Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #christianaltfacts

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Let me extend a friendly welcome to all you new followers who found me via my latest article, "Authoritarian Christians are Deliberately Undermining the Public Health Response to Coronavirus"

conversationalist.org/2020/03/27/aut…

Here's a thread about what I do with some recent highlights
In December of last year, my and @laureneoneal's Empty the Pews: Stories of Leaving the Church, an anthology of personal essays by former evangelicals, Catholics, and Mormons, was published. This is my first published book project:

amazon.com/Empty-Pews-Sto…
One hope I have for the book is that it will help to secure a place in the elite public sphere for leavers from high-demand religions. Our "pundit class" and government have been coddling even authoritarian Christians for far too long. Former fundamentalists have key insights.
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Hear ye, hear ye, O people of Twitter! The #WarOnChristmas never sleeps, and—well tbh that’s a terrible idea; get plenty of rest.

But be vigilant! It’s December 14; there are 11 persecuting days left till Christmas. Tell someone who watches FOX “Happy holidays!”

WHILE YOU CAN
As usual, in my thread building up to today’s

#WarOnChristmasAdventCalendar

big reveal, I will make a few comments on the significance of today’s date, December 14.

Today marks some quite dark anniversaries, including the horrific #SandyHook7yrsLater elementary school shooting
I want to step out of character for a moment and pause to remember the Sandy Hook victims and their families, who have been further victimized by Trump-loving bully and professional grifter Alex Jones, who spread vicious conspiracy theories about the shooting.
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Ok #WarOnChristmas freedom fighters, there are 17 persecuting days left till Christmas!

December 8 is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the WTAF theology of which was made Catholic dogma by papal bull(sh*t) only in 1854.

So, what’s behind today’s advent calendar door?
As one disturbingly gross and saccharine #ChristianAltFacts story deserves another, behind the little #WarOnChristmasAdventCalendar door for Dec. 8 we find:

...

...

...

...

The completely made up evangelical story of the candy cane!
Did you know that the candy cane is, redundantly, made of candy because Jesus’s “love grows sweeter every day?”

Neither did I, because that’s completely made up nonsense!

Also, it can’t be BOTH a shepherd’s crook AND a letter J, Beverly. I mean come on 🙄🤦‍♀️🙄🤦‍♀️

#EmptyThePews
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I was a small child in the late Cold War. I grew up with the idea that Russia would be “Magog” in the Battle of Armageddon.

The rise of a right-wing “traditional values” Russia changed the equation. You’re right about the embassy.

religiondispatches.org/taking-evangel…

#EmptyThePews #Resist
To clarify, by “grew up with,” I don’t mean that anyone taught me Hal Lindsey’s scheme as “the gospel truth,” so to speak. I just mean his views about Russia were popular and discussed idea in my milieu.

#ChristianAltFacts #EmptyThePews
*Whoops, “idea” shouldn’t be in there
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1. It’s easy to dismiss bills so extreme they won’t pass even in Ohio, but dismissal is the wrong approach. This bill, which prescribed the death penalty for the made up “crime” of “aggravated abortion murder,” has 19 co-sponsors in a state House of 99 members.

#EmptyThePews
2. It also requires doctors to perform a medically impossible procedure. And 1/5 of Ohio’s state representatives are sponsors.

Here’s why it matters that a bill this extreme has this much backing and is generating this much press: it shifts the Overton window.

#FridayThoughts
3. The Overton window is a technical term used by political scientists to refer to what is currently within the realm of political possibility. Things that fall outside it are not part of serious political and social discourse and so have no real possibility of becoming policy.
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I'm excited to be a part of this! NYC, November 16.

What @AmishFoundation is doing to fight for the right of U.S. children to a decent education, uninhibited by the ideological biases of radical religious parents, is so important.

#WednesdayThoughts #EmptyThePews
@AmishFoundation Except for kindergarten and half of sixth grade, I was subjected to a far-right, indoctrinating Christian school elementary and secondary education. Young earth creationism. Right-wing politics being the only way to be Christian. Yet I got the elite version, so could get out.
@AmishFoundation That is, I had the intellectual skills necessary to test well, to excel in college at Ball State, and, with my high GPA and record of awards and achievements there, to go on to graduate school at Stanford. Yet I'm still unpacking the trauma from my #ChristianAltFacts education.
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Brilliant expose of so much only-in-America idiocy: backstabbing Christian profiteers fighting over property, radical homeschooling, violent creationist politicians...

I’ve been to The Creation Museum. Threads here:



#TuesdayThoughts #ChristianAltFacts
“Among the handful of countries where the vast majority of dinosaur fossils have been discovered, the United States is the only one where such bones, when found on private property, belong to the landowner, rather than to the government.”
“‘“It is this legal structure that allows creationists to dig dinosaurs and pretend to be paleontologists,’ Kirk Johnson explained. By keeping the land in the hands of young-Earth creationists, Meadows would insure that they could tell the story of any fossils found there.”
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1. Per @ThePlumLineGS, "Trump has crossed over into a form of autocratic disinformation that is designed to render fact-based deliberation and argument impossible."

He's right. This is a deliberate authoritarian strategy.

washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/…

#SaturdayThoughts
@ThePlumLineGS 2. Cultivating distrust of institutions might seem like a bad idea for someone who wants to govern, but it's quite effective if your goal is personal rule based on personal loyalty. The U.S. Right has tellingly sown distrust in the very possibility of good governance for decades.
@ThePlumLineGS 3. Disinformation combined with manipulative and corrupt means of gaining the personal loyalty of a population is an insidiously effective means of controlling people. I've laid out detailed thoughts on why alternative facts work for authoritarians here:

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I'm in a bit of an ornery mood, so I'm gonna comment on this Federalist article in favor of Christian nationalism (h/t @J_MarieWheaton) with all the seriousness it deserves.

Obvs anyone posing for a "professional" picture with hair like the author's is a super serious person. 😏
@J_MarieWheaton And clearly there's no danger of a Lutheran dudebro who literally named his blog "The 96th Thesis" taking himself too seriously amirite.

Clearly we're dealing with someone who is thoroughly grounded in reality and has reached the very pinnacle of human reasonableness. 🙃
@J_MarieWheaton Our super reasonable hero Matthew begins his screed--sorry, I meant to say his impeccably argued commentary--by clutching pearls over "a gaggle" of Christians signing the Christians against Christian Nationalism statement (on which, read salon.com/2019/08/10/a-g…). Sounds objective
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More classic, and pernicious, #ChristianAltFacts. This is what a right-wing jeremiad looks like. The rhetoric of this genre serves to uphold white supremacist patriarchy.

#EmptyThePews #WhiteChurchQuiet #TuesdayThoughts
And take note of this:

“He specifically called out Beto O'Rourke for calling the president racist, questioning how ‘someone who has repeatedly denied being racist can be an 'open, avowed racist.'"

Because to a white evangelical, the only way to be racist is to say “I’m racist.”
And yet Huckabee’s still has the gall to blithely assert that skin color doesn’t matter practically in the same breath.

While coming with all the attendant problems of a “color blind” approach to racism, this is beyond disingenuous. Talk about having your cake and eating it too
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Thread on young earth creationism.

For more on this topic see also my thread about the fundie YEC children’s book Dinosaurs: Those Terrible Lizards, a “masterpiece” by Duane T. Gish that I grew up with:



#EmptyThePews
See also the recent threads by my friend @QuiverfullTwee1 and myself relating observations and documentation (pictures, video) from our recent visit to The Creation Museum and Ark Encounter with @julieingersoll:

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1. Alright, people of Twitter, I've waited long enough to get back to documenting my recent trip with @QuiverfullTwee1 and @julieingersoll to Answers in Genesis's Creation Museum and Ark Encounter. So return with me, if you will, into the bizarro world of #TheJesusZone.
@QuiverfullTwee1 @julieingersoll 2. Before leaving things off last time, I laid out The Creation Museum's reductive, Christian supremacist approach to history, which it sums up, like a good sermon outline, in "7 C's":



#FridayThoughts
@QuiverfullTwee1 @julieingersoll 3. If you're interested in how these fundagelical roadside attractions with their #ChristianAltFacts embody conservative, mostly white evangelical authoritarian ideology, see also my friend @QuiverfullTwee1's threads (#FF) on their representation of women

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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.

#Exvangelical
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

rachelheldevans.com/blog/pro-life-…

#ExForcedBirth
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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.
implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takea…
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.

a.co/9xgDVaq
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1. This is key to the whole problem of fundamentalism’s false promises of impossible shortcuts. Conversion is supposed to mean radical transformation. In the moment, it can feel like that. As a “new creation,” you are an instant “good person.” Right?

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews
2. While a conversion or deconversion experience may represent a culmination of a process of change, often it’s just a particularly emotional moment. The problem comes when you become invested in the status of being transformed, rather than the process. Then you get defensive.
3. And then you can easily devolve into the realm of denial, deflection, #ChristianAltFacts. Because there is a lot of anxiety attached to maintaining that status of transformed “good person.” To question that status may be to question your salvation. It’s emotionally fraught.
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1. Attention people of Twitter, ladies, dudes, and enbys, children of all ages (ok actually not for kids)! Embark with me on a journey into a bizarre parallel world often hidden in plain sight, a dark dimension whose denizens seek to transform our own. Let us enter: #TheJesusZone
2. This is going to be a primary-source-based thread focusing on the evangelical children's book Dinosaurs: Those Terrible Lizards, by creationist Duane T. Gish, who got a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Berkeley in 1953 and died in 2013. But before I dive into it, some background.
3. Most of my threads I write more or less spontaneously from ideas I've worked out in my head to varying degrees. This one I've actually been working on, on and off, for weeks. Taking pictures of the book and organizing them, reading up on the history of creationism in the U.S.
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1. While there hasn’t been much recent media attention to the #ExposeChristianSchools hashtag that went viral in January, the discussion continues, along with #ExposeChristianHomeschooling and threads on primary sources. I want to share some highlights and ideas in this thread.
2. Why do Christian schools need exposing? Short answer: the Christian Right has radicalized the GOP and is in power. It is the single greatest threat to democracy and human rights in America today. And private schools and homeschooling are part of its long-term plan.
3. To understand how Christian Reconstructioists/Dominionists played and play an active role in creating evangelical school and homeschooling curricula as a means of radicalizing children and mobilizing them to impose theocracy, read @julieingersoll's book Building God's Kingdom.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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
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@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
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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…
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1/ For those who might be interested, here's a recap of my some of my 2018 threads courtesy of @threadreaderapp. This one was a discussion on the problems concerning "the" Bible as the inerrant word of God. This clearly falls under #ChristianAltFacts.

threadreaderapp.com/thread/1006907…
2/ This other thread dealt with the social practice of "speaking in tongues," and the problems related to the interpretation of Acts 2; a text which should be understood as an etiological narrative.

threadreaderapp.com/thread/1013205…
3/ Upon the recommendation of @4GWDOTDOTDOT, I read and gave a short assessment of a study done by Francesca Tripodi entitled, “Searching for Alternate Facts: Analyzing Scriptural Inference in Conservative News Practices.” Here were some of my thoughts.

threadreaderapp.com/thread/1026922…
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