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So I tracked down a copy of my old 5th grade "Heath" textbook. I'm going to upload a much larger thread with tons of pictures from this later, but I wanted to give you a sample of what using #ABeka christian school curriculum is like.
#EmptyThePews #Exvangelical
Yes, that really does say that looking at pornography (dirty pictures) is what made Ted Bundy into a serial rapist and murderer. Yes they felt it necessary to tell this to CHILDREN on the cusp of puberty. Yes it absolutely traumatized me and caused me a great deal of shame.
Yes, I did have a deep fear in middle school that I might grow up to be a serial murderer because I had seen my friend's dad's playboy collection in second grade because of this fucking book that is commonly used in Christian schools and home school programs.
Read 8 tweets
1. A mini-thread for those shocked by #ChristianAltFacts and wanting a deeper dive into what sort of subculture indoctrinates children into such absurd and terrifying beliefs. The mindfuck starts young, and as a kid you’re pressured to convert other kids:

patheos.com/blogs/unfundam…
2. Here’s an essay on what being educated in the would be “respectable” version of that subculture was like. Cognitive dissonance galore!

#ChristianAltFacts

chrisstroop.com/2017/03/06/edu…
3. Here's an essay that brings moral foundations theory to bear on analysis of authoritarian religious communities. White evangelicalism is overwhelmingly authoritarian.

chrisstroop.com/2018/06/14/esc…

#ChristianAltFacts #Exvangelical #EmptyThePews
Read 11 tweets
If your religion indoctrinates children into believing they are born sinful and without inherent goodness, you are committing child abuse.

A THREAD
Children are NEVER born with a sinful nature. In fact, sin is just a social construct to keep you in line.
If you teach your child that he/she/they made God or Jesus unhappy by being a fucking human being and making mistakes, you are a monster.
Read 12 tweets
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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
Imagine if @elizabethjdias and the @nytimes were willing to face this truth, or at least to listen to those of us making the case.

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews #FridayMotivation #Resist
Also, hey, you know what's better than a handful of completely not representative profiles of young evangelicals? Data, that's what. Just sayin'.

Read 3 tweets
1. I am eternally grateful to @ninaburleigh for pioneering the inclusion of #Exvangelical voices in analysis of evangelicals. I still wish this piece didn’t end with a vapid and misleading Russell Moore quote on evangelical millennials supposedly being very different politically.
2. Young evangelicals are not going to change the rabid right-wing authoritarian horror show that is white evangelicalism. They will ultimately conform or be forced out. That’s how evangelicalism works, and in part it’s about money.
3. Evangelical institutions cannot stop being deeply invested in the culture wars when their funding comes from the Ahmansons, the Kochs, and the National Christian Foundation, “probably the single biggest source of money fueling the pro-life and anti-LGBT movements.”
Read 8 tweets
1. On the Christian Right, this is known as “presuppositionalism.” In my high school AP biology class (yes, really)—a class where we did a recombinant DNA lab with bacteria—we watched a “flood geology” video that serves as an example of how this works.

#EmptyThePews #Resist
2. The narrator was a “creation scientist” who explained that when “evolutionists” look at the Grand Canyon, b/c of their presuppositions, they conclude it took million of years to form. He insisted the same evidence could support the conclusion of rapid formation by Noah’s flood
3. Presuppositionalism is Christian fundamentalism’s version of post-truth. It spread from Christian Reconstructionism, the most radical, hardline Calvinist form of dominionism, into “mainstream” evangelicalicalism via homeschooling and Christian school curricula.
Read 14 tweets
I was working, painting a house in my spare time to get some extra cash when a man came to ask for directions.

I politely said that I was not from there, but then he started talking to me about corruption.
Corruption is a very popular subject in Brazil nowadays. There were a lot of corruption scandals revealed and the workers party took all the blame, even though there are far more politicians from other parties, mostly conservatives, stealing much more money.
The case the man told me about was small. A local company overpriced the government. The man was mad about it. He clearly wanted to do something about it and I was supporting him. I said he should denounce the parties involved to the right authorities.
Read 12 tweets
1. Let's talk about some of the striking new data we have showing the extent to which white evangelicals are the single most racist and nativist demographic in America. No white Christian demographic is doing great. But evangelicals are the absolute worst. #EmptyThePews #Resist
2. I'll start with the nicest thing you can say about white evangelicals, which is that 16% of them say they will never approve of Trump. That's a minority within a minority, and overall the demographic is defined by nativism.

prri.org/research/parti…
2-a. I and I suspect most in the #Exvangelical community have never understood this 16% of white evangelicals. A word of caution--saying they will never approve of Trump doesn't mean they all won't vote GOP. But there are a few genuinely progressive white evangelicals out there.
Read 23 tweets
Evangelical PR Blitz Before Midterms Won’t Fix The ‘81% Problem’ rewirenews.link/2zjWOXG

Few folks know white evangelical culture from the inside in the way Chris Stroop​ does. /1 #Exvangelical #EmptythePews
Chris points to the way in which white evangelicals are feverishly working right now to clean up their image in advance of the 2018 elections — especially when it comes to their continued support for a man demonizing and lying about immigrants. /2
Chris suggests — he's very right— that mainstream media collude with white evangelicals in allowing their leaders to engage in image clean-up operations, & they advance only "safe" evangelical voices, never the critical voices for former evangelicals like Chris, /3
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1/3. Well, this piece is disappointing. When she solicited comments for this piece, @elizabethjdias strongly implied that she would include #Exvangelical perspectives, but she did not.

nytimes.com/2018/11/01/us/…

#EmptyThePews
2/3. The framing here is too simplistic. White evangelicals’ bad faith “religious liberty” argument is taken at face value. And the rest is just impressionistic, so many anecdotes.
Read 5 tweets
Today I will be joining @aejohnsonphd at @CTS_Indy as a guest speaker in his intensive week long course, “Rhetoric, Race and Religion.”

We’ll be talking about his #WhiteChurchQuiet hashtag and #EmptyThePews in the context of white evangelicals and race.

#ThursdayThoughts
I’ve also got some analysis of precisely this topic dropping later today with @RDispatches. There’s a PR effort afoot to whitewash white evangelicals’ reputation and distance them from owning Trump ahead of the midterms. I relate in detail why we shouldn’t buy it. #EmptyThePews
And while we’re on this subject, I highly recommend the excellent blog @examinereligion that @aejohnsonphd runs.
Read 3 tweets
1. This has got to be one of the worst pieces that @TIME has ever printed.

Replacing “white nationalism” with a return to Protestant nationalism is going to solve our polarization problem? Uh...

I’ve already found today’s “Holy shit!” moment. It demands a thread.

#EmptyThePews
2. There’s so much wrong with @yhazony’s argument that it’s difficult to know where to start. But let’s take this notion that nationalism gets a bad rap. It’s true that historians, sociologists, et al. distinguish nationalism from jingoism. But does that mean nationalism is good?
3. Scholars of modern nationalism have often noted it as an empirical phenomenon that becomes a predominant source of identity in modern Europe, particularly in the wake of the French Revolution. More recently some have identified an English nation as early as the 16th century.
Read 23 tweets
When can I expect your statement on the SGM sex abuse allegations as they pertain to your time on the pastoral staff and as lead pastor of CLC Gaithersburg?
For those not aware, Harris served under CJ Mahaney at Covenant Live Church - the former flagship church of Sovereign Grace Churches (now SGM) - from 1997-2004, and as lead pastor from 2004-2015.

1. covlife.org/new-here/about…

2. churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor…
During his time at CLC and in working with SGM, there are multiple allegations of child sex abuse being covered up by other staff members at the church.

While Harris is not mentioned in the lawsuit allegations, his former church is.

As are the founders and several staff of CLC
Read 13 tweets
1. So I need to process my therapy session today (aka process my processing), so this is me doing that. But I'm a little scared to write it down.

Anyway. Here goes... a thread, probably helpful for the #Exvangelical and #EmptyThePews Fam
2. My therapist and I were discussing the girl I just started dating and how I still deal with internalized homophobia when we are together. She told me that when we are scared, stressed, or even excited our brains retreat back to things that are safe, even if they're harmful.
3. In essence, we are trying to survive and in times of stress (good or bad) often our reaction is to retreat to safety. Sometimes the safety is a thought, belief, place, community, people. Sometimes those things are harmful but because they are what we know, it feels safe.
Read 16 tweets
#Evangelical Women demonize female victims over male perps because they have been trained to view women, unable to, or , punished for consent as the "Bad Girls". When Vashti is demonized for saying no, and Bathsheba is a temptress for being unable to say no. #EmptyThePews [1]
Vashti said no to protect herself. Xerxes wanted to treat her like a piece of meat. She said no. Therefore, according to Christians, she was disobedient. For refusing to be demeaned into an object. #EmptyThePews [2]
Bathsheba would have been terrified to say no to David. Saying no to someone in authority could have resulted in her death. But instead of seeing her as someone a lust-driven king took advantage of, Christians are trained to see her as a vile temptress. #EmptyThePews [3]
Read 9 tweets
1/2. Of all the weird things in a weird article, what stood out to me is Nunes investing in a relatively new (founded 2006) Napa Valley winery I’d never heard of, Alpha Omega. That apocalyptic image set my #Exvangelical sense tingling, so I did a little digging.

#EmptyThePews
2/2. The folks behind the winery also run an Alpha Omega Foundation. Evangelical seems to be the native language of Michelle Baggett, who runs it. Among the foundation’s beneficiaries is Samaritan’s Purse, headed by Franklin Graham.

wineindustryadvisor.com/2018/01/30/alp…

#EmptyThePews #Resist
Addendum: That’s all I immediately found; figured it was worth tweeting. I also think some further digging into who the foundation supports would be worthwhile. That it does good things, like support wildfire relief, doesn’t mean it’s not working to advance a theocratic agenda.
Read 3 tweets
1. I just sent out this month's newsletter for all @Patreon patrons who support me with a $5 or higher monthly pledge. If you find my work valuable and would like the inside Stroop scoop, please consider joining them!

patreon.com/cstroop

#Exvangelical #SundayThoughts
2. At the end of the last academic year, I faced a choice--move back in with my parents in Indiana to pursue the freelance writing and speaking opportunities I was getting more of, or adjunct at the University of South Florida for low pay and no benefits. Or find something new.
3. Here's a thread with some of my life story up to the present. The travel to Austria next spring to do a semester of research mentioned in it fell through despite me having been promised it for years.

Read 15 tweets
Stop calling Falwell, Graham and their ilk “fake Christians.” Historically Christianity is often about the pursuit of power. Pretending otherwise isn’t harmless; it keeps us from grasping the theocratic threat.

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews #SundayMorning

chrisstroop.com/2017/05/03/abo…
When you dismiss Trumpist evangelicals as “fake Christians,” despite them representing the overwhelming majority of white evangelicals, you enable key news outlets’ normalizing extremism. If Graham is “fake,” “real” evangelicals must be fine with pluralism, right? BUT THEY AREN’T
Mussolini, Hitler, Franco, all had massive Christian backing. These are historical, empirically unassailable facts. Deal with it.

npr.org/2014/01/27/265…
Read 3 tweets
Another reversal of an improvement for LGBTQ acceptance in an evangelical institution (World Vision is the other one I have in mind). Evangelicalism doesn’t change its patriarchal ways. It just casts out the people who would make it better.

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews #Resist
Of course Wheaton might be the more direct parallel.

time.com/4233666/wheato…

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews
For more on the authoritarian enforcement of hardline conservative orthodoxy at evangelical colleges, see my latest for @Playboy:

playboy.com/read/want-to-k…

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews #SaturdayThoughts
Read 4 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
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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
Read 32 tweets
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.
Read 4 tweets
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!

twistedsisterds.podbean.com

#Exvangelical #FF
Read 4 tweets
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