1. If you’ve just followed me or hit upon this thread about evangelicals’ appropriation of anti-Nazi rhetoric around abortion for their Christofascist politics, you’ll find plenty on my blog, #NotYourMissionField, if you want to dive deeper into evangelical ideology.
1. The @pewresearch data writeup's discussion of people leaving evangelicalism or dropping the born again label is frustrating on a few levels, suggesting, for example, there only "may be" some who left over Trump.
2. We absolutely know that some such people exist, as many have commented #OnHere and e.g. in the Facebook support group Exvangelical that Trump was the final straw for them. We also know that despite its resiliency in raw proportions, people leave evangelicalism all the time.
3. People leave all religions for all kinds of reasons, and people also convert to others rather than become nones, but it's wrong to suggest that the decline of Christianity in the United States has nothing to do with radical evangelicalism.
4. Scholars have linked the rise of the nones (those with no religious affiliation) to the Christian Right culture warring politics that has culminated in Trumpist theocracy.
Patriotism is weaponized by authoritarian communities and regimes. Some of us who grew up in the Christian Right are literally triggered by the God and country routine. And you know how you don’t address real, substantive divides? By saying hey let’s all do nationalism together!
@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/
1. I've been meaning to do a little thread to update you all on what's happening in my life (and as an intro for new followers). I just sent off my monthly newsletter for Patreon patrons; with that fresh in my mind, this is probably a good time. Except it's a also a terrible time
2. You see, I've been wanting to do this on a day when we're not all reeling from yet more horrific news, but at this point I have no idea when we might see another day like that, so I guess now will have to do. The biggest news, which some of you know, is that I'm leaving Tampa.
3. Not only am I leaving Tampa, but I am leaving Tampa without full-time employment either here, or where I'm going, a north suburb of Indianapolis. Where I'll live with my parents for a while. How and why that's happening is sort of a #RealAcademicBios story.
Do not ask me to be civil to hateful bigots. We need to do better. Politely glossing over racism has crippled our country, and allowed hatred to fester. This behavior is warping us, and keeping us in a constant state of panic. #NotBeingNiceToNazis#HeroesPersist
Panicked people do not make rational decisions. Trump’s go to move of stoking fear of other is entirely intentional.
It is not just Hitler who has used this. Radicalized Evangelicals have been using the fear response in our country for generations. They condition people to fear divine retribution, both to control behavior, and to shape government policy. #EmptyThePews
Disciples of Jesus no. But they are Christians, and I'm not interested in no-true-scotsman-ing anyone. Christianity has no breaks on any of this. It has no power to transform these peoples hearts. #EmptyThePews
If there really was a holy spirit living inside these people transforming them from the inside out, why are they like this? Is God so impotent that he can't soften these peoples hearts? Does he need good teaching to reach these people? Then it's the teaching that changes, not god
Can't he decrease activity in these peoples amygdala and limbic system, and stimulate activity in their anterior cingulate and prefrontal cortex? He doesn't need to make them do anything, just stimulate their brains in the right way and they'll do right by their own free will.
Children separated from their parents at the border are being transferred to U.S. DHS to be placed in foster care, with U.S. relatives or in juvenile facilities, including placement in Michigan... many by Bethany Christian Services.
1. Disturbed by the influence of Capitol Ministries on the Trump administration? @alicekblue suggested to me this morning that the organization might be a good target for a #GrabYourWallet campaign, and I agree. Let's have a look at some of their board members. @slpng_giants
3. Next up is Barry Meguiar, president of @Meguiars, which sells car care products. If you're opposed to Christofascism, #GrabYourWallet and take care of your car with products not tainted by an association with Ralph Drollinger and Capitol Ministries.
1/2. This reporting by @AndrewLSeidel on the content of Ralph Drollinger’s White House Bible Study helps explain the child separation policy and punitive Trumpist theocracy in general. Spanking infants to break their wills, Romans 13, it’s all of a piece.
2/2. Seidel makes a very plausible case for the influence of Drollinger on Jeff Sessions, and in the process he lays bare the authoritarian nature of “the Biblical worldview.” To go deeper, read this with my latest for @Playboy and my essay “Escape from Jesus Land” (links below).
2-a. “The Book of Sessions: America Blearily Awakens to a New Theocracy”
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,.
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.)
1/ If evangelicals enthusiastically supporting the forced separation of children from their illegal immigrant parents is surprising to you, understand that evangelicals are fundamentally opposed to the idea of children having human rights. #YouDontKnowEvangelicals#EmptyThePews
2/ Most evangelicals would not directly say “Children do not have basic human rights”, but it is baked into their belief system; they just don’t. Evangelicals do not see children as having an identity independent of their family.
3/ Observe Mike Farris of HSLDA explaining that children don’t have fundamental human rights of their own, while not explicitly saying so (hslda.org/content/docs/h…):
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.
If a system cannot be criticized, especially one of faith, it begs to question whether that system can actually be trusted. Not allowing criticism of the Church suggests that Christianity has grown as much as it can, in full understanding of God.
Since we can readily admit that God is so vast we cannot actually comprehend him, that means either the religious sect claiming it needs no criticism either knowingly lies about itself or doesn't actually believe in the God they claim to follow. Growth can only come from
the willingness to accept criticism and, at the very least, dig to discover whether or not the criticism is valid. If the Church is ever to look truly like Christ, it's actions need to be weighed against him. This is something I do not see in the evangelical movement.
2. Now Hillsdale is home to a hardline conservative Christian "liberal arts" school called Hillsdale College. Incidentally, one of my high school friends from youth group went there. And guess who was invited to give this year's commencement address? Why, none other than @VP.
3. You can see Mike Pence's own thread relating his speech here:
hey y’all remember that time my college roommates/church leaders gaslighted the shit out of me for a full year and i had no where to go or escape because i would face the same thing with me family and friends and church
remember when my roommates would call “house meetings” and then spend an hour telling me what i was doing wrong as a christian and friend and person and then, when i would start to cry, tell me “we can feel the rejection you feel and you should only be feeling loved by this”
remember when they told me i was a bad friend because i began isolating myself, avoiding them as much as possible, and becoming very private about my life and feelings
1. FOX "News" is playing at white Christian persecution complex, so let's give #GoodChristian™ Douglas MacKinnon a little of the "persecution" he so craves. Because, believe me, calling out someone's #ChristianAltFacts is obvs equivalent to them being murdered for their faith.
2. Guess what? Your friend is either delusional, stupid, or dishonest. Unless you made up said "friend" like many of the "facts" in this article. Hey, I'm just asking questions. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
3. Granted, Christians are persecuted in some parts of the wold, although your adjectives are not exactly quantifiable. But more to the point, you know where that's definitely not happening? In America. Hard to believe, I know.
1. I don't know how many people who teach in Christian schools or Evangelical colleges have spent time on the Russian mission field, but I do know those groups overlap. Whatever the numbers, the broader context around international collaboration in the culture wars is important.
2. @Beachbumjules, I'm not sure if you were worried about Russian influence on American schoolchildren, or American culture warriors' influence on Russians, but both countries have hardline right-wing populist/conservative utopian traditions of their own to draw on.
3. While to varying degrees at varying times Russian Orthodox Christians and American Evangelicals can be at odds with one another, in recent years they have often collaborated at a high level toward the pursuit of "culture wars" goals internationally. There's a long backstory.