Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #churchtoo

Most recents (24)

Now, the "why" question here always haunts me. Like yeah power is a hell of a drug & men throughout history have done horrifying shit to hold onto it but in the SBC the power is so closely tied to being able to abuse women & children & protect those that do #ChurchToo #SBC23
I don't think that every denomination where anyone has ever been sexually abused is like this, but the more I study the SBC specifically the more that it looks less like a conglomeration of churches to me and more like a coverup ring for sexually violent men #ChurchToo #SBC23
I do not know why else you would be SO desperate to hold onto the power to sexually abuse others with impunity (or enable literally HUNDREDS of other men to do so) to the point that women pastors are your worst fear unless you had a very vested interest #ChurchToo #SBC23
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There will be some that call the #sbc23 decision to "disfellowship" a church for having women in pastoral leadership "hypocritical" given their rampant #churchtoo sexual abuse crisis perpetrated mainly by men in pastoral leadership against women & children, BUT. Here's the thing:
It's actually not hypocritical at all, and I think calling it hypocritical is generous and gives the vile, queerphobic, white supremacist, p*dophilia protecting leadership of the SBC WAYYY too much credit, as if it's simply a problem of ideological consistency. #SBC23 #ChurchToo
It's not hypocritical: it is both intentionally supremacist & perfectly in line with the SBC's theology of sexuality, gender, and ecclesial authority. Complementarianism is a sexually violent theology. Anti-LGBTQ+ theology is sexually violent theology. #ChurchToo #SBC23
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If the words "purity culture" came out of Bart Barbers mouth I will yeet myself in to the sun lol 😂 #ChurchToo #SBCtoo #SBC23
I'm actually interested in this though because some moderate/conserv Christian spaces have started being like "we are NOT promoting purity culture, we're just teaching the biblical view that sex is for marriage between a cishet man & cishet woman" which is, ahem, purity culture
But if others are actively and gladly accepting the banner of "purity culture" by name, my innate morbid curiosity really wants to look at more of that. Similar to The G*spel C*alition saying a while back they want to promote a "positive culture of purity" which is almost that
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Here's the thing, though, & it should be 🚩🚨. Rez & presumably other churches w/in UMD *do* require members agree to obey clergy in their extraordinarily unconventional "New Member Covenant."

Full document here, but I will highlight multiple things…🧵⬇️
It opens with a commitment to obey and support those in spiritual authority, particularly the bishop and clergy.

Nowhere in this document does it discuss informed methods of issuing a complaint about clergy, only a members responsibility to comply. Image
Concerns with leaders are to be kept private, not even to be discussed with friends or other leaders in the church.

Instead, the concerned layperson is to attempt to privately confront the leader, something that disregards power dynamics & safeguarding best practices. Image
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“Hillsong is the last church that I will ever go to this side of heaven.”

“I don’t consider myself a Christian anymore.”

“I’m a really happy atheist.”

“It’s been 4 years now since I stepped in a church.”

(Quotes from @hulu #secretsofhillsong )

Spiritual abuse has real consequences: people no longer can step foot in places of worship.

I’m not debating whether or not ppl should retain faith in the church after abuse.

I’m not shaming anyone for leaving the faith.

When a person’s reaction to being spiritually abused is to:

Leave church
Leave the faith
Take a break from church
Re-evaluate & change theological beliefs

The very communities who abused them will say,

“See? They were never sincere anyway…” to justify the harm. 3/x
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It's a very valid feeling to feel lost in the Christian world looking at the harm in just about every denomination or group.

Beware of those who think that their group is instantly safe/inherently better.
But I also think there are healthy people and healthy versions of every kind of Christianity there is. Genuine advocates who take a strong stand against abuse, for example.

Sometimes what we need is a community of people we know we can trust & walk with.
I do believe that it is God's work exposing sin in the church. Those who attack whistle blowers are resisting the conviction of God.

I've seen a lot of #acnatoo #sbctoo #pcatoo & #churchtoo on Christian Twitter & have been encouraged by every kind of Christian who's speaking up.
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The good news about Christian men.

1/"How much do Christians actually live out the model of servant leadership in practice? If you read critics writing about Christian men, you would think they are more likely than other men to commit domestic abuse and violence. For instance:
2/• Conservative Protestant gender ideology “can clearly lead to abuse, both physical and emotional.” (TV news journalist Cokie Roberts)
• “It is no secret that abuse is prevalent in conservative churches that embrace headship theory.” (Adventist Today)
3/• “At its core, complementarian theology is one of inequality and hierarchy. And inequality breeds abuse.” (The Huffington Post)
• The theology of male headship “feeds the rape culture that we see permeating American Christianity today.” (co-founder of #ChurchToo)
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🧵TW: abuse. #metoo #Awareness This was the last photo ever taken of my family before my divorce. We had already split up, but you wouldn’t know it to look at us. It was Easter. We went to Church, laughed, smiled & celebrated. I never took off that cardigan & nobody asked why.
About a year later my youngest came home from his dads with bruises around his neck. The marks were identical to the ones I used to hide on my arms and thighs and abdomen. I took him to the hospital to document it and they called CPS.
CPS came to my house to interview all the children separately. Afterwards, the woman sat down with me alone in my apartment living room. She praised me for being strong enough to get away from such an abusive man, she said she knew a lot of women never could find that strength.
Read 12 tweets
"Responsibility, compliance, accountability & transparency...These are principles that ANY church bound to uphold." - @hans_zollner on resigning from Pope's clergy abuse commission

This is what integrity looks like. 1/ #RCCAbuse #SBCtoo…]
2/ Previously, abuse survivor Marie Collins resigned from the commission, saying "the body was under-resourced & faced fierce resistance within high echelons of the church."

Sound familiar? #SBCtoo #RCCAbuse #ChurchToo…
3/ Here's the whole of the resignation letter by @hans_zollner. There are lessons to be gleaned. "The protection of children & vulnerable persons must be at the heart..." #ChurchToo #SBCtoo #RCCAbuse
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🧵🧵For years, Jared Woodfill has led extreme anti-gay campaigns in Texas, comparing LGBTQ people to child molesters.

And for years, he's known of child sex abuse claims against his longtime law partner and Southern Baptist leader Paul Pressler.…
Under oath last month, Woodfill said he was told in 2004 that Pressler sexually abused a minor - claims that were made during mediation of an assault lawsuit against Pressler that Woodfill quietly settled for $450,000.…
Despite that, Woodfill denied any knowledge of Pressler's behavior in 2016, when a young attorney told him Pressler told him "lewd stories" about being naked with men before inviting him to skinny-dip.…
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As you can see what a #LiarsGonnaLie really looks like.

As we know, #IPCC aka @policeconduct have NEVER EVER taken my complaint on board that was made on the 5/2/2015 but it has only ever been on my twin sisters #complaint.

As for the #Statement surrounding #socialmediastrategy Image
and not having anything to do with my @TwitterCreators @FBoversight accounts removed, but my @Dropbox is ok.

well let me just remind you fish face after you decided you had nothing better to do but to setup your @TwitterSupport account in the name of #misery @realerthanm0st
but for the @FACTukorg you have shit for brains as all in the @metpoliceuk did not realise if she used the same screenshot sent to her colleges when using @the_tpa to fuckin #Gaslighting me you decided to change the name to TONI LOVELL and changed the profile pic to the screen ImageImageImage
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When I wanted to go public with my story of #spiritualabuse & #psychologicalabuse at the hands of Andy Wood & Filipe Santos at Echo church in San Jose, CA, I knew immediately I wanted to speak to @reachjulieroys first. I had 4 major newspaper reporters reaching out. Julie 🧵
is well-versed in the patterns of the evangelical industrial complex’s darkness well-hidden behind the curtain with good people who are silent while Good Old Boys scratch each others’ backs at the expense of abuse survivors being discredited and silenced. Julie says, “you have 🧵
publishing, you have broadcasting, you have the megachurches, you have the conferences, you have these huge celebrities who are making a lot of money…And so whenever you have money involved, whenever you have power involved, unfortunately there’s protection, there’s sin, 🧵
Read 5 tweets
#BREAKING The Department of Justice is investigating the Southern Baptist Convention over its handling of sex abuses, months after a third-party report that was prompted by 2019 reporting by the @HoustonChron

Story via me @John_Tedesco #SBCtoo #ChurchToo…
@HoustonChron @John_Tedesco The DOJ investigation follows a bombshell report from May, in which a third-party found that top SBC officials had for two decades intimidated abuse survivors and fought reforms that they privately said would help - but could cost $$ in lawsuits #SBCtoo…
That report was prompted by Abuse of Faith, a 2019 investigation by @HoustonChron & @ExpressNews that detailed hundreds of criminal convictions by Southern Baptist pastors + decades of inaction by top leaders

They left behind more than 700 victims #SBCtoo…
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A thread I’ve been sitting on for months.

I believe a person’s abuse story is theirs to tell. But some victims of abuse are no longer with us to share theirs.

This is one of those stories:

There was a POC (let’s call him “Joe”) who was a member at our former church. 1/
It may be important to state that there were very few POC at our church & they were some of the only ones who voted “no” on excommunicating us). 2/
Joe was mentally ill & could at times be awkward interpersonally.

Lead pastor once scolded my husband & other elders saying “you spend too much time with Joe. He can’t be too dependent on you.” 3/
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Church leaders: this is 💯 how it comes across when you refuse to listen to survivors, advocates & others who challenge your chosen response path. Don’t like the implication? Choose humility. Listen to, learn from, & respond to what your critics are saying. #churchtoo #acnatoo
If there is another reason @The_ACNA continues to ignore public critiques, resignations & stories of injury (while muffling social media), I’d love to hear it. B/c otherwise it looks like abandoning the injured b/c making repairs would require leaders to admit mistakes & change.
I will never understand how any spiritual leader thinks simply *not replying* to emails, phone calls, public letters of resignation, survivors begging for response is a legitimate pastoral/professional option.
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Church historians take note!!!
PCA history was made, when, in September 2016, @forejessica painted a dress with all the names her presbytery clerk had called her and wore it to a presbytery meeting.

#ChurchToo #PCAtoo…
Priot to this, in April, @JessicaForeGA had attended another presbytery meeting to which she carried a protest sign reading "Justice not Abuse". She would later take this to worship & lay it at her feet in lament, an act her fellow congregants used as evidence of her impropriety.
Six yrs later, the Ad Interim Committee on Domestic Abuse & Sexual Assault delivered its report. Jessica Fore was named at #PCAGA but appears nowhere in the written report, a glaringly disrespectful omission.
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I thought it was just my incredibly niche timeline of Southern Baptists thrown together with Anglicans ... but apparently not. David and Bathsheba are trending. A few points that I'm not hearing clearly enough: a 🧵1/ Image
This will be a *short* sermon, since we're on Twitter and that's how things work. If you want the *long* version, since some of you clearly prefer that, here's a link:… 2/
The story of David and Bathsheba has a lot of gaps. It's brilliantly told narrative, meant to characterize David and the kind of king he is. Some of its genius requires us to draw conclusions based on what we already know. 3/
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🔔NEW story from me:

Evangelist @Franklin_Graham pushed a domestic abuse victim to return to her husband.

He asked whether she was cheating on her husband.

“It was a good question to ask,” Graham told me. “I would’ve asked it again.”…
I have been following @naghmehspanahi for a long time, watching how she once vigorously fought for her then-husband's release from an Iranian prison.

When she disclosed allegations of her abuse, I wanted to know--how was she treated behind doors by religious leaders?
Evangelicals have been having a reckoning around abuse.

I once asked major Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson about his advice to persuade an abused woman to go back to her husband. Like Graham, he said he would do it again:…

#churchtoo #sbctoo
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I would like to say something to evangelical Christians who have platforms.

Be brave. Have courage. Speak up.

It is all too easy, once we have platforms, to put our effort into maintaining those platforms.

They took time to build! Often our livelihood depends on them.
And the evangelical world is a small one. If we want endorsements for our books; invitations to conferences; speaking opportunities--then we can't afford to tick people off.

We need to keep everyone happy so that we can keep what we have.
When one of our colleagues or friends with a platform does something wrong--teaches something harmful; ignores abuse; or even perpetrates abuse--we stay silent.

We may speak up "behind the scenes", telling ourselves, "this is the kingdom way." But that's it.
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#PCA please hear us. Women serving in the church isn't just about women feeling appreciated and the church body benefitting from our gifts (though it isn't less than that). This week, there is one very important aspect I want you to think about: (cont)
The lack of visible female leadership in the church impacts how all members think about women. If women are weak, easily deceived, bad at theology and logic, and always trying to usurp authority it's no wonder they aren't believed when they report abuse to men in charge. (cont)
It's no wonder that abusive men can convince entire congregations that their victim(s) are crazy, irrational, unbalanced, unreliable, even dangerous. Because that isn't a far cry from how women are spoken about *from the pulpit* in some churches.
Read 5 tweets
TW // Sexual Abuse, church trauma

There’s a certain way that some activists and leaders in the #SBCtoo and #churchtoo circles have responded the Guidepost report that ultimately reinforces patricarchical white supremacy and ignores many victims.
It’s often said the patriarchy harms everyone, including the men who benefit from it. Many boys and men who have been sexually abused in churches often don’t feel safe to come forward precisely because of the way patriarchy manifests.
Take the convergence of patriarchy and homophobia. We are trained to hate LGBTQIA people in white Christian spaces. Some men just straight up don’t come forward because they’re afraid of being labeled as gay, or that they tempted some pastor into “homosexual sins.”
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Okay, so the report on abuse in the #SBC is out now.
What the fuck is this supposed to do?
Yeah, there are eyes on the org now, but eyes have been on the Catholic church for the same thing for, what, 50 years? How many got real justice there? #churchtoo
My real fear is that it’s just going to make these predators more dangerous cause they’ll be more afraid of getting caught. My fear is that instead of survivors, we’ll see actual corpses in the pews. #SBCtoo #churchtoo
And what about people like me, who couldn’t even admit they were abused until almost two decades after the fact, and has no concrete evidence to get justice in a court?
What the fuck are we supposed to do? #SBCtoo #churchtoo
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#BREAKING An explosive 400pg investigation finds Southern Baptist leaders silenced/disparaged abuse survivors, ignored calls for policies & dismissed reforms that might cost the SBC money in lawsuits. #SBCtoo

Much more to come in thread below:…
The historic report details how a small, insular and influential group of leaders “singularly focused on avoiding liability for the SBC to the exclusion of other" abuse preventions #SBCtoo #churchtoo

Some leaders also kept a private database of offenders…
BIG NEWS: A former president of the Southern Baptist Convention is accused of sexually assaulting a woman, weeks after his tenure as the faith group's leader ended. he allegations are included in a historic review of SBC leaders abuse responses #SBCtoo…
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If I can find the time, I'd like to write about the application of critiques of carceral feminism* to the over-reliance on church courts/processes to reckon w/ abusers. #ChurchToo

*“law-and-order responses to sexual and gendered
Carceral feminism ofc has a history in Christian thought, esp evangelical (ex. anti-trafficking laws of the late 90s)
This ties into radical libertarianism, w/its emphasis on the state as judge. Elizabeth Bernstein calls this "a drift from the welfare state to the carceral state"
So many times, I've seen church courts -as manifestations of status quo power structures - operate as mechanisms to distract from/neglect a critique of the theology/practices that fuel injustice & render women & minorities so vulnerable to racism, sexism, exploitation and abuse
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