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In Christian evangelical circles toxic hierarchy is VERY prevalent, and leads to “no talk” rules and other such isolating damaging tactics. You don’t know you’ve broken the rules until they are broke and you’re left hanging out to dry #exvangelical #SpiritualAbuse
*OR* you do already know the rules and you are terrified to speak up, speak out, and call for accountability because you *KNOW* the consequences. Which is usually oppressive isolation, shunning, and spiritual character assassination #exvangelical #SpiritualAbuse
AND if you DO speak out, claims that you are just being used by the devil to hold back the body of Christ and their “effectiveness” are spread. and then othering you/isolating you is easy #exvangelical #SpiritualAbuse
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I also RT requests for financial help fairly often. Unfortunately, many in the #Exvangelical community have needs and are hampered by lack of education, meaningless degrees, or lack of professional experience outside evangelical institutions. The social costs of leaving are high.
I don’t want or expect anyone who can’t afford it to give, and I don’t want anyone to feel obligated; even just RTing those requests is immensely helpful. It is my hope that someday we’ll have some kind of foundation to fund #Exvangelical projects and meet needs. #EmptyThePews
Sometimes crowdfunding is all that stands between an #Exvangelical and homelessness, or being forced to return to a toxic, abusive living situation. That’s the uncomfortable reality. I do make small donations myself to almost every fundraising request I amplify.
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September is a big month! I’m at the airport on my way Florida for The #Exvangelical Community: Paths, Projects, Prospects. In the last two days I’ve filed two pieces with editors, and this week I did podcasts w/ @NiceMangos and @kitchencultpod (@haettinger and @mxdarkwater). #FF
Next weekend I’ll be in Charleston, South Carolina to give a talk for @CHShumanists, and am very much looking forward to that! October is also pretty full!

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews #FridayFeeIing #FF
And next week I’ll also be doing a second podcast episode with @TwistedSisterds! It’ll be my second time on, and I sure had fun last time!

#Exvangelical #FF
Read 4 tweets
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A quick thread to progressive Christian's, from your neighborhood #exvangelical, #exChristian.

When we talk about faith, faith crisis, lack of faith, our journey, our pain, our experience, anything basically, please stop telling us to:
-keep the faith
-find the real Jesus
-have faith in God
-find a different church
Stop insisting:

-God is real
-When we find healing we can find the real God
-Your church/experience is better or unlike ours
Read 13 tweets
Okay all, let's talk about this real quick and it's implications for the so-called #SocialJusticeStatement .

Let's start by noting that the name "Stan Hannon" is a misspelling.

As can be seen at this link (…) his name is, in fact, Stan *Hannan* (thread)
First, let's talk about Stan's biography a bit.

The scant details given on the church website about his military service (…) along with what @JustinPetersMin has said give us enough info to research exactly what Stan's role was in the Rhodesian military.
Also, real quick shout out to @C_Stroop and @anxiousoracle for their work researching this.

@anxiousoracle did most of the legwork on the research front, and I am building off that work here.

Now, back to our friend Pastor Stan.
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1. In my view MA Governor Charlie Baker made the right choice by refusing to debate radical evangelical Scott Lively, but for the wrong reasons. The theocratic threat is real and must be exposed. He should have explained why he wouldn't debate Lively.

#EmptyThePews #Exvangelical
2. And I mean Baker should have explained in no uncertain terms why Christofascists like Lively should not be normalized. If he does not speak out strongly against the anti-transgender ballot initiative Question 3 now, that will be telling. #Exvangelical #EmptyThePews #Resist
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.@JosiahMHesse and his friends are undertaking a unique project to tour America and document both evangelical subculture and exvangelical stories. If you’re able, throw a few dollars their way.…

#EmptyThePews #SaturdayMotivation #BeingExvangelical
You can learn more about @JosiahMHesse’s brilliant work by reading this interview with him, the latest installment in my Ex-Evangelical Conversations series on #NotYourMissionField:…

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews
And if you will be joining us in Clearwater, FL on September 8 for The Exvangelical Community: Paths, Projects, Prospects, you’ll be able to meet @JosiahMHesse in person.

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"It is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven"

"Go give all you posses to the poor & come follow me"

Them: "He didn't mean MONEY, it's the LOVE of money"

Sounds like someone is trying to justify something
And: "... you cannot serve God and mammon..."

Plus, all those passages about people who started following Jesus and gave up great portions of their ill-gained wealth.

If you are wealthy because someone else is working minimum wage for you, you have ill-gained wealth. #FYI
Thanks for coming to my sermon. I don't need to pass the collection plate because I am not a grifter. #emptythepews #Evangelicals #Exvangelical
Read 3 tweets
"They will overturn everything that we've done and they'll do it quickly and violently, and violently. There's violence. When you look at Antifa and you look at some of these groups — these are violent people" #EmptyThePews #EvangelicalContributions…
If by "overturn everything that we've done quickly and violently" Trump means "use democratic means to restore the separation of church and state & end discrimination in the name of religious freedom," then yes, he is 100% correct.
Trump privately urges pastors to help him from the pulpit in the midterms, falsely claims he has eliminated the Johnson Amendment, which threatens religious organizations with the loss of tax-exempt status if they endorse or oppose political candidates
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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.…

Read 25 tweets
Who's ready to dive into that document I'd linked? #excatholic #exvangelical #emptythepews Buckle up kids, it's an eleven page doc and I'm uncaffeinated and sober. This'll be fun.… First, read this--Vigano is hardly a reliable source. I don’t say this to imply what’s said in the document (linked in previous thread) is untrue, but since the point of this is to provide context, I can’t ignore his status as an old guard, buddy of Benny.
To quote the article: "Viganò has been accused of putting a stop to “an independent investigation in 2014 into sexual and possible criminal misconduct by Archbishop John C. Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis.” He was also accused of ordering Church officials to
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This article about the profound influence of Virginia economist James McGill Buchanan (an intellectual descendant of John C. Calhoun) on ascendant American oligarchy is chilling. We’re already quite far down this destructive path.…

#SundayMorning #Resist
Buchanan’s extremely, self-servingly dark view of human nature, which “justified” his rejection of any search for the public good through politics, is a hallmark of authoritarianism. This is why Christian nationalism and oligarchy dovetail so comfortably.

Advocates for utopias, which in attempts at implementation always trend to authoritarianism, share a rejection of politics, a desire to be free from politics, even from freedom as most understand it. Libertarianism and theocracy are conservative utopias. #EmptyThePews #Resist
Read 11 tweets
The Exvangelical Community: Paths, Projects, Prospects, a roundtable and public discussion featuring me, @KEBrightbill, @brchastain, @Lily_Warrior, @WheelerWorkshop, and @julieingersoll is coming up on September 8! Please help spread the word to folks in Florida!

The poster attached to the above tweet is available in higher resolution if you'd like to pass it around digitally or hang it at your local coffee shop. Just shoot me a DM with an e-mail address to send it to. Thanks to @anxiousoracle for the design!
National news media will be present to cover the event, and we're also happy that @JosiahMHesse, author of an #Exvangelical psychological horror series (the second book of which has just been launched), will be there! Check out this interview with Josiah:…
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I'm excited to release the official poster for our September 8 roundtable, The #Exvangelical Community: Paths, Projects, Prospects. If you are in or near Tampa or St. Petersburg, Florida, please join us if you can, and help spread the word!

#EmptyThePews #TuesdayThoughts
If you're interested in putting up some physical copies of the poster or distributing it via e-mail, please feel free to DM me with an e-mail address where I can send a higher resolution version. I'd like to thank @anxiousoracle for designing this! She did a fantastic job!
For more information about this event featuring me, @brchastain, @Lily_Warrior, @KEBrightbill, @WheelerWorkshop, and @julieingersoll, with lunch catered by @centerfluid, see this thread and the linked GoFundMe:

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews
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1. Not gonna lie; I'm surprised that World Magazine, an evangelical publication, would release such a withering expose of Liberty University's authoritarian crackdown on the college newspaper. But this is a must read:…

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews #Resist
2. Heavy-handed control over college newspapers--essentially rendering them propaganda outlets--is one common tactic used when evangelical colleges crack down to impose orthodoxy, a frequent pattern. Here's an investigative piece I did on these crackdowns…
3. I interviewed David Wheeler (@WheelerWorkshop), who was faculty adviser for the student paper at Asbury University, and one of his former students for the article linked above. Asbury refused to print the student's article making a Christian case for legal same-sex marriage.
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Prediction: Most of the 53% of white evangelicals aged 18-29 who support same-sex marriage will either back away from that *OR* (likelier) leave evangelicalism. The key institutions are cracking down. Evangelicalism can’t handle ideological diversity.

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews
Or, well, diversity of any kind. Evangelicalism is fundamentally (fundamentalistally?) authoritarian. There’s no saving it.…

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews #ThursdayThoughts #Resist
To those evangelical kids who want to change evangelicalism from within, good luck. Maybe you’ll prove me wrong. But there are a whole lot of us who have used to be you and had to give up. There’s no shame in reaching that point.
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1. “Fake Christians” do exist—I’d put Trump in that category—but they are people who fake piety, not people who regularly attend churches with bigoted theology and whose bigoted piety is very real. Not, in other words, most of Trump’s base.…

2. Is there such a thing as progressive/liberationist Christianity? Of course. But when we speak of a cultural system as vast as a major world religion, we have to realize that we are speaking of a wide array of concrete, communally and historically mediated instantiations.
3. A text-based religion’s history shows how praxis and interpretation of text and tradition vary widely—culturally, geographically, in terms of change over time.

Go back to the beginning. If there was a single“pure” Christianity, why was it necessary to fight over the canon?
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Why I believe in a personal, real God, and why I believe he/she/they love me: too many times in my life, things have worked out for me way better than they should have.

I don't understand why me, when so many suffer, but I sincerely believe I'm #blessed
Today was another crazy thing that just worked out. I'm going through a rough time and through complete irresponsibility and poor planning, I ended up $310 in the hole in my checking account. Last night I drove to work wondering if I would make it there, I was so low on gas.
Last pay period, I had been sick and my kids had been sick and I missed work. My paycheck was going to be unusually small, so I had bills to pay and I didn't know how I was going to pay them. I went to work knowing my paycheck would be direct deposited at midnight and
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1. I'm excited to announce The Exvangelical Community: Paths, Projects, Prospects, a panel discussion featuring myself, @KEBrightbill, @WheelerWorkshop, Akiko Ross, and @julieingersoll, and emceed by @brchastain in conjunction with @exvangelicalpod!…
2. If you are in the Tampa Bay Area, please join us on September 8, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. for a discussion of diverse experiences within evangelicalism and what we can do to build community and advocate our interests going ahead, offline as well as on. Here's more about the event:
3. We deliberately put together a panel of people from different generations and backgrounds. I'll be talking about my Christian school experience and deconstruction, as well as about leveraging social media. @KEBrightbill will talk about her homeschool experience and policy work
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By the way, if you haven’t read the interview I did with @davidbazan for the Ex-Evangelical Conversations series on #NotYourMissionField, check it out!…

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews #MondayMotivation #MusicMonday #Summer
Bazan just sort of “preached” an anti-Trump, anti-Pence, anti-toxic masculinity mini “sermon,” and it was great! You couId see a few people in the crowd weren’t thrilled, but at least one person yelled #FuckTrump, and Bazan said “Fuck your boy Pence hard” to massive cheers!
Now Pedro’s rocking out, and damn you can feel that bass in your chest!
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Next time anyone from @TGC claims to be pro-life, cite this article.

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews (short thread)
Notice 1st that in this article Leeman openly endorses the view that there is a "race gap" in abortion statistics.

This of course is pure myth.

The so-called "race gap" is a product of white supremacy.

The systems which cause black and other non-white to have higher abortion rates are directly tied to systems of systemic racism.
Read 34 tweets
That WaPo story about the small town Southern church is a hard one to read because I could drive down the street to any number of churches in this town and hear the same racist comments. These are not anomalies sought out by biased reporters; these attitudes are pervasive.
We’ve been driving an hour to church, but this is getting harder with kids. There’s honestly nowhere else to go. It’s tough.
If you’ve read “Searching for Sunday” you know more of the story, including how we tried (& failed) to start a church here. I think I may talk to our bishop (TEC) about a church plant here or in neighboring Soddy Daisy. We love St. Luke’s, but the drive is an obstacle with kids.
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Part of why the red scare and "it's a distraction" reactions to Trump and Putin are so personally disturbing to me is that this unholy alliance between the US and Russia has been my nightmare for a long time because of my own #EmptyThePews story.
I grew up in a cult that sat right at the intersection of US Evangelicalism and Russian Orthodoxy.

The Russian church was attractive to American fundamentalists in part because of its active engagement with social issues - in other words, united by the so-called culture wars.
A specific take on Russian Orthodox sin and piety was attractive to an American cult led by homophobic gay men who wanted to change their own behavior and wanted to police the behavior of those around them, too.
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1. From the 1990s this same affinity for Russia that @HeerJeet tracks among overt racists ramped up among the Christian Right in conjunction with a shared “traditional values” agenda. That strain of Christian admiration for Russian conservatives can also be traced back further.
2. Pat Buchanan is aware of this and, as a traditionalist Catholic, in fact straddles that overt white supremacist/Christian traditional values line when it comes to reasons espoused for admiring Putin. For more on this, see my essay “Bad Ecumenism”:…
3. For more on the history and current realities of European and US right-wing Christians’ admiration for and collaboration with Russia, see the policy research I’ve published with @PRAEyesRight.…
Read 13 tweets
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