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We are ex-evangelicals. If you are a corrupt, evangelical leader, you should fear us. We are here to shed light in all of the dark corners of your world. You have protected these dark spaces at great cost to us, to all of us. #EmptyThePews #Exvangelical @thelifeafterorg
The people who own the scars due to the protection of this darkness have found their voices, and we will expose your rot, your corruption, your filth, your lies.

Our screaming voices will not be silenced by people who are desperate to keep power and privilege.
We are here to seek justice. We will speak these truths boldly for ourselves and for the souls who have died in your war.

The LGBTQ+ community is full of your victims. They are told they are an abomination, and they believe this lie until it kills them.
#EmptyThePews
Read 19 tweets
What I am currently learning in my #churchtoo scenario is that the expected forgiveness @jdahlmd references is probably programmed in the minds of staff, leadership, ministry workers, and congregation members for decades. Their response was previously conditioned.
This is why there is such a visceral response when abuse is exposed, why the victim(s) is perceived as the enemy, the majority are unable to believe truth that the abuse happened, and the church system is more than willing to restore regardless of actual evidence of repentance.
If it is clergy, all of these responses are heightened to another level. As we wrongly elevate our Christian leaders to a place of idolatry, we become unable to biblically deal with them when they commit heinous abuses in the church. We protect the abuser, not the abused.
Read 7 tweets
1. The singular reason that I am on social media is to share empathetic, evidence-based information regarding sexual harm against children and adults. I have a particular interest in elite deviance in faith based communities - for several reasons. A thread.
2. 93% of incarnated sexual offenders self identify as religious or very religious. The very religious committed the most heinous crimes, with the highest number, and youngest victims (Abel & Harlow).
3. "I considered church people easy to fool... they have a trust that comes from being Christian... I think they want to believe in people. And because of that, you can easily convince, with or without convincing words."

- an interview with a sexual predator

#churchtoo
Read 7 tweets
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Buckle up bitches here's my thread on kavanaugh so first of all, trigger warnings abound. I'm gonna cuss, I'm gonna rage, I'm pissed and I'm on my 2nd glass of wine. I am cooking dinner rn so this will be intermittent.
OK SO FIRST

Kavanaugh is a Catholic. Kavanaugh is a practicing Catholic in Good Standing (he's been a eucharistic minister recently, which means you have to be in good standing w the Church.) The USCCB, the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, has refused to (c
act on excommunication for a rapist (yeah, sorry, I believe her, I believe Kavanaugh is a rapist, unfollow if you don't like it. come at me. I fucking dare you.)

The Pope hasn't issued a statement. The Catholic Church didn't sign the National Council of Churches' statement
Read 38 tweets
[1] Today on a friend's FB post, a fundigelical made the comment that it doesn't matter if it turns out the allegations are true and #Kavanaugh is confirmed, because "God's will be done." #EmptyThePews #ChurchToo
[2] That if he is confirmed, even if it turns out he is guilty, it's God's will and that is a good thing. That if he was a rapist or an abuser, it's okay, because God wanted him there. This is the sickness that rests within Christianity. #EmptythePews
[3] Her argument was that we could "Agree to disagree" that a rapist being in one of the top positions is a bad thing. These are the same people who claim to follow a loving, merciful, just God. But who throw women under the bus. #EmptyThePews
Read 7 tweets
When you are the first person to ever tell an abuse victim you believe them, and you see their reaction to finally being told they are believed; the weight of the call to “believe women” takes on new meaning and an infinitely greater sense of urgency. #metoo #churchtoo
And I say this as a black man. Fully aware that there are a multitude of men who are in prison and have been to prison because of false accusations. I fully recognize that o could go to prison cuz of my ethnicity based on a false charge. Stil, I generally believe women.
“But here’s the thing, despite the history of false sex crime claims against black men by white women, I still have no problem believing women when they tell me they’ve been sexually assaulted...”

kylejhoward.com/blog/i-believe…
Read 3 tweets
At least part of the reason Paige Patterson is back behind a pulpit with pews full of congregants happy to hear from him is this: the criteria relied upon to render many American Evangelical pastors "qualified" is more capitalistic than Christian, and Patterson still has capital.
In this system, men have more capital by virtue of being men, women have less capital by virtue of being women. Men who are pastors have more capital by virtue of being men who are pastors. Notice that I'm not saying more *responsibility.* I'm saying capital--worth, value, asset.
It's an economy arranged around power and money, number of seats filled, salvation decisions made, and a hundred other things that we can quibble over the virtue of all we want. If we end at a pastor's lack of integrity mattering not at all, hands over women's mouths, who cares.
Read 12 tweets
“Get over it; it was a long time ago.”

I’ve been told this, including by a man who raped me.

Do you understand that an unwanted and unexpected touch from a principal during a meeting to advocate for my daughter can make me jump, yelp, cuss, because my body can’t get over it?
“What could have happened 20 years ago that would still matter today.”

I’ve been told this, including by a man who trafficked me 20+ years ago.

Do you know trauma memories are stored differently, coming to life in nightmares in which it feels like it’s happening today?
“Why didn’t you tell anyone?”

I’ve been told this, delivered not as a question but as a statement about my credibility.

Do you know all the ways I tried to tell with fresh cuts on my arms & meals revisited in the toilet & extreme overachievement to earn something like worth?
Read 13 tweets
IDK who it was at @vicenews that greenlit whatever the hell I just watched but this is one of the most simultaneously laughable and dangerous things I've seen lately. This is evangelical ego-stroking at its finest.
First off, Matt Chandler was a "rising star" ten years ago and he's done nothing since then but put out a handful of shitty books regurgitating standard evangelical theology for people who already believe it
Second off, this was well before the #ChurchToo days or we would have had a field day with it, but please recall how "Village Church" tried to formally discipline a woman for annulling her marriage to a man who was caught with child pornography christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/may-we…
Read 7 tweets
I’m not a tiny bit surprised by what this includes. I am quite a bit surprised by how blatant it has become.

This is the one of the first solid, self-driven nails in the coffin of Evangelical Christianity‘s irrelevance.

statementonsocialjustice.com
The #SocialJusticeStatement is a hard line in the sand for any progressive, justice-oriented Christian who has attempted to work with evangelicals in the past. They will no longer accept your work. They will no longer accept your driving beliefs.
In the #SocialJusticeStatement evangelicals have successfully severed any practical ties to mainstream Christianity and their version of this religion will die with them. I’m flabbergasted and, in a way, a little relieved.
Read 24 tweets
I don’t care what you think about Ariana Grande, her music or her dress. This is wrong. That bishop’s hand should not be on her breast: I just saw this because I’ve been working and not watching
The bishop who officiated Aretha Franklin's funeral apologized to Ariana Grande for how he touched her onstage and a joke he made about her name. ajc.com/news/exclusive…
Read 3 tweets
Q: how did #purityculture fuck up my life?

A: how long you got? a thread..

#Exvangelical #ChurchToo

1/?
purity culture is the pervasive set of beliefs, structures, & actions that place a heavy focus on the virginity & "physical/spiritual/emotional purity" of women/girls

2/
it is heavily influenced by patriarchal beliefs such as male headship, women being unable to serve in the same capacity as men in the church (& sometimes world at large), complementarian gender roles (women are made to run the home, men to provide by working), etc

3/
Read 37 tweets
1. A few thoughts on Trump's dinner in honor of evangelicals, which I'll be discussing with @RickSmithShow later. Key context to consider is that fascism is concerned with defining who belongs to "the nation" or "the people," and who doesn't. Internal enemies (Others) are needed.
2. This dovetails neatly with the way in which fundamentalist believers police who does and does not count as a member of their religious confession. This is critical to understanding the Christian Right's politics of "religious freedom":

3. Indeed, as I have written elsewhere, "Fundamentalism is authoritarianism in microcosm, or on the margins. Fascism is essentially fundamentalism in power." The vast majority of white evangelicals are authoritarian and fundamentalist.

chrisstroop.com/2017/03/06/edu…

#EmptyThePews
Read 25 tweets
1/ Well for some evangelicals, gifting is far more important than character. My recent threads on sexual abuse cover-ups confirmed this fact. Someone recently shared with me the story of a twisted sexual misconduct cover-up in a French-speaking evangelical church here in Quebec.
2/ A couple of years ago, the lead pastor of an evangelical congregation instructed his entire leadership staff to cover-up the moral failings of another pastor. There were repeated cases of sexual misconduct, targeting vulnerable women in this church over the years.

#ChurchToo
3/ The pastor said that there was too much at stake (government funding programs, public reputation, influence on other churches tarnished, etc.). There are consequences in taking appropriate actions against leaders who have breached ethical standards.

Read 5 tweets
Anyone who knows or suspects child sexual abuse is mandated by TX law to report that information immediately to police. It does not matter if you think it’s “unfounded.” Law enforcement must be notified. @BobPearle @birchmanorg #eddiestruble #sbc18 #ChurchToo #csa @MissingKids
More: I received an email today from a former member @birchmanorg concerned about grooming & sexual abuse by #eddiestruble of teen boys from the church. Eddie is seeking to chair a committee for a homeschool association. Eddie has been reported in Houston for child sex abuse...
I was told by this person that she had talked to @swbts prof Charles Carpenter about these issues. Charles had allegedly witnessed an inappropriate sexual situation with Eddie and a teen boy from @birchmanorg. I emailed Charles and urged concern and a report to law enforcement.
Read 13 tweets
1/ Be it in the Catholic Church, the Jehovah's Witnesses or in the Evangelical movement, these church leaders don't treat cases of sexual abuse & misconduct as a crime but as a "sin". For them, "sin" needs to be dealt with internally, not in public. Abusers are thus protected.
2/ I was interviewed on the reasons behind sexual abuse cover-ups in the JWs last March on @CTVW5. Their prescription for "sin" is to adopt a "biblical worldview"; this prevents and discourages victims of abuse to alert the authorities.

#SexualAbuse

3/ I also provided some details concerning the reasoning behind the cover-up of sexual abuse and sexual misconduct cases in the Evangelical church this short @YouTube clip.

#SexualAbuse #ChurchToo

Read 6 tweets
Dear @BrianCHouston I attended @hillsongams recently and listened to a message in which you condemned anxiety as sinful. I walked away feeling hopeless, suicidal & broken. Your theology on mental health is toxic & irresponsible

@ToxicTheoDog #MentalHealthMatters #churchtoo
I hadn’t been to church in months because of how hurt I had been by the church and walking back in and hearing your message made me even more hopeless for the state of the global church and how toxic it has become #exevangelical
As someone that has struggled with with anxiety and panic attacks for the past 12 years your message felt like a punch in the gut and a condemnation for a debilitating illness I never asked for
Read 9 tweets
Thread:

A 21-year-old woman made an awesome video combatting legalism & telling girls that God values them.

In response, an army of middle aged men attacked her, calling her a sl@t, wh@re, & Jezebel all in the name of Jesus, often quoting Bible verses. This is that story.
My daughter made a video against the “men prefer debt-free virgins without tattoos.”

She was saying God loves us despite our pasts, and if people made mistakes (or, even worse, if they’re a sexual assault survivor), they should not be labelled unloveable.
Her tribe of young, female fans loved it. In the comments section, many shared personal stories of redemption and coming to know Jesus better. So many shared about shame they have carried that they are trying to surrender to God. So many also shared stories of sexual abuse.
Read 23 tweets
"The notion that there are large numbers of white evangelicals... who are not particularly religious is false."

Amazing how @TheAtlantic and @washingtonpost could get this so wrong! It's almost like they're influenced by confirmation bias!

pewforum.org/2018/07/05/how…

#EmptyThePews
It's also not as if anyone has been asserting otherwise using both data and experience. Not like #Exvangelical folks have been writing things all this time, such as:

chrisstroop.com/2017/05/03/abo…

Oh wait.

#EmptyThePews #WednesdayWisdom #ChurchToo #BeingExvangelical
Read 4 tweets
@neeratanden Neera please look at the attached graphic. None of this happening is a coincidence. Trump was part of a long-term plan of the GOP to seize power. People like me have been trying to get anyone to listen to us. People don't understand the dangers we truly face. 1/
@neeratanden This is the group behind this coup. Almost everyone in this regime is a member. Their goal is christofascist theocracy by 2020. Why do you think there's been a push to rewrite the Constitution? 2/
@neeratanden Please look at these documents from #CNP for Betsy DeVos for the department of education. They are Dominionists not Christians. There's a huge difference. 3/
Read 9 tweets
Story time, #emptythepews edition.

Warning: suicidal ideation, depression, conversion therapy, unsupportive parents, Christian fundamentalism.

You have been warned.

Story begins in the next tweet.
1: Once upon a time in the late 90s, there were common websites, basic cable and magazines that put out various hotlines you could call in a crisis. If not, there were search engines where you could find the numbers to places like BoysTown and the Suicide Prevention Hotline etc.
2: My parents were SUPER controlling. So much so, that we felt the control in every little way, and suspected other means of control that we did not verify until we had all moved out.
Raised in the QF/ATI-adjacent communities, you can guess at what levels there were,.
Read 94 tweets
1) A prediction: as the 2018 elections approach, we will see more and more mainstream news stories seeking to present the "other side" of U.S. evangelicalism. The wave is already cresting, and will only get larger.
2) Expect more stories about "good" evangelicals who beat guns into plowshares or help migrant workers. Expect to hear more about how "both sides" have points and there are "good people" on both sides — and how we need "balance" in covering evangelicals.
3) This, of course, how the media operate: they quite literally "mediate" — trying to convince us that there's some median path between one side or another. (Abolitionists were grand, but slavery, after all, had some things going for it.)
Read 13 tweets
1. I'd like to return to @ryanjbell's question of what it means to be #Exvangelical. I suspect that the vast majority of us identifying with the term would agree that there's much more to #BeingExvangelical than dropping a label. But what else do we share? Some thoughts.
2. First off, let me say that no one can speak for all ex-evangelicals, or exvies, as we have come to be known. We do have many overlapping experiences (that are alien and confusing to most Americans) deriving from what @brchastain calls our shared toxic sociocultural heritage.
3. That being said, while some great memoirs and other projects have been out there for years exposing the rot at the core of conservative/white evangelicalism, theocracy rising in the form of Trumpism has galvanized us into forming a more self-conscious and cohesive community.
Read 20 tweets
Complementarianism is like a potato peeler.
Stay with me here.
It's sold to Christians by its function: "This is how you obey God and have a good family."
We don't purchase potato peelers to do anything but peel things.

No one argues AGAINST "Comps think the best way to obey God and have a good family is by complementarianism."
[Content note: I'm about to use graphic violence to make a point. I'm a writer who likes Stephen King--sorry in advance.]

But, imagine if a husband took a potato peeler and started using it to peel a woman's skin. It's still serving it's function! It's peeling!
Read 13 tweets
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