look at how they run their schools:…

#ExposeChristianSchools #FridayThoughts
Read 8 tweets
1. I may not finish this whole thread now, but I’m going to at least start giving you all some details from today’s visit to The Creation Museum with @julieingersoll and @QuiverfullTwee1, with whom I also just imbibed a fair bit of white wine. Tomorrow we hit Ark Encounter!
1. Answers in Genesis, the organization behind The Creation Museum and Ark Encounter, is devoted to apologetics for young earth creationism. As a result, The Creation Museum embodies the worst of two American “traditions”—anti-intellectualism and kitschy roadside attractions.
3. Whoops, last tweet should have been 2, not 1. Anyway, The Creation Museum is a pretty surreal place. It falls under what I have elsewhere, with apologies to Rod Serling, called the Jesus Zone. My first #TheJesusZone thread is here:

Read 18 tweets
I am going to sit quietly and count to ten and not yell and scream at someone that marginalized communities can marginalize other communities and sometimes the answer to 'what can I do better?' has actually been 'stop breathing my air'.
Why am I even mentally drafting the rhetorical creep awareness thread I was considering if citing membership of the speaker in a single marginalized group means you can't say 'actually, no, it offends you that (other marginalized group) is allowed here, but that isn't changing'?
Half the active problem of rhetorical creep I've personally seen is the rad fem weaponization of teenage lesbians just out of the closet who get their information from sources that claim anyone saying otherwise is lesbophic.
Read 14 tweets
I have an #Exvangelical thread, but it requires some background info: Every day, people message me about ADHD. It's the most common mental illness AND the most debilitating of the "outpatient" mental illnesses. MAJOR breakthroughs have been made in treating & understanding this
illness, but they haven't filtered into the regular family medical practices yet. There's also a SHIT-TON of online misinformation. People who would exploit desperate families for $$, have agendas of their own, etc
As someone who DAILY lives in this space, w/this disorder, AND
5 other people who have it, AND is a writer w/experience breaking complex concepts down into digestible chunks, AND who won a fucking "favorite Adult ADHD blog" award from THE national magazine on ADHD for laypeople, (ADDitude) and who has been trained and mentored by THE best
Read 28 tweets
I just want to say regarding the quoted tweet that I've read the replies and thought about the criticisms. While most responders seem to agree with my overall take, "happiness" is a complex thing to define, and I want to be careful not to speak over or for others.
The problems with self-reported data are well known among social scientists, and cognitive dissonance is a very real issue, but it's important to be nuanced. As for me, I'm an #Exvangelical with two parents who work in ministry. I did live the pressure to project happiness.
Fwiw and while YMMV, I'm pretty sure the pervasive evangelical pressure to project happiness or joy falls disproportionately on women, kids (probably above all those being homeschooled but not exclusively), and people who have family members in ministry. #Exvangelical
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If the words "I am compelled to speak the truth to you" are followed by:

"You are in sin."
"You are going to hell."
"You are grieving God."
"Your life will be beset with struggles if you reject God"
"God will never allow you to get away with these choices against him.".....
"You wouldn't be suffering from mental and physical health issues if you would come back to God."
"Your orientation will send you to hell."
"Loving that person will send you to hell."
"Accepting your children's orientation and gender will send them to hell."
"Your gender or gender presentation will send you to hell."
"Your kids will grow up to be bad people if you don't raise them in the church. You're sending them to hell."
"You are inviting demons into your home."
"You are displeasing to God and will be punished.".....
Read 11 tweets
1. Thanks for this thread, @jonrog1. For those interested in learning more and amplifying #Exvangelical work exposing the theocratic threat, check out #ExposeChristianSchools and #ExposeChristianHomeschooling. In addition to @PPact, an org that deserves support is @ResponsibleHS.
@jonrog1 @PPact @ResponsibleHS 2. For more on how homeschooling is used by the Christian Right to indoctrinate kids into extremism and what can be done about that, see my latest article:…

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews #ExposeChristianSchools #ExposeChristianHomeschooling #ExForcedBirth
@jonrog1 @PPact @ResponsibleHS 3. And if you're interested in the role played by evangelical colleges and universities in incubating future culture warriors, as well as resistance happening within those colleges, see this expose I did for @PRAEyesRight…

#ExposeChristianSchools #Resist
Read 6 tweets
1) Although this thread isn't tagged with the #Exvangelical hash, its sounds the same warnings.
2) I've been following @C_Stroop and other recently because a) I had no idea there was such a large, traumatized community out there struggling to recover and support each other and b) the people who were inside can best explain this moment.
3) Also worth following the #ExForcedBirth hash right now.
Read 5 tweets
0. Redoing earlier thread as after discussion with @AngryBlackLady, @memnosoncos, and others I’ve agreed that while the original hashtag speaks to earlier self-definition, it’s better to use #ExForcedBirth as a clear rejection of the false “pro-life” framing.

1. When you grow up evangelical, you have the message that “abortion is murder” and “a literal holocaust” pounded into your head from early childhood. For many in the #Exvangelical community, men and women, these extremist lies can be very hard to shake.

#ExForcedBirth #Resist
2. Even the brilliant @rachelheldevans, who recently died far too young, could only bring herself to argue against single-issue voting on abortion and that it was hardly pro-life to support so many inhumane policies while being anti-choice…

Read 17 tweets

Five or more years ago, when I was an EC missionary, I came across a web site that offered a quiz to see how much one truly knew about reproduction, abortion, etc... I arrogantly started the quiz.


I wish I could find this resource again, but haven't been able to. The short of it is that the results showed me that if I truly believed that life began at conception, I should be as horrified about rate of spontaneous natural abortion as I was about abortion.

It showed me that my motivations were misguided, and that I wasn't nearly as informed as I considered myself to be about the science of reproduction. It made my question how valuable life was if spontaneous abortion was such a normal and frequent part of the process.
Read 6 tweets
So when are we starting that revolution anyway?
I don't know, I feel pretty powerless a lot of the time -- I can give money or show up at a march or argue with people on the Internet, but I'm one person, so what effect does any of that have?
There's this thread I started writing back in January -- I decided to write it out FIRST because it's kind of personal but then it became just like my essays, sitting in a document file forever, unfinished.
Read 89 tweets
1. I so appreciate this thread by @ToriGlass (#FF). I believe there is value in this #Exvangelical community we’re building as we work and grow through tensions. I hope we can give each other some grace and take a step back to consider the sources of conflicting trauma responses.
2. Of course, we need to actively work not to elevate white feelings over POC as we do so. We white exvies need to be less fragile about being called out. And we need to recognize how the history of colonialism and white supremacism has given rise to different theologies.
3. Since #Exvangelical really began to become a thing, I and others, like @ToriGlass and @cindy_w_brandt and @brchastain, have advocated for the building of bridges between exvies who leave toxic religion for no religion, and exvies who leave for healthy or better religion.
Read 22 tweets
A Thread:

Resources for White #Exvangelical to deconstruct the Internalized White Supremacy we were implicitly and explicitly indoctrinated into.
#EmptyThePews #ChristianAltFacts #ChristianAltHstory.
Start here with a test of your implicit biases.…
If you were a cop on the beat were your reflex decisions result in outcomes different than what we have seen in the past?
Deconstructing White Supremacy is as hard, if not harder, than deconstructing other aspects of our indoctrination. This book goes in depth and helps prepare you for the deep work you will undertake.
Read 9 tweets
Do you like to watch other people having sex for your own personal pleasure?

Whatever the answer (@DavidPMurray can only imagine one response), the CMA wants you to know that he doesn't want his daughter to marry an unrepentant masturbator.
Holding a Ph.D. in Russian history from Stanford University, Chris Stroop is an #Exvangelical scholar and writer whose very odd combination of academic expertise and lived experience led to an increasingly visible presence on Twitter from the time of the 2016 election cycle.
Stroop has published peer-reviewed academic research, policy analysis, and popular articles and commentary about the Christian Right, Russian conservatism, and the connections between Putinist Russia and the contemporary far Right in Europe and the United States.
Read 76 tweets
1. #TeacherAppreciationWeek is complicated for me. Not in the abstract--U.S. teachers are woefully undervalued--but on a personal level as an alum of right-wing evangelical Christian schools.

I started the hashtag #ExposeChristianSchools b/c these schools have major issues.
2. In parts of America public schools often fail to be this, but schools should be places where kids learn to be good citizens of a democracy, a prerequisite for which is acceptance of pluralism. Christian schools explicitly teach rejection of pluralism:…
3. I went to Christian schools from 1st through half of sixth grade, then 7th through 12th. Mine were of the more "rigorous" kind. They teach creationism but still want high SAT scores and high college placement rates; they embrace Billy Graham rather than find him "too liberal."
Read 28 tweets
Hello, #Exvangelical fam. What a fucking week it has been. Are you okay? Are you holding up? It has been... a very sad and difficult time. I have been really grateful for everyone's presence this week as we lost one of our own way too soon. I love y'all a lot.
I decided I was going to do an Elisabeth Elliot thread tonight. I've been working on homework for 2 days straight and I'm tired and cranky but I also missed last week and was cranky about that too. So let's talk some shit about purity culture, I think #RHE would be down with that
As always, but ESPECIALLY this week, if you are not feeling up to this, please take care of yourself. I'm gonna dive into all kinds of nonsense. These threads will still be up later, or never. You're more important. Be very good to yourself, you are loved and needed.
Read 125 tweets
I used to tell people asking why I studied Russia that my interest sprang from volunteering with "an international program" in a Russian summer camp.

The "program" was an evangelical short-term youth mission trip. 20 years out I'm spilling the beans in my essay in this anthology
In the tweets below, I'll give you a little taste of my essay, "Now Defunct: Confessions of a Former Short-Term American Youth Missionary to Russia." Meanwhile, click on the link here to sign up to get a free excerpt from the anthology and pre-order info:…
And now your promised teaser from "Now Defunct":

"I picked up the handset of the old-fashioned telephone and said, as we did in the days before smartphones, 'Hello?'

“'Khello,' I heard back, in heavily accented English. 'I am beautiful gir-rel. You want massage? Sex massage?'”
Read 14 tweets
The Trump Administration’s ‘religious exception’ guidance for medical professionals working with LGBTQ people is yet another example of how the GOP is in thrall to Religious Right authoritarians.
The authoritarianism is inherent in its structure: strict religious dogma overrides the moral imperative to provide patients of all sexual orientations or gender identities with empathic care.
Supporters of this kind of policy will claim that LGBTQ people can just go elsewhere, remain closeted or suppress their gender/sexuality to receive services, but that kind of thinking indicates a profound lack of empathy.
Read 13 tweets

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